It's been a busy couple of weeks, with Thanksgiving the pinnacle of fun, and my body finally flaming out in a bout of the flu for most of last week. Thanksgiving found myself and about 24 others including Heater, Haas, Millicent, Liza, Kaplan, Kristin, Ruben, and a cast of Franklin Street characters eating 3 deep fried turkeys and drinking ourselves goofy on corn liquor at The-closed-for-the-night Queen's Hideaway. Truly a Thanksgiving for the record books, adding another chapter to holidays past including the year Roger left before dinner; the year Jen only ate mashed potatoes and wine for dinner and had to go to bed at 8; the year APB danced to the Pixies in my bedroom in her lovely slate blue teddy; the year Eric M brought a stranger he had met at the bus stop only hours earlier for dinner; and the year the DJ who played too much reggae at UPB the night before showed up with Scott in the form of the lovely Tony Miamone and carved the turkey like a pro...Ah, how I love Thankgiving! Easily my favorite holiday and the one I most prefer to spend with friends.
I saw a ton of music in November, including Dylan and the Raconteurs at Nassau Coliseum. It was awfully weird to be in such a large venue with restrictions and sets straight out of "Almost Famous", only this show was complete with NOBODY backstage visiting the Raconteur boys but Kaplan and myself. Dylan's voice is wonderfully raspy in his later years, but his songs were rearranged into midtempo waltzes that were so boring as to be almost unidentifiable (until the choruses came in), so much that we cut out a mere 45 minutes into it to instead try to have dinner at Luger's. Dylan or steak?? Almost a tough choice.
The Twilight Singers at Warsaw were another big highlight of the past few weeks. I hadn't seen Dulli onstage in about 5 years or so, and truly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. It was brilliant, and the wall of noise from the band made me nostalgic for those amazing Afghan Whigs Ohio shows of 15 years ago, when music made by my friends changed life on a daily basis, and the Whigs created some of the soundtrack to those times. I realized listening to such a familiar voice and sound how intrinsically their music was a part of what formed me. The vocals added by Mark Lanegan were haunting, and the version of Live With Me/In the Pines between him and Dulli keeps playing in my head. It was great to also briefly see the omnipresent Scotty H. for the first time in 6 years (last seen at the the Cooperstown Hall of Fame induction for Tony Perez), managing just one more tour...
The Hold Steady record "Boys and Girls in America" is playing non-stop in my head and IPod since Will gave it to me 10 days ago claiming it as the "Best Record of the Year." I can't disagree -- it's a joyous burst of classic rock hooks, sing-along choruses and memorable images in the vein of Bruce's "Born to Run" or the Replacements' "Tim". I had a bad attitude about this Williamsburg-based band, thinking they were simply another group of overly ironic indie rockers, but was wrong wrong WRONG! We'll see if it holds up for months of listening but for now, almost every song on the album has become a favorite for at least a day or two.
To crib an lyric from them, I'd like to think I am ALWAYS golden with barlight and beer.
The Jenny Lewis solo record is really good, too.