Monday, June 26, 2006

Clubbed to Death

My wife likes club music. I got her an iPod for her birthday this year along with a gift card for iTunes, and she has spent it with great vigor. She's the pop princess of the house (the cats thought they'd like the Pussycat Dolls but felt hurt and misled), so we've got a lot of current radio hits on the computer: Bo Bice, Howie Day, Rob Thomas (blech), Nick Lachey (seriously), Natasha Bedingfield, and Pink. She's also downloaded a few songs from Rent, but thankfully none of them are that song about minutes to love or whatever. And the rest is club music. She's downloaded a few staples, a few covers (there's a club version of Don Henley's 'Boys of Summer' that I like), and Rob Dougan's 'Clubbed to Death' at my request (watch the scene in The Matrix where Neo sees the chick in the red dress and you'll hear it).

Well anyway, all of this is to say that over the past four years I've come to like club music. In fact, I've come to like electronic music in general a great deal more. I used to think of it as canned, uncreative, minimal effort musical junk food for the masses. I can see now the creativity required to piece together a beat with a sample with a sythesizer, and so on. That, and it's got a beat and you can dance to it.

My new appreciation is mostly due to being...worn down isn't the phrase, but it's the one that comes to mind. My wife, again, is a club music person (and was an active clubber in high school). That, along with two neighbors in seminary (one a clubber, the other a big fan of chill music, which is club music on depressants), got me to really listen to what goes into the creative process and just to get lost in the beats and hooks.

I've only had one actual club experience. But telling of that one experience will already be enough to curl many people's toenails who aren't prepared for it, so the story goes untold.

Club music takes me back to St. Louis, which is what I think my point is by writing this entry. I listen to club music and I'm transported out of semi-rural northeast Ohio back to the street musicians at The Loop and the dancing Elvis clock on the wall of Tangerine (now closed) and the pool tables at Schlafly and the Cardinals being all over my TV and my sweet apartment in Manchester. I never really even heard club music in any of these places. In fact, with the exception of that story that I won't tell, I hardly ever heard club music while tooling around St. Louis, unless I shared a car with the right person when we drove somewhere. It's the mere ambiance, the association of club music with the big city that takes me there. That's the only explanation.

There still isn't much of a point to this entry. I don't know at this point if this is more about music or St. Louis. I know it must be blisteringly hot and humid down there nowadays (summers, unless you had an air conditioner or about 15 fans in your apartment, were awful). I know that the Eden Seminary campus is a ghost town with the exception of those students helping each other through Clinical Pastoral Education and the families playing in the fountain. I know that the UMB Bank Pavilion is hosting their summer concerts and there will be fireworks over the arch on the 4th of July. I know that everyone's relieved that Albert Pujols is feeling better (I salivate at the prospect of a St. Louis/Detroit World Series...sorry Cleveland, you ain't got the chops right now). I know people are enjoying relief via their free cold beer at Grant's Farm.

Club music makes me think about all of that. It's my entry point back into a different culture, a different rhythm of life that I resisted at first but then came to love...much like club music itself.

So I guess there's a point to this after all. Don't mind me...I'm just having a used-to-be-homesick moment. It'll pass, and then I'll go to Vacation Bible School.