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The ramblings and observations of a kidney transplant recipient, although not necessarily for that reason.

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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (recommended by Killer)
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My Itunes Thinks It's Funny
Friday, October 20, 2006
I listen to my Itunes at work and I keep it on shuffle. I like variety and the randomness of the shuffle feature. Today, Itunes thought it could prove to me that I have two songs on my Ipod of which I can't possibly like both.

I'm sitting there listening, working, not thinking much about it, humming (not singing) along to Jim Croce as he tells us he's "gotta get outta here" 'cause New York's not his home. And I can totally get into what he's talking about. Too many people, too much bustle, too many lessons to learn.....just too much city for country boys like us. Umm...I mean him. I grew up in San Francisco, so I hardly count as a country boy. But I totally get it.

Then as I'm about to get on with my day of work and New York-hating, the next song comes on and I hear the tinkly little piano intro from my friend Billy Joel, because you know...I'm in a New York state of mind. WAIT! No I'm not....just a second ago Jim and I were despising New York. But then...Billy and I have so much in common. And by so much I mean only that we've both been high in the Rockies under the evergreens (everything else not so much, except that maybe we've both had deep feelings for Christie Brinkley at some point in our lives).

So, now....I can't stop humming (not singing) along with Billy and realizing how much I like New York, despite the rough times the Jim and I went through there. Instantly, I'm thinking "HA HA HA Itunes! Veeeeerrrryyyy funny!" My Itunes is trying to prove me a hypocrite!

So you tell me....who's right (or more right) Jim or Billy? You can't say both.
If you don't have an opinion on that or if you have an opinion in addition to that, tell me what songs make the most compelling arguements for going to or staying away from a particular place. Does Tony Bennet make you want to visit his heart in SF? Did Frank Sinatra make you believe Chicago is your kinda town? Is it possible that Carole King actually made you want to go back to Caanan, if you've even been?
posted by othur-me @ 3:14 PM  
  • At 8:17 PM, Blogger Killer said…

    I am usually more on the Croce side of New York. San Fran is much better.

    I prefer to think of myself as a Toto man, "I miss the rains down in Africa.."
    I have not actually been there, but would probably miss the rain if I had.

  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger Liz said…

    We are complicated beings. It's ok to live in a world of dicotomy.

    There was a time when I felt connected to "Slip Inside My Sleeping Bag" by ZZ Top. I don't even LIKE tent camping! I once wanted "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" to be true. It wasn't. There was still tenderness in his fingertips (related, I think, to his work as a carpenter). What about We Are The World? We aren't but we all wanted to be.

    You see, Othur, pop music inspires good things, like not dragging your heart around, but the truth in pop is subjective. This moment, this time, this emotion. It's like art. Art Garfunkle. It's a bridge over troubled waters- that's all.

    Of course, applicable to almost all of us, "You're So Vain" about sums it up.

  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Red said…

    I always thought "but I love that dirty water" didn't make a very compelling argument for Boston. But we eat that song up around these parts anyway.

    Mexico by James Taylor is very misleading. It makes it sound sweet and happy and doesn't adequately convey that you'll do things you won't tell your grandchildren.

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger amber said…

    That whole bit about leaving your heart in San Francisco? Yeah. I get it. But it wasn't because of Tony Bennet. It's because it's cold here in Connecticut, and I miss the warm Bay air.

    New York is a great city, but San Francisco is so much better when you're poor (which I kind of am).

    The only song that makes me want to go anywhere is that song about taking a midnight train to Georgia. I want to go anywhere that inspires such a great song (even if only sung in the shower).

  • At 2:33 AM, Blogger Jester said…

    I think in this particular case, Billy has it by far. The fact that he can say "New York State of Mind" and you know exactly what he means, whether you've been to New York or not makes it a much better song. I'm not that partial to NY myself, but I get a bit 'homesick' for it when I hear it.

    I'm a big fan of Dock of the Bay and Lights for making me think of SF.

    My favorite traveling song though, hands down: Route 66. Makes you want to jump in a convertible and take off.

    Well you go through St. Louie, and Joplin Missouri, and Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty. See Amarillo, Gallup New Mexico, Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino...

  • At 7:44 AM, Anonymous fringes said…

    Dionne Warwick's Do You Know the Way to San Jose made me never ever want to visit that place. I hate that song. Then, last Thanksgiving, I spent 10 days there. The best thing about it was being an hour away from Union Square in San Francisco. Ugh. San Jose is one big industrial park with about 120 McDonald's.

  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    I'm now rocking back and forth and weeping thinking of New York and how homesick I am. Thanks a lot Jerry... ;)

  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger othur-me said…

    Killer - Can you believe that's Toto's only number one hit? I gotta say that is a pretty big generalization on their part to say it rains over the whole continent of Africa. The people who live in the Sahara desert might think differently. They could have sang "I miss the rains down in Cooooongo."

    Liz - Very I didn't think the simile "Pop music is like Art Garfunkel" could be rationalized in so few steps.

    Amber - I could petition the Mayor to change the lyrics to "I brought my heart....from Willimantic" (If for some reason you actually live in Willimantic, CT...the choice of this city for my new lyric is merely coincidental. I just needed a four syllable city in CT and that one sounded best....I'm not some weird cross country stalker!)

    Jester - as great songs and lyrics go, I more on the side of NY's Not My Home by Jim, but maybe since I've never lived there I can't hate it like he did. Route 66, I hate that song. The only tolerable version I've ever heard is the one you played for me by John Mayer.

    Finges - I spent my first semester of college at San Jose State University and I hated every minute of it. I can say that downtown San Jose is much nicer than it use to be. There are actually a few good restaurants and shops downtown, but as a visitor you're better driving the 50 minutes to SF if you're that close.

    Lisa - you should probably spend the next few hours listening to Jim Croce to get over that. Unless that is, your high school sweetheart was named Leroy Brown...then it might make you weepier to hear about him.

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