Friday, August 31, 2007

Velvet Lunchtime River Road Vortex

I grabbed lunch at the grocery store, intending to take a quick drive along the river, devouring it on the way and hitting my second client of the day. Usually when I get to Bluebonnet and want to do this, I hang a right, take Gardere to River Road, go right until I hit Brightside, drive past the deaf-school (and admire that they are the "War Eagles") and take the wasteland road of Burbank back to work.

Today I figured, hey, I'll turn left on Bluebonnet, take the next road to the river and loop around that way. KLSU was surprisingly in effect, starting with some innocuous cover of Lou Reed's "Stephanie Says" - the so cold in Alaska one, treading that urban country rock vibe VU/Reed never really quite gets the credit for inventing. To my ears, they had more sonic impact on The Eagles than they did The Ramones, especially the third VU album. I love it when radio is your friend.

So after the 4th song, I start thinking, I have been driving down River Road an awfully long time, and I pass the ramp for the Plaquemine Ferry and I know that I am somehow way out. Still I love plowing down River Road too fast, (like 70, I drive a 15yo Corolla) feeling the curves and contours of the empty road slinging me and the detritus in my car around. Cows wandering up on the levee. Weird little shacky houses too close to the road. Stands of thick trees hiding something. That sand pit on the river so immense that if you stand in the right spot where you can't see the river to your left and the trees off to the back right, you feel you are on a Dali-infinite desert.

I get back to civilization and as I head down Burbank, easily the most heinous road in all this city, the DJ closes his VU fetish set with the viola rattle (though I've always suspected it's a mandolin put through a tape delay) of "All Tomorrow's Parties" - Nico's hoary howl rings out as I pass the lousy chicken place and I pull into my parking spot just as the final harrrranggGGG of Cale's viola arcs quickly to the sky.

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