music mondays. the inaugural post: alt-j and lord huron

In an effort to write more consistently, I’ve been trying to think of columns, if you will, to have on my blog. I asked the Twittersphere for suggestions, and my friend Kristen said FAVORITE NEW SONG. (She actually said favorite song of the moment, and didn’t say it in all CAPS, I just did that for emphasis.)

So, say hello to MUSIC MONDAYS. I’ll probably broaden beyond just a favorite song to talk about albums and any live shows I may have seen recently.

It has turned out to be a great day to kick this off! Two of my favorite bands from 2012 are touring together. I mentioned both Lord Huron and Alt-J in my post 2012 in favorites. I got to see Alt-J at CD102.5 Day in March and they were sooo good. Lord Huron came through town in June, but I had another commitment and couldn’t make it. That these bands are touring together but not coming to Columbus was a terrible blow to my musical soul. (Note: I don’t have any personal musical ability, just (IMO) excellent musical taste.)

So last night Parker and I started looking at the tour dates to find something close enough for us. Turns out, they play in Chicago tonight, but it’s sold out. After scouring Craigslist and StubHub, we changed our focus to the Detroit show on Tuesday night. Also sold out.

Meaghan: This is THE WORST!
Parker: I will look on Facebook like a smart person and see if there is any info about the show and more tickets.

So, Parker finds the FB page for Royal Oak Music Theatre and GUESS WHAT?! They are doing a contest for two tickets to the show. To win the contest, you had to comment on their FB post describing why you deserve to be there and tag the friend you are bringing. At that point, all the posts were pretty lame, lacking in creativity, and (in your best Gretchen Wieners voice) those people totally did not deserve to go!

Parker writes his post, explaining how Alt-J and Lord Huron were the stars of his summer road trip playlist, and wouldn’t it be the perfect end to summer to see these bands together? We decide to work on a more involved post for me that will use the track titles.

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m looking at the track titles from An Awesome Wave and Lonesome Dreams. We’re both concerned that this is going to be too corny. Parker tweaks and adds to what I wrote, and this is what we came up with:

It would really be Something Good if you fulfilled my Lonesome Dream of seeing these bands Tessellate at Royal Oak! This would be my first trip to your theatre, but if I win I promise I Will Be Back One Day (unless Curly Joe’s vocals Dissolve Me away). It would be my Fitzpleasure to use my second ticket on Parker, who roadtripped to the Ends of The Earth this summer with these two bands topping his most played list. I am not the woMan Who Lives Forever, so help me win something before time runs out. Do it for Matilda. (And, for the record, triangles really are my favorite shape.)

BAM. Musical wordsmithery right there. Of course we won. No one else stood a chance.

So tomorrow I’ll be heading to lovely Detwah (that’s French for Detroit) for what I have no doubt will be a memorable groovefest. Look back at my original post for some info on both bands, and if this tour comes through your city, go see them.

mondays, NPR, and nostalgia.

Act I. I love Mondays. I used to love them because I worked Sundays and took off Mondays. I christened them “Domestic Mondays” because I typically bought groceries, ran errands, and baked some kind of treat. It was the best. I’d trade a weekday for my Sunday again. In my new job, I love Mondays for a different reason. Well, a few reasons: This American Life, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, and grilled cheese night at Bodega. Happy hour is so much happier when you’re leaving the suburbs and highways to return to the city.

Instead of having the baked treat I used to make on Mondays, I get a brain treat while listening to the previous weekend’s This American Life and Wait…Wait. (Wow, that was nerdy.) In my job, there isn’t a lot of human interaction. Not to mention most of my coworkers are twice my age, so it’s a little awkward to initiate conversation with, “So… how’s your kid doing?” (Sidebar: Today I got to hear about my coworkers having “the talk” with their kids. Yikes.) So on Monday mornings I can’t wait to put on my headphones and hear Ira Glass welcome me to today’s program. Then later when I move on to Peter and Carl on Wait…Wait, I usually end up doing that shoulders-shaking, looks-like-you’re-hyperventilating-in your-cube-but-really-you’re-just-trying-not-to-laugh-out-loud thing, because we all agree it would be weird if I laughed out loud in my cube.

Act II. As you can see, I also love NPR. I battle with being lumped in to the “Did you hear that thing on NPR today?” crowd, but, I am that crowd. And it’s more than staying current on the news or latest indie band. I love to sit on my bed Saturday mornings with my bowl of cereal, listening to Weekend Edition and then Car Talk. There’s something safe about it, these voices that have been familiar for so long. It reminds me of Saturday mornings as a kid, sitting in the kitchen while my mom made breakfast and NPR played in the background. Or driving to soccer matches with my dad, whining the whole way about listening to talk radio. And maybe that’s the way the rest of my generation feels, and why we love NPR.

Act III. I wouldn’t say I love nostalgia. But I would say I’m nostalgic. Introversion and a contemplative nature seem to breed nostalgia, so it only makes sense I guess. And with that, it’s only fitting that I’m going to prom this weekend. That’s right, prom.

More on nostalgia later.

In the meantime, please watch this short film from the live show of This American Life.

And read this book.

And listen to this song.