It happens all the time. I walk into a bar to sit down with a relaxing beverage, and before I know it some 22-year-old asshole is having a birthday party. And that all they want to hear is crap. I could get up and spend $5 of my own money on the jukebox, but there's always a chance that some hick with a fat wallet will decide to override my playlist with “Around the World” by Daft Punk.
Instead, I've figured out a way where I don't even have to get up, and don't have spend more than $1 to clear out a group of assholes. Nearly all of these online jukeboxes have smartphone apps. You can download them and control the machine from your phone. They'll also offer you the ability to play your song next, for a small additional fee. It's the “next” function that's key to clearing the riff raff out the room, so you can have some peace. Here's what you play:
“Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy In Eight Parts”
The Iliad, by Homer, is 704 pages. Manowar, a heavy-metal band that is the musical equivalent to Conan the Barbarian, wrote a song about The Iliad that clocks in at 28 minutes and 38 seconds. And it's a damn good song. Fortunately for you, there are a lot of people out there who sincerely hate and fear metal music. There are total squares out there who think guitar solos sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. When you play this song for those people, wimps and posers will leave.
5. Allman Brothers
The Allman Brothers Band are known for hits like “Jessica” and “Ramblin' Man.” What most people haven't gotten around to learning is “Mountain Jam” off their 1972 album Eat a Peach – the ultimate elevator music for dusty old freaks.
There's actually a chance your targets won't leave. The Allman Brothers has a pretty distinctive guitar tone that is pretty tolerable. But you'll turn the entire bar into a dopey blues club for a half an hour. Plus, a lot of people listen to jam bands, and those people are all insane. If anyone recognizes this song, you can probably buy drugs from them.
4. Richard Harris
Despite the fact that many consider it the worst song ever written, “MacArthur Park” is actually one of the best songs ever written. It's fairly long and sullen (7:30 or so), likening a relationship's demise to a cake being left in the rain. My coworker, who has the same haircut as every person in early Nine Inch Nails videos, once threw a piece of wood at my head for putting on six different versions of this song. Just be careful you don't put on the Donna Summer version or you'll end up revitalizing the dance party.
3. Suzanne Vega
Everyone knows what this song is about, right? And when you hear it, despite the fact that it's an upbeat radio-rock hit from 1987, you can't help but remember the lyrics, written from the perspective of an abused child:
I think it's 'cause I'm clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it's because I'm crazy
I try not to act too proud
They only hit until you cry
After that you don't ask why
You just don't argue anymore
You'll receive a collective groan of, “Dude, come on.” That should eliminate most people, but if not, go for the knockout blow:
2. Eric Clapton
“Tears in Heaven”
Taking the tragic song strategy one step further: “Tears in Heaven.” You can play this to a herd of goats and they will become noticeably sullen and depressed. No one can forget that Eric Clapton's son tragically fell from a 53rd story window.
1. Pink Floyd
On the off chance anyone's still around, there is no finer song for clearing out a bar than “Echoes.” Its intro is slow as molasses, and it runs north of 11 minutes. There's absolutely nothing here to drink shots to, as opposed to that “SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS” song that was just playing.
The lyrics to “Echoes” are about, in Roger Waters' words, “the potential that human beings have for recognizing each other's humanity and responding to it with empathy rather than antipathy.” So he'd probably prefer for you to sit and feel empathy for the jerks in the bar, you will likely drive them away to find another watering hole to terrorize.
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