Alison Berkley: Clubbing just ain’t what it used to be
I am definitely getting old.
This became apparent when I went to see G Love and Special Sauce, one of my favorite bands of all time at the Double Diamond on Saturday night, and couldn’t really get into it.
I absolutely love hip-hop, because like any other white girl from Connecticut, I am completely attracted to and fascinated by the whole idea of urban ghetto stuff. Of course I had little to no exposure to either, growing up in a sheltered suburb of a boring-ass city in New England. I always fantasized about falling in love with a gorgeous black man with a ripped belly and baggy wardrobe for no other reason than I could not think of a better way to freak out my parents.
The closest I ever came to that was at a Beastie Boys/House of Pain/Cypress Hill concert in Boulder when I made out with some random black guy on the dance floor who then immediately disappeared. I imagine he was either a figment of my imagination (the drugs couldn’t have been that good) or maybe he was just getting his, in a sea of white suburban girls with the exact same fantasy. I never saw him again.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah. G Love, aka Garrett Dutton, might not be black, but he definitely embodies the urban cool that melts the icicles from the snowy tresses of any mountain-town girl. His music seems to enter through my hips rather than my ears, making them sway and gyrate under their own power, as if my mind has nothing to do with it whatsoever.
Dutton is super-tall and skinny with giraffe legs and no butt, and looked pretty damn cute in old Levi corduroys with oversized skate shoes and the quintessential sideways-turned baseball hat with the word “Lottery” painted in graffiti letters above the brim. His diverse repertoire of jazz, bluegrass, classic rock and freestyle rap combined with harmonica tootin’ and guitar playing kept me guessing the same way that good-looking guys never let you know what they’re really thinking. I’ve found in these cases that truth always ends up being a four-letter word, so the element of surprise is much better. Bring it on.
Meanwhile, I have to, like, work for a living now that I’m broke after a year of exorbitant living in Aspen. (I never should have bought those $600 shoes. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!) So I worked hard all day long, teaching my beloved crew of 10-year-old girl snowboarders. My feet hurt, my eyes stung, my body ached. Truth be told, all I wanted to do was crawl into the bathtub and read the new issue of Elle. I hoped to catch a second wind, which was a cinch in my 20s, and usually involved little else than a quick shot of tequila followed by a few beers.
Lord knows I tried all that, but nothing worked. I made my way to the front row where some lunatic kid from Omaha in a big straw hat threw his arms around me and told me how happy he was to be in Aspen. Convinced that he dropped a hit of acid into my beer (I’m still paranoid from the Grateful Dead days of my youth), I quickly pulled away to make sure the opening of my Corona was out of his range. He offered to pay for as many beers as I could carry, so I figured he was harmless. Who was I to turn down a few free drinks? I managed to haul six open beers all the way from the bar back to our little stage-front perch. We lined them up above one of the speakers like our own portable little bar.
We were so close to Dutton that I could read the word Calvin Klein from the elastic on his black undies when he bent over to grab his bottle of water. As if that wasn’t enough, he played my favorite song, “This Ain’t Livin,” in the first set. Goose bumps rose and a smile broke on my face like the sun coming through the clouds. For just a moment, I relived my roaring 20s, when mindless bliss came easily and being tired never seemed to be an issue.
It was all good until the girl next to me kept whipping me in the face with her long-ass hair. She and her girlfriend were living out all their porn-star fantasies, rolling their heads back as if in midclimax, grinding against each other just because every girl knows there’s no quicker way to get a guy’s attention. Next to them was Pointing Man, some amped frat boy who showed his enthusiasm by pointing at everyone in the band with his long arms. This amused me for quite some time as I waited for him to mis-aim and poke one of the band member’s eyes out. But these guys are obviously used to that sort of thing and were able to stay out of striking distance. To the left of Pointing Man were Gym Chicks No. 1 and 2, those super in-shape girls who dance nonstop all night with the same fervor you see in those agro step aerobics classes. They wear tight-fitting clothes that show off their flat, ripped bellies, and never ever seem to tire.
Meanwhile, the beers were doing little more for me than expediting frequent trips to the bathroom. You’re guaranteed to run into the same girls every trip, talking smack with them about this or that and noticing all their faults and bloodshot eyes under the glaring bright lights that are guaranteed to be in every bar’s bathroom.
Can you believe that I used to actually love at all that stuff? I must be getting old. These days, I love my pillow more.
[The Princess clearly did not take the right drugs and will have to give it another go during this weekend’s festival of bluegrass. You can e-mail your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
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Aspen City Hall reporter Carolyn Sackariason reflects on the same old story, different year, different decade.