If I could make one wish for new musical releases and the world would have to bend to my will, I would wish for Tracy Grammer and New Model Army to release a split record where they covered each other’s songs. They would do such a fantastic job amping up both the bitter cynicism of “Hey Ho” and the epic mysticism of “The Mountain.” And I would love to hear what she did with the quiet, furious grief of “Someone Like Jesus” or the defiant anthem of “Ballad of Bodmin Pill.” I would wind up sitting in a dark room just listening to the whole thing and having capital-F Feelings all over the place. Like being a teenager again, except beautiful instead of sunk in pathetic misery.
If you’re listening, universe, please get on this.
I’ve had post-apocalyptic themes on my mind constantly lately, and seeing things that remind me of them everywhere, as you do when you’re a pattern-finding animal. Yesterday’s instance, though, was absolutely perfect:
Stopped at a street corner, waiting for the light to change, and on the far sidewalk two young women were walking by, their hair in thick dreads and piled up high, their ratty shorts and midriff tops baring sun-browned skin and spidery black tattoos. And one of them was barefoot, unconcerned, on the pavement. Her steps flashed dirt-blackened soles, and I can’t get that image out of my head. I’m reminded of Caravaggio scandalizing his patrons by painting saints with dirty feet. He was on to something, I’m sure.