Letting the Music set the Place

Early in this past summer I was excited to be reminded (in person) of a healthy music store in West Chester, PA. Such stores are quickly (already?) becoming an endangered species, and so it was particularly satisfying to come back to this store and see it offering a wide range of music and other related selections. I thought that I was going to leave without purchasing anything, but lying near the cash register was a small boxed set of five compact discs highlighting “80’s Classics”. This seemed to be a perfect match for my upcoming long haul road trip, and so I purchased it. (Actually my mom bought it for me as a “getting on the road” present.)

As the driving spurts resumed, I continued to let my iPod shuffling set the mood for a little while after purchasing the set of discs, but that got old as I began to enter the long-haul westbound territory, and so I decided that the especially long haul across Nebraska (400 something miles) would be a great introduction to the set of music. I quickly appreciated that some care had been taken in selecting the choice and sequencing of music. The first song of each disc got things off with a bang of energy and the mood rolled along after that, mixing between slower tunes and higher energy pieces. I let the whole sequence of five discs play through on that first day and it was a GREAT way to enliven the scenery and pace of going through Nebraska, which eventually gave way to the arid plains and mild mountains of northeastern Colorado.

After the first listen, I expected that the music would time capsule itself to that stretch of driving through Nebraska, and it did, at first, as I tuned into other radio offerings and back to the iPod (along with bits of silence here and there) for a little while. But in an effort to continue the sonic variety, I ended up tuning back into the CD set sooner than I expected.

One song in particular (“Good Life” by a group called Inner City – never heard of them) took on the role of road trip theme song, as I began to listen to it at the start of each long-haul driving day and felt that it set the right upbeat mood. Now, a month and a half later, the song has settled into a role as emblematic of the whole summer, and while I’m not listening to it at the start of every day, it does bring a smile to my face, as many other songs do that quickly associate themselves with the time or circumstances that you first hear them in.

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About JP

Once upon a time, there was a boy from New England. He grew up with a sense of adventure, loving to travel around the Northeast region. He could always count on the presence of a Buddhist community in his family and friends. Later, those interests merged. His sense of adventure continued to grow, expanding across Europe and then back the other direction across the USA.

Posted on September 13, 2016, in Traveling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. glad you’ve discovered the “good life” – literally and figuratively. I’m still a sucker for CDs and record stores (Dearborn Music is still thriving if you’ve never been there). and Inner City’s “Good Life” is fabulous – one of my favorites. Kevin Saunderson – who was group’s mastermind is a Detroiter and a chief architect of the house movement. I discovered that song first on the soundtrack to Slaves of New York, and it greatly impacted my musical tastes forevermore.

    On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 8:22 AM, Theatrical Buddha Man wrote:

    > JP posted: “Early in this past summer I was excited to be reminded (in > person) of a healthy music store in West Chester, PA. Such stores are > quickly (already?) becoming an endangered species, and so it was > particularly satisfying to come back to this store and see it” >

    • Glad the post struck a chord, Roy! 😉

      Not surprised to hear there’s a Detroit connection in the song, and I’ll definitely check out Dearborn Music the next time I’m over there.

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