[Author’s note: Yes, it’s been a lifetime or two since I last blogged. Yes, buckets and buckets of things, bad, good and incredible have happened during this time. No, I’m not going to attempt to summarize or recap them here—that’s what Facebook is for. Yes, I’ll friend you as long as I see no evidence that you’re a bot or a teabagger. Yes, “Music Monday” and “Wordless Wednesday” are blog clichés used by sometimes lame bloggers who can’t just, well, write more, so they come up with cute concepts to prompt themselves to post more often. Anything else? That’s what the “Comment” box is for.]

Like most of us who aren’t dead (Widower joke. Ha fucking ha.), a good song can make me cry. Heck, a BAD song can make me cry, but it’s gotta be a really GOOD bad song. Most of the time, it doesn’t take a Psychology degree to figure out what about a certain song dovetails with our personal emotional landscape at that moment, even if it has little to do with what the songwriter might have been originally writing about. As Dave Matthews wrote:

Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
Somebody’s heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song

But other times, it’s more of a puzzle. More of a “Thick Picnic,” as Julie used to say. (She liked the concept so much it became the title of her first solo recording.) THIS was definitely a Thick Picnic.

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I don’t dance, generally, in the conventional sense, but lately I really feel like that’s what I’ve been doing; a few steps this way, a few steps that way, moving closer, then farther way, first one direction, then another.

I’ve recently moved closer/towards the world in one way, and pulled back, withdrawing in another. I can’t say I feel unambiguously positive about either move, but I am glad I’m doing them. The harder question for me is, now what?

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This was supposed to be a happy song. It was a happy song. But almost as far back as I can remember, it has always made me sad. But sad in a unique, disquieting, unusual way. And though it was always associated for me with a first love, it took the death of my longest, deepest love for me to recognize that feeling for what it really was.

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The streetcar let me out on NW Northrup at 22nd. Crossing NW 23rd on the right I noticed there were row houses where there used to be a pretty big surface parking lot. Wonder how many acres of the countryside would not now be suburbs if we had done that to every parking lot in town. Across the street was where the members of R-Complex lived, painted blue now. When it was white they set up a control room with my old mixing board (which I still have) and Josh’s Tascam 8-track (which Julie and I bought from him years later and also still have). I remember recording Randy’s vocals for Fifth Quarter’s tape, when he improvised a second harmony part on the spot and we kept it all, including him tuning up his voice(s) before the song started. Too bad he could never remember the words later! (That’s OK, Randy. Your awesome work with Ed and the Boats and so many others have more than redeemed you!)

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