Hip As Heck

I was so excited to get a package from Amazon last week. With my fancy-schmancy two day shipping, there were three small purchases: a new pencil sharpener for work, a school bus wristlet for my Comic-Con costume, and a new CD.

I haven’t been able to find my original copy of Vance Gilbert’s Somerville Live CD for quite some time and it’s not available for streaming on any service that we frequent. We have a road trip coming up and it’s always been one of our quintessential road trip CDs. You know the ones – whenever you’re in the car going on a trip, you always have a specific set of music that indicates that a Road Trip is in progress. When I saw that Amazon had one copy left, I snatched it up and promptly forgot that I ordered it.

When opened my package I was SO EXCITED. I haven’t heard this music for so long that I immediately put it in the car so I wouldn’t forget it when I went to work. Vance Gilbert is a hell of an artist but you have to hear him live to really appreciate his humor, his musicianship, and his stunning voice. Music has a way of transforming you into your happiest self. Like a clam in the sand and no one digging for me, I reveled in each song and the hilarious banter between the music. I was in heaven and feeling pretty pleased with myself.

And then I realized how not-hip this scene was. Here I was in my utilitarian Subaru, playing a newly purchased compact disc that was published in 2000. I couldn’t believe the math in my head. In my big maroon car, listening to a CD of a concert that was nearly 20 years old, by a folk singer. At that moment, the happiness was tarnished by a feeling of age – and not in a good historical way; more like in a moldy 8 track kind of way. I may as well have been listening to a K-Tel hits of the 60s on cassette that I ordered off the TV and waited six-eight weeks for.

This was not hip. It was not lit. It was not fly or cool. It was neither on fleek nor was it fetch. Not dank, gnarly, or sick. I was having a mom-jeans moment and I was not sure what do or think.

But then the next song came on and the lyrics were so rich and true and gorgeous that it was like a punch in the gut. You get Word Envy – the “oh man I wish I could write like that” feeling which made me forget about my moldy crustiness. Music is universal and perfect lyrics are timeless.

So you know what? I’m embracing this moment and shouting to the world that I LOVE that CD. I adore that man and I cherish his music. It makes me happy and it brings me nothing but joyful memories of seeing him live at music festivals and in tiny clubs. You’ll never hear him on the radio, but I have him in my car. I decided to lay off judging myself and just be happy. We all feel the need to justify things sometimes that may not be considered the norm. There’s something practical and comforting about having a CD in your car, so that’s my excuse. And if you want to pick up a copy yourself – go to www.vancegilbert.com or better yet, catch a live show yourself. If it’s local, I might see you there.

Karen Padden

Karen, Queen of the Paddens and first of her name. Teacher, Baker, Petter of Cats, Multiple Sneezer and Crocheter of Wubbies. Believes in kindness, always.

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