Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sonic Youth -- "Disconnection Notice" (2002)

Did you get your disconnection notice?
Mine came in the mail today . . .
It simply states "You're disconnected, baby"
See how easily it all slips away?

On the final day of my Colorado trip last month, I headed to Boulder after I had finished business.  My destination was Chautauqua Park, where there are hiking trails that go up into the distinctive rock formations on the eastern slope of Green Mountain that are known as the "Flatirons."

The Flatirons
Once again, the aural accompaniment for my hike was provided by Sonic Youth.  But I would be lying to you if I told you that I listened to this song on my Flatirons hike.

Some of us lie more than others.  Some of us have a greater need to lie.  

I lie all the time.  Sometimes I knowingly and intentionally lie.  Sometimes I don't exactly lie, but deceive by failing to tell the whole truth.  

Please don't tell me you never lie.  We all lie.  There is only one exception to this rule that I can think of: as I've observed before, I've never seen a dog lie.  Cats do lie, of course -- cats lie a lot.  (Cats are good liars -- perhaps because they don't feel one bit guilty about lying.)

"Murray Street"
"Disconnection Notice" is track two on Sonic Youth's 2002 album, Murray Street.   That wasn't one of the albums I loaded on to my iPod before heading to Colorado.

I haven't listened to Murray Street a lot, and I don't remember hearing "Disconnection Notice" until last week, when I was on one of my regular morning bike rides from my home to Lake Needwood. 

But this post is about my excursion to Boulder, Colorado, where my first stop was the Chautauqua Park ranger cottage.  I consulted the ranger on duty and met this critter:

I crossed Chautauqua Meadow, heading up the trail toward the First, Second, and Third Flatirons (there are five altogether), which are sandstone formations that are about 300 million years old.  

Images of the Flatirons are ubiquitous in Boulder, and there are more businesses with "Flatiron" in their name than you can shake a stick at: Flatiron Athletic Club,  Flatiron Cleaners, Flatiron Coffee, Flatiron Duct Cleaning, Flatiron Septic, Flatiron Sprinkler, Flatiron Ventures . . . you get the picture.

Here's a shot of downtown Boulder -- the white structure in the center of the photo is the University of Colorado football stadium:

I know this map is a bit hard to read.  Can you see the two little blue stick-figure hikers in the lower-right-hand corner of the map?  I followed the right-to-left path they are taking toward the Third Flatiron until the trail forked.

I took the left fork, which may look like it goes downhill.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

Shortly after the fork, the trail suddenly turned into this:

I should have turned around at that point, but figured I would go just a bit further.  That was a mistake.  For some reason, going down that stretch of "trail" was much harder than going up it had been -- perhaps because I couldn't avoid looking down the precipitous drop-off to my immediate right.

Any sense of dignity went out the window as I got as low to the ground as I could, and leaned hard to my left for the descent.  I toyed with the idea of calling the ranger cottage and requesting that a rescue helicopter be dispatched to bring me down, but decided that would create perhaps more of a fuss than I was prepared to deal with.  So I sucked it up and got her done.  

I went back to where the stick-figure hikers are and took the trail that goes from the bottom to the top of the map -- it takes you to the First and Second Flatirons.  

But before long, I ran into this.

That was as far as I went.

There were some very nice views coming down the trail.  Here's a picture looking north to the mountains of the Front Range.

And here's one final look back over my shoulder at the Flatirons as I approached the ranger station and the Chautauqua Park parking lot.

After hiking for a good two hours, I was ready for the traditional food of carbohydrate-depleted mountain bikers and hikers: a big-ass burrito.  So I drove to downtown Boulder and chowed down at Illegal Pete's.

Here's where the magic happens.  The comely young co-ed who is assembling my burrito in this photo later led me upstairs to the seating area and drew me a pint.

On the walk back to my car, I passed a barber shop that obviously depended on students for its clientele:

A television network news program once described Boulder as the "happiest place in the USA," and I believe it.  The city's free alternative newspaper, the Boulder Weekly, seems to survive on advertising for purveyors of medical marijuana, which is legal in Colorado.

Here's one such ad.  I bet you didn't know golfers Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods had licensed their images for use by sellers of medical marijuana and paraphenalia.

You can also find medical marijuana in Denver.  Here's an ad that was on a bus shelter near my hotel.

Colorado is also full of microbreweries and brewpubs -- I sampled several of the offerings of New Belgium Brewery, which is located in Fort Collins and is best known for its "Fat Tire Amber Ale."

Maybe it was just as well that I didn't have "Disconnection Notice" on my iPod when I was hiking the Flatirons -- talk about a song that would harsh almost anyone's mellow.  

But the happy Boulder atmosphere plus an Illegal Pete's pork carnitas burrito (with optional guacamole) and a pint of New Belgium's seasonal "Somersault Ale" overcame the effects of the many equally angry, or gloomy, or angry and gloomy Sonic Youth songs I did listen to that day.  There was no need for me to seek a marijuana Rx.  

I'm also featuring "Disconnection Notice" on 2 or 3 lines a day today.  I've never featured the same song on both blogs on the same day, but there's a first time for everything.  "Disconnection Notice" is just too perfect a song not to use on "Bad Romance Tuesday." 

Here's "Disconnection Notice":

Here's a video of a live performance of the song at a Swedish music festival:

Here's a link you can use to buy the song from Amazon:

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