Monday, April 17, 2006

Listening: Modest Mouse.

Today was a beautiful spring day here in Seattle, sunny and cool, flowers blooming everywhere. I got to leave work early and do my favorite thing to do in this city - drive along the lake while listening to Modest Mouse. I took a winding road that twists and turns along Lake Washington, my favorite route, heading south, with a view of the water and Mt. Rainier in the distance. It was a good drive. I only had to swerve around two bicyclists. I learned to drive on this road. I know every bump and curve, how to time the music so that my favorite song ends just as I pull into my garage. Whenever I'm on this road, I know I'm going home. Soon, I'll be moving. My life is about change. When I move I won't be going home along this road anymore, so now I take this route whenever it's a beautiful day out...

I have to say that I care more about literature than I do music, that I fall in love with literature in a way that I never do with music. That is not to say that I don't like music; I do, but it has never made me feel the way books do. Modest Mouse is the exception. I first heard them on this road, in a friend's car, weaving through the darkness. It was something new. I bought the cd. It took time to fall in love, as it always does for me. I listened to it whenever I was in the car, and I was always driving. Then I bought another cd. I didn't like it at first. Again, it took time. Months. Then it replaced the first cd. Two other cds have replaced the first two, but I think I will go back to them again. Or perhaps take a longer road trip and listen to them all. It's hard to say what it is I love about Modest Mouse. The closest thing I can describe is that when I listen to their music I feel the way I do when I read Bukowski. The same shiver against the skin. That feeling of drunken, dizzying, happiness. The feeling that I get when I drive along that long, twisting, winding road that twines around the lake...That feeling of feeling absolutely free and at the same time held in a long embrace by someone you love. Of going home.

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