Here. There. Everywhere.
I suppose we are set to spring forward this weekend; in my math-devoid brain, I can never remember whether or not this means I’ll get more or less sleep in the mornings. Time changes are much less ceremonial than they used to be, anyway — no manual ticking back of the clock, winding the flimsy hands with your pointer finger. You wake up, and your iPhone tells you what time it is. You barely notice. Change just happens to you. I wonder if that’s the case, more often than not.
I’ve been thinking a lot about change this week. I was never one of those people who avoided it or feared it — actually, I was an instigator. Whether small (“why yes, blue hair will look lovely”) or large (“why yes, let’s live in Los Angeles this year…but only this year.”) I’ve sought out those variations in routine. Somehow life just felt more substantial when it was moving; unpredictable, a spinning wheel of fortune. Last year, I made another change: I moved to Nashville. Two weeks after flying back from Paris, where I visited my brother’s newly born twin boys, Mike and I packed our treasured belongings in the car and put the rest in storage somewhere in Queens, driving south to Tennessee. We stayed in a Red Roof Inn in a West Virginia town covered in coal dust; I picked it because it was cat friendly, and I thought our 10-year old tabby Stella would be with us. She got sick and died a month before we left the Lower East Side, but I didn’t bother to find a different hotel. Change just happens to you, sometimes. It was cheap, anyway. Someone had left three squares of melted butter in the microwave. Thanks.
Perhaps somewhat oddly, as much as I can’t stand consistency, I have vacillated very little in some very distinct ways: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I can remember (OK, when I was five I briefly wanted to design Barbie Doll clothes, but then I wanted to be a writer again), have always turned to music for most everything and consistently open the same books when I need to be reminded how brilliant words can be — an afternoon reading Allen Ginsberg post-writer’s block, and I simultaneously feel hopeful to-all-hell and like shit. In fact, it’s been one poem: Sunflower Sutra. Some people have religion, some people have spirituality, I have that poem. “Look at the Sunflower,” Jack Kerouac says to Ginsberg; they are walking and pass one lone flower, dusted over by the train tracks, covered in soot. I had that line inked onto my wrist a few years ago. You just should read the rest, but the poem climaxes with Ginsberg realizing the beauty beneath the sunflower (“we’re all beautiful golden sunflowers inside”), in all people, spiraling away into beautiful verse, the way only he can…
Music and words, that’s always been it. Everything else can change and move, move and change. I deal. But as I get older, I like more things to stay the same — love, home. I still surf the evolution of things. Sometimes, when I need simple change, I go upstairs to the converted attic space in my 110-year old home, and listen to records. For hours. New things, things I’ve never listened to before. Then when too much is changing in my daily life, I put on Bob Dylan. It grounds me back. Certain chord progressions can be as soothing to me as a fistful of Xanax.
At last I get to the point of this piece, which is to talk about the particular changes here on the blog. You might have noticed our lovely new design, or our new logo. I hope you like both. We’re also launching a few new features, including:
– A live video series. I am so excited about the the bands we have lined up. It’s going to be special.
– A series of features where we go inside some of Nashville’s best recording studios, and bring them to life for you. We start in East Nashville, naturally. We get to know their stories, their engineers and producers, and bring you some exclusive photos from the inside.
– Our “What’s Happening Tonight” section, where we’ll outline some of our nightly musical picks. I’ve always been hesitant to turn this into a calendar listing site, and it will never be that. Through this page, which you can always access in our right-sidebar, we’ll be able to tell you some picks but preserve our other curated blog-articles. Many of you have asked for this, so we’re doing it, but in our way. We do everything in our way, I suppose.
– Several new live events, including another (public this time!) Lockeland Lunchbreak and curated nights of music.
You might also have noticed the posts from our new recruit, Emily. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know her as much as I have. She’s become a crucial part of Lockeland Springsteen, and I’m excited to grow the blog with her.
I hope you’ll continue to stick around and read our blog – but I also hope you’ll be a part of it. We want this space to be driven by the community, not driving it. We want you, artists and musicians, to continue to write special pieces for us and give your Nashville Five.
Change. Music. Words. Sometimes, it happens to you.
And other times, you happen to it.