Back in the summer – which feels like a million years ago right now – I decided I was tired of the same old music and made an effort to shake off the cobwebs and be a little daring.
And it was during such a foray into the wilds of alternative music that I happened upon Houndmouth – a bunch of kids from Illinois who have a great sound and energy and singalong lyrics of love and heartache and the pounding, relentless pulse of life.
They are not yet a “big deal” but Chris and I love the band and today they are in Toronto. They are playing a free show at noon at The Edge 102 and then at the Mod Club tonight, which is a small venue already sold out.
I watched one of their videos last night and it made me happy and melancholy all at the same time.
Most of you won’t bother to watch the video but beyond the music what struck me are the people in the band. They’re just kids. As Laura and I say “they’re two!” As in, two years old. As in really young. They look exactly like the kids who populate our house when the boys are home and friends come over – happy lithe girls and smiling handsome guys with Scooby Doo beards.
The smiles, the energy, the obvious optimism. You can’t help but be happy when you see such talented kids standing on the edge of something special. Heaven knows how many music lessons their parents carted them to and how many garage band sessions over the years it took for them to get here.
At the same time, I see and hear Chris’s excitement and think, geez. I’m never going to be 19 again and I’ll never fit in at something like this. Which is why it meant so much when he asked me if I wanted to go with him.
I have to work. But it was nice that he thought – he knew – that I’d enjoy the show, too. Dads rarely get to cross over the roiling river from parenthood to pal, and for good reason. But Chris and I are simpatico when it comes to music.
I was 19 once. Chris gets to try it on now and I think he’s getting it right.
Press play. Turn it up.
Speaking of music I have signed up for the Apple Music three-month free trial. After the trial, for $10 a month (or $15 for up to six family members) I get access to the entire Apple Music library. You can stream it. You can save songs to your device to play offline. You can singalong to Houndmouth or John Mayer or David Gray or pretty much anyone you can name.
All for the price of one music download a month. Google also has a service like this but I’m actually liking the Apple thing quite a bit.
If anyone has better ideas, let me know.
So, with little fanfare the November Challenge at the Athlete Training Centre is over. I know this because it’s now December.
To recap, there was a global challenge sponsored by MyZone™ — the firm that makes the heart and body metrics monitoring system we use at ATC. The harder you work, the more effort points you get and the challenge was to accumulate 5,000 points and earn up to 38 ballot entries in a draw for cash prizes.
Locally, there was a competition at ATC that is some combination of total effort points and body fat reduction. I don’t know how it works although the boss did say this morning that if your body fat went up in November, you were disqualified from the points competition. At least I think he said that. It was early and I wasn’t taking notes.
I missed the first four days of November but my goal was to still hit 5,000 points. That would get me the maximum allowable number of draw entries for cash prizes, and it seemed a steep enough hill for an old guy like me. I finished with just over 6,000 points, which was respectable relative to the gang.
My body fat also went down, so regardless of competitions, that’s a good thing too.
Richard went through some of the numbers in front of the group today and it just underlined to me what a great bunch of people I get to work out with. The support people give one another is unlike anything I’ve seen since I played competitive sports.
I’ve said that before but as The White Stripes would sing, it bears repeating.
The impact of reduced body fat continues to reverberate through my closet. I keep buying clothes and I need more clothes. Nothing that I owned before the fall fits. It had all started fitting poorly and then it got ridiculous. I’m grateful for the patience of other members of the household while I deal with this.
I know it sounds silly but literally nothing fits.
So I have over the last five weeks or so acquired four new pairs of jeans, two new pairs of Dockers, a new blue blazer, three new sport coats, four new belts, funky socks, a wool top coat, a scarf and some new shirts. As well as two new zip up fleece tops, a quarter zip pull over, a pullover sweater . . . crap. I sound like a crazy person.
But this is my entire wardrobe for now. Suits are being delivered to tailors to see is they can be re-cut … otherwise, after Christmas I’ll start selling internal organs for cash for new suits. I have two suits that fit poorly but are passable in a dark room under total solar eclipse.
First World problems.