The Wine Cyclist

Tag: Warren Zevon

Goodbye, Cleveland!

by on May.31, 2009, under Music, Philosophy

Whew… so it’s been a long week hauling all of my stuff out of my (now former) residence in Cleveland, OH. It’s been a long month, even, as the packing and sorting process was kicking into high gear as early as the first week of May. Well, here we are. It’s the end of May, and after nearly nine years of residence there, I have moved out of Cleveland.

It’s been a crazy weekend of partying, packing and driving; so I sit here, weary and waxing philosophical (and sipping on some tasty Highland Park 18yo single malt scotch — thanks, Kelly). Now, I’m not gone for good, mind you. I’m sure to be passing through Cleveland on occasion. We’ll meet again, Cleveland. Don’t know where. Don’t know when.

Despite my crazy schedule of packing for the weekend, I made sure to hit up a couple parties so that I had a chance to hang out with my friends in Cleveland one last time before heading out. Two nights in a row of staying out past 2am, followed by a 500 mile drive today makes for an interesting headspace.

And this morning was not lacking for strangeness.

My bed had shipped out yesterday, and so, in a bizarrely empty house (with new and strange echoes that I haven’t heard since I first moved into the place three years ago), I rolled out my sleeping bag for my last night living in Cleveland. After a big brunch and an hour jamming my poor Honda with as much crap as I could fit in there, I was on the road, heading out of Cleveland, and rocking out to some Johnny Cash (American IV), some Leonard Cohen (Essential, Disc 1), and some Warren Zevon (Excitable Boy and My Ride’s Here).

I haven’t listened to American IV is quite some time. It was good to hear it again, and it felt just right for the ride down Interstate 90 out of Cleveland. Johnny Cash’s voice at that point in his career still staggers me. The emotion that rides on that bass-baritone… I can only hope to be able to generate that kind of emotion in my music some day. Listening to Cash reminds me that I should be practicing my guitar more than I am these days. The things I give up to enjoy the open road…

Not that I mind. The adventure ahead is great, and my music will still be there when I’m done. There is (hopefully) much future ahead of me for such things.

Honestly, there are many things I won’t miss about Cleveland. The weather, of course, leaves much to be desired, and it’s hardly the most bicycle-friendly of cities (nor Ohio the most bicycle-friendly of states). Still, there are things I will miss. As much as I’m looking forward to going west, to settling who knows where, I do look upon these last nine years in Cleveland with fond memories of good times and good friendship.

And so, the day is done. I have traveled far, and though the local clock here only reads 10:30, I’ve an extra hour to make up for. Off I go to rest up, and begin planning the next (much bigger) bicycle adventure…

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Soundtrack For A Tour

by on May.11, 2009, under Music

As you’ve probably gather thus far, I’m quite big into both wine and bicycling. There is yet a third, very important passion, that I would be remiss to exclude from my writings of the summer, and that is music. My touring gear would not be complete without an mp3 player to accompany me and provide with much needed listening enjoyment along the way (only one earbud in while riding, mind you — I must keep at least one ear to the road). This begs the question, what manner of music drives me to pedal harder, better, faster, stronger.

Hmm… I may have just answered my own question. :-)

Yes, I am most certainly a fan of house music and Daft Punk (especially their first two albums). I dig the deep, soulful house sound common to the west coast (think Dubtribe Sound System). Sometimes I find myself drawn to the harder or more jackin’ sides of house music, but less often.

I am a huge fan of jazz, especially saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins and Gerry Mulligan, but I find it difficult to cycle to jazz. It’s a very introspective form of music. Jazz inspires me to stop and think, to get lost in the music itself. It thus becomes too distracting while on a ride, but is perfectly suitable at the campsite after a long day.

Blues and blues rock drives me a lot of the way. The mp3 player in questions is loaded up with many a track from Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker and Stevie Ray Vaughan to name a few. Some 80s ska (Madness, The English Beat) for when I need to change the pace up a little bit, and a whole host of other miscellaneous tracks, artists and genres (it is, after all a 4GB mp3 player).

The artist with the biggest presence on my mp3 player, is none other than Warren Zevon. Five complete album of his (Excitable Boy, Life’ll Kill Ya, Mr Bad Example, My Ride’s Here, The Wind) are loaded up along with a several other individual tracks from other albums (tracks from albums like Transverse City, where I’m not a huge fan of the whole album, but do enjoy select nuggets). It is safe to say that Warren Zevon is my favorite artist of the moment, and more than a few songs of his will help me get through some long miles this summer.

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