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 First Seahawk
  • The First Seahawk

    Publisher's Note
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • Mean Streets
  • Mean Streets

    Local small businesses have it hard enough without having to battle overzealous parking patrols
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • Moving Forward
  • Moving Forward

    The process of self-examination and change inside the Spokane Police Department
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Chad "Cheddar" Rattray Memorial/Fundraiser

Chad "Cheddar" Rattray Memorial/Fundraiser @ Wild Dawgs

Fri., Jan. 30, 3 p.m.-2 a.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
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

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

Most Commented On

  • Say 'No' to Fear

    Why Spokane ought to embrace its roots as an immigrant-friendly place
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • Mothers and Leaders

    History often overlooks the women who powered the politics of the civil rights movement
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation