I’ve been enamored with the new-ish Mos Def/Talib Kweli video “History” since seeing it over at Wine & Bowties, which is an excellent blog, by the way. It’s quicker than we are – several posts per day regarding anything that the authors deem worthy. Anyway, there’s something about that track I can’t take in, and the video fits it perfectly. That has nothing to do with my 1000 Minutes post for this week, which sees me getting close to filling 400 of my allotted minutes. Let’s get into it.
Out of the two of us, Dave is obviously the bigger fan of Doves – based on the fact that he has two of their songs on his own 1000 Minutes list, as well as his ranking of their 2009 album on his personal best of the year list. That’s not to say that I dislike Doves; I just don’t respond to them in the same way. In fact, Some Cities – the album “Black and White Town” is on – was given to me by Dave.
“Black and White Town,” the first single from Some Cities, grabbed my attention immediately. It’s upbeat, atmospheric sound propelled it to the UK Top 10 after its release in 2005, and it’s been in my personal rotation since I heard it. I run to it (when I get around to doing that), drive to it, drink to it. It’s a multi-purpose song that enhances any task – regardless of how menial it might be. And while I don’t attach it to any specific time or memory, its impression is equally as lasting.
If I could choose where to have been born, it undoubtedly would have been Chicago. Despite my love for the Mets, I can handle New York only in small doses, but when I’ve been to Chicago, the feeling has been entirely different. From the Art Institute to architecture boat tours to a trip through the buildings on the Brown Line, I can’t say enough about it.
Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” is equally as vibrant and welcoming – at least to me. It’s a song to escape to and escape with; its love affair with the open road and change isn’t uncommon in American music or culture, but there is hardly another song that I so easily identify with – and so strongly at that.