Rockin’ the Suburbs

So, the Mrs. and I are now the proud owners of a brand new mortgage.


We moved out of our rental house in Plaza Midwood, and committed to this house in a neighborhood called Stonehaven.  Essentially, we left the coolest neighborhood in Charlotte for the suburbs.  It was a tougher pill for me to swallow than I really thought it would be.  Especially considering where our minds were at the beginning of the house search process.  Taylor was adamant about staying in Plaza Midwood.  I told her there was absolutely no way we could afford staying there.  See, even though it’s the “coolest” neighborhood in Charlotte, the houses are occupied by doctors and lawyers and bankers – unless you bought in the neighborhood 10 years ago.

All that being said, I was being The Realist.  Usually The Realist is prepared for whatever comes their way, because The Realist has done the research.  The Realist knows what is in the budget.  The Realist knew where to look for houses based on that budget.  The Realist should have been prepared for moving further away from the city.  There’s just one problem, The Realist didn’t realize just how different his lifestyle was compared to where it is now heading.

Let’s face it.  Charlotte is not New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, or even Atlanta.  It’s not truly a metropolis.  It has a bit of an identity crisis.  However, over the last ten years, Charlotte has increasingly differentiated its existing boroughs.  Plaza Midwood may have expensive housing with beautifully landscaped yards, but Plaza Midwood is also crawling with punkabillies.  It might have a brand new pristine Harris Teeter, but just down Central Avenue you’ll find Asian, Latin-American, and Balkan markets.  It’s the area in Charlotte where you will find the most varied amount of culture possible.  It’s the area in Charlotte, that isn’t typically what people expect from Charlotte.

Now… I live in Stonehaven.

I know.  I’m sounding awfully negative, aren’t I?  It’s not really as bad as I’m spinning it.  It’s just different.  Honestly, I never realized how accustomed I had become to the area I once lived in.  Mostly because I had started to take its uniqueness for granted.

So, now you’re asking, “What the hell does any of this have to do with music, Jon?”

Well, nothing.  But, now that I live farther away from the city (and my job), I have a longer commute.  A longer commute means more time to absorb new music.  When I used to buy a new album from Lunchbox Records, the only place that offered me any real amount of time to take it in was work.  My drive to work was only 10-12 minutes most days.  It wasn’t even long enough to scan through my iPod Classic to decide what I wanted to listen to.  Now?  Oh man, now my commute is easily 30 minutes.  I have been able to listen to the majority of countless albums on my way to and from work.  If the album pushes an hour, I can finish the listen on the way home.  For a music geek like me, this is a huge win.  You don’t even think about the cost in fuel and the amount of miles you’re putting on your car.

Real Estate:  Atlas  |  Runtime:  38:18

Pains of Being Pure at Heart:  Days of Abandon  |  Runtime: 36:59

Cloud Nothings:  Here and Nowhere Else  |  Runtime:  31:24

Tony Molina:  Dissed and Dismissed  |  Runtime:  11:22

The Roots:  …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin  |  Runtime:  33:22

Sharon Van Etten:  Are We There  |  Runtime:  46:57

tUnE-yArDs:  Nikki Nack  |  Runtime:  44:18

So, yeah.  I’m rockin’ the suburbs now.  It’s a nice home.  It will be even nicer when we fill it with mid-century goodness.  Until then, I have all I need for living in any locale:  my lovely wife, our two cats, and of course – my record collection.



“The Greatest Unknown Guitarist in the World”

I’ve always been a Hendrix guy.

Any music geek out there knows what I’m talking about.  Some of you are Clapton folks.  Some of you are Page worshippers.  Some of you are Team Van Halen.  You can’t do no wrong preaching from  a soapbox about the “Master of the Telecaster,” James Burton.  Maybe you’re that guy or gal that’s always out to make the case for Peter Green.  What about Jeff Beck?  Oh, and all the disciples of Jerry Garcia…  Of course, that’s just rock music.  You might be a Tony Rice disciple if you’re into bluegrass.  Then again, the most sophisticated cats out there are probably Wes Montgomery or Django fanatics.  Then there’s all the blues guys – any of the Kings (Freddy, Albert, or B.B.), Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, or Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The other day, M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger posted Part 1 of this PBS documentary/concert performance by Roy Buchanan.  One of those names I’ve heard thrown around, but never took the time to check out.

Man!  I have been missing out!  I’ve been down a YouTube rabbit hole looking at live footage of Roy several times over the last week.  See, Roy Buchanan has something to offer from all those previously mentioned genres of music.  You can see it in his style of play.

Below, I’ve posted all 3 parts of the PBS documentary, Introducing Roy Buchanan.  You see the portrait of a really, humble introspective dude – a real artist.  Over time, though (like too many others), Roy became a victim of the bottle.  This documentary over time has become referenced by the title of this blog entry.  Buchanan isn’t exactly unknown today.  However, most people have not been introduced to his discography.  Even Rolling Stone didn’t include him in their list of Top 100 Guitarists (though, David Fricke did in his own individual list).

Me, I’m still a Hendrix guy, but Roy Buchanan sure has climbed up my list.