I moved to Los Angeles almost a decade ago, fresh out of my 20s and still basically a newlywed. I was coming from Chicago, where I’d met my husband, Shawn. He had lived his entire life in Chicago, specifically in the south suburbs. Meeting Shawn and his tight-knit group of friends was like being thrust into the pages of an Andrew Greeley novel. Irish, middle-class, witty, fatalistic … it was something I found hard to relate to at first, since my own experiences were so different. But Shawn was only informed by his past; he was also his future. So when I got an offer out here for a job, he put our persnickety feline, two computers and an aluminum softball bat “just in case we run into trouble,” into his car and we set off.
I think I am probably “wanted” in West Texas, although God knows where exactly.
The problem started east of El Paso.
- The first 100 miles: This is so beautiful!! I’m so inspired! So spartan and gorgeous, and unique! I wish I could paint!
- The second 100 miles: Hmm, interesting. A border control checkpoint. “Yes, sir, I’m a citizen of the USA.” I wonder about the effectiveness of this operation. It’s broad daylight on the main road. Do you think anyone ever says, “No, I am from Cartagena, and I have 50 kilos of coke in the trunk.”?
Have you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.
Depeche Mode – “Enjoy the Silence”
At first I thought I should skip over Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” for this column, being that I’ve already written an article about the album it hails from, 1990’s Violator, for another column. But, then I thought…wait!…I have an “Enjoy the Silence” story. Here is my “Enjoy the Silence” story.
I really like Nine Inch Nails. A lot. I always have and probably always will – I don’t think there’s a bad album in Trent Reznor’s oeuvre; sure there’s a few I like less than others, but overall all of the man and his collaborators’ work is impressively conceptualized, composed and executed. That said, I am fairly certain that nothing Mr. Reznor will ever do will have the same impact on me that his first album under the NINs moniker did. Nothing.
My first experience with Billy Joel’s 1977 album The Stranger was most likely in my parents’ old Chevy station wagon, late 70’s or very early 80’s (if my memory really does go that far back). I Love You Just The Way You Are would have been a staple on the easy listening station that they listened to while we drove here and there with me and my then infant sister in the backseat. That station made my life a living hell and really, it’s kind of amazing that I love music as much as I do when that was one of my earliest, most sustained introductions to it. To this day I still feel pangs of car sickness if I’m relegated to the status of a backseat passenger, all because of Lite FM and the shitty California Laurel Canyon ‘movement’, the Carpenters, Dion Warwick and their peers. That was Lite FM’s bread and butter. Funny then, that this particular song, and the particular era of Mr. Joel it belongs to escaped my wraith and years later so endeared itself to me. Truth be told I’m not really sure how I happened to own the album, on vinyl. Somehow one day I just magically found The Stranger in our record collection, as if it had always been there.