On a day like today, twice is nice. While we know everyone doesn’t participate in the cherubs’ delight of Valentine’s Day, how can we not pay some homage to the saints when we’re a website that namedrops the Pearly Gates?
This is supposed to be the day that the Angels aim straight for the heart, and we’ve had plenty of straight-shooting and straight-talking from the Angels this week, no doubt. But let’s conjure up some romance as the weekend comes on, and play two sides of the coin when it comes to our jukebox: courtship and heartbreak. They are the prince and pauper of every love affair, and one joins the other in song often enough.
Since the delight of the week has been Anna Calcaterra’s redrawing of the Americas to include a second Ohio – yes, she’s the precocious progeny of baseball journo/savant Craig Calcaterra – let’s dig deep into the spare change of the original Ohio and find a lovely little number from one lost Columbus R&B ensemble, Penny & the Quarters, rescued a decade ago by the industrious Numero Group.”You and Me” was subsequently featured as the sonic centerpiece of the Gosling-Williams cinematic achy-breaker Blue Valentine in 2010. It’s as sweet as a 2:40 min slow dance can be.
But if lovey-dovey duo-wop just ain’t your bag, then let us go to the bloody heart of the matter, and re-visit that very bluish valentine that the movie was referencing – the swooning noir of Tom Waits’ 1978 opus, Blue Valentine, where everything goes wrong and we have more than a snifter of the crooner’s tears to spare. This is the LP with the famous “Romeo is Bleeding” on it, but let’s go ahead and sample the eponymous closing tune itself, “Blue Valentines”, where Mr. Waits gives us the lines:
“Baby you got me checkin’ in my rearview mirror
That’s why I’m always on the run – it’s why I changed my name
And I didn’t think you’d ever find me here”
From California to Anaheim to L.A., I guess we’re each wondering what the road holds, and why the names keep changing – and whether the game feels played out, or it’s just the first kiss of spring.
Let it land where it may / on Valentine’s Day.