Thursday, April 04, 2002

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Or, who'll annoy who?

About three hours ago, I was out on the balcony of my apartment. My downstairs neighbor, who I'd never met before (even though they've lived in the building for about a year) came along the walk and said hello. She asked if the loud music they were playing was bothering me. I said no, not at all, it was fine with me, go ahead, party on. I then took the time to cover the introductions that would have been most fitting several months ago. I told her that it was funny that she was asking me about my tolerance for their music, as I'd been concerned that my recently-upgraded stereo might be causing their ceiling to vibrate on those occasions when I turned it up a little. She said no, they hadn't been bothered at all, and that they didn't mind me turning it up. Now, mind you, I haven't been the music-blasting sort since my younger days, when the combination of my youth and some new music at the time provided a good reason to crank it up. I hadn't adopted my present philosophy about very loud music way back then.

So, back to the present. Even though I've just explained that I'm not into peeling the paint off the walls with volume any more, I'd just been given license to play my music loud without fear of the authorities getting invloved. Not to mention the fact that it's nice to experience a good set of hifi gear at levels above moderate every once in a while. I remained on my balcony for another fifteen minutes or so, and I heard the music from downstairs continue. Outkast, then Black Sabbath, all pretty loud. I realized that I had a totally free shot at some loud tunes while theirs were playing. The way I figured it was that even though they told me they didn't mind loud music, social exchange theory dictated that there would be a running total of "excess volume credits" (to borrow from the idiosyncrasy credit concept) used by whoever played their music loud more often.

So I went ahead and put in Rollins Band's End of Silence, and turned it up to 4.5 as "Low Self Opinion" began to play. It was quite loud (4.5 on my system is loud), but with Ozzy and crew rocking hard downstairs, I wasn't concerned. It sounded great, so I continued, and for some variety I followed it up with Parliament's "Flash Light." I was pleased with how Bootsy Collins' bass really came across nicely at the higher volume level. That was it, two songs of amplified mayhem, and I went back to my normal tunes, at normal volume levels. Now I just hope that the price of this new "understanding" with my neighbors isn't a nightly rock party downstairs.


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