I’m back from a quick trip up to Boston for the Temptress Christmas party. This was the Day Job version (there’s a tech company lurking easily behind the rock and roll), so we drank and ate and drank and then had a few drinks among the IT folk and gangsters and other plumed birds of Boston. Plus occasional techie musicians. And the ineluctable Chrissy, who was equal parts Mira Sorvino and Jessica Rabbit. Or at least that’s how memory draws her after drinking and eating and drinking, and then having a drink. But not in that dress.
After drinking, cars were pointed toward the dark, and driven into it. This is one of many reasons I may never really leave New York.
The Peter Pan bus to South Station was spiffy and new and the seat backs wouldn’t adjust. There was, of course, a decorative seat back adjusting lever, apparently intended to lull us into a dreamy state of confidence that we could adjust the seat backs if we wanted to. I think it was an intricate and fiendish psychology experiment. The decorative lever is like a locked bathroom door. You can pull on it and establish that it does nothing, but sooner or later if nothing moves you’re going to have to pull on it again. Just to check.
Speaking of Mira Sorvino: In a bizarre and wonderful turn of events, the movie on the bus – and I am no fan of movies on busses – was the 1994 Robert Redford treat Quiz Show. How they choose the features is beyond me, but this was a pleasure.
In a not-so-bizarre and not-so-wonderful turn of events, the trip was my chance to finally spend quality time with Elvis Costello’s newest album North, which has been lurking easily on my shelves for weeks. It’s a spare and rainy piece, I knew that. Still, even the thoughtful ride into memory and up through the wintered snowy fields of New England couldn’t perk it up. It’s not a bad record, in the way that bad records are bad and you roll your eyes and smack your forehead and swear you won’t be fooled again. But I was hoping for buried rusted razor wire and watchful flinty stone in tone poems too small for the average ears, the kind of clear dim flame a fan could find and huddle up against for warmth. That stuff might be in there, but I didn’t hear it, and I tried with the force of decades of fan-love.