“I do a lot of stupid things, but my heart’s in the right place” — I repeat that line over and over to myself to in an effort to feel better about some of the decisions I’ve made/make. Decisions like buying yogurt that’s expired, memorizing every line to Anchorman in the hopes that girls would find it attractive (they don’t), or deciding to ride a bicycle across Canada this spring.
Although, riding a bike across the great white north is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, there’s a few points that could ultimately make this decision a bit idiotic. See, I’m not a cyclist by any means. Hell, I don’t even know how to change a flat (yet). I haven’t trained at all, and I’m not in the best bicycling shape. The only “muscles” I have are my glamour muscles — they look like muscles, but are just for show.
I’m also quitting my job at 103.5 The Bridge, and taking out a life insurance policy to fund the trip, which admittedly sounds like a bad idea. The only things I have going for me is an appetite for adventure that can’t be quelled (unless I’m playing a video-game) and a terrible stubbornness that I don’t quite understand myself.
This decision of course, means that I’m leaving Nelson. At the risk of sounding all sappy and sentimental, leaving is going to be terribly hard for me because I’ve come to love this town. I mean, who doesn’t after coming here? So, here’s a list of songs that will forever remind me of Nelson.
Band of Horses – “Weed Party” Because… it’s obvious. The green stuff keeps Nelson on the map and is even mentioned on its Wikipedia page.
Great Lake Swimmers – “Easy Come, Easy Go” This was the first band I ever interviewed live on the radio. They played this song. A listener called in and said “good job,” regarding the interview and song. It felt like I was in touch with Nelson, and thus began my love for it.
Wilco – “Outta Mind (Outta Site)” Usually bars play crap music. They just set their speakers to some satellite radio station that plays Top 40 tunes. This doesn’t happen in Nelson. The first time I had a drink at Mike’s Place Pub, this song came on. Since this is my favourite Wilco song, I knew that Mike’s would be my watering hole. Also, whoever hand picks the music at that bar, great job. Let’s hang out.
Phantogram – “Mouthful of Diamonds” My first concert in Nelson was Phantogram. This would be the start of the height of my concert watching experiences. I’ve seen more great shows here than I would living in a major city. Nelson always has its finger on the pulse with live music, and that will never change.
Pink Mountaintops – “Tourist In Your Town” If there’s one thing I’ll remember about Nelson, it’s the gorgeous women that roam here. I mean that in the sincerest way possible. Nelson seems to draw them in. This song was playing the moment I realized that.
The Beatles – “Tomorrow Never Knows” The line, “Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream” should be written on Nelson’s welcome sign. It just fits.
LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean” This song always makes you want to dance and on New Years Eve, I think it was played at least four times. Dance I did — all the way up Silverking Road to my house with some friends. I also recall others falling into the snowbank which had absolutely no bearing on what was consumed that night.
The Band – “Up On Cripple Creek” Sometimes I’m a man of routine. Whenever I come home from work, I throw this on the record player, crack a beer and start cooking dinner. Since I live up on a mountain (the top of Silverking Road may as well be a mountain, if you walk up it every day like I do) the line “When I get off of this mountain, you know where I want to go,” is especially taken to heart.
There’re countless songs and memories that will always remind of Nelson. All the words I can say about this place are probably cliche. It’s a warm and open community — unless you’re a parent who participates with their children at the annual soapbox race down Kootenay Street. My ears are still ringing from being one of the officiators last year. Soapbox derbies apparently bring out the worst in people. The other 364 days of the year, Nelson rocks. If I’ve met you, or if you’ve heard me on the radio, or if you’ve read this column — thanks for everything. I’ll see you soon.