Due to a shocking and unbelievable turn of events, I had to head back to Philadelphia earlier than expected. It was hot and by mid-morning, the temperature had already risen to 90 degrees and I still not seen Joe Paterno. It had been less than twenty-four hours since I had arrived in State College and was already headed back east.
You’ve won Pennsylvania State Troopers. You have broken me. The entire time I was on the old Pennsylvania Turnpike, headed in both directions- I never went more than five miles above the posted speed limit. There were even times when I held the wheel firmly and safely with two hands. They had gotten me before, gotten me good. I wasn’t about to get gotten again. Couldn’t afford it. Johnny Law had hit me where it hurts- right in the wallet. Victory is theirs, I’m over it.
So driving safely east, the sun beating down on the port side of the rental truck and a fresh coffee poured, music was going to be important when speaking of the success of such an endeavor. To start with- there needed to be something upbeat & snappy; something to get the team’s enthusiasm up. Rogue Wave. Nothing says driving when the sun is out and the sky is clear better than Rogue Wave. I put in the Best of Rogue Wave mix I made- a collection of songs from each one of their albums and cranked it. The speed stayed constant, the volume did not- loud, louder, loudest.
We had to keep momentum up and about an hour in and two hours to go, Rogue Wave had gone mellow and the sun hot. Mark Ronson’s album “Version” was a logical choice, even though I was thinking something a little heavier, more rock sounding, more along the lines of Them Crooked Vultures. But “Version” jumped out at me. That album a great collection of songs that should be in a real cool movie I want to preferably write, but would settle just seeing and eventually owning. “Toxic” with ODB is my jam- probably going to be my summer jam. Look out!
The Mark Ronson album isn’t long and it will eventually change to LCD Soundsystem. That wasn’t going to do. Starting out, I said that both Rustic Overtones and Paranoid Social Club were banned for the trip. Man, I really wanted to listen to “The Rising” by Mr. Sunshine Bruce Springsteen, also known as the Boss and soon to be known as the fella who accidentally shows up at Kim and I’s wedding. That album was what I needed. But I had given it to my parents. I had done so only a few days ago. Bummer. Like a junkie, I fell back into the same old habits when faced with adversity- Rustic Overtones.
I carry a booklet of CD’s with me. I do this because unfortunately the Corrolacoaster does not have a tape player or AUX adaptor. I refuse to listen to an I-pod through the radio- it’s my worst nightmare. This has prompted me to go back to relying on CD’s. I made mixes of a bunch of the bands I like: Rogue Wave, the Black Keys, Beastie Boys, Kings of Leon, Rustic Overtones and a few more. This is easier than carrying all their albums around. With no Bruce CD, I chose the Rustic Overtones’ mix- a burned CD that I feel is almost the perfect Rustic album.*
Here is the track listing: Car Sick, Common Cold, Hit Man, Love & a 45, Sector Z, C’Mon, Oxygen, Combustible, Love Underground, Boys & Girls, Rock Like War, Letter to the President, I Just Can’t Shake You, Revolution AM, Gas on Skin, Smoke, The Same Does Not Apply, Check.
If you’re a fan, give this play list a try. Then if possible, rent a pick up truck if you don’t have one, pick a sunny day and a long road, and send it. Play this play list, play it loud and I think you’ll be able to get to what was my happy place yesterday as I left the Happy Valley, waiting to get into my Happy Thoughts’ arms that night.
I’ve reached the age where I know that trouble is right around the corner; I know that adversity is out there and will get me when I least expect it. I know these things. I also know that I will deal with them and deal with the adversity. I know this too. I’ve got the certainties down.
I just sometimes don’t know what to listen too.
* perfect for now.