Holland patent Public Library
Photo by Ryan Dann
“Songs to Fall Asleep at the Wheel to is a collection of music I’ve written over the course of the last five years or so while I was working on Joe Pera’s show. For a good portion of that time I was living in the Hudson Valley at a weekend house some friends owned, just writing music mostly. I would write all day and then in the evenings I would drive down into the city to practice with my band, and on the drive I’d play back what I’d recorded for the day. I did this drive often enough that it became a ritual, a movie I watched on repeat. It was the same every time, I always left in the afternoon and arrived in the evening. I knew exactly where to change lanes to avoid traffic. I knew where the deer liked to eat on the side of the road. I knew where the cops sat. I knew where people liked to speed, and where I would speed.
The only thing that would change was the narration of whatever was kicking around in my brain for an hour and a half. The predictability of the drive meant my mind could just sprint around like a little dog in a dog park, woom woom woom. It’s my kind of drive. Where you can just get really wrapped up in a conversation with your own personal Charlie Rose. Why does mindfulness seem to attract so many assholes? Why doesn’t it fix them? Systems meant to better people don’t seem to work very well, or for very long at least. People always seem to find a way to smuggle in their fat little sausage fingers to the potluck, in which case, is there any system worth applying our finite energy? But as you get carried off with Charlie Rose, the drive has, over time, developed these landmarks that have accumulated a mental gravity where looking at them makes you think of the same thing every time, and no matter whatever train of thought you were on, you’re suddenly called by the Ski Haus Lodge to think about the steak you had in that place with all the taxidermy. Is it possible to drive by Ski Haus and not think about the taxidermy? No, you must think it every time, just like you have to change lanes before exit 12 or you’ll get stuck when the road merges. The Ski Haus becomes a quotable line of the movie, and rather than try to steer your mind away from the pink moose, you just accept that this part of the drive always has a slight taxidermy flavor. Maybe if we all did taxidermy we would become better people, for a while at least, don’t you think Charlie?
Anyways, I loved these drives.
At it’s best, my hope for Songs to Fall Asleep At The Wheel to, contrary to what the title suggests, is that it can be a soundtrack for those solitary drives where it’s just you, and you, and the road
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