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Friday, September 9, 2011

The First Day of My Life

Welcome, loyal readers.

As my sub-header suggests, this blog is all about songs that saved my life. That may sound insanely dramatic, but I know I'm not alone in this one. The perfect song can make your day go from bad to better, from good to great.

I'm going to tell about my favourite songs. Maybe I'll tell you about when I heard it live and it blew my mind. Or maybe how I heard it for the first time while surfing in Tofino.  In any case, I'll try my darnedest to make it interesting.

As this is my first post, I only thought it appropriate to name it after one of my favourite Bright Eyes songs.  Now, Bright Eyes isn't one of my favourite bands.  Far from it, in fact.  While my music-snob girlfriends swooned over Conor Oberst's poetic lyrics and big brown eyes, I found the Nebraskan indie hero precocious and slightly annoying.

Nevertheless, I agreed to go along to his concert when he played in Winnipeg four years ago.  The only Bright Eyes album I had was one of the latest ones, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, which my friends scoffed at.  Apparently "it just wasn't as good as the early stuff" (the typical music snob's lament).  I enjoyed the folkie, alt-country feel of the album and remembered being particularly smitten with the painfully adorable love song, The First Day of My Life.

Bright Eyes. Garrick Centre, November 2, 2007. Photo by me. He is pretty dreamy...

The concert was held at one of the Garrick, one of the most unfortunate music venues in Winnipeg.  The slanted floors of this converted movie theatre make for an uncomfortable standing experience, and given that I was squished between hoards of crazed 16 year-olds, I was not the happiest of campers.

Gradually, I began to relax.  I realised I didn't have to impress anyone there, and I eventually forgot that my back hurt and my feet were aching.  As the night went on, the obnoxious crowd collectively shut up and everyone just listened, mesmerized. The fast songs were fun and the slow ones were gentle and sincere and heartbreaking.

Conor Oberst famously doesn't play First Day live.  But the lack of it made me feel it all the more. After the show, my friends hit up a local bar in hopes of tracking Conor down and wooing him.  I declined, and instead drove home, locked myself in my bedroom, and listened to I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning from start to finish about five times through.

The next year, I finally got to hear this song live. My boyfriend played it on his guitar one morning while I was lying semi-conscious in bed.  I'm not sure if he played it for me or if he was just practicing, but it at that moment, it was even better than it could have been that night at the Garrick.

Yes, cheesy. I know.

Thanks for reading.

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