Prince of the City Part 3
When Things Go Too Far
by Gamal Hennessy
I was invited to a birthday party by a beautiful girl. So I went. The fact that the party was at Snitch didn’t concern me at first. In retrospect, I might have seen what was coming.
Snitch is a rock bar in the Flatiron District. When I say rock here, I’m talking about heavy metal, goth, black T-shirts from old concerts and all that angry at the world music that takes a huge amount of energy and a lot of screaming.
Does a neo-soul, deep house, classic hip hop guy like me fit in well at a place like Snitch? Not exactly. I’m not a veteran in the scene, but this wasn’t my first time. I’ve hung out at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Pianos, Canal Room, and the Knitting Factory. I’ve got friends in rock bands and I’ve heard my share of screaming. But that didn’t help here. Things didn’t feel right when I walked in and it took me a few minutes to figure out what it was.
It wasn’t the music, or the spiked hair or the artificial rage.
It just felt like things have gone too far. Like I said, I’ve been to rock bars before, and none of the other rock clubs had bottle service. Bottle service springs up when club owners decides to bestow VIP status on people in exchange for cash. But if your vibe is fuck the man rebellion, how can you blatantly play the man’s status game? The obvious answer of course is money, but when rock bars have bottle service, its time to stop bottle service. It has gone too far.
There was a live band playing a set during her party. The lead singer croaked out the name of the band, but I don’t remember it. I do remember that they played a heavy metal cover of Lovestoned and Living on a Prayer. Insert your own joke here, but when the counter culture bands start covering Justin Timberlake, things have gone too far.
After the band played a DJ came on and dropped Rancid and Guns & Roses. I felt like things were getting back to normal. That’s when I saw a couple on the dance floor attempting to slow grind on each other to Paradise City, with very little success. Even if you ignore the fact that they have no rhythm (which opens the question of how exactly they manage to have sex) Paradise City is not slow dancing music. It never was. It wasn’t slow dance music in 1988. It isn’t in 2008. It seems to me that when kids come to the conclusion that this song represents romantic music, things have gone too far.
These observations might have continued all night, but when you strive to be a prince, you look for better things to occupy your attention. Around two, the birthday girl got a little too tipsy for comfort. This is not an unusual situation when bottle service, birthdays and shots are involved. With the help of my friends we pushed through the crowd, jumped in a cab and took her home. Then I turned around and went home myself. It might have been the only point of the night that doesn’t seem out of place.