“Tourist Trap” – Bright Eyes
From NPR's World Cafe
I woke up this morning to find several messages in my inbox about the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to deny NPR’s appeal over the increased royalty fees for Internet radio. I am not a political writer, and this isn’t a political piece so I’ll let the discussion of that decision go on elsewhere. What I will say is that the thought of losing such great stations as Radioparadise, and Pandora saddens and angers me a great deal.
Real world radio for the most part sucks. When I travel the 600 odd miles to my parents' house and hear the exact same songs played by DJs who sound exactly alike with the same jokes then I know radio ain't got no soul no more. To be able to click my mouse and hear great, interesting, and unique music for free is a great pleasure. It will surely be missed.
In protest of the decision I have been listening to NPR most of the day. After getting my fill of the tragedy at Virginia Tech I turned to their vast selection of music, and found this recent in-studio concert by Bright Eyes. I’ve not gotten around to buying their new album, but after hearing their songs played on Internet radio, I think I’ll have to go out tonight and do just that.
“Rhetoric” – Mellowdramatic Wallflowers
From Continental Breakfast
Growing up in small town Oklahoma, and not exactly being the hippest cat around, my scorecard with the ladies wasn’t all aces in those early years. About junior year a lovely lass named Ashley started attending the same church as the family and me. She was a sprite little pixie, with gorgeous eyes, and a smile that made a gymnast of my internal organs. And unlike all the other cute girls I knew at the time, she was friendly, kind, and willing to give me the time of day.
I meticulously planned ways of asking her out. I couldn’t just ask her to dinner, no she was much too perfect for that. I needed something wonderful, something romantic and fun and unusual. When I learned that local band Mellowdramatic Wallflowers were playing a free set at the annual Mayfest in Tulsa, I knew this was the thing to bring true love.
Biting my lip for courage, I made the call and asked her to come. I stressed that it was the Wallflowers playing as it was my cool card for indie credit. To my surprise she said yes, but was more excited over the entire festival and not just that silly band. I was in, a date – romance, love, and maybe a little something something. Okay, so technically it wasn't a real date as we were friends and there had been no implications of romance, but still a geeky guy can dream and if the romantic mood strikes, he can make a move.
Then came my sister.
My sister was (or I suppose she still is) two years younger than me, and at the time she was quite the opposite from myself. She was outgoing and stylish and popular at school. She used to tramp around the entire house looking for me when she got a phone call just to throw it in my face that she got a phone call. She also asked if she could go to Mayfest with Ashley and me.
This was a challenge. Of course I didn’t want her to go, but I wasn’t sure how to keep her out of it. I was way too shy to tell her my romantic plans, and if I said no outright she would only run to mom and mom would say she could go. I couldn’t think of any way to explain to my sister (or my mom) that I didn’t want her to go so that I could be with this girl alone. If I said it was a date, mom would embarrass me and the sister might let that bit of info slip to Ashley and then I might face the dreaded “we’re just friends” speech.
So, I let her go. We had a fun time, and I thought I saw the slightest tinge of regret when Ashley saw my sister, but I never got to find out what might have been for Ashley moved away not long after that event.
The Mellowdramatic Wallflowers changed their name to the Admiral Twin after Bob Dylan’s son made a splash with his band, the Wallflowers, and then they fizzled out. But I still have their CD and periodically play it and remember the girl who might have been, had it not been for my sister.
"Adrian" – Jewel
From Pieces of You
It’s true that music can conjure up all sorts of memories and feelings. If Random Shuffle is about anything it’s about just that – the ability of music to transport oneself to specific times and places and even to various states of mind.
This little sad folk number from Jewel’s first album, and really the entire album itself, reminds me of sitting on top of my bedroom desk, looking out the window during one lovely Sunday afternoon in my senior year of college. Beyond listening to these lyrics of love and hope and loss, my mind was also drifting into my future. Graduation and “real life” was coming up. I had some plans but the uncertainty was overwhelming.
Out that window I could see my neighbors and friends walk past. Sometimes they would see me and wave hello, but mostly they were lost in their own worlds as I was lost in mind. I remember wondering where our lives would take us, and if I’d ever see them again, after we moved on. And now, looking back, I see that I have no idea where most of them are, and how they are doing.
I’m not sure that Jewel helped out much, in fact I’d probably say her sentimental sadness did nothing but help me dig deeper into self-pity. I don’t really listen to Jewel much anymore, but she’s forever more tied to that Sunday afternoon, sitting there in the windowsill, watching the world pass by.Powered by Sidelines