Sunday, January 11, 2009


IMG 1695
Originally uploaded by robotbrainz
I love songs that can evoke a place, whether it's a place I know or one that exists just in the mind of the songwriter. Two that come to mind immediately for me are Waterloo Sunset and Strawberry Fields.

One of the things I like so much about the band Fountains of Wayne is that their songs are specific - real people, real places. They have names like Julie and Stacey and Michael, and they live in places like Brooklyn and they shop at Costco and at... Fountains of Wayne, on Route 46 in Wayne, NJ.

Their latest album, Traffic and Weather, is really wonderful - and at the moment, my favorite song is "I-95":

They sell posters of girls washing cars
And unicorns and stars
And Guns N' Roses album covers
They've got most of the Barney DVDs
Coffee mugs and tees
That say Virginia Is For Lovers
But it's not
Round here it's just for truckers who forgot
To fill up on gasoline
Back up near Aberdeen

It's a nine hour drive
From me to you
South on 1-95
And I'll do it 'til the day that I die If I need to
Just to see you
Just to see you

I spent many years doing that drive 2 or 3 times a month, from New Brunswick, New Jersey to Durham, North Carolina (and a few years before, from Falls Church, Virginia to New Brunswick). The words and the sound of the song put me right back there on the highway, stopping for gas at the big truck stop in Aberdeen with the giant sign you can see two miles away as you rise and fall over the rolling hills of Maryland.

(Thanks to Robotbrainz for using a Creative Commons copyright for the photo above.)


  1. My sis lives near New Brunswick. What brought you to Falls Church and also to Durham?

  2. In 1978, I was living in Falls Church and driving to see my girlfriend in New Brunswick. Five years later, I was living in New Brunswick, married, and my wife Ann was in med school at Duke. Many many hours on the I-95!