Over the weekend, while I lay on my deathbed, Kates and I caught a PBS showing of an "American Masters" episode featuring -- drum roll -- "Troubadours."

Don't know it? Watch the trailer ...

Annnnnnnnnd I've been on a Carole King/James Taylor kick ever since.

I stumbled on the documentary as I was flipping through the TV channels Saturday night. When I discovered it, it was already half-finished, but I was instantly mesmerized. I looked through the channel guide to find another showing in hopes of catching the whole thing. ... 1 a.m. Bam. DVR. Record. And Kates and I watched it in its entirety Tuesday night.

To hear Carole, James and the array of Laurel Canyon musicians tell the stories of the world famous Troubadour and their rise on the music charts was fascinating. Their stories added a whole new dimension to the songs, with a heart and freshness I hadn't heard before.

The documentary also made me wish Kates and I could do our night with James Taylor all over again. It's sad how those kinds of memories can blur and fade so fast. One of the reasons I blog and journal.

My vinyl of "Tapestry" has never sounded as good in my ears as it has these last couple days. And hearing Carole's daughter talk about the impact "So Far Away" had on her as an 8-year-old while her mother was gone for months touring -- it's a wonder I didn't listen to it more during those months two years ago that I spent away from Kates and Phoebe. And yet, hearing the song now rekindles the emotions of that time, not to mention the frustrations now of being hundreds of miles from our extended families.
So far away
Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn't help to know you're just time away

Keeping with the music theme, I also caught Coldplay's special New Year's Eve performance on "Austin City Limits" this week. Their first round was an instant classic, and their latest stood up just as well.

I've read a lot of mixed reviews about Coldplay this last year, about "Mylo Xyloto" (which I've not yet heard in its entirety) and the band's so-called identity crisis. This passage from The Washington Post is one that's stuck with me ...
Every Coldplay album seems a battle for its soul, between the stirring, philosophical, electronic band its members want it to be and the stodgy, sappy, British band it is. More than anything Coldplay has done, “Mylo Xyloto” exemplifies that push-pull.
Admittedly, the reviews have shaken my interest in the band a bit, and their recent SNL performances left me a little disappointed in the midst of an otherwise classic showing by Emma Stone.

So the ACL performance will go down as a redeemer that showed Coldplay, at its heart, is a great rock band. All the goods were there -- from "Yellow" to "In My Place" to "Paradise" to "Clocks," which maintains a place on my list of greatest songs, ever --  and every song kicked with more emotion and energy than the one before it.

The chemistry among the band members and with the audience was most striking. By the time the boys fired up "Viva La Vida" and had the crowd pumping its fists and chanting the chorus, I was practically doing the same in our living room.

Here's a couple good reads about the show ...
a In Defense Of Coldplay ... You can call me ball-less for liking Coldplay, too. I don't care.
a Paste: Coldplay New Year's Eve: An Austin City Limits Special

You can watch show in its entirety here ...

I did a lot of rambling to get my point for this post, thoughts that have been bubbling in me for weeks. And the music, as always, seemed to be the perfect kick start to putting it on paper, if you will ...

I haven't been myself these last few months, with pressures of work, grad school and family life all mounting and stretching me too thin at times. Our move to The 'Ville has changed me in many, many ways. Some for the better, some for the worse.

But in 2012, I resolve to get back in touch with who I am. To do a better job of living in the moment, and embracing it. To not sweat the small stuff. To laugh more. To be more spontaneous. To be more grateful for life's blessings. To get back to doing some of the things I really enjoy but have been lost in some of the chaos of these last two years. To reconnect with family and friends. To do better job of living and letting go.

So here we go, 2012. Let's rock 'n' roll.

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