midnight highway

The second song on the Kill Bill Volume 1 soundtrack is a fantastic rockabilly number called That Certain Female. It has this great thick guitar riff with a lot of echo and delay and, for me, it conjures up images of Route 66 under a new moon, windows down and radio blaring as a ’58 Chevy puts miles between its mysterious driver and Chicago as fast as he can lay them down.

This music fills the dark and bug-spattered spaces between Amarillo and Tucumcari, staccato white lines flashing by in the headlights, the smell of exhaust and old tobacco swirling with dust.

Is he running toward something or away from something? Or is it a she behind the wheel? What’s in the trunk? What’s in the backseat? When we see the driver’s eyes in the rear view mirror, briefly lit by the glowing cherry of a cigarette, are they determined? Resigned? Afraid? Tear-stained? Vengeful?

Maybe they are all these things.

The road goes on.



18 thoughts on “midnight highway”

  1. Yesterday, I made a Pandora station, starting with That Certain Female, and it’s given me a fantastic soundtrack for the last 24 hours: Johnny Cash, The Hollies, Bob Willis, Captain Beefheart, and others. If you like this sound, I highly recommend it.

    1. I loved this blog! I could feel the Texas heat, smell the smoke, and see the old mother road. I ran that road from Amarillo to St Jon and on to Tucumcarie and the cut over to Las Vegas, New Mexico and up to Angel Fire, New Mexico–high in the mountains and home to the first real Vietnam War Memorial a couple of months ago… My husband and I were just talking about running 66 in his 63 Healey this fall and your writing has really given me the itch to go NOW!

  2. These are the kinds of thoughts Queens of the Settings Age always inspire in me, especially Songs for the Deaf. So does Django Django; even though they’re from Scotland, they very much conjure up Southwest desert rock, with a touch of sci-fi.

  3. Wil, welcome back. Enjoyed reading Ryan’s posts. He is an up and coming writer.

  4. That whole soundtrack is killer. I discovered Chingon through the film and could listen to Maleguena Salerosa for hours. Del Castillo, Chingon without Robert Rodriguez, plays here a couple of times a year and I’m dying to see them.

  5. Ummm first two paragraphs had me hooked. Was disappointed it ended so soon. Could go in any direction go write more please thanks cheers

  6. My new Pandora station – That Certain Female is now playing in my cubicle at work. I LOVE modern technology! And I adore this new station. Johnny Carroll is singing Wild Wild Women right now. 😀

    Thanks Wil!

  7. That is a very inspiring image you just put out there into the ether. I might have to write something using this scene. I can see it so clearly, having driven that road many times when I was in my 20’s.

  8. Got Pandora going, thanks for the idea and loving the music coming up! Maybe this is just because I am a Southern CA gal with an annual pass to Disneyland resort…. but all this music makes me feel like I am in Cars-land (which of course, is Route 66 themed!).

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