Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dixie Fried & Dazed

I'm so close to being in the Dirty South I can almost taste it. It tastes like barbequed meat and sweet bread and beer and sweat.

And it tastes good.

On my way to work this morning I decided that for the next day and a half I will listen to music only produced by Sun Records, a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee. Luckily on my trip to Texas a couple years ago I picked up a "Best of Sun Records" album at Half-Price Books. Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis...what more do I need? (Question: Why isn't there a Half Price Books in EVERY city?! It's glorious).

Tennessee is the first stop on our trip, and I'm incredibly excited about it. I've been wanting to go there since high school when a friend and I thought it would be a great idea to take a roadtrip to Nashville over the summer. Things didn't work out and we didn't end up going - probably a good idea since we were both still minors at the time - but ever since then my heartstrings have been tugging me towards Tennessee. Much to my dismay we will not be going to Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood, but I think I will be able to muscle through. Plus, it gives me a reason to go back! Tennessee is a horizontal swirl of burnt orange and reddish in my head (see Synesthesia). I don't know if it has to do with the heat or the music or what, but the mix of hues in my head is beautiful. I hope it lives up to my neuroligically-based condition!

I am going to try and resist the cliched urge to croon that awful song, "Walkin' in Memphis" while on Beale Street. But I won't make any promises.

Here are my top two favorite Sun Records listens of the moment:

Every time Carl comes on shuffle, I'm always pleasantly surprised and left wondering why I don't put more time into researching and listening. This song kills and empowers me at the same time. Does everyone with the last name of Perkins have tremendous talent? Maybe that's why the best, most friendly kinds of student loans are named Perkins. Let me know if you know any shitty Perkins.

Who can resist a good Presley play on words? Not me, that's for sure.
I also recommend Hardrock Gunter's "Fallen Angel," but it's not on YouTube. Such a light-hearted tune, but full of sinister reproach. In front of happy piano keys and a bouncey percussion you hear this chorus:
You're just a fallen angel / that's all you are / you could've been somebody's heavenly star / but you're a fallen angel / you've had your way / a lonely life of sorrow is a price that you must pay

I luhhh that kinda stuff.

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