Thursday, December 17, 2015

Let It Happen

Sitting here eating dark chocolate with sea salt - not because it's National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, which it is, but because - a few things occur to me.

It's tough to keep up. How is it I am just now hearing about boozy advent calendars? A friend just got her annual whisky version (Drinks by the Dram), according to her an "awesome way to taste the good stuff," but assures me it also comes in a tequila version. Liquor as learning tool...or holiday coping aid, your choice.

Biscuits may move, but burgers are forever. It's a knowing friend who messages, "I will pick you up at 12:45 and treat you to your fave, Roy's big burger." Of course we eat lunch in the car, just like everyone else in the parking lot. Early Bird may be ditching Lakeside for the Fan, but Roy's will never leave. Fact.

Gift-wrapping is a zen practice. A skill learned at my mother's practiced knee and honed briefly in the Gift Wrap department of the Hecht Co. in college, wrapping presents is both mindless and productive. Truth is, it's really all about the loud music playing while I wrap.

First was a BBC recording of Bob Moses, a Canadian duo I've been mad about for the past few months, introduced to me by Holmes for its Bryan Ferry-set-to-dance-beats vibe. I certainly heard that in listening repeatedly, so I'm a tad surprised to hear the band say that they were influenced by the grunge of their youth, but not that they were influenced by the likes of The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy.

We'd better be teaching young people about a badass like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They should know her response to when there'd be enough women on the Supreme Court. " My answer is when there are nine. There's been nine men and nobody's ever raised a question about that." Imagine how many things might be different if all the justices were XX. It boggles the mind.

There are new ways of looking at "It's A Wonderful Life" live. Violet was practicing Vamping 101 while still in elementary school. That swimming pool scene is like the swimming pool scene in "Rocky Horror" but not. Ernie kissing Bert on the head is a problem because Bedford Falls doesn't cotton to that kind of thing. Like Annie the maid, Mr. Martini is one of the cherished ethnic stereotypes allowed to live in Bedford Falls.

Like a date, you know within the first five to ten minutes whether you're going to like a band's sound. Sure, sometimes you have to warm up to an album, but in general, you have a gut feeling after a song or two. With something like the new Tame Impala, I am in lust before the first song is half over and the successive songs only cement my love.

Best of all, it shows growth. I really liked the last album, but this new one is different, the guitars dialed way back or non-existent. Like a partner who continues to evolve, the sound has developed and with it, exponentially, my devotion.

And because I can be a serial record listener, it's been on repeat all day, which is nothing. Weeks and even months aren't uncommon. If I like a record enough, I'll want to listen to nothing but it until I've heard enough to sate me, enough to understand or at least ask questions. Let's call it dog with bone syndrome.

Holidays are highly personal. During my personal wrapping/listening party, it occurs to me that the most wonderful way to begin the 25th would be a Christmas morning listening party and breakfast. I'm not sure if it's been done, but I love the thought of people coming over to eat with me and bring music they love while I do the same. There would be so much to talk about.

Nothing else on the agenda but using our ears and mouths to celebrate some sort of Festivus. It would be the ideal follow-up to Jolabokaflod, that Icelandish holiday where people give each other books on Christmas Eve and then spend the rest of the night reading. I love how geeky that makes Iceland sound.

Then wake up and come to my house for breakfast, but be sure to bring music that makes you feel as happy as the fried bologna and cheese sandwiches of my childhood made me. Book discussions optional but not unwelcome.

Don't forget to RSVP because it is a wonderful life.

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