Friday, January 9, 2009

You should come back home, back on your own, now

This is a tribute to upstate New York, the land that raised me. Taking the Shortline Bus home from NYC, somewhere along Route 86 through the Catskills, I felt a growing urge to listen to something rustic. All of a sudden, for the first time this week, the urban anxiety of No Age just wasn't working, and I switched over to the Sun Giant EP. "I, am no, inno-cent son," Robin Pecknold wailed as the bus pulled into Binghamton. We stopped for a driver transfer, and I stepped off into the chilly night to stretch my legs and fill my lungs with some cold, dry air. Back on the bus, I went straight to Fleet Foxes. We were shortly out of Owego, driving along 96, when the album reached its climax with 'Blue Ridge Mountains.' The light of the full moon reflecting on the iced-over fields amongst the rolling hills meshed perfectly with the song's impressionistic fable of forbidden romance (or is it sibling solidarity?).  I was not satisfied, however, come the stirring conclusion of 'Oliver James,' and moved onto a pair of haunting Neko Case tunes: 'Widow's Toast' and 'At Last.' The distinctly Palace-esque lyrics of latter song had me switching to the Lost Blues compilation as the bus entered Danby. Fittingly, my journey home concluded with '(End of) Travelling' and 'Lost Blues.' "Give me a little time, to take what I know!" Billy Oldham and an unknown female vocalist duetted as we cruised past Ithaca College and began our descent of South Hill. Back home again, for a few days. Although boredom is sure to set in soon enough, for the time being, Ithaca feels just right. 

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