Travel Tunes

You have to have the right travel tunes in your car so you don’t fall asleep at the wheel and drive over a bar ditch and into a stubbly corn field. What ever happened to that two cassette set of a live Tina Turner concert I used to throw on about 30 minutes before reaching my destination as celebration music? Oh, right, I don’t use cassettes any more. I must find that old concert on a CD. I’m always so tired those last 30 minutes. I know I’m almost there, but it seems endless. And Tina perks you right up. You can shout, “What’s love got to do with it.” at the top of your lungs and get a little fresh oxygen in your blood in the process. A physical and mental boost. I wonder if iTunes . . .

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A squeaking clarinet and an overenthusiastic drummer in a klezmer band in the corner of the courtyard gave the craft show a kind of manic cheerfulness that made me want to hop from booth to booth in a effort to keep up with the frantic beat of the music. I could hardly think about the crafts I was examining with an eye to spending my money to support these talented craftspeople.

Here were some gorgeous pots, glazed with a favorite glaze of mine: maybe yellow. I tried to pick a bowl but my mind bounced with the fervor of the music and I couldn’t make a decision. . .

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Favorite song

I was listening to Lucinda Williams tell some unsatisfactory lover to get lost because “you didn’t even make me come on.” Come on? Veiled, barely hidden songs about sex have been around forever. This song reminds me of an old bawdy ballad by Elsa Lanchester that went, “if you can’t get in the corners you might as well give up.”

I love some of the old blues songs by women that were lightly hidden odes to sex. But I guess my favorite song in this category is Bonnie Raitt singing . . .

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Peter, Paul and Mary

two young giraffes and two adult giraffes at the Rio Grande Zoo

The lyrics to that old Peter, Paul and Mary tune about “papa’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow,” keep running through my head. I can’t get rid of them. It’s worse than a trip to the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland for sticking a song in your head.

The reason, of course, is that we saw on TV that there were baby giraffes at the zoo. So we rushed down there to have a look and to enjoy the place in early June before it was 100 degrees like the last time we went.

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The giddy music backing up the ad implied that I would be happy, happy, happy if I just used this product. I just watched Extreme Home Makeover and thought that the house revealed after the big “Move that Bus” moment would be much less impressive without the accompanyment of the huge orchestra playing a full-out crescendo to elevate our emotions. Maybe I’m feeling jaded tonight, but all this musical manipulation is irritating. I wondered how moved I would be to buy, or to enjoy particular shows, if I turned off the sound and watched with captions instead. Just the facts. I decided . . .

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The sounds of Lucinda Williams’ mournful moan came from my radio. A new album, I’m told, called West. Supposed to be really good. Yeah, whatever.

So I hear this tune called “Words.” Words, huh? I like words. She sings, “words move in phases, frozen and still till they decide,” and then she says, “my words enjoy the feel of the paper,” and “once they get going they never waver and they slip in between your ifs, ands and buts.”

Well. I’m hooked. These words hit home. I think about words enjoying the feel of the paper. I think about the words of Lucinda Williams, and how there might be more there than . . .

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