Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthday: Mine, Dad's, Anna's

I had a birthday. It sucked. Don't worry about not remembering: no one did and it wouldn't have mattered. I'm over it. I will say this: its one thing for your Mom to have not mailed your bday gift to arrive on time. Its another when she hasn't even shopped for it yet. But we all have our moments so that was that.

Every year, I buy myself a gift. Its almost always new music although sometimes it might be music gadgets: my Sennheiser earphones, my Otterbox case that allows me to swim with my iPod. This year? All music. I keep a running list of cds I want but I can't justify purchase of at the particular moment. Some of you will laugh because you know: I place almost NO limitations on purchase of new music...that's fair: I don't buy a lot of clothes, fancy purses or liquor. I like for Rob to buy my jewelry and mostly, my gadget obsession has been covered by AT&T contract renewal incentives so we're cool. Rob has all the books he wants, I have my music.

Here's what I've bought for myself this year:

Patty Griffin -- 1000 Kisses
The Avett Brothers -- I And Love And You
The Decemberists -- The Crane WifeGentleman Jesse -- Gentleman Jesse
Iron and Wine -- Our Endless Numbered Days
Paul Westerberg -- Folker
Gillian Welch -- Time (the Revelator)
I was sure I'd bought more than this but hey....look at me going all moderate! I've yet to hear The Decemberists or Iron and Wine nor all of Gentleman Jesse but so far, so good. The Avett Brothers disc was produced by Rick Rubin: not bad for a relatively unknown North Carolina bunch of Roots-rockers. And it sounds VERY good. Patty Griffin is a little more twangy than I usually go for but I get why people are nuts for it: the lyrics are magical and resonate deeply. Paul Westerberg appears to be what I love most: cynical musings on life thus far, which is (I'm sorry to say) a little bit sad nostalgia for youth and glad-to-be-done-with-it middle age...and all of the scrapes in between.

Most of these selections were culled from Paste Magazine's 50 Best Albums of the Aughts. I was really thinking about Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose based on the glowing reviews but you know...I couldn't do it. Has anyone heard it? I certainly grew up in a household that loved country and western (as it was then called most frequently) and during the time that Ms. Lynn was the undisputed queen of the genre. And who doesn't love "Coal Miner's Daughter"? If I had one objection to Paste's lists it would be that they seldom include jazz or R&B---and when they do, you can feel how much they begrudge giving props to artists outside the indie roots/rock universe.
Rob found this and threw it my way. Interesting, this discussion of jazz-bots...WTF? I was pleased to see Brad Mehldau's epic piece of work, Highway Rider, included in the "Top Five Thus Far in 2010" but felt like their endorsement was somehow less sincere for spending about half the discussion on how its not like his previous work with quartets and trios, riffing on popular music and standards.

Dad and Thing 2
Dad and Thing 2 have birthdays a week apart, Dad's just two days after mine... we get a little burned out on birthdays around here. For the first time in years, Dad actually gave me some gift ideas....I told him I was all out of "I don't know" and "I don't care". And it was really easy: Dad loves nothing more than to eat out on someone else's dime so a gift card it was to Outback.

Middle Daughter will have her birthday party on Saturday, just a few days early so week night issues don't preclude the revelry. She'll be ten and that makes it the last year we do the traditional birthday soiree. We'll be taking a minivan full of girls to the pool and home for a slumber party. Theme: Luau. I have to get cracking on gift bags that will take the form of beach bags with standard beach/pool equipment---which I will ideally find at the dollar store... wish me luck.

A photo of the birthday girl and her sleepover guests from last night...

Movie suggestions for T2's party? I have no idea....


Special K said...

That Patty Griffen song, Rain? Makes me weep. (: In a good way.

The Loretta/White Stripes album is really awesome. We love it 'round here.

Whoa! That dog is HUGE! Or kid is small?

Sorry you had a crap b-day. ): I celebrate all month long, encourage you to do the same. Then if day is bad, big deal - margaritas tomorrow.

KHM said...

Thanks for the encouragement on the Lynn/jack White disc...leaning that way. BTW, did you know that the two non-Natalie whatshername Dixie Chicks recently released an album under the name Court Yard Hounds which features Jakob Dylan. Its actually pretty close to the target I thought they should be aiming for: acoustic strings and close harmonies a la Wailin' Jennys. Definitey worth a listen. Wanna trade?

Noodle is big but he's not huge. He's a bit shorter, stockier than a standard poodle. Maybe about 80 pounds? Dog has a LOT of hair. He's the best dog ever, K.

I usually celebrate my bday more,too. I'm just bummin' this year. Its kind of sucked.