2007-05-12: Singers At The Arcade


Drake_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif

Summary: Two musicians meet in an arcade, talk influences, and get spontaneous.

Date It Happened: May 12, 2007

Singers At The Arcade

An arcade near John F. Kennedy High School, The Bronx, NYC

It's finals week, and the school let everyone out for a half day so that the kids can go home and 'study'. Unfortunately, most of them end up over at the arcade, slamming tokens in, and trying to unwind from all the cramming they've had to throw in at the last minute. Drake happens to be one of those who are occupying the DDR machine, and completely devastating the poor class mate next to him in a round of Paranoia Survivor. The arrows fly at super human speed as the two battle it out in a game of stomping.

As the song winds to an end, the group lets out a loud round of cheers as the scores tally. It seems that Drake barely edged out his competition by a few Perfects, and a handful of Greats. Not bad, for tackling one of the harder songs on Challenge mode. As they high five each other, he begins to spin the wheel of songs once more, before settling on Bang!'s, Shooting Star. A girly song, with a massive RPM on maniac mode.

She's never been much of one for video games herself, being mostly absorbed with society things during her teen years at the behest of parents, and after that with the academic rigors of her seven years at Yale, then the move to New York and music. Not to mention her activities among the Extrahuman crowd. One of which has her still a bit on edge. Doctor Forrest and her bandmates had been at the High School Drake attends to audition for a possible gig at their prom. Yeah, it's late, but there might be openings and they could use a minor public venue to test their sound and some audience reactions to a few of their own compositions.

The arcade thus catches her eye and she makes her way in.

If Jane is lucky, maybe Drake will use some of his own pull in the school to 'encourage' some of the officials to hire the band on. Honor students tend to get their way a bit more often, especially those involved with the extra curricular. After finishing the song, and running his arm across his sweaty brow, he hops off the dance pad, jingling tokens in the palm of his hand as he looks around to find something else to work away on. That is, until Jane catches his eye. With a smile, he lifts his hand up and waves in her direction. "Hey Jane! I hear you guys were really good this afternoon."

Moving slowly, her eyes drifting across game after game and lingering on the ones with violence, those being a potential way to channel anger, she stops when addressed and turns to spot the vocal source. She's in a brown skirt which stops just above her knees with matching ankle height boots and two inch heels, the Pat Benatar tank top, and as nearly always has both guitar case and pack over her shoulders. "Drake," she answers with a quiet chuckle. "We're always good."

"Yeah. I know you always are." Drake says with a wry grin on his face. "I think you impressed the faculty. They were thinking about going with just a DJ, which they still might, but.. they could use a live band on stage if we pull in enough money with fundraisers or something. We're supposed to have a cheer leader car wash coming up, so… that usually brings in some money." He says as he rocks a bit on his feet. "How are things going?"

"They're going," Jane replies with a slight smile. "Some days better than others. The band and I are new, we're pulling together and perfecting the sound for an album sometime over the summer, it might drop a few months later. Aside from that we're all getting session work at the studio, so the bandmates are jazzed. It's enough to cover their tuition at NYU for next year. How 'bout you?"

"Well, I'm working for the Petrelli's now, or at least.. Pete's mom, Angela. I'm her personal assistant… or whipping boy.. " Drake says with a grin. "She's paying me fifteen an hour to run around town, pick up laundry and do paperwork, and other things. It's not bad for two or three times a week, and I work long hours so the money's good." He says, smiling. "It helps I'm friends with Pete, and Nathan, so she seems to like me." With a lift of his shoulders, he tilts his head about the arcade, looking it over. "So, I hear you're living with Elle now, huh? I bet you see Pete a lot more than I do."

"I am, and I do," Jane replies quietly. "Elle's an… interesting roommate. Pete and Nathan are good people, but I've never met the matriarch, though. Congrats on the decent paying gig." She flashes a brief smile. "That's why I haven't seen you around the Starbucks lately, I guess? Elena left there too, moved on to bigger things." And bigger than that, if Jane can engineer it with that videotape of the dance team practice, starring Senorita Gomez, she made recently. Maybe at least get her a line on some music video work.

"Yeah, yeah, Elena and I moved up from handing out coffee, though she got the better job… I think. Working for Jaden Cain.. rocker… playboy… skater." Drake says with a laugh as he waves a hand in the air. "He really needs to stop trying to skate home from work. He's gonna get mugged one of these days, and a super hero won't be around to save him." He says, winking in Jane's direction, before heading off towards one of the shooter games. "I bet she gets paid a lot better than I do too. I should ask, she's my best friend after all, maybe she can hook me up with something over the summer there. I could use the work credit for my internship."

Her head tilts when he speaks of Jaden being mugged and a superhero. How did he know that? She'd only seen Jaden outside her building then… But it all adds up quickly. He worked with Elena, they were close, she spoke of him being in a situation… Nothing was said to her about Drake being extrahuman, but… he probably is, given than comment and the wink. "Jaden's good. He's silly a lot, but that's an endearing quality. Sometimes that's just something a person needs to stay sane."

Jaden also gave a statement, and those things tend to end up on the Internet. At least, that's his fall back plan. "Yeah, he seems like the type. I used to go to his free concerts when he'd throw 'em at the park. Back before the chipmunks really took off. I'm a total fan." Drake says as he plugs a quarter into one of the shooter games, Time Crisis, to be exact, and starts plugging away at the bad guys. "My mom hates it though. She calls it.. cats screeching in a blender."

That one gets a hearty laugh. "Parents. I've been there, believe me. Mine, well, it's a paradox, really. When I was a kid they wanted me to be all well-rounded, grow up to be something of a renaissance woman, you know, with knowledge in lots of different areas, having culture and breeding, that whole thing. So they sent me to learn piano, and cello. Ballroom dancing too, I needed that for all the society debutante stuff when I hit sixteen and they started shopping me around to the families of potential future Senators and CEOs. Little did they dream I'd fall in love with music and the guitar. But… they still got me to go through law school."

"I know how to play the piano also. I took a class at school, and got fairly good at it, but I think I'm getting out of practice." Drake says as he fires off round after round into the bad guys at the screen, using the foot pedal to make the character duck and cover. "So you have a Law degree? You can make a lot of money with that you know." He says, shifting his gaze to her for a moment. "My mom is pretty open minded about my dreams. I want to work in theater one day, and do Broadway if I can."

"I'm a Doctor, a Juris Doctor, and I can make a lot of money as a lawyer, true. But I can make more money, and have more fun, as a musician." Jane flashes a grin of quiet confidence in saying that. "Even though I don't use it as a primary occupation, my legal training is still useful. I won't get ripped off by studio and label contracts I don't understand, or have to pay anyone for handling such things. I can do it myself. And help other starting artists with copyright and trademark issues for free." Over his shoulder and to the side, she's watching him play this game, and getting ideas on how it can be… therapeutic.

The enemies are dropping like flies, but only because Drake 'might' be altering his sense of vision a bit to slow things down so that he can take aim a bit easier, and nail the bad guys before they can really jump out and peg him. The muzzle of Drake's gun whips inch by inch, up, down, and to the side as he goes, squeezing off a single shot as he pegs nearly each in the head, racking up points, and prolonging his life. "I would love to sing professionally. I was told I should try out for American Idol or something. I'm kinda just scared to go on national television and embarrass myself if I have an off day."

She considers him quietly before answering this time. "The only thing you'd really have to lose by trying is not getting what you already don't have," Jane states. "Following a dream, well, if you don't there can be lots of regret when you're older. Me, I preferred to get mine through starting small. I just came to New York a few months ago, started playing on the streets, and eventually hit a studio for session work. Things… just fell into place." More silence for consideration. "Sing something for me, Drake, let me hear and see if I can picture Simon laughing at you, or thinking you've got a shot."

After finishing the round, Drake hangs the gun up to face her, quietly clearing his throat. "Sing, right here in the arcade?" He asks, glancing about for a moment, before rubbing the back of his neck. With a deep breath, he swallows, then tries to shake the nerves away. This is a bit embarrassing, but he decides to shove it to the side, and start to work it out. His voice comes out crisp, and clear as it is surprisingly angelic as he takes his time with the notes, allowing his voice to hit each pitch, and force out the waver.

This is my December..
This is my time of the year..
This is my December..
This is all so clear..

This is my December..
This is my snow covered home..
This is my December..
This is me alone..

And I…
And I…
.. And I…

And I.. give it all away..
Just to have somewhere to go to..
Give it all away..
To have someone to come home to…

As he sings, he can feel the eyes upon him in the arcade, as some stop their game to gawk and stare. Some giggle, some laugh, and some actually stare in awe as he works out a Linkin Park song, in a more beautiful, symphonic way. No rapping, just powerful, from the gut.

She starts to reply that no, not neccessarily right here and now, they could maybe go outside and she'd take out the guitar, start playing, and look to put him through a few paces there, maybe join into a duet of sorts, but… too late. Drake's singing already, so Jane just quietly listens and assesses his vocal prowess. A mental impression is made of the pitch. Bass, baritone, or tenor? When he's done, Jane's features curve into an impressed smile. "Not bad, Drake," she offers. "Simon won't laugh at you."

Then she does something perhaps unexpected. Her eyes close, she draws in a long breath, and treats the arcadians to a sample of her vibrant soprano. It's got richness and texture, belting power, in the fashion of Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar. But the tune? Metallica. "Say your prayers, little one. Don't forget, my son, to include everyone. Tuck you in, warm within, keep you free from sin till the sandman he comes…"

What is this? A You got Served sing off? The arcadians seem a bit confused by the back and forths, despite the fact both singers have pleasant voices. It's a bit weird, but at least it's entertaining. As she sings, Drake listens carefully to the sound of her voice, smiling at the corner of his lips. "I'm not a Metallica fan at all, but I'd listen to you sing it any day. Sometimes girls can really work out a rock song a bit better."

"I'm a rocker, always have been," Jane replies with a chuckle. She gestures toward the image on her clothing of Pat Benatar. "Metallica's just one of my influences musically. Others are like Pat here. And the sisters from Heart. The girl thing, yeah, it can be tricky. Not many of us rock like that, too often we get accused of hating men, or trying to be men. None of that's true. I… just love rock 'n' roll, to borrow from Joan Jett."

"I know you're going to laugh, but one of my musical influences is Justin Timberlake. I like the way he dances, and his style. He has a lot of confidence about himself." Drake says with a laugh as he shrugs his shoulders. "I also really like Johnny Rez's writing ability. I'm a huge Goo Goo Dolls follower."

She's not laughing. "He's not my thing, but hey, he knows how to give people what they want to hear. And see. It works for him, that's the important thing, along with the confidence. You see it all around you every day, I'm sure. People with confidence, who believe in themselves, make things happen. Those who don't have it suffer." Her head tilts. "I'm sure you figured that one out long ago, don't want to sound all pep talky. So, GooGoo Dolls. Nice. I really liked Iris."

And the two busy themselves with games, Jane finding some value with stress in shooting at things onscreen while they talk influences off and on for a while.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License