The new Avett Brothers album came out Tuesday- Magpie and the Dandelion– and I’m in the double digits as to how many times I’ve listened to it already. I have disconnected from the world in my musical obsession. The best way I could describe it is to say I have curled up in their back pocket and followed them along for a while.
In high school, I can’t think of any major obsession other than I listened to Nirvana, Jim Croce and Queen a lot. When John left for college he gave me a Leonard Cohen album. Then I found Tom Waits… which I’m pretty certain John fell in love with Tom more than I. I fell in love with his Mule Variations album which to many “Raindogs”- big Tom Waits fans – would say that Mule Variations deviated far from the norm and is their least favorite album and it is in fact my favorite. So anything that followed- Mule Variations- I did not connect with as much. Now in Tom’s “earlier years” I adore the piano ballads… but otherwise I haven’t been able to connect to him for some time. My attempt to connect with a female artist never lasted long nor did it become too intense- Alanis Morissette… Norah Jones… Fiona Apple… Feist… Gillian Welch…. believe me I tried. I’ve always enjoyed ladies of Jazz- Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and so on… Our wedding musical mishap created a love for James Taylor. We stopped on our way to our honeymoon and got James Taylor tapes for the trip. James Taylor forever will remind me of our wedding and our honeymoon. You can’t erase that- it’s permanently embedded. Following our wedding, I lost music for a while… I was working so much and when I found the time I listened to John Mayer- Will Hoge- Johnny Cash- Plain White T’s- Gavin DeGraw. During this time any time I exercised- Justin Timberlake has been my goto for years. I went through a small Adele obsession but she was overplayed and fizzled out fast. I should also refer to this whole parenting thing where I got lost in the toddler tunes for a while- a previous blog about this problem… It should also be mentioned that it’s hard to stick to an obsession when many of the artists you love have passed on….
So for some time I have listened to the radio and didn’t feel a major connection. On June 20th, we attended the Avett Brothers concert in Roanoke. I loved it- I knew some of the songs, but not much off the Carpenters album. We left the concert completely in awe… both of us. There is just something so raw about a couple of guys and strings- not all this technological fluff. A week following the concert we left on our anniversary trip. On the train ride to Philadelphia, we decided to download the Carpenter album and we shared ear buds and curled up together. I ran along to the music in Cape Cod and in Central Park. We spent a night in Cape Cod cruising down the road with the windows down and the Avetts turned up. I downloaded I and Love and You, but there was just something about the Carpenter album that stole my heart. It must be said that our anniversary trip will be forever be connected to the Avett Brothers. Much like in my memory for James Taylor is connected to our wedding and honeymoon. In these moments since our vacation it is easiest to describe our trip as to falling in love all over again. The Avett Brothers and particularly the Carpenter album songs define falling into a deeper love with my husband. Those who followed our trip this summer… now you may understand how amazingly fitting it was when we were sitting in Boston and the people on the dock, by the Charles, were playing the Avett Brothers.
I have said we took away two things from our vacation- one we need to spend more time alone together and dare not wait that long ever again and two we need to declutter our home because being in the open environment of the bed and breakfasts made us so at ease. Really I have to admit we took away three things- the third -and most crucial for me in particularly- that the Avett Brothers have made a connection to a moment that I would like to freeze in time- the moment when my husband and I fell completely into a deeper sickening pit of love.
On the new album- Once you have listened enough you realize that they’ve been playing these songs for some time, but the album makes it more official so to speak.
Souls like the Wheels
Apart From Me
Out of all of the song- I connect to this one personally on the new album-
Never Been Alive
Seth Avett with Bob Crawford singing Jim Croce- How could I resist even though it is not on the new album?
With all the music added to the house recently John felt inspired to purchase a ukulele last Saturday. He thought it would be fun to learn something new. So this is him playing one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs Murder in the City.