May You Stay. Forever Young.

May God bless and keep you always May your wishes all come true May you always do for others And let others do for you May you build a ladder to the stars And climb on every rung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous May you grow up to be true May you always know the truth And see the lights surrounding you May you always be courageous Stand upright and be strong May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy May your feet always be swift May you have a strong foundation When the winds of changes shift May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

My Ultimate Supergroup

Nate "Taterballs" Perry got me thinking about this, so here's my supergroup:

On drums: The one and only Todd Nance

No one I've heard plays the drums like this guy, the drummer for Widespread Panic. He cracks the snare with such precision and in such perfect time that you literally lose all control of your limbs. I have spilled or completely dropped drinks because of him. I can't stand it. It's largely due to his playing that the hand becomes a fist and inadvertently reaches for the sky.

On keys: Mac Rebennack (AKA Dr. John)

This dude lays it down in serious style. The king of N'awlins himself, Dr. John can drop them keys on them hammers in the funkiest way I have ever heard. He seems to have no framework for the way he plays, he just hits em like he knows he should. I don't know much about the piano, but this dude can sure break one.

On bass: Mike "Cactus" Gordon

This probably goes without saying, but Mike Gordon is by far the best bass player of all time. Not because he plays insane stupid pointless bass solos like Victor Wooten or Les Claypool (although he certainly can and will), but because he perfectly and precisely adds the necessary bass element to every song in such a way that it is almost impossible to detect, until you hear the midbeat thump, slap, or bounce. Then you realize you are secretly being kidnapped by an instrument you never even noticed. Seriously, if you aren't careful at a Phish show, you'll find yourself quickly underwater and unavailable to all those around you because of his bass. It's happened to me. It's cold and dark down there, but somehow there is oxygen. Also, I should note that Cactus gave me my most amazing musical moment of all time (but that's another story).

On lead guitar: Mr. Derek Trucks

Now this baby-faced kid is the secret weapon of this (and every other) supergroup (he's a key member of pretty much every decent superjam). You see him on stage, not moving much, acting kinda shy, playing the rhythms and behaving properly, never intruding on his older bandmates, but when it's his time to take the spotlight he slips that glass slide on his middle finger and absolutely tears your face off in a fury of perfected notes and screams. If a ravaged and starving wolf could play the guitar, this is what it would sound like. People don't talk when Trucks is playing a lead. They either stare in awe or completely freak out and lose their shit. Trucks, baby.

On lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica: JJ Grey

This guy is definitely the least famous of all the other members of the supergroup, but he is the only dude I would have front my band. If you have never heard Mofro, go find em. I have showed them to tons of my friends and every single time I break them out, somebody always asks, head bobbin' "Who is this?". You just can't resist em. JJ sings like a 60 year old black guy who has lived a hard life, but is happy. I've never heard a white guy sound so soulful. He sings deep, low, dirty, and funky. He can also shred the guitar and harmonica whenever he needs to. He's the perfect frontman for a southern rock supergroup.

Between Nance's beats, Dr. John's Louisiana keys, Cactus's underwater depth, Trucks' face melting solos, and Grey's southern soul, no one could resist this epic band of geniuses, which would of course be called

The West Memphis Dog Track

Auld Lang Syne

This song stirs me.

My first thought goes directly to the last scene of Its A Wonderful Life, wherein the crowd of friends and family and even bankers all gathered to celebrate the new year and the fact that Jimmy Stewart's character is still alive are gladly singing the timeless melody and swaying their champagne flutes, and the little girl makes the comment about bells and angels getting their wings and then the viewers realize that the angel who just got his wings is Clarence.

This reminds me of my childhood. How my mom always makes us sit together and watch the movie when it comes on NBC only once a year. How excited she gets. How my Dad pretends to be uninterested and clangs around in the kitchen doing the dishes while we are all gathered together watching and laughing and everyone yells DAD!! all at the same time because we are in the middle of the part where Jimmy Stewart meets his wife at the library but she doesn't recognize him because it's some other dimension of time where he gets a glimpse at what would really have happened had he not been born.

Somehow I think my dad always gets a kick out of that.

But then I listen to the actual lyrics, which people do not often listen to - especially with these classic old tunes that are only sung loudly and in unison and drunk and cold and most people are making out because its new years eve, but the lyrics really do speak volumes.

It's a song about life, troubles, difficulty, and old friends, and old memories.

It's about broken relationships, old girlfriends, old teachers, holding hands in the seventh grade, staying up late at night talking on the phone. It's about kindness. It's about being kind to one another because we all remember good old times that are broken and fading in our minds, but want them to remain no matter how futile the effort.

Standing in a room of people singing this song doesn't really happen often (or ever), and no one really knows the words, and no one is really ever that sentimental, especially when half drunk. Or fully drunk.

But we all wish we were that sentimental. We all wish we didn't need to get drunk. We all wish we could put our arms around each other, totally sober, clear eyed and crying, and sing these words into each others eyes with all honesty and truth and love. Glancing around the room and smiling at all the people who mutually love and forgive each other for everything.

I'll not write out the lyrics here, because I want people to listen to them for themselves, and find that they sing them alone in the car on their way home from work. Quietly wondering if they will ever have one of these moments with their very own loved ones around the Christmas tree and the piano and the eggnog bowl, with the snow coming in the door in bursts along with the late comers whose cars don't have front wheel drive or chains on the tires.

We Can Dance if We Want To

Short story: At the Chick-Fil-A grand opening, they had a DJ from about 5 - 9pm, and he was pretty lame. Actually, I'm sure he could have been decent, but he was probably told to play the standard stupid crap music the whole time. Anyway, after a few hours the crowd was growing uninterested and me and Fatt were trying to think of the best song to request and dance to to liven up the crowd and get the party back crackin.

We decided this song was it, but neither of us had it on our iPods. So I just bought it.

Never again will that moment be missed.

Several Pressing Things

1. American Apparel is stupid. Actually, it's really just the ads that bother me. They are everywhere online and they always have some half naked girl that looks like shes about 17 posing in a bow-tie and a pink leotard. I mean, who really wears that stuff? It's like they started a company where they just find the worst fashion ideas ever and try to bring them back by making them super expensive. I don't get it.

2. Dr. Dog is my new favorite band. A lot of people have attempted to take The Beatles song style and formulas and re-make them into something original and Dr. Dog have done it. Oasis was a little too close to the original Beatles tunes, but Dr. Dog is different, yet similar enough to make them really stand out. There is so much crappy new music coming out it's almost a complete waste of time to ever try to find anything good, but Dr. Dog is the best new band I've heard since My Morning Jacket. Go here or buy their new CD "Fate" on iTunes.

3. Julia said something last night about building altars to remind yourself of the big moments in your life that caused you to turn your eyes back towards Jesus. They used to do it all the time in the Bible but now I think its sort of stopped. They used to build them really high so that if they ever ventured away from home they could turn around and see it standing tall above their town as a reminder. This is an interesting idea. What if we could wake up every day and remember all the major things we've learned in our lives, all the times we were saved or rescued by God, all the big decisions and how he pulled us through? How would our days be different? How could we remind ourselves of that every day? Tattoos, that's how.

4. Am I an asshole? I'm starting to think that I might come off as an asshole. Which is not cool with me because I am generally a pretty mellow guy. They say there's one in every group and if you don't know who it is, it's you. Huh. That's weird. Maybe it is the beard. Is the beard intimidating? Cause it's supposed to be.