Thursday, May 14, 2009

COLUMN: Discotech

It's official: I hate getting old. I know that's a horribly cliche way to start a column, but it's the truth.

I refuse to go quietly into that night, but the facts are simple. I am 38 years old. That makes me an awful lot closer to 40 than 30. If the show Thirtysomething were still on the air and casting, I would probably be considered too old. The fact that I even remember the show Thirtysomething makes me too old.

People my age are rapidly becoming fuddy-duddies. Don't deny it - you are. At 38, you're no longer in a coveted advertising demographic. You're not supposed to listen to and/or comprehend Top 40 radio. When we watch shows like "South Park," we're supposed to grimace and say something like, "What ARE we teaching our kids these days?"

I don't wanna teach kids. I wanna BE a kid. As a life-long single dude who's yet to chalk up any dependents and/or crying infants whose lives I'm inexplicably required by law to sustain, I end up having a lot more in common with your average 18-year-old than someone my own age.

And normally I'm cool with that. I think I'm holding my own fairly well thus far. It's not often that I've had a Danny Glover moment and announce that I'm too old for this feces. But last weekend? I was too old for this feces.

You guys know I'm a bit of a music nerd and still DJ every weekend at a dance club down in the District, right? Well, not to bore you with weird DJ minutae (unless you want me to, because I can -- oh yes, I can,) but part of being a super awesome DJ is spending an inordinate amount of time online, digging for remixes and tracks to make me sound better than the dude DJing down the street.

Well, most of the remixes that I rely on come from a couple guys out of Milwaukee called DiscoTech. Well, the other day I get a text message from one of my DJ friends: "DISCOTECH IN PERSON. IOWA CITY. SAT NITE. COMING?" You didn't have to ask me twice. Within minutes, I had arranged a fill-in at the club and a carful of friends itching to roadtrip.

After wandering around downtown Iowa City for a bit, we settled on a little restaurant called Givanni's where I had THE best piece of salmon in my life followed by a stellar creme brulee - it was a full-on foodgasm and our whole table was smitten.

Afterwards, we headed to the gig -- to find ourselves pretty much the only ones there. we settled on a booth when they first started showing up. College kids by the truckload. It turns out our relaxing night out was the last stop on one of the biggest bar crawls of the school year. Within a half hour, the place was at capacity with barely legals, all clad in identical baby blue bar crawl t-shirts, all of whom appeared to have been crawling since, oh, noon-ish, I'd reckon.

Kids would walk by me yelling while their drunken spittle would land on my face. Girls were dancing on tables. Guys were high-fiving each other. At one point, I swear to you, two hundred people started yelling "To-ga! To-ga! To-ga!" for reasons unknown. Two hundred people who weren't even alive when "Animal House" was made.

Suddenly I began to wonder if I never feel out of place at my club only because I'm safely tucked away in a DJ booth. Out in the thick of things, I felt like Old Man Brown the Hipster Buzzkill. A few instant truths about today's dance-clubbing college kids: (1) They all look like they're 12. (2) They're now officially young enough to be my children. (3) Regardless of age, no one in Iowa can dance, and alcohol doesn't help matters. (4) I wanted to knock half of them upside the head and yell, "GROW UP!"

Still, the guys from DiscoTech put on a great show, and it's always humbling to watch DJ's waaaaay better than myself. I just wish I wasn't forced to see them while surrounded by the cast of "High School Musical 8: The Collegiate Binge Drinking Boogaloo." But would anybody else my age care about a couple of great DJ's?

I say yes. We just can't let the kids know. It's time we almost-40's take the fun back from today's generation - they're clearly too idiotic to handle it. So here's my plan, middle-agers. We open a club just for US. But we have to be sneaky about it.

Outside the place, we pipe out nothing but Billy Joel and Celine Dion on an endless loop. Then we hire a couple people to sit by the window, read the paper and put together jigsaw puzzles. This is to ensure that no 20-something ever step foot inside. Then on the inside, we fill it with everything we've ever wanted to do but felt too old for:

Hip-hop music. Guitar Hero & Rock Band. Lazer Tag. The Cupid Shuffle. Wii Bowling. Video screens that air nothing but "South Park" and "Gossip Girl." We might be losing our hair, but there's no rule that says we can't still pop, lock, and drop it from time to time. We'll just keep the lights reeeeeal low on the dancefloor so noone has to see it.

Something MUST be done. The war against fuddy-duddy-dom must wage on. When I go out of town and witness world class DJ's in an upscale nightclub and all I want to talk about is how great my salmon dinner was, there's a problem. It doesn't have to be this way. Rage, rage, I say! Rage unto the dying of the light! We're only as young as we feel!

On that note, I need to call it a day. The arthritis in my typing fingers is really acting up -- rain must be a-comin'.

No comments: