Thursday, January 3, 2008

Vote for Change

Today was another quiet day in the office. It was miserably cold this morning when I left the house, but the office was really cozy today. It was still just Sam and I in the row, so we grabbed tea and hot chocolate this morning, everyone was bundled up for the cold and we kept the overhead lights off in our section of the office.

Even with such a mellow morning, I started with the Hold Steady's Boys and Girls in America. I'm finding that I still have a tendency to begin my days with my favorite albums from last year before becoming adventurous. I always skip Same Kooks, but otherwise, I love this album. It was one of my favorite albums to run to this summer and I wished I'd seen them in the city before Thanksgiving, until I listened to their concert at the 9:30 club--I wasn't as impressed as I'd expected, but Kelly and Dommie loved them in Chicago.

After that I switched to Grant Lee Buffalo for some reason. FBF and I used to always argue about them in his car (which seems to be the only place we hung out). They, especially the singer, remind me of Collective Soul, whom he hates and he can't take that.

Then, it was time to follow my agenda for the day! In honor of the Iowa Caucus, I decided to play CDs from artists on the Vote for Change Tour. The Boss's Magic opened my afternoon of politically (4 years ago) charged music. I'm currently loving I'll Work for Your Love, Long Walk Home and Radio Nowhere, which had me from the first listen. Then I skipped down to the The Rising, which always reminds me of my first trip to New York with the soccer team. I was listening to the album as we flew into the city that night. Love Lonesome Day, You're Missing (another one of my repeat offenders) and My City of Ruins. I just found the Asbury Park Christmas benefit concert from 2000. Supposedly it was the first time that Springsteen played My City of Ruins live and the horn intro is haunting melancholy. I can't get enough of the version, until I let the album keep playing and I'm suddenly blasting Christmas songs from my computer. But at least it's the Boss and it's live.

After Springsteen came my favorite Democrats from my second favorite Athens--R.E.M. I had to go for Automatic for the People, since it had been so long since I'd listened to the entire thing. Man on the Moon and Nightswimming will always be my favorite songs, but the video for Everybody Hurts provides a great visual representation of the album as everyone seems so lost and alone while surrounded by each other in the traffic jam. I do have to mention here that I always remember Best Friend's story of driving a woman into the nunnery when I think of this album. I'm not sure if he started listening to it in the depression of losing his lady to the habit or if I'm just inferring things here. Luckily for me, It's the End of the World As We Know It and Stand came on before I could switch to the next artist.

I closed the workday with Pearl Jam's Atlanta concert from 2000. I bought this and the Vegas concert when the bootlegs were released and Vegas is still my favorite. Unfortunately, I think I wore it down too much and it never ended up on my iPod. This does have Crazy Mary (an homage to my Grama), Small Town and Yellow Ledbetter in the encore, as well as the Betterman, Nothingman, Leatherman trilogy in the middle of the concert. I'm always afraid that Dommie will not respect me until I see PJ in concert, so it's going on my list of things to do. (Note to self: Add to Google Document and travel to see them in a fun town.)

I went to Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals' Lifeline for my drive home and to continue the Vote for Change theme. I was glad that my Dad approved of this album when I sent it to him and am pretty happy with it, too.

I skipped the gym tonight and had a good evening at home. Gabe called on my commute to give me the good news that they were expecting (and had beaten Best Friend in the baby wars). I caught up with Perry after that and automatically put on The National's Boxer, which is my favorite album of the last year, followed by some of their live songs that I recorded at their show in August. I cannot wait to see them in Brooklyn in February. They always calm me down and put me in a good place. And I've got a great ON playlist of their music.

To wrap up the political theme, I was happy to see that Obama took the lead in Iowa tonight and am hoping that it made Justin happy for a little bit tonight.

The Hold Steady perform First Night at the Sasquatch Festival (yay Canada!) this summer

From the Vote for Change Tour, Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder do No Surrender in Jersey

My City of Ruins from the Seeger Sessions Tour

R.E.M.'s Nightswimming Live on Jools Holland

Ben Harper performs an acoustic version of Fool for a Lonesome Train in his hotel room

The National's Slow Show from their concert in NYC in August. The sound is great, my hands are shaky and I'm dancing, as usual.

The National's Fake Empire, same details as above

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