Driving I-95 N. With Too Much Candy.

highway-stream-lights-driving

Thursday night ride home, up I-95 N on dry roads and heavy traffic.
My right hand rests on the dial.

So, DK, what’s it gonna be?
Radio, with its 50+ stations?
Sirius, with its 100 channels?
iPhone playlists, with 5437 tunes?
Or, Pandora streaming, with its infinite candy?

So much candy, yet never satisfied, yearning for the familiar grooves.

McEwen answers in World Enough & Time“Intake, for example: how much is enough?”

And Simon Reynolds follows: “Complaining that there’s too much good art and entertainment being made at the moment seems churlish — how could that be a problem? Yet it’s undeniable that there is something curiously oppressive about the current bounty, something paralyzing about our ease of access to it. keeping up with what’s good gets to seem like a chore. If anything, the overload in music feels even more unmanageable.”

And in flows nostalgia. An ache… [Read more…]

Tusk. Bathe in the radiant black light of ’70s.

Letter of Recommendation: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk”:

There is a species of spider that hunts by releasing chemicals that imitate the sex pheromones of moths. When its prey arrives, high on fantasies of romance, the spider hits it with a sticky blob of web, then devours it. Scientists call this “aggressive mimicry.”

This is something like the operating principle behind Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 album “Tusk.” The trap is set with the first track: a lite-rock masterpiece, in roughly the tempo of a summer nap, called “Over & Over.” The singer’s voice is smooth and sad, a melon-flavored wine cooler on a vacant beach at sunset with the one you know will eventually leave you. The keening cheese-ball lyrics (“all you have to do is speak out my name, and I will come running”) are so generic as to be almost meaningless, and these words float on top of a clean acoustic strum, which is punctuated neatly by a clean snare, which is colored in turn by the very clean jangles of an undistorted electric guitar.

It is, in other words, quintessential Fleetwood Mac: classic FM-radio easy listening — an absolute top-shelf lighter-swaying anthem. Not a note is out of place. (This may be the spot to mention that the birth name of the song’s lead vocalist, Christine McVie, is actually Christine Perfect.) The band’s three-voiced choir is in full-on angel-harmony mode — “Oooooooooooo a-ooo-ooo-OOO-ooo-oooooooooooo” — and as the refrain drones on (“over and over, over and over, over and over”) you can feel your pulse beginning to slow, and you step through the bead curtains into the dim back room of your consciousness, where the lava lamp still blorbles and the ylang-ylang incense burns and you can bathe forever in the radiant black light of the perpetual 1970s.

Don’t miss entire article by Sam Anderson here: Letter of Recommendation: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk”:


Drive-In Movie Theaters: Going Way of T-Rex?

Drive In Movie Theaters

This article evoked vivid, early teen memories. Sultry Friday and Saturday nights in August. Shad flies filling the night time sky over the Kootenay River. We would race our bikes to beat the twilight turning to dusk. We’d hide our bikes in the bushes and go searching for a grassy spot on the hill at the Sunset Drive-in. The tantalizing smell of buttered popcorn and hot dogs. The car window speakers cackling. The older high school kids cozying up to their girls.

I googled the Sunset Drive-in and was shocked to learn that it showed its last movie in 1986, over 25 years ago. The old drive-in is now a RV Park known as Kootenay River Kampground.

Italo Calvino’s words capture my recollection of these memories from where we sit today, in front of our screens, big and little, in our homes: “Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.”

Here’s a few excerpts from the BusinessWeek article titled: America’s Last, Remaining Drive-Ins Face a New Threat

[Read more…]

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