“Acton?” you ask? Yup, Acton. Why not Acton? I’d never been, it’s like 25 minutes from home, I had the day off, I like to explore new places, and it’s fall so everything is pretty. So why not Acton? It was nice. And like I’ve done a couple of times before with these things, I listened to music and took one picture during each song to sort of represent it. And away we go…
“Jealous Again (Live),” The Black Crowes
I bet if this kitty saw a black crow swoop by its window, it would pounce on it like catnip.
“Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl,” Broken Social Scene
I loved the simplicity of this building, the symmetry of the façade, with the peaked roof, clock, sign, awnings and windows. I’m sure it’s been there a long time and you know barber shops always have a social scene. Oh, wait, this is not a “barber shop,” it’s a “barber stylists.” Important distinction.
“Feeling Gravity’s Pull,” R.E.M.
I definitely felt a pull toward this park. I was heading in a different direction, but I decided to hang a right when I saw this gazebo, suspecting that the lake I’d seen on a map was nearby.
“Debonair,” The Afghan Whigs
Voila! The lake! It’s actually called Fairy Lake, which is an odd coincidence, seeing as my last “shuffled walk” happened at Newmarket’s Fairy Lake. Check out that tree. Yes, the colours are beautiful. But take a good look at the trunk. It’s got all these bulbous deformities around the bottom. It kind of reminds me of The Afghan Whigs’ music: gorgeous and soulful, but a little rough around the edges in an amazing way that distinguishes it from anything else.
“I Am the Resurrection,” The Stone Roses
I was looking around for some nice stones or roses or even a church to represent the resurrection (and there are no shortage of churches in this town – there’s even a sign as you enter town saying its churches welcome you). But I just couldn’t resist documenting this bizarre (currently dry) splash pad. This would’ve paired better with another song later on, but here’s the closest thing I can come up with for a connection to this one: here’s hoping when this splash pad resurrects next summer, kids can safely enjoy it in happy groups.
“Realization,” Eric Clapton
Here’s part of one of those gorgeous old Acton churches. I think this one dated back to 1894. I loved this angle of what I thought was a bell tower. But, having zoomed in on it, I’ve had the realization that what looks like a bell is actually a speaker. Which is kind of a disappointing realization. Side note: this song is from the soundtrack to a ‘90s movie called Rush, which I never saw, but only bought the soundtrack because Clapton scored it and there’s a great collaboration with Buddy Guy, plus his huge, sad hit “Tears in Heaven.”
“Late Night Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries,” Broken Social Scene
Amazing that out of 5,843 songs on my phone, shuffle played two from the same album just six songs apart. Hey, look, another church. And it looks like there’s a real, actual bell below the cross on this one. Aside from the cross, it looks almost more like a chalet than a church. Anyway, missionaries, church, there’s your connection.
“Stone Free,” Eric Clapton
I really liked the connection of one notorious ex-junky covering another notorious junky (Jimi Hendrix) as I passed by a Cannabis store. But it could have been SO MUCH BETTER. I have this rule that the first picture I take has to be the picture I use, but I later passed, while this song was still playing, a music store (which you’ll see later) that had a fake street sign in the window that said “Jimi Hendrix Rd,” along with Hendrix t-shirts.
“Hello Operator,” The White Stripes
Again, weird that I have 5,843 songs to shuffle and yet it served up a repeat from my Newmarket walk from a month ago. No pay phones here, though. Here we have the main reason most non-Actonites come to Acton: The Olde Hide House. But the GTA’s most famous home of leather jackets was not the reason I took the picture. It’s the attached furniture shop, because Jack White upholstered furniture before he was a rock star.
“I Got Mine,” The Black Keys
Another great shuffle coincidence, putting these two often-linked two-person, blues-based rock bands side by side. Honestly, I struggled to find a good shot for this song. I just loved the pumpkiny fun inside this doorway. But zoom in on the door’s window and you’ll see a shadowy human form with an oddly gigantic smile, which I didn’t see when I took the shot. So what’s the “mine” that “I got” with this picture? Creeped out. I got creeped out.
“Ain’t No Way,” Aretha Franklin
When I think of any song on this album, 30 Greatest Hits, I think orange. Just look at the album cover. So I couldn’t resist snapping this funky orange Mustang, along with the orange autumn and Halloween decorations on the house.
“Glass Ceiling,” Metric
I was happy to be treated to another Emily Haines-led song (following the first Broken Social Scene song). The only connection here is that it’s a music shop, but I loved this music shop. First of all, I don’t understand the sign. Vinyl and what? Records? Is that what the little record illustration is supposed to signify? Isn’t that the same as vinyl? It doesn’t make sense and I love it. Or maybe it’s supposed to be “Vinyl Land” but there’s a giant space after the L. And I love that the sign looks hand drawn. You can see the “Jimi Hendrix Rd” sign in the left window, plus some beautiful guitars, including a drool-worthy blue Strat that I want in my hands right now. The older man working in the store was super nice and chatty, through a mask covered in records, and seemed to really want to sell me a used turntable.
“3’s & 7’s,” Queens of the Stone Age
You know what I really wanted? To find a house that was number 37. And I came sooooo close! The last house on the street before the lake was number 31, I think. But there are plenty of aged stones in this picture of a dilapidated dam to warrant a connection.
“Nice Place to Visit,” Extreme
I think the connection here is pretty self-explanatory.
“Best Day of My Life,” American Authors
This is not a bad song, but the only reason it’s on my phone is because I bought it for Ethan a few years ago. I think he’d approve of this cool Silver Star CT33, MK3 Jet Aircraft (so said the accompanying plaque), which dates back to 1952.
“Butterfly,” Corinne Bailey Rae
I really can’t think of a less fitting depiction of this gorgeously soft little song, so I enjoyed the irony: a huge, solid, brutal beast of a machine, which accompanied the jet and a couple of other military machines outside of the Royal Canadian Legion. For those interested, it’s an M109-A4, 155 mm self-propelled Howitzer from 1968.
“Bone House,” The Dead Weather
I was walking in a highly residential area at this point and you’d think I could’ve found a house with a bony skeleton Halloween decoration for this one, like I did earlier during “I Got Mine.” But, nope. This is almost just as creepy, though, if not more so. It actually spooked me when I turned around and saw what I at first thought from a distance was a real cop taking a picture of me.
“Piggy,” Nine Inch Nails
If you can’t tell by my reflection at the bottom, this is a bunch of leaves, branches and rocks as seen at the bottom of the lake, towards the shore. Aside from my dumb reflection, I love this shot. I love the splashes of colour provided by the fallen leaves and I love the slightly hazy quality the water brings to it. This song is fun, too, but aside from that there’s really no connection here.
“Now At Last,” Feist
The title of this song speaks of something happening right now that’s been a long time coming. Somewhat similarly, this is a more-or-less contemporary (dated 2000) mural depicting something from a long time ago.
“Wrapped Around Your Finger,” The Police
I happened to be walking by “Vinyl and ???” again during this song, so I thought I’d look through the t-shirts. Maybe there’d be a Police shirt? Nope. I don’t know what Andy Warhol’s relationship was with The Police, but you can buy a print of a picture of Warhol and an extremely scarfed Sting hanging out together.