House shows are the only ‘parties’ worth attending.
As I sit in Kafe Kerouac of all places, clad in my denim and khaki jacket loaned to me by my pal Annie and sipping the house blend joe out of a hilarious mug that reads ‘boys will be toys,’ some local tunes came on through the shitty speakers by the door. I haven’t blogged in over a week, which is both bogus and sad (name that movie quote), so I when some thoughts jumped into my busy mind, I was quick to crack open my laptop and start feverishly typing.
This in not a post that condones alcohol or party culture at all; in fact, I am vehemently against these things. The rationale of this article is more or less that parties should be fun events that are remembered, first of all, and more importantly, shouldn’t have to solely rely on whether there is Natty Ice in the dirty mini fridge or not.
With that bullshit out of the way, we can start our discussion. I’ve been thinking of many different ways that I could structure this piece and juggling which one would be most effective (I hate that I just wrote that), but I settled on just outlining two party ‘scenes’ for you and analyzing each one. Does that sound gucci? Well, if it doesn’t, leave now lol. I’ll start with your traditional, en mass Facebook invite, ridiculously themed, Natty & fratty, heternormative-white-patriarchy-hookup-culture-perpetuating gathering.
Whenever I think of a party like the types aforementioned just a few lines above, my mind instantly paints a portrait of an overly-crowded (in a fire-hazard type of way) under-aged conglomerate of folks literally just sitting around drinking for the sake of drinking and listening to blistering, overbearing drones of a bass that resembles so sort of archaic weapon of not-so-mass destruction but still is as annoying as hell. Yeah, sure, you may have a riveting match of beer pong or boom or whatever the hell the kids are playing nowadays, but in the grand scheme of things, people are just getting drunk to get drunk. Yes, I’m in college and yes I know that we all need to release tension and let loose sometimes, but an overwhelming question is begged regarding the traditional party scene: ‘Are these parties genuinely fun, or does society tell us that they seem fun?’ Please, read that question again, a third time if you’re feeling extra enthusiastic. This is precisely the reason why I hardly ever attend any such typical parties anymore. I recognized the notion that alcohol as a societal construct, as tangible rebellious act against those who are older, is simple that, an activity rooted in defiance and something that, by nature, is not innately ‘fun.’
I don’t know about the rest of you folks, but for me, I have to budget my social capital pretty much day-by-day or else I can get overwhelmed, exhausted; which leads to the overall thesis of this blog: that house shows (concerts in someone’s cozy living room if you’re unaware) are the only ‘parties’ worth attending. I put parties in quotations because I would never call a house show a party, yeah there may be some PBR in the fridge, but it isn’t an event that requires you to be moderately drunk to even bear the social climate that you’re inhabiting. House shows, if you’ve never been, are simply the best because every human in attendance (typically there aren’t so many that people are literally flowing out into the street like at other gatherings) is connected by the band playing, by the music in front of them.
There is a positive reason for going, to support local art, to support your friends, to further your interests, and chiefly, to have genuine fun.
Last weekend, a band called ‘The Sports’ that Brady shreds guitar for (and who also play Kerouac on Halloween) played a house show here in Columbus. Their show was frickin amazing, with folks grooving to their ambient folk-rock-angst anthems and quaint charm. When they covered ‘Flashlight’ by The Front Bottoms, the place lost their shit, yelling every word with fierce passion. In that moment, I felt connected to every soul in the old, rental house. I felt that, yes, there was a purpose for me coming here. Yes, I’m having a stellar time. Yes, this is a wise use of my social capital.
In conclusion, I know some of my friends will disagree with my thoughts on how traditional party culture and its overbearing presence and societal pressure are the lamest things about being a young person, BUT at least take my words into consideration. Next time you’re checking yourself out in the mirror before heading to some party held by folks you hardly know, just stop and reflect whether or not you’re actually going to have fun. If yes, great, ‘turn up.’
TAKE AWAY PARAGRAPH:
If your answer is no, uneasiness/indecision or you have any qualms whatsoever, then consider a house show, another concert, an art gallery, a new restaurant, a foreign film, a walk down the street, cooking a new meal or ANYTHING that you deem genuinely fun to do on the weekends! Try (I’m still figuring it out too) to spend your limited time doing things that you actually enjoy and don’t feel as though you have to participate in stereotypical college activities merely because all of your friends or neighbors are doing so.