Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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Driving Aloud

I've been busy for a while now, between going to my grandmother's memorial service and transferring a bunch of files from my computer, so I'm going to go back some time with this entry. On the Wednesday before last, Beth and I saw Robyn Hitchcock at Murmrr, which is a venue inside a synagogue, or at least that's what it looks like. The show was originally supposed to be him with Tanya Donnelly, and I was kind of looking forward to seeing her. I don't know that much about her, but I know she was in the Breeders and Throwing Muses, and I've enjoyed some of their stuff. Unfortunately, she had laryngitis, and had to cancel. That did mean a lot of Robyn, who did two full sets. Most of it was solo on acoustic guitar, with his giving increasingly complex and bizarre instructions to the sound guy before each song. He played the beginning of the second set on piano, and Emma Swift accompanied him on some other songs.

I can't remember all that was in the set, although I know he didn't do my recommendation, "The Bones in the Ground." That's okay, though. He played "Balloon Man," "1970 in Aspic" followed by "1974," "Madonna of the Wasps," "One Long Pair of Eyes," "The Lizard," "Cynthia Mask," "Queen Elvis," "Flavour of Light," "Glass Hotel," "Chant/Aether," "The Cheese Alarm," "Raymond Chandler Evening," "Virginia Woolf," and "Queen of Eyes." I know the ones he played on piano included "The Man Who Invented Himself" and "Ted, Woody and Junior."

He closed with "Visions of Johanna" and another Bob Dylan cover. He mentioned that he considered Dylan the Morrissey of the 1970s, which makes a certain amount of sense, although Morrissey seems like a total creep nowadays and I don't really know about Dylan. There were some albums for sale, but I think they were all ones I already owned. A few of his records seem hard to come by, or at least not cheap. Is there a reason why CDs of Queen Elvis and Globe of Frogs cost so much on Amazon? I might end up having to get used copies.

There's really not much to say about what happened between that and last Wednesday, when, after work, Beth and I visited a small Kmart on the bottom floor of a Sears in Flatbush. She's really nostalgic about Kmart, and I guess I am too, as I grew up with them and they're so rare these days. On Thursday, we drove down to Beth's mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and I don't have much to say about that other than that Uncle John made a dessert kugel with fruit in it, and the contrast of textures between the noodles and the rest of it was weird.

I wondered about the name because I knew "Kugel" was German for a bullet, but apparently the connection is that the word originally meant a ball or sphere, and early kugels tended to be round.

We drove the rest of the way to Virginia on Friday, and that's an annoyingly long drive. In the words of Bugs Bunny, "I wonder why they put the South so far south." Somehow, however, as tiring as driving is, in a way it's better than being a passenger, because I have more control. My subconscious mind apparently thinks this is a big deal, as I frequently have dreams about being frustrated at someone, usually a parent, who won't let me go home when I want to. We took I-95 much of the way, and I noticed they had a lot of RV dealerships along the highway. Beth likes to mess with the radio, and she noted that the religious stations down there seem more hardcore. There was one where some guy was insisting abortion was human sacrifice, which, regardless of your views on abortion, seems to misunderstand the concept of sacrifice. Religious radio stations are kind of fascinating, very insular and fearful, yet constantly advertising themselves with terms like "hope" and "inspiration." I guess that just proves I'm not part of their in-group. My grandmother was a believer in God and Heaven and all that, so I hope she made it to Paradise if it actually exists. What I couldn't listen to on the radio was someone complaining that the Democrats were taking over Virginia because the cities had all the power. If he's right, I'd say that's a good thing. But really, when cities do have more power (and they don't always), isn't that simply because they have more people? Is this dude arguing that voting should be based on area instead of people? I think it's largely Virginia's fault that we have the electoral college, so I guess they haven't changed much in the past 250 years. Anyway, the memorial service was held at my grandmother's church on Saturday, and afterwards we went back to her house to have ham on rolls. Beth and I later stopped for another meal at Ponderosa, which they don't have in our area anymore.
Tags: concerts, family, food, holidays, in memoriam, language, music, politics, radio, religion, travel, trips

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