There Are So Many Things to be Thankful For

Hey, did you notice that it’s Thanksgiving? Congratulations on noticing. I may be a cynical, angry, heartless young adult, but I, as any American, take part in this essentially purposeless holiday. It’s probably my favorite holiday next to “Apology-Making Day” and “Saying You’re Welcome Week.” But, in the spirit of the holiday, here are some things that I am thankful for.
I thank whoever is deserving for music, art, dancing, art-dancing, guitars of all kinds, reverb pedals, way too much reverb, the band Saturday Looks Good To Me for using way too much reverb, The Walkmen for using just the right amount of reverb, the guy who stood next to me at The Walkmen show this past summer for making me laugh a lot at yuppies and for giving me a column topic (see issue from sometime in the past summer), for outdoor festivals such as the Taste of Randolph Street (where The Walkmen played last summer), for the Walkmen turning me on to Harry Nilsson, and Harry Nilsson for writing the song “Coconut.” I am not thankful for Diet Coke for appropriating Nilsson’s song for their lime-flavored shenanigans.
I’m thankful for beats, drums, when drummers put tambourines on their hi-hats, drum solos, John Bonham (R.I.P), for “Moby Dick” by Led Zeppelin, for the Led Zeppelin belt buckle my brother found in his friend’s apartment and consequently wrapped and give to me for a birthday present, for my parents singing me “Birthday” by The Beatles on my birthday as a small child, for not realizing it was a Beatles song until I was a teenager, for my parents singing “Day in the Life” by The Beatles as I woke up in the morning as a small child, for not realizing it was a Beatles song until I was a teenager, for having been a teenager, for no longer being a teenager. I’m not thankful for having braces as a teenager; particularly a teenager/freshman at the University of Illinois.
I’m thankful for mandolins, I’m thankful Okkervil River using a mandolin, I’m thankful for every song Okkervil River has ever written, I’m thankful for the label Jagjaguwar for putting out Okkervil River’s songs, I’m thankful for mostly every thing Jagjaguwar puts out (Besnard Lakes, Sunset Rubdown), for mostly everything K Records puts out (The Microphones, Mirah, The Blow, Little Wings), for mostly everything Asthmatic Kitty puts out (Sufjan, My Brightest Diamond, Shapes and Sizes), for nearly nothing Fueled By Ramen puts out. I’m not thankful that Victory Records exists.
I’m thankful for baseball, songs about baseball, The Hold Steady, rock and roll, American rock and roll, American Blues, Delta Blues, Robert Johnson, The Rolling Stones’ version of Johnson’s “Love in Vain,” Daniel Johnston, M. Ward’s version of Johnston’s “To Go Home,” “Homeward Bound” by Simon and Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel playing a singing moose on the TV show Arthur, Art Garfunkel-dancing, Junior Senior, Hey Hey My My Yo Yo by Junior Senior, “Hey Hey My My” by Neil Young, for Dylan, for The Dead, for Dylan and the Dead, for bands, The Band, marching bands, tubas, trombones, brass, banjos, blogs, beds, bugs, The Beatles, and getting made fun of for singing their songs while waiting in the recess line in third grade. Oh yeah and I guess my family and friends.

Brian wishes you all a happy Thanksgiving and can be reached at

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