Rockin’ & Shockin’: The Thanksgiving Edition

Rockin’: The four-day weekend
Shockin’: You rarely get this much time off for Christmas out here.

Rockin’: Getting wine out of storage on the eve of Thanksgiving
Shockin’: How long I’ve left it sitting there

Rockin’: The view looking down from the mountain this time of year
Shockin’: That I ever looked down on November as a boring weather month

Is the sky meant to be this blue in November?

Rockin’: Takin’ Noel to the play park Thanksgiving morning
Shockin’: I haven’t been doing as much of this as I did with Campbell

Rockin’: Not doing the 250-mile round trip for Thanksgiving this year
Shockin’: Means not seeing family

Rockin’: Going to friends just five miles away for a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner
Shockin’: That Thanksgiving coincides with the start of big game hunting season: I hate the sound of gunfire in the morning.

Rockin’: Campbell sitting at the grown-ups table for Thanksgiving Dinnner
Shockin’: He wants to talk about video games with the grown-ups

Rockin’: Not joining the shoppers on “Black Friday.”
Shockin’: That such a neat holiday as Thanksgiving typically turns into a greed fest of capitalist/consumerist culture.

Rockin’: The running season has ended for me – on a high and with a PR. I don’t run the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trots, not even the 5k relay at a local high school Friday morning to benefit the Catskill Animal Sanctuary.
Shockin’: Instead, driving Campbell to his friend’s house on Friday, dressed for a casual jog round the village, I pass the Mount Tremper trailhead and recognize my calling. I run about two miles up (and two more back down) on a freezing but beautiful Friday.

Rockin’: Feeling the rocks under my feet again – I had to sit out trail running all year with that injury, and I missed the sensation. (Check this piece to understand the attractions.)
Shockin’: My aching muscles come Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. Who knew your left buttock could ever feel so bruised?

Rockin’: Running in the woods on a crystal-clear November day
Shockin’: The very real possibility of being shot by a hunter while doing so.

Rockin’: The Felice Brothers‘ “homecoming show” at the Bearsville Theater Friday night
Shockin’: That more people don’t make a point of attending this theater more often. It really might be the most beautiful 500-750 capacity venue in the world… for the right kind of music

AA Bondy at the Bearsville Theater

Rockin’: AA Bondy, support act all the way from Alabama, singing “John The Revelator,” another song influenced by Dr. Seuss, another about using food stamps to finance a trip to St. Croix, and the sparse and seriously funereal “Killed Myself When I Was Young,” in which every line is repeated.
Shockin’: I think he’s a Godbotherer.

Rockin’: London Pubbers can see AA Bondy with Okkervil River in December
Shockin’: I still don’t have the new Okkervil River album.

Rockin’: The Felice Brothers are homecoming heroes, fresh off a tour with Bright Eyes.
Shockin’: As per the last time we saw them in Woodstock, they treat their home town show as a party. Did they invite all their friends on stage when playing Radio City Music Hall last week?

Rockin’: They play for an hour and a half.
Shockin’: The time goes just like that.

Rockin’: The Felice Brothers selling home-burned CDs without sleeves or track listing. How DIY is that?
Shockin’: They’ve sold out of Live at The Arizona. Why not burn some of those ones, too?

Rockin’: English Pubbers can see the Felice Brothers this very weekend
Shockin’: That as usual, here’s an American band with a British deal ahead of an American one.

Rockin’: Accordion/organ player James Felice drinking Patron straight out the bottle
Shockin’: If you look closely, they drink a hell of a lot more water than they do tequila. Or beer.

Rockin’: Though guitarist Ian is the cute one, drummer Simone Felice is really the star of the show, playing up front of the stage and often enough taking lead vocals. He sings one of the encores, about bringing a baby into the world, with a fully-fledged vibrato throughout.
Shockin’: More bands don’t put the drums up front of the stage

Rockin’: The friend who delivers the intro to “Glory Glory”…
Shockin’: …Does it so perfectly close to the album version as to suggest that the very concept – a neighbor complaining about the noise – was probably a put-on.

Rockin’: The triple punch of their last three songs: “Radio Song,” “Roll On Arte” and “Frankie’s Gun.” It’s amazing how often audiences and bands alike agree on the “best” songs.
Shockin’: The five song encore is as long as Bruce Springsteen’s – and a lot more shambolic. It ends with at least twenty people on stage with them. I’m reminded of nights at the Marquee – the greatest 500-750 capacity venue in the world… for the right kind of music

Bassist Christmas, plus Jimmy, Ian and Simone: the Felice Brothers.

Rockin’: Another beautiful morning on the mountain
Shockin’: It’s brass bloody monkeys. 18F outside.

Rockin’: Our passive solar designs appears to be working. By mid-Saturday morning the sun’s rays are searing through the large windows and warming the very back of the house.
Shockin’: Just as well. The heating’s not working properly.

Rockin’: Going to get that fire pit going some day.
Shockin’: Just not today.

Rockin’: We light the fire indoors instead.
Shockin’: That it took us this long to get round to it.

Rockin’: Watching English football on the TV with an English friend.
Shockin’: That England were so crap last Wednesday.

Rockin’: Bringing Posie’s drum kit upstairs from the basement.
Shockin’: That we ever thought we’d put furniture in the living room as opposed to musical equipment

Rockin’: My wife’s cooking.
Shockin’: How quickly I can put on the pounds once I stop counting them.

Rockin’: Now that I’ve finally got that wine out of storage, I can start drinking some of it.
Shockin’: Now that I’ve finally got that wine out of storage, how quickly we seem to be drinking it

Rockin’: Sitting with friends in front of the burning fireplace drinking red wine over Thanksgiving weekend.
Shockin’: We have to sit on the bare floor. We’ve given musical equipment priority over furniture. (At least for the time being.)

Rockin’: That keg of Keegan Ale is still going.
Shockin’: That keg is Keegan Ale still going

Rockin’: Another beautiful morning and it’s still only Sunday.
Shockin’: Did we really get through that much red wine last night?

Icicles on the Mount Tremper trail.

Rockin’: Hitting up the Alamo in Phoenicia for Sunday brunch
Shockin’: Choosing huevos rancheros for breakfast. A little too fiery for first thing in the morning

Rockin’: Revisiting the Mount Tremper trail, this time with the family
Shockin’: My body’s still hurting from running it Friday. Why am I back on it already?

Rockin’: Noel prefers to walk than be carried. We estimate our 2-year old does a solid mile or more of hard trail.
Shockin’: That Campbell can’t do that much without constant complaining.

Rockin’: Finding a stream with weird-shaped icicles from the previous day’s cold snap.
Shockin’: Standing still long enough to photograph them, we start to really feel the temperature.

Rockin’: Getting some delightfully odd photographs from the strange light on the hike.
Shockin’: That we have to all get back to work Monday morning

The winter light makes for delightful shapes.

Rockin’: Campbell having a Sunday evening play date.
Shockin’: The amount of driving involved every time our son has a play date.

Rockin’: That the wet, cold and miserable weather held off until Monday morning.
Shockin’: One month until Christmas.

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December 2021