Friday memories

I’ve listened to a lot of Sufjan over the years so it’s no surprise that at certain points his music triggers memories of past experiences. Today his song ‘Futile Devices’ took me back to a long drive that was a  particularly unique moment of serenity and peace. Lightening flashes danced in the distance, wind rushing by with the windows down, music cranked up and a friend along for the ride. Almost two hours of sitting, watching, and listening. Soaking in the air around us and the peace of a far away storm I don’t think we talked at all. What a haunting quiet to be accompanied by Sufjans soft words and melodies. A certain stillness in the midst of motion and noise. His album ministered to me more often than any other in the phase particular phase of life and any time I put it on now I’m transported in time. Tough, but filled with a depth that’s hard to explain. Although a lot of those times were filled with heaviness and upheaval, that’s not what is brought back when I reflect. What comes forward are these simple moments; in the car, my routine of falling asleep to the album on repeat, music accompanying my experiences and solace it provided. I wonder at all if this is similar to the peace brought to Saul when David would play his harp?

Merry Christmas!!!

Sufjan put out a video a few years ago with his Christmas albums and I just randomly rediscovered it on my Mom’s Mac today. Which was quite the coincidence because some friends of mine were just talking about his Christmas albums last night. It also truly feels like Christmas is here now after watching Chevy Chase and Christmas Vacation. I love the movie, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a good time watching it as I did the other night. Seeing Robyn just completely beside herself with laughter was worth the price of admission. There’s only a few Christmas movies left to see till maximum holiday cheer is achieved ;)
1. Muppet Family Christmas (running gags…the best)
2. Ernest Saves Christmas (them’s pythons in there)
3. A Muppet Christmas Carol (gonzo you’re my hero)

Download video: MP4 | Ogg | WebM

I’m looking forward to this Christmas as well as the new year. I’m content and hopeful and encouraged and ready to see what will happen this next year.

WRC to Sufjan

If the WRC came to the US where would an epic location be for it to be hosted?
Grand Canyon? Tennessee/Kentucky hills? Death Valley? I feel like championing this cause, but if a bad location produces a poor turn out then that’s it. It’d be years before they even thought about trying it again. Could we even pull it off in the states? We already have so many spectator restrictions and low turn out(in comparison) for our Rally America that I can’t imagine we could produce a turn out for the international drivers that they’ve grown used to elsewhere. Kudos to Ken Block for sticking to a second season in the WRC too. He had a tough year, but is giving it another go. Why didn’t Travis Pastrana make the switch over? He’s shown the most potential and put in a number of years at the top of the pack, but instead of crossing over to the big leagues this year he choose to defect to NASCAR. I mean seriously Pastrana, NASCAR? That’s not quite the edgy type of motor sport that we’re used to seeing you compete in. Sure you would have been competing with the likes of Loeb, Latvala and Solberg, but the determination and drive that you use to push anything on two or four wheels to the limits may have proved a match. You were crucial to our hope for rally to have a resurgence in the states, but now you’ve thrown in the towel with a sport arguably more boring to watch than the PGA tour. Where’s your lust for thrill and excitement now?

But I digress, and probably into complete randomness.

Driving the Fiat has been quite an adventure. It snowed last week after I’d just outfitted new tires onto the old steel rims and so I’ve been driving it around through all of the snow and ice. It gets around amazingly well for such a little guy and minus a couple minor situations that I was able to rock myself out of it didn’t get stuck at all in the snow. If you were one of the lucky spectators you may have seen me sporting a rad blue motorcycle helmet and ski goggles drifting around town at speeds in excess of most 4×4 trucks and the occasional sporty Subaru.

Also last night I had a dream that I was in a large choral ensemble singing Vesuvius from Sufjan Steven’s latests album The Age of Adz(pronounced odds). It’s pretty ridiculous how great his new album is. If you think you knew what he was capable of before or if you’d drawn a box around Sufjan and marked it indie folksy hipster then get out your magic marker and cross out folksy and insert 80s tronic. Ok so not much of a stretch, but it’s quite a deviation from his previous work. I’ve been a fan since ’04 and was pretty used to his old material so you’d think the new album with its electro-synth experimentation would be lost on me. It fits quite well though and seeing his music mature and expand into new areas has been quite fulfilling even for the spectator. I went to see him at the Uptown Theater in KC a few months ago unsure of what would await me there. Three words, ‘Beards and Boots’. When the king of all hipsters calls a convention his followers turn out in droves to show their support. In tribute to his older material on the album Seven Swans he started out the show with a climactic banjo driven rock version of the title with the same name. It was incredible. You’d never be able to guess the the depth and room available to push and drive the song to such new heights. The concert then proceeded into another hour and a half of digital and analog give and take. From song to song he’d demonstrate his prowess to fill the expansive hall with such large tones and melody that you’d think the whole world had to be dancing along with you. Then the advancing tide would draw back to the sea and the intimacy of his music would convince you that he was playing just for you. With a build up from incredible MUTEMATH, Murder by Death and Phoenix shows earlier in the year this was a fitting Zenith for my 2010 musical thrill ride. It’ll be interesting to see what 2011 holds.

Via con Dios, I’m off to my spanish class at OTC.