Story: Driving back from the Grand Canyon last year with five travel-weary, ripe-smelling friends in a five-person car. Around 8 o’clock Thursday night while speeding through the dusky dregs of New Mexico, we made the controversial decision (4-1) to drive all night, through the Oklahoma panhandle and most God-forsaken part of Kansas, pulling into a hometown cafe for fried egg sandwiches around 6 a.m. It was easy until 11, harder and darker and more deer-infested after that. Looking back, it was a dangerous choice — especially when a thunderstorm rolled in around 3:30 a.m.
But, the night drive had its moments. Like when Jessica and I were the only ones still awake, driving toward a vast field of red lights suspended hundreds of feet in the air. It wasn’t until we were deep in it and noticed the giant blades that we figured out they were wind turbines, not flying saucers (serious business). Or like when she played this Ivan and Alyosha song for me and it was good.
After that night, the name and melody slipped my mind until a couple Sundays ago. I was listening to Iowa public radio, headed home on the highway after a long drive and long weekend in St. Louis. They introduced an archived Iowa City coffee shop recording from a few years ago — probably right around the time we were killing ourselves to get through Kansas — and it was this band and this song.