This week’s delights are heavy on the music. Some weeks are like that.
- Things are in bloom in Baltimore and everything is very pretty. Sherwood Gardens, which is known for its tulips, is pretty much in full bloom. It’s about a mile walk from my office, so I walked over on my lunch break a couple of times last week. Monday there were some tulip beds in bloom, but after a few days of really warm weather things had really exploded by Thursday. For some reason the tulip beds never all bloom at the same time, and it seems variable which ones come up first. Also, by the time all the tulips are up usually the daffodils, hyacinths, and cherry blossoms are gone. This year there seemed to be more overlap than normal, so it was a great time to see some pretty flowers.
- Also speaking of cherry trees, my favorite cherry trees are now in bloom as well. The kwanzan cherry trees always bloom later than everything else, but they have these gorgeous full pink blooms that I love. I honestly don’t know enough about trees to be able to accurately identify all the different flowering trees we have around here, but there are a lot. It’s one of the things I love about where I live even if all the pollen is making me want to scratch my eyes out.
- The new Broadway show Shucked had its opening night this past week. They invited Tariq, “the corn kid” to the show which is just awesome. So there’s some very cute video of him on the red carpet and giving his review after the show.
- I’ve been making my way through the tv show Bluey despite the fact that I am a childless adult, and it is aimed at like five year olds. In a moment of serendipity I happened to put on an episode on Easter that was about Easter, so that was kind of fun even though any episode where Bingo is sad breaks my heart and Bingo was very sad in this one because she thought the Easter bunny forgot about her.
- The Jason Isbell documentary, Running With Our Eyes Closed, premiered on HBO on Friday night. The filmmaker set out to make a documentary about him recording the album Reunions, and wound up getting a lot more in the process as COVID hit in the middle of the filming and Jason and his wife and sometimes band mate Amanda Shires hit a very rocky point in their marriage, which they do not shy away from in this film. They had been very open about it during all the press when the album came out, but it’s kind of different to actually watch it playing out on film than it is to just hear them tell about it. It’s shockingly raw and honest. There’s one point where Amanda is reading an email that she wrote to Jason about what was going on, and she’s literally physically shaking because she’s so upset. I do wish that I hadn’t learned that Amanda hates listening to the song “Cover Me Up”. I’ll never be able to hear it the same way again. I had always thought of it as this sort of great love song of them making it through his addiction, and him getting sober because he realized what a good thing he was going to mess up if he didn’t. I gather that’s how he sort of thought about it too, and then seems to find out during all of this that she actually hates it because it brings up a lot of bad memories for her. He still plays it at every show, so I guess they’ve worked through that at least enough. It’s definitely not going to be the same next time I see him play it live though. Since the documentary was shot in late 2019 and early 2020, their daughter Mercy was only 4 at the time. It was fun to see her so cute and teeny tiny again. I thought it was a great film, but as a huge fan I am not an objective observer. I don’t know how interesting it would be to anyone who is not already a Jason Isbell fan or just someone who is so into music documentaries they’ll watch one about anything.
- I bought a used copy of the Peter Gabriel album So at a record bazaar a couple weeks ago. For reasons this weekend was the first time I actually got to put it on and listen to it. Man that is such a good album. Not really a bad song it, though I’ve never been the hugest fan of the song “Sledgehammer” even though it’s probably Peter Gabriel’s biggest hit.
- And speaking of great music, I heard the song “Break It Down” by Tears for Fears on the radio. It’s such a good song and not one that people ever really seem to reference in relation to that band.
- WXPN has a segment called “90s at 9”. Last week they were playing a bunch of songs that for some reason made me think they should be playing a Paula Cole song, and then they did. I very much appreciate that it was the song “Me” instead of one of the two Paula Cole songs that you actually know.