[Taylor’s note: My friend Clay makes the best mixes of anyone I know. He’s also one of the best writers I know. His words are fluid and natural, with a powerful grace and natural excitement. Naturally, I asked him to write a guest post for me about music, of his choosing. He selected My Bloody Valentine’s “Sometimes,” and these are his words to go with it. When you’re done reading, tell him to hurry up and update his food blog.]

My Bloody Valentine, “Sometimes” (download)

When I was little, there was this hope for the urban. This dream for the city. This wish that through the dense black of trees there were whole worlds made of lights. Swirling, dizzying, beautiful lights. Ascending high, up towards the stars, and plunging deep through the ground, to the realm of trains and myths. I would sit in the window of my parents’ home, especially on rainy days, and look for any sign that the city might be coming my way. Buildings never sprouted and colorful electronic billboards never appeared, but in my imagination’s eye, I saw everything that I knew the city could be. I heard freight trains through the woods, and I knew that their destination was always the city.

Fifteen years later, in my early twenties, I finally made it to the city. And while some people’s dreams crumble under the veracity of reality, mine did not. It turned out that urbanity was everything I had always imagined it to be. Buildings towered high filling up the night with a wondrous human light. Cars darted through streets leaving behind orange and red trails. People hurried and rushed everywhere. Always moving. Always going. The noise was incredible, the most perfect soundscape. I found it comforting in ways that cicadas and whippoorwills never could be.

At night, I would move through the city as if it were a cinematic space. On the metro, on foot, in a car. I would move through that harlequin mosaic filled with awe. Every window, every sign a different beacon. A signal of a human presence. Even when flesh and blood could not be perceived, there would be light. Whimsical, magical, electrical light. A sea of terrestrial stars.

Now that I have returned to the country, I dream of the city again. Next to windows on rainy days; inside books that whisper those urban abracadabras: New York, Tokyo, London; and on railroad tracks that have been overgrown. But never more do I dream of the city than when I am out under night sky, enveloped in that starlit black, amidst water and trees with highway beneath my feet. Out there I can see everything I remember the city was, and I can imagine everything that it might yet be.