“Cats and Dogs” / “Couer d’Alene” – The Head and the Heart – “The Head and the Heart” (2011)

Jan 13
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So literally the last thing that I did last night, before I closed my eyes and went to sleep, one hour before I turned 50 was to finish reading the book “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” If you love dogs, if you love Seattle, if you love justice, if you love car racing, if you love a bittersweet, contemplative ending; you will love this book.

The book is narrated by a dog named Enzo, a man named Denny’s best friend. Enzo is wise, loyal, funny, resilient, playful, and observant. In Denny’s personal life, full of complications and a new set of hurdles around every bend, Enzo is omnipresent. Enzo is a problem solver and is extremely resourceful as he does his best to overcome the limitations that dogs and humans have in communicating and understanding each other.

In the end, there are some of the sentiments that exist in most novels with a dog serving as a central character. In the end, the master is humbled by his dog’s enduring devotion, and says goodbye to the one friend that loved him always and unconditionally.

This morning while I was at the gym grinding through the first workout of my fifties, I tried of think of something wise to sum up where I’ve been. I only spent a couple seconds looking back before I re-framed the picture and said, “why think about the past, what about the next 50?” And then, fresh in the front of my still half asleep mind, I remembered what Enzo told me, told Denny, and told himself.

“That which you manifest is before you.”

Go out and get it, I says to myself. Enzo didn’t get hung up on limitations, he worked on ways to overcome them. Let’s be real for a second, being 50 years old is hardly a limitation on anything but people trip about it and use it as an excuse as to why they can’t turn down a street that a lot of “chronologically minded” people would assume is a wrong turn. Enzo would see that line of thinking as just another tree worth peeing on. I’ll say it again:

“That which you manifest is before you.” – Enzo Swift

Spoiler alert… Enzo isn’t really dead, just like my mom isn’t really gone, the fallen staff of Charlie Hebdo aren’t really gone, and my dearly departed pets aren’t really gone. We keep them alive in our hearts. We don’t get to see their smiling faces everyday but they’re rooting for us and their time frame is not constrained to round numbered birthdays. Eternity is not a round number.

– DAVE

NUMBER ONE

Jan 1
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First, this was the first time in 5+ years of running this blog that I’ve attempted any sort of list or countdown. It was a lot of fun and I can see myself doing a year end recap every year as well as some other lists or “Best of” type thing.

My # 1 song draws that distinction for several reasons. It’s a nice little rock and roll song that wasn’t exactly mainstream yet isn’t so quirky that it couldn’t be. It’s catchy and poppy but not in a dumbed down fashion. It comes with the mystique, intrigue, and hopefulness (from the dedicated fan base) that is attached to bands that have ceased to exist. If you’re really thank anxious to know, you’ll just scroll down but I’ll make my best attempt at suspense by first listing my similar in class honorable mention.

“There Goes the Fear” – Doves – “The Last Broadcast” (2002) – This one just builds and builds until the last crescendo makes you want to walk out into the world and seize whatever it is that you know belongs to you.

“Hannah Hunt” – Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City” (2013) – I’m not a full fledged Vampire Weekend fan but really dig this song.

“Queen of Hearts” – Company of Thieves – “Running from a Gamble” (2011) – Really bummed to hear that these guys have called it quits. I saw them two years ago at the Vera Project and unconditionally loved everything about the show and band.

“Temple” – Kinds of Leon – “Mechanical Bull” (2013) – The thing that I love the most about these guys is how they layer their guitar parts. Great band and fantastic song.

“The Underdog” – Spoon – “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” (2007) – I got sequestered listening to Britt Daniel’s other band, Divine Fits, lately but Spoon is pretty hard to beat.

And # 1:

“Lola Stars and Stripes” – The Stills – “Logic Will Break Your Heart” (2003)

I’ve been locked in on this one for awhile. Nothing else really stood much of a chance at knocking it off the perch that I put it on. To add to the fawning comments that I made above, pretty much any song that can play with the volume knob in creative loud-quiet-loud or variations of that pattern is going to win extra points with me.

So that’s it. We’ll see how I’m feeling about my favorite song this time next year.

Happy New Year everyone and don’t forget that when you go to a show this year, stop by the merch table and buy a CD from the bands. It’s the best way for the artists to get the biggest cut of money directly into their pockets while stickin’ to the middle man.

– DAVE