LDP #2: Metro Night Life

[ East Coast Playground 1: NYC ]

Key Points:

  • An examination of US/coastal/metro night life as it pertains to ancient tendencies, abstract philosophy and mandatory fun.
  • A modern right to blur the hours of darkness in leisure, as leisure time is earned from toil.
  • The night life—loaded with pretense and an admixture of rational/vapid self-interests—provides an escape from the artificiality of the urban and corporate grid which enabled it.
  • Future shock in the club and concert hall: The world, swelled with envy and unprecedented interconnectivity, was more stable when we knew less about each other.
  • The ranks of those pursuing moral inductive logic are thinned fourfold in the night.
  • Paradox after twilight: First one must live, then one may philosophize or stand to reason.
  • Lyrics Deconstruction Project (LDP) #2: Three Songs on the subject. Delve into the outlandishness of night life, its pyrrhic victories of the ego, the ills of nostalgia as youth fades, self-deceit and the disease-like qualities of social sleight-of-hand.
  • (For complete background on the LDP series, close this article and scroll down to “Winter 2017: Lyrics Deconstruction Project #1,” paragraphs 1–4.)

[ East Coast Playground 2: Miami ]

The Honesty of Fake

Cities are magnets for goal-oriented people who want to stay up until dawn if the constitution and wills allow. There exists a temperament to capture some ethereal meaning from it all before the next day breaks, or before our late-night slumber does its ritual mimicry of death.

Life is sliced and melted into a vast gravity of untouchable pasts and unfathomable futures. As a species, a grounded biological thread unspooled long before electric light and amplified sound coaxed us out of the diurnal half of our mammalian circadian ring—just a simple, eternal urge to explore the night life. As a precursor to developing a night life, proto-hominids experimented and flourished in Earth’s most destabilizing places and conditions as an act of Darwinian vigor. In 2018 we rarely need to perform animalistic feats of survival or closure, so we’ve been gifted with symbolic exploits in a synthetic life. Fringe benefits aside, the primal goal hasn’t changed since the Stone Age—we’re still chasing sustenance (now money) and a way to slake our limitless yearnings wherever we can find it, and we know we won’t find it by staying at home.

There is a certain magic in the air out there. Magic carries meaning only by effectively separating itself from fact. Statements of fact arrive after all other statements, which presumes a number of questionable judgments. Some of the most interesting people in the night scene have split entirely from fact and nature, and derive pleasure from seeing how that pisses you off.

[ West Coast Playground 1: San Francisco ]

Ah, how we strain to identify the hidden hazards of our downtown social Serengeti. Metropolitan night clubs, events or house parties—the overhyped and semisecret kinds alike—sway between and beyond brutalist concepts of good and evil. We playfully disconnect within a manufactured replica. In the “meta,” good and bad are relative to human and often individual tastes and ends, and have no validity for a universe in which individuals are ephemera. Our history is written like a dissipating trace across the water. Elders say enjoy the night while you still can, hinting at something their aging had abrogated gently in the struggle to live authentically.

[ West Coast Playground 2: Los Angeles ]

There is something catlike in the night, adrift in pockets of formless silhouettes. Slightly female, this unidentified entity reaches the city steps by following the power lines. Faintly, the evening was conducive to her small rebellions against sensibility and awareness: “To hell with this world,” she thought, “let’s live in a dream.” An adequately useful notion, so that nothing was lost in the force of her bliss.

In the night scene, we’re more likely to meet people who express themselves through outrageous egotism, different than the kind that hardens the workday edifice. We won’t too gravely parse the ensuing storm of cognitive dissonance, for it arises long enough after sunset that we aren’t obliged to grind our gears upon what’s fake. All will judge, yet nobody’s qualified to judge. We paid a door fee to savor the gourmet version of an artificially-intelligent view—that the only substance of us that will live on might be electronic instead of organic, invented from the vapors of modernity.

[ Bucket List Playground: Tokyo, Japan ]

In some men disinformation and egotism serve as compensation for the absence of fame; in others, egotism lends a generous cooperation to its presence. A classic ruse at parties, clubs and concerts is to seem slightly out of reach, so that others won’t prove you worthless. This evasive stuff surfaced in the day but caught fire in the night, so here’s to society, spilling its burden of truth under cover of darkness. There’s a dogmatic torpor of the impulsive id, suddenly woke by pale moonlight.

In the club you are more apt to encounter the tragic man who has an almost paranoiac sense of unrecognized greatness; missing success and fame, he turned within and gnawed at his own soul. In a crowded room, he was absolutely alone, with not a single friend; and between one and none there lies an infinity.

Awash in sound, hormonal desires and set upon an altered state, the metro night is a simulacrum of needs, olden yin and a slanted window upon the actual world that sustains us. Warped by after-dinner binges and the absence of sunshine, we maneuver among the cognoscenti in plastic environments. Nothing’s shocking in the nighttime camaraderie, which is why the night overflows with bullshit artists. They saw the shadowy mystique of contrivance in art, political propaganda, architecture, design, and fashion. They don’t care if it’s a train wreck; they just want to be remembered, loved. The sophisticate finds potency in such folly, like a neon strand of energy pulled from life’s rich tapestry. In some ways, the “night club attitude,” as batty as it is, contains uncompromising directness as people shed the rules and strictures of home, family and factory hierarchy. By comparison, during the day, in a realm of heavy obligation and hustles, we sometimes rush and become abstract to the point of invisibility.

The metro night life can provide a decline ramp to an underworld. The invitation says welcome to a separate dimension, swear copiously and sever yourselves from modesty, even if you’re not gunning for pole position to ascertain “social market value” (SMV). In conjuring scapegoats and alibis, did we create ethical distance by calling it the influence of a devil? Creaky, biblical, convenient… if there is a hell, then Hell itself must be empty because all the devils are right here with us. Social output regulators are prone to blowing their capacitors and then it’s “so much for modesty”—for what is modesty but hypocritical humility, by means of which, in a world swelling with envy, a man seeks to obtain pardon for excellences and merits from those who have none? No doubt, when modesty was made a virtue, it was a very advantageous thing for the fools; for everybody is exposed to speak of himself as if he were one. Literary historians theorize that this is one of the key reasons Hemingway, Woolf and others killed themselves. That, plus the bipolar disorder and alcohol, but hey… because even on the face of it, even to them—the world frequently doesn’t give a damn what you have to say; you’re unnecessary. In that context, modesty will desperately monkey-grasp for meaning as it circles the room.

[ N.A.S.A. (Nocturnal Audio Sensory Awakening) / NYC / DJ Scotto ]

The techno-music night club, like an alien force in the phenomena of living, mirrors yet stands apart from our ordinary physical and chemical forces, the mechanical effects of matter, the will to live and reproduce… nothing more. Its sensory overload is a ruckus, an awakening, recalling how the dour philosophers once told us there were no real friendships in the Darwinian death race called life. They would have hated the discotheque just as much as they would’ve treasured how it verified their argument.

Immersed in the Atmosphere of Wealth

The culture of a bar, a club, a house party, a casino… figuratively, nocturnal playing fields for the primeval roots of our ascension through life’s phases. We have become collectively wealthy, and the financial system today is flooded with too much liquidity. What then, is the real worth of things? As we become wealthy, wealth serves as the prelude to art. In every country where centuries of physical effort have accumulated the means for luxury and leisure, culture has followed as naturally as vegetation grows in rich and watered soil. To become wealthy was the first necessity; a people must live before it can philosophize or build infrastructure to support the night life. No doubt we in America have grown faster than nations usually have grown; and the disorder of our souls is due to the rapidity of our development. A part of us has learned to revere wealth more so than the liberty we founded ourselves upon; cynics wonder if such an attitude staves off the next Renaissance. Perhaps there are greater souls than Shakespeare’s, and greater minds than Plato’s, waiting to be born from our current design, flaws and all.

Striding into the atmosphere of city night life, we’re reminded of the trials of youth or a historically “young” nation like the United Statesdisturbed and unbalanced, for a time, by the sudden growth and experiences of its puberty and young adulthood. But soon our maturity will come; our minds will catch up with our bodies, our culture with our possessions.

Theism on the Dance Floor

The night club lends itself to distraction, excess and godlessness. The highly impressionable can be found casting off old beliefs and assuming new identities under strobes and argon laser lights. There’s a dichotomy of substance—in the shallow construct of a barfly, a deeper metamorphosis might still transpire. In the communal bacchanal, we repeatedly come across revelers who validate themselves with the obscene luxury of pantheism, which is merely a subterfuge for atheism. They gathered to focus on the Nature in things as a route to an unnamable neo-divinity. Several theories hold as to why this is, and so we craft our own. For some the night is not enough; you’ll see them at the after-party, childlike, and you’ll see them venerated at sundry Burning Man jubilees for their meditative detachments from reality.

Overhead, in the stars, an atomized fate was concentrated in the still night air. We added nothing more to nature by calling it God; the word nature is poetical enough; it suggests sufficiently the generative and controlling function, the endless vitality and changeful order of the world in which we live. To be forever clinging to the old beliefs in these refined and denatured forms is to be like Don Quixote, tinkering with obsolete armor. Yet most of us are poet and prophet enough to know that a world divested of its deities is a cold and uncomfortable home. When inferring God or godlessness, why has man’s conscience in the end invariably rebelled against naturalism and reverted in some form or other to the cult of the unseen?

The night club at 1:00am is thick with the cult of the unseen. Perhaps because the spirit is akin to the eternal, or an ideal; it is not content with that which is, and yearns for a better life; it is saddened by the thought of death, and clings to the hope of some power that may make it permanent amid the surrounding flux.

Santayana once resolved, candidly: “I believe there is nothing immortal… No doubt the spirit and energy of the world is what is acting in us, as the sea is what rises in every little wave; but it passes through us; and, cry out as we may, the wave will move on. Our privilege is to have perceived it as it moved.” On the dance floor, in the dance, exists the ghostly movement.


A luminescent serum of truth might be extracted from the night life… most simply do not find it desirous. In the end, we outgrow the social artistry of lies in a dimly-lit cave of shadows. It was a golden moment; your friends made it fun-packed as if by contract. Yet nothing was to be had for all this gold than mediocrity. Truth, in and of itself, will always be the stronghold of few men and women, and we are mostly defined by our work and contribution to society in the daylight hours. In the ultimate irony, we have therefore gone to loud places to quietly wait for others who honor genuineness while indulging its antipodes. In the practice of diametric translation, the memory bank is saturated with enduring connections.

Life is short, there’s FoMO and YOLO contaminating the night, but truth works far and lives longest; let us speak the truth. The small hypocrisies we own are first amplified, then dispelled, as we search in the dimmest corners for the voice of Wisdom itself. Paraphrasing Bergson, when we “prove” or “disprove” a philosophy we are merely offering another one, which, like the first, is a fallible compound of experience and hope. As experience widens and hope changes, we find more “truth” in the “falsehoods” we denounced—in the artifice of the metropolitan night or otherwise—and perhaps more falsehood in our youth’s eternal truths.


LDP #2: Three Songs about the Night Life



“One-Shot Wonder Hunter”

  • Sell to: DIPLO (Producer)
  • Sung by: MAJOR LAZER w/ Mr. Lexx + Matt Bellamy (MUSE lead singer)
  • Techno/EDM music industry value: US$XXXXXXX ????

[natural bass intro, 20% electronic]

He gotta run, run run run-run gotta run, run run
while redressing the accelerated self-deception,
And she knows it [boom]…
And she KNOWS it [boooom]…

He’s a one-shot wonder hunter
In attack. Divide. Now you’re inside, where the smoke rise

above-a Hollywood Bowl, that’s-a [booom, boooooom]…
That’s the DEBT [boom-boom]…that’s whatcha GET [boom-boom]…
That’s the DEBT [boom-boom],
That’s what’s next and it’s unisex [shhhboooom]…

[instrumental / 60%-70% electronic, add natural bass, natural drum layers]

Inna laser light they gotta plot-a way to run, run, run…
Close the door. Move the floor — front like a belly don-sah…
Whoa bijoux, BIJOUX — girl, you know you got an on-sah…
Hesitate, on the break — pan-tonal remap, Gweilo…
but much to your chagrin it will have mutated, by then,

[instrumental / 50% electronic, 50% full acoustic roll w/ layered solos, zero repeating]

On one hand, she demands “don’t be a lightweight,” RUSH —
clear the chamber, clear the CHAMmmB-errrr,
young lions in the bush —
trust a stranger, where’s the dangerrrr(ous ones)?
Broke north in the night a thousand miles away from home…
And I expect no safety when I’m alone…!

When THEY attack!!!
It’s gonna be a double attack — WHOSE ATTACK?!?!
Well here comes the shark attack, oh-way-ohhhhhh, oh, ohhhh…
From sky down. We ground up.
Send and receive. Go.


“In the Domes”

  • Sell to: BECK
  • Sung by: BECK and LORDE
  • Electro-Pop music industry value: US$XXXXXXX ????

[bass line “boong-boong-boong” directly into:]

Do what you do, out all night, sleep at dawn, your platform —
it’s affir MA. TION.

[bass line = airplane going down, losing altitude]

Found her underground, vinyl soul, bébé stone, ASSASSIN
Me gener A TION, Oooooooh….
…oooh façile moi, semaphore, cryptic code, far below
Its comp li CA TION
So pass the phone, write it down, dial tone
, calling Rome —
Headcase Va-CA TION!!!
[instrumental break / trance high-note accent on the “3”]

[morph/warp/blend upper half as it diminishes into bottom half 3-4 (several measures)]

Inna simulacra, simulacra, simulacra…bébé tone, assassin, bébé tone
[rolling + repeating, loopy, bouncy]
In the simula-, the simulac-, inna simuilacr-, simulacra

[…rolling into the mid-break…]

Artificial Sources :::::: Encoded Life
In a simulac-, we ended up inna simulacra, simulacr-we ended up / simulacra…

[rolling + repeating into the full break]

So stay IN! Or stay ou-ouuut whiiii-iiiile
my mind trickles down a tortured latticework of possibilities…!
Faded down and drawn…to the…maze…in the Domes.
And even though I love…this…face…
Recursive mirrors — all our days
and now I’ve seen you 80 million times!
And still I don’t…failsafe…in the domes. In your arms. In the domes…
In your arrr-arr-arrrrrms…

So try to break through, escape a century of paradox
and haunted memories…!!!
Where she saw her clone get strafed…
Where even androids quake…
Somebody’s gone to feel the wraith…In the domes…In the domes…In the domes…

[after big wake up and drawn-out high notes comes the wind-down outtro, etc.]

[Reminiscent of the night club in “Logan’s Run” / Sanctuary / Futuristic French Disco]

[ eventually, the moonset… ]


“Vocal Harmonizer”

  • Collaboration: GRIZZLY BEAR (L.A. indie rock band) + ARCA + MOBY
  • Sung by: Edward Droste + Ben Gibbard (Postal Service / Death Cab)
  • Electro-Indie-Rock music industry value: US$XXXXXXX ????

[open w/ finger snaps on the 2 and 4]
4:40am…4:40am…[repeating]…4:40am, 4:40am…

We already aren’t what we were
in so many ways —
Our sharpest edges under vellum…
Tracing vapor superheroes
underneath the klieg lights
Alkali in the static, in the shade…

We brought the vocal harmonizer
it’s holding up the doorway
it’s for heavy thinkers
with big intuition
about the future…

You were a doe-eyed star,
dissolving our surroundings
that’s what Raven 7 always says

[instrumental breakdown / arpeggio to elongated minor chord]

She liked to scrub it
and keep it clean,
it gave her meaning
vented her spleen…

…Yeah ’cause she loved heavy drinkers
bus stop philosophizers
drop-out prophesizers
posing like a tiger —

“I’ll see you in the ether(rrrrrrr)…
in 100 years…let’s meet right here.”
Yeah, we’ll meet right here…
[repeat the last 4 words 3x, sweep upper register / pitch]
Yeah ’cause it’s a big production
with a prime malfunction —
they’ll be none the wiser(rrrr)…
use the vocal harmonizer….
[EKG pulse tone to flat-lining outtro fade]
[chest-pounding internal “computer” hum like a vocal harmonizer breaking down]
[faulty settings / malefactor tonal warps, etc.]

[Synopsis: song about the virtues of deceit vs. sincerity, falsity and repetition in the media, myths of power/control perpetuated through time, quantum physics, and the death of icons. “What do I matter” hangs over the doorway of the thinker of the future.]