Despite the constant updating of music-related websites and Twitter feeds and blog posts, sometimes there is actually nothing Earth-shattering going on. I feel like today is one of those days. So instead of writing about something newsy, I'm going to share the story of the weirdest concert experience of my life. It happened a couple weeks back at Lollapalooza.
The story starts just after Depeche Mode finished its headlining set. I was walking away from the stage and back towards my hotel when a girl I'd never seen before ran up to me.
"Are you Jewish?" she asked.
It just so happens I am. So that's what I said. But by way of weirdness, I should add that I don't wear a yarmulke or tzizit or payis or a Star of David necklace or have a chai tattoo or display any other obvious signifier of Judaism.
Anyway, after I said that she had correctly guessed my religion, this girl, who was wearing glasses, a white tank top, jeans and had her shoulder-length brown hair tied back in a ponytail, asked me why it is that Jewish people have sex through holes in bed sheets. (For whatever reason, the myth that ultra-Orthodox Jews do that is still floating around.)
I told her that Jews didn't, in fact, do that. She seemed disappointed by my answer.
Then she asked whether or not I knew that because Jews don't marry outside their faith, there is a higher instance of retardation among Jewish babies.
I'm not making this up.
"I don't think that's true," I replied. "And if you're trying to be funny, it's not really working."
I didn't see anyone watching us, so I don't think that someone was putting the girl up to whatever it was she was doing. And because she seemed sober and--if we ignore the content of what she was saying--relatively well-spoken, I figured that maybe she was trying to be dumbly provocative rather than straight-up anti-Semitic.
But rather than find out for sure, I told her our conversation was over and that I was leaving.
She said, "Okay, Jew," and skipped away. I wanted to clock her.
The sheer randomness of the encounter (A complete stranger picked me out of a crowd? At a music festival? In Chicago?) left me feeling more confused than upset or angry. It was easily the oddest thing that's ever happened to me at a rock show--or maybe anywhere.
Have you ever had anything like that (or even just anything similarly befuddling) happen to you at a show? I hope not. But if you have, tell us your story in the comments section.
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