Convenient Parking: suburbia / popular music / parking documentary

Much has been written on urban sprawl and music — in relation to the punk  / post-punk period specifically (the new interdisciplinary journal Punk & Post-Punk is forthcoming with a special 2012 issue on Manchester, in fact) — and yet I wonder if there’s been anything done with popular music and suburbia that has taken on the band Modest Mouse. Far from having time for this project myself, but it seems that the band’s albums are full of references to suburbia, car-culture, the shopping mall-phenomenon (there’s a reference on another song from the above album to the Orange Julius store, which I remember from long ago) and in this song in particular, parking lots and the connection to highway infrastructure are highlighted.

The song’s form is purposefully monotonous, evoking the monotony of the (fruitless?) search for “convenient parking” in today’s suburban sprawls (also check out The Suburbs, fantastic album of the last year by Arcade Fire).

Also, before I forget, there’s a great documentary from 2010 that looks at a noted parking lot (and its associated culture and conflicts) right across the street from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville–a town I remember fondly (and in fact I used to live next door to one of the people featured in the film).

“Convenient Parking” (lyrics)

Soon the chain reaction started in the parking lot
Waiting to bleed on the big streets
That bleed out on the highways and
Off to other cities built to store and
sell these (plastic) rocks
Well aren’t you feeling real dirty
Sitting in the parking lot [x2]
Waiting to bleed on the big streets
That bleed out on the highways and
Off to other cities built to make and
store these rocks
Well aren’t you feeling real dirty
Sitting in your car with nothing
Waiting to bleed on the big streets
That bleed out on the highways and
Off to other cities built to store and sell
There’s nothing
Convenient parking (is way back, way back) [x3]
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