I don’t know anything about Hugh Maclennan, the Canadian academic and novelist this song is dedicated to. I didn’t even know that much about him until I Wikipediaed him just now. But I kind of want to read the book that Wikipedia says this song is loosely based on. But mostly I just want to marvel at remembering that Gord Downie once had hair.
If I were writing this next Monday, when it’s (going to) pour all day, this would be more appropriate. It’s a great song for a rainy day: bitter, reflective, morbid. But I’m totally writing these one day at a time. Really. Yeah.
Sometimes a song doesn’t have a story to go with it. Sometimes it’s just a song I really like.
This is one of the newest additions to my Top 500. And it comes today because it’s my mom’s birthday. See, I first heard this at a Starbucks a few months ago; I was waiting for my double tall white chocolate mocha (in case you’re ever buying for me) and the whole staff was bopping to “Pumped Up Kicks”, which I Shazamed (God, I’m so modern with the Starbucks and the smartphone) and acquired that day. Then a few days later, I was out for dinner with the folks – this song came on, I remarked, oh yeah, this is a new song I really like, and Mom hipstered me and said, “I’ve known about this song for a while.” It was kind of like a passing of a torch, except that I knew I was out of touch with what the kids were listening to….but Mom wasn’t. Happy birthday.
Yesterday I mentioned I know someone from Kansas. That would be my friend Adam, who moved into my high school for my senior year, established himself as one of the funniest people I ever met, then disappeared off the face of the earth shortly after I drove out to visit him in the fall of ’95. His name is too common to have any luck Internetting him, and he’s presumably in Kansas or worse anyway, so hiring a private detective would be a longshot. Anyway, speaking of private detectives, he and my friend Greg and I went through a phase that year where we got obsessed with the movie “Shaft”. We even wrote a dynamite Shaft-based skit for the TV show we never produced. So this is for you, Adam, wherever you are.
Here’s a weird thing: East Coaster that I am, I’ve never met anyone from Oklahoma. I’ve only known a couple people from Kansas and Missouri, none from the Dakotas, and I don’t think I know anybody who’s actually a native Iowan. But I’ve come across a bunch of people from Nebraska, and some Nebraskans have been some of the great people in my life.
And I’ve been to Omaha. I’ve been to their world-class zoo on a cold March day, I’ve been to two of the best used bookstores I’ve ever seen there, eaten a French brunch there, and saw the biggest hailstones fall I’ve ever seen.
So to my Cornhusker Contingent – this one’s for you. With random pictures and everything.
So I turn 40 in 500 days. (As of December 7, which, let’s pretend that is exactly when I’m posting this.) So here begins my countdown of my 500 favorite songs of all time. Not going to explain methodology, scientific number-cruching, any of that. Not going to promise I won’t punk out halfway through. Just going to try to publish 500 songs, counting down to my favorite ever, which I don’t even know what it’s going to be yet. I have a list of 500, and every day I’m going to pluck one off the bottom and watch them get better and better. NOT SCIENTIFIC.
And I’ll make the first song on the list the first song I ever saw live in concert, at the Worcester Centrum in 1985 (not counting the Neville Brothers, who opened for them). And yes, I still have the ’85 Tour T-shirt. It no longer fits.
Rerun from March:
After a lengthy conversation with KP, the following have been added to my Plans For What I’m Gonna Do With My Impending $600 Million:
1) Enormous trousers, of course;
2) A new renegade Boston-based performing arts group called the B
roken Bow Symphony Orchestra of Anaheim;
3) A hired bard to follow me around 16 hours a day and sing of my exploits. (If possible, this position will be filled by Fred Schneider);
5) Possibly buy the Minnesota Twins and adhere as closely to the plot of “Little Big League” as possible.
Last week I was away, and woke up every morning thinking that there was a real possibility I’d see or do or experience something that I’d never experienced before and might be cool and interesting and make me happy.
I think I feel that way about three times a year in real life.