The first time I heard Josh Rouse was when “Dressed Up Like Nebraska” was played on the TV show Ed a few years back. It impressed me enough that I Googled the lyrics, determined the artist’s name, and bought the song via iTunes. I still love it.
More recently, when I was deciding on a song to grace my MySpace profile, I looked Josh Rouse up there and discovered “Quiet Town” from his new album Subtitulo.
As with the earlier number, this one also planted itself in my head, where it played in heavy rotation. I like the way the guitar begins alone before the full rhythm kicks in. The easygoing, Monday afternoon, “Everybody’s Talkin”” type of arrangement suits the subject. I enjoy the sentiments expressed, the sort of “Penny Lane” appreciation of ordinary life in a small community. While he was likely writing about a European town, since I understand he was living in Spain, the lyrics could easily apply to a small town in the USA. I admire the way he does not complete the thought, “I learned a long time ago.” As for the whistling, well, that’s the taproot. The next thing you know, you’re imitating that whistling as you work around the house. It’s a well-built, clean and sturdy song, and amazingly compact at just two and a half minutes.
“Quiet Town” was removed from Josh Rouse’s MySpace page, so I switched to another song, but I sought it out again yesterday because I had redesigned my blog to accomodate YouTube videos, and I wanted to try that out, so here it is. The video reminds me of our trip to Tuscany. I realize it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.
Both “Quiet Town” and “Dressed Up Like Nebraska” are included in my iTunes iMix.