Grow Up, Find Yourself a Nice Acoustic Guitar, Settle Down

When our favorite musicians grow up, does it force us to grow up a little too? Or does the presence of music in our lives, invariably tied to a certain time, a particular chapter, make it difficult to stomach the maturation of the artists responsible?

Or maybe there’s a cosmic biorhythm that resonates among us. We’re drawn to music and the musicians that make it  because of a more personal connection than we’d ever even considered.

When Joe Strummer found the Mescaleros, I found myself in college with two kids and a mountain of debt. The Clash might have been a high school crush, too tenacious and too much trouble to take seriously.  In Davis, surrounded by Birkenstocks and protest signs, I encountered a world perspective that was more about reggae than rebellion.

Just a few years later, The Promise Ring was everything my rollercoaster psyche needed. But, just as suddenly, Davey von Bohlen was balding and settling down with Maritime. I had a job and responsibilities.  And an increasing number of gray hairs.

Before hearing a single track off The Both’s self-titled debut, it felt like someone dropped a save-the-date postcard in my Twitter feed. Ted Leo had been cooing over his musical partnership with Aimee Mann for at least a year. It wasn’t hype; it was heartfelt excitement.

So am I ready to grow up? Again?

First and foremost, I love Ted Leo. I’ve seen this guy perform  more than any other musician, and the race isn’t close (need my toes pretty soon). But… since Shake the Sheets, I’ve been feeling, well… like maybe an injection of new is in order. Whether that change is Aimee Mann, or she’s just the catalyst, I don’t care. I’m excited for him.

And, by extension, I’m excited for me too. Tell the bartender…

Punk Rockers have no friends. Only subjects and enemies.
Punk Rockers have no friends. Only subjects and enemies.

(Oh, and not that there haven’t been enough comparisons on the Internet already, but put me squarely in the Stannis Doppleganger camp. Ted and The Pharmacists should have done a “Rains of Castamere” rendition instead of Sigur Ros. Or, maybe in addition to. The closing credits of last week’s episode came pretty close to giving me chills.)

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