Friday, January 26, 2018

Guided By Voices, "Motor Away"

[Editor's Note: I am so tired and burnt out right now that I am going to be aiming small for awhile here. It's high time I brought back The Track of the Week, which gives me great pleasure.]

There is some music I love that I don't listen to enough. 1990s indie rock definitely falls into that category for me. Why? Well that's the music I associate with being "my" music in my formative years in the 1990s, years when I thought my generation was unique and was going to make a difference. Instead, we turned into an afterthought between the Boomers and Millennials. I am now fairly certain that there will never be a Gen X president. Listening to 90s indie rock is always a reminder of the stupidity and short-sightedness of my youth.

And yet, it is so good, and reaches me so deep. One of those songs is "Motor Away" by Guided By Voices, a group that specialized in songlets rather than songs. At two minutes and seven seconds, it is the fourth longest out of 28 (!) songs on the Alien Lanes album. They are all about feel, and "Motor Away" has such a great feel to it, it perfectly describes the small elation I get driving down the streets in winter time, longing for any kind of escape, no matter how small. The song drives forward clankily, like the hail-damaged 1990 Honda Accord I drove way too far into this century. It's a life-affirming song, one I often turn to in these dark days of winter.

Two days ago I was bringing my daughters home from aftercare, and this song came on. One of my daughters got excited and asked me what it was, since she really liked it. "My music," the music of my generation and my youthful hopes was being embraced by my own daughter without me even trying to push it on her. This music, so reminiscent to me of a bygone time, was fresh and fun in my daughter's ears. In a tough and grueling week, her enthusiasm was exactly what I needed.

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