I was walking through a Publix supermarket the other day when I heard a familiar song coming through the store's sound system:
Pretty little hairdo
Don't do what it used to
Can't disguise the living
All the miles that you've been through
My first thought: Can supermarket play diminish a song's intrinsic value? A crazy notion, I admit. A song should be judged for what it offers the listener, not WHERE it might be heard -- something the artist has no control over (like so many other variables).
Yet there I was in Publix, searching for the impossible-to-find Sun-Bird Hot & Sour soup mix (this cold will not go away). And suddenly I was wondering if I needed to knock the Jayhawks' "Save It For a Rainy Day'' down a peg or two. Or just sing along.
"Rainy Day Music'' might be my favorite album of 2003. It's filled with great songs, harmonies and guitar work, and reminds us -- especially in these crazy moments of weakness -- that Gary Louris is a musical genius. Yes, here comes another PSSST (Personal Six String Sanctuary Tout).
Looking like a train wreck
Wearing too much makeup
The burden that you carry
Is more than one soul could ever bear
I had come to my senses by the time I reached the checkout line. "Whoever chooses your music deserves a raise,'' I told the teller. She smiled. It was, after all, raining outside.
I headed out to tackle my next chore, hoping very much not to run into the song again at the Beall's Outlet store.