Sunday

At 55


“I (will) now boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses…I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

That’s a quotation I heard on a podcast about Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. It’s apparently from the bible. Sometimes things resonate from unexpected places.

There are some ages that you never bother projecting forward to in your imagination. When you’re a kid, you think of 10, driving at 16, being adultish at 18, 20, and full adulthood at 21. Than as an adult, you ponder 25, 30, 40, 50, 75, and 100. Some ages fall into the categories of romanticized or horror, but 55 is a purgatory; somewhere between stately and the beginning of the end. Fifty-five is an age where you don’t even bother to tell people it’s your birthday. At 55, people don’t bother giving you gifts. It just is.

At 55, one is basically finished with many of the essential goals and milestones in life like first loves and marriages, having children, careers, street fighting, drag racing, drug experimentation, and all-nighters. And if you’re lucky you’ve accumulated many of the resources and major material possessions that will carry you through until the inevitable end. If you’ve been planning and customizing, you have plenty (of LPs and books).

At 55 you also realize that you’ll never complete that list of stuff you always wanted to do, see, experience and it really doesn’t matter so much anymore. There are some items that fall off your lists because you ultimately realize they are just dumb, dangerous, or not as interesting as they once seemed.

Beautiful women and men begin to see you as safe, essentially harmless. You’re the caring, calming father figure, the wizened sage. And if you’re not too creepy, you can embrace the attention that that role provides because you actually do know some stuff and the only remaining shot you have for doing-it-all-over-again is through imparting wisdom to youngsters who are not your own children––because your own children don’t actually care. If you are not careful, however, you will begin to fade into the scenery with the elderly.

At 55 you can hold, fold, or double down (I know nothing about cards). You can give up and die or you can stake your claim and carve out your niches.

When my birth mother texted me to wish me a happy birthday a couple of days ago, I thanked her for her genes because they serve me well. I look younger than probably 95% of men my age. I feel younger than probably 90% of men my age. I don’t know, these are guesses. But I am still doing just fine. I would be lying if I pretended that this did not matter. It matters.

While it is important, in some ways, to know what the youths are up to and how they do what they do, it is not important to emulate them. Fuck them. Remember, they are stupid. This I know. But, as long as I can hold my own in a conversation about groupme or tickety tock or snap, I preserve my space on the planet. I’m not going to use this garbage–nor am I gong to use facebox, twittering, or linkedin–but I maintain an awareness of what’s current (Nextdoor is for narcs, sads, and keyboard cowboys). The internet, I have learned, is as huge of a mistake as the internal combustion engine, religion, politics, and plastics. The internet is just AI algorithms that harvest your brain soul to sell you shit you don’t need nor can ultimately afford. Less is more at 55.

I gladly volunteer my time and expertise. I pick up trash in my neighborhood. I talk to dogs. I still embrace the urge to produce over the desire to consume. I feel genuinely happy when an artistic idea shows up for a visit. I feel equally happy to be able to do something with those visits. Unfortunately, I sometimes feel enough satisfaction thinking the idea through to completion rather than actually executing the idea. It’s like sinning in the mind, I suppose. But, I do what I can to remain "authentic" without forcing it.

My eyes are messed up now. They are technically healthy but they are also falling apart. Batch editing photos is no joy. Hell, reading can be a focus challenge sometimes. But I believe my driving skills are still solid. Fast, precise, meticulous. I still bicycle but take few risks. I floss. daily. I try to read when I can.

I cannot even imagine dating anymore, especially through the use of dating apps. I’m past that phase. But it doesn’t matter much anyway for obvious reasons. I'm 55.

And at 55, you can write about being 55 and not care so much about typos. None of it matters.

Tuesday

SC


 

Bugsy Wonder

Bugsy Wonder
stream or download

 

The Daily Evening


ty hardaway: EP turned out nice.

Dan Paige: Thanks! I was literally just about to send it to you…

ty: Spotify

Dan: 2020

ty: 5741

Dan: What is this, a conversation in Morse code? Open to more of a critique, if you are so moved.

ty: Don’t know if I have a critique but I can certainly provide a reflection. Let me listen a few more times.

Dan: Oh yes - listen, reflect, enjoy. It's good to be back in touch.

Ty: On it. Let me reflect. 

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Keep in mind, I know nothing so any comment I could make is simply a reflection on what I’m hearing. Also, I have nothing bad to say about any song, performance, or engineering nuance. This is a professional release and everyone associated with it is a hero. So, here we go.

The Daily Evening EP (which I invariably call The Evening Standard) is a five-song release by the Bay Area’s five-piece The Daily Evening band. This is Dan’s band with Rich as kind of a combination co-pilot/navigator (if you ever wanted a co-pilot/navigator who basically did neither, overtly, but exerted his deft influence through actions like showing up, engineering and, playing the guitars), and Eric who I met and played with a little bit and know to be a talented musician. Eric definitely leaves his DNA on this release. They also have a rhythm section that I’ve never met but have heard through these and earlier mixes of some of these recordings. But, this is Dan’s band playing Dan’s songs for the most part. That’s not a critique, this is just context.

I know Dan’s music from The Beggars Trail (a really good album and band with RJ Hazelton-Shedd from the late ‘90s), and his solo releases, Out on the Frontier, Hasten Slowly, and Wintertime. I’ve played with Dan in a Dan band (Bruised Orange Live from Next to the Freight & Salvage). So, yeah, these are Dan songs and this is Dan’s band. This is clear. Tweedy is to Wilco as Dan is to Dan Albums.

I have heard most of these songs in earlier mixes, drafts, and live recordings. I feel I know them but I never really invested. The recordings on the EP are legitimately the best versions I’ve heard of any. The engineering is really great. The sound approaches perfection but sometimes feels a little too polished. The level of audio perfection sometimes undercuts the quality of the performance and some parts get disassociated from the performers. Ty Segall records sound good and you can envision the ensemble. You can on The Daily Evening too, but sometimes dubs feel like dubs. But I know nothing.

The mix is great, wide enough and balanced well. The separation adds so much, no muddy middle. The drums, while not a focal point in any of the songs, are clean and serviceable. The bass serves as a steady backbone often working very well with the guitars; sometimes forgettable in isolation (not a diss) but never too far from the persistent heart. The performance, overall, is quite locked. The band sounds good.


Maybe She’ll Fly: Immediately, you know this is a Dan record. But in a bigger, wider version than ever heard before. The sound is great. Like a more professional Crazy Horse. The guitars are quite lovely. The hook is kind of a oldy west haunting/adventurous buddy film. Dan sings like Dan and his phrasing has steadily improved over the years big quarter note triplet on “Sake of the sun” kills. Bass and drums doing their job (on all of the songs). I like the horns, really I do, but they seem to be a little bit extra. But I applaud a little bit extra, but this was unexpected. Nicely faded. Great accidental opener at two and a half minutes; less a statement open and more of a luxurious introduction. Ladies and gentlemen, The Daily Evening.

I don’t know, maybe she will fly. Or maybe she’ll elect to run. I just don’t know. Is this a love song or a break-up song? For the sake of the sun. I’m OK with these words. Puts me into a place like the desert southwest. Hot. Dry. Sunny. I endorse and accept this track.


Desert Rider: Nice intro fade (about perfectly executed on the knobs), makes me feel like I’m in on something that’s already going on, like a conversation. Transitions nicely from Maybe She’ll Fly. Bass drum is a little splatty in the mix and it is distracting me. Vocals and harmonica compliment as well as the vocal duet on chorus. Excellent guitaring. The chorus is really beautiful. The singing is beautiful. The performance is really nice.

See, the desert land. Hot. Dry. Sunny. Is this a lost love or a found love song? More sun rhymes with gun. Second verse feature guitar is so good. Sometimes a friend is just a friend. Nice RW verse. There’s a lot going on here. I endorse and accept this track.


Out on the Frontier: The intro to OOTF reminds me of something from late era Big Star but more simple. This song has a lot of potential but it’s not landing with me. The performance feels a little forced. It’s really in front of the beat like a cocaine pop song yet there is something tentative here, uncommitted. The structure is nice (kinda awkward) but it feels pasted together in post. Tentative yet gratuitous, if that makes sense. Half way through, I want it to be over. The ending seems forced and a little dated in terms of how it is affecting me.

“We packed up all our stuff and headed out in a truck.” I don’t think this song fits in with the rest of the EP. It seems like an intentional “single” on an album; a “title track”. Feels like a different session or album. It’s OK, maybe I just don’t get it. While I accept this track, I will not be endorsing this track at this time.


Down the Road: Right out of the box, this one is markedly better this what it follows. Just a square punch to the jaw. This little piece is structured and executed near perfection. The drumming is really solid here. The bass really settles things down and drives everyone home like a school bus. Good words and story. Everyone is in sales mode. And if I’m hearing some organ in the chorus, I’m loving that. Pedal steel is good. Like Desert Rider, a lot going on. More desert sun (there’s a theme). Will you see me, down the road. Where OOTF felt like it was 37 minutes long, DTR feels short and snappy. Surprises me that it is four and a half minutes long. I endorse and accept this track. This should be the single.


Here Again: Finally a shift in gears from 4/4 rock n’ roll; a little down tempo and blusey. The bass gets to step forward for a while. Dim the lights. Dan seems to be…emoting a little. I feel this one. Everyone seems to be hearing each other. I think I love this song. I wish there was second half after “take it away.”

I like lyrics. All poetry, nothing revealed, as with all the tracks. I endorse and accept this track.

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I really like the EP even though this type of Americana rock isn’t really a big thing right now. Maybe this is timely on The Daily Evening’s part. Cash in on a low competition arena. Or, maybe just be happy this turned out so very well. Who knows, I know nothing. This is a Dan record and that’s a good thing. It sounds amazing.

4/5 because OOTF fell flat to my ears in terms of structure, engineering, and performance. Basically the other four songs murdered it and are so amazing that none of the members of this band will understand that until 2027 or so.


Silent Movie Star