Crank the Night

She revved the engine and looked out into the night. The tangle of neon-lit streets spreading out before her seemed to gather at the end of her vision into one single, brilliant point. Finally, she thought, I’ll make it there.

All her life inside the city walls she had been waiting for her keys, for her car, for the ruler who people said was in charge to say, “Go!” But he had never said that word to her; he had never spoken to her at all. So she had decided to find a way out herself, going throughout the confines of the kingdom to barter for a car, to forge its keys, to take one step closer to the outer perimeter, and then another, to see how far she could go before the ruler interfered. She had gotten everything she needed, and he had never tried to stop her. She took that to mean he did not mind much if she left.

Now she sat facing the darkness outside the kingdom, waiting for her own voice to say, “Go.” She reapplied her red lipstick. She secured her seatbelt. She lifted her hand to her heart and felt its steady beating beneath her skin. She was there with herself, the one person she was certain was watching her exit.

She reached down to the stereo dial and felt her courage lit by the first note that burst out. And then she, like the music, burst out into the night.

She took the road that went straight ahead, ignoring the side streets that wound around the city. It was the first time she was out of bounds; she would see just how far she could leave those bounds behind.

Good-bye, Kingdom, she thought as the rearview mirror showed it diminishing behind her. Good-bye, ruler who never spoke my name.

She was finally completely gone, heading towards the gathering light.


(Partly inspired by “No Time To Crank The Sun,” by El Vy.
If the singer sounds familiar, it’s because he’s Matt Berninger,
lead singer of The National.)


14 thoughts on “Crank the Night

        1. Yeah, I wish I could find the album version. I’m sure it will get uploaded at some point, but the album’s new and the band is new, so no one’s gotten to it yet. The album version is a bit more melodic and has backing vocals, so the feeling is a bit more full. But I also kind of like the rawness of this live version. I think it fits the general sentiment of the song.

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          1. I would definitely agree with that. It is stark but it works. At one I was envisioning a string section like Bittersweet Symphony during one part of the song. I must remember to find this song. As to the writing, I won’t wax poetical on you again 😉 but I like the association you made (and make) in your work, be it a painting, or the music. Yet I also like how you aren’t necessarily governed by those things. In a perfect world I’d love to have a multi media art exhibit-my photos with segments of my writing, with the particular song playing (or connected with headphones). I could easily see the same sort of thing for your blogs!


            1. Yes! I would definitely love that. It would be great if there were some way to always have the words linked to the music, even on the printed page. And I can definitely see your pictures on display in a gallery that has headphones, not for people to listen to descriptions about the pictures, but for them to listen to the song you’ve chosen for each photo.

              We’d definitely need copyright lawyers to help us with these scenarios. Haha. We can dream, I guess. 🙂

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              1. Yes the copyright would definitely not help, although writing about some of the under the radar artists like I do I have developed relationships with a few of them that might help make it easier! I mean the blogs are the blogs…they are multi media in their own way I suppose, but I’d love to bring it to a new creative level, much like you describe. Well at least until then we have each others blogs 🙂

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                  1. Which leads me to asking if you have ever sent any of your blogs to any of these artists you write about. I know you aren’t writing about them directly but they would be thrilled to hear about their work inspiring you. The best comment I got from any band was one guy from a group called Ahab (now broken up, and not the German metal band by the same name) who said we love hearing how people are touched by our music. But to know that someone took our song and used it for their own form of expression and creativity is the best feeling. I know the artists would do the same for you Liza. You should message them on Facebook, or mention them in a tweet. If both of those things don’t work, post on their page anyway. Gets your blog out there, and it may just get you an interaction you never imagined as well.


                    1. Hmmm. While I would *love* for artists to know I’m being inspired by their music, I never thought about the possibility of telling them directly. I do include them in my post tweets sometimes, but the only time I’ve gotten a response is from El Vy, who favorited my tweet about this post (which was great). But I will definitely post on their pages from now on. A lot of the bands I’ve used are really big (ahem, U2), but even if they don’t respond, it would be cool to let them know. And maybe some of their other fans would appreciate it. Thanks for the great idea!

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                    2. It’s true the few times I have done a truly big artist I have gotten zero response at all, and not even a favorited tweet. So yes, like with a U2 or someone like that I have learned to not even try really. Although, the alternative are fan sites, or tribute pages to U2 who might be more amenable to sharing your post. I got great views from one of the many Johnny Cash tribute pages. But it is worth trying every time I think. Worst that happens is it gets ignored. Best that happens is that they may actually share it on their page. Ironically the single best day I ever had with almost 600 views came from an Irish folk band! But it was only because I asked if they would share it.

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