Pin It
Favorite

Bomb Garden 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & A Note on Control & r & & r & Last weekend, I was invited to a barbecue. "What should I bring?" I asked. "The music," came the reply, touching off a primal fear deep within me. It happens every time. Fear that, if the mix doesn't go off well, I'll be seen as some kind of hack, obliterating in one fell swoop whatever reputation I've built as a writer and journalist.





I imagine the news spreading like wildfire. People saying things like, "It's bad enough kid doesn't play an instrument -- but he can't make a mix, either?"





Sounds vapid, but these are my worries. I over-think and over-plan as a result. For this barbecue, which would require music from 6 pm until possibly 11 pm (when the noise ordinance kicks in) -- five hours -- my initial mix clocked in at over nine hours. Too much. So I started excluding songs based on certain criteria. Untoward profanity (losing me much of my hip-hop, sadly). Too-direct political messages (losing much punk and hardcore). Cacophony (losing much post-rock and some prog). And on and on. That got things down to about six hours. I'd whittle the rest, I thought, on the fly, fast-forwarding with the little remote that controls my laptop. This would also allow me to subtly, inconspicuously adjust the volume.





Funny thing happened on the way to compulsively controlling everyone's musical experience, though. Within an hour, I realized no one cared. Or rather, they cared on something close to a precognitive level. Rather than actively yaying or naying the selections, the music acted, to a degree, like an intensity dial. The louder, the more up-tempo the music got, the more animated conversations became, the more jovial the spirit of the party was.





It's easy to forget, especially in a world where literally anyone can be a music critic -- judging it and having those opinions instantly readable by millions of people -- that we access music most naturally not by analyzing it, but feeling it. When we let it move us. When I put down the remote, basically, the night got a lot better.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • The Landed and the White
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Do Something!
  • Do Something!

    Writers Resist, MLK Day activities and more ways to engage with your community
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • On the Street
  • On the Street

    Will you tip differently because of the minimum wage increase?
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March @ Spokane Convention Center

Mon., Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • A Persistent Life
  • A Persistent Life

    Scott Reed won more cases than he lost in life, and the beauty of the Coeur d'Alene area has been the beneficiary
    • May 27, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation