Things I Love Thursday: 21 October

It’s been a weird week; the dizzying highs of this amazing city tempered by feeling a long, long way from home. Life has also taken on a temporarily nocturnal routine with this week’s slew of gigs – tonight brings the third of five sets from My Morning Jacket, when I expect they will eclipse even the incredible shows of Monday and Tuesday night. Each show the band plays a different album, in full and in sequence – how often do you get the opportunity to see your favourite band do that? Particularly on the first night, playing their sprawling lo-fi debut The Tennessee Fire, some of these songs had never been performed in concert before. And then after they’ve played the album they roll into B-sides and covers, like their chilling version of “Rocket Man” or a funked up “Miss You”.

Hairy philosopher frontman Jim James is in magnificent voice, the band sounds amazing, and already epic songs are teased out with incendiary jam sessions. There have already been too many highlights to list, but I reckon Jim’s own lyric sums it up pretty well:

Why does my mind blow to bits every time
They play that song?

It’s just the way that he sings,
Not the words that he says, or the band.
I’m in love with this soul, it’s a meaning that I understand.

It’s been everything a fan could hope for and more. I’m crossing all my fingers tonight’s rendition of my favourite album, It Still Moves, will be complete with a horn section. Equally as awesome as the music itself? Rocking up to a gig alone only to meet a kindred spirit – both in obsessive MMJ fandom, and the pains of Tall Person Gig Guilt (TPGG).

Other things that rocked my world this week:

Accidentally discovering the flamingos at the Bronx Zoo just when we were about to leave… Coming home in the wee hours to find that Christmas decorations have gone up and my street is now laced with tinsel… Discovering the spicy Mexican mocha from Beaner Bar and knowing it will become a vital part of my winter survival plan… Catching the legendary Tony Joe White’s CMJ set and shaking his hand afterward (do you know his gorgeous song “Rainy Night in Georgia”?)… Playing random old video games at Barcade… 2am diner burgers… Seeing friends’ names among this year’s Walkley finalists announced this week… Baggy, super soft, worn-in old shirts… Listening to David Dondero… Trying to decide on a Halloween costume…

And a special shout-out to my family: whom I love every day, but today especially I wish I were with them.

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