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American Road Trip Vol. 1

March 11th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Any Major Dude With Half A Heart is going on a tour of the USA. Not physically, alas, for Any Major Dude is poor and cannot afford to travel. So what we have here is a new series in which I start a musical journey, starting from a random place in the United States, post a song that mentions that location, and travel to the nearest town which brings to my mind a lyric, and then to another. Next instalment I move on from the last featured town. Sounds complicated? Well, come and join me on my tour and make sense of it as we travel together.

The scientific blind-stab-at-the-map of the United States brings us to”¦an empty spot in the middle of nowhere near Albuquerque. So in that amusingly-named town, we begin our journey

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

In Albuquerque we meet a fellow you seems to be too well-known in nearby Santa Fé, so he comes down to the bigger city of Albuquerque for a bit of anonymity, grabbing a cholesterol swelling breakfast on theway. Shall we accompany him on his return north to Santa Fé (where we might encounter Bob Dylan, Brooks & Dunn or Bon Jovi)? Head east, you say? Ok, do you know the way to Amarillo?
Neil Young ““ Albuquerque (1975).mp3

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Amarillo, Texas

It never occurred to me that Amarillo was a real place. Well, the good people of Amarillo will have you, and me, know that their”s is the 14th biggest city in the Lone Star state, with a population of about 200,000. According to Wikipedia, Amarillo also boasts one of the largest meat packing areas in the US, and has the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country. Wow! And here, in the one-time Helium Capital of the World, we meet sweet Marie, who is waiting for the sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-ing Tony Christie. As the church bells are ringing, we retire to a bar where we encounter a dude playing on a pinball machine, feeding coins into a juke box to play the country stylings of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. The fool left the lovely Emmylou Harris behind in Atlanta, we learn. Which way is Atlanta? Due east? Let”s be on our way.
Emmylou Harris ““ Amarillo (1975).mp3
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

So we turned right from Amarillo and landed up in Oklahoma where the exciting new Wilco-esque band Deep Vibration (presumably named after the cellular adventures of one Ashley Cole) entertains us with a sound so rich, we have no idea what the man is singing. Something, it seems, is on his mind. Fun fact about Oklahoma City #1: It is twinned with Rio de Janeiro, which seems somehow less than obvious. Fun fact about Oklahoma City #2: It is the 31st biggest city in the United States. Fun fact about Oklahoma City #3: It has water taxis, which is pretty cool.
Deep Vibration – Oklahoma City Woman Blues (2008).mp3

Next stop north, south, east?

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  1. March 11th, 2009 at 22:38 | #1

    Brilliant!!! I say head South young man, head South.

  2. jb
    March 12th, 2009 at 04:02 | #2

    “Madison Blues,” recorded by George Thorogood and others, would bring you to my town, where there is much good microbrew and a futon with your name on it, should you ever make the trip in the real world.

    Cheers . . .

  3. March 12th, 2009 at 04:06 | #3

    I don’t know, Oaklahoma City, Rio de Janeiro, that sort of makes . . . no, that’s completely random.

    And just now I spent twenty minutes researching sister cities – how they get chosen, what that relationship means, etc. If I’m not prepared for my oral presentation tomorrow, I’ll tell my prof it was Any Major Dude’s fault. That should work, right?

    I don’t have anything useful to add, but I *love* this series idea!! So cool.

  4. March 12th, 2009 at 05:42 | #4

    I guess I need to put in a hint that you could stop by my hometown, Gary, Indiana. But if you don’t do musicals, you’ll never get there. Great idea, as always, Dude.

  5. March 12th, 2009 at 18:52 | #5

    Brilliant idea!

    You coming down to San Diego? I’d be very interested in what you can dig up!

  6. itallstarted
    March 12th, 2009 at 22:55 | #6

    Fantastic post idea. Looking forward to travelling vicariously through you!

  7. March 13th, 2009 at 05:11 | #7

    Great idea, one I wish I’d thought of, and I’m looking forward to the next installation. And you might check out “On A Bus To St. Cloud” by Trisha Yearwood.

  1. March 15th, 2009 at 05:13 | #1