It was during my first trip to NYC in December 2005 that this song finally registered in my head. I had heard it before 12/05, probably while scouring the MP3s downloaded by my brother in the computer at home but I am not sure. In any case, it seems to me that every night I went out during those 10 days in NYC this song was played.
I am going to focus on one of those nights in particular because I associate Going Nowhere with that night. On December 30, 2005 I went to this place called Avalon. Inside, it looked like a church (in fact later on I learned that the place used to be an Episcopal Church). The party was called “Only for Professionals” or something like that. The title of the party was a reference to the fact that the party was being held the day before the last day of the year (and who goes out to party on the penultimate night of the year? Professionals, obviously!). Also:
I remember dancing to Going Nowhere, maybe more than one time :)
PS: On January 1, 2006 I grabbed a copy of the NY Times at La Guardia Airport in which they reviewed the party. I brought it with me and I still have it. Here is a pic with the review of the party:
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s I had plenty of time to dig into the back catalogue of bands from the 60s, 70s, and 80s (I was still in college. College never really took up all my time). One of the bands I remember being cited by several bands as influence was XTC. At the time, I only knew one song by XTC, Making Plans For Nigel (thanks to a cover version made by Robbie Williams, of all people!).
I started by listening to Skylarking, then I continued with every single album they released including the one they released under the moniker Dukes of Stratosphear. XTC rapidly became one of my favorite bands. Their songs are creative, clever, and catchy. Among the large amount of great songs they put out, Mayor of Simpleton stands out.
Mayor of Simpleton is a lovely, heartfelt, honest love song. It talks about how stupid you feel when you fall in love. When I say stupid, I mean not only intellectually stupid but also, emotionally stupid.
When their logic grows cold and all thinking gets done, You’ll be warm in the arms of the Mayor of Simpleton.
Neko Case at its best
I am not a Bob Dylan expert. In fact, I think the only Dylan record I have listened to several times is Blonde on Blonde. There is a couple of songs in that record that I loved immediately after my first listen. One of them is I Want You.
I stumbled upon Blonde on Blonde in the early 2000s thanks to my English teacher at the time, Ralph. The company I was working for was paying foreigners to teach us English. One day this tall British guy who seemed to have been partying all night came to my office for my first lesson. We ended up talking about music the entire time. Next class we exchanged records, I think I gave him a Yo La Tengo record while he gave me Blonde on Blonde.
What I love about I Want You is how catchy the tune is and the way Dylan sings that chorus. If you’ve ever wanted somebody, it just seems appropriate to try to mimic Dylan while uttering “I Want You, I Want You…So bad”
As an avid music fan, I have been maintaining a Spotify playlist that includes my favorite songs of all time. I decided to start writing Tumblr posts about the reasons I like each of these songs.
There is always a story behind a song you like. At least that is my case. It is either the circumstances you came across the song, the people around you at the time, the important (good or bad) moments of your life the songs evoke, etc
So I am starting today. The songs are in no particular order. I love them equally
Artist: Queens Of The Stone Age
Song: If I Had A Tail
Album: …Like Clockwork
Frank Ocean captures some of the moments in his career so far, including his first London show, his Grammy performance and general travelling (think escalators, the Eiffel tower, planes) around the world in this Fransico Soriano-directed video for Lost.
Its unheroic hero is a fictionalized young ad man, René Saavedra, well played by the charismatic Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal. Soulful, yet politically unengaged, René comes up with a marketing campaign designed to get ordinary folks to vote “No” — thereby removing Pinochet. His ideas horrify many in the Vote No camp. You see, they want to use their allotted 15 minutes of nightly TV airtime to chronicle the dictator’s many crimes — murders, disappearances, the crushing of unions.
In contrast, René insists on going Lite. Using a rainbow logo and a catchy theme song, he sells funny, upbeat images of a future, democratic Chile in the way we’ve earlier seen him sell soft drinks.
Image of Gael Garcia Bernal courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics