Wanna’ hear the sound of heartbreak?
We’re rolling south on I-35. I’m the new guy on the bus. It’s a little bit awkward. I’ve already solidified my outsider status by putting Death Cab For Cutie on the CD player. Mike’s playing, “Where you at?” Crank calling a Hooters and asking, “Where you at?” His ability to bluff is hilarious. And it passes the miles. “You wanna’ here the iTunes album?” he asks.
I know “Templeton Rye.” Heck, I’ve smelled the stuff. Jason pulled it from a cupboard above the sink. I just hadn’t yet mustered the courage to drink it. “The Wost Place I’ve Ever Been” comes on.
“What’s it about?” I ask.
“It’s all right there,” Mike says.
Apparently, the band was performing a two-night stint in Marathon, Florida. And it was a disaster. People were ignoring them. Locals were looking for fights. A sign above the stage read, “If you can’t play at my volume, don’t plug in.” A couple that’d planned their vacation around the gigs said, “We’ll be back tomorrow,” but never showed.
Somewhere in the meantime, Mike penned “The Worst Place I’ve Ever Been.” It’s on The Nadas’ “Listen Through The Static” EP. And it’s a heartbreaker. You can hear the road in his voice: the miles, the whiskey, and the cigarettes. His voice cracks. He breaks into falsetto. Listening back I wonder how he puts himself in the right headspace to sing it with such melancholy.
Wife a thousand miles away: check. Kid a thousand miles away: check. Stifling humidity: check. Belligerent audience: check.
The Nadas do not reinvent the wheel. They concede out loud their appreciation of The Goo Goo Dolls. The sing about home only slightly more often than me.
I love ’em.
Jason text messaged me tonight, “They’re watching ‘Van Wilder’ again.” The poor choice of DVD notwithstanding, I wish I were on the bus with ’em.
Do yourself a favor: listen through the static. On Itunes. Then hit repeat. And listen to the sound of heartbreak. It never sounded sweeter. Or sadder.