Too Old To Rock N Roll?

Last week I went to The Clearwater Festival, also known as the Great Hudson River Revival. It’s the biggest folk festival in the New York area and one of the oldest in the country, and I’ve been going for 20 years. But sadly, last weekend reminded me that I’m not a kid anymore, and I can’t have fun the way that I used to.

Camping out is not required for the festival, but there are campgrounds that me, my friends, and several dozen people use. Traditionally every night has a “hoot” (a big singalong and jam where we sing folk and old classic rock songs) that goes on way too late. Of course I joined, and I was up singing and stomping and drinking (a LOT of drinking) until 2:30 in the morning Friday night.

I woke up shivering at 6 the next day, which is amazing in itself. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that for the past year, my brain has decided that 4-4:30 was an appropriate wake-up time. My head was pounding like I was in a drum circle all night (which I kinda was…there were drums along with the guitars, flute, washboard (!), saw (!!!) hand clappers, and singers). I looked in my cooler and realized that in about 4 hours of singing, I drank 10 beers. You have to keep your throat wet for a proper song circle. There is magic in a song and alcohol is one of the spell ingredients.  20, 10, even 5 years ago, I would’ve have flinched, but I am 41 now. I was dehydrated. I was headachy, and I could barely drag my ass out of the tent.

I still had a great time on Saturday and got to see all the bands that I wanted to see (Ani DiFranco, They Might Be Giants, The Mammals, Willie Nile leading a tribute to Dylan and Springsteen, the Neilds), but on Sunday morning I felt awful. I didn’t get much sleep, it was going to be 90 degrees (it had been almost 90 the day before, and I hate the heat), and I knew that if I stayed I would be miserable to the miserablist power. So I struck camp, and I drove home.

It was the first time I had ever left Clearwater early, and you know, I’m okay with it. I made the adult decision. A younger me would’ve toughed it out for the sake of toughing it out, but I weighed the options and made what I feel was the right choice. Sure I missed Jeff Tweedy (front man for Wilco) but hopefully I’ll see him else where. Sure I missed The Mavericks, but I’ve seen them 3 times. I accepted that I’m older now. I can’t forced myself to party just to party.

Also, I should learn to pace myself with the beer. I had no idea that I drank that much. They just disappeared down my throat.

Totally worth it.

doge in space card redux

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First of May…

I know that I’m a day late, but it wouldn’t be May without my annual post of this gem by Jonothan Coulton, complete with video using World of Warcraft characters.

WARNING!!! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!!!

guinea pig card

Good Morning Starshine…

So thanks to a friend of mine, I got that earworm stuck in my head. If you don’t know the song, here ya go. If you do, now it’s in YOUR HEAD! MMMUUUUUAHHHHH!!

But it gets worse. The ear worm spawned other larvae, dammit, the ENTIRE SOUNDTRACK FROM HAIR!! Well, actually just a couple of them. I’ll treat to you to this one.

I’m from a family of hippies, and this was a pretty influential soundtrack (though not on the level as Rocky Horror). I had long hair until my mid twenties, more than halfway down my back. I looked like an Allman Brother.

I kinda miss it.

Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair…sigh

craig long hair

Age 18…the hair got longer than this.

I’m still a hippie.

doge in space card redux

My Favorite Christmas Songs…WTF Edition

I love Christmas, even though I’m Jewish. I celebrate both holidays (in a way) because most of my friends are Christians and I like the traditions. I even like the music, although by now I’m over it. They started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, and I can’t take it any more.

That said, I have a few favorites that you don’t often hear on the radio or at the supermarket (a few of them you do, but they’re still awesome). Some of them you might like, some…you get the idea.

Here they are, my favorite Christmas (and a couple of Hannukah) songs.

Merry Christmas From the Family–Robert Earl Keene

A beautiful slice of redneck life. It’s warm, endearing, and hilarious.

The Dreidel Song–South Park

The layered lyrics in this song are perfect. Parker and Stone have a talent for songcraft (and dick jokes)

You’re a Mean One Mister Grinch–Sung by Tim Timebomb and Friends

I inherited my late girlfriend’s love of Tim Armstrong. The song is a classic, and there’s something about Tim’s graveled, broken voice that I freakin’ love. Merry Christmas, Valerie.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town–Sung by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

This is Bruce in all of his glory. If you haven’t seen Bruce in concert, make it happen.

Christmastime For the Jews–Darlene Love on SNL

I never get tired of this. It’s so true (I’m having Chinese food tonight)

River–Joni Mitchell

This is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever. It captures the sadness that so many of us feel during the holidays, so far away from our loved ones or having none at all.

O Holy Night–South Park (Cartman)

This is brilliant. I know I posted a South Park one before, but I can’t resist. I also thought about adding “It’s Hard to be a Jew on Christmas,” but two songs is enough.

Ok, I think that’s all for now. Merry Christmas everyone!