We finished up the residency of four Saturdays at Toad in Cambridge last night. Buffalo Tom was in the hiz-ouse for six songs, two debuts of new songs and some back catalog stuff. For me, it was a spectacular ending to a soul-enriching regular weekly event that helped me get through the dreariest of all months in Boston. This was not a total accident; as I get older, the winter just takes that much more out of me. It is not coincidence that people go down to Florida to die. Something about the cold and the diminishing light just saps the spirit, which as we get older seemingly has less in reserve to tap and sap even without the draw of dreary seasonal affective disorder. I don’t know how my friends in Scandinavia deal with it. “Land of the Midnight Sun” in the summer does not cut it when one has an hour or two of dim daylight in January. On our trips up there in the winter, I am thankful for the few more hours we have in January here in Boston. I end up wanting to wear black eyeliner ad play all This Mortal Coil, Peter Murphy and other 1980s 4AD stuff when we play shows up there during the winter.
But it is March 1. Spring is just around the corner, right? Yeah, well, welcome to Boston where we are gearing up for another foot of snow tomorrow. This, after a typical teaser week where temps reached into the 50s (Fahrenheit/feet/inches – sorry to those of you outside of the US who are still on the metric system; you’ll catch up some day). I even had March 15 in the family pool as the date when the snow in our yard will finally melt completely. This has been a particularly brutal winter here. We have had snow cover on the ground since before Christmas. And it has not been fluffy, magical pristine white snow, with snowmen and angels and sleigh bells; we are well into the stage of half-melted, salty blocks of grimy ice, mini glaciers regurgitating remnants of trash and dog shit buried and fossilized for months, ready to be cleaned up, only to be snowed over in another foot of snow. Looks like my daughter’s prediction of not seeing fully exposed ground until April 10 has a real shot. We laughed at her (as a parent, it is your duty to humiliate and squash your children when given the chance lest they grow up with an overly inflated sense of themselves) and I was carefully considering what my menu for breakfast in bed might have consisted of, me with my prediction of March 15, ha ha ha.
Sorry if this is just the same old banal tripe, complaining about the weather. I like to think of myself as a hearty northeastern man but the truth is, as all of my friends will attest, I am a wuss about the cold — OK, just a wuss about anything, but especially the cold. I am not outdoors-ey (“I lied about being the outdoor type”) never skied, never snowboarded, need heated car seats, etc. The northern folk around the world think of themselves as a deeper breed of human, Ibsen, Chekhov, Bergman, Beethoven, Bach, Woody Allen — none from tropical climes. But the truth is, I would rather live in a southern region somewhere. Look, Faulkner was southern! So is Dan Penn and so was Townes Van Zandt! Indeed, so was Ronnie Van Zant.
Since starting this CotW project, I have gotten quite a few surprising requests for some of my favorite songs, songs which I had on my own list to cover. This of course should not discourage you requesting types to make a donation to some charity as inspired by this blogect [I am trademarking that ridiculous term I just invented]. One of the songs which a couple of people have requested is one of my all-time faves, the Rolling Stone’s “Winter.”
From the criminally maligned 1973 Goats Head Soup LP, “Winter” is one of the handful of all Stones songs that do not feature Keith Richards on the recording. Or, at least I believe that to be the case. I have no fact-checking cuz interning for this bloject [by the way, that’s pronounced “blah-ject” not “blow-ject,” which might be something else altogether]. The recording apparently just started with the two Micks, Jagger and Taylor, sitting around a studio in sunny Jamaica. For a more comprehensive discussion of the song, please feel free to visit my allmusic.com song review from back around 2000. I am corny in the way I try to link these songs to current conditions, dates, holidays, or events. But I go with that flow. That’s how I roll.
Damn, I just googled “bloject.” I was not the first. But I am trademarking “blowject” for quite another purpose, still web-based, however.