Apologies for the troll these last few days. While I always enjoy the initial battle, there is nothing really to learn and I see all my regular commenters disappear. I should learn from those who refuse to feed trolls. Maybe when I mature.
But now I get rid of the troll only to find the flu. Or something. No, not me (knock on wood) but SOF is achey and coughy (technical medical terms). She really is doing well today and just doesn't feel well more than she feels awful. I keep telling her I am a doctor and she should listen to me. She reminds me that I am not the kind of doctor one listens to. She isn't very respectful when she is sick. Accurate, of course, but not terribly respectful.
I kid. She is great and I am making home-made chicken soup for her. Little trick--if you want to make good chicken stock at home (I find the canned stuff dreary and unappetizing), buy a pack or two of wings and throw them in a kettle with some water to simmer for 5 or 6 hours. I usually freeze chicken carcasses too, so I have those to throw in. It is perfect to have simmering on the stove while it is cold and rainy. Nothing like that aroma to make the house smell like home.
But back to the day. I should be doing more than I am. There is work to do, and I don't really want to do that. So, instead, I attended a song-writing clinic at the same place where I take lessons. That was cool. Very cool to listen to how people write songs. Hell, it was just fascinating listening to the music theory and the knowledge from some of these guys.
Coming from a writing background, I am very attuned to how people approach writing text, but it was amazing how many parallels there were for the songwriters. Letting stuff age or simmer to see how it looked with fresh eyes, or even the very real need of turning off that critical part of your brain when you are trying to get some ideas down. Anyway, it was cool. I want to write some songs--mostly to see if I can do it. No guarantee that I will share them with anyone (if I succeed) but I want to see if I can write a good song.
Speaking of music, I am rather curious about this coming year, and a little pessimistic. I really didn't realize just how amazing last year was for music until I started listing the artists and albums that came out last year (I have a 2007 playlist in Itunes that is pretty damn solid). Several that are in that category of me purchasing on Music Tuesday without listening or reading about. Wilco, Ryan Adams, Arcade Fire, New Pornographers, Ted Leo, Steve Earle, and even the Shins. Add a few new ones, or relative newcomers (to me)--The National, Andrew Bird, Feist, Pela, Okkervil River, The Weakerthans, and the Great Lake Swimmers--and you have a hell of a musical year. And that isn't even conclusive. Radiohead's album is great, and I am really enjoying the latest Iron and Wine. And the Alison Krauss/Robert Plant effort is growing on me by the day. After my songwriting session, I could not stop listening to their "Please Read the Letter." You can grab that single here (number 21). Great melody and harmony. And I am going to have to work out the chord progression because it is also stuck in my head.
That was last year. This coming year has me a little concerned. So far, I have downloaded the new Evangelicals album (not bad) and have heard a few tracks from Sia's new effort. Kathleen Edwards has a new album coming out in March that I will purchase immediately. I hear rumors of a new Hold Steady album, but don't know if that is for this year or next. No new Wilco, I am sure. Dammit. Sure, Ryan Adams might put out another album, but his stuff is hit and miss. I hear Alejandro is working on a new album and that would be great. But what else is coming this year? Will 2008 be the down cycle in music?
I demand answers. The political season will suck--of that I am sure. But I expect music to take me away from all that. Perhaps I can get Congress to investigate....
Ok, back to the soup.