2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sami Martasian)

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Photograph by Nina Corcoran

In 2014, I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Toronto with Christine Varriale, who has since introduced me to some of my favorite people in music and music writing. One of the more notable introductions was that of Sami Martasian, who was writing alongside Christine at Allston Pudding. Later on, Christine would join Martasian’s folk-leaning project, Puppy Problems. Somewhere in between all of that, I was fortunate enough to get to know Martasian a little better, and it quickly became clear that she’s the type of person that elevates anyone lucky enough to be pulled into her world. It’s a genuine privilege to have some so unfailingly kind, generous, and enormously talented be involved in this project. Her piece for this series is both a celebration of her friends and an examination of an unexpected moment that felt like a small victory for Boston. Read it below and then go spend some time with the people you love.

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Christine and I were working at Boston Calling almost with the sole purpose of catching Krill’s set. They all played a great show but the sound was funky and there was this huge reverb, and when I say huge reverb I mean: extremely fucking huge reverb. I think we were all a little bummed because it was such a big stage and we were so excited for them to be there and we honestly just wanted people to be really into their set (and a lot of people were- it was by no means “bad”, just a little weird).

So the last day rolls around and some of the Allston Pudding bunch and I wind up sticking around after our shift at the festival so we can see Tenacious D and the Pixies. Tenacious D ends up being unexpectedly emotional for a lot of us and kind of takes us back to being in middle school or what have you and getting into music for the first time and I mean come on its Jack Black in person! We’re all tired from working the fest for the past few days and he gets us laughing and a few of us crying like we’re kids again. Soon enough it’s time for the Pixies to play and Jack Black starts hyping them like crazy.

He shouts “WITHOUT THE PIXIES, THERE WOULD BE NO NIRVANA” and the crowd goes totally wild.

He shouts “WITHOUT THE PIXIES, THERE WOULD BE NO WEEZER” and again the crowd goes nuts.

Then Jack Black shouts “WITHOUT THE PIXIES, THERE WOULD BE NO KRILL” and we all just look at each other and lose it.

We’re all practically chanting “holy shit Jack Black said Krill” to each other. The best part of this was knowing that the Krill guys are enormous fans of Jack and that this must have been an incredibly cool moment for them to experience. I think it felt so good because Krill was like this really personal and important band for all of us in different ways- and for someone a lot of us grew up watching, who’s a really big deal in the world, to recognize these hometown heroes felt like a strange victory for our community. We were all messaging Jonah and our friends who weren’t there. It was probably the feeling sports fans get if their team wins.

I remember calling my mom to tell her “mom, okay, do you remember Jack Black? Yeah, think really hard mom…yeah, that guy from School Of Rock… yeah, it was a really good movie, you’re right, but check it out: that guy said ‘Krill’”.

My mom was really happy.

-Sami Martasian