Talking Heads

Once in a Lifetime

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

And you may ask yourself, how do I work this?
And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?

Every once in a while, I find myself feeling this way. Am I really an adult responsible for raising two children? Am I really supposed to know all the things the other parents seem to know like, what makes an acceptable contribution to the golf-themed gift basket (?!) for my second grader’s school fund raiser? I feel like David Byrne, hitting his head over and over again. Surely I missed some vital information along the way here. I’m the person who decides what we’re all having for dinner (and has to make it)? How the hell did that happen? The family is counting on me to keep a roof over out heads and large automobiles in the driveway? What?!

You may ask yourself, am I right am I wrong?
You may say to yourself, my god what have I done?

The doubt creeps in during those quiet moments. When the sixth grader’s science homework question (water dissolving) suddenly has me unsure of everything I thought I knew. Crap! I forgot all this stuff after the test! I thought we were never supposed to need to know it anymore! I’ve been entrusted with making sure two whole people become thoughtful, intelligent members of society?! Shit! You know, it was easy when they were babies, I thought, I’ve got this. Teach them to walk, write their names, ride a bike, no problem. The discipline wasn’t too hard, teaching what’s good and what’s bad was pretty cut and dried. As they’ve gotten older though, there is much that is hard to define and I look at them sleeping and think, ooof. We have not even hit the teenage years yet.

Same as it ever was, Same As It Ever Was!

I’m sure this is nothing new. I’m sure my mother had no idea when she was 23 and had my oldest sister, what lay in store for her. I think most people who contemplate having children tend to think about babies, toddlers, young school-aged children. My kids are still young but I can see what’s just on the other side and I remember what kind of trouble teenagers can get into. My high schools resembled Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Most of us made it out just fine, but not everyone. How much of that is luck and how much is shaped by what I’m doing now? Letting the second grader take his Skylander figure to school is not a decision that’s going to alter the universe much. Letting the sixth grader start to go places on her own and unsupervised gets a little harder. By the time we get to learning to drive I am sure I will have an ulcer.

Time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us
Letting the days go by, letting the days go by

It’s good that this all happens really slowly over months and years. It isn’t really just Once in a Lifetime. There are days when you might wish for the current phase to be over and to have only existed that one time. Like colic. But by now you know that whatever you’re currently dealing with will pass, there will be a little lull and then the next challenge will crop up. Until then, you just have to let the days go by, into the blue again. Dancing may help.


David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who

This video comes from the first single off of the album Love This Giant, the collaboration between David Byrne and St. Vincent. I love that David Byrne is still out there, being himself* (and looking more like David Lynch’s brother with that white hair), and they are taking the show on the road.

BrooklynVegan has been posting a tour diary from Kelly Pratt, who is one of the horn players on tour. It’s pretty interesting and not just because I like the album and am a long time Talking Heads fan. For instance, who knew that marching band experience could ever come in handy off the football field? Band geeks unite! And that nearly the entire band has taken bicycles with them on the road. Is that not the coolest thing ever?! Did you know David Byrne has designed bike racks before? I do think I read that somewhere once but have you seen what this company can do to a bike rack? So freaking awesome!! I want one!

(click the links, you will be rewarded with things like a video of Burning Down the House from the Minneapolis show this past Saturday night.)

I played the French horn in junior high and high school. I don’t think any of us ever thought our time sweating it out in our band uniforms would ever end in anything as cool as touring with David Byrne & St. Vincent. We were mostly thinking that it got us out of study skills or some other lame class no one wanted to take. Our band teacher in New York was adamant that the French horn could only be played properly if sitting down so we never marched with our French horns. We played the euphonium when we marched, which was nice since it was smaller and easier to carry.

The band teacher up in Maine, where we moved halfway through high school, was not so particular about our proper French horn posture so we marched with our horns. To make matters worse, we also had those Buckingham Palace guard style hats. Somewhere at my mother’s house there is a perfectly awful picture of me, in that band uniform, playing the French horn on the football field. I look about 20 pounds heavier too because I had three layers on underneath to try and keep from freezing. Marching band in Maine suuuucked. It sucks everywhere but November in Maine is already winter. You couldn’t be in band the rest of the year unless you did marching band in the fall. Although I did know these two kids who signed up for hunting lessons just because they conflicted with football games and they managed to get away with it. As a recently transplanted New Yorker, that struck me as being the ultimate sign that we were really in the boonies.

* Case in point, he has a new book out too, How Music Works.

This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

This song always fills me with a sense of melancholy. It was released just when we moved from right outside NYC up to small town Maine. I was about to turn 16, the age at which my mother would allow you to go into the city with a friend (but without parents!), and suddenly that was gone.

I hated small town Maine. It felt so remote, so behind the times. No one listened to the same music, no one dressed like we did, our hair styles were different. This song, with the line, ”Home, it’s where I want to be but I guess I’m already there…” summed it up perfectly.