Coal Ave. The Revelator

Back in ye olde bloggin’ days o’ yore, Fridays were the day to post a “Friday Distraction” The shtick was that it’s Friday, I’m tired of writing about education (that’s what I used to write about, before I got so tired of writing about education that I retired from education) and there’s plenty of great music on YouTube with ridiculously low numbers of views.

Subconsciously, the concept might also have something to do with my prior extracurricular life as public radio “DJ.” I wouldn’t know, my subconscious and I aren’t on speaking terms.

Somehow (the subconscious is a strange frenemy), such distractions struck me this this morning while reading this KRQE piece about how horribly, horribly, HORRIBLY backed up Coal Avenue gets between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. each workday. Here’s a screenshot of the Hindenburg goes to New Jersey degree of “oh, the humanity”:


It’s the kind of story one would love to share with all their friends who live in any American town with a population of more than 500,000. Maybe that’s really the point of such “news,” that a “story” about traffic backed up for four or five city blocks thirty minutes of the day will attract viewers, via online sharing, in places like Charlotte or Indianapolis, much less NYC or Los Angeles.

The title of those Facebook shares might be something like “OMG, Let’s Laugh at Pathetic Podunk Albuquerque,” or “Here’s a city with no bigger problem than traffic being backed up four or five blocks on a downtown street thirty minutes every workday, isn’t that amazing, it must be a really chill place to live, aren’t you envious I live here…” for those who aren’t into the whole FB brevity thing.

For me, it’s reminiscent of a really good song. Or at least close enough to use that faint connection as an excuse to throw a fabulous tune, wonderfully performed, at ya. The “evidence” for this act is that I really do think “stories” like this one reveal much about Burque, subjectively good, bad and quirky, objectively, well, let us allow Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ lyrics to obliquely do the talking:

Up in the morning, up and on the ride
Drive into Corning and all the spindles whine
And every day is getting straighter
Time’s the Revelator, the Revelator

Hey, I did admit it’s a bit oblique. In fact, I’ll just humbly inquire that you roll these lyrics and this performance around today at your Friday workplace, forgetting about work…place, or elsewhere, including stuck in that HORRIBLE Coal Avenue traffic at 5:00 today. Or you could ponder and come up with an answer to the question of just how the Hell Dave Rawlings can play a guitar so damn good.

From a BBC Four performance at that old Anglican church turned into a London Symphony Orchestra performance space, St. Luke’s (have a great Labor Day Weekend, everybody!), here’s Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings…

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