Image credit: Super Furry Animals
Rock n roll meets integrated transport hubs
Who'd have thought that one of the best songs I've heard all year would be about sustainable urban transportation systems?
I've said it before, but I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Rob Hopkins of the Transition Towns Movement - not just for inspiring one of the most important community-led responses to environmental crisis there is - but also for giving me stuff to write about. His Transition Culture blog is a constant source of inspiration and news on everything from communal nut tree plantings to alternative local currencies. Now we can add rock n roll to the mix - because thanks to Rob I have come across the best (and possibly only!) rock n roll song ever that is taking a stand for trams as a vital part of integrated transportation hubs. And who'd have thought it would be so catchy (at least if you are a fan of mass transportation AND weird Welsh/Germanic spacepop).
"Inaugural Trams" is the new single from the Super Furry Animals and features Nick McCarthy from Franz Ferdinand doing some impromptu German rap. The scene is an undisclosed Utopian European city of the future where a new transportation system has just been unveiled:
Inaugural Trams. It's the first day of the integrated transport hub. Let us celebrate this monumental progress. We have reduced emissions by 75%. It's a magical day and it will be even better tomorrow. Let us make the best of a difficult situation.
Awesome. As Rob says, it's great to see a tune that doesn't just tell folks what we should be doing, but paints a scene where it has already been done. Here's what front man Gruff Rhys told the times newspaper about the motivation for Inaugural Trams:
Inaugural Trams was written to launch the opening of a new integrated public transport system in an imaginary middle-European town, because that was the most uplifting occasion Rhys could think of. "My great-grandmother was run over by a tram in the Mumbles," he mutters, momentarily sombre. "But I'm still very much in favour of trams as a low-emission inner-city transport solution. The song is about commemorating the opening with a secular holiday. It's a celebration of living with science rather than religion."
You can stream "Inaugural Trams" by the Super Furry Animals now - but be warned, it will stick in your head.