I was feeling a bit like James Murphy until a few weeks ago, singing "New York, I Love You, but you're bringing me down... New York, I Love You, but you're freaking me out... "
And then I went on vacation. With a great friend to a beautiful but dusty and poor Latin American country where the word of the day was always DAMP. I had a great time. I came home sunburned, bug bitten, and bruised, but I hadn't had that much fun in a long while.
There is something about travel that uncovers thoughts in your head that you didn't know were there. Maybe it's the long hours on buses and in airports, or maybe it was just me - trying to avoid chloroquine induced crazy dreams and thoughts of my stolen camera. But in the middle of the sticky nights I found myself reaching for my iPod, listening to podcasts, watching movies, and looking for comfortable music.
I have been a fan of the Sam Roberts Band, a group of cute Montreal rockers, for about 5 years now and they fit the description of 'comfortable.' I know their songs, catchy & simple with the occasional surprise twist - a falsetto, quick piano entry, or maybe just a smart quip of a lyric that sticks with you.
Listening to their 2006 album, Chemical City, in the dark, I fondly remembered seeing them in a city park last summer, alone in a sea of Brooklynites enjoying great music. In a Latin American country, listening to a Canadian band, a Midwesterner fully realized that New York has become home, and missed it. Home is a weird word - I've lived plenty of places that never earned that status. And despite the New York that brings me down and freaks me out, New York I Love You. Thanks, Sam Roberts, for reminding me of that.
New York, you're the one pool where I'd happily drown.
The Sam Roberts Band has a new album, Love at the End of the World, which sounds promising from the tracks on their myspace page but doesn't come out in the US until February '09. Please check them out!