Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

On bars, clubs, crowds, and music that sucks.

Hanging out in the computer room while guests mill around outside. I should probably pop out and be sociable for awhile, but I prefer doing so in conversational settings with one or two other people at a time, ideally without overwhelming cigarette smoke... unless I am smoking myself, which I do as infrequently as possible, only after a few drinks.

The thing is, I like having people over, but in limited doses if the objective is just to make life a nonstop party. My best friends are the ones who realize that it doesn't always have to be a party, who make themselves at home, do whatever they want within reason, and who can spend time with you in the same room waxing philosophically... or not saying a word, doing their own thing. Both is good.

That isn't to say I don't like parties... I just tend to prefer them elsewhere. That, after all, is why they make bars and clubs. On that subject, I prefer clubs over bars in theory, but greatly prefer bars over clubs in practice. In theory, a nightclub can have dancing, drinking, food, space for conversation, etc... but in practice, the music usually sucks, the drinks are poorly made and served in tiny plastic cups, the food - if they have any - leaves a lot to be desired, and you can't hear the person standing right next to you. A good bar, however, does a few things and it does them right. Give me a grungy dive bar with a pool table and a jukebox that plays Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison any day of the week over yet another danceteria packed with pasty yuppies doing the "white boy shuffle" and their trophy wives/girlfriends.

Dragged out to one such nightclub yesterday with many of the same people who are over tonight. The club had two sections... the loudest and most crowded of which was a huge old theatre with giant walls and acoustics like a tin shed. Giant iconic pictures of Madonna and Prince vied for wallspace with cigarette and drink promotional material, and video monitors displayed 80's movies, along with the all-too-common commercial video services that are infecting nightclubs everywhere. The music was basically everything from that era that they could be sure that you had heard a hundred thousand times before.

As much as there are bands from the 80's that I love, and some that I would still like to see, I despise the whole 80's retro thing. It is like a bile burp from a party best forgotten... It just keeps coming back up.

80's retro must die. If you find yourself getting older and slipping down that slippery slope into a "that time and that music was the best ever" kind of mindset, just think of the most pathetic aging hippie out there. You are becoming like that person. Turn back now, or be damned to never appreciate anything in the future as much as that which you appreciated in the past.

I went upstairs to the other section of the club. It was mostly modern soul, r&b, and rap, but it had its moments. Trip hop, which hit - and largely disappeared - from the clubs in England in relatively short order, has infected much of the best music being created today in all three of these genres. The lyrical content is better. The emotions are stronger and more believable. The beats and hooks are quirkier and less obvious... and disjointed soundscapes are more prone to invade songs seemingly from out of nowhere. Sure, there is still a lot of typical generic crap that could have been created twenty years ago, but at least something is happening in these genres.

Now, if only the boy bands could get infected too... if not by better bands, then at least by anthrax.

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