Good Neighbors



You know what I like? Loud, rough music. Stuff with an edge, music that makes you think, music that that makes you cry, music that makes you want to fight, to fuck, that makes you want to run out of the room. I like music that jams together styles to make a chimera that is willing to eat its own tail. I like music that will keep people dancing until they melt into a sweaty ball of clothes and glow lights. I like music that pisses people off because it says things that challenges their political beliefs. There isn’t a style of music where I can’t find something to like.

You know what I don’t like? Having other peoples music inflicted on me when I’m not asking for it.  Don’t blast Naz on the bus, Lynyrd Skynyrd at the camp ground or Zeds Dead when I’m trying to sleep. There is nothing more obnoxious in the world then staring at the ceiling of your bedroom while it vibrates to dubstep. Dig it, I don’t have a problem with dubstep normally. I’ve got Deadmau5 and Skrillex on my playlist but, after eleven o’clock that shit has got to stop.

See, I live in an apartment building that was thrown together in an earlier time.  For any readers from Alaska, they’ll understand when I say it was built during The Pipeline. For the rest of you, just picture a town pretty much doubling in population overnight; there were very few building codes, and places were being put up as fast as they could be nailed together. I could probably punch through the sheetrock into my neighbor’s apartment, which is why I listen to all my music on headphones. I even have my TV on Bluetooth. When you have a very clear idea as to how regular the bowels of people next to you are, it just seems polite to minimize your sound output as much as possible.

For those of you not familiar with the joys of dubstep there is a reason that even the people who love it use words like grimy and dirty to talk about songs. It gets under your skin and uses a jackhammer to take it off inch by inch. Someone described it as the music you would get from the Transformers having sex without lube. If dubstep doesn’t make your brain move in your skull then it isn’t working right. Dubstep hurts the ones it loves. Dubstep is what happened when Drum and Bass, Electro, House, and Techno had an orgy, and woke up the next morning with a bastard love child that none of them would accept. So imagine that being played at jackhammer levels directly above you.

So it becomes obvious that I needed a way to make it clear to my upstairs neighbors that they are being a dicks of the first order. Now the classic method is to pound on the ceiling with a broom or some such thing, but I figure it’s time to fight fire with fire. Besides the MND has been working hard lately to provide me with some great weapons so I fire up the computer, crank up the volume and unplug the headphones.

For the first choice I go with his very excellent drop of Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral, starting off at Heresy because it has the beat to match the dubstep and the lyrics to express my general rage at being awake when I have to be able to at least pretend to work in five hours. The nice thing about his needle drop is that I can crank it to the very top and there is not one hint of distortion.  The analog recording is clean but at the same time takes the grimy industrial feeling to a new level. Of course, I toss in Closer for good measure and they seemed to get the message. Blessed silence.

Two nights later it happens again and I am about to lose my tiny little mind. It was time to get Lemmy on their inconsiderate asses. I had recently picked up a repressing of No Sleep ‘till Hammersmith, Motorhead’s 1981 live album, and I had no choice but to crank that mother up. Live albums can be tricky things but this one is a thing of beauty and mixed perfectly. Whoever put it together knew exactly what they were doing. It blows the doors off without being stupid about it. So I went straight to The Hammer and then Overkill. Just about any song on the album is a balls to the wall wonder but those two seemed to the most appropriate. Once again the MND made something that could be cranked to the heavens without blowing up the speakers. This time they waited a couple of minutes after I turned off Lemmy’s angry growl before they shut down their tunes. I guess they wanted to show me they couldn’t be intimidated.

So I thought we had come to some kind of an understanding when, just last night after I had actually fallen asleep at ten minutes before midnight, there commences a thumping through my ceiling. I noticed their shower was on so they had to crank up the Basshead extra loud to hear them over the running water. I went with the traditional pounding on the ceiling deal at that point because I had a baseball bat in my hand and I really needed to use it on something. No results. It was time for the ultimate weapon. Prodigy put out a new album called The Day Is My Enemy that is absolutely killer. If you are a fan of Prodigy and haven’t got this yet, drop everything and do it now. If you used to be a fan and lost interest, I’d say this might bring it back. The vinyl is digitally sourced like so many new albums these days but it’s well done. At full volume you really feel like you are at a crazed European club, with half naked bodies, and vicious shadows wrapping around you. This is the kind of sound that turns you on while making you want to wrap yourself up in plastic and hide under the stairs. I put my speakers on top of a couple of chairs, so they would be close to the ceiling, and kicked out the jams.

Now the folks on one side have kids and I didn’t want to be a total asshole but things had gone nuclear. The opening song, same title as the album, is 4:17 minutes long. Somewhere around 3.4 they turned off their music. When I told the MND what happened he said I should have gone with his drop of Die Antwood’s Donker Mag which is an interesting choice. On the one hand it was done on two disks and cut at 45 speed (though they didn’t bother to say that anywhere on the cover, which is kind of rude) so the deep bass comes through wonderfully. On the other how do I pick through the things like Pompie which is basically Yolandi laughing for a minute and a half.  Cookie Thumper probably would have worked and Pitbull Terrier would have knocked it out of the park.

So those are my recommendations. Get the music because it is great. If your neighbor is keeping you awake, talk to the landlord which is what I’m going to do.

About Peter Hill

Hunter of vinyl, lover of music, drinker of Guinness, causer of trouble and pounder of keyboard.

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