Whatever It Is

Here goes my once every six months personal post.

I've been a bit quiet of late. I guess the inspiration's been a bit lagging. I can't really pinpoint why as there haven't been any significant tumultuous moments in my life of late. Actually, maybe that has a bit to do with it. The past few months have been, well, a bit of a bore. While experiencing this malaise, I've also been going through a little overall life transitional period. The life that I've led from say age 21-31 is a life that doesn't particularly interest me much more. What was that life? Well, I certainly have tons of great memories, a few that have been bubbling in my head lately, but overall that decade was a decade of drinking, a decade of inconsistent relationships, a decade of family troubles. I don't know where things go from here on out, but there's definitely a change on the horizon. I seem to appreciate differen things today. Things like the grass in my backyard, a hello from a stranger, a catch-up e-mail from a friend, a call from my sister. Perhaps it's maturity. Whatever it is, it's an odd transition and I'm just getting used to it. I'm sure it'll all fall into place soon.

Although I feel this transition taking place, as I mentioned above, there are a number of memories that have been hitting me lately. These are moments when I felt utter and complete happiness. These surges of joy usually only lasted a few minutes or even a few seconds, but as I move into this next phase, I want to get these down in writing so not to forget:

-I often rehash a moment I had while on a vacation with a former girlfriend in Ponte Vedre, FL. One morning, we set the alarms for 430am and trekked down to the beach to watch the sunrise. Well, we got there a bit early and sat in pitch black for about 45 mins. As the sun started to creep over the Atlantic, we caught sight of another early riser. As he got closer, we noticed that he was running with his dog. As his dog pulled ahead of him, my girlfriend stood up, grabbed a random tennis ball buried right next to us and started playing with the dog. It was a moment. Something hit me and I almost lost it. Complete happiness. It's a moment I'll remember until the day I die.

-Austin, TX, 2005. I arrived for the South By Southwest Music Conference and headed out to see the band South San Gabriel. For the previous six months or so, the SSG song "New Brookland" streamed through my ipod about 500 times. As I walked into the venue, I was immediately greeted by my closest friends from New York. They ordered up a round of beers and we headed to the outdoor patio as SSG hit the stage. It was an absolutely stunning Texas night. The faint drumbeat started up and glimmering blue lights danced across the stage as the band one-by-one walked up to their instruments and crept into this stunning song. I was uplifted beyond belief. I remember turning away from my friends because I felt the tears coming. It was another one of those moments.

There are so many more: 1) Experiencing a magical Yankees World Series game from the Stadium bleachers on my brothers 21st birthday 2) Every time my younger sister makes me laugh 3) Talking to my grandmother about her life just days before her life was coming to a close 4) A 105 degree day in Cincinnati while driving around and listening to Son Volt demos in my brothers piece-of-shit AC-less Honda Accord.

Next week I head back to the East Coast to see my first sibling get married. I suppose that this day may bring on another one of those moments. And throughout this long weekend, I'm sure that her sense of humor will once again have me bursting with laughter.

The best to you all....

Oh, and going forward I'm going to start including my record of the week in each post. This week it's Bobby Bare Jr's "From the End of Your Leash" (2004)

Steve Earle's "Jerusalem"

I woke up this mornin' and none of the news was good
And death machines were rumblin' 'cross the ground where Jesus stood
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way
And there was nothin' anyone could do or say

And I almost listened to him
Yeah, I almost lost my mind
Then I regained my senses again
And looked into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Well maybe I'm only dreamin' and maybe I'm just a fool
But I don't remember learnin' how to hate in Sunday school
But somewhere along the way I strayed and I never looked back again
But I still find some comfort now and then

Then the storm comes rumblin' in
And I can't lay me down
And the drums are drummin' again
And I can't stand the sound

But I believe there'll come a day when the lion and the lamb
Will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem

And there'll be no barricades then
There'll be no wire or walls
And we can wash all this blood from our hands
And all this hatred from our souls

And I believe that on that day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Pitchfork Music Festival (4.5)

I don't know, maybe I'm just too old for this. Had it not been for work, there's no way in hell I would've wasted a weekend at this festival. Actually, I wouldn't waste a weekend at any festival. Outdoor festivals are, for the most part, fairly miserable experiences. The music never sounds good. There are always way too many people. It takes too long to get a beer or to go to the bathroom.

Pitchfork did a number of things right. For one, ticket prices for the entire weekend were a mere $30. That's insanely low given the Live Nation's and Clear Channel's of the world. There were plenty of restrooms and plenty of places to get food, water and beer. The problem: the bands. This was hipster-nation and the choice of acts was awful. Band of Horses, Mission of Burma, Glenn Kotche...all told, I could barely tell the difference from one act to the next. They were all loud, lacking in harmony or depth and altogether just flat. Even the Silver Jews and Spoon did very little at this event. The bands were rushed and couldn't get into a groove.

And oh boy was the scene downright pathetic. I now equate hipsters with frat boys. They're basically the same. Tight t-shirts, those absurd big sunglasses, moustaches. This was just hilarious. I couldn't have felt more out of place.

This wasn't a music event, but rather a stomping ground for people to show off their vintage T. Rex and Velvet Underground t-shirts. I wanted music. I got nothing even close.