April 02, 2005

Feelin' Old

from - smijer

Church functions were not like this when I was growing up. Bear with me, while I tell the long version of the story.

Last night, I picked the Younger up from the school dance, and he mentioned to me that one of his friends was playing at Club Fathom. Now, this left me with two fairly disparate chunks of info. On the one hand, I know the Younger's friend who would be playing. He is, in terms of demeanor and style, what kids these days are calling "Goth". He seems like a nice kid, but he isn't being considered for any citizenship awards at school, if you know what I mean. On the other hand, my friend J.H. belongs to a charsimatic church that was instrumental in founding Club Fathom, as a Christian outreach to Chattanooga's youth. (J.H. also volunteers there, working the sound board). Knowing the sort of music and lifestyle that the Younger's friend was "into", I could hardly square these two notions of what Club Fathom would be like. But the Younger was interested to go see his friend perform, so I had every excuse to go find out how the twain did meet. This is where it gets interesting, and I start feeling old.

We parked on Market Street near Jack's Alley, and walked to the club. The nice young lady at the door used her hand-held metal scanner to make sure I wasn't packing (except for my car-keys, which she did discover), and directed us to the counter to pay our $5/person cover. The Younger and I then started to wind our way toward the stage area. Along the way, we passed a few young couples with their bodies pressed tightly against the wall in a convenient shadow, doing what young couples do. At the end of the hall, we turned a corner and started to move back toward the front of the building, climbing a long group of steps as we went. At the top of the steps was found what I presume is a juice bar, with a pair of young adults standing behind the counter and a fair number of teens randomly spaced in front. On this upper level, we passed some interesting art. The art in the on-line gallery is a fair representation of what was on the walls (especially this one), but I have to mention the rough painting of a young lady, scantily clad, perched atop a reclining young, barechested man. The nature of her ministrations to him are mysterious, but even so, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy. Another piece, keeping to the "Goth", theme was a wide-eyed young man holding a sword in his left hand, and a bloody severed head in his right. And, so as to remind the connoisseur that this was a Christian place, there was a wood sculpture of Jesus' face nearby, too.

Somehow in all of this, I left out the manner of dress and personal decoration of the kids who came to fellowship at this Christian club. Many of the young men were simply attired in tee-shirts and baggy jeans, but more than a few were also adorned in all black or proudly displaying innumberable piercings. Black hair-dye was the order of the day for several members of both sexes. One or two of the fellows wore mascara and lipstick to accentuate their Goth creds. I say all of this uncritically, but nevertheless feeling every one of my decades of age with every word. Two of the three young men standing on stage when we reached the stage area (after passing the pool tables, and the innumerable sofas where young couples were lounging together or making out as the mood and lighting suited) were adorned and attired in this same style. The Younger's friend, by comparison, could have been a member of the young Republicans. And I, by comparison, could have been a member of the Bingo Club at Shady Grove home for Ancient.

On the wall behind the stage were hung maybe fifty crosses. If my eyes weren't playing tricks on me, they were designed to serve also as candle-holders. The stage was lit in red, yellow, and blue, leaving plenty of shadow near the edges. The stacks produced a very respectable output. The music was thrash metal (is that what they call it now?) meets... well I suppose that if we could understand the lyrics, we would know that "Satan's Army" ("don't everybody cheer at once," the Younger's Friend deadpanned) and "Raping the Shadows" (which may not be physically possible, but we are to be assured that they Younger's friend can do it), are Christian Rock. I lack the vocabulary to express enthusiasm over that style of music. I suppose that you could say, in a complimentary way, that it was "sick". Halfway through the set, a fourth young man appeared at the doorway, wearing a fishnet top, torn in front and pinned back with safety pins, and repeatedly demanded to know, from across the room, "WHAT THE FUCK?!" The young men on the stage lost no time in letting him know that it was he that had ditched them, and that they didn't want to hear about it. At this point, he joined them on stage and took a microphone. We never got to hear his part, though. A couple of songs later, the lead announced that they were doing their last song, and the latecomer angrily replaced the microphone and left.

The younger and I congratulated his friend on his performance and then got ready to go. I noticed that the closed circuit television monitor was advertizing "Mosaic, church that doesn't suck." I don't know if Mosaic is affiliated with River of Life, but that is the church home of my friend, sometimes chess partner, and club fathom volunteer.

The Younger informed me on the way home that Club Fathom was way cooler than the high school dance. Somewhere deep inside, my inner teenager could be heard proclaiming his agreement, but this only served to make the rest of me feel even older.

::

Posted by smijer at April 2, 2005 11:25 AM
Comments

Feeling old is fun, no? I went to the Attic shortly before it shut down, since a friend's husband's band was playing. The opener was a trio of youngsters from Cleveland, and they were in "raised by Church of God, now I'm going to scream 'FUCK' every three words in my songs" mode. (Add a few 'BITCH's for good measure.) Formulaic songs they were, and there was only one formula.

Want to feel old some more? Consider that Led Zeppelin's once-rowdy "Rock and Roll" (from IV) was recently used in a Cadillac commercial. Cadillac. (I know, LZ was never the MC5, but they did their share.)

univar.jpg Posted by joe on April 2, 2005 07:38 PM
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Club Fathom is awesome. They let anyone play there. Let me remind you that the "style" of music has nothing to do with Christianity. Might I recommend you some bands that are truely Christian.
The Chariot
Norma Jean
Underoath
It Dies Today

By no reguards do the names and style of music have anything to do with Christianity. If they're a Christian band then God bless... Reguardless of the names or type of people it is.

univar.jpg Posted by Jonathan on July 15, 2005 12:16 AM
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Club Fathom is awesome. They let anyone play there. Let me remind you that the "style" of music has nothing to do with Christianity. Might I recommend you some bands that are truely Christian.

The Chariot

Norma Jean

Underoath

It Dies Today

By no reguards do the names and style of music have anything to do with Christianity. If they're a Christian band then God bless... Reguardless of the names or type of people it is.

univar.jpg Posted by Jonathan on July 15, 2005 12:16 AM
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