I don’t care who knows it: I really (really) like the new album by the Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten. I have a feeling that it’s kind of uncool to like the Gaslight Anthem; they’re a little Springsteen-y, not complicated or challenging like The Tallest Man on Earth or Of Montreal (both of whom I also love), and they remind me of blue jeans and white t-shirts and old cars with push-button radios.
But: this kind of music works for me as the end of summer draws near. It’s angsty, yet hopeful. I look back on the preceding sun-filled months and regret all the fun that I didn’t have, yet I am excited and invigorated by the crisp days ahead and their infinite promise of accomplishment. Of achievement! Of IMPROVEMENT!! And, songs like those on Handwritten give me the chance to sing along loudly (and poorly), to lament lost youth, and to feel a little like James Dean (in a totally middle-aged lady kind of way).
…and all of the above I used as a self-indulgent introduction to the playlist I used in spin class last Friday. Without really planning it, the list is all about grabbing life NOW, taking chances NOW, jettisoning the bullshit NOW.
The lead-off track, Marc Antony’s “Viviendo,” urges us to feel every moment—even if it hurts; the new Pink track (God help me with my shameful love of Pink) is battle cry to us to get ourselves out of shitty situations; and the gorgeous “When Your Mind’s Made Up” is a cautionary tale about what we lose when we can’t see past our own pain. For me, this group of tunes is a finger-wagging admonition of my own pettiness with a great beat.
I’ll sign off with the title track from Handwritten, a song that encourages us to put our own unique stamp on whatever we do. Happy riding!