These Young Dreams Are All We Breathe

wolfgang

There are roads all around. They go north, they go south, east and west. They connect the big cities, they pass through small towns, and they travel all the space in between. They were trails blazed by pioneers, ranchers, and highwaymen. They were paved by our grandfathers and fathers. They are paths to our dreams and our nostalgia. They take us to work and back home.

Just a little while ago, I was asked what I think about. I think about dreams and how each day I sell myself a little bit shorter. Just a little bit shorter.

It helped me realize that I am not where I want to be.

It was not a singular moment that led me here. It was a series of simple moments, a set of convenient choices. They were the easy ways out and they added up.

I have wanted to go to Mount Rushmore for some time. This holiday weekend I was going to go. Then I wasn’t. Then I went on a whim alone. I bargained myself out of going a number of times before–it’s a whole weekend, the cost of gas, I didn’t have anyone to go with. But every excuse was just a self-imposed obstacle. It wasn’t easier getting there.

I won’t lie–it was a hellacious drive. Like I told my parents, there are parts of Wyoming that make you wish you were driving in Kansas. But in the end, it was worth it. I got to be excited going, I got to be excited getting there, I got to be excited recounting it to my parents and now to anyone reading this. I’ve written in the past about this seemingly endless rut and trying to get out. Those roads to Mount Rushmore were my path out.

I am not going to settle for life to just march on. That’s not my path. Instead, I’m going to try. I’m going to cheer on friends and embrace some of my passions in a greater sense. I’m going to pursue things that I want and avoid the same things that have worn on me. I’m going to go to a few more concerts and write about a few more tracks that catch my attention. To soundtrack this moment is Last Bayou off of Wolf Gang’s latest EP. It’s a track I would have blogged about two months ago when it came out if I was more invested at the time.

This won’t be the last time I promise to blog more and it won’t be the last time I feel like I’m in a rut, but it will be the last time that I just shrug and not proactively try to change my tomorrow. Every once I’ll need to take a drive and go out on all those roads that can lead anywhere to reassure myself of the path forward. This weekend I went out on those roads and on them I promised myself that I won’t give up on dreaming.

(more…)

  Last Bayou by Wolf Gang Official

Show Me The Way To Come Back Home

FM_2013_71

The Doubtfire Sessions EP by Farewell Milwaukee is my favorite EP of the year so far.

The song that leads off the EP is the unbelievable Forgiveness And A Vacancy Sign and it sets the tone for the rest of the listen. The parts (vocals, lyrics, instrumentation) coalesce to re-create the easygoing country rock of The Eagles in a way that few modern songs do. I was hooked and still am.

Farewell Milwaukee includes their previously recorded Ain’t No Rules in the EP as well and it serves as the second peak on the highline standard they set out. My initial mental notes were just a series of wow’s. Those thoughts turn into reflexive smiles as you realize that you are listening to something special.

Farewell Milwaukee is Brad Fox, Adam Lamoureux, Ben Lubeck, David Strahan, Aaron Markson, and Joey Ryan. They are from Minnesota and have been a band since 2008. You can learn more at their website, farewellmilwaukee.com.

I’ve included each of the songs on the Doubtfire Sessions on here. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

  Forgiveness And A Vacancy Sign by Farewell Milwaukee
  Ain't No Rules (Doubtfire Sessions EP) by Farewell Milwaukee
  Love On A Wire by Farewell Milwaukee
  Living On Your Looks (Doubtfire Sessions EP) by Farewell Milwaukee
  Farewell Milwaukee - Helpless by Farewell Milwaukee

Savour That Glance We Had

whale-eye

For those of you that like Frank Turner or other like-minded music, I want to share Whale Eye and his song Tiny Bodies. This folk diddy is not quite 3 minutes long but packs quite a punch. The lyrics are a goldmine, particularly the refrain progression of “scowl and move along” to “scour the room a while” to “savour that glance we had.”

I have been listening to it for a couple days on pretty heavy rotation and it has not worn on me. In fact, the repeated listens reinforced the idea that I should be writing about it and sharing it.

Whale Eye is Dylan Turner. The Canadian released his debut EP, The Good Die Young, at the end of May and you can purchase it on Bandcamp.

Like him on Facebook and enjoy Tiny Bodies.

  Whale Eye - Tiny Bodies by 1146miles

Leave Tonight Or Live And Die This Way

MT_Mountain_Road

I don’t make any effort to hide that I am a sucker for nostalgia. It’s not an absolute that I think that the past is great and the future is not. In fact, I am probably irrationally hopefully for the fates that lie ahead. But as I continue to contradict myself, the nostalgia I have is the yearning for that feeling that was fleeting and I haven’t had since.

The sentimentality is almost certainly an attracting force of nostalgia. Give me enough stories about the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation and I will well up (just give me just one story of someone giving a damn about the wellbeing of someone less fortunate without an ulterior motive, actually). As time passes, I think about the time passing and I am afraid that I am not making the impact that I once was.

This is one of those things that I think about too frequently…

Yesterday, Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car came on the radio. The song is almost as old as I am. I didn’t hear it when it came out or much since then, but I didn’t need to until it came on. I have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on roads and runways and the ways that the crows fly. I could have run into that intersection that had Fast Car on the radio many years ago, but I turned left and it came on yesterday.

When you are there, listening to this alone with your thoughts, you gain a glimpse into your outlook. This is one of those Rorschach tests of a song. It can be a hopeful ode to overcoming or a sobering check that this is all there is. I don’t have any intention of swaying anyone’s perspective or revealing my own, but take a listen or take a drive in a fast car.

  Tracy Chapman - Fast Car by ladyrosa