by Shica R. on
We went to celebrate a pals birthday this past weekend. I had an excellent time overall, but there were quite a few things that really bothered me. As you can see, the benefits outweighed the downfall and I'll assume that I should not travel in such a large circle the next time. First off, I heard of the AYCE crab legs and was READY to jump on them when I got there. They said that they didn't have them, they had an appetizer order of grilled shrimp. Huh? How is that a substitute??? Oh, well... When do they have these crablegs??? I ordered something to drink as I was parched when I first arrived. I ordered the shrimp wrap 5 minutes later. 15 minutes later, we ordered the fusion wrap for the dude. 15 minutes later, the waitress assured me that she had not forgotten about me. She FINALLY brings out my drink and the dude's food. Hmm... yep, she forgot about me. Good thing, though. The menu fails to mention that the wrap has diced peppers in it, so I asked for mine to be without it. About another 15 minutes later, I finally got some food - after one of my full friends took pity and insisted that I eat the rest of her pizza. Chinua Hawk was performing that night. His singing more than cured all annoyance that I had in the refusal to get me fed. Lastly, the waitress gave our check to us about an hour after she started giving them to all of the rest of the guests in our party. I guess it was just not our day with her. Parking was confusing. We went into the parking lot on the Piedmont side. There was no signage or boundaries to say that parking wasn't just as regular as parking your car and coming on in. When I went outside, I noticed some folks cars getting parked by valet. When I spoke with some pals, they had a few issues in getting parked. I kept going back to make sure that my car was OK and the valet's weren't going to have something done to my car. It ended up being fine. The owner was great. She came to hang out with us, they don't have any ridiculous cover charges or fees to get into the lounge and they are really accomodating for a large informal gathering of friends who want to hang out together on a Friday night. I'll definitely be back!
by Frank Grudt on
Finally, a club almost devoid of attitude. Seriously: not on the part of the staff, not on the part of the clubgoers. If you can imagine a club actually packed full of people who mostly just want to have a good time, this is actually it. Now, it doesn't exactly attract the nation's absolute best DJs, but they do a totally respectable job. Genius is overrated. For those who struggle to figure out where in the cowboy/lawyer dichotomy of my personality this fixation with dance music fits [though I am likely deluding myself to think anyone cares], all you need to remember is this: the best dance songs ever are just sappy, romantic, often sad songs, set to a frenetic beat which somehow (usually) mitigates their depressing message. For example, let's take Heart's "Alone" remixed by D.H.T. I hear the ticking of the clock, I'm lying here the room's pitch dark. I wonder where you are tonight. No answer on the telephone. And the night goes by so very slow. Oh, I hope that it won't end though, alone. Now, this isn't what you might call an uplifting message thus far. But here's what I can't quite convey to you in words: imagine this at about 120 beats per minute. Imagine the pulsing, thumping beat driving through the club, only to be washed away in a quick dissolve, leaving only the minimal piano chords of the original song, and the lyrics: Till now I always got by on my own. I never really cared until I met you. And now it chills me to the bone. How do I get you alone? Just as the plaintive note of "alone" fades across the club, the beat comes back in, led by a stiff synthetic drum roll (Q: what's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? A: you only have to punch the beat into the drum machine once.] Done right, timing-wise, the crowd goes nuts. The common note of love and loss has been struck, but before it can stick and stay, it's washed away, perhaps even driven away, by the hopeful, crazy, pulsing beat. You don't know how long I have wanted to touch your lips and hold you tight. You don't know how long I have waited and I was going to tell you tonight. But the secret is still my own, and my love for you is still unknown, alone. If done right, the dance mix takes the audience to an entirely different place. Everybody responds differently, but the audience as a whole all goes in the same direction. The DJ conducts not only music but the listeners too. As The Eagles once said, some dance to remember, some dance to forget. But all dance in unison, and we are all reminded: no matter how personal or unique, our experiences are by and large all universal. That which has happened to me has happened to us all. I may fool myself into thinking my experience was special, or that no one could understand, but that's all BS. I am we, and you are me. Music reminds us of the surprisingly common and public nature of our most private and intimate foibles. And the best way to deal with it, as Craig Kilborne might say, is to dance, dance, dance.