For this attend a meeting post I decided to attend Africa night at the Continental Firehouse Club downtown. I have to say it was a very interesting experience and I am glad I went. This event was put on by the African students association here at MTU. They had a DJ who played African dance music the whole night and overall there was a great group of people there.
First off, going to the club in general is not really in my comfort zone. I have a slight case of agoraphobia (fear of crowds/crowded places). So diving headfirst into a packed club was a bit stressing at first, but I found a less packed spot to hang out and socialize. It also stands to say that club culture is not really a culture that I identify with. I am what some would call a hillbilly. I like my country music and rock n roll. I have never like popular music or top 40 kind of music. It all sounds the same to me. I would much rather spend my night out having a few Budweiser’s in the honky tonk listening to Skynard while hotly debating Chevrolet vs Ford with the guy across the bar. But as my uncle used to say if you’re gonna be a bear be a grizzly, so I decided to hit the club on a night where my race and culture would not be the majority represented. As if my country ass needed to stick out any more in the club.
I have to say the environment in the club was one of pure welcoming. Even wearing boots and flannel I received no dirty looks. Even though I looked out of place. The only time I received any criticism was from the bartender when I ordered a cold Bud and not an expensive high end mixed drink. That was all the flak I got all night. I talked to a bunch of people while I was there and the first thing anyone who was a part of the event said was thank you for coming. Even the DJ’s sign off at the end of the night was polite and friendly, a welcomed change from the brief “Goodnight everybody!” that is the usual sign off of rock n roll.
The second thing I noticed when I walked into the club was that the music was different. It was good. It wasn’t the standard heavy bass club music that will deaf you for days afterward. There was bass, but it was much more melodic and there was a much greater presence of drums in all of the music. Sort of like American funk music. It wasn’t the standard American bass drum then snare hit riff that monopolizes most American music. It was interesting because a lot of popular American tracks were sampled over this kind of melodic drum back beat. I would honestly have never listened to these songs, but with this new arrangement I really enjoyed it. It was music it didn’t sound overly compressed or synthesized. Use of auto tune and electronic effects was tasteful. This was a stark contrast to the American version which sounded prepackaged and poorly recorded.
In the end I learned a lot about myself from this experience. I learned that it’s not so bad to be a country boy in the club, and that some club music is tolerable if it is the right style. I also learned that the people who were at the club that night were some of the most polite bar patrons I have ever met. Overall my experience was great and I would gladly go back to any event at the club that they throw again.