Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Monks In The Key Of Zzz

In the different bathhouses I’ve been to within Metro Manila through the years, they often play background music in their public address system to help mask the moans and groans of the clients. In almost all the music of choice is some form of dance music, be it disco, house, electronica, or even trance. It’s like the default genre in most gays’ internal iPod, sort of a “gayPod” gene.

But only in F do they resist playing any form of dance music. Instead they play what is broadly called New Age music—the mostly moody instrumental kind. It’s bizarre to have “The Theme from Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis as your score as you score. Also heavily rotated in F’s playlist is one of my musical pet peeves: the Gregorian Monks’ Masters of Chant album. Yes, that’s the album of Gregorian monks singing pop songs in their monkish manner. Cruising the dim, red-lit corridors of F with the monks chanting R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” as the soundtrack can be quite a surreal experience.

Once while me and another guy were deep into heavy breathing action in one of the cubicles, I was startled out of it when I suddenly realized that the guy was moaning to the beat of the monks’ version of Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer”! I didn’t know whether to be insulted or to snap my fingers in syncopation. Instead I slowed down my pumping so that it’ll go contrapelo to the music. He noticed my sudden shift; he stopped moaning and threw a puzzled look my way. “Oh, nothing,” I told him. “Go ahead, moan.”

I find it a little disturbing to hear the monks sing “Tears In Heaven” while I’m going down on someone, especially if I’ve been at it for quite some time and I am literally teary-eyed at the effort. Suddenly Eric Clapton’s ode to his dead daughter takes on a totally different meaning.

I must say there’s only one track in that album which doesn’t grate my ear. Well, to be honest it actually does, a bit. But I’m suitable impressed that they chose to cover Peter Gabriel’s duet with Kate Bush, “Don’t Give Up” that I can forgive them just this once and I listen passively to the music instead of tuning out completely. (Plus the song gains new meaning when it’s played near closing time and I still haven’t scored at all and my ego is at an all-time low.)

A morbid fascination of mine: I wonder how the monks will render Britney Spears’ “Oops!... I Did It Again” or Eminem’s “Stan” or Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”. If I hear any one of these in F, I’d kinda freak out a bit.

Still I hope the monks will stop monk-eying around with other people’s music.


Anonymous Noprofit said...

One of the best posts I've read anywhere in quite a while. You have a way with words...

4:19 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

Why, thank you very much. :-)


11:58 AM  

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