Saturday, March 26, 2005

Detroit Rock City

I took Bill to the airport in Detroit this afternoon, and it happened to be a beautiful day for a drive. Not only that, but the CBC was counting down the 50 essential Canadian popular songs of all time. When we got in the car, the list was already at "Summer of '69" (no. 17), and as we were nearing Windsor the countdown was finishing with "Four Strong Winds."

This is what greeted us at the border crossing: Great Lakes, Great Times!

We didn't have much time, but we drove around downtown for a little while. I haven't been in a big American city in years. The buildings in Detroit are fantastic. Sadly, half of them are empty, boarded up, and/or crumbling away. I dropped Billy at the airport and got back on the road to head home in the dark, and flipping through the radio stations, I stopped when I heard the Parachute Club (as I am wont to do). And it turned out to be number 44 on the 50 Tracks list! The CBC really came through for me today. I listened to the countdown all the way home and pulled into my driveway just after "Snowbird." There was no overlap! Numbers 17 to 1 on the drive down, and numbers 44 to 19 on the way back. It was radiosonic serendipity.

So, then, this list! Did you listen? What did you think? And why wasn't Luba on it? OK, I'm kidding (mostly), but I'd certainly rather see Jane Siberry on the list than Sarah McLachlan. Where was "Mimi on the Beach"? I was happy to see that so many political songs are considered essential. And I was happy to be reminded of how much I love Bruce Cockburn. I think "Helpless" is more essential than "Heart of Gold." I'm going to start referring to butter as "Burton Cummings." And you?

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