Tuesday, December 01, 2009
When I wake up to find that the first of December is covered with snow my mind naturally reminds me that I have ten miles behind me, and ten thousand more to go. There is a manic melancholy to this time of year. There is everything you usually need to do to get done, and all of the things that you have been putting off until now on top of it. The calendar imposes its deadlines, and darkness drops on the afternoon like a bowl, making the days you have to get it all done feel that much shorter. Christmas holds out its bright promise, but it can feel like you have a lake of fire to cross before you get there. I'd been thinking about the sort of music that fits this season even before the weather reminded me of "Sweet Baby James" because the Avett Brothers' "I and Love and You" has been in heavy rotation on the satellite lately, a nearly perfect version of the sort of song I'm thinking about. If summer songs are all about possibility, the songs I favor at this time of year are more about reflection, and "I and Love and You" has become my Solstice Hit Single of 2009.