Monday, November 14, 2011

Anchored Down

It occurred to me the other day that Michelle Shocked's classic 1988 song "Anchorage" is now a period piece, kind of like the old Marvelettes tune "Beechwood 4-5789"—made quaint by the evolution of communication technology.

For example:

1) The first lines: "I took time out to write to my old friend ... mailed my letter off to Dallas." Who writes letters anymore? Who mails them?

2) Later in the song, the speaker's friend writes back: "Hey girl, it's about time you wrote me. It's been over two years you know, my old friend." Today these two would obviously be friends on Facebook.

3) Near the end of the song: "Tell me, what's it like to be a skateboard punk rocker? Leroy says send a picture. Leroy says hello. Leroy says, As keep on rockin' girl. Yeah, keep on rockin'." In the song, these lines speak of Leroy's yearning for a window into a world beyond his drab workaday existence with the speaker's old friend in Anchorage, Alaska. Nowadays, he'd just Facebook stalk her and look through the albums of photos she'd post of her skateboard punk rock life in New York.

4) I hate to say it, but would it be possible to write a song about Alaska now without making at least a humorous reference to Sarah Palin?

Ah well. It's still a great song.

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