by Andy Grozier // For the Sake of the Song //
We have made it to February already in this great, confusing year of someone’s Lord, 2017. The month that the Hold Steady front-man and solo troubadour Craig Finn would tell you is “about as long as it is wide” in a line that always brings back some poignant memories for me. It also feels to me to be a perfect descriptor of this very middling month, always too long but over before you know it.
For obvious reasons, that beautiful lyric from Finn always appears in my ears whenever the calendar flips to February. Music will do that and the reverse; creep into your brain and make particular times and particular places pop up un-expectantly. It’s a wonderful synaesthesia of sorts.
Listening back to Finn’s first solo album (from where I’ve plucked that lyric) reminds me of sleeping high up on the 16th floor of an apartment building in downtown Toronto, for example. Pleading for a thunderstorm in the all too close heat of the Ontario summer, with a fan that never cut the so-called mustard.
Or dropping back into Jesse Malin’s 2004 record The Heat, just re-released last month, always reminds me of being a kid on Christmas day, listening to it spin while I played some video game I was probably too young for.
And indeed, John McCauley of Deer Tick and his gravelly crooning of The Black Dirt Sessions album will always remind me of the joys of the whisky or (sometimes and) wine sodden nights, creeping up on the dawn and perched over the broken keyboard of my laptop, battering out the last thousand words of an undergraduate dissertation.
It’s a strange thing really, how a song can bring all this to mind, and one that we perhaps take for granted.
So this week on For the Sake of The Song, in honour of this nostalgic February feeling, I’ll be throwing a few of those old memory trigger songs into the mix, alongside even more new music to look forward to this year (see last week’s show).
Back too, will be the featured artist segment – two songs back to back from one artist – that will tie the whole thing together. Like a Lebowski rug, you may say.
So put those January blues to bed and let us roll into February, and remember, it’s only as long as it is wide.