|Snow in Atlanta, Winnipeg Music on my nightstand.|
It's Sunday. It's snowing in Atlanta. Yes. It is snowing in Atlanta. Did I bring this home with me? It's been snowing for 2 days. It's interesting to watch from my window how the snow decides to land from hour to hour. Right now it is dancing... bouncing around in no particular direction - down, then up, left and right. It makes as much sense to me as having snow on the ground in Atlanta on Christmas. It's kinda like a seeing a unicorn.
My bags are finally unpacked, dirty laundry cleaned, the apartment is "straightened" and I am importing a stack of CD's that were given to me by some beloved Winnipeggers. Rare tracks, live tracks, Winnipeggers covering other Winnipeggers, some historic Winnipeg music.
Per Stu's recommendation, I picked up a "quick pick with the plus" before I left Winnipeg. This of course is another Weakerthans reference from (Hospital Vespers) a lovely, lovely song that I saw performed for the first time ever last week at the West End Cultural Center.
This song is a surreal heartfelt look at some one's hospital stay. The song is desperate, vulnerable and almost futile. It's a treasure. With being a nurse of course, all of the Weakerthans lyrics that refer to illness, death and hospitals are very near to my heart. Seeing life-threatening illness and death are a daily part of my job. And it's not a burden to me somehow.
This song has always been so special to me. I am not sure who or what inspired all of the illness-related songs that ended up on Left and Leaving and Reconstruction site, but cherish them. Illness and death is such a difficult subject to write about. It so easily goes entirely wrong and you end up writing a song like "Every Rose has it's Thorn" by Poison. That's usually what songs like this end up like: Terrible. But JKS can do it of course without pretension, keeping the heart in every line. It's something I strive to do and feel I have done on one or two occasional.
One of the songs on my second album is about a dear friend that died of complications of addiction and mental illness. From the time we were young I always thought to myself that she never had a chance at life. When she died, I really wanted to write a song for her. She was also a musician. My mother taught us both piano when we were young. Even as she was dying, she was still playing my mother's songs. Music was still her light. But I am always so careful when broaching this subject in writing. Her life had been such a tragedy that I did not want to write her a sad song. That would just add insult to injury. I wanted to write her a happy, pop song. One she would really enjoy, that would make her smile. With that intention in mind, I wrote a song for her called Februaries which starts out very poppy and ends in lullaby of sorts. I suspect she'd like it. I kinda feel weird sharing my music here as this is about Winnipeg and the Weakerthans - but I will place a link below in case you want to hear this song along with Hospital Vespers.
Gosh, that was a side bar.
So of course honor of Hospital Vespers I did pick up a "quick pick with the plus" and like the song - it was "futile." The result: absolutely nothing. Not one single number! Stu, you owe me $6. ;)
You can listen to Hospital Vespers here:
Doctors play your dosage like a card trick
Scrabbled down the hallways yelling "Yatzee"
I brought books on Harper in the Arctic
Something called "The Politics of Lonely"
A toothbrush and Quick Pick with a plus
You tried not to roll your sunken eyes
And said "Hey can you help me? I can't reach it"
Pointed to the camera in the ceiling
I climbed up, blocked it so they couldn't see
Turned to find you out of bed and kneeling
Before the nurses came took you away
I stood there on a chair and watched you pray