I've got a whole city to hold down

April 04, 2004

So close, but yet so far

Posted by Roy Stalin

Greetings, Chicagomuzik fans, from the North Country--that's what car dealerships call our region in order to tap into our assumed common huntin'/fishin'/pick-up truckin' interests.

You may have read that your regular host is away, and I can only tell you that his/her travels involve scads of in-laws, rustic camping, and a significant accumulation of frequent flier miles. And maybe some penguins, I don't know.

We in the Twin Cities have anxiously been anticipating two significant milestones of civilization, ones that Chicagolanders take for granted: light rail and Ikea.

Light rail, which was supposed to start service on a line from the airport and Mall o' America to DT Mpls this weekend, is on hold because our bus drivers--who will also drive the trains--are on strike. It took nearly three decades of legislative battles between rural and urban lawmakers before light rail funding was finally passed, so I suppose we can stand to wait a little longer.

We're still on track to get our first disposable furniture store in May, though, and the excitement is palpable. It won't be long until all 20 and 30 something domiciles will be uniformly outfitted with scandinavian style, fiberboard desks and metric allen wrenches. Don't even get us started on the Swedish meatballs!

Many of us still take great provincial pride for living amongst the background scenery of Purple Rain. That knee jerk regionalism has been enough to warrant three shows for His Purplehood's first national tour in six years. On the Xcel Center website, this factoid is prominently featured: Prince is the first artist ever to play three consecutive shows at Xcel Energy Center. Wow. So what. (OK, I admit it, I bought tickets.)

Sure, we're buying tickets, but I can't imagine it's like when Springsteen plays in New Jersey. Whereas Springsteen peoples his paens with working class stiffs with dreams of getting away, Prince has always been about rejecting the quotidian and actually living the Glamorous Life. I've never looked at it carefully, but I gotta think that Prince's self-created world and image has been a powerful shaper of what we see today as thug/hip-hop lifestyle aspirations.

We here in the Bus-less North take similar pride and interest in Bob Dylan. But let's face it, both of these native sons aren't really from anywhere but Mars and they really just confuse us...

Another thing you should know about us: we are notorious fair weather sports fans, especially compared to most Chicagoans. In that spirit, I say, Go Gophers! I've been with you..for at least the last three weeks!

Lindsay Whalen in action