VOX VOCIS PUBLICUS MOS NON EXSISTO SILENS! (The voice of the People will not be silent!)
Chapter 4: Mass Appeal...or (Makin' It: A Cautionary Tale) or (Ashlee Simpson's career may have a second-life (and not in Second Life)) or (When will this jerk stop posting? (now))
Once upon a time, I bore witness to such an abomination of sound at the Treehouse, I don't think I will ever recover. In some ways, I liken myself to a survivor of the Holocaust (audiologically speaking that is).
On that fateful night, as I entered the Treehouse I was surrounded by over-tatted, PBR swigging hipsters who lulled me into thinking I would hear a lukewarm if not completely derivative and generic performance. I thought I was in for another predictable night out.
Oh, such innocence! If I had only known what was to come.
I now feel as though I had been duped and defrauded. If the show had been advertised as speed metal or hillbilly-punk rock at least I could have brought earplugs or avoided this calamity altogether.
However in defense of the Treehouse's management, they could not have adequately informed of nor described what they were about to hear. It was like listening to hyperactive children singing out-of-key, backed by inherently out-of-tune children's electric guitars made by a Chinese conglomerate, destined for Wal-Mart to be marked-downed in price as after-Christmas gifts for an economically distressed Appalachian town. The drum playing was also not good.
"The band" (whose name I have purposely repressed as an initial step towards making a full psychological recovery) played unmelodiously without rythym at ear-splitting decibels for a worn-out-welcome period of time (in this case: over 2 minutes). I felt as though I had been given a roofie by a particularly amorous rhinocerous, who then proceeded to unforgivingly penetrate my ears with his horn. As I looked around in a daze at the thrift-store hipsters at the show, I noticed that they were all wide-eyed, enraptured, and elated like they were privy to a backyard performance by a back-from-the-dead Elliot Smith collaborating with The Decemberists.
The worst part of all was that after the "screaming and yelling" (i.e. band's actual performance) was over there were still such high spirits all around. The crowd passed along wide grins and such hearty backslaps I thought it would knock the sunglasses of the douchebag-poseurs who wore their drug store sunglasses inside the bar. It seemed as though no one else had any musical aptitude, for if they did they would felt the profound sense of shame of being an accessory to an unspeakably perverse crime as I did.
Jerry Garcia was obviously wrong. The 60's "Generation of Love" did not use up all the "good" drugs. Mass ingestion (not unlike The Jonestown Massacre circa: 1978) of some potent hallucinogenic pain-killing drug cocktail is the only plausible explanation for how the entire crowd at the Treehouse could have collectively and uniformly lacked any contact with reality (or for that matter: the musical scale). They continued to outwardly display joy and enthusiasm for this despicable band's despicable performance long after the musical mayhem had ceased.
If the Treehouse's management, its staff, or the audience had any sense of guilt, morality, or justice we would have set fire to the band's musical instruments and the bar itself. The fire would engulf where this aural atrocity occurred and all guilty parties (myself included) would have then surrounded the bonfire and stood vigil over the flames as "penance for our presence." Our blank expressions and glassy stares would be illuminated softly by the burning embers as we chanted in hushed tones "never again...never again." The memory of the Treehouse would have been extinguished by its own sense of shame. As the sun struggled to awaken while the morning dew blanketed us, the cacophonous tweets of birds would sound like choral psalms exonerating us.
Unfortunately that did not happen. Sometimes it is best to just leave "the scene" in shame and never look back. As I drove home that night and felt the cool night air evaporate the cold sweat off my face, I felt drained and solemn; but at the same time also invigorated.
I have since become more cynical, apathetic and weary about the local music scene than I had ever been. I take solace in the fact that if this band ever played outside of the confined-walled, out-of-the-way, hole-in-the-wall establishment known as The Treehouse they would be likely chased out of town with pitchforks and torches by the sober and rational masses.
The Treehouse stands to this day, and sometimes in the darkest hour of night - long after after the bar has closed, if you are quiet and still - you can hear the echoes of the lost insecure souls struggling to be free from their earthly physical bodies (and faux-vintage t-shirts) who were present that night, crying softly "never again...never again."