THE M:M MUSIC TEAM (LOTR): Crystal Ann Lea, Meg MacDonald, Rene Magallon
"Dancing My Way"
"Anything Could Happen"
The Lone Bellow
"Dried Up River"
I really can’t stand the month of April. All the rain means tiny muddy paw prints on floors, couches and white comforters. There isn’t a single three-day weekend to enjoy, no one knows what to wear to accommodate the swings of 50-degree mornings and 80-degree afternoons, and while taxes take over my world, I become a year older.
Happy Birthday. Here, do math.
I need a save here. My birthday is Saturday, so I’m going to do what I do every year around this time and give myself an early present; using what I wrote last year for my annual I-hate-birthdays column.
From the start I’ve never liked 4/24.
Kindergarten: The teacher jammed a tin-foil crown on my head and gave me a plastic wand. I then “got to” pick different classmates and bestow several royal orders on them. They were all coveted positions so the pressure was real. Choosing who would get to hand out the graham crackers, who would get to be the wake-up fairy after nap time and who would be first in line to pick out an instrument from the music closet. By the end of the day, I’d chosen all wrong and none of my friends were speaking to me. I folded up my nap-mat and walked home alone.
Elementary School: Grades 1-5. Starting in the first grade, teachers would force the entire class to sing to the mortified birthday boy or girl standing in front of the room. For five years I was serenaded with an unenthusiastic, tone-deaf, barely audible rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Making matters worse, you were also picked to be in charge of running the overhead projector on your special, special day. These were massive machines with blinding lights that ran extremely hot on which you would set plastic sheets. Not being the most graceful child, I burned my fingers. Normally hot metal with plastic sheets run by a child would be cause for a lawsuit, but it was the 70s. We did stuff.
Jr. High School: Grades 6-8. The bangs, thick glasses and braces phase. Too old to be sung to (good), too young to party (bummer) and too cool to throw a slumber party (they were sooo fifth grade).
High School: Pressure. Do I throw a party? How do I get rid of my parents? Where and how do we buy a pony-keg? How can I guarantee we can rent the town VCR that night? (For real, there was only one).
College: $21 pitchers for $21 at a bar called One-Eyed Jake’s. I didn’t even have one good eye by the end of the night. I fell down a flight of stairs into the glass door at the bottom. I struggled to my feet, my friends and I stumbled outside for air and were immediately cited for public intoxication. The University of Iowa had a policy; whoever was paying for the students’ education received copies of all police and parking tickets. So that was a fun call to get from home.
Post College: Finally, I wasn’t alone in my annual birthday contempt. Everyone is broke with student loans to pay and no one cares because anything after 21 is anti-climactic anyway.
Present: How did AARP find me so fast? The vaccine shot was less upsetting and I got the one that causes blood-clots.
My birthday wish this year is the same as every year…..to have been born on February 29.
“Just a reminder that you still have plenty of time to do your taxes at the last minute." – Someecards
"...mixes immersive, polished production with the easygoing soul of his voice." – Rolling Stone
"...continues to create a style of music that stands out from all the rest."
– American Songwriter
"Good songs prevail…capturing a heart-on-his-sleeve spirit in sing-along acoustic stories fit for blurry-eyed Saturday nights and faithful Sunday mornings that follow." – The Tennessean
The Lone Bellow
"HALF MOON LIGHT instantly stands out as the most adventurous, fearless record of The Lone Bellow’s career… an album that could fill a football stadium as much as it could set the mood in a quaint local coffee shop." – No Depression
"Saint Nomad are truly on a hot streak with perhaps their hardest hitting effort to date." – Earmilk
"You could groove to this one rolling down the street with the windows down or just as easily on a (soon-to-be) crowded dancefloor." – Digital High