My most recent article. It’s an interview with an up and coming punk band from Syracuse, NY.
As much as I loved Beck’s landmark record,”Odelay,” it is his later releases—“Sea Change” and “Modern Guilt” for instance—that have spoken to me on a more personal level. His new record “Morning Phase” is another lovely and deeply moving release that addresses life’s changes, both expected and unexpected. For me getting married, having kids, getting unmarried, and living for years with a crushing depression are some of the major ones.
The best way to describe the record’s sound is lush. It’s filled with lovely, yet subtle, orchestration that carries Beck’s voice along and emphasizes the lyrics. The track “Waking Light” is a great example.
"Waking light, it grew from the shadow
Brace yourself to the morning low
Night is gone, long way turning
You’ve waited long enough to know”
"Morning Phase" is a grown up record for all of us out there who have bounced along life’s road and done the best we can, holding onto love at every moment. That’s all you can do, really.
Laundry: another in the series
This here dad got the puke stains out of the duvet cover. Enough said.
Hi. This is me not watching the Superbowl. But this is Lucero covering David Bowie. Yup. Super great. Just saying because this is bad ass!
I went into my son’s middle school today to pick him up. But I was walking in singing “True Trans Soul Rebel,” off the new Against Me! album. This was totally unconscious, as I was just listening to the song in my car. But I was kinda stoked to bring my tattooed dad version of the song to school.
What’s a former teenage anarchist to do? You know, you grow up, get married, buy a house, have kids, get divorced—all the adult stuff. But you still love clothes. Maybe you even still love your Doc Martins boots. You still listen to punk bands like Against Me! You still get tattooed.
So you gotta find new ways of expression, especially when it comes to clothes. While jeans, boots, and a t-shirt are perhaps my ideal outfit, I can’t wear this to work. I said to a friend one day, “I’m an alternative person, with mainstream expenses.” So I need a job that supports these expenses. And lots of these jobs ave certain expectations for appearance.
In fact, in a way, I’ve gone the opposite direction by finding cool bow ties and learning to tie them, changing up my Doc Martins boots for Doc Martins wing tips.
It’s kind of a fun challenge to work to feel stylish and still a bit rebellious, but also looking like an adult. It’s not too great at 43 to still look like a teenager. So little things, like making sure your clothes actually fit. Shit, guys buy a belt. That’s a good start. But I digress.
So I’m still the rebel; still that punk kid. I just now represent in a bow tie.
PS The New Against Me! album, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” is f*ing great.
So here’s a list that I’m not on. I’m not trying to be all vain and say I’m some top tier hot stuff dad blogger or something, because that would be pretty egotastic!
So shout out to these hotties. And I read some of these blogs and they’re worth checking out—you know for the articles.
Birds, Bees, and Groceries
Yesterday the kids and I went to do our weekly grocery shopping. We try and make it fun and are often silly.
While I was innocently trying to decide what kind of canned tomatoes to get, my son asked about some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. I’m friends with the mom and my kids are friends with her son.
Without thinking I said, “She’s pregnant, so that might be why we aren’t seeing them very often.”
The ears of everyone in the aisle perked up.
My son says, “But she can’t be pregnant because she’s not married.”
Now everyone is the aisle is totally staring at me, wondering how I’m gonna answer this. I considered dropping both large cans of tomatoes on my foot, saying “Shit that hurt” and using that to escape. But instead I said something about, “don’t you remember we talked about how people have babies?”
And then I started to talk about how the mechanics of having a baby, don’t require anyone to be married. He’s looking at me and so is everyone else. So I considered the tomato can option again before I said, “Should we talk about this more in the car when we’re done shopping.
And he agreed. And so we did. But more on that later.
I Am Dad’s Guide To Music 2013 Continued
I certainly missed more than a few great albums in the earlier post. So Here are some more.
One big one is Volcano Choir and its second record, “Repave.” One of Justins Vernon’s projects, this band makes lushly orchestrated music that reminds me of the power and the beauty of a snow storm. Here’s a live concert from NPR.
Annie Eve is a British indie rock singer songwriter with a sound like Billie Holiday fronting Bon Iver. She released an eponymous EP in 2013.
The award for reinterpreting the music of your first band that you’re not too fond of goes to Mike Doughty, who re-recorded music from his band Soul Coughing. These are great new versions of the music from his first band. The album is “Circles Super Bon Bon Sleepless How Many Cans? True Dreams Of Wichita Monster Man Mr. Bitterness Maybe I’ll Come Down St. Louise Is Listening I Miss the Girl Unmarked Helicopters The Idiot Kings So Far I Have Not Found the Science”
A great reissue this year was the 25th anniversary release of R.E.M.’s ”Green.” Shit, 25 years. I remember when that album came out. This release also came with a live concert of the band’s last show of the Green Tour. I saw the band on this tour, and it’s still one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Here’s one of my all-time favorite R.E.M. songs, "King of Birds," live from this show.
Today I slapped on my snowshoes and headed out to one of the Finger Lakes Land Trust areas. Nothing clears my head better than getting out in the woods where the loudest sound I could hear was the cracking of the trees in the cold. I love this sound. It reminds me of growing up in Maine.