It’s always a sad discovery when seemingly nice and normal people turn out to be jerks in some heretofore unnoticed way. Like when a childhood friend reveals they’re now an anti-vaxxer, or your mom tells you that there are no trees on this flat earth of ours and you should wake the hell up. Admittedly, that last one is more just ignorance and idiocy than a belief capable of any real damage—save to the collective consciousness and intelligence of humanity—but still.
And now, even our live music venues aren’t safe from the malicious intent of those determined to bring harm to our ears under the guise of a good time. The Riverfront Times reports a St. Louis band is planning to perform the Santana/Rob Thomas smash hit ”Smooth” 10 times in a row on Friday night, in a blatant and unprovoked attack on people’s tolerance for awfulness. “An Evening With Smooth: A Tribute To Santana And Rob Thomas” was dreamed up and organized by local musician-slash-monster Matt Basler. He has assembled a group of local artists to perform the 1999 hit in its entirety, start to finish, and then play it again exactly the same way nine more times.
Basler isn’t even apologetic about the plan. Admitting he doesn’t even have any affinity for the song (perhaps that’s the cord tethering his vicious mind to the feelings of the rest of us), he says, “I said, ‘You know what would be funny is if someone played “Smooth” ten times in a row. And then instead of going, ‘Oh yeah, that would be funny. Oh well’—I did it. I made it a reality. That’s my new goal, is when I say dumb jokes, to go all the way.” Yes, as he points out, where the rest of us would not subject the world to the cruel vicissitudes of our fleeting whims, Basler doubles down on them.
His argument? It will be funny. “It’s just one band, ten times, the same way every time. That’s the funny way to do it. In theory! It’s a funny thing to say, anyway.” Setting aside the obvious part where “in theory” might’ve been the warning bell, the excuse of “doing it for the lulz” is clearly no longer a reasonable excuse. This is a clear and present danger to the good taste and assembled dignity of people willing to pay $8 for the privilege of having their ears bombarded with the tragic riff of a wack…wait, people are paying to hear this? Never mind. Sowers, meet your reaping—his name is Thomas.