Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Autumn Nocturne

I can't finish writing on my US trip without mentioning the music. Road trips require good tunes, a tradition dating back to those settlers who boogied to the percussive clip-clop of horse footfalls.

The backroads of Vermont, miles ticked off by gentle guitar chords. Bonny "Prince' Billy, Elliott Smith, and Bright Eyes played heavily here.

Massachussetts was all Led Zeppelin.

In New York, my iPod was heavy with late 70s punk and New Wave. The Ramones were a big fave. The history of music is chock full o' songs bearing the city's name, and I mined my folders for these. Michael's nouveau Japhy Ryder bungalow rang out with the voice of Lou Reed, first the obligatory New York and later with Magic and Loss, this latter having special resonance for my new friend. I'd forgotten just how incredibly dark that album is. As Spinal Tap says, "There is none more black." Later on a street corner in the Village, we heard Joe Walsh's "In the City" playing in some shop. But nothing, nothing, sounds better for a late night stroll of Manhattan boulevards than Moby at high volume.

Arcadian coast of Maine and Atlantic Provinces were predominately Celtic. Quebec tunes sung in French.

The nature of Phoenix Rising tends to pull me skyward, so at lunchtime I'd blast hardcore, a sort of sonic pair of heavy soled boots to keep my feet on the ground. Tapping.

Pickin' and grinnin' along the windy coast of Big Sur and Carmel with folk and bluegrass.

And finally, as is custom, at that moment where the journey is done and centrifugal force pulls me out of the U-turn toward home: Cornershop's, "Good to be on the Road Back Home Again."
A must.

On the turntable: Sting, "The Dream of the Blue Turtles"
On the nighttable: Wolf Lowenthal, "Like a Long River"

1 comment:

Michael said...

" ... nouveau Japhy Ryder bungalow ..."

I'm deeply honored, Ted.