Friday, August 04, 2006

At every occasion, I'll be ready for a funeral

The apartment looks very empty, only for the pile of boxes and bags of all my packed belongings sitting by the door. My parents should be here in about an hour to help me move to Nana's. It's weird to be leaving, but I'm looking forward to a bigger kitchen, cable and a car, even if it means moving out to suburbia. I'll probably still make trips to Delaware Park and my old haunts in Allentown; it's just a short trip on the highway, after all.

I can't stop listening to Band of Horses, a new band I heard playing in a friend's car. They sound so much like the Shins, the Flaming Lips and maybe a little Coldplay and Neil Young. The singer, Ben Bridwell, reminds me most of Shins singer James Mercer; it's almost eerie how alike they sound, though I'm tempted to say Band of Horses' music is more powerful in its attack on the emotions.

Here are some snippets from Stephen M. Deusner's March 20 Pitchfork review that I think really hits the mark about the band's debut album (and only to date), "Everything All the Time":
"... Turning despondency into indie majesty is a major talent of Band of Horses; their music is carefully balanced to evoke specific emotional responses while allowing space for personal projection.
"... Their guitar-heavy sound and Bridwell's echo-y vocals invite specific comparisons to labelmates the Shins as well as My Morning Jacket ... While apt, these comparisons seem restrictive and reductive, but their limitations can be illuminating.
"... Still, every element and track on Everything contributes to the album's wistful, twilit atmosphere, from its first cascading guitar chords to its final rueful strums.
" ... Ultimately, the band's most winning trait is its delicate balance of elements -- between gloom and promise, quiet and loud, epic and ordinary, familiar and new, direct and elliptical, artist and listener. Each of these aspects makes the others sound stronger and more complex, making 'Everything All the Time' an album that's easy to get lost in and even easier to love."
My favorite song has to be "The Funeral," which I've been listening to nonstop for the past few days. Songs like that you have to conserve in your listening, because they run the risk of becoming overplayed, even if they're not on the radio. I've found it's best to limit your listening of a song you really like in order to preserve its newfound favored place in your heart.

My Aug. 10 edition of Rolling Stone (with Plant and Page on the cover!) finally made it, albeit a bit tattered. It came a week late, I think. Mail here always takes forever for some reason, even though it's here by 9:30 every morning. I already diverted my magazine subscriptions (Rolling Stone and Food & Wine) to my Syracuse address.

Heather and I are already planning the first party for our apartment. I'm really looking forward to this year. I keep thinking more and more about the return to SU every day. Three more weeks at The Buffalo News and I'm off.

I just wish I could have spent a little more time at home with my family. All truth be told, I kind of miss spending time with them and the simplicity of home, where you can relax and not have to worry about deadlines or noise or when next month's rent is due. We're all growing up, leaving home. My brother's going full time with One Foot Forward this fall, so my parents will finally have both of us out of the house, with the exception of the occasional visit and vacation time. I'm glad I'll have four-day weekends this semester; it'll give me some time to kick back at home.
"You know that point in your life when you realize that the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden, even though you have some place where you can put your stuff, that idea of home is gone. ... You'll see when you move out. It just sort of happens one day, and it's just gone, and you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean, it's like this rite of passage, you know? You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself -- for your kids, for the family you start. It's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is: a group of people who miss the same imaginary place."
- Zach Braff as Andrew Largeman in "Garden State"

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