The River's Badge

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Heard a Song in a Convenience Store


Yes, how lame am I, that I find my new music in a convenience store?

This morning, as my husband was nuking his breakfast sandwich, I heard something faintly playing over the convenience store's speaker, so I actually walked over and stood below it, to get a better listen. Mind you, there were people and assorted commotions going on, plus, I didn't want to look like a dork, so I listened long enough to figure out that the song must be titled, "California Stars", because that's the hook that the singer kept repeating.

I made a note (on the receipt) of the title, and emailed it to myself, once I got to work. (Oh, it's a complicated and tangled maneuver; this "finding new music" stuff.)

Once I got home today, I clicked on Amazon, and typed in the title (or what I thought was the title), hoping I'd get lucky. I did!

To be honest, I sort of thought it was Wilco, but I couldn't be sure; you know, over the humming of the microwave and the incessant clatter of the store clerk slamming trays of donuts onto the shelves.

I unhesitatingly downloaded the track.

Thence, I clicked over to YouTube, to see if there was a video. Sure enough! And I noticed a comment that mentioned something about Woody Guthrie. Intriguing. You mean Woody Guthrie was somehow involved in this? I had to know more.

Turns out that, yes, this is, in fact, a Woody Guthrie song, albeit the melody was written by Billy Bragg and Jeff Tweedy. It seems this was a whole project of putting melodies to Woody's lyrics. I'd read something about it in the past, but you know how it goes: You read something and it gets lost, one thinks forever, but something jogs your memory, and, hey! It was there, residing in the deep recesses of your brain all along! Well, here's the story. I guess the track was in a movie, too. I didn't see it, or I would have remembered it, I think.

And it's not "new", obviously. It was released in 1998. But it's new to me.

So, this is what it's come to. Finding new music in a convenience store.

Well, I take it where I can find it. You know I don't listen to radio. Therefore, I'm sort of at a disadvantage. Or am I? It's a toss-up.

This is the kind of music I like. Apparently, I am an old folkie, without even realizing it, and without the accompanying radical political views.

This, to me, is like the Eagles. And I love the Eagles.

So, new music, from 1998. Does this mean that I'm 13 years younger than I thought I was? Excellent!

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