Friday, July 07, 2006

i ain't no adobe hut

Got to see a special side of the city yesterday. Through no fault of my own, I found myself awake and on the road at a little after 5 a.m. For me, at least, the only acceptable reason to be up and about at that hour is if you have a plane to catch, if you're driving to a ski resort or if you accidentally haven't even bothered to go to bed yet.

Yet there I was, on the way to work and watching the sun first curl its way back around the earth for another vacation in the land that is its own--Sunny Southern California. At that hour all of downtown resembles a restaurant just as its about to open. The last scraps of the night are slowly surrendering to a royal blue dawn, and there's no smog, no heat, nothing that even resembles that many ugly stereotypes of my home city.

It's not all pennywhistles and moonpies. Seeing the various beds the homeless population are forced to make downtown (in doorways, under overpasses, inside the carcinogenic blast furnace of the camera-ready Second Street Tunnel) and seeing them either fighting for the last fitful few minutes of nighttime sleep or already rolling up their posessions makes one a little less able to bitch about rolling into an air conditioned office.

So I won't. Work was work, and when I finished 11 hours later I was so tired my head was heavy and bloated. Stoned. I came home and all I wanted to do was look at nothing, read nothing, take in no further information and just shut it all down.

"Hyas and Stenorhynchus," Yo La Tengo

Taken from their "Sounds of the Sounds of Science" album, I'm not even sure if you can properly call this a 'song,' at least in the ol' verse-chorus-verse sense. This was part of Yo La Tengo's lovely score to an undersea documentary whose name escapes me, and though I haven't seen it (or them, I shamefully admit), it sounds like how being underwater feels. The bass, guitar and drums are all very weightless, most of the time barely tethered to eachother as gentle and curious sounds float in front of you. I'm not sure what Hyas or the other vowel-challenged creature listed in the song title look like, but I can imagine they're peaceful, beautiful and patient; and when they dream it sounds just like this.


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