Twitter is phenomenal. I’ve been on Twitter for years and had the chance to interact with some people I wouldn’t ever get to otherwise. After a July 4, 2010 Arrested Development concert, I sent tweets to members of the band and told them how much I enjoyed the show. Every one of them replied and follow me on Twitter. I see when they have new material coming out, and I’ve struck up a “cyber-friendship” with them. We’re cool like that. I exchange messages frequently with JJ Boogie, Tasha Larae, and Montsho Eshe. (By the way, you really need to check out their album Strong – excellent songs and these ladies have some vocals that will blow you away…)
I’ve also had the opportunity to interact with authors, filmmakers, comedians, and musicians through Twitter. I’ve found new music, interesting books, the list goes on. Most of the breaking news stories the past couple of years have come to me via Twitter. I rarely watch the news anymore, I know more than what they can fit into a half-hour broadcast. Twitter has become an integral part of my life.
This evening was one of those times something really cool happened because of Twitter. I follow Andrew WK, a heavy metal/punk/hard rock artist (he would describe his music as “party rock”). In 2002, one of my favorite albums was Andrew’s debut on a major label, I Get Wet, which contains the epic “Party Hard” and one of my favorites, “I Love NYC”.
In my Twitter stream I saw Andrew was having a video chat and giving away gifts. I followed the link to stickam.com, an Internet video channel. Andrew was asking questions and correct answers earned viewers cool merch, like t-shirts and shot glasses. I participated, getting the answers wrong (questions like “what letter of the alphabet am I thinking of”…etc.) He has this chat every week. This was my first time seeing it.
One of the questions was a name-that-tune type of challenge, where Andrew played the song on his piano, and if necessary, sang part of the song as a clue. I missed the first one, but guessed the second, Frankie Valli’s “Who Loves You”. I couldn’t remember the exact title, so I typed most of the chorus into the chat window shortly after Andrew started playing the song and nailed it. My prize? A phone call from Andrew, which I wasn’t prepared for. He followed me on Twitter, and sent me a direct message asking for my phone number. I sent it back.
A few minutes later, he called and we had a short conversation about the mild weather, what was going on for the holidays, etc. I mentioned I have six kids, that my older kids saw him at Warped Tour, and the younger ones watched him on Cartoon Network’s Destroy Build Destroy. We talked about eight minutes, and he ended the call with a question for me, asking me if I ever ate raw hamburger meat. “Of course I have, when I’ve made up hamburgers and dropped a piece of hamburger on the counter.” I jokingly told him that’s one of the perks of being a dad – getting to clean off the kids plates and take what they don’t eat.
“So you’re like the family dog,” he replied.
Yeah, you could say that.