So a couple of years ago, right before I moved back east from Seattle, I blew through for an extra-long weekend to catch up with my crew in Delaware and then actually spend a couple of days with my friend in South Philly. Oh, and to hang out with my mom in Cape May, of course. Don't even think I got to see my Maryland crowd. It was, sorta predictably, a whirlwind of a trip. They always are when you're trying to see everyone you haven't seen in too many years, right? If you've lived on the other side of the continent from most of your favorite people, you know what I'm talking about.
ANYHOO...(I actually ramble more when I'm scrambling, but I'm going to play it off like I'm an excellent stream of consciousness writer. Ha!) So my friend Sarah (not that Sarah) and I spent a couple of hours with our laptops passing back and forth some of our favorite CDs. From me, she got a ton of, well...funk and hip hop and stuff with horns. She gave me Andrew Bird, Blitzen Trapper, and Dr. Dog. No time to actually listen to the stuff then, so I tossed it all into a ginormous playlist and told myself I'd listen to it on the flight back west. What's the first song that pops out of my iPod? This:
I'll be honest, I was kind of a wreck on the flight back. Not necessarily because I was hungover (though holy crap I sure was, predictably). No, if the truth be told my last few months in Seattle were pretty miserable. Hated my inescapable job, hated being on the West Coast, was totally over living in such a tiny little town way out in the middle of nowhere. So imagine that I was at 30,000 feet, tucked behind my sunglasses and with my hat pulled low. Didn't want to leave my friends and family behind, wasn't at all sure how I was going to pull off moving back east financially, and WOW did I not want to go back to my soul-crushing, button-pushing job. Yes ma'am, I'd like a bloody mary, please. If I tip you, will you come back promptly so I can get another?
That's the best thing about music though, right? Here I am, in a totally singular situation that is wholly my own to experience on a plane alone, and my friend, who I hadn't seen in a couple years, passes me new music with which I'm totally unfamiliar...and it instantly starts speaking to me. I backed out of the playlist on my iPod and switched to listening to the whole album instead. It was honestly the first time in forever that I'd heard new (to me) music that was SO GOOD. (The Raconteurs "Consolers of the Lonely" was another unexpectedly amazing find from the trip, but that's a different kettle of gelato right there.)
And. AND! They just released a new album. Had NO idea it was on the way! Read that yesterday morning and--a rarity for me--went straight to iTunes to buy it. Not that I don't buy music--I do! regularly!--but I'm not really the guy that follows hype. To me, the newest, coolest thing is usually derivative and super-lame. But this...
So good. SO GOOD. Throwback. Real music--with instruments! And intelligently crafted lyrics. AND...Dr. Dog is straight Philly. STRAIGHT PHILLY. They're just gilding the lily at this point. I mean, y'all coulda been from Brooklyn and I still would have thought you were great. But you're from Philly? You come see me. I buy you gelato.