Sometimes music can really capture a place but if you're not from that place, you may never get it. I know Mike Doughty is from New York, the Lower East Side of Manhattan to be exact, but it's hard to realize just how much of the city can be found in his songs. It really hit me when on my current (soon to be recent) trip to New York.
Riding the F train, I felt conected to Doughty, this is his usual train. Thinking this as I took my exit at Delancy, I was struck be the cello being played on the subway platform. One of my favorite Doughty songs uses a cello (a song about Los Angeles) and I found it fitting to hear it as I thought about his music and stepped into his neighborhood.
On the eve of my departure, unable to sleep, I put on a playlist titled "M. Doughty's Soul Coughing." I was (at the moment of this writing, I stlll am) instantly taken the 70 blocks or so down to the Lower East Side with a new found appreciation for this music. Just the simple fact of standing on the streets mentioned in his music and seeing the people and grafitti gives me a new base on which to experiece his music.