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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Tweedy’

Lately, when I look in the mirror, I see that the furrows and signs of age won’t be departing my face any time soon.

There are many rock anthems, the best of which have multi-generational appeal. When songwriting is this good, it feels like it is about me and the years between me and my teenage-self fall away.

Just when I’d gotten Fake Plastic Trees out of a weeks-long loop in my head, my kid played it in the car. I belted it out along with Thom Yorke and now it is re-lodged in my neurology. I don’t mind though; this is why I love rock n roll. This is why I understand why I was born when I was born. This is one reason I love men and don’t mind terribly much sometimes that rock n roll is dominated by them.

Sometimes I dig a cover of a really good original tune when it is Jeff Tweedy singing it and hitting the nail on the head. I love this rendition, his fealty to the original, his obvious love for the song, and the humility with which he plays it–no fancy tricks.

 

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You don’t know me, Jeff (we simply call you Tweedy ‘round here), but I love your music. I love your lyrics. I don’t love everything, mind you, but Wilco’s music has become an indispensable part of our household musical canon. For the ages. Like the late greats you sing about.

It must be strange to have photos of yourself floating all over the internet. The electronic, the digital, the ethereal.

Oh, Tweedy. What can I say to you?

I have a friend who went to your concert in Hartford (CT) this past Wednesday. I am sort of sorry that was her intro to the band. She’s not really familiar with your music. The concert was good, maybe even great. You put the energy out, you all played and sang well. But I am afraid you seemed tired. It must be hard to be up there every night and not have things get stale. Yes.

I like it so much better when I see live bands and I feel a connection with them. That’s the whole point of live music. It breathes, it contains errors. It is energy and light.

Get some rest, Tweedy. I want to invite my friend back for Solid Sound 2013. I hope for great things there. Living art. Yes.

Here was a cloud up at Essex Junction, VT on Sunday, before sundown, before the band started playing:

I know the nose is sort of phallic-looking which is sort of unfortunate (not that I have anything against phalluses, on the contrary), but that’s how real noses sometimes are anyway. It is a great winking cloud face, don’t you think? It felt magical; an elixir, a balm.

I love having a wholesome, honest, not-sexed-up band to share with my kids. Here they are sitting on the lawn:

We saw this in the parking lot on the way in to the concert:Just so you know, we’d like to name our next dog after you. Not the Jeff part (no offense), but the Tweedy part.

I know that if wishes were horses, fools would ride, but still, I have hope, too. I think we like to pin these hopes on people like you, Tweedy. I am actually wondering if you can fix the T key on my keyboard. It seems to be sticking sometimes.

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You know what the Advent Calender window had behind it on Christmas Eve? Annie insisted that Paul be the one to open it, so I speculated that it would be a picture of Tweedy. But not really. Perhaps a picture of a bottle of Polar Seltzer, black cherry flavor. No. Maybe a fully-decorated Christmas tree. So wrong. It was an ICE DRAGON in the tiny double window. I love my kids!

Got my first iPod nano from Hubby for Xmas. It is tiny, so tiny. I feel dangerous when I have it on. Am I the only one and will this feeling pass? Are there any iPod virgins left? I look forward to loading hundreds of songs onto it. I am figuring it out, but as intuitive as Apple products are reputed to be, I find it klunky and somewhat unfriendly. I also couldn’t figure out how the little fucker clips on to my clothes. Hubby had to show me. Why, Santy Apple Claus, why, do you insist on making me feel dumber than I really am?

Christmas was good. This is the first year since we moved to Western Mass in which I didn’t feel financially stressed more often than not. Eleven years of living in the bliss/hell of self-employment in a New England state, so different than when we lived in Ohio. I am so grateful that our income was more predictable this year. It’s amazing what that does to my ease my mind.

Best present given this year? Behold the perfect gag gift for the consummate lover of Polar Seltzer in our house:

Be afraid, be very afraid!

I am grateful for this blog, for the technology which allows it, for my readers, for the kindness of those who leave comments.

I am grateful that I started writing poetry again and not only that, grateful to be reading it again

Grateful that I was able to take an improv class this year.

Glad that I celebrated 20 years of marriage. Glad that we get to go away to amazing places within a few hours’ drive, stay overnight, eat, shop, walk, swim, hike, visit friends, hear cool musicians, see amazing art.

Grateful that I found out about and saw Gogol Bordello.

Grateful that I got to go to my 30-year HS reunion, see lots of old pals (including my biggest high school crush, which was a hoot), stroll about Kent, Ohio, home of myself, land of the birth of my adulthood*, have that nude photo shoot in a garden in the heat and flower of summer.

Grateful for all the cool music I’ve discovered this year, in part because of the technology and youtube, but more because I do stick to my Music Monday posts. Especially my new-found love for all things Wilco and Tweedy.

Grateful that Willow was in our life.

Annie’s shrine to Willow (detail, not the whole thing), which includes a nail-polish painted (I kid you not, my kids are goofy) white bathroom tile

That is an origami Willow with a little paper bird (crane) in its mouth. Annie must have made a thousand paper cranes on her own this year and went on a bit of an origami adventure. SO GREAT!

My latest fad of photographing bathrooms from our travels. This is from the newly opened Atlantic Pizza Company in Rockport, MA. One of the prettier public restrooms in New England (this photo does not do the bathroom justice)

And this, the environmentally-friendly Euro-loo at The Wired Puppy, Provincetown, Mass

Grateful for any way that a reader might find my blog. Truly, the most abundant search term seems to be some manifestation of “ass tattoo.” That’s not even the most ass of the ass tattoo searches. Ready? I’ve had to live with this and I think if you’ve made it a year here, you will be able to live with it, too: asshole tattoo. You can imagine that I don’t want to know more about asshole tattoos. I do not think someone was thinking, hmm, how many assholes (meaning people who are jerks, idiots, morons) have tattoos? No, I take it as a literal search for tattoos on people’s assholes. First of all, OUCH and second, DUMB and third, if you want a tattoo on your asshole, you’ve come to the wrong place–begone with ye!

Thanks for coming along for the ride this year. Who knows, I may post again before we see the dawn of 2012, but ciao for now and thank you.

With tres mucho love, twinkly

this one is from the uber-tacky, red-and-white tiled bathroom at Five Guys Burger and Fries on Cape Ann

*for some reason, this seems like I’m talking about my maidenhead: why, Santy Claus, why?

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Dear Readers,

I don’t have an iPod (RIP Steve Jobs) and even if I did, I couldn’t play it through my 2000 Toyota mini-van’s stereo system (see, I used the phrase stereo system, so you know the dinosaur part about me is true).

I bought the new Wilco CD yesterday and I played it in the car on the way to the high school open house I attended last night. I listened to this track twice, once on the way to the school, once on the way home. Wilco played this live when we saw them in Boston last month and it stuck with me…I kept wondering which song was that?

During our 15-minute Geometry “class” at the open house, I tried sneaking reading the lyrics, but no worries, my daughter will probably get an A, unlike me who flunked high school Geometry (or was that Alg II?). Sneaking lyrics wasn’t the only thing I did in high school to get into trouble and I can only hope my amazing, intense, creative, energetic, artistic daughter goes a better way than I did back then.

This song, I don’t know what it’s about, but I think this is the true gem of the album, the one for the ages. There are a couple of lines that kill the hell outta me:

Outside I look lived in/like the bones in a shrine–it’s immediate, sharp and soft at the same time, and reminds me of churches in Prague and I am cold for my father/frozen underground

I’ve lived without my father for so long, lived without knowing him for so much of my life, but I was missing him and picturing him yesterday. I pulled out a bin of old photos.

I forget the damage, you know, the damage of losing a parent when you’re still pretty young. I don’t grieve for him any more, but I am today. How death defines us, underneath all of the geometry and the words and anything else we layer on top.

One Sunday Morning

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
Oh, one son is gone

I can see where they’re dawning
Over the sea
My father said what I had become
No-one should be

Outside I look lived in
Like the bones in a shrine
How am I forgiven?
Oh, I’ll give it time

This, I learned without warning
Holding my brow
In time he thought I would kill him
Oh, but I didn’t know how

I said it’s your god I don’t believe in
No, your Bible can’t be true
Knocked down by the long life
He cried, ‘I fear what waits for you’

I can hear those bells
Spoken and gone
I feel relief, I feel well
Now he knows he was wrong

I am cold for my father
Frozen underground
Jesus, I wouldn’t bother
He belongs to me now

Something sad keeps moving
So I wandered around
I fell in love with the burden
Holding me down

Bless my mind, I miss
Being told how to live
What I learned without knowing
How much more that I owe that I can give

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
One son is gone

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In college, I began as a nursing major, which lasted one year. The great benefit of having been in the School of Nursing was getting all of my science requirements out of the way; in addition, I clepped out of English 101 so that when I switched to “undecided,” I was able to take a slew of Art and Liberal Arts classes. I switched in my junior year to a double French/English major, and finally, just majored in English.

I took four philosophy classes, mostly because I liked the professor, a dynamic, intelligent, charismatic Greek man, Dr. Nenos Georgopolis. 4 classes with the same teacher; how crazy was I?

In any case, when I took Aesthetics, I wondered if beauty, you know, Beauty, was something that made one cry. Beauty defined as what makes me cry.

Of course, my professor dismissed my question, not in a condescending way, but in the way a professor of philosophy must. That is, that everything has an intellectual explanation and can be teased out into its reasons. I think we were reading Kant, but that means little to nothing to me now. I can’t remember any of what I might have read, only some of the people and the interactions in the classroom and the passion of my teacher.

I finally know that while not everything that makes me cry is beautiful, almost everything that makes me cry is beautiful. 29 fucking years after that class to figure this out?

I look for it everywhere and maybe I could give myself a break and stop worrying about my failings as a parent or whether my children have been instilled with good (enough) habits. I am not looking for rationalizations for being irresponsible, but if I could stop wasting mental energy on things I haven’t done or things I think I should be doing, ah, what a different life I could live.

Beauty, all my all.

I know that my current undying love for all things Tweedy might be a bit sickening to the lot of my readers, but I keep finding yummy stuff on youtube. It’s slowly dawning on me that my blog writing is basically just for me, another masturbatory activity, but for those of you who like to watch, I hope you keep showing up and telling me your stories.

Otherwise, fair warning to bow out about now if you haven’t already on yet another l-o-n-g post.

Here’s another couple for good songs, good solid songs and good solid singing and guitar playing. Tweedy, who ranks with the best of them, who is obviously in it for the long haul and isn’t just fucking around, who I think knows he’s been ignited with whatever it is that keeps pouring the light of beauty in and out of himself.

2 videos and then the lyrics to the second song, which are simple but lovely and interesting

This makes me sort of wish I could play the guitar:

I’m the Man Who Loves You

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to
You I couldn’t tell if it’d bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand
I’m the man who loves you

All I can be is a busy sea
Of spinning wheels and hands that feel for
Stones to throw and feet that run but
Come back home
It made no difference
Ever known, it made no difference
Ever known to me

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand
I’m the man who loves you

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to
You I couldn’t tell if it’d bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you

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Today’s Thankful Thursday is not much different than any other Thankful Thursday, only I am slightly wracked with guilt due to yesterday’s rant, hence this Thursday’s title (let the song-referencing contest begin!)

grateful for:

the crates of squash stacked high in the fields of Hadley (while many farms have suffered due to incredible amounts of rain on top of the flooding from Hurricane Irene, some of Hadley, Amherst, and Hatfield’s crops look okay; some not; Vermont got hammered)

fields of pumpkins

Nina Simone

Ewan McGregor (if you’ve seen much of Ewan McGregor’s ouevre, you know he appears buck naked in several films, not the least of which are Velvet Goldmine, The Pillow Book, and Young Adam)

Ewan McGregor naked

words

when I can write a decent poem or at least string some interesting words together in an interesting way

Hubby

my kids

not experiencing the news

early bedtime (before or by 11 pm)

the small card of this image that sits on my desk. I have had it for 28 years or so. It’s been with me for so long and I love it so much, but it’s faded and banged up with creases. I’d like a copy of it again and I’ve found it on google images with much maneuvering. I just can’t manage to track it down beyond a particular blog post, in German, from Germany. I know the painting is by Almut Gernhardt and I think it’s from a book called “Twelve Pretty Cat Paintings.”

kitty kitty

All of the serendipitous things that happened this week, like when I posted about quisling and as I was typing up my post, typing the word puzzling, I overheard Hubby on a business call to Belgium and he was saying the word puzzling and the next day on the A Word a Day, the word was quisling

almost never knowing when to use italics, boldface, or quotation marks in my posts when I am pointing out specific words. I love this so much!

how easily one can italicize and boldface in writing on a computer

Jeff Tweedy’s take on serendipity: people with broken hearts find things that reflect their broken hearts (okay, so I’m using it slightly out-of-context, but not really) (thanks to alpha dog for sending me the link to that particular interview)

the aforementioned (in yesterday’s post) Utz Red Hot potato chips. I love them very much and yet they are very hard to come by, so much so that a year or so ago, I ordered a case of them. Naturally, they made me sick, and I haven’t ordered them since. I’m grateful that they aren’t available in the stores around here, but I’d probably be grateful if they were. If you go to the Utz website, a darling cartoon-child will try to sell you Utz chips by reaching into her bag of chips and munching them right before your eyes!

the incredibly long period of my life in which I never experienced tinnitus

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Buckle up, people, it’s a long one. It’s also a bit of a linkfest. Never been to a linkfest before? Here’s your chance.

YES YES YES YES I can’t stop it I am compelled to keep listening to these songs and isn’t that what Music Monday should be about?

After seeing Wilco at the end of June at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA, 2 members of my family went a little nuts and listened exclusively to Wilco for several weeks. It got so crazy that there had been talk of renaming our cat Willow, Wilco.

Only recently has the spell been broken, but it’s been cast on yours truly, the twinklinator.

This is the song, this is the one, these are the words, this is the Tweedy. Look, I am not too far a fan of self-indulgent guitar solos and for the most part this goes too far. But it’s fucking great in spite of and because of it. Paulie says this is pure Tom Verlaine-style and yes, I hear it, and it’s fucking beautiful.

Inside out of love, what a laugh, I was looking for you

The whole song encapsulates what addiction is about, or at least a particular aspect of it. Nails it.

and then there’s this

and this

and my latest favorite, the amazing “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”

I am sure I don’t know what those all of the words mean except that they get to me.

Bible-black predawn and

I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming,/ Take you from the inside, baby hold on tight

That gets to a girl, you know? Take you from the inside, baby hold on tight. Who writes like that? Tweedy, that’s who.

Yours to discover: Steven Colbert interviewing Jeff Tweedy around the time of the presidential run in ’08. Wilco performing on The Colbert Report on the same episode. Also this and this.

You know what I think I like most about Jeff Tweedy? You can’t sex him up. He’s old-school humble. It’s good to know that this still exists in this troubled world. Salt of the earth, a real mensch. Like you or me.

(Can you all believe how brilliant I am? That heart up there? Damn I’m good).

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