When I was studying Greek and Roman history in college I was frequently bothered by a nagging sensation that I had missed out on human civilization’s most outrageous party era. What could be better than the wine-soaked bacchanalia of ancient Rome or the ritual ecstasy of a Dionysian prayer meeting? Back then, people spent all their free time in a giant naked pile of sex, retsina, and roasted meat. The vomitoriums were always packed and you couldn’t walk 20 feet without stumbling onto an orgy. At least that’s how I understand it.
Then again, rumor has it that the Roaring ’20s were also pretty good, party-wise. America as fat with post-war optimism and a healthy economy. Jazz was booming out of every nightclub and people couldn’t stop doing the Charleston. Add to that short flapper skirts and a ready supply of opium, and you’ve got a decade-long party that begins to rival anything the ancient Greeks might have put together. However, even though it happened in the 20th century, I still missed that party by a good 80 years. The Roaring ’20s might as well have been the Roaring ’20s B.C. as far as I’m concerned.
This knowledge kept me depressed for a little while until I started listening to music and watching movies from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Holy shit! If the movies 54 and Boogie Nights are any indication, those halcyon days were filled with strong drugs and tight pants. The whole thing was set to a funky beat and all it took was some chest hair and a casual understanding of astrology to get even the homeliest guys laid. Sadly, I was born at the end of the ’70s, which makes me a product of the wanton disco era and therefore way too young to have enjoyed any of its perks.
Sigh. Yet another era of decadent, unbridled partying that cruel fate has willed me to miss.
My thinking about my own youthful epoch has gone on like this until recently when I came to a sudden realization. It’s not as though I”m living in an historically conservative or boring time. It would be one thing if I was trying to get buck wild in the Victorian Era or declare my unbridled individualism in the middle of the 1950s. But really, there’s nothing stopping me from busting loose right now – or jumping on MySpace to find 20 or 30 loose women to do it with me. We are in the middle of Spring Break after all; I could leave for Daytona Beach tomorrow morning and be doing body shots with a group of co-eds before sundown.
The fact of the matter is that’s just not my bag. The thought of partying all day on a Florida beach with a bunch of topless frat boys sounds awful. Add in the bad seafood and the inevitable Limp Bizkit CD stuck on repeat and you’re actually pretty close to describing my own personal hell. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for nudity, loud music and wanton inebriation, but I have to do it on my terms. I would much rather drink my way through a rooftop party or bonfire on a warm beach somewhere. I would be happy to have people taking off their clothes and canoodling in the dark corners, just as long as I get to pick the music.
Assuming that’s the case, one of the things I would probably put on to set the mood is Brooklyn’s Sean Bones. Sean Bones is actually Sean Sullivan, the guitar player for Sam Champion, another fave here at TC//Wire. Under the Sean Bones moniker, Sullivan has created a laid back EP of Specials-esque ska funk. The tunes vibrate with a tropical lo-fi rhythm that works perfectly as the soundtrack to the first beer at the end of a summer day. Chances are you’ll find yourself drunk on the sound before you get drunk from the booze.
A drunken bacchanal it is not, but still a damn fine way to spend an afternoon. Perhaps future generations will look back on these casual springtime romps and envy our leisurely enjoyment of drink and sound. Who knows? Only history can judge us now.
MP3: 'Easy Street'
MP3: 'Sugar In My Spoon' (via RCRD LBL)