Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Me and Jazzy McGee
I'm an old man. It was about a year ago that I realized that I was an old man. I live in an apartment building on Mass Ave, my two room studio (jr. one b.r.?) surrounded by others of identical or slightly larger size. I'd lived there for over a year, amiably with my neighbors, fairly quietly since the kid who thought he was Conor Oberst moved out from next door. I realized how thin the walls and floors were, so I tried to keep the music down and in reasonable time frames. My only transgressions came during beefaroni nights (nights where I'm drunk enough that stopping off at the 7-11 for a can of beefaroni seems like my raison d'etre), and there aren't too too many of those a year.
So, about a year ago some foreign exchange hussy moved in next door and started firing up the dance parties on week nights. Let's just say it was Rainin' Men at top volume at 3:30 in the morning. She even threw a party the night after the Election. I don't know how I didn't kill her that night. Anyways, I just couldn't bring myself to pound on the wall or knock on the door to complain, because I've been the noisy one myself plenty in my life and I couldn't deal with the concept of being the could-you-keep-it-down guy. It was just too lame. too much of an admission that I'd gone to the other side. too old. I'd have to throw away 1/2 of my music out of shame after crossing that threshold. Well, a few parties later, I had no problem becoming That Guy. I knocked and explained that the walls were really thin and I could hear everything they were saying and could they maybe keep it down. The most humble apologetic non-confrontational noise complaint you've ever heard. I was practically begging the kids to acknowledge that I was still cool despite my request. Of course, this is impossible. You're either one or the other. But, she kept it down. And I never had a problem with her noise again. She moved out a few months later and another woman moved in and she seems to be pretty quiet, so things were looking good.
Enter Jazzy McGee, douchebag extraordinaire. A month or so ago, new resident(s?) arrived upstairs from me. There was the occasional heavy footed walking around after closing time. A little music here and there. Then about 2 weeks ago, Jazzy McGee is kicking the jazz with the heavy bass line on a Saturday afternoon. fair enough. Then Jazzy starts playing scales on his sax. ... hmmm, I wonder if this is going to become a regular affair. eh. no matter. I can deal on a Saturday afternoon. Nothing much for a week or so (vacation), then I start getting the booming bass jazz after midnight. Now, mind you, I like Jazz. But only when I can hear all five fucking instruments. Listening to hours of a jazz bassline reverberating your room (and ribcage) without the association to the other instruments is maddening. This goes on until 1:30 and then starts up again before I get up in the morning. But I deal, because I would prefer not to be That Guy, unless necessary. Now that my seal has been broken, I will be That Guy, if necessary. But only if necessary. Well, last night, I was pretty tired from the poor sleep the night before and I tried to go to sleep at 11:30 while the bassline was thumping. It was intermittant, shutting off, coming back on. Driving me crazy. So I decided to break out my That Guy side. Maybe he doesn't realize that it reverberates that much. It's just the bass. Maybe he'll turn down the bass. I went upstairs and lightly knocked on the door. Jazzy McGee opened the door a crack, with cell phone wedged between shoulder and ear and gave me the can-i-help-you head motion. "Hi, sorry to bother you. I'm your downstairs neighbor and I was wondering if you could turn your bass down a little. It really resonates loudly through the floor." Jazzy gave me the blank stare and the "uh ... yeah." so I said, "just the bass. [read: I'm hip daddio; I'm not harshin' your vibe on the whole tunage, just the bass, man.] thanks." He closed the door, and proceeded to not turn the bass down at all. Thump thump away inside the drum that is now my bedroom.
Eventually, I fell asleep, out of exhaustion.
But this morning, the 7 AM jazz session seemed to start with a lower bass level. I don't know if that means anything. Probably not when Jazzy McGee comes home from a night of smoking grass with the cats at the Club and feels like vibin'. I'll keep you posted.
8:45 PM update: Jazzy's jazzin' it up. I think I heard a "wooo!"