Having justed rocked in a new decade while dj-ing a rockin' new year's party and seeing a smokin' blues show the following night, I have come to the conclusion that some things never change:
If anything, they are getting more surreal. The new year's party was held in a part of town that has a high proportion of hippies, freakos, old burn outs, draft dodgers, crystal rubbers and just plain hippies.
To their credit, some of the older hippies seem to enjoy rockabilly and rhythm and blues. Nevertheless, their collective consciousness seems to cause them all to do the dreaded hippie tree dance. That is some scary lookin' shit.
Their absolute lack of rhythm and coherence is always shocking, but the swing dance revival of ten years ago has taken this affront to coolness one step further.
All these people think that they can master West Coast Swing or Lindy simply by watching somebody do it. This is probably what acid trips in the sixties looked like.
Akin to a festering pustule, it is both fascinating and repulsive. The affront on the visual and esthetic senses is powerful indeed.
That bacchanalia of frenzied dancing resembling crazed weasels drunk on fermented berries usually ends in a very amusing fashion: Two or more of the rhythm-less hippies will fall flat on their ass. Every time.
Nothing quite as funny as seeing a couple of disheveled, possibly stoned, middle aged hippies down on the ground, lying in puddles of stale beer and squashed hors d'oeuvres.
Good Swing dancers have taken dozens, if not hundreds of hours of lessons to perfect their technique. Hippies just don't have that level of commitment. In true hippie style, they just make shit up as they go along and and justify it by saying " I'm just trying to express myself, man".
Every single time I DJ, no matter where I am there is always some middle aged, humourless man-hating hippie chick who rags on me and tells me it's too loud.
I just tell them that it's only gonna get louder. They invariably leave and probably go home on their run down bicycle with a wicker basket on the front, and sit in the dark with their 14 cats, sipping shitty wine and muttering to themselves.
On New Years, one of these cliched earth mamas ran up to the stage and yelled that there was too much bass. That was a new one. I tried to explain that I was behind the speakers and couldn't really hear. She kept spouting some unintelligible tirade, so I did the only proper thing a greaser could do; I cranked the bass.
When it was almost over and the alcoholic haze kicked into overdrive, I just played a bunch of honky tonk. Adios, cochinos.
Blues bars, on the other hand, bring this to a stratospheric level. Every Blues bar, every town, it's all the same.
In this day and age, the Blues Bar seems to the be the domain of middle aged people. Most just sit there quietly and dig the tunes. Their wild days long behind them, they will tap their feet and sip on a few drinks.
Then there are the middle aged men who seem to have completely lost their fucking minds. They will prance around, jump around, play air guitar with both hands and usually shout bad requests to the band. These freaks obviously want to be part of the show, but being bereft of any talent, if they tried to actually play guitar, they would probably lose an eye or something.
On New Years day, at our local Blues bar, we were treated to a particularly gruesome spectacle. Some demented fifty-something dude regaled us with a performance that can best described as interpretive dance in the holding tank at a lunatic asylum. Give that man more Prozac, please.
This dude could be your uncle or your boss, which makes it even more frightening. It is also distracting. I have a hard time focusing on the band when there are (usually more than one) fucking retards making complete fools of themselves. I feel like getting up, pounding them in the head and duct taping them to their chair.
Another dude, who could be a dead ringer for comic book guy from the Simpsons, was shaking his thing near the stage. This pony tail sporting porker was wearing shorts and sandals. His sausage like toes were bad enough, but the pony tail completed the whole macabre picture. He was repulsing decent folk and scaring some of the younger folk. Buddy: Sit down. Shut up. For fuck's sake, get a haircut, long pants and shoes. I am convinced that this dude owns several tin-foil hats.
Blues bars should be divided into partitioned sections. Tables at the front for the cool cats and music lovers , backstage (where all the free beer is ) should be reserved for roadies and friends of the band, a sealed of room with glass walls for all the idiots who wanna fucking yak throughout the whole show and are seemingly unaware that there is a band actually playing and finally, a rubber-lined room at the back for all the dancing lunatics ( well out of sight of everybody).
An interesting start to the New Year, but nothing I've ever seen before. If that night was any indication however, once these aging doofusses are finally too old to go out and shamelessly prance about, there is a whole new generation waiting in the wings to take their place.
Plus ca change......
Thanks for reading, and all the best for the new year.