Today we’re listening to “Our Town” by Super 8
I’ve been talking a lot about the movie “Air'“ lately. Or rather, why I don’t want to see it. The film is about Nike’s pursuit of Michael Jordan and how Air Jordan changed everything- for the company, for Jordan, and more.
As many readers know, Nike has their world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. This is also my hometown. I grew up not far from what is now a sprawling compound. In fact, I’m old enough to remember when Nike occupied a spot in an office complex up the road. When they broke ground on the current site, we used the newly formed dirt hills and trenches as motocross tracks for our bikes.
That’s obviously not what “Air” is about, nor is it why I’m hesitant to watch it. Rather, I’m convinced that I’ll spend the entire movie as a sort of cinematic reply guy pointing out every last thing the filmmakers got wrong. Never mind that it’s entirely possible that they’ve nailed it. And never mind that the town I’m so hell-bent on reflexively defending is (today) a traffic-choked strip mall Babylon. It’s still home.
What is it about these towns that breed such fierce defending? Why should it bother me if some of the B-roll film doesn’t get things 100% right? I don’t have an answer here (if you do, please weigh in). What I do know is that hometowns occupy a special place in our hearts and memories.
Paul “Trip” Ryan, who performs as Super 8, felt the same way when he penned “Our Town,” a love letter to his hometown of Warrington, England. Ryan grew up in a place 4749 miles from where I did, but that same sense of place is universal.
When I asked him for his thoughts on the song, he said:
…it’s one of those ‘looking back songs’. A song celebrating ‘the little things in life’, those things we can often take for granted (like: 'watching the sunshine over our town’). It’s a song about finally realising (in hindsight here) that these moments you perhaps perceived at the time they were happening as ‘ordinary’ (or perhaps even ‘mundane’!) can actually turn out to be the most important moments and some of your most cherished memories
He’s on to something here. Over time those things that at the moment seem boringly normal take on more significance. Ryan originally wrote it with Warrington in mind, but it just as easily could’ve been about Beaverton or your hometown.
…the actual sentiment of this song is hopefully more far-reaching and universal than that, I would like to think. As it’s turned out, I no longer hear this one as a song about a specific time or a place. No, it’s really more about appreciating ‘the little things in life’ in the moment and the realisation (which, as its author, has really only come to light with the wisdom of hindsight) that these ‘little things’ can often be the most important things! So, yeah, I guess what I’m trying to say here is: appreciate ‘the little stuff’ Folks because, whether you realise it at the time or not, it’s often this ‘little stuff’ that iss actually ‘the BIG stuff’ in the grand scheme of this thing we call 'life'!
Learning to appreciate the little things is definitely something I’ve got to work on, whether that’s motocross or going to a movie.
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“Our Town” by Super 8 | Hoopla, 2023
Click the record to listen on Bandcamp.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this track or your hometown!
Thanks for being here,
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Great piece as always! I love what you say about appreciating the little things in life. To answer your question on why you may be reluctant to watch the movie, I think we develop a complicated relationship with our hometown when we move somewhere else. You can’t have the same detachment as everyone else because you feel you have to kind of “represent” your hometown. And part of you worries will I remember all the details I’m supposed to remember? Have I forgotten my roots a little bit? It’s complicated shit. It happens to me from time to time. You’re not alone!
I know nothing about Oregon but I can't wait to see Air. That is all lol. :)