While running along a barrier- and spectator-lined section of Monument Avenue, I found the perfect album to pair with UCI Road World Championship racing: Positive No’s Glossa.
- It was released last weekend, just as racing was getting underway, bonding the event and the album as this one amazing moment that Richmond can be excited about and proud of.
- The energy that Glossa unleashes is incredible, and Tracy Wilson’s intentional and combustible singing style is a great analog for the furious internal drive competitors have to muster to compete in this event.
- One of the songs is called “Pedal Through.”
- Positive No wore “Cutters” shirts during their performance at the Glossa album release party, paying homage to legendary cycling film Breaking Away.
Breaking away from bullets for one more:
Hosting an international event like this presents an irresistible opportunity to think about where you live from a third-person perspective. If you regularly read this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Richmond — especially its music. (Food, too — I don’t talk about that enough, but our restaurants are awesome. Also college basketball.) Still, certain aspects of the city’s past and present can be frustrating to the point of embarrassment, as was illustrated when the Confederate flag nuts flew a typo over the city in a poetically flawed attempt to garner attention. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the racers had to repeatedly pass monuments to Confederate war generals.
The last song on Glossa is called “Northern Aggressor,” and it couldn’t fit this type self-reflection any more snugly, almost like the band was narrating my Sunday run. The song even mentions the confounding endurance of the Confederate flag, asking “What year is this?” It goes on to say that “buttermilk has Southern charm,” and “home is where your records are.” The ambivalence created by those three images — one negative, one detached, one positive — nails the scattered mindset I land in when I think about how a visitor from Europe or Africa might view this town I love so much.
No place is perfect, especially not this one. Richmond makes some damn good music though. Listen to “Northern Aggressor” below, then buy Glossa and take it with you when you take in some world-class racing this weekend.