Song of the Week: “Head Shop”

February 2006. I had just moved into the first place where I lived completely alone. I took the subway into Boston to go to one of my favorite bookstores, the great, giant Border’s Books in Downtown Crossing (RIP). I took the escalator upstairs and Tina Dico was giving a concert in the music section and playing this song. It will always mean a lot to me (even though I’ve never been in a head shop).

Update! Because the internet has everything, I found a picture from that very performance. I think I’m standing on the other side of that Carvin speaker (and paying more attention than many of those people were).


“Does there not come, with the vivid turning of the leaves, a heightened color to the life of man, deepening with the passage of the autumn days, rising with the onset of the of the Christmas season to a chromatic crescendo? You are about to tell me that spring is the time when the sap starts running, when the leaves make their first brave show? But we are neither sap nor leaves, and though I welcome spring as gladly as any sonneteer, I also remember that it is the season in which blooms the Bureau of Internal Revenue. I seem to gather my own internal revenue with the onset of fall rather than of spring, and believe the same to be true of many of my neighbors…

…And so I would suggest to Congress that we change our calendar to conform to what is psychologically true, and that the day following Labor Day be termed New Year’s Day. I know this cannot be done in legal fact, but for us who live in the North Temperate Zone and who feel, like the instinctive animals we are, the invigorating breath of autumn’s first brisk winds, it has already been accomplished in the calendar of the spirit.”

Clifton Fadiman, “A Kind Word For American Autumn,” 1962

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