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“Looking for Me Somewhere”

Posted by purplemary54 on April 8, 2012

I remember sitting in my bedroom in the late 80s, doing a jigsaw puzzle while listening to the cassette of Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams by The BoDeans.  It was one of many albums I’d heard was really good, but didn’t know anything about (probably from a Rolling Stone review, but I don’t really recall).  I also remember being decidedly unimpressed.  I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.  And then it got to the last song.

“Looking for Me Somewhere” is a quiet acoustic song driven primarily by Sam Llanas’ distinct voice.  Listening to this song, you know that they’re from somewhere in the midwest (Waukesha, Wisconsin, to be exact).  Somewhere flat, where you can see for miles in any direction.  Where you can drive out on a dirt road to a field, and lie on the hood of the car watching the sun set and the stars begin to shine.  Where the desolation, loneliness, and hope of this song are just another way of life.

When I heard “Looking for Me Somewhere,” something clicked.  It was as if The BoDeans came to life in that song.  It felt real.  I kept humming the chorus to myself for quite some time after the song ended and the play button clicked off.  I realized that I’d have to give The BoDeans another chance, so I flipped over the tape and listened again.  I’m glad I did, because Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams is one of those albums I’m really happy to own.  When I’m in the mood, it fills that little spot in my soul designated to my midwestern roots.  The part of me that wants to lie down on the hood of a car while the sun sets and the stars begin to shine.  I can almost hear the ticking engine as it cools and smell the grass and dirt underneath.

I looked up The BoDeans tonight just to get a better feel for them before writing this entry (that’s how I know where they’re from), and I found that Sam Llanas left the band in 2011.  And that made me sad, because that’s another big part of the reason I like this song and The BoDeans.  He’s got one of the coolest voices ever.  It’s sort of impossible to describe–kind of whiney and nasal, but not unpleasant.  There’s absolutely no real musical reason to listen to Llanas sing, except for the fact that it’s kind of impossible not to.  He is wonderfully emotive.  The only remaining original member, Kurt Neumann, is okay, but kind of generic.  Llanas was what made them interesting, in my mind anyway.

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