Saturday, September 27, 2008

Miles to Go

I don't know about where you are, but here in Fairbanks, the change of season is in full swing...from summer directly into winter, it would seem, as our autumn here lasts only about a month. We had our first hard frost this week, and all the birch trees are now swept clean of their leaves; outside everything is golden, and ripe-seeming; a blanket of white will soon put all of that ripeness to rest, like plums stored in an ice box (W.C. Williams, anyone?). Change comes to us again...

It is amazing, to me, how often the subject of change comes up on this blog, in these mixes. I guess it truly is the one constant in our lives, but there's also no doubt that 2008 has been a crazy, topsy-turvy year. Kevin & Rowan are in Italy, Amanda is in Utah, Beechcraft is for sale, and--TMI alert--I'm about 6 true loves away from where I started the year. (If anything convinces me of the constancy of change, it is the changeability of my own stupid heart.) And now winter is coming at us. And then it'll be spring again. Round and round we go on wacky Planet Earth.

And all I really know about Merry-Go-Rounds is they usually have music, so here we are. The title of this one comes from Robert Frost, who knew more about winter than I ever will:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it's queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Miles to Go
1. Part One, Band of Horses
2. Too Much Space, Lisa Germano
3. White Winter Hymnal, Fleet Foxes
4. Mykonos, Fleet Foxes
5. Godspeed, Jenny Lewis
6. Black Cab, Jens Lekman
7. Lights Out, Santogold
8. Father to a Sister of Thought, Pavement
9. I Hate It When That Happens to Me, John Prine
10. I'm Your Man, Leonard Cohen
11. Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis
12. Don't Think About Me, Earlimart
13. The Ice Is Getting Thinner, Death Cab for Cutie
14. The Lake, Antony
15. Endless Song of Happiness, Yael Naim
16. Nothing Is True, Earlimart
17. Sing It Again, Beck

Band of Horses is a band of winter, if ever there was one...ditto for Lisa Germano. Check the beautiful album cover...Fleet Foxes are a band to watch, if you haven't picked up on them already. Alex saw them live, opening for Wilco, and he was impressed. They remind me of My Morning Jacket a lot...the new Jenny Lewis is the bomb! See my post about it...Jens Lekman is so good, such a unique and earnest artist. I love him and you should too, if you don't already...Thanks to Suzanne for the rest of the sweet Santogold album!...this Pavement song puts me in a reflective mood, perfect for winter...this is from Prine's newest album, Fair & Square. He put it out after battling cancer, and you can sense the weariness in his fighter's's L. Cohen to lighten our introspection...I went with two of the slower songs from Acid Tongue, but there are some great straight-ahead rockers on the album, too...I'll never get over Earlimart's Mentor Tormentor, one of my absolute all-time favorite albums...I just finally got hold of Death Cab's Narrow Stairs. Another solid album...thanks to Sarah for both this Antony & Yael Naim. Beauty from Antony, per usual, and doesn't this Yael Naim sound a bit like "Gloria in Excelsis Deo"/"Angels We Have Heard on High"?...some more Earlimart and then some classic Beck to bring it home.


Kurd said...

The title caught me by surprise; as you may know, it is the phrase engraved on my pocket watch. Thanks for putting the whole poem in the blog; I think more people will read it. Excellent work here; for some reason it struck me somewhat particularly; I don't know why. I am still walking around in sandals, though it gets cold at night. I don't miss the winter yet, but perhaps some day...

~*~Rowan~*~ said...

I love the pictures! I must say that I wish it would snow here just so I could see the hills blanketed in perfect white. There's something wonderful about sipping tea, whilst wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, looking out at a field of snow. Kevin and I will have a long time before we see snow. I'm excited to hear the Lisa Germano song and the Pavement song!

Steve said...

Kurd, I am glad to hear that your poetic side is still engaged and you are struck "particularly" by this blog (as I was struck by your interesting use of "particularly" as an adjective and not an adverb). Winter is a part of both of us and I'm sure you will miss it a little...

Rowan, I sipped tea while looking out the window last night, and it was marvelous. Hope you enjoy the Germano & Pavemento!

Kurd said...

Well, since I commented on the newer LaMontagne piece about grammar, and then noticed you mentioned grammar here, I guess I'll go with a little more language stuff: it was a weird use of the word, but I like it: I felt I needed a strange construction to convey my strange feelings. However, "particularly" is still an adverb; it modifies the verb "struck." I think. I just worked nine hours and now I am drinking, and could perhaps be wrong.

Steve said...

Well I don't want to argue about adj/adv stuff with you too much, Kurd; you know you are actually my go-to guy on such questions. It was an unusual construction, though, and it caught my eye. Not that unusual is bad; I'm sure your feeling warranted it.

I will never blog/comment about grammar again, I swear.