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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

April

For those of you who may have had the glorious fortune of living most of your lives in warmer climes, let me tell you about the state of Michigan. The state of Michigan has only two seasons: SprummerFall and WINTER!, each lasting approx. six months.

I moved down to Nashville in the middle of July and everyday until about mid-September I thought that my blood was literally boiling in my arteries. It was so damn hot! And everybody kept telling me, "Oh, you'll get used to it," and I kept thinking they were full of crap. But you know what? They were right. Five years in I actually am used to it.

Most people I talk to think that WINTER! must then be the same way, but that is wrong. You never get used to WINTER!, especially the six month variety. When you wake up on that 120th day and place your feet on your freezing-ass wooden floor and look out the window and see that yet again the sun is hiding behind 3 miles of clouds and that the ground is still coated with a foot of snow and that you will have to bundle up while your toaster pastry is toasting just to go out and scrape the two inches of caked ice on your car windows and start your car so that you don't catch hypothermia on the way to work, a depression so deep that Seasonal Affective Disorder sounds like a strawberry cheesecake compared to it presses down on you so that you think crazy things like maybe you wish you were a bear so that you could sleep through this six month frozen hell or maybe, like, the sun has actually permanently set and you will never feel warm again. This is why I capitalize WINTER! It is not a season, it is purgatory and every year weighs on you heavier than the last until you get to be 78 and you are an old prune and you're too feeble to shovel anymore and your kids got wise and moved the hell out of Michigan and so you let the snow pile up to the roofline and just spend the winter eating canned dogfood and talking to your cats. You're not depressed; you're defeated.

So anyway, that was all in order to introduce the meaning behind this little pastry puff of a song Greenland recorded a scant few months before we broke up, back in 2008. While the lyrical content went over like a lead balloon with the southern crowds we were playing for, who were familiar only with the three month, light jacket weather of southern winters, April has a magical ring to the ears of all Michiganders. April, when the sun finally peeks its radiant head out from behind the clouds and shines down on the piles of snow and turns them into black, gritty runners of tar, and brown grass uncrinkles from a long time bent over double and everyone who's spent sx months in the dark and gray and cold of WINTER! come out in their shorts and t-shirts even though it's still only, like, 40 degrees out and they play hacky sack and soccer and lounge in the patches of crinkled brown grass and everyone just hangs out and acts like it's the first time they've ever seen the sun.

So, I wrote a summer song for the Michigan set, when the sun comes out for the first time in a long time and for just a moment you believe in infinite possibilities, and the whole universe seems like it's pointing in one direction.

Greenland toyed with this song for about a year before finally relenting and recording it, as I said, just before we broke up. I think it could have been a big Beer-commercial hit for us if we'd simply believed in its unabashed Beach Boys-ish pop sound. We didn't and it wasn't. But I like the recording anyway. The sad thing about this mix though is that Evan laid down an awesome guitar solo whose track unfortunately got lost so there is instead a wicked tamborine and drum breakdown where a solo should be. I suppose you might not have noticed anything if I hadn't told you, but I'm in an oversharing kind of mood so I figured I'd throw in that little tidbit.

So, without further ado, I present to you "April," the best time of the year.


April
Words by Tres Crow
Music by Greenland

The sun is shining bright
The girls are looking fine

April is the best time of the year

Driving late at night
'Cause you were on my mind

April is the best time of the year

The sun is drowning the world
Poking fun at the day crowd
Sitting home in a lawn chair
The air is cold but we don't care

Lyrics reprinted by permission Shire Reckoning Publishing House

6 comments:

Mister Booze said...

I like winter, but the weather is better in Wisconsin. It isn't the cold, it's the clouds.

Tres Crow said...

The clouds, indeed. Winter in Michigan is that much wrose because you don't see the sun for six months. That's why everyone freaks out when the sun peeks out and says hello.

Mister Booze said...

I don't know how they manage in Seattle...

Tres Crow said...

They overfeed morbidly obese people, and make vain people cut off pieces of themselves. That's how they cope.

Misopogon said...

For some reason, this was more pronounced in Ann Arbor. I guess that's the only time I lived in an urban setting for an extended period. Suburbia hides you from winter as much as it can -- you go out your door into your garage into your car into a parking garage into an office into an elevator into the parking garage into your car into your garage into your house, hoping nobody in the interim asks you to get the mail.

The biggest hell about winter in Ann Arbor, for me, was that I'd have to walk like a mile while my hair was still shower-wet and my shoulders still remembered bed warmth, and then when I got to the car I'd turn it on and start scraping ice while trying not to inhale the big cloud of exhaust, because when you can see exhaust you can smell it and you think it's more dangerous.

That was only one winter, though. Most winters in Ann Arbor were walking to class and even though there were hundreds of other students around you, everyone was quietly tucking chins against necks and breathing shortly so as not to disturb the small aura of warmth on your cheeks.

When April hit, it was like the city itself was flowering. You got it right about the shorts and t-shirts even though it's actually like 45 degrees, and that your tennis shoes are getting soaked though because everywhere you're stepping is slushy bits of dirt-snow.

That day would always stick out. I think it's because right after that we'd all have to go right into that semi-sleepless state during Finals when you have an impossible amount of work in front of you and nothing else in the world is allowed to intrude. By the time that's over, it's basically summer.

Tres Crow said...

Yup, Miso. That's about it.