Through a series of random events, Brenda and I ended up at the Vince Gill/Amy Grant Christmas Concert and got into the Meet and Greet afterwards. Before you completely dismiss my musical tastes, there are two voices that said Christmas in our house growing up and they belonged to Nat King Cole and Amy Grant. So when free tickets dropped in my lap, my 12 year old self couldn't WAIT to hear "Tennessee Christmas" by someone other then my little sister and me. We had a great time and ended up singing along to every Christmas song in my iPod on the way home. Every Christmas song and Beyonce's "Single Ladies."
I went to see Black Nativity with Seth, Matt, Brian and Brian's adorable mom. I'm telling you, nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit like a full Gospel Choir singing "Go Tell It On The Mountain" and asking if you BELIEVE in Jesus. It was fantastic.
I danced my head off at the ward Christmas Gala. I was kind of eye rolly about going because sometimes nothing makes my life feel like a bigger failure then dances in the Church gym at 32 years old. But the combination of getting all dressed up (which i love!) , a fun group of people deciding to suck it up and go and the DJ agreeing to the one two punch of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Don't Stop Believing" meant I ended up having a stellar time.
The highlight though was finally getting to see Bon Iver live. I've raved about this guy before but now having heard pretty much the whole album in person it's going to be years before I can shut up about him. The story goes that a couple of years ago, Justin Vernon had just broken up with his lady, split with his band and gotten pretty sick. So he headed up to his Dad's hunting cabin in nowhere Wisconsin to try to pull himself back together.
He ended up writing an album up there all by his little self and it's become one of my all time favorites. I heard him for the first time the weekend I moved to Boston and so it has felt like a soundtrack to my year here. I was super excited about the show but completely unprepared for how emotional it would make me. About 10 seconds into the first song it was like a dam broke inside me and I started to cry. A guy holed up in a cabin writing about his broken heart is definitely a first world kind of sob story but there is no doubt about the pain he was feeling when he wrote this record. But it's also leaves you feeling surprisingly peaceful. I sat in the dark and closed my eyes and let the music work out some of the knots I've let myself get into this year. Vernon himself was really friendly and charming and seemed genuinely humbled by the amount of attention he's gotten from this record. The audience was so well behaved that on the really quiet songs I almost couldn't hear anyone breathing. It was a really lovely concert experience and definitely a highlight of what was a pretty outstanding weekend.
Here's a new song he played last night called Blood Bank. It cuts off kind of weird at the end but I love these lyrics
then the snow started falling
we were stuck out in your car
you were rubbing both my hands
chewing on a candybar
saying it was just like a present
to be showing up right here
as the moon waned to crescent
we started to kiss
And then this is the MP3version of the "Skinny Love" video I've posted before. Listen carefully to the part where he hits these lyrics
I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
Now all your love is wasted?
Then who the hell was I?
because if the way he sings that last line doesn't break your heart just a little bit then I don't know if you even have one
Oh music, I love you so much.