As I walked out on the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I stopped in the mall just to visit the bookstore.
The bookstore was closed, it’s been taken away.

The only bookstore in Laredo, Texas, a city of 250,000 people, has closed. The nearest one is 150 miles away in San Antonio.

1. Fountains of Wayne‘s song, “No Better Place,” popped up on the iPod today. There’s a great line that made us both laugh when we heard them at a concert several years ago, opening for some band that one or the other of us wanted to see:

It may be the whiskey talking
But the whiskey says “I miss you” everyday.

2. The “dream control” sequence from Queensryche’s “Silent Lucidity” sounds really weird in headphones.

3. Heard a cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” in Red Robin a few nights ago. Sounded like sort of like Amy Lee (Evanescence) if she were a soprano. Googling suggests that it might be Kelly Sweet. (Edit: After grabbing her version of the song—99¢ is a great price for impulse buying—I’m almost certain this was the one we heard.) She was accompanied by our waitress—but not when she was at out table.

Oh the crowds outside are frightful,
But the music’s so delightful…
’Cept for ev’ry darn place we go,
It’s “Let it Snow!” “Let it Snow!” “Let it Snow!”

Seriously. It seems like this song has somehow become the most popular Christmas song this year. I normally don’t mind it, but come on!

It doesn’t help that it’s about as likely to snow here as it is for a meteor to strike Times Square at exactly midnight on New Year’s Eve. But that’s worth its own post.

(Incidentally, the parody’s original. We made it up together in the grocery store on Sunday. Katie has more, but I can’t remember it.)

Leave it to MapQuest to remind you that the nearby railroad actually is the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (and immediately lodge the song into your mind).

Actually, I’m also reminded of a Forbidden Broadway bit on a musical version of Anna Karenina, which finished with the parody, “On the Ashkabad, Tblisi and the Kiev Express.”

Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that we went out to see The Musical of Musicals: The Musical last night at the Laguna Playhouse. (It’s a musical, by the way.) It features a cast of four performing the same melodrama plot five times, once each in the styles of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Kander & Ebb. The musical styles were dead on, the show was hilarious in its own right, and it was packed with in-jokes so if you’ve seen enough of the shows they’re lampooning, it’s even better.