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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

from If I Never See Your Face Again to Impossible Germany

Day 881, Session 146:
Monday November 24th - car/Target/car/Best Buy/home
First song: If I Never See Your Face Again by Maroon 5
Last full song: Impossible Germany by Wilco
Progress: 2172-2196 of 6108
Total Songs Heard: 1893

It was busy afternoon of choring. For the first time, the wife and I are hosting a major family holiday. Both of our immediate families (Us, 4 parents, 2 sisters, 1 brother, 1 brother-in-law, 1 sister's +1, and a nephew in a pear tree (plus 2 dogs)) are coming to town for Thanksgiving dinner at our house. We bought the turkey and most of the dinner supplies Sunday afternoon. Since we were shopping together, I went iPod-less, which saved the good folks at Jewel another shot at hearing me sing as I walked through the aisles.

The Wife's birthday is on Thanksgiving
(She claims it's on Thursday and Thursday just happens to be Thanksgiving, but I know for a fact her birthday is on Thanksgiving every year,) so I had to go out shopping again Monday to do some birthday shopping as well as final family prep. What Jewel got to avoid became Target's cross to bear, and what a cross it was.

Not too far along into my Target search for a baby gate (in order to nephew proof our basement stairs) came one of those songs that stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. I think I've mentioned before, I don't have a very complicated romantic history. I've had enough serious long-term relationships to count on both hands... as long as you limit yourself to not using fingers and only counting the entire hand as one. I did some sporadic dating in between the two relationships (sporadic in this case being code for "not much") but other than the high school girlfriend and The Wife, nothing really progressed beyond 'dating.'

Since I've ended half my long term relationships by getting married, I don't have a lot of relationship related regret. That's the weird thing about If It's The Beaches by The Avett Brothers. The song is so good, that it makes me wish I could apply it to my life. The longing lyrics and
plaintive music hit hard, even at the start where it's just one voice and a guitar. And the way it builds... voice and guitar, then violin/cello/second guitar, then finally at 2:35... piano. The piano isn't playing power chords either, but it fills the space in the song in such way that it sounds like Seth Avett has spent the whole song building up this alternate relationship history and if you, the other end of this lost relationship, could just hear it... Hear the words, hear the music, hear how the whole world will be full again if only you could go back.

Like I said, I can't really relate, and yet, apparently I can.

If It's The Beaches - The Avett Brothers (highly recommended as a headphone song, the build of the song through headphones fills my entire head.)

As an added bonus, here's a high quality video (you are watching all your youtube in high quality right?) from a show I went to in Newport, Kentucky earlier this year. I can't be seen in the video, I was slightly behind the throng on the left.

But wait there's more: I also don't understand working on a farm with my family and some migrant workers, but that doesn't change the fact that this song will be my official morning wake up once I do go back to work. I hate the morning, but I think if I'm waking up to the Sunparlour Players I won't hate it quite as much. (As long as the creeks don't actually rise.)

If The Creeks Don't Rise - Sunparlour Players (also headphone recommended)

Now for something I do understand: Swedish furniture. In my little section of the living I am surrounded by Ikea. My computer desk is Ikea and we have three Billy-the-bookcases ("Hello.") I was living in Philly when the first U.S.-based Ikea opened in New Jersey. I never understood why it was such a big deal until I needed to buy my own furniture (as opposed to stealing it from my parents basement.) Now I totally understand why New Jersey has a "God-damned Swedish parade." The only downside of this song is once you hear it a few times, you'll never be able to go to Ikea again without humming the song to yourself. Ah the genius of Coulton.

Ikea - Jonathan Coulton

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. If we manage to survive the family visit, I'll see you next week.


Sara said...

Love the Avett Brothers and love that song. Good luck with the Thanksgiving meal...I think hosting a major holiday officially makes you a grown-up.

matt said...

Woah. Slow down with that grown up talk, I'm still deciding whether or not to wear a turkey costume to dinner (the same costume I wore out to bars last Saturday night.)

Thanks for the good luck-ing. I'm sure the whole thing is either going to be great, or make a great story.

Kaylor said...

Thanks for posting that video. I was a tad under the influence by the time they played this song. What a great night.