Manhattan’s Iron Horses

This week has turned into Culture Week! Starting off with fine Friendsgiving fare over the weekend, it continued Monday night with a show at the Bowery Ballroom, and tonight’s feature was a home screening of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K): Space Mutiny! complete with sarcastic robots (“Would anyone else like to confuse freedom with treason?” “I’d like to confuse bok choy with cabbage!”). Tomorrow is the ballet (The Nutcracker!), Thursday a reunion of sorts, Friday a book club meeting/Hanukkah party, and Saturday…Saturday is Swedish Christmas Halloween!

When am I going to sleep? Ah well. Never mind that. As my good friend once advised, “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

After all, I would have needed a better reason than “I’m tired” to miss Split Lip/Chamberlain’s reunion show at the Bowery. I overheard many in the audience echo my own thoughts – “I’ve been listening to this band for ten years – I never thought I’d get to see them live!” But it has been the year of the reunion show, it seems, even for bands from Indiana who I didn’t think anyone else had ever heard of.

Well, it’s New York – despite the fact that I’d never met another Chamberlain fan in my life, they came out of the woodwork. The band played mostly from their albums The Moon My Saddle and Fate’s Got A Driver – nothing from Exit 263 (ironically, “You Can’t Have It All” is track 11 on that album). All the following lyrics are from songs they played from The Moon My Saddle.

I called you from the station / the hands of your voice reached through the phone / saying ‘What took you so long?’ …When I get back to you, we’ll sit out back just like we used to, sit quietly trading eyes – “Manhattan’s Iron Horses”

You said I was sunlight at midnight, a poet with the sea on my lips / you said my life rhymes with the lonesome lines that drip from my fingertips – “Lonesome Song”

Call it fate or bad luck, nothing mystifies us / I bet you’ll be the last star shot down / Call it fate or bad luck, nothing mystifies us / city streets and hearts make the same sound – “Racing Cincinnati”

Half concerned with the streets that you slip down / with the fact that you’ve been lost more than you’ve been found / as you walk, your boots make a loud sound / that ruins the quiet of this town / Set out to crush you, sorrow set out to crush you down / but she missed you somehow / instead she got me – “Crush You”

I don’t like the sound of my heart breaking down / it seems the more I’ve searched, in the end the less I’ve found / the harder I try to be right, I get it wrong every time / wherever my heart goes, I’m the last one to know – “Last to Know”

And just to change it up a little bit…

Turducken! For the uninitiated, that’s a chicken…inside a duck…inside a turkey…wrapped in bacon.

What I’m reading: The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff

What I’m listening to: The Moon My Saddle and Five Year Diary, Chamberlain; Anywhere But Here, The Ataris

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