Posts tagged ‘Automatic for the People’

March 12, 2011

Collapsing Into Now

Saturday, March 12, 2011. Happy Birthday, Jack Kerouac! What does Kerouac have to do with bicycles? Nothing as far as I can tell. I’m sure he rode a bicycle at some point during his life, but he didn’t do so in the presence of a photographer. Not a photographer who is familiar with Google Image upload procedures. Anyway, Kerouac has been dead for as long as I can remember, but yes, there are many of us who still make reference to him as though he is still alive. My answer to my friend who mentioned this overlooked abuse of the present tense, and to you if you’re so inclined to wonder, is simply: If you had the talent and drive to create something timeless, you have the advantage of putting in a bid for immortality.

Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to ride my bicycle to work. I had measured the approximate distance in my car, and came up with 2.1 miles. The route I would actually take on my bike ended up being 3.4 miles. I can say with straight-faced sincerity that very little beats the feeling of generating your own power with those muscles God gave you as a means of getting to work. The only obstacle (besides weather) is going to be finding a consistent way to get my pants to work without looking like I wrestled in a bicycle-greased-wrinkle-lodge and lost. There is a great website available about commuting by bicycle, called (oddly enough) Bike Commuters. You don’t get any extra love by telling them that I sent you, but they might check out my blog if you mention me. Thank you in advance!

Collapse Into Now, R.E.M.’s newest album invaded the stores on Tuesday, March 8th, and I waited until today to grab my copy. Why? Beats me. Maybe I’m getting older. Maybe I wanted to treat myself for Kerouac’s birthday (he’s moved along, remember?). Or maybe I’m still sore about nearly everything that happened after New Adventures in Hi-Fi, when Bill Berry left the band. That one isn’t entirely true, I have listened to Accelerate more than any other in recent memory, but even that one had a lot of non-R.E.M.-soundishness to it. I won’t be so bold as to proclaim that R.E.M. is back, but I haven’t been this happy on the first day of a new R.E.M. album since skipping school my senior year just to be at Turtles (remember that place?) when they opened so I could get the first copy of Out of Time, or faking illness when I was in the Navy (Pensacola) to be the first to get Automatic for the People. Maybe the most fun I had with a new R.E.M. album was with my buddy Kevin in Norfolk when we went to the Midnight Madness sale to get Monster before it was available to the public. Okay, so R.E.M. has always been a big deal to me. The new album is already so much more than I expected, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

On days like today I feel that my entire history is collapsing into now, and since I’m heading out to see where this ride will take me, I think I have the perfect soundtrack.