Thursday, January 9, 2020

Fleetwood Mac, "Dreams"

Today I went to an event after school at a local bar I had never been to before. When I got there I was happily surprised (and a little shocked) to see that this bar had a CD jukebox.

As far as I am concerned, CD jukeboxes were one the greatest human inventions, and it's a damn shame they have almost gone extinct. Their predecessor, the 45 jukebox, had a much more limited set of options, and the only songs available apart from the hits were the B-sides, usually not worth playing. The electronic jukebox that has replaced the CD version is ridiculously expensive, and often has a surprisingly limited selection. They are also very corporate and impersonal. The CD jukebox, however, was usually eclectic and reflected the tastes of the bar's owner and stuff, rather than some lame algorithm.

I fed the juke a couple of bucks, and was glad to see a Fleetwood Mac compilation. I put on "Dreams," a song tailor-made for playing on a jukebox in a quiet bar on a cold January afternoon. John McVeigh's bass never sounded more inviting, warm like the first sip of bourbon spreading through your chest. It's a song that's all mood, the bass meshing with slinky guitar textures and spooky organ, the grain in Stevie Nicks' voice adding just the right amount of grit. Like the best Mac music of the Buckingham-Nicks period it hangs in the air like a cloud of cigarette smoke in a dingy tavern, permeating everything.

Bars to me have always been places for needed escape. Under the right conditions inside those swinging doors I can feel like the rest of the world has melted away. The booze helps, but a good jukebox is absolutely essential. Especially if it has "Dreams" on it.

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