So this is about as expected and appropriate for a "gratitude" as the post that started it all, Guns N' Roses' out to get me but there are infinite blessings surrounding us and just as many doors to them.
I started a Music section at our campus newspaper my senior year at UNA. While there I managed to get on the distribution list for some major and independent music labels. One afternoon, I got a package from Sub Pop and one of the discs was from a band called Chappaquiddick Skyline. I read the bio of the band and learned Chappaquiddick was a side project and the brainchild of Joe Pernice, frontman for a band called Pernice Brothers.
I grabbed my Sub Pop mailer and got in my car on a cold, rainy night heading for my girlfriend's house. I slid Chappaquiddick Skyline's self-titled album into my CD player and found myself immediately absorbed in the sounds. It was poppier than anything I was listening to at the time but it wasn't slick. Then I heard the voice:
"I hate my life."
I'd never heard a lovelier voice say something so dark. I was 30 seconds into my first listen and I had to start the song over because I couldn't believe I'd heard what I thought I'd just heard.
"I hate my life.
Yes, that's what he said. I let the song continue. I started the CD over again. Through the wet, dark night I drove the lonely road listening to that song over and over. The subtleties of the song revealed themselves to me. The simple production allowed the beautiful melody to wash over me. The gentle harmonies added sweetness to the darkness without ruining the effect. The understated bass line gave gentle movement to it while still anchoring the ethereal voices.
There have been moments where I've hated my life, but that's not what makes me thankful for this song. That night, a relationship was forged. I became a fan of Joe Pernice, and I've bought every album he's released before and since. I've fallen in love with the unique way he blends sophisticated wordplay with brilliant melodies. Not only do I not hate my life, the musical genius of Joe Pernice has actually enriched it.
"Everyone Else is Evolving" isn't my favorite Pernice-related song but it's the one that brought us together.