Friday, November 06, 2009

bang bang

I’ve already hit on the Avett Brothers recently but I realized this morning, while listening to their live performance of Murder in the City from the Newport Jazz Festival, that they’ve created something very close to my perfect song. Not only is it powerful but what they’ve created for me falls into the exact same box that holds another three-minute wonder: the box with Guitar Town by Steve Earle. This little box o’ mine holds these specific examples because both are preciously simple, musically, and lyrically stunning. Both are short with no filler and the songs led me deeper into other offerings by the artist. (It didn’t hear Guitar Town until about 1989 or 1990 while I was in Athens; by then Earle already released Exit 0 and Copperhead Road.) I don’t know that I’d call either song my all-time favorite because I’d have to include Someday, Someway and Wagon Wheel, but both are in the top 10. The difference between Murder / Guitar and Someday / Wagon has more to do with the arc of the careers: both Crenshaw and the Old Crows had just given us their first albums. The true power of both is that they draw you into the story behind those that wrote them. If I haven’t posted Murder in the City before, here it is:

Last night as we were finishing up with The Daily Show, X told me had two questions she needed answered. “All right,” I said, “fire away, I’m ready.” Question number one was: “Should I have bangs or not?”; question number two, “How often do you think about death?” My answers were “no” and “twice a year.” She felt the twice a year was a bit specific; I thought the bangs question was weird because I told her I’d never really seen her with bangs so there’s no reason to think I’d desire change. She told me she’s wore bangs ever since she’s known me. I told her, in my head, that she’s a whack-a-doodle. Bangs? I don’t think so.

There’s been a rash of birthdays over the last week that are being sorted of being addressed over the coming weekend. We’ve invited WonderTwin 2 over for dinner so that’s kind of covered. As for G., well, he had a family-ish party on Tuesday night (I was working the election so I didn’t attend) and a friends-come-over party on Sunday. On Wednesday night, after he finished his dinner of perfectly prepared salmon steak, he stop spinning around mindlessly in the living room, turns to me, and asks, “Todd, did you get me something for my birthday?” Hmm, let’s see if I can parse that innocent little question.


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