Wednesday, December 28 2005
The new 1997 two door Honda Civic has a nice JVC stereo in the dashboard, something that was added by a subsequent owner. It sounds pretty good so long as you don't crank the bass. The buzzy sounds at the low end are the fault of the speakers, which are stock. They're the same shitty speakers we have in our Honda Civic four door.
On the drive from New Hampshire to the Berkshires on Christmas Day I'd heard a song I'd mostly forgotten about, "Fly Me Courageous" by the mostly-forgotten band Drivin' and Cryin'. "Fly Me Courageous" is superficially an idiot-rock song, with vaguely metallic pretensions from a time (the early 1990s) when everyone wanted to sound stupid and metallic (until Nirvana sold people on the idea of sounding injured and punk-metallic). With Drivin' and Cryin' the chief liability is the drumming, which generally keeps a monotonous mid-tempo clockbeat with the occasional rare stray syncopation. In the song "Fly Me Courageous," though, there's a perfect tension between the boiling guitar riffs, ruthlessly mechanical drumming, and sore-throated vocals. And, just to transcend the usual idiocy of its genre, the lyrics are actually pretty good:
Mother America is brandishing
She keeps me safe and warm
by threats and misconceptions
So if you break the chains
you'll have to shake me
and if you break my heart
you'll have to take me
It was back during Gulf War I when this song came out and I remember thinking, "Cool, this is some ballsy anti-war rock, kinda like John Lennon and everybody else who was cool used to write during Vietnam." As far as I know, "Fly Me Courageous" is the only song that was written in response to Gulf War I, another time when everyone was flying flags and behaving like jingoistic zombies. I may have liked Metallica and Megadeth more back then, but I never remember them saying anything that suggest America was being stupid with its Middle Eastern toughguyism. (That phase of American history didn't last long, but it lasted long enough for my best friend Nathan VanHooser to bring up his exasperation with it in one of our infrequent conversations during that period.)
I was able to download "Fly Me Courageous" using my usual file sharing networks today, but I was unable to download another song I really wanted to hear, something called "Home For an Island" by an unknown alternative rock band known as "The Exit." So I did something I haven't done in years. I actually bought some music, using the Amazon marketplace. A used copy of the CD called Home For an Island was only $6.
We had our Toyota Prius on Ebay for a week and today the auction closed without ever reaching our reserve price. This cast a gloom over the rest of the day, and a dinner at La Pupuseria (with our friends, the Tillsons) was hardly the celebratory experience we'd hoped it would be. Gretchen immediately put the Prius on Cars.com and Craig's List and immediately raised strong interest with a price in excess of the reserve we'd had on Ebay, so the day didn't end as gloomily as it might have.
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