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Tonight I had the privilege of attending karaoke night at Mason Pub in Mason, OH. Mason is one of the newly-blossomed suburbs outside of Cincinnati which serves as a safe haven for the nouveau riche. At nearly 25 miles outside of the heart of downtown its location puts the township just close enough for MBAs to commute down I-71 to the Chiquita headquarters in Cincy.

This distance also puts Mason clear outside bullet reach of Cincinnati’s infamous Over-The-Rhine, which last year was declared the most dangerous neighborhood in the entire United States. That’s a pretty impressive title for the 24th most populous city in the country.

Standard issue for Chiquita’s middle management.

So Mason is a pretty comfy, money-soaked little township. So much so that it’s been the host a few years running for Cincinnati’s Home-A-Rama, which is a disgusting exhibition of the “creative” limits of McMansionry.

Ok, so back to my original point. Tonight at karaoke I heard songs that you could have heard screeched and bellowed by anyone in any city at any shitty wannabee UFC fighter haunt. I heard some Evanescence, some Journey, some *gag* *spit* *eyes watering* *hurl* Nickelback sung by girls in too-tight pants and dudes in highly-embroidered Tapout t-shirts.

It wasn’t so much that the music was terrible, because it was. So terribly awful. It’s just that it’s all so unoriginal. There really isn’t anything left that a city can call its own. Especially music because most radio stations are owned by national or international parent companies. And even worse many people still get their music from…the MTV.

“I tried so hard, and got so far….”

What I’m getting at is that nearly 40 years ago, when this album came out, Mason was an entirely different place. Mentioning the word “subdivision” to the locals would have been akin to speaking Chinese. It was all farms and state routes as far as the eye could see. There weren’t any Applebee’s, there weren’t any Wal-Marts, no internets and certainly no Jap shit called a Kerry Okey. There were locally owned businesses and locally grown music ripe for the pickin’.

When people got together at local watering holes they’d rock a  jukebox loaded 45s or, perhaps during post-harvest celebrations, had a DJ playing singles with the occasional LP request. It would’ve been music that ‘d been picked specifically because it meshed with the locals’ (farmers and laborers) taste of music. I imagine their jukebox would have been packed with Elvis, some Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and perhaps this new band out of Cincinnati called Pure Prairie League that had this bitchin’ new song “Amie”.

When I’m at places like Mason Pub I like to try and transport myself into the past and think what it would have been like listening to yesteryear’s new music while getting sloshed. Instead of listening to LMFAO’s “Shots” I would be raising my glass and voice to “Amie”. I wouldn’t be wearing jeans and a T but work boots and overalls. The tread of those boots would be filled with a hard-days-worth of manure and my hands rough from wrastling all types of domestic mammals. Shoulders bronzed, hair sunkissed, and neglected teeth which would glimmer dully as the chorus escaped from their huge gaps:

Amie, what you wanna do,

I think I could stay with you,

or a while or maybe longer

If I Do 

Ah, the good ol’ days.

…longer if I do, indeed.

>>Click here to download “Amie” and it’s companion intro song “Falling In And Out Of Love”