Love lost. Love that never was. Love found. Love beyond imagination.
It’s the love of working with my nephew to take the music I’ve had in my heart for years and working it out of me into something we could record. He took all my notes — the descriptions of music and sounds I don’t know the technical terms for — and put into the world exactly what was in my head. Continue reading →
Josh Nolan looked like he was in his mid-20s and acted like he was in his early teens. For this particular summer weekend trip to Chicago in 2006 to see dozens of bands at Lollapalooza, both would see prominence. Thanks to the older side (plus the long, curly hair and the general overall demeanor of a rock and roll star), Josh would get stopped by would-be adoring fans, convinced he was in a band playing the festival. Thanks to the younger side, Josh would freeze at the attention, then tell them he was meeting friends atTaco Bell(TACO BELL!) before scurrying off down Michigan Avenue.
Yes, that sounds harsh, but before everyone cancels their RSVPs and returns their gift cards, perhaps I should clarify. The statement “I do not want to get married again” is a true statement, with the key word being “again.” That word, those two little syllables, imply Marriage the Reboot, which, simply isn’t the case.
I had accepted, even encouraged, the thinking that I would be alone the rest of my life. I’d become a hollowed out person, unable to allow anyone to come close enough to hurt me, let alone love me. Sure, I’d date, perhaps even attach a label to it, but I wanted that distance, needed it to survive, even though it was killing me.
In almost exactly one week from this moment, I will be huddled in a hallway with the woman who changed all that, and our small gathering of guests will be listening to a song that captures us. It is not a shock to anyone that it will be a Bruce Springsteen song, but what might escape everyone is just how on the dot the lyrics to “Tougher than the Rest” are. Continue reading →
A friend recently came to me with an interesting little project: his girlfriend, who usually has stellar taste in music, just can’t get into Wilco (who, I should note, is a band my friend I both count as a personal favorite). Oddly enough, she’s digging Tweedy, which is the side project of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.
So, my friend asked me to compile a tracklist designed to get her to love Wilco, or, at the very least, appreciate Wilco. I thought about the options, and what I sent is below. In the meantime, I ask any fellow Wilco fans to weigh in on what I included or, more importantly, what I left out. Continue reading →
It is the hackiest way to begin a story (“It was a dark and stormy night”), but in this case, the night truly was dark and stormy, so I guess it’s fair to say a cliché led us to this moment. So, if you’ll indulge me, I want to share my own version of that time-honored story, the one of how a truck ride in Haiti led to a musical night in Nashville.
I didn’t always get along with my dad, and at its worst, I remember listening to this song and thinking this verse summed it all up:
“Now I don’t know what it always was with us
We chose the words and yeah we drew the lines
There was just no way this house could hold the two of us
I guess that we were just too much of the same kind” Continue reading →
I wish I could tell you I’m speaking from the heart, but really, I’m speaking from the belly.
That’s what happens when you learn that a place as meaningful as Sue’s Hot Dogs is selling its business. Sure, the new owners could possibly keep that Steamshovel Road tradition going, but it just won’t be the same, no matter what happens. Continue reading →
UPDATED: Dec. 28, 2012
A long time ago (or, actually, two years ago), I would make annual Best Of lists, usually for movies and music, and I loved doing it. I always wanted to include TV shows and books, but I often found myself unable to list 10, and since all good lists come in groups of 10, I would leave them off and be done with it.
Last year, though, I opted for an overarching list that included all things I loved about the year, so I’m now thinking that’s the way to go. Oddly enough, this year, I had a hard time narrowing my TV shows down to 10 – we really are in an amazing era of quality TV. Note: These aren’t necessarily listed in order of favorites or quality.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played for more than three hours Saturday night in Louisville, and I got to be one of the lucky ones in the pit, the front section closest to the stage. I managed to get quite a few cool shots before my phone finally died, and for anyone wishing to relive the concert (or pretend you were there), enjoy: Continue reading →
Tomorrow night, I’ll be attending yet another Bruce Springsteen concert, this time in Louisville, as The Boss makes his first Kentucky stop in a decade. I’ll be somewhere on the floor, hopefully toward the front, and, at least on occasion, my thoughts will be with some of my family in the upper section. My mom will be attending her first-ever Springsteen show, accompanied by my sister and two youngest nephews.
Three years ago, my sister and brother-in-law took all three of their sons to a Springsteen show in Nashville, and while I’ve tried for years to explain to people how indescribable an experience a Bruce concert can be, I think my then-8-year-old nephew summed it up perfectly: Continue reading →