It was the kind of bar where nobody nice goes on the kind of street where nobody nice
lives, which is probably what made it so cheap, which is de?nitely what made We Are
Scientists take meetings there. Not that Murray & Cain were cheap, but they could do
math just ?ne. If they were sticking a quarter into a video game machine, they'd just as
soon the thrills last for more than thirty seconds. Same with buying a lady dinner. Of
course it had been a long time since video games or dinner with a lady cost a quarter, and
anyway they weren't looking for either of those things, except in the deep-down quiet way
that men always are. They were looking for a producer.
Murray & Cain, they're the guys who started We Are Scientists 13 years ago. Fresh out of
college and bored by their day jobs, they ?gured rehearsing a rock & roll band would eat
up the long slow evenings. Only it back?red, because the band panned out. Now nothing
eats up their long slow days, except proving that a busted clock is wrong nearly all the
time, and if you watch a pot long enough, eventually it boils.
They ordered two whiskies, no ice, ?lled to spilling. Those were for Cain. Murray took a
squid-looking thing made of plastic tubes from his briefcase and handed ?ve of the six
tentacles to the bartender, who attached them to the ?ve closest taps. Murray stuck the
free end into his mouth and nodded, and the bartender opened the taps. That's when
Chris Coady stepped out of the gloom.
They'd met Coady six years prior. At the time he was a hotshot engineer who'd made his
bona ?des giving Yeah Yeah Yeah's and TV on the Radio their signature sound. Now he was
one of the best mixers in the game, and had a producer's rsum that reminded you of a
perfect hundred dollar bill. It looked so good it had to be fake. Only Coady was for real
Beach House, Wavves, and The Smith Westerns could testify to that.
"Tequila, ice," he said, reading aloud every word on the itty bitty drink menu in his head.
"Beer fucks with my sinuses."
They talked. Songs, gear, bands, plus dirty, slanderous gossip. Lots of agreement, with
enough "you're fucking crazy"s to keep things interesting. It started to sound like this was
the crew for the job. Two months later, they were drinking the same thing, but they were
doing it in one of New York City's best small studios, the kind that doesn't come cheap,
but gives you a lot more than you paid for. By the end of the year they'd made a record
that knew how to throw a punch, but was no slouch in the bedroom, either. A record that
gave you the big, wide-angle view, then brought you in for a closer look. It was a We Are
Scientists record, and it was a Chris Coady record, and everybody who'd listened to it was
having a real hard time staying calm.