Until the Walls and Rafters Ring
February 4, 2016 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Chronicle of Higher Ed: U. of Iowa Doesn’t Know Why Its Fight Song Blares From an Empty Building in Niagara Falls "A University of Iowa spokesman said on Tuesday that he had 'no clue' why the university’s fight song is being played, week after week, in a vacant building in Niagara Falls, NY. The mystery was first reported by the Niagara Gazette, which says the song has been repeated on a loop, for several hours at a time, on 'most nights for roughly six months.'"

Niagara Gazette (1/24/16): "The roughly 50-second fight song clip is, over the course of seven hours, is looped over 500 times. It is played without composer Meredith Willson's lyrics: which begin, 'the word is "Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA," until the walls and rafters ring'; and end, 'the word is "Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA," until the game is won.'"

Niagara Gazette (1/26/16): "Locally, the building at 500 Third Street was a popular spot for local news crews taking photos and filming the building on Tuesday morning. Niagara Falls police are now investigating the matter. [...] Wine on Third owner, Shawn Weber, said he remains uncertain of why the music keeps playing. His customers, he said, have complained, as have the residential tenants above Wine on Third."
posted by capricorn (50 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
First rule of Fight Club ...
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:52 AM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is hilarious. I can't believe it's been going on for six months! The common perception of the American side of the falls is a junky wasteland, but this area isn't particularly bad (map).
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:54 AM on February 4, 2016


I'd just assume it's a Bruce Nauman installation.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:56 AM on February 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Ghosts! (The truth is out there!)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:56 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


When I pledged my fraternity, during hell week when we were sleeping in the basement, the brothers played ABC by the Jackson 5 on an endless loop. For. Three. Days. Straight. I was ready to poke my ear drums with a sharp stick. This is, at once, ingenious and assinine.
posted by AugustWest at 8:57 AM on February 4, 2016


Why doesn't someone just go in there when the music is playing and follow their ears to the source?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:57 AM on February 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Six months? How does this happen? I'd file a noise complaint in the first night. Even if there's no legal grounds for the police to raid the place and turn it off, there have to be ordinances and fines, right?
posted by explosion at 8:58 AM on February 4, 2016


"...there have to be ordinances and fines, right?"

Ordinances, fines, arson, midnight break-ins, injunctions...
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:02 AM on February 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


In today's Niagara Gazette: Falls police, officials talk Third Street fight song it is implied that the owner of the building where the song is coming from has a beef with a nearby restaurant.
posted by plastic_animals at 9:03 AM on February 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


We should ask Rachel Platten, hey Rachel, is that your fight song? And she'll be like no, this is my fight song. And we'll be all, oh okay, sorry to bother you
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:03 AM on February 4, 2016 [15 favorites]


Leave them alone. It's the currently infected It Follows person staying vigilant.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:06 AM on February 4, 2016 [14 favorites]


Why doesn't someone just go in there when the music is playing and follow their ears to the source?

They know where it's coming from. It's not breaking any laws or ordinances because it's not above the allowable decibel threshold. So there's nothing they can do about it.

It's a free country.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:07 AM on February 4, 2016


cjorgensen: “It's a free country.”

But I thought the article said this was happening on the American side
posted by koeselitz at 9:08 AM on February 4, 2016 [50 favorites]


Well, it may not be against the law now, but it looks like it might be soon:

Since the music isn’t loud enough to violate the city’s noise ordinance, Dyster said a city council member and the city planning department are looking into other possible solutions. One possibility is regulating music in certain districts.

Someone who feels harassed or harmed by the fight song could also pursue a civil complaint the mayor said. But Dyster also said he’d prefer a friendlier resolution .


Anyway this is great. I would love to see a video of the music actually playing.
posted by crazy with stars at 9:09 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


If I were to play a Meredith Wilson song on constant loop, it would be Chicken Fat. Get people to exercise a little.

Push ups. Every morning. TEN TIMES!
posted by maxsparber at 9:09 AM on February 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's a free country.

For some, relatively obscure values of the word "free," apparently.
posted by The Bellman at 9:10 AM on February 4, 2016




Argh, this is reminding me of a movie (I think) where people try to get some rest but this terrifying music blares every few hours or minutes ensuring that they never really sleep.

It is driving me nuts that I can't remember what the hell I am thinking about.
posted by Kitteh at 9:14 AM on February 4, 2016


So basically, there is no mystery: someone is harassing his neighbors, and he's using the University of Iowa fight song because it is the most annoying song in the world.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:14 AM on February 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2487 is fenced off and placed under 24-hour guard. Ear protection equipment and tranquilizers are issued as needed to security personnel as a prophylactic against madness. Neighboring residents and businesses are to be offered relocation services and, if deemed necessary, subsequently neutralized.
posted by theodolite at 9:15 AM on February 4, 2016 [25 favorites]


NIAGARA FALLS!

Slowly I turned. Inch by inch. Step by step...
posted by Naberius at 9:16 AM on February 4, 2016 [18 favorites]


I only pray this hasn't awakened Great Sousa from his long, silent slumber.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:17 AM on February 4, 2016 [26 favorites]


Some friends of mine, while in college, got back at their hard-partying neighbors by leaving "I'm Like a Bird" playing on repeat at full volume with the speakers shoved against the wall. They came back to find their door covered in feces. Probably something similar.
posted by waitingtoderail at 9:19 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean clearly what is needed here is a group of meddling kids.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 9:21 AM on February 4, 2016 [22 favorites]


In other news, a smoke alarm in the adjacent apartment is chirping.
posted by clavdivs at 9:21 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can think of worse songs.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:21 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Argh, this is reminding me of a movie (I think) where people try to get some rest but this terrifying music blares every few hours or minutes ensuring that they never really sleep.

Uncle Grandpa - Mystery Noise.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:26 AM on February 4, 2016


"Argh, this is reminding me of a movie (I think) where people try to get some rest but this terrifying music blares every few hours or minutes ensuring that they never really sleep."

Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron"?
posted by jonathanhughes at 9:28 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm having trouble finding it, but I'm 100% sure that maybe 10 years ago I read about a charity fundraiser event that was essentially a lock-in at a bar for 12 hours, with Motorhead's Ace of Spades playing on an endless loop.

I mean, I like Motorhead fine, but there are limits, man.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:31 AM on February 4, 2016


Could be worse. Could be Rocky Top.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 9:31 AM on February 4, 2016


Could be worse. Could be Rocky Top.

I love bluegrass, but that would be pure barbarism. Especially if it was a Ricky Skaggs version.

*shudder*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:34 AM on February 4, 2016


It's neither of those! It's like moments of loud blaring music and bright lights.
posted by Kitteh at 9:35 AM on February 4, 2016


I'm now remembering an episode of M*A*S*H in which Colonel Potter orders Radar to play Doris Day's Sentimental Journey over and over again on the camp's PA.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:40 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is bad, but I maintain that the building would have been demolished by now if it were Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls.
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Noriega will eventually surrender.
posted by Chitownfats at 9:53 AM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


"...got back at their hard-partying neighbors by leaving "I'm Like a Bird" playing on repeat at full volume with the speakers shoved against the wall."

Man Builds System To Automatically Blast 'Who Let The Dogs Out' Whenever The Neighbors Play Music Too Loud
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:00 AM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


The music torture is totally dickish but also absolutely brilliant. It's an innocuous song, not played all that loud, on an endless loop, starting at a predictable time every day. It's the ne plus ultra of I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:37 AM on February 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm having trouble finding it, but I'm 100% sure that maybe 10 years ago I read about a charity fundraiser event that was essentially a lock-in at a bar for 12 hours, with Motorhead's Ace of Spades playing on an endless loop.

Sounds like the Bigfoot Lodge on Los Feliz Blvd in Atwater Village. At least, it was until I stopped going because they played Ace of Spades to many goddamn times a night.
posted by sideshow at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2016


"Leave them alone. It's the currently infected It Follows person staying vigilant."Leave them alone. It's the currently infected It Follows person staying vigilant."


Damn you metafilter, once again, you have made me lose The Game. I was doing so well, too.
posted by oddman at 10:46 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


In other news, a smoke alarm in the adjacent apartment is chirping.

You are completely justified in hacking through the door with an ax, The Shining style. There is no sound that drives me battier.
posted by desjardins at 10:46 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I visit Niagara Falls annually in April and have eaten at Wine on Third. It's a decent place and it would be nice to have a patio option if the weather is nice. I can't imagine what the point of this installation might be, but it sounds like being a horrible neighbor.
posted by meinvt at 10:48 AM on February 4, 2016


I wonder if it's less of a vendetta, and more part of the vacant building owners crazy master-plan to force the restaurant out, drive property values down, and then buy up the block so he can construct some project he has in mind.

It's a very Lex Luther-y type of plan.
posted by mayonnaises at 11:32 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think Pontypool has finally crossed the border.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:43 AM on February 4, 2016


I use to leave my speakers against the shared wall of my halls of res room and the arsehole next door, open badger badger mushroom (Wiki link) and go to the pub for several hours. This was my revenge for the fact that he kept his porn volume up so loud that I was frequently woken up in the middle of the night by the moaning.

It's a snake! A snake!
posted by halcyonday at 11:54 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


> They came back to find their door covered in feces.

How else would you show you're like a bird, if not by covering things in feces? Your friends were basically asking for it.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 12:04 PM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


You can tell it's not an alum, because they didn't include In Heaven There Is No Beer.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:10 PM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ha! I remembered! It was a recurring thing that would happen in the indie horror movie Yellowbrickroad!
posted by Kitteh at 12:54 PM on February 4, 2016


Since the speakers are set up to face the street, I'm pretty sure sure this would be considered a public performance by BMI or ASCAP. I wonder what their fee would be? A minute-length song on repeat for 8 hours a day for six months is roughly 86400 plays.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:38 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Numbers station.
posted by HITLERTRON 5000 at 6:56 PM on February 4, 2016


It appears that 40% of the online newspaper's most popular articles are obituaries. Maybe it's one of Donald Trump's failed caucus reeducation center black sites.
posted by The White Hat at 7:20 PM on February 4, 2016


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