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Friday, September 21, 2012

Still Fighting It

Ben Folds Five released a new record (hate the title:  The Sound of The Life of The Mind) this week.  Yes, the same Ben Folds that judges singing contests and has produced a steady stream of solo records over the last decade.  He managed to get back with the old band and put out new material.  The results are pretty darn good.  The single, "Do It Anyway", has all the manic energy as their earlier work.  The video boasts The Fraggles (great to see them!!) and Anna Kendrick.  Fun stuff.  Stick around (or fast forward to the end) and watch the cast sing The Fraggles theme.  It is great to see Mr Folds and Co (bassist Robert Sledge and percussionist Darren Jessee) back creating relevant music.  They are especially important to me because they have been around for a great deal of my "adult life."  They performed a free show back in State College, PA in the late 90s as I wandered aimlessly through my early 20s.  They broke up, but Folds music remained a soundtrack to my life.   The new record brought me back to many times.

"Underground" reminds me of playing NBA Jam at the best bar Wilkes-Barre (you know who you are Par 4 Cafe) ever saw.  Mitch Richmond was a beast in that game!!  Auction Chicken and Veal Moose on the menu.   Bold Belgians in bottles.  Endless goofing around, laughing and "wondering who to be."  Immaturity, laziness and abject carelessness spent mostly looking for a quality buzz.  Wasted potential.  Worse, wasted words.

"Still Fighting It" is rocking my daughter to sleep in our tiny apartment and wondering how on Earth do you "father?"  Wondering if we would be able to make rent.  Would I ever get a job best suited my skill set?  What the hell is my skill set?  Guilt and uncertainty coupled with joy and euphoria.    Does that sound like your 30s??  Was it just mine???

"You Don't Know Me At All" featuring Regina Spektor  A more recent track again conjures up mixed thoughts.  Some good, some bad, but all very clear.  Some memories need not be repeated here. 

That is the wonder of music, and all art for that matter.  Seeing or hearing something can instantly take you to a place, a time, a moment.

Now, new material to bring me up to age 40.  And with it new questions, new uncertainties.

Is this house too small?  Can a man with two woman in the house live with 1 shower?  How much could I get for a pure bred Whippet?

Is Private education better than Public?

Is this a Recession or Depression?  Will it get better in my lifetime?  Or more importantly my daughter's?

Will Matthew Perry ever have a career post Friends?

Does the NHL not realize losing a season, again, would be a colossal failure?

How does Facebook make money?  Why does everyone who has an Iphone have to get the newest Iphone the moment it is released?

Does joining a gym automatically make you lose weight?  Is it indeed tougher to shed pounds at this advanced age?

If I go full midlife crisis and buy a convertible does that mean I surrender my hair?  Seriously, what is the percentage of bald men driving Porsches???

Will I ever have to know the difference between a Sirrah and Noir?

Should I take up golf?

When do I pick up one of those days of the week pill holders?  Is this the year I no longer subscribe to a newspaper, periodical?

Should I buy white Reeboks and wear high waisted dungarees.  I'm gonna start saying "dungarees" naturally.

Verbally abusing waitresses and clerks is acceptable at 40, right?  And saying "Come Again" or "Beg Your Pardon" when I can't hear a damn thing.

Lots to look forward to, or not.

And I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm glad to know that music will be right there with me.  Now if someone can find the darn clicker I need to turn it up.

Have a terrific weekend everyone.  And let's all hope Michigan beats ND.

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