So, it’s only been almost a year since my last Pandemic Positivity post. Way to stick with it, Kev. And it’s yet another reminder that we’ve been dealing with the plague for over a year now. But this is about positivity, right?
It’s a concept I’ve had my struggles with lately. I’m sure we all have to one degree or another, for one reason or another, not the least of those reasons being that spiky-looking virus. Which is why I was thankful to have something come along today to bring a smile to my face and remind me of how good it felt to write four Pandemic Positivity posts last April.
It’s funny how things find you. I was making my lunch, listening to the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast, which always brings me much needed laughs. Kate Hudson is this week’s guest and while Conan was talking about his love for The Black Crowes (because Kate’s ex is Crowes singer Chris Robinson), she mentioned a lesser known song from the band called “Title Song.” Despite being a huge Crowes fan, that song was off my radar. So I went to YouTube to check it out. It was good, but what was even better was one of YouTube’s suggestions: their NPR Tiny Desk concert.
It was filmed just pre-pandemic, in February of 2020. So you can hear an audience cheering and laughing at Chris’ jokes, possibly seeing their last live band since then. The first chords of “She Talks to Angels” stirred something in me. It was a joy I needed to feel. It was a burning desire to pick up my guitar and play it. It’s actually a song I never really learned to play because of the odd tuning I didn’t want to deal with, but now I really want to learn it despite that.
And those songs, played all acoustic by Chris and his brother Rich (side note, Kate Hudson talked about “Uncle Rich” helping her son Ryder with his guitar pedals and something about that just made me happy), brought me back. Back to the early-mid 90s, when everything seemed complicated but really wasn’t because I was in my late teens and early 20s. “Jealous Again” brought me back to figuring out how to play it on my own in my bedroom, along with a bunch of other songs from their debut, Shake Your Moneymaker, and having so much fun playing along with the CD. During “Wiser Time,” the brothers’ voices sounded so beautiful together. Rich’s 12-string guitar sounded so, well, rich. And it brought me back to the wonderful awkwardness of my early creative writing class at York, with its odd characters and their cranky comments.
Chris introduced “Wiser Time” as “a song about constantly moving around,” which gives it a juicy irony during a time of constantly staying in place. But it’s also a song about taking the bad days with the good days. As he sings, both the good days and the bad days are “not every day.”
So I’m going to try to make this as good a day as possible and learn “She Talks to Angels.” Here’s hoping my strings don’t break while I tune it to that odd tuning. But even if that bad thing happens, there will be a good thing to follow it eventually. Right, Chris?