Scenes That Caught My Eye, Tunes That Caught My Ear

Two years ago, due to a health issue that required attention, I upped the number of walks that I take. I did so because, as everybody knows, the medical experts among us are convinced that regular exercise can improve the functioning of our internal machinery, thus extending our lives. Well, since then I’ve gone a-walkin’ hundreds of times, as I’m not in any rush to bid adieu to the polluted planet that we call home.

A lot of the walks, for convenience’s sake, have taken place in my neighborhood, which is in a town a few miles from Philadelphia. Though I like my house, which is as cuddly as a toddler, I’m totally aware that my hood ain’t exactly the most exciting locale in the world. And that’s putting it mildly. Let’s face it, when you’ve seen one suburban block you’ve pretty much seen them all.

So, to break up the monotony I sometimes head to one or another nearby village when a pounding-the-pavement session is in order. Yeah, they’ve got more than their share of typical residential blocks too. But, unlike my town, they also contain old-timey business sections, always of interest, not to mention the real possibility of unexpected sights. The other day, with all that in mind, I hopped in my car and drove three miles to Hatboro. I was psyched to stretch my legs there and to see what I would see.

I spent an hour scouring a good bit of Hatboro, exercising ye olde legs more than I had expected to. I was into it, my eyes looking up, down and all around, in search of this, that or the other thing as I strode along. Man, I felt good, breathing freely and fully, and admiring the nip in the air in addition to the sights. Importantly, I also made sure that my phone’s camera was ready for action.

In the end, I pressed the camera button about 20 times, documenting some of the types of scenes that I’m prone to immortalizing. Those with strong contrasts of colors, for instance, or with lines and planes that intersect wildly. As I’m also drawn to well-proportioned minimalistic configurations, I was brought up short by the section of a parking lot whose three yellow metal posts peacefully guard a small building. It’s plain, but I like it.

What’s more, when I’m in the right mood, as I apparently was in Hatboro, I get a kick from the absurd. On the grounds of a funeral home, of all places, a dog statue rocking its woolen scarf like a fashion model fit into that category just fine.

The walk in Hatboro was pretty swell, but a few days later I heard two songs that pleased me far more. That’s not surprising, considering that music has the potential to awe and transport like nothing else. Sure, literature might blow you away, as might art, as might sex, as might nature’s splendors. For me, though, music trumps them all. Not every piece of music, of course. Hardly. But when a musical composition gels with me just so, off I go into the stratosphere, riding gently on the wings of a most mysterious power.

That’s what happened when B-Side, by Leon Bridges and Khruangbin, visited my eardrums. Whoosh! In no time I was airborne. Later that day, Cautionary Tale, by singer-songwriter Dylan LeBlanc, caused the same to occur.

Lyrically, B-Side is a love song and Cautionary Tale is the musings of a guy who has lost his way in the world. But the words of both numbers, which could use some tidying-up anyway, hardly matter to me. What does matter are the steady grooves that embrace and won’t let go, the dancing interplay between the instruments, and the fact that Bridges’ and LeBlanc’s voices are at ease in the ethers. In other words, each of these tunes has a feel that I can’t ignore.

B-Side came out this month and is part of a continuing collaboration between Bridges, who has immersed himself in soul and other musical genres since breaking onto the scene in 2015, and the trance-rock trio with the unpronounceable name. Cautionary Tale reached the marketplace in 2016. It gets played now and then on radio stations that I listen to, proving that I’m not the only one who finds it worthy. I’d be happy to hear what you think about these recordings. Or about exercising, photography or any damn thing at all. Shit, I’m not particular!

 

132 thoughts on “Scenes That Caught My Eye, Tunes That Caught My Ear

  1. gabychops December 21, 2021 / 12:25 am

    I like the music most, after that the dog, and the musing about being healthy!

    Here, we have a race to survive the new wave of the new variant pandemic.

    Happy New Year!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:07 pm

      Hey, Joanna. The various strains of coronavirus won’t leave us alone! With luck, COVID will begin to peter out in 2022. Happy New Year to you and yours.

      Like

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 21, 2021 / 1:53 am

    I really enjoyed the music, especially Cautionary Tale. I hadn’t heard of this song or singer before. Tonally it reminds me a bit of Fleetwood Mac’s Hypnotised. Thanks for the introduction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:08 pm

      Hi, Lynette. One thing for sure is that there is SO MUCH good music out there. We’re living in a very fertile musical period.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. johnlmalone December 21, 2021 / 3:53 am

    love this, Neil; enjoyed your romp through the ‘burbs’; got my camera ready for action, too, especially for the absurd, not always easy to find; enjoyed the music, the first track really: didn’t get the lyrics much, but I got into the groove. You’ve gotta get into the groove, Neil, right ?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paddy Tobin December 21, 2021 / 4:02 am

    You may recall from previous comments that I am as musically deaf as a door post. On the other hand, I enjoy walking and photography very much. Mary reckons that photography matches that comment about golf – that it spoils a good walk for it leads to very frequent stops, a walk of stops and starts. Mary is inclined to walk along at her steady pace while I stop and sprint to catch up. There have been occasions when she has vanished over a distant hill for me to chase but I have always caught up with her. Flowers, garden or wild, and gardens are what I like to photograph but whichever the subject it certainly leads one to opens ones eyes and to admire what is around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:19 pm

      Paddy, I used to be a semi-avid golfer. But when I was in my 20s my golfing ability started to deteriorate. It headed south relentlessly, driving me crazy with frustration. In the middle of a horrible round circa 1976, I threw up my hands and gave up the game for good!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin December 21, 2021 / 2:29 pm

        Fortune smiled on you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. swabby429 December 21, 2021 / 6:39 am

    In as much as I live in a nondescript part of eastern Nebraska, I take a lot of photos of mundane places and situations. There is beauty and artistry hiding in some of the most unlikely places. BTW, thanks for introducing me to two songs I’ve never heard before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:20 pm

      I agree. When we look hard and keep an open mind, we can find beauty just about anywhere.

      Like

  6. Robert Parker December 21, 2021 / 6:45 am

    Hey Neil, Enjoyed the photo-stroll and the tunes B-side seems like excellent walking around music, Happy Solstice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:22 pm

      Hi. Leon Bridges and Khruangbin released a really terrific song last year called Texas Sun. That one can really get inside you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kim Smith December 21, 2021 / 7:17 am

    So it’s 7 am and I’m NOT a morning person…and yet, here I am dancing around my hotel room to B Side. Just added it to my Spotify driving playlist, so thanks for that!

    As for the photography, you’ve reminded me of the way I used to take pictures before I became obsessed with dragonflies. It’s been a long time since I walked around the city taking pictures of man-made structures, but I may do that soon so thanks for inspiring me in that way as well. Happy holidays, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:26 pm

      Hey, Kim. If you’re dancing at 7 AM, you’ve definitely been hooked by that song! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it. A very happy new year to you and yours.

      Like

  8. Joyce Christine HAMILTON December 21, 2021 / 8:17 am

    Always like your photos and music. Try walking around Doylestown…very picturesque.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:27 pm

      Hi. Right, I’ve wandered thru Doylestown a whole bunch of times. Doylestown probably will star in one of my stories next year.

      Like

  9. boblorentson December 21, 2021 / 8:24 am

    Nothing better than exploring new places or listening to new music 🎶. Liked Cautionary Tale a lot, and agree with the person who said it was a bit like Hypnotized by Fleetwood Mac. I do tend to like spacey grooves. Keep on Truckin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:29 pm

      Bob, I’m going to head to YouTube and give Hypnotized a listen. Haven’t heard it in a long while. It’s a really good song.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Helen Devries December 21, 2021 / 8:56 am

    You keep on walking, good for you nd good for us as you show us the unexpected and open our eyes to the extraordinary ordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:30 pm

      Hi, Helen. It’s going on 3PM where I live. And you know what? — I’m going to head out for a walk in a little while!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries December 21, 2021 / 3:57 pm

        Good for you! 3.00 pm here and I am about to feed the dogs….and make pizza dough for tonight…and catch up on paperwork before government offices close until the Nw Year….I’d prefer ypur walk!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Manja Maksimovič December 21, 2021 / 9:58 am

    I liked and shared this post on Twitter even before I got to the second tune. Will do it now. I love it how you describe the process of being swept away. Let’s carry it on into the holidays and beyond, the feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:31 pm

      Hi, Manja. Thanks a lot for putting the story on Twitter. Appreciated. A very happy new year to you and yours. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui Murray December 21, 2021 / 10:04 am

    You are a fun guy, Neil. Me too–on the walking more–but I always go the same places. Not sure why and you make me want to rethink that. Though, on my Peloton Tread, I walk all over the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 2:34 pm

      Hi. You know, I don’t recall hearing about Peloton till earlier this year, when I started seeing ads for it on TV. They must be selling loads of machines to be able to pay for all those ads.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Debra December 21, 2021 / 10:09 am

    They say walking also helps to keep the brain sharp. I think that having a curious mind and finding joy in small things are also important. You’ve got the head start on all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jeff the Chef December 21, 2021 / 10:36 am

    I completely expected to see photos of people in hats, obviously. Nonetheless, i love your tastes in music!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 3:29 pm

      You know, I think that Hatboro got its name from a hat industry that used to be there. I’ll have to head to google to find out if I’m right about that.

      Like

  15. Monkey's Tale December 21, 2021 / 11:25 am

    I’ve never heard of either of these artists, but really like them both. Thanks for the introduction and for the tour of your ‘hood’ Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 3:30 pm

      Hi, Maggie, and thanks for the visit. Yeah, those two songs got inside me more than any others during the last couple of weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Cristina Crawford December 21, 2021 / 11:40 am

    Lovely post. Thanks for the new musical suggestion; Dylan LeBlanc is now on my radar! Cautionary Tale went well with my long walk this morning! Managed to get one in in-between the Florida rain deluge. We should have sunny skies again by tomorrow which will make family coming in from Chicago mighty happy. Hope your holidays are merry and bright!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. SandyL December 21, 2021 / 11:56 am

    It’s it great when you can take a walk and just feel the the goodness of it! Thanks for sharing the music – once again,I recognise the sounds of the 80s. Listening to ‘Cautionary Tale’ I immediately thought of ‘Sailing’ by Christopher Cross. I’m transported back to my university days and the late nights studying with this song in the background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 3:34 pm

      Ah, I like Sailing. Haven’t heard it in eons. Thank goodness for YouTube, where I’ll be headed to listen to that tune.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Michael Graeme December 21, 2021 / 12:12 pm

    I always enjoy your photographic essays of suburban America. It’s a view we rarely get from the TV. Always enjoy your musical selections, too. I stumbled across Khruangbin recently and like their rhythms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 3:35 pm

      Hi. Check out Texas Sun, which the band recorded with Leon Bridges last year. That’s a song I can’t get enough of.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Rosaliene Bacchus December 21, 2021 / 1:33 pm

    It’s been a while since I could enjoy a walk outdoors without severe objections from my right knee and left hip. Enjoyed listening to “Cautionary Tale.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 3:38 pm

      Afternoon, Rosaliene. We listen at home to various channels on SiriusXM radio. And I’ve heard Cautionary Tale on at least two of the channels. It’s a semi-staple on Sirius.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. andrewcferguson December 21, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    Neil, you have a good eye, but more importantly to me, a good ear! Keep on reaching out to us with these musical discoveries of yours!

    Oh, and all the best for the festive period to you and Sandy.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. tylerus December 21, 2021 / 2:54 pm

    Always enjoy your pics and posts; looking forward to more in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 3:41 pm

      Thanks, Tyler. I’ll do my best to keep on doing my thing. Happy New Year! Take care.

      Like

  22. workinacresnothours December 21, 2021 / 4:55 pm

    Love the music, walking for us is kind of like yours instead of neighbourhood monotony it’s tree monotony, lol. Read like you were feeling upbeat. May you & yours have a Christmas that’s upbeat & Merry & bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. annieasksyou December 21, 2021 / 6:42 pm

    I enjoy your “walk…then listen” tours. And like any worthy docent, you provide descriptions that make me see more. That photo of the houses and old fence came alive with your reference to “lines and planes that intersect wildly.” The dog-with-scarf is great too; perhaps the funeral home owners felt the need to cut through the morbidity.

    I liked the Bridges/unpronounceable name group music video but want to listen again without watching.

    So we all benefit from your good health regimen. May it continue—for your sake and ours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 21, 2021 / 8:07 pm

      Hi. I wonder about the dog statue. I should have gone into the funeral home and asked about it. I’m sure there’s an interesting reason as to why it’s there.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. cincinnatibabyhead December 22, 2021 / 12:14 am

    Good shoe leather music Neil. I could stroll to those quite easily. “Hey CB. Whatcha listen to fella?” “A couple tunes Philly Neil turned me onto”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 22, 2021 / 7:17 am

      CB, I mentioned this to someone else: Do you know the band called Cage The Elephant? I knew of them, but didn’t know their music. I saw them a few days ago on Austin City Limits. They were pretty great.

      Liked by 2 people

      • cincinnatibabyhead December 22, 2021 / 12:40 pm

        I have had a few folks talk of them and seen them referred to in my travels. Time to take the plunge. Austin is a pretty good gauge. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Laurie Graves December 22, 2021 / 10:48 am

    Along with being good for the body, walking is also good for the spirit. And I believe that most places have something to notice and admire, even neighborhoods that might be considered bland. Really, really liked both videos. I’m listening to “Cautionary Tale” right now. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 22, 2021 / 12:41 pm

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Laurie. You’re right about walking being good for the body and the spirit. Walking opens up our eyes and our minds. Sometimes, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Annika Perry December 22, 2021 / 11:01 am

    Neil, I love both these songs, new to me but ones I’ll be adding to my Spotify. As you know I enjoy walks and bring my camera along taking lots of photos of nature along the way! You’re encouraging me to take a closer look at the local towns and villages – see what I find there through the lens!😀

    Liked by 1 person

      • Annika Perry December 23, 2021 / 1:40 pm

        I wouldn’t be surprised and doctors believe this is the most sensible form of exercise. However, one knee is troubling me greatly and I’m due an MRI soon – wonder if it was all that walking! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 22, 2021 / 12:44 pm

      My phone’s camera almost always is at the ready! Hi. Thanks for stopping by. A very happy new year to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Cindy December 22, 2021 / 1:15 pm

    Neil, you’re the only blogger alive who could put a walking tour of Hatboro and a psych-rock band with an unpronounceable name in the same piece and make me want to read it! I dig your eclecticism(?).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 22, 2021 / 4:04 pm

      Thanks, Cindy. The four of us some day should go for a walk in Hatboro. I think you’d like it there.

      Like

  28. Ann Coleman December 22, 2021 / 2:11 pm

    The best part about walking is all the things you notice on the way, things which you would have just driven right past without a glance if you were in a car. It may be good for your physical health, but I think it’s also good for your emotional health as well. Thanks for sharing your strolls with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The Coastal Crone December 22, 2021 / 2:30 pm

    Yes, thanks for sharing your stroll with us. I walk almost daily too. You have an interesting neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. viewfromoverthehill December 22, 2021 / 6:36 pm

    My favourite photo is of the dog statue in front of the funeral home. I wonder if there IS a dog buried there? Did you ask? If not, I wish you’d go back and do so. I’m curious. Happy New Year to you and yours. Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 23, 2021 / 11:44 am

      Morning, Muriel. I called them. They like greyhounds, and try to encourage people to adopt greyhounds. That’s why the statue is there.

      Like

  31. tanjabrittonwriter December 22, 2021 / 7:04 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed not only your exercise, Neil, but also found interesting things to photograph. I find that it never gets boring when I keep my eyes and ears open when I’m out and about.
    Keep enjoying your walks and new discoveries.
    Best,
    Tanja

    Liked by 1 person

  32. selizabryangmailcom December 23, 2021 / 3:54 am

    Really liked the Leon Bridges song.
    And the shot of the houses behind the picket fence in the stark white light.
    Light like that fills me with an indescribable feeling. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 23, 2021 / 8:44 am

      Howdy. Those houses and fencing really grabbed my attention as I was walking around. And, as you say, the light there really sets off the scene.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Alyson December 23, 2021 / 12:03 pm

    Walking is cheap but it’s really good for you and I always come back feeling better than when I went out. Great pictures as ever and thanks for sharing the musical choices. New to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 23, 2021 / 2:25 pm

      My main form of exercise is walking. Second-most is yard work, which I did today — I raked up a ton of leaves. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Alyson. As always, I appreciate it.

      Like

  34. Paula B December 23, 2021 / 7:10 pm

    Thank you for yet another of your discoveries. For reason that elude me, I seem to be drawn to anything (art, food, music, writing) coming out of New Orleans, and sure enough the Dylan LeBlanc song really appealed to me, Please keep the blogs coming. I seem to have had writer’s block this year and I hope to crawl out of it soon. Your continued good work inspires me. Happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 23, 2021 / 10:13 pm

      Howdy, Paula. I’m sure that your writer’s block will end soon. You’ll be hitting home runs in 2022. Take care. Happy New Year!

      Like

  35. sloppy buddhist December 23, 2021 / 10:40 pm

    Oh this is wonderful Neil I love cautionary tale🤍🕊☺️and this post has a real new topographic feeling about it…sending joy and all good things…happy holidays to you and your loved ones🎄⭐️🕊hedy

    Liked by 1 person

  36. sniderjerry December 25, 2021 / 10:18 am

    Hey there Neil,
    Thanks for another grand adventure up the street and down the road. Have a super doodle day! Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Stuart Danker December 26, 2021 / 6:37 pm

    Hell yeah exercising every day is like a magical cure. I do it for the feels now, and not for anything else. Also, I enjoy Khruangbin’s music, so thanks for sharing. And those pics really do allow me to experience your part of the world, so that’s nice too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 26, 2021 / 8:35 pm

      Hi, and thanks for visiting. I’d do well to exercise daily, but I’m not disciplined enough. Still, I exercise four or five times per week, which is pretty good. See ya!

      Like

  38. carolinehelbig December 27, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Glad to hear that you’re keeping up with your walks Neil…amazing what we can see when we slow things down. Thanks for the song introductions. I particularly like B-Side–unique sound and video. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2021 / 6:06 pm

      Howdy, Caroline. It’s hard to believe that 2021 almost is gone. All the best to you and yours in 2022.

      Like

  39. eden baylee December 27, 2021 / 8:32 pm

    Khruangbin with Leon Bridges is terrific, great tune. Walking is a life saviour, especially now when so many other outdoor activities are not possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2021 / 10:48 pm

      Right, during the last 20 months there probably had been a 100% increase in the number of walks being taken.

      Like

  40. KT Workman December 28, 2021 / 10:44 am

    Interesting pics…
    Speaking of walking, up until about two years ago, I walked for about an hour and a half at a pretty good clip almost every day. Well, my knees gradually began giving me trouble, getting gradually worse until I was almost crippled. My doctor sent me to an orthopedic surgeon who had me stop walking and ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes three times weekly instead. My knees are almost back to normal now. The orthopedic guy told me that walking too much (as I was doing) can damage some people’s knees.

    Liked by 1 person

      • KT Workman December 28, 2021 / 5:02 pm

        He’s a good doctor…didn’t recommend surgery, which I thought might happen since that very same doctor performed knee replacement weeks earlier on BOTH my older sister’s knees.

        Liked by 1 person

  41. Pam Lazos December 28, 2021 / 11:38 am

    And we are the better for your walks, Neil! Hope your New Year is full of friendly faces, tons of health and lots of walking opportunities. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  42. candidkay December 28, 2021 / 11:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Always up for new music, books, art and not enough hours in the day to ingest it all. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2021 / 7:40 am

      Hi. And the internet has incredibly expanded our abilities to bring arts and culture into our homes. Digital technology is truly mind-blowing. All the best to you and yours in 2022.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Steve Higgins December 30, 2021 / 7:25 am

    Enjoy your walk, it’s the only civilised way to exercise! Best wishes from the UK

    Liked by 2 people

  44. D. Wallace Peach December 31, 2021 / 3:28 pm

    A great reason to walk, Neil, and I’m glad you’ve found a way to make it fun. Wow. Love those music selections, especially Dylan LeBlanc. Wow. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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