Author: Ellen

Instead of boring my friends with my need to catalog my life through music, I'm putting it here.

The Second of the First

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – The Second of the First

This was one of those days where I really didn’t do anything, yet it still wasn’t relaxing. I am half way through attempting a recipe I found online for these honey apple challah tarts that looked really great in the picture but now I’m worried mine will look nothing like that. I am also worried the flour and yeast were a little old so they may not rise properly. We’ll find out tomorrow as it’s supposed sit overnight in the fridge.

But that was the sum total of my productivity today and I will probably regret that in the morning when I have to cram in all of the things I could have gotten out of the way if I’d just been motivated enough to leave the house.

I suppose it also wasn’t relaxing because I kept thinking about running errands or doing laundry but then feeling like I just couldn’t be bothered. My husband suggested we get “his” car an oil change before Thanksgiving since it hasn’t had one in a year? Maybe more? I have been taking the cars to one of those drive-in places where you don’t even have to leave the car while they change the oil, but still, that would have meant going out. Having to resume my commute has made me really sluggish on the weekends. It’s like every weekend day is a No Bones Day. I just want to flop back into bed like Noodles the 13-year-old pug.

However, I am taking next week off from work so maybe I can find some way to reset my clock and feel less worn out. Wish me luck.

I’m Afraid of Americans

David Bowie – I’m Afraid of Americans

I have tried to keep the news at arms length recently. I’ve just got more than I can really handle in my own life and I don’t feel I have the energy to be out there trying to change the world right now. But some days, like today, it’s impossible to ignore the state of the country. I never expected a different outcome in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, but that doesn’t make me any less angry about it.

Bad Decisions

The Strokes – Bad Decisions

We got an email today telling us that if the weather is too dangerous to drive this winter, we should all work from home. But they have yet to announce the remote work policy, which is apparently why we all had to come back in to the office. 🤔

Do You Love Me

Guster – Do You Love Me

Way back in the early days of Facebook opening up to the general public, I somehow became Facebook friends with Brian Rosenworcel, the drummer of Guster. It’s not like I actually know him but I have always liked what he posts, whether it’s personal, like giving his sister a shout out for being the first woman nominated to head the FCC, or band related. This week he posted an article that Ryan Miller (lead singer/guitar) wrote for The Atlantic.

Ryan wrote about their concert this past summer out at Red Rocks in Colorado and how, after so many months of not being able to perform, the experience was so much more than just a concert. It’s a lovely and thoughtful piece about the power of live music and the peril it faced from the pandemic.

It is the view of a lifetime: a sea of 8,488 expectant faces, their collective gaze converging to a single point, which happens to be exactly where I’m standing. Behind me sit about 60 members of the Colorado Symphony; my bandmates are at my side. Our band, Guster, is headlining Red Rocks, a natural amphitheater carved into the side of a rock formation in Morrison, Colorado, and universally regarded as one of the world’s preeminent live-music venues. As we launch into our first song, “Do You Love Me,” I tamp down the last flares of stage fright, and remind myself to be present and take in the magnitude of this moment. The song ends and I step to the microphone: “Oh my God. For maybe the first time in my life, I’m at a loss for words.” Our fans roar, and the volume is overwhelming. I am nearly brought to tears. It is the unequivocal highlight of my professional career.

I got teary myself reading it and I encourage you to click on over and read the whole thing. I Performed a Career-Highlight Show. Then Delta Hit. 1

It reminded me of something another friend posted recently. She was venturing back to an indoor venue for the first time and she quoted Bob Lefsetz who wrote, “Number of bands I want to see live: Thousands. Number of bands I’m willing to die for: Zero.” I nodded and thought to myself, smart. Nicely put. But the more I thought about it the more I thought that’s not quite how I feel. Not that I can name bands I’d die for but the kind of concert experience Ryan Miller writes about, the kind of shows I’ve been to in my life where you really feel that energy between the band and the audience, it’s the spark that makes life worth living. For me it’s the height of human achievement. Fuck Elon Musk and his electric cars and penises in space, they have got nothing on the magic created when that concert venue lifts off.

1 In the article, Ryan talks about starting the show with the video I posted, and then later mentions another song, the video of that performance has been uploaded to YouTube. They streamed the show live as well but just this one song has been posted so far.

Great No One

The Beths – Great No One

During the depths of the pandemic I really fell hard for New Zealand. While we continued to allow morons to make policy based on nothing more than opposition to everything, New Zealanders were enjoying music festivals and normal life without lockdowns or masks, just common sense and a nationwide sense of obligation to their fellow citizens. Imagine!

Now even they have had to contend with the Delta variant and Mittens the cat (one of my other pandemic escapist hobbies, following the adventures of a cat in Wellington) is moving to Auckland so I guess my plans to be an expat there are a bit on hold.


Beach House – Myth

Fingers crossed that we can keep the concerts rolling into next year. I may actually decide to go for balcony seats when Beach House comes in July because while my 16 year old may be up for standing several hours, if we’re not moving beyond a gentle sway, I will be hobbling the next day. A few years ago those standing desks were all the rage at the office and I was like, nah, I’m good with a chair.

I’d much prefer to get up and walk around periodically, come back and sit down. Especially now that it’s getting dark early. We had clouds obscuring the moon when I left the office and it was past dusk already at 5:10. By the time I had stopped for gas and was getting on the highway it was as dark as night. If I don’t get up from my desk and walk around outside, I don’t get enough day light. Or, you know, I could go back to working from home and just look out my window. Turn off the computer at five and oh, hey! still light out and I’m already home! 🤔


Snail Mail – Madonna

When I bought the ticket to see Snail Mail I had not yet heard any of the new album. Judging by the comments section on YouTube, I am in the minority thinking her earlier stuff was better. Maybe I’ll like it better after hearing it live.

Baby Don’t Cry

Sunflower Bean – Baby Don’t Cry

I am contemplating getting tickets for Sunflower Bean in a couple of weeks. I had a ticket for their show in January 2020 and I blew it off. Then we got slammed by the pandemic and a year and a half went by.

I actually have tickets for a number of upcoming shows. None of them were expensive and I figure if they get cancelled I’ll be reimbursed so why not?

But it is a risk to be in a club, and I bought a ticket for Snail Mail, before the Sunflower Bean show was announced, which is just a week later. I think that it will be another wait and see.

Almost Cut My Hair

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Almost Cut My Hair

My hair has gotten really long (for me) but I’m still not really ready to go to a salon to get it cut. I did chop off at least five inches last year, I did it myself and it was a fairly decent job, I think. My hair is wavy so it wasn’t really noticeable if it was uneven. Lately, the scissors have been calling to me but I’ve been trying to resist.

I just got my booster shot this evening so maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll be feeling like I could venture in to somewhere to have someone else cut my hair. Part of my issue is also that I don’t know where to go. I don’t like spending a lot of money and the place I went to most recently (two years ago at this point) didn’t survive the initial shut down.

This song reminds me of high school, particularly once we’d moved up to Maine. My older sister and I were used to a New York sense of what was cool and, when we first arrived, we really stood out from the rest of the Maine kids. We would sit around in the evening talking about stuff and invariably, the topic would turn to our hair. My mother got so tired of it she forbid us from talking about our hair more than once a day.

I also came across some old pictures of myself the other day and I still think the way my hair looked during my junior year of college was pretty great. How do I show up at the salon with a picture of myself at 20 to show them how I want my hair cut and avoid coming across as a woman deep in the throes of a midlife crisis?