Look Beyond the Dark Clouds

  Back when my father and I were warring over pretty much everything, we were stuck in the same car for a very, very long drive. We had nothing to talk about that didn’t make him yell and me cry. But we had one cassette tape in his truck and we listened to it several times over. It was my introduction to Levon Helm, my father’s favorite musician of all time. He told me about The Band, about the The Last Waltz, about how he discovered this music that spoke to him. It was the best road trip I’ve ever taken. Especially when we arrived to find my mom waiting in grim anticipation of our arrival, only to see us laughing and talking as we got out of the truck.
  Ever since then, I’ve considered Levon a member of our family. The peacemaking member.
  My dad remains a fan to this day and will very likely be listening to Midnight Ramble tonight. As will I. Go in peace, Levon.

Another Anniversary

   Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of U2’s album, Joshua Tree.
  Well.
  That 25 years went by fast.
  I listened to Joshua Tree today while driving home from work. It’s been a while since I’ve really listened to it, or even heard any of the songs in passing. Immediately, I was back in high school, driving my mother’s Honda and singing along to “With or Without You” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.”
  There are a few songs that can transport me back in time, but this whole album (yes, kids, I said album) has that effect. This is probably because it was in my Walkman (yep, dating myself again) or in the car stereo for so much of that year. It wasn’t even my first U2 album, but it was immediately my favorite and has remained so, even after (gulp) 25 years. A couple years later, I saw U2 in concert. Still, the songs remind me of the early days of the album’s release, when I used my hard-earned babysitting money to buy the cassette. (Sigh. I am old.)
  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden urge to call my mom and tell her that I shouldn’t have to unload the dishwasher, no one in this family understands me, and why can’t I have my own car. I suppose that’s the downside of a flashback.

I Remember You…

I just went on a small music binge and came back with CDs from two artists who are new to me. The first is Amy LaVere’s Stranger Me, which is a rocking good time. I love her style and her song writing. She starts off by telling a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend “Here’s your damn love song,” and how can you not love that?
The second is Eilen Jewell’s Queen of the Minor Key. One of her songs, “I Remember You,” was recently featured on Sons of Anarchy (another fave). I have been listening to this nonstop for several days now and it just keeps getting better. CD Baby says that Eilen Jewell is recommended if you like Loretta Lynn, Billie Holliday, and Lucinda Williams. Yep, that sums it up well. I love all those ladies, so this is right up my alley. I expect that her previous CDs will soon be joining my music collection.
I have a lot of writing to do at work this week and these two artists are going to keep me motivated and happily typing away.
So, heard any good music lately?