A friend emailed to say hi and organise to catch up, and mentioned in her note that she hasn't been doing much lately (juggling young children etc) but she is enjoying the new Ryan Adams album. She's been responsible for introducing me to so much great music, most importantly Ray LaMontagne (at The Corner Hotel circa 2006 - gold) but Adams has always been that step too close to country for me. Anyway, I gave the latest album a run. My sentiment hasn't really changed, but it's been a long time since I've listened to him, and it wasn't a painful session.
I'm starting a series of interviews with writers in the cafe they like to work in and I went to the first of these at 'Carolina' in Brunswick East, which it turns out is named after the song 'Oh My Sweet Carolina,' by Ryan Adams. The cafe is a gem, and I've discovered that I can like Ryan Adams.
Music has always been as important as books to me, but since coming home earlier this year I haven't been to a live gig. I was lamenting that recently with another friend, who amongst other things works as a freelance music reviewer. So she said she'd start sending me details of upcoming gigs I might like to get to. After our brunch she'd emailed to say that our conversation about writing and what we're each trying to do with our lives had inspired her to get back to her desk, while I'd come away inspired to get live music back into my life. It was one of those emails that helps you press on when you're having doubts about your choices, and anytime is a good time for one of those.
I'm house-sitting at the moment, and on the way home from the football last Saturday night we stopped in at the only local bar. I hadn't been there before, and walked in to the sort of old-school, boys rocking out in the garage gig that I'd forgotten you can still see. We ended up staying late and came home with a CD and feeling about 20 years younger.
And then on Sunday I got an email offering a ticket to a couple of Melbourne gigs, including Lauren Glezer playing on Sunday at The Evelyn. I was out when I read the email, and I streamed this song lying in the sun in a park, on a Sunday that consisted of people-watching over brunch, motoring around listening to PBS tunes, eating a burrito at South Melbourne market and stocking up on supplies for dinner.
I'm feeling that 'This Living' thing is a pretty beautiful marvel for me right now, and when I see my Ryan Adams friend today I'll see if she's interested in coming along on Sunday. If not, at least I've introduced her to another artist, and who knows who else we'll hear or meet on Sunday and where that will take us.