2020.12.13

  1. Today is the 1-year anniversary of Fine Line, Harry Styles’s second album. It’s probably the thing I listened to most this year, and Harry is probably the person who brought me the most joy when I needed it.

  2. I was supposed to see Harry in August, and I was supposed to see Joel Plaskett in April. Both concerts were postponed, of course, but back in the spring, Joel rescheduled for November. Somehow, I knew then we wouldn’t make that date. Instead, he’s doing a series of three live shows online to celebrate his triple record, Three. Each night, he plays another record, in order, as a collection of pre-recorded and live performances, with a break in the middle for questions from my online audience. I watched the first, slept through the second, and the third is scheduled for December 27.

  3. Today, though, I watched Andrew Bird perform his annual holiday show from an orange grove in Ojai, California as the sun came down. Usually, he plays this show in a church in Chicago. He calls the show Gezelligheid, a Dutch word meaning “a cozy gathering” (“gezellig” is similar to the trendy Danish word “hygge”). His newest album is explicitly a Christmas record, and that’s what he played. You should listen to the song he wrote at the beginning of quarantine, “Christmas in April,” and mourn how it came true.

  4. I slept after the show, and now I’m awake at midnight, listening to Christmas music, and trying to finish CT05. So of course I’m not writing; I’m editing iTunes metadata (sorry, I’ll always call it iTunes). Because of the user-hostile way the program sorts music, I have a bunch of playlists that are literally just all the songs by one artist or group. Cover art is auto-generated, usually a patchwork of album art, and I hate it, so I’ve been searching for better images. This website title caught my eye because it’s one of my favourite topics, one I know a great writer will eventually turn into a book: “The Tragically Hip and Canada’s Fraught Identity.” Eventually, I’ll have to write an essay (or two) about this, too.

  5. The clock just ticked over to December 14th. I haven’t listened to much Christmas music yet this year. I have a playlist, but it’s not complete. Most of the songs I really want to hear are on my mom’s computer, the family vault of digital music. The first album on the playlist is Robbie Williams’s The Christmas Present, a double album of “past” and “future” songs. I didn’t give this album its due when it came out last year, but tonight, I listened to it straight through, and I’m feeling it now. I’m feeling the Christmas spirit.

  6. (I really can’t believe the labels didn’t manage to wring a Christmas album out of One Direction before they broke up. Megan and I decided tonight that Niall is the one most likely. I had forgotten how much he loves Bublé. I’m pretty sure Harry won’t make a Christmas album until he’s in his aging rock star phase, à la Rod Stewart (who does two! songs on Robbie’s album), but that’s fine with me because I’m also sure that only Niall could convince Harry to make an appearance (or two) on his album.)

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