Blue Motor Lodge

I remember racing against the sun to reach the Badlands before nightfall but I didn’t make it because I kept pulling over to photograph rusty gas stations and lonely motels in towns with names like Alliance and Interior. When I finally arrived at the edge of South Dakota, the bluffs and spires lay out there unseen, crouching in the dark. In a bright motel lobby, a little radio behind bulletproof glass played the American hit parade. That night I dreamt of Natalie Wood on an endless loop, leaping and yelling “Hit your lights” on the edge of a cliff, her arms swinging through the headlights again and again.

Here are two pitched-down dub 45s that meander through a field of mid-century blues and ballads, paired with big sheets of reverb, vinyl crackle, moments of silence, and five variations on the idea of a blue moon. Best served in headphones after dark.

01. A Rocket in Dub – Rocket #8 on 33⅓
02. Betty Lavette – Let Me Down Easy
03. Don Percival – One More Kiss
04. Roy Orbison – Crying
05. Dave “Diddle” Day – Blue Moon Baby
06. Pole – Fahren on 33⅓
07. The Cascades – Rhythm of the Rain
08. Françoise Hardy – Voilà
09. Dirty Beaches – Lord Knows Best
10. The Ronettes – Keep On Dancin’
11. Dirty Beaches – True Blue
12. Oscar Peterson – Blue Moon
13. Elvis – Blue Moon in Kentucky
14. Santo & Johnny – Blue Moon
15. Dean Martin – Blue Moon
16. Big American Loop #3