Monday, July 31, 2006

a handful of wheel

Ah, August.

This, I have to say, is more like it. Now that the Earth's enormous thermostat located somewhere south of Nova Scotia has been readjusted, temperatures in my homecity hovered somewhere around the mid to upper 70s today, and this can only mean two things. One, that I needed to miss it all by sitting at my computer with some much overdue business and, two, it's time to leave town.

Yep, I'll be a puff of memory 'round these parts for the rest of this week. Mind the store for me, would you? The destination? The mountains, another state away, where the ground is red, the air is thin and so clear that it seems like the entire countryside is being viewed through a polarized filter. There will be hiking, nature, and burning, grateful lungs. This, I think, is reason enough for a song cue.

'Sandusky,' by Uncle Tupelo

I've been to Sandusky, Ohio. It sounds nothing like this.

That aside, these next three minutes and forty-three seconds are about as beautiful and perfectly arranged as you're ever likely to find. It's another one of those songs that make you want to look around, take in every detail of what's around you and maybe take a second to dream about playing guitar.

An all-acoustic instrumental, there's no sign of the holy war between Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar that divided the alt.yippidoodle camps, no hyphenated genres, no sign of anything at all except the open road in front of you. The sun's out, your windows are rolled down and there's no wind, no traffic, no exhaust. The sun's not even getting in your eyes as you drive and as the light shines through the trees cradling the side of the road and pours past you, leaving everything is golden, warm and bright, smelling of hardwood and honeysuckle.

Two guitars are riding shotgun, getting all tangled up with eachother because they're sitting too close, getting friendly. And the three of you sound so nice together you don't mind that they keep picking up hitchhikers. Mandolin, banjo, maybe another guitar, hey maybe even dry, soft-shouldered set of drums. Why not? There's room enough for everyone, it's a beautiful day and we're all friends here. Nevermind all that. We've only got a little less than four minutes, let's make the most of all we see.

Buy Uncle Tupelo's "March 16-20, 1992" for more


At 12:37 PM, Blogger briana said...

That song just slays me and I love the history behind that album - how they went into all the old music archives and listened and did research... I bet it was an amazing time/process to be part of. Except for all the alcoholism/egos/general fighting that ensued.

Oh Jay, oh Jeff, why couldn't we all just get along? *sigh*


Post a Comment

<< Home