My friend and I used to fall asleep to the flicker of the TV in our high school years. Every night we would stay up late and watch the first segments of the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn until we could no longer muster the energy to keep the weight of our eyelids up. And thus, we soundly and securely fell asleep. If you asked us why we felt this affinity to Craiggers – I doubt we could articulate in words, but perhaps we could draw you a picture to help explain it. It was like a warm blanket covering over us as we drifted off to sleep only to wake up the next AM to head into the battle that was senior year.
No matter what happened during the day: what test we screwed up, what missed opportunity flew past our heads, what friend let you down – we always ended the day the same way. Kind of like an avid drinker with his hands wrapped tightly around a bottle as he passes out…we had our addiction that made everything okay and hit the “reset” button on life.
Flash-forward to today when you will still find us scouring YouTube for beautifully grainy videos of the show in hopes of capturing that feeling again. Like when you strike the match and light a candle that, for a brief second, reminds you of that hair that whisked by you once that had a scent of something that you can’t put your finger on…and then the memory is gone and you would do anything to get it back. The routine is always the same, and if you asked 18 year old us if we still would be doing this more than a decade later they would have laughed at our future selves…no one is laughing anymore. And if you asked ourselves today if we will still be doing this in another dozen or so years we would probably hang our heads, shake them a little and know the answer.
That is a long-winded way of trying to figure out how a band you just belatedly discovered can evoke the same emotion when there is no historical context for that band in your life. I’m Glad It’s You has come and knocked on the door of my memories and asked politely to be allowed in. I obliged. Call it what you will…call it “bummer punk” as it sounds to me like the moment between taking a Polaroid and looking at it…that moment when you are gently flapping the print in the air waiting for the image to reveal itself…unsure if you captured magic or nothing at all. The forlorn sounds of sitting in the 9-5 routine with headphones on trying to mentally take the elevator down to the office lobby, and race out of the building and into your car and out of this town as if you drive fast enough (88 MPH) you will somehow travel back and fix everything you think is fixable – as if that would even matter.
The great thing about I’m Glad It’s You and the memories they evoke is the somber and lovely realization that you, way way way down there, deep in the bowels of hellish-nostalgia, don’t actually want anything to change. If it was changed, if it were altered, if somehow you had the answers you searched for and took that chance at “that party” and saw the results…well then what would I listen to? What would I fill my time with? As Craig said in a sketch once: “the yawning chasm” – that is the Polaroid being shaken still…the beauty of the unknown and how it can be allowed to stay perfect for all time.
This is the realization that perhaps my friend and I love this feeling more than the reality itself. And it gives you the reasons to still seek out a band like this and drink them in and wallow in the wonderful guitar rings and empty spaces. The loud and the soft dynamic and the voice cracks. It’s the wonderful feeling of knowing that they, like you, have spent many a night sitting outside a barely alive record store, on a curbside, under the ambient light of a one-bulb missing street lamp with a song playing in the background that fills the space of someone not being next to you.
Thanks to them, thanks to Craig and thanks to anything past or present who tucks us in at night.
“It was the life that I stole from late nights on curbsides and I can’t seem to ever get it back.
You were my only peace of mind, it left when you left, and I can’t seem to ever get it back.” – Curbside, I’m Glad It’s You
FFO: Warm Thoughts (Previously Dad Punchers), Northeast Autumns. Texas summers, and brown hair dyed blonde