1. I’m So Bored With the USA, The Clash
I understand why you had to leave. I suppose I should be excited for you. But my writing has gotten worse and there’s no one to go on pointless drives with anymore. Still, I’m happy that you’re learning new ways to curse.
2. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel.
The Atlantic is much too large. I realize that the Pacific dwarfs it. But I don’t much care about China and Japan. I’m sure they’re beautiful. But somehow, I think part of their beauty is in being far away. Wales could be Oregon and still be cool. Being on the other side of the damn world is just excessive.
3. Of Minor Prophets and the Prostitute Wives, Pedro the Lion
I suppose in this analogy you are a whore. A moniker you probably are not wholly unused to me calling you.
4. This Side of the Blue, Joanna Newsom
This side is in decay. Families are spread. The Seahawks are getting worse. Coffee shops are going out of business and rent is going up.
5. Ramblin’ Man, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
I suppose ramble is a romantic word. An odd construction of masculinity. As if moving around made one more of a man. Are restlessness and solitude badges showing your rank in the fraternity of dudeness? Still, when Isaac told me how he always dreamed of riding the rails, I think the word I used to describe this longing was “badass.”
6. Be My Baby, the Ronnettes
Since you’ve been gone the oldies station became a talk radio station. Talk radio. What the world needs now is not another talk radio station.
7. Call Me (Come Back Home), Al Green
I’m not sure about the long distance rates. I’m suspicious of Skype. But the sentiment holds true. When I first left home, my mom never nagged me to call her. I hardly ever did. So consider this nagging.
8. 18 Wheels, Murder City Devils
Things need roots or they fall down. Tires have no roots. Most barely touch the ground. The big trucks are the worst. All they ever do is hover. Never touching down. Long drives with bad coffee from state to state, never actually being anywhere. On a trip to Montana, I passed a semi that the wind had blown over. I was not surprised.
9. Stuck On You, Elvis Presley
Everyone talks about you. These days, I’m asked about what you’re doing more often then I’m asked about myself. I am not annoyed by this. When asked about myself I say “napping.” When asked about you, I lie. You have really gotten into the music scene in Wales and now wear eye-shadow and have tried heroin more than once.
10. Bring It On Home, Sam Cooke
If there were no predictable songs, how would it be connected with the person who sent it to you? Also, I secretly wish I were a soul singer.
11. He’s a Mighty Good Leader, Beck
Good indeed. He’s like the president in Independence Day. Though sometimes we have to listen extra hard to hear the inspiring speeches. Sometimes they are not inspiring at all. Sometimes they knock the wind out of you. Sometimes they’re too easy to ignore. So I guess he’s not all that much like the president in Independence Day, but I still think he’s good. I hope you don’t have to listen too hard these days.
12. Eurotrash Girl, Cracker
I don’t suppose the girls are much different there. Famished for complements and exceedingly attractive. But aren’t we all?
13. Thrice All American, Neko Case
Remember what I said about this side and the decay and lack of oldies stations. It’s true. But it’s home and homes are hard to come by. Just be glad yours isn’t Tacoma.