“Love is a roller coaster… You can’t take your purse on the ride, you wind up strapped in upside down and someone throws up, and all you’re left with is a souvenir photo of you with your hands up, screaming.“
A while back I was at a writing event at a coffee shop in Plano. There were about ten of us sitting at a long table doing some writing but mostly talking. The woman next to me told an interesting story. She and her husband owned an internet services company in Deep Ellum. The thing is that the location is just down the street from The Bomb Factory – a very popular Dallas concert venue – and the space in back of their building is a popular place to park. Unfortunately, it was not a public lot and anyone parking there will get towed. I assume you have had your car towed from some obscure spot during a late evening of nightlife revelry and know how nasty, upsetting, and expensive that can be.
The space in back of their building is heavily labeled and there is no excuse for anyone to park there. Still, they do and they get towed. A lot. So the woman’s husband put up a gaggle of high-quality video cameras facing the no-parking area and captures all the sadness and glory of the nightly dramatics. He edits them with music and funny comments and posts them on a YouTube channel. She said their channel has gone viral and they made a bit of cash from the millions of views they get.
What an amazing story.
So I had to check it out. The channel is GTOger and it’s pretty hilarious. There are hundreds of videos… here’s a typical one:
It’s a real time suck. There are cars getting towed and pissed-off owners coming back. I never knew how fast and efficient the towing companies are (my car-towed days were decades ago – when they actually had to hook a chain to your car) using that automated thing. If you look through the videos there are people peeing, fooling around, and even some photo shoots… all caught on camera and posted for all the world to see.
At any rate, the other weekend I was in Deep Ellum for a Dallas Photowalk. We all met up in front of The Bomb Factory and wandered off in search of photographic scenery. Before long, we were moving down Clover street – a narrow grungy road that was barely more than an alley. Suddenly it looked familiar to me and I realized we were in the GTOger alley right where all those cars were towed. There were the warning signs and the clusters of cameras.
The signage is very clear… I can’t imagine anybody ignoring it and parking there…
What really brought out the voice that I have, my soul voice and true voice, was really not getting any work and being very sad and being poor and having to sit with that. I think that’s where the blues comes from.
It has been a very busy, exhausting week – the worst of it is that I haven’t been able to write as much as I want. I did have a page of notes for stuff and I sat down to write some of it out and get something for here.
But the internet interrupted me. I was reminded that years ago I used to embed Youtube videos of Postmodern Jukebox into some of my blog entries. For a moment’s entertainment I started some playing and then, stumbled across this (watch and listen to it – you won’t be disappointed):
It only has seventeen million views – so I suppose there are a few folks that have never seen this.
My God! That woman has some pipes!
So now I’m a big Morgan James fan. To be honest, I have never been that big on Aerosmith (though I respect their classic work, of course) – but her version…. man. Of course, Postmodern Jukebox does a great job of the arrangement (love the cello). A fantastic piece of art.
Some comments from Youtube:
“I can make music or I can be famous”-Morgan James
I heard Aerosmith made a cover of this
What a time we live in. This level of performance used to be available to kings and queens… not the paupers.
I like how she sings with her entire body uninhibited like a toddler. Singing in traffic pushes cars forward. That voice surpasses all shower doors and makes the water stick to the tiles in awe.
I can cook a steak with that fire she’s spitting
I need a smoke after this one.
I didn’t believe… no. Let me start again. I thought I knew, I was sure, I kind of built my life on the fact that nobody could do this better than Aerosmith. This was THE UNCOVERABLE SONG! – – – And now this….
A doctor needs to treat me for shock, and possibly a dislocated jaw.
Damn – the moment I saw those heels I knew shit was going down!
She could sing the phone book and it would be great.
Morgan James is one of those immensely talented and pretty singers who should be a major star. Instead we get the likes of Katy Perry. There’s no justice.
Now THIS is what is called TALENT! Why isn’t Morgan James a household name? We haven Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and all the rest of them blocking the airwaves when we could be enjoying AMAZING voices like this?!? I am so glad I just happened along this video! A beautiful woman with a gorgeous voice to match! All the best, Morgan! You’ve earned your place in music history!
There are songs out there that are classics and I always say, “You can’t mess with a classic,” but her… she can do anything she wants.
There are a ton of her songs on Youtube (including a cover of the entire Beatles White Album) – it’s a glorious rabbit hole.
If you are already a fan of Morgan James I’m sorry for wasting your time with this – if you have never heard her (and the world has to fall into those two categories – fans and people that haven’t heard her)… well, you can thank me.
There is nothing more boring than riding an exercise bike. In order to try and get my bad-weather (ie over 100 degrees) exercise going, one thing I like to do is watch POV YouTube videos of other people riding their bikes in more interesting places than my spare room. I know that’s pretty bad – but you have to do what you have to do.
At the nine-minute fifty-second mark in the video, the riders climb over some crazy rusted-steel arch-shaped bridge. I’ve wondered what that thing is… it looks like it’s in the Bywater area, but I can’t be sure.
The other day, on my last day in New Orleans for the writing marathon, my son Lee and I drove down to the quarter for lunch and I mentioned the strange bridge. He knew exactly what I was talking about and we hopped in his car and drove there.
Crescent Park Bridge, New Orleans
It’s a really cool park, Crescent Park, built along the Mississippi from the French Market area down to the Bywater neighborhood.
The bridge takes pedestrians (and cyclists, if they carry their bikes) over the levee and the railroad tracks into the park. It’s a beautiful spot – a new favorite in the Big Easy. I have to visit it with my bike next time.
My son, Lee, on the Crescent Park bridge.
The river and the Hwy 90 double bridge from the Crescent Park Bridge, New Orleans
Turning around, looking back the other way from the Crescent Park Bridge, Bywater Neighborhood, New Orleans
Bywater, from the Crescent Park Bridge, New Orleans
The river and downtown, from the Crescent Park Bridge, New Orleans
From the “I really wish I had thought of that,” department. Of course, the music is the “American Beauty” theme – but the fabric looks better than a plastic bag.
When I watch this, I think of what I know about chaotic systems and boundary conditions and I wonder if a setup like this could be designed to be “stable” – in that the fabric would continue to move in a random way, but staying within the boundary of the circle of fans – for an indeterminate time… like years. Imagine a museum exhibit that simply did this, day after day, week after week, for a year. I like to think of it still thrashing around in the dark, after the museum has closed, still dancing in inanimate beauty with nobody watching. Or, even better, I imagine a lonely museum security guard, at four in the morning, sitting there, looking at it, dreaming his own personal unique dreams.
And two pieces of cloth, plus my favorite Sigur Ros tune.
8 million hits – so you might have already seen this…. but even if you did, trust me, it’s worth watching again.
I loved Hee-Haw in high school. It was on in Managua, dubbed into Spanish (except for the songs and music). Trust me, Hee-Haw does not translate well. Still, I’d forgotten how much I loved this little ditty until I stumbled across it on a blog the other day.
As I scoured the depths of YouTube for bits of amusement to stick into my one per week “lazy entry” that I call, “what I learned this week” I kept stumbling across these little jewels of odd humor done by the folks at 5 Second Films. These were only eight seconds long (the three second title sequence doesn’t count) and would cram more story, characterization, and humor into those tiny slices of time than any SNL sketch.
As I watched and collected the ones I liked, I noticed that the same actress kept showing up in my favorites. She was always referred to as “Kelsey” and it wasn’t hard to figure out that she was Kelsey Gunn.
So I have become a fan. Why? I don’t know – she is funny, of course, and has that nerd-girl pretty quality. So now I’m subscribed to her on Facebook and watch her Vimeo Channel and follow her on Twitter and watch her 5 Second Films, and See what she’s up to on IMDB (She’s Actually Kelsey Gunn (II))