To the band that “jams” across the street from my apartment:
Hello, “musicians!” I put that word in quotes because I honestly can’t really tell how proficient you guys are at actually making songs and stuff. I do know that you are all VERY enthusiastic, and while I can appreciate your passion for your art, because art is good and not enough people appreciate the value of creative talents these days, I do have one teensy little problem.
You guys play really, really loudly. Your volume level could best be described with adjectives like unnecessary, ridiculous, or (my favorite) obnoxious.
This wouldn’t be so problematic if your band “jammed” at reasonable hours. Anytime between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., actually, would be pretty much acceptable. Unfortunately, you guys like to play (enthusiastically! yay!) until like 2 in the morning. In case you didn’t know, this is a time when normal people are in bed.
I mean, I’m not in bed. I don’t really sleep at night, exactly. But at that time of night, I do REALLY enjoy watching stuff on Netflix or reading books or goofing around on the Internet or sometimes even doing productive things like laundry or cleaning my bathroom.
OK, I lied. I don’t do productive things. You caught me. But I’m pretty sure that if I DID to productive things, like polishing my floors or sleeping or scientific experiments that might someday cure cancer, your musical stylings would make it REALLY REALLY HARD.
See, it’s just a little difficult to focus on anything when the place where I live is trembling like a scared rabbit as your bass thingie goes THUMP-thump-THUMP-THUMP-thump-THUMP-THUMP except not so much THUMP-like as bass-like. To be honest, I have no idea how to translate bass sounds into writing. Then there’s the drums, which I’m pretty sure might rattle my windows out of their little window holder things. I live in an old building, so these things are fragile. It could happen. Sometimes, I can even hear the guitar! I don’t know if you’re any good, because all I can hear is the REALLY LOUD PARTS (which tends to be pretty much all of it), but you’re a professional at maximizing your volume. Occasionally, I think that someone might be slaying a very angry mountain lion (or maybe a sheep) nearby, because the singer SCREAMS INTO A MICROPHONE LIKE HE (or she, I don’t really know) IS BEING ATTACKED BY A PACK OF WILD VELOCIRAPTORS.
So, I was a really bad neighbor and called the cops on you because I’m too afraid to go across the street by myself to confront a bunch of potentially large and very tough band members who might or might not carry weapons, because I am pretty small and live by myself and prefer to handle conflict in writing rather than face-to-face. But the cops have been too busy for auditory assaults, apparently. They’re probably out dealing with actual assaults, with guns and knives and broken-off beer bottles and brass knuckles – whatever people predisposed for violence use in battle these days. But if I DID have the guts to act like a grown-up and ask you to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN, I would probably fail at being nice. I’m not usually very nice when people interrupt my 2 a.m. useless entertainment.
Maybe I would try to be subtle. “Oh, so you guys play music? I didn’t know. I like music, too. Unfortunately, it’s really hard for me to listen to the music I like these days because someone around here plays their bass thing REALLY REALLY loud and I can’t hear over it even though I live in that building right across the street. Where like 100 other people live. I think they probably like to listen to their own music, too.”
But that probably wouldn’t work. It sounds a little passive-aggressive. Maybe this would be better!
“Hi guys! I live across the street on the third floor and I can see you guys hanging out down here from my window. I can also kind of hear you. Can you go bang drums and slaughter angry hyenas somewhere else, please? Some of us like to sleep at night.”
But that’s a lie, because we’ve already established that I don’t sleep at night. I think I remember someone telling me that lying is wrong, so I probably shouldn’t do it except as a last resort.
“Howdy, musicians! Is it okay if I call you that? I don’t know if you consider yourself real musicians yet, but I do know that you like to play REALLY REALLY LOUDLY and I like to not hear really really loud stuff when I’m at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Those are school nights, and I go to school. Sometimes I write essays. I guess that makes me kind of an artist too, you might say, so maybe we could be RESPECTFUL of each other. I think your super loud music is making my houseplant wilt, and I’m kind of attached to it because it’s the only green thing I’ve been able to keep alive for more than a month, and also your drumming, guitaring, bassing, and singing really annoys me and makes me want to call the cops on you. Again. So maybe we can avoid that and you can turn your little music noise enhancer things down?”
Amps. That’s the word for music noise enhancers. Maybe THAT approach could work?
My FAVORITE plan for conflict resolution in this situation is to throw open my window, lean out and start pelting you alleged musicians with random things like trash and old Hanson CDs (I probably have some of those around here somewhere. Don’t judge me. I was 10 years old once!) and all those clothes that I have “cleaned out” of my closet but never managed to take to the Salvation Army. I might even light some of the aforementioned objects on fire. I would also (miraculously) discover that I own a megaphone, and I would use it to yell “HOW DO YOU LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE DISTURB YOUR NIGHT, YOU GIANT JERKASAURUSES? PEOPLE LIVE HERE! SOME OF THEM MIGHT EVEN LIKE TO SLEEP! TURN THE THUMP-THUMP-THUMPING THING DOWN, OR I’LL THROW GRENADES NEXT TIME!”
That plan has a few flaws when it comes to REALITY, though. Like… I don’t actually have grenades or a megaphone. Also, my windows don’t really open. I think the people who remodeled my building were psychic and KNEW that a band would set up a really annoying jam session across the street, and they were afraid that the constant late night thumping and screaming and drumming would drive people without my SAINTLY level of self-control to leap to their deaths on the street below.
There’s also the part where I would never in a million years actually say any of those things even though my window is three stories up, which is out of reach for most band member retaliation strategies I’ve imagined.
For now, I’ll just try to suffer through my insomnia-inspired internet exploration (other bloggers are SUPER funny! You should read their stuff. It’s way better than mine!) while your so-called “songs” cause the glass of water on my coffee table to shiver and be very, very glad that I don’t like to sleep.
EDIT: If there is anyone reading this blog, I beseech (SAT word!) you not to judge me too harshly. It is very, very late, and I should have been sleeping like normal grown-ups instead of rambling on. I’m not even sure if what I wrote is intelligible. If you made it this far, you’re pretty awesome. I’ll try to be more comprehensible and stuff next time around if you promise to give me another chance!