Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Want to Be Nobody

Artist: Johnny Cash

Album: The Sound of Johnny Cash

Song: "Mr. Lonesome"

The forgotten outlaw, Tompall Glaser, penned this dark tunea sharpened dagger to the yearning soul. Songwriting this plainspoken is as timeless as the emotion it personifies. Add the heavy echo to Johnny Cash's iconic voice and behold an audible frown. You almost need to put your hands in jacket pockets to withstand the discernible cold.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

If the Band Keeps on Playin'

Artist: Little David Wilkins

Album: Little David Wilkins

Song: "Makin' Love in Waltz Time"

1-2-3, 1-2-3.

Of all the dance steps I learned during my brief time as Arthur Murray's 6' 5" tower of cash, the waltz proved to be my favorite.

1-2-3, 1-2-3.

That simple box step resonates with an almost-forgotten elegance. Man and woman locked arm in arm, a safe but tantalizing space between them.

1-2-3, 1-2-3.

I champion the modern-day grind, but that roots you to the floor. The waltz allows you to glide around the room, like a golden leaf carried upward and away by a cool fall wind.

1-2-3, 1-2-3.

Perhaps the attraction is sentimental. Even the older studentsretirees, widows, and widowersshied away from this old-fashioned step in favor of the hip-shaking and exciting cha-cha-cha and merengue.

1-2-3, 1-2-3.

Perhaps these interests met at a dance crossroad: the elders preferring steps with more vitality, while I enjoyed a chance to step back in time. When romance ruled over sex.

1-2-3, 1-2-3.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rings on Her Fingers, Flowers in Her Hair

Artists: Ben Dover & Tennessee Tucker

Album: Carpetbaggers

Song: "Road to Norfolk"

An excerpt from Ed Buryn's Vagabonding in America:

Just as travel is a dramatization of life, so hitchhiking is a dramatization of travel. It breaks down even deeper norms and releases even more energy. Hitchhikers, like all adventurers, vibrate with this energy. It makes them sensitive and alive to their experiences, and attracts others to them. Of course, handling this energy is difficult: The more that things are random and unexpected, the more you need to improvise, the more you fully use all of yourself in the business of being. But then one day on the road, you suddenly realize that you're having the time of your life. You feel the energy of the universe flowing right thru you. It's the dream come true.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

There's Magic in the Air

Artists: Lindisfarne

Album: Dingly Dell

Song: "Dingly Dell"

This LP's cover kept me from giving up on the record: five scuzzy hippies camped out in a forest, two even slouching in a psychedelic hammock. There had to be some gem hiding among the political screeds. I was reaching for the tone arm when the album's final track began to shapeshift, devolving into a primal pagan chant. I began to imagine those same hippies circling a campfire, encircled by a wall of tall trees. Arms and smoke stretch into a starry night sky, and voices wobble in a crescendo of stark desperation.