Monday, January 11, 2016

What Sucks…Subway Performers Who Suck: A What Sucks Investigative Report! Part 2: The Steel Drum


Picture yourself on a beach in the Caribbean.  You are surrounded by beautiful flowers, a delicious frozen drink in your hand.  Your feet feel the fine, pink sand under them as a light breeze blows.  You look out into gorgeous crystal-blue ocean and begin to walk toward it.  Everyone in your line of vision is smiling and yes, behind it all is the subtle sound of a man using mallets to hit a steel drum.  How can this scene possibly get any more relaxing? 

Now picture yourself in a subway. You’re surrounded by crazy people anxiously awaiting the arrival of their train.  They need to get home, they’re late, they DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE SUBWAY and either do you.  Then, a person, begins to hit a mallet on a steel drum and you begin to vaguely make out John Lennon’s “Imagine”, but only one note at a time, and without any of the resonance the song carries with it.  Also, it’s really loud, and the pitch of the drum rips apart your ear as there is no large open area (the beach) or giant ocean to absorb the sound.  And the man hitting the drum is not smiling, he is not wearing shorts, or a colorful hat or a tropical styled shirt.  You almost long for the sound of the screeching wheels of a subway to drown out the clang of his drum, but its is still audible and he’s done with “Imagine” and moving on to “New York State Of Mind” by Billy Joel.

There is no way to confuse a tropical beach with a subway platform.  Everything about the two is different.  Sights, sounds, smells…tastes.  It is a place where Steel Drums have no earthly place.  No one hears a steel drum in the subway and says, “Oh yeah, this reminds me of a fucking tropical paradise.  This makes riding this underground train/ bathroom much better.” 

Also, let’s not forget this- the steel drum itself sucks.  It’s clangy, awkward and the opposite of soothing.  Matter of fact, and I am sure I will upset some of the “steel drumpurists” who regularly stop by my blog, but, I’d venture to say the tropical paradise setting is the only reason we tolerate the steel drum in the first place.  In an unscientific study I am conducting on Spotify right now, no one outside of the dude who runs your local “Cheeseburger In Paradise” shithole, is streaming anything with a steel drum in the continental US.  I’m sure many of us would move to stop a steel drum player ruining our day at the beach, if we weren’t immediately distracted by beach chair and a drink on our way over to kill him. 

So, get the steel drums out of the subway.  Subways are a place for rats dragging pieces of pizza, or bodies of other dead rats.  Having a steel drum on a subway platform, or having a subway train at a Caribbean beach for that matter, defeats the purpose of having a subway platform or a Caribbean beach, respectfully.  They can’t and shouldn’t exist in each other’s universe.   It’s like going to a public restroom, where they serve fine French cuisine. 

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