Sixty to Zero

Hello dear reader(s)!

Car people love to talk about a car’s acceleration in zero to sixty miles per hour.  (In the US, anyway.)  In other places I have heard “not to 100”.  (Top Gear, UK.  Great show destroyed by the fascists over at the BBC.)  Anyway, in the US, “zero to sixty” has become a euphemism for anything that starts quickly from out of nowhere.  I have heard it used to describe relationships, someone’s day, a person’s success, I could go on…

But how many of you out there have heard the reverse?  Stopping distance usually isn’t measured in sixty to zero.  They almost always do it from different speeds so there is no common phrase.  But I think sixty to zero needs to become part of the lexicon in the same way that zero to sixty is.  Why?

Because of last night.

Having only been out to lame, meat-market, cover-band, loud DJ music in-between sets, douchebag, scenes of desperation types of clubs recently, I really wasn’t feeling it.  Those type of places weren’t even my scene when I was in my early twenties, as the vast majority of people (or people who are still desperately clinging to their early twenties) in those places tend to be.  I’ve been starving for something more of my scene that still gets me out and about but not necessarily with a bunch of college people who are having their first shots, or older, creepy people wishing and acting like they were college people who are still having their first shots.  So last night, my friend and I went to see a musician named Tyler Stafford who is much more low-key (acoustic singer-songwriter).  I was excited.  I figured whatever type of place would have him performing would be much more suited to my tastes.

Boy was I wrong.

It wasn’t the musician’s fault.  He was great.  I felt really bad for him though, because he was playing in a small corner of a freaking restaurant inside of a casino that hasn’t been a decent place to go to since within a few days of its opening.  There were TV’s on all around him too, showing Thursday Night Football.  The beer selection was terrible, and the food wasn’t all that good either.  Still, my friend and I made the best of it, and watched and listened to him play.  Playing to a few of his fans, 20 or so senior citizens eating their dinner before heading back out into the casino, and a drunk guy or two watching the game.  Yeah, definitely not my scene.  At least the music was good.

So after he was done, my friend asked if I wanted to go to one of the clubs I was badmouthing with the cover bands, the DJ in-between, and the terrible, terrible, vapid wastes of human beings.  She told a friend of hers who was in one of those cover bands that she would try to stop by.  So we went, because we were already in that part of the area, and it was still early.  I was not at all excited, but I figured, well, maybe it won’t be so bad this time.

Boy, was I wrong.

The band actually started out with a Pink Floyd song.  Alright!  I love Pink Floyd, maybe this won’t be so bad.  They played it pretty good too, putting their own spin on it.  Then they played a couple more songs that they did pretty well with, and the place wasn’t too packed, so I thought it might not have been too awful.

Boy, was I wrong.

Then they break into a medley of three 80’s rock songs.  And this is where it all fell apart.  They went from sixty to zero.  They start out with Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns n’ Roses.  (Gn’R doesn’t like to use whole words, do they?)  But they did it at about 3/4 time, and dragging down to about half-tempo.  Given the simplicity of the rhythm parts, I found this to be appalling.  Next they go into Bon Jovi and finish off with Motley Crue.  Again, all way too slow.  And it just went downhill from there.  Pop country, followed by more pop country, followed by Michael Jackson, followed by more pop country.  And then it started to get packed with the club-people.

I sat against the back bar, just watching people making asses of themselves out of desperation.  I was wearing my #FuckCancer shirt so I had one guy come up and tell me he liked my shirt, and then his girlfriend came up and also told me she liked it and then hugged me from out of nowhere.  And told me she was glad I am a survivor.  I know I have buzzed hair, but just because I am wearing a #FuckCancer shirt does not mean I am a cancer survivor.  Just because she was right, doesn’t mean she should have assumed.  Just because it was sweet, doesn’t mean I like getting hugs from strangers.  See me against the back bar?  What about that tells you this guy wants to be touched by you?

Another thing that I just want to say, and hopefully people recognize this so they can put a stop to it.  Take it from sixty to zero.  A song sometimes has periods of silence written in.  They are there for a reason.  They are called rests.  If during a rest, you hear the tick-tick of a drummer’s hi-hat, this tells you one of two things.

  1. The band can’t count.
  2. The drummer’s ego is too big to shut the fuck up.

If people can’t figure out when to stop and restart playing other people’s music that are basically standards…it means they suck.  If you want to watch that, go watch karaoke, because it is more fun watching someone butcher “Don’t Stop Believing” for fun, than it is to watch someone playing it and taking themselves way too seriously.  Tick-tick.  Quit supporting these people, America!  Take it from sixty to zero.

I will leave you with good, original music, from the great musician who probably should have traded places with awful cover band last night in terms of stage, sound system, and audience size.

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

5 thoughts on “Sixty to Zero”

  1. Bummer. I watched the Tyler Stafford video. Really tasty!

    I got a kick out of your bad experience in the casino restaurant. I have played hundreds of gigs pretty much like that…aggravating as hell, because on top of the general din, places like that never provide you with a monitor, so you can’t even tell if you’re playing in tune, and you really want to play well for the three people who are actually listening. Arggh. But it pays the rent…can’t afford to be picky.

    I cocktail waitressed my way through undergraduate school. I think I’ve run into every creep there is. I did learn the trick of “accidentally” dumping a tray loaded with cigarette butts and stale beers into the lap of some hotshot who thought grabbing parts of my anatomy would be fun..NOT. “Oh, did I spill that on you? I’m SO sorry. I’ll get you a towel…”

    I’ve never set foot in a club unless I was working there. Creepy places. Not recommended.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, clubs. I went to one when I was in college–and not even a very big one–and that was enough. We’re lucky to live next to a little town that has a few low-key bars that have live music a lot. Most of the bands aren’t too good, but it’s still fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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