I haven't written in a long time. Over two months. Fortunately for me, they've been an exciting two months and there's still a lot more coming up. I've got two concert reviews, one now and one later this week. Both were amazing shows from guys I've been a fan of for as long as I can remember. For anyone who hasn't listened to Ace Enders or Jimmy Eat World, I would strongly recommend it.
I found out just two days ago about this show. It kind of just fell in my lap, and I'm so glad I did. Today I hitched a ride with a friend to the FYE record store on Broad Street to see Ace Enders in a record release show/signing. We showed up an hour early and pre-ordered his album "When I Hit The Ground" which is due out next week sometime. Then we sat for an hour, just waiting to see Ace.
For anyone who doesn't know, Ace Enders is the former frontman of The Early November and I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business. When I was growing up, my best friend and I would sit in his basement on the Drive-Thru Records website with all The Early November songs streaming on repeat. They're one of those bands that I'll always just love, because they were such a big part of my adolescence, if nothing else. But there's something about Ace's voice, with years of blasting out of the speakers of my car and running through the wires of my earbuds, that's always going to make me smile.
Over the years I've seen Ace with The Early November, I Can Make A Mess, on his own, and with his new band, Ace Enders and A Million Different People, countless times. I met him at Warped in like '02 and he signed the white studded belt I was wearing (why?), which was promptly stolen back from its original owner. When The Early November broke up, I literally cried at the last show. Faster than I could start to miss his music though, Ace did a solo tour. He played a small show which was more personal than any show I'd ever been to. He played my request (Salvy), gave me his broken guitar string, and checked out my friend's Early November tat. He also took my picture for the first Ace album (which he later lied to me about losing). Then he came around again, as Ace Enders and A Million Different People. After an unforgettable show with Good Old War, my friends and I gave him a t-shirt with New Jersey on it that I stenciled and sprayed. Which brings me to today.
After an hour of sitting, Ace showed up and came down the steps to the small playing area that they had roped off for him. Sitting in the swivel chair that FYE provided, Ace asked the store manager if everyone could move under the ropes and sit as close as they could, just to hear and see better. He played a good amount of songs, mostly newer stuff. He did play a few throwbacks, though. Some of the highlights were "1000 Times A Day," which, for anyone who hasn't heard it, will give you the chills every time, and "Reaction," my personal favorite Ace song, especially live with help of the audience. He played about ten songs, and the best part was that it was for me and about thirty other people. All sitting cross-legged at his feet, like we were at a campfire and he was just leading the songs. And even then, he wasn't afraid to raise his voice when the songs called for it, to the surprise of all the people in the store who were there to actually buy CDs.
After the show ended on the nostalgic note of "Ever So Sweet", I was third in line to have my lyric booklet signed and to shake Ace's hand. He gladly had a brief conversation on the phone with my girlfriend and assured me that I'd catch him wearing the shirt I gave him sometime, possibly even in a photo shoot. I don't really believe him (he's lied to me before), but I don't really care. The man's music has changed my life and I'm eternally grateful. I love him and I'll never pass up an opportunity to see him perform. So I'll be there when he's opening for The All-American Rejects this spring, and when he's headlining, too. I'll always be there because his songs have always been there for me.
"I've been thinking of splitting up Christmas to see everyone I'd like to see. And you're first on that list, you're the lotto I hit, you're the star at the top of the tree."
Favorite Christmas songs of all-time:
10. Christmas Lights- Daphne Loves Derby
9. Ex-Miss- New Found Glory
8. Forget December- Something Corporate
7. Oh Holy Night- Brand New
6. Happy Christmas (War is Over)- Bert McCracken and Street Drum Corps
5. Alone This Holiday- The Used
4. Jingle Bells- Barenaked Ladies
3. Winter Wonderland- Hellogoodbye
2. Splitting Up Christmas- Kevin Devine
1. Last Christmas- Jimmy Eat World
I have a ridiculously extensive collection of Christmas songs and albums, and these are the songs that stand out to me for one reason or another. Some of these bands I don't really like anymore, but I'll always be attached to these particular songs. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Keep it together.
First entry. I'm not sure what the point is other than that I like to write and think that some of the things I have to write are worthy of both being written and read. I'll basically just be writing about the concerts I go to and albums I hear. Since this is the first entry I figure I'll just establish what is to come on this blog.
Recently I've seen All Get Out, Dead Confederate, Kevin Devine, and Manchester Orchestra together at the Northstar Bar, as well ass Good Old War and Ace Enders together at the Trocadero Balcony. Both were great nights and I'll be posting reviews of each soon.
Also, I've been listening to The Score- Songs for a Halfway Home, Anthony Green- Avalon, and Right Away Great Captain- The Eventually Home. Reviews of each album will be coming soon as well.
Later I'll come up with an agenda of things I want to listen to and shows I want to see soon also. Jimmy Eat World, Craig Owens, and Two Tongues are just a few names I'll throw out there. For now, keep it together.