by Leor Galil
I figured that Fung Wah would eventually get shut down or run out of business at some point, but even so I couldn't help but feel slightly sad when I heard the news. Call it nostalgia, but the term "Fung Wah" will always remind me of random adventures that took me out of my college bubble. With that in mind I've selected Titus Andronicus's "A More Perfect Union" as today's 12 O'Clock Track.
"A More Perfect Union" kicks off The Monitor, a concept album inspired by the Civil War, which obviously occurred long before Fung Wah ever offered college kids cheap rides and/or thrills. But when the voice of front man Patrick Stickles appears on the sprawling punk number one of the first things he sings about is my beloved tainted bus line: "There'll be no more counting the cars on the Garden State Parkway / Nor waiting for the Fung Wah bus to carry me to who-knows-where."
The tune hooked me immediately, partly because of that Fung Wah reference. Stickles' hoarse warble conjures up all sorts of clashing feelings about being young and exploring unfamiliar terrain—excitement, aimlessness, and even the occasional sense of dread—and that image of riding the Fung Wah works perfectly with the track. Then again, that could just be the nostalgia for cheap, dread-spiked rides taking over. Take a listen to the shortened version posted below and see if it strikes you the same way.