The stewardess was giving me sharp, directed looks to turn off my iPod – but I was torn between disturbing her authority and finishing Ray LaMontagne’s new album. His music is an enchanted wood, but a dirty wood – maybe somewhere between Grangeville & Knoxville.
And the thing I couldn’t get over was the ampersand (&). The title is : God Willing & the Creek Don't Rise.
But this is not about the music. This is about the album title - the AMPERSAND.
Nothing says “I’m starting a cool business,” “opening a trendy restaurant,” or making stylin’ music” like an ampersand (&). It’s a ticket to the inside track.
Think about it, just here in Seattle:
- Needle & Thread (pre-prohibition upstairs room of Tavern Law that serves cocktails out of this vast array of bowl-style champagne glasses)
- Emmer & Rye
- Sway & Cake (Malibu-like boutique on 5th)
- Anchovies & Olives (another of Ethan Stowell’s babies on Capitol Hill)
- Flora & Henri (magical children’s boutique with Pima cotton folded like cacoons on the displays)
- The Walrus & the Carpenter (new oyster bar in Ballard)
A majority of the new Melrose Market:
Sitka & Spruce (ok, their bar just uses the apostrophe: Bar Ferd’nand)
Marigold & Mint
Calf & Kid
Anyway, you get the idea.
The Ampersand (&) really is this swirling bit of magic - so much better looking that the word “and” all spelled out to be exposed to the next thought.
I like it because it implies that there’s a tension going on. It’s not all just black, or white – it’s Black & White. There’s more than one story; it’s multi-dimensional. I also like it because when I bought my grandma’s 1996 Forest Green GMC Jimmy for college, she gave me an Ampersand (&) keychain that I’ve kept ever sense. Grandma & Me.