Feels like rain

It was one of those unexpected moments that turned out to be the highlight of my day. I was skipping rocks at Percy Priest Lake here in Nashville, waiting for my GoPro to record enough pictures to make a time-lapse of the sunset. Across the lake the marina slips were full of houseboats docked for the night.

img_20170921_182026745.jpg

I could hear distant voices of boat owners chatting back and forth. Music played as the soundtrack of their late afternoon. I assume they were cleaning their boats, as many boat owners like to do. Maybe they were scrubbing and washing the week away, or prepping for an upcoming voyage.

The lake was quiet enough that the sound from a boat stereo carried over the calm water to where I was sitting on lake pebbles, admiring the clouds and the active ducks. Another song began to play, one I’d never heard before. Somehow it captured, and represented, summer. I sat back and just let myself enjoy it, as I knew the moment wouldn’t last forever.

-Out of the Wilderness

Advertisements

Music, movies, and the Chicago Au Pairs

It was one of those days where almost everything that happened was unplanned. You see, even though my typical schedule is all over the place, most of my days are relatively structured: wake up, be productive, eat lunch, walk the dogs, be productive again, eat dinner.

But this particular day veered off that routine right after I completed the very first task of waking up.

Somebody else’s stuff. 

I love estate sales and there was one close to my house. It was advertised as having lots of clocks and, well, I love clocks. I didn’t buy anything but I spent a lot of tiiiime there. 😉

temp.jpg

Bark BnB.

Soon after I left the estate sale I was contacted through Rover.com for a last second boarding from a repeat customer, starting that same day for one night. My schedule was flexible enough to say yes and I wanted to do it, even though you might’ve already read that I have a hard time saying no.

Under a shade tree.

The next unplanned event was my friend coming over for a late afternoon outdoor movie. We set up in the back of her pick-up truck, ready for the featured movie, Mulan! It was awesome! My dogs and our guest dog lounged around in the back yard while Mulan saved China.


Playin’ the blues.

After my friend left, I got ready to meet another friend for a show at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Taj Mahal and Keb Mo delighted the crowd for almost 2 hours with fantastic blues music, and yes, there was a harmonica. Such talent on that stage! This pic was taken after the opener, just before the lights went down for the headliners.

img_20171007_204244295.jpg

The Chicago au pairs.

Afterwards, I walked down Broadway and over the pedestrian bridge. Lots of people on the bridge taking pictures, chatting, and a group playing a board game (okkkk?). At the bottom of the bridge was a suspicious gang huddled on the sidewalk. While they could’ve had guns and knives and pounced on me, they’re weapons were actually cute accents, luggage, and happiness. It turns out they had been waiting a long time for their Uber ride, who never showed up! #UberFail

They kindly asked if I could give them a ride to their hotel so I thought, why not? If they really were going to steal my money they still wouldn’t have enough for an Uber ride. 🙂 So we piled in my car and set off to their hotel.

We chatted about all sorts of things and it was so fun! I was hoping they wouldn’t realize how much of a dork I am. Hey, I did play Macklemore from one of my Spotify playlists so that bought me a few more minutes, right? I learned they are all au pairs living in Chicago but their accents are from all over the world… take a listen:


We made it to their hotel without incident, said our goodbyes, and then I drove home, ears still ringing from all the music that night.

A day full of unpredicted fun but sometimes that is the best kind, right? Hope you’ve had a weekend full of fun whether it was planned or not!

-Out of the Wilderness

My very first Tom Petty memory

News broke today that Tom Petty has passed away so I thought I’d share my first memory of him and his music.

I was in middle school in the late 80s/early 90s and our family had recently moved to Stafford, Virginia. Our next door neighbors had kids around my sisters ages (high school) so they naturally became friends pretty soon after we arrived. At some point they started talking about music and my sisters’ new friend gushed about Tom Petty. I couldn’t help but laugh and think, “What a dork!” Who would like Tom Petty or his music? I thought I was so hip and evolved and my neighbor was out of touch.

Boy, was I wrong!

As I got older, my exposure to music expanded. It was probably some time in college or just after college that I thought back to that middle school Virginia story and was embarrassed again… but this time it wasn’t for my neighbor, it was for me. I was the one who needed to learn more about good music and it wasn’t just limited to the tiny handful of songs or groups I liked.

Tom Petty is a legend and sadly, it took years for that to become a reality for me. He was singing adult music and I was just an immature little child. Here’s a list of my favorite Tom Petty songs:

Free Fallin’

Don’t Come Around Here No More

You Don’t Know How It Feels

I Won’t Back Down

Learning To Fly

 

-Out of the Wilderness

A Nashville night to remember

One of the best nights of the year… is how the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Head and the Heart, described last night in Nashville. Although he was referring to the cool, low humidity of the evening, he was right in more ways than he knew. And he also didn’t know the memorable night actually began 4 hours earlier!

I invited one of my friends to go to this show with me and was so happy she said yes. I knew she’d be good company! The first band was scheduled to start at 7 so we went to dinner first. There were 3 choices (because anyone who knows me knows I can be slightly indecisive, or is it easy to please? I don’t know, I can’t decide…) so we drew the winner out of a hat.

We didn’t go to (A) Oishii Asian Restaurant or (C) Mellow Mushroom, the winner was (B) Rainforest Cafe in Opry Mills mall. I haven’t been there before but it reminded me a lot of Disney World with how well they paid attention to details. Plus they had tanks of some wild looking fish that were fun to look at. We even saw Dory. Or maybe it was Dhorie (as to avoid copyright infringement). 😉 We had fun talking about all sorts of things… the stars on the ceiling, a ghost cloud, the elephants and other wild animals, and of course, we ate dinner, too.

She got the Anaconda Pasta (yum) and I got the Rainforest Natural Burger (yum). Both were yum.

We macheted out of the jungle, hopped on the interstate and made it to downtown around 730. Ascend Amphitheater has a number of seating options (see below). We went with the assigned seats, a little more expensive than general admission, but when we got there I was very happy not to have to fight our way to a small spot on the crowded grassy lawn. The red box below shows our two seats.

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 9.57.23 AM

The first band we saw was Dr. Dog (we missed the band before them, oops!) and they were good. Any band that uses a harmonica pretty much gets an automatic thumbs up from me. Their last song was one you may have heard of (this super catchy tune) and somehow you could just tell it was destined to be a hit.

Then The Head and the Heart took the stage and it was amazing! They have so many great songs and their voices are so recognizable. I was thinking during the show that they have the kind of music that doesn’t need any help, know what I mean? Some shows you go to include complicated light moves, video screens, fire, dancers, etc. When I worked at CMT we’d call it a stunt. It’s like added embellishments, extra entertainment, that sort of thing. I often think to myself, “When you have great music, you don’t need anything else.” Now, I know that’s unfair because there are plenty of amazing performers who don’t need any help, and the things they add to the show do, in fact, enhance the live experience. But with a group like The Head and the Heart, the music and the lyrics draw you in and to have other “attractions” would just be “distractions.”

They finished about 1045 so we made our way back to the car and took our heads and our hearts back out of town. It was such a fun afternoon/night, from the very beginning to the very end. And I’m cirrus when I say, if you have a chance to see The Head and the Heart, just do it, come on!!!

-Out of the Wilderness

Being single at 38 years old

NOTE: This was originally written last spring but I recently decided to go ahead and share it. Life in and out of the dating world can be a roller coaster emotionally. Count the following as a moment of bare honesty on my roller coastery journey.


I’m not exactly sure where this post will go, but I wanted to write down thoughts I’ve been having as a single guy at my old age. Old! That’s how I feel some days. Usually that sensation comes over me the night of, or the morning after, playing basketball or volleyball. I move a little slower, I groan a little more, I tighten my bathrobe a little more snugly arond me. I’m pretty happy with where my life is, with what I’m doing, and the friends I spend time with. Is this where I thought I’d be at 38? The truth is, I don’t ever remember thinking about where I’d be at 30 or 40. And even though I feel old sometimes, I feel really good other times.

I also think I’m past the question, “Why aren’t you married yet?” …because I haven’t been asked it in ages. The answer is always the same: haven’t found the right one yet. That’s partly true. I’ve dated on and off for the past few years and I’ve been in the company of greatness. But for whatever reason the relationships fizzled and died, or never even really started. There have been a handful of dates that would have never happened, if I knew how they’d go. I’m thinking of one at Buffalo Wild Wings, or another attending a Ben Rector concert.

Disasters!

But truthfully, those, and other less memorable one-hit wonders, as in “I wonder why we are here, now, together,” have helped me get to where I am. A little more mature. A little more focused. A little less hopeful. Yes, I said less hopeful. It’s hard to keep hope alive all day every day.

In fact, I’d say it’s impossible.

In fact, stay away from people who are positive all the time, they’re hiding something!

In fact, you don’t want to be there when they explode.

I’ve gone through periods of great hope, great excitement. I want to be there again but I’m in a season of doubt right now. Doubt about marriage, doubt about even wanting to date. Because dating might lead to marriage, and I’m not even sure I want that. We’re taught through many ways that finding a partner will make life worthwhile, that you can be on top of the world like Jack and Rose if you find the other half of you. I don’t really believe that’s true. Life is worthwhile even without marriage. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Do you want to know the thought on the forefront of my mind the past week or so? It’s this…

Who’s going to take care of me when I’m old?

My mind drifts to 50 years from now when one of my nieces is stuck with checking in on their cenile uncle. You know, the one who never got married and had all the goats? He keeps mumbling about wanting more tattoos but his whole body is covered.

OK, OK, sometimes I think I’ll get a few more tattoos, not all over my whole body, though! But that would be me: the crazy, single, never-married uncle who didn’t reach his potential as a husband or maybe even a dad.

People get married later in life. People get divorced later in life. People stay single their entire lives. So many different stories. I’m in the middle of mine, just wondering if a co-writer might come along who can help me, and let me help them, through the next few dozen chapters.

How “Never Ever” hooked me…

The other day it finally dawned on me why I really like the 57-second intro for this song from 1997. The worldwide hit by All Saints is called “Never Ever,” and I never ever put two and two together that the music underneath the spoken intro is “Amazing Grace”!


A completely intentional move on the part of the band, and a good one, I might add. They add a slight variation to the centuries old hymn, but there’s enough there that this old wily detective finally caught on, two decades later. :/

While researching this, I was surprised to discover “Amazing Grace” is originally the tune of a song called “New Britain.”


I also came across an article that explains in more detail how the band used AG in their song, but here’s a snippet:

A text within a text. “Never Ever” does have something special of this sort. In its harmony it explicitly refers to an old popular song, “Amazing Grace”, which has become part of our collective musical consciousness. In “Never Ever” the chords of the first four measures of this hymn are clearly audible behind the spoken intro, as they are accentuated by the piano accompaniment and the voices in the background. And the ghost of this song will stay there for the remainder of “Never Ever”. This overlay of songs turns the songlines of “Never Ever” into a text within a text.

-Out of the Wilderness

Some of my favorite clever song lyrics

I remember a few years ago when I first heard REO Speedwagon’s “Roll With the Changes,” I thought to myself, “Are they still coming out with new songs? I love this one.” I was completely wrong. It’s not that they aren’t touring together, because they are, but the song is from 1978! I couldn’t believe it’s as old as me, since I’m from 1978, too. In fact, the album featuring the song was released 9 months before I was born… wait a second… ew gross, never mind.

I recently had Spotify on and this song played. You think people in 1978 ever thought in about 30 years you’d be able to listen to music in your car, through your phone, on your way to…say, vote for a woman President? They would’ve said you’re crazy! Oh, what, then you got in your time machine and hoverboarded over to the drive-in? Delusional is how they’d classify you.

I totally went down a rabbit hole there, sorry. This is about clever song lyrics! I didn’t catch this line till the other day…

If you’re tired of the same old story, turn some pages.
–REO Speedwagon, “Roll With the Changes”

I love the sentiment of taking action. The line is simple and yet, so clever. Here are a few other favorites of mine.

You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. So don’t come back for me. Who do you think you are?
–Christina Perri, “Jar of Hearts”

All of these people I meet, it seems like they’re fine. Yeah, in some ways I hope that they’re not and their hearts are like mine.
–NeedtoBreathe, “Wasteland”

The bride walks down just to start the wedding, and there’s one more girl you won’t be getting.
–Young MC, “Bust A Move”

Ain’t it funny how some people pop into your head so easily. I haven’t seen you in there for so long.
–Dawes, “All Your Favorite Bands”

Or tell your Aunt Louise, tell anything you please. Myself already knows I’m not okay. Or you can tell my eyes to watch out for my mind, it might be walking out on me today.
–Billy Ray Cyrus, “Achy Breaky Heart”

If you have some favorite clever lyrics, feel free to share them in the comments!

-Out of the Wilderness