36 years ago the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior. It was a real ship, not just a legendary song and is the largest shipwreck to occur in the Great Lakes.

The song has many references to geography I’m familiar with, and the artist Gordon Lightfoot has a history of being a bit of a broody fellow. But for a time he was quite the woofy ginger.

So earlier this week I had joined in on a Facebook discussion about the new Sound of Arrows album that’s out (it’s pretty good). And from the discussion I was accused of having a continued interest in “indie” music. I cringed at the tought, because whenever I hear someone espousing their love for “indie” music they usually smell bad and have a severe case of Smarty Pants. As in they’re usually irritating and insufferable music snobs. And I don’t want that label (because I’m so “indie” and we eschew labels).

That said, I do like a lot of acts on independent record labels, and like Sound of Arrows it just so happens that many of them are from Sweden. Not that I’m racist or anything. It should also be noted that “music” has been an archived category on this blog for almost a decade, and I did just fly to L.A. to see Robyn (well, and Dingo too). So maybe I am enthusiastic about music. But I vow to never don a pair of thick-rimmed hipster glasses no matter who I listen to.

That said my music has still got to have vocals, and it tends toward the pop-vibe in the Major chord. I still loves me some Janet, Sting and Madonna even though they’re all slowly transforming into Gollum independently of each other.

Anyway, I’m currently gushing over these two tracks which are on heavy rotation on my iPod:

Sound of Arrows – Wonder

M83 – Midnight City

I think the videos for both songs are very well done, even though telekinetic mutant kids don’t really have much to do with driving in the city.


  1. mike/ says:

    sometimes when i’m on Lake Shore Drive i’ll look out and see a ship out on Lake Michigan & i’ll think of the Edmund Fitzgerald; i remember the news stories in the papers and on t.v. when it happened; i’ve always liked what i refer to as ‘story songs'; this is one of my all time favorites; in some ways 36 years seems like long ago and in other ways it almost seems like yesterday. thanks, Jimbo!

  2. Ohio Tom says:

    Our Ohio stay-cation centered on Lake Erie and included a trip to the Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio.

    And, yes, you still have readers. Thanks for posting.

  3. Blobby says:

    I retell a story I find amusing: when having a few drinks in a bar in Monterey back in 1994(?) the entertainment, OPENED his set with “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

    I mean – where do you go from there? I couldn’t stop laughing.

  4. Gry says:

    I have Scandinavian ancestry and similar coloring like you. My ear is just automatically tuned to chilly Northern Synth/Future Pop. Scandinavian singers — especially the female ones — just have this gorgeous lilt to their voices like they’re just about to break into tears.

    Don’t feel bad. We can’t help liking what we like.

    It’s in the blood.

  5. Timbo says:

    I think this stands as among my top ten fav posts of yours.

    I can’t help identifying with the haunting of this song, and while it is certainly different to be on the road in a semi truck and face the gales of winter, the wondering if you’re going to make it through the night and the grip of the wheel is still filled with the same prayers and at times, terror.

    I can’t tell ya how many times I’ve inched off mountain passes, with 105,000 lbs of truck daring gravity, as everything around me is luck, glare ice, and drop offs. Keeping the trailer straight, listening to the panic in other driver’s voices over the CB Radio, and seeing the broken guardrails where someone lost control and tumbled with a set of doubles or a bull wagon to their deaths. How the escape ramps for trucks ice up and freeze solid and runaway truckers realize far too late that what was supposed to save a life has only surved to make the crash that much more spectacular. The gravel doesn’t bite and the trucker jumps the end of the ramp as if they’re a motorcycle daredevil.

    And those who witnessed that terrible implosion of steel and freight and dna and from then on that highway is marked and bloody.