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My favorite song lyric is from “Box Full of Letters” by Wilco: “I just can’t find the time to write my mind the way I want it to read”.

This sums up my feeling about writing.  I want to write, in fact I do in drips and splatters.  I just can’t ever finish anything that I start, or polish anything into the shine I think it should have.

I feel like that about blogging too.  Conflicted.  I WANT to blog but I don’t know if I really have anything interesting to say.  I start more posts than I ever publish.

I’m listening to The Baseball Project as I write and thinking about this weekend’s round of College World Series regionals.  I love baseball.  I love college baseball.  I wish I knew enough about baseball to write about it but I’m more of a causal fan.  Oh, I know my stats and positions.  I know most of the major league players and some of the better minor league.  But that’s just part of knowing the game, enjoying how it’s played.

I love music the same way.  That excitement of fining a new band before most anyone else you know.  The quite snobbery of KNOWING that I probably listen to better music than you do…whoever you are.  The great friends I have met through music at stale little bars and in people’s front yards.  I’d like to write about that too.  I just don’t actually know enough about music to do so.  I know what I like and I could probably tell you why I like it, sort of.

Writing about my Parkinson’s disease is even more difficult.  It’s personal.   It affects my emotions as well as my body.  Sometimes I feel like I have no control of anything anymore.  My entire right side of my body is in constant revolt, I cry sometimes for little or no reason because I’m low on dopamine, my house is a mess, my tires need to be rotated, my cane in starting to really hurt my hand because I rest so much of my weight on it when I walk, and it ticks me off that I can’t paint my bedroom.  I feel like any time I post about PD I either sound whinny or ultra upbeat like a cheer-leader.  Neither really relates to how I feel.  Honestly, I am getting to the point where I don’t remember how it felt to walk without a limp.  Oddly, that’s a comfort.

I wish I was a writer.   I guess that comes from being a reader.  Instead I’ll settle for the occasional blog post.

I am a child of the 90’s.  I turned 13 in 1990, spent  my teenage years listening to grunge and the newly birthed alt music scene.  Sure, the 80’s colored my childhood but at seven who really cares more about fashion and music than Barbie and bicycles?

My husband, who I met in 2001, turned me on to underground/indie/whatever music but I was already clearly headed that direction on my own.  My proof of this comes from listening to satellite radio.  I hear songs which were staples once in my musical diet, “My Sister” by Julianna Hatfield, “Dyslexic Heart” by Paul Westerberg, “Feed The Trees” by Belly, “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star, “Low” by Cracker, “The Distance” by Cake, “Girlfriend” by Matthew Sweet, “Anna Begins” by Counting Crows, “It’s A Shame About Ray” by The Lemonheads, and so on.

I’ve posted in the past about my love of R.E.M. from like age 9 on.  As an adult, I’ve learned that The Replacements, Big Star, and The Minutemen are also worthy of my love and adoration.  But hearing songs that I loved as a teenager and finding that I still like them is fun.  Yay Sirius!

So, all you kids of the 90’s, what are your iconic songs?  What would you most like to hear again?

 

 

Today I didn’t want to eat but I was hungry.

Today I can’t see the end.

Today I don’t want to go home and clean the bathroom (but I probably will).

Today I don’t feel the holiday spirit, I just don’t.

Today I hate my cane and my stupid medication so I just didn’t take any of it.  Of course, I’ll pay for that tomorrow.

Today I just don’t like any of you.

Today I wish I could have gone for a hike all by myself down to the waterfall at Petite Jean but I can never do that again.

Today I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I’m just in a bad mood.

Today I want angry rock music.

Tomorrow will most likely be better.

In the morning my husband and I are leaving for Wiggins, MS.  There is a smallish, private music festival being hosted or maybe thrown by some of our friends.  We are driving down, an eight hour drive, for many reasons but mostly because of me.

I used to love flying.  I loved the whole experience, the crowds, the lines, looking out the window and seeing the patchwork of farmland.  Now, the crowds and the lines are massive obstacles that make me weary just thinking of them and the idea of sitting in a plane seat for hours without being able to squirrel around makes me feel stiff and sore.

If we drive, I can always ask to stop, to get out and walk around.  If we drive I can twist around in my seat all I want without irritating other people.  My husband has infinite patience for my quirks since being diagnosed.  He understands why I do the strange things I do and none of it bothers him.  He’s great.  I don’t know what I would do without him.  He’s my rock.

The music fest, Wigginstock, will have it’s own set of challenges for me but luckily there will be a ton of people who know me there and will help me when I need it.  Oh, there will be the usual questions asked but being amongst so many friends will mean I won’t really have to answer all that many.

Rock and Roll, Halloween, and Mississippi…go figure.

Two weeks ago we went to see Vulture Whale play up in Fayetteville and then at White Water the next night.  They brought the rock.  Some friend’s of Murray’s from his music-geek list traveled from Iowa and Georgia to see the show and I was struck once again at how nice all the people who listen and play indie-underground-alt rock are.

The thing is, I have friends who pay $60 and $80 for a ticket to see a band, say Jimmy Buffett or (insert name of random popular country music artist here) to sit 50 rows back and barely be able to see the stage.  At White Water I payed $5, stood right up at the stage, and got to hang out and chat with the members of one of my favorite bands after the show.

So this weekend we are going to Fayetteville to see the Drive-By Truckers and then next Tuesday it’s back to White Water for Glossary/Slobberbone.  You keep your so-called popular music, I’m quite happy supporting real music.

Okay, add these bands to your list of bands you most likely are not cool enough to ever have heard of but should listen to anyway:

Vulture Whale

Centro-matic

The Dexateens

Go on, Google them and listen.

I have never been what anyone would call cool or trendy.  I have a hard time keeping up with what’s popular, partly because I have no patience for it and partly because I just don’t care.  So last year when my husband bought an iphone I just didn’t expect to be particularly impressed.  I was wrong.

Very few times have I ever really lusted after anything.  I wanted an iphone bad and when my ipod died (ipod sad face is the worst sight in modern technology) I wanted one even more.  The iphone is all of my favorite things in one sleek package.  It’s a music player, there is an app that allows you to follow all the MLB games and even listen to streaming radio broadcasts, and it’s also a phone (which comes in handy on the rare event that I actually answer it).  

Well today, my very own iphone should be delivered to my home.  I am geeked!  It’s better than Christmas!  

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to express my love for sugar-free orange jello.  I mix diet 7up in to give it a little zip and top it with a little fat-free whipped cream.  And to my strange sister who does not like jello, well that’s just another reason why Katie is my favorite sister.

I postulated this thought last night:  

“Are we more critical about a new album released by a favorite band than we are about a album by a completely new band?”

 

I think the answser is undeniably “yes”.  

 

A new band catches our attention with a single song and we think, “Well, I like that song so why not try the entire album?”  No preconceived notions, no built in wish list for what we like or dislike of albums past just a pure new listening experience.  

When a band like Wilco puts out a new album we are already expecting certian things before we listen to even one song.  Not that we want every album to be “A Ghost Is Born” or every song to be “Heavy Metal Drummer” but we want a taste of those mixed in with something new.  So the more fans a band has collected along the way the more varied expectations there are going to be.  Simply put, somebody is always going to be disappointed.  

“Wilco: The Album” is already creating the usual debate over whether it’s better than the previous album and where it falls in the order of favorites.  Of course that is a highly personal list, changing from person to person.  Me, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” as it was the first Wilco album I ever heard but “Summerteeth” is my favorite.  I loved “Sky Blue Sky” but my husband and sister put it near the bottom on their lists.  

So, before rampant internet panic ensues over how good, bad, or whatever “Wilco: The Album” is, everyone take a breath, listen to it a few more times…it’s Wilco, it will end up being better than 99% of the albums released this year even if it is not your favorite Wilco album ever.

Regarding the previous post about having a copy of the leaked Wilco album:

My husband and to a slightly lesser extent me are huge music fans who deeply appreciate the many if not most of the bands we love are not exactly rolling in money.  Even if we get an album early we always buy a copy when it is released and usually more than one as my husband have a love affair with vinyl that only he can understand.  We purchase merchandise at shows and at times (re: Glossary and the van transmission) have donated money to help a band we love be able to travel.

I’m not saying that I support the big music execs in their constant whining about file sharing, most of the bands we love put content online themselves, hell Wilco did it with YHF and A Ghost Is Born.  Music is best when shared and the internet and word of mouth has done more for indie bands than any record label exec.  I’m just saying that we support or bands and so should you.  Buy the CD, buy a tee-shirt at the next show you go to, good music must be supported even if that’s with crappy blog posts about a leaked album.

First, I have only listened once while ironing and watching the Cubs play San Diego.  Second, I am notoriously slow to absorb new music.  That being said, I had a hard time getting into the new album when my husband got it around seven last night.  

I think I was wanting more rock and roll.  I’m not one of those people who want a new “YHF” or “Summerteeth” revisited.  I like that Tweedy is constantly reinventing himself and the general sound of the band.  However, the song with Feist sounds suspiciously like easy listening and several others walk a fine line between just being new and being boring.  Boring is a word I’ve never associated with Wilco.

I need to put it on my ipod, devote some time just to sit and listen a few time through.  I’ll give a real reveiw then.

Quotes-

"And music will save your life. It's religion. Treat it that way." -Bob Lefsetz
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."A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits." -Lazarus Long from Robert Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love"

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