Saturday, February 27, 2016

Omnipresent Noise of Gen X Bar Owners

My friend called me and said, "Hey, we're going to be near your neck of the woods and a band is playing at one of the local bars.  Do you want to join us and attend?"

Naturally, because of the convenience I agreed and was looking forward to my friend and her friends visit.

However, upon walking into the bar I realized they decided to bivouac right in front of the monstrously loud band, in part because the birthday girl of the party rarely got out, and also in part because of this group's naivety about bars.  They were of the married-with-children variety and so, of course, ANY bar with ANY music must be a better bar than one without.  Still, this did not forgive the fact that the band was so loud and their proximity to it so close that it was literally impossible to have a conversation.  It was so bad that for the first time in my life my friend and I were having a text conversation when we were no more than 1 foot away from each other.  It LITERALLY was the best way to communicate.

Time warp back a mere two weeks ago and a similar such situation also occurred.  I was at La Casa, one of my favorite cigar lounges in Las Vegas.  It was Friday night so naturally it was mandatory the lounge hire a loud and amplified band to blare music into what was normally a quiet and serene cigar lounge during the day.  The music was so loud that when I was trying to buy my cigar the connoisseur could not hear me and said, "what?" which prompted me to yell (with full intent to imply he fucktardedly hired a band that was too loud)


He jumped back because I yelled so loud, but you could see in his eyes that maybe...

just maybe...

he got the fact that the band he hired was maybe...

just maybe...

a weeeeeee bit too loud since people one foot away from him had to blare out his ear drum so he could understand which type of cut his customers wanted on their freaking cigars.

Alas, it is time for a plea to all the bars, cigar lounges, night clubs, and venues in America for one simple thing.

Turn down the fucking music.

I know that as the 50's have faded so too has the quality, caliber, intelligence and wit of your average American.  I know the baby boomers lacked the Cary Grant and Walter Matthau charm that was an acquired skill needed to woo and whittle people's fancies, so they introduced Woodstock, concerts, and bars as the usurper to ballroom dancing to meet one's mate.  And I know that today your modern day Gen X'ers and Millennials lack any conversational skills whatsoever and are in desperate need of "noise" to cover this gaping inadequacy so they might futilely "grind" or stumble their way to a stable, divorce-proof nuclear family.

But in constantly making venues so loud, so cacophonous, you are denying Americans (and westerners) the much-needed training they need to hone, practice, and develop their charismatic and conversational skills.  And by association, their ability to become charming, intellectual, wooing, engaging, interesting, and devastating adults. And that is a price society pays in spades.

I know, I know, it's easier for the mop-headed sheeple inferiors of society to just walk into a sports bar with blaring music to yell at a girl




as they slightly tilt their flat-brimmed cap 3 degrees to the left.

And I know, I know the entire night club industry heavily relies on loud blaring music to make it impossible for a man to get to know a girl, but still enable him to buy her drinks.

I know.

But in the end, this bullshit will end.  And here's the reason why.

Teh interwebz.

In addition to buttfucking the snooty east coast New York publishing houses with self publishing


In addition to ass-raping the arrogant west cost recording labels with iTunes and MP3's

the internet has now usurped the dating/meat market from night clubs and bars to that of online dating, social media, and just general digital flirtation. 

I've been out of the dating market for about 7 years, but if I ever had to go back I would NEVER set foot into

a night club
a bar
a discotech
or a
"hot spot"

ever again.

I'd be on the internet the entire time because....


it's quiet.

And I can listen to jazz or the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack

all while trying to land me some play. 

That is the impossible competition you idiot "noise pimps" are competing against today.

But at least in the 90's there was a low enough volume level that you could theoretically and practically speak to girls.  I know many times at First Avenue (Prince's former club) it was not IMPOSSIBLE to speak with a woman using the English language.  But at this latest bar and this latest cigar lounge, forget it.  You noise whores have jacked up the volume SO MUCH there was ABSOLUTELY no way to not only woo a woman with charm, wit, and charisma, but I couldn't plain have a fucking conversation with my friends.  And while you bar/cigar lounge/night club owners may be 100% right that today's single, inept, intellectually-retarded rejects lack the intellectual capacity for ANY intelligent conversation, blaring music so loud to assist them as a handicap merely drives every one of genuine value and worth away.

We'd simply like to hear what the person 12 FUCKING INCHES AWAY FROM US ARE SAYING, even though you think we're so lacking in intelligence we need your loud blaring noise to absolve us of the "chore" of conversation. 

Regardless, it doesn't matter.

The generational migration is moving from the night club to online.  This is where the VAST majority of millennials and Gen "Z-er's" interact socially (and romantically) and (since these are the younger, and thus hotter people) soon the stereotypical loud bar will be obsolete, and thus a thing of the past.  It will be a museum memorial to the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations.  It will be as pathetic as the "our time" baby boomer dating site or Oprah's and the women's magazine industry's attempt to convince 60 year old women they're still hot and "cougars."  And the more and more you attempt to compensate for the fact people have no social skills, making the music so loud conversation is impossible, the more and more intelligent and competent people you will drive away.

Soon, just like Florida or Sturgis, you'll have nothing but wrinkly, pruny-boobed Gen X, intellectually-inferior gray hairs coming into your club hoping to get a taste of geriatric Z-Cavaricci ass as they reminisce about the 80's and get nostalgic about "Iron Maiden" and "The Scorpions."  Which will be fine.

Because most will be deaf by that age anyway.

So please, turn up the music just a little bit more.  I think I could actually hear that fount of intelligence my buddy 10 inches away from me said.  And I wouldn't want to hear anything intelligent in a public social setting because that shitty ass band you hired is doing a shitty ass rendition of Kurt Cocaine's crappy ass 90's song so loud it's more important I waste some brain cells listening to that shit than merely hearing music in the background while at the same time....



Oh, I'm sorry...



Anonymous said...

The music isn't any louder than in the 1990's Captain. Your hearing is 20 years older and damaged by the music
you listened to back then! I have the same problem now, being unable to converse in a bar!

minuteman said...

It looks to me like the social scene has changed since I was in the age range to be going to clubs/bars. I remember exactly what you are talking about in the early 80's when I was at university. We lamented then that there was no where in town that you could go and have drinks and conversation because everywhere was so noisy you couldn't here yourself think. Then we discovered an "English style" pub. It was a breath of fresh air. There was a nice bar, decent bar food, and no music. You could meet up with your friends for a night out and have the type of social interaction we wanted.

But sometimes we liked to go out to see "bar bands". There were a bunch of acts that we liked that would play the circuit and developed a following and we would go out specifically to see a particular band, for the show. You could talk to your friends between sets, but the band was the attraction, not just deafening background music.

Now, from where I sit it looks like the "bar band" scene is dead (it might not be I just don't get out any more), but there is no shortage of pubs where I live. I had half a dozen within walking distance when I lived in Toronto.

I don't know what dating is like now in the era of the interwebs because I have been married going on twenty years. After university, a ten year army career, a disastrous short marriage I was out of the army, living in a new town with no social connections trying to get my life back together and on the hunt for a new woman. I signed up for a community college course specifically to meet women in a setting where you could get to know them and they aren't all drunken bar trollops. On the first day of the first class, I walked in saw a cute young lady, sat down next to her and employed my charm. Twenty years and two fine sons later I have a loving wife and a great life. If it hadn't been her there were plenty of other nice young ladies in the class who would have likely filled the same roll. I think this is a great tactic for any young man who wants to meet women. There is no point at all in trying to use your charm in a club where you can't here yourself think, and the women there are probably not worth your time anyway. In a class there is social and intellectual interaction without the underlying pressure of each party knowing that the other is trying to seduce them.

Jay Currie said...

The fact is the gentry have clubs where... Gasp... There is no music. None. Silence.

Only for the 1‰ of course.

Anonymous said...

I started playing music in bars and lounges back in about 1962. I was 19 years old. I joined an R&B road band and left my northern Ontario birth place and worked my way to the USA where I 'roaded it' for about five years then settled in Cleveland for the next seven. I played full time in a variety of venues. I can tell you that over my years then and in visiting an occasional 'hot' night spot over the past few years, I can vouch for the Captain. The decibel level is at the Art Arfon's Green Monster jet dragster levels.

I am uber familiar with bar fly life ... I've seen it all from groupie chicks slipping under the table to blow you to guys fighting, over silly shit ... knifing and even shooting each other ... yeah ... if you spend enough time in bars and lounges .. you will see everything and anything.

After a dozen years in America I came back to Canada and moved to the warmest and most beautiful place the country has to offer ... Vancouver Island ... west coast .... with motorcycle. Yo Cappy ....

elmer t. jones said...

It's not just the bars. It's everywhere. I needed to buy some slacks and went to a well-known menswear outfit. Loud teen chick music blasting throughout the store. For the life of me cannot fathom why they think this enhances the shopping experience. Every store does this. Were I to complain they would probably call security on me. Coffeeshop, loud music. Target, Walmart, loud music. Burger joint, loud music. All the same. How can the employees stand it all day long?

I was at the Dayton airport at 5am and it was blasting through the loudspeakers. Led Zeppelin. Kenny Rogers. And always the chorus of screaming black chicks, or worse, white chicks singing like they are black. A loud torch song : "I don't want to live in anyone's shadow..." Fingernails on chalkboard. You kids think your music is edgy? It's corporate anthems programming you to obediently consume.

kurt9 said...

What comes after Gen-Z? Gen-AA?

MacD said...

People are just becoming too loud in general. Can't even commute to work on the train without noise-cancelling headphones. Non-stop inane loud-talking.

Anonymous said...

There is always a place where you can have drinks and a conversation. Jazz bars, brewpubs, cafes (in NZ you can beer and a coffee at the same place) etc.

Clubs have always been loud. They have always had the same level of conversation. And I never met a girl who was cool in one. Not in my teens, twenties or fifties (I was off the market for my 30s and 40s).

And the best place to hear the music is behind the mosh pit. Usually about 20 -- 50 feet back from the band. You will need earplugs, though.

Anonymous said...

Generation Now
Generation I
Generation Know
Generation My
Generation Abcs

Doug said...

When I was dancing back in the late 90's, I walked into the venue with a sign that said "Please lower the volume" and "Thanks." Didn't seem to work.

For bars, I believe the idea is that if "we play louder we'll play better." And, drunk people are mostly deaf.

I went into a movie a couple years ago, and came out deafened. I like a good soundtrack, but not being able to hear afterwards is not a way to get me to pay for another $15 ticket. The last movie I went to I took earplugs.

Luckily, the retail scene is changing. If I need something, there's a good bet I can get it off Amazon, and I can browse in silence, or engage one of the many options to listen to music while keeping it under 60 decibels.

Tucanae Services said...

Cleary, you are beating a dead horse. The loud background has been around since the speakeasy. They used it to mask what else was going on. Its been that way ever since.

Jim Scrummy said...

I had fun in my 20's and early 30's going to bars. Some had live bands others had DJs. For me it was a phase of life, never to be repeated. Moved on to the next phase which is marriage and kids, and I have no need to go to a loud bar. Now I yell at my kids to turn down their music...? Granted almost all "top 40" music is way beyond craptacular, that it shouldn't even be considered music.

What was great, about two weeks ago, the Mrs. and I took a day off of work and did a quick roadtrip to a brewpub two states away from our home, had a great lunch, drank some great root beer (had to drive home, and I don't touch alcohol if I have to drive), and we had a great time together. I just don't miss the singles bar scene at all these days when you have a great wife.

Michael said...

this was made very apparent to me when i saw a "kids ask bands" vid with Zakk Wylde, he could barely hear the little girl, and you could see the thought processes as clear as day going through her head, she couldn't understand why zakk was giving answers to seemingly different questions. as for my hearing, i ended up getting tinnitus from a head cold that turned into an ear infection that refused to clear up, so i may as well have blasted the music.

PatCA said...

Thank you! And why do clothing stores have to be as loud as bars? Is there no safe place to go any more?

I think it's part of this postmodern ethic of "disruption." It's cool to make the customer uncomfortable!

Don't you hate also the horrid quick editing cuts first popularized by MTV? I feel like I'm about to have a seizure just trying to watch a commercial or an hgtv show. Another example of tormenting the customer.

Anonymous said...

And stay off my lawn too!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm down the trail a bit from you, Cappy - this is one reason I don't go to live music venues anymore.
I hear ya, Cappy. Had my 90 year old mum, 88 year old dad, my bride out to lunch in sunny calif - outdoor patio, small fountain, nice and quiet so my folks could hear us talk.
staff cranks up satellite muzak (we asked them to turn it down, and they did happily, as it wasn't appealing to their taste.
then 'street musicians' spooled up playing sax/jazz with percussion and keyboards just outside the wall. did not move or stop, even when asked by restaurant staff to move from the entrance.
Add 1 delivery truck with salsa blaring, the diesel idling for 20 mins while driver 'consults' with homies.

end of attempt at talking, finish lunch, go home and sit on patio to talk. This is why I drink/smoke/eat at home - precisely because of the excess noise, almost no matter where you go.
damn, I'm old.

trollsmyth said...

Not quite the same thing, but:

docweasel said...

Three suggestions:
1. Sit farther away from the speakers. Even a dozen feet make a big difference.
2. Go to a bar which doesn't have a band if the loud music offends you.
3. Get used to the fact that you're old and in the "get off my lawn" stage: just because you don't enjoy loud music doesn't mean the band should turn down. Volume is the point of rock and roll. You'd much better just stay at home where you can watch Downton Abbey with subtitles on and the volume very, very low. Nothing worse than someone who bitches because every venue doesn't cater to their personal likes or dislikes. Just go somewhere else. No one forced you into that bar, and obviously a lot of people DO like it or the bar owner would have the band turn down, which I've experienced many times as well.

Anonymous said...

It's really bad for those of us who are introverted and somewhere on the Aspie scale. Not only are small noises irritating (when I went to law school, I couldn't study in the law library because of the small incidental sounds that kept distracting me), but music just grabs my brain and doesn't want to let go. So if I want to read, I need quiet. If I want to watch TV, I need quiet. If I want to pay 100% attention to someone's conversation, I need quiet. White noise doesn't bother me when I'm reading, so the local fitness center is okay EXCEPT FOR WHEN THEY PLAY MUSIC which clashes with the white noise of the moving parts of the exercise machines. Very hard to read under those conditions. maybe I'll bring my noise-cancelling headphones next time.

YIH said...

About two years ago I and some friends went to a 'sports bar' for lunch. Here it is, 12:30, all the TVs were tuned to ESPN or the regional sports net with the volume off (put on a sports channel around noon, nothing but junk).
So instead of the junk, the place put on a 'classic rock' (70s/80s rock standards) feed. At a volume loud enough to both hamper conversation and requiring the food order to be shouted at the waitress standing right next to the table.
Though the food was (even though it was a sports bar) good, we ate, paid the check, split. Never to return.

jaericho said...

It's not just the bars. It's everywhere. I needed to buy some slacks and went to a well-known menswear outfit. Loud teen chick music blasting throughout the store. For the life of me cannot fathom why they think this enhances the shopping experience. Every store does this. Were I to complain they would probably call security on me. Coffeeshop, loud music. Target, Walmart, loud music. Burger joint, loud music. All the same. How can the employees stand it all day long?
I was at a chipotle and asked that same question. Someone suggested that it's because they want you to get in and out more quickly. Which might make sense because I've never seen chipotle with a large enough dining area.

Anonymous said...

"Too loud" masks mediocre music from poor musicians. It's nothing new. The general public believes outlandish volume is a sign of greatness and power, whoever screams longest and loudest wins.

Similar to watching a movie or the boob tube while the background music/sound effects drowns out the dialogue. You eventually realize a mediocre script with poor delivery needed the volume to disguise that vile performance.

Much like politics.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, and let's not forget whatever that shit is they play while you are on hold with the bank for half an hour.
If they think it is calming, I've got some news for them.

The Phantom said...

Just wear shooting headphones, and when the waitress shouts "WHAT ARE YOU GONNA HAVE?!" at you, tell her "I CAN'T HEAR YOU, THE FUCKING MUSIC IS TOO LOUD!!!"

heresolong said...

Not a new phenomenon.

1991. Stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. Go to a local bar to watch a reggae band and start dancing with a cute girl. We dance for about an hour. Didn't exchange one single word because it was too damn loud and I couldn't hear a thing she said. Eventually she left with her friends and that was that.

Anonymous said...

First Avenue wasn't the little Purple guys club, it was just featured in his movie.