Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2008
It’s weird listening to this album when I am not miserable. The last year, the year in which I completely embraced this record, I identified with this record so much because I just wanted to retreat to a hunting cabin in Wisconsin and record some sad songs. Listening to it while very happy with life, I realize that I still adore this record for everything that it is. I don’t know how Justin Vernon makes these sounds, or makes his songs sound like this, it’s pretty incredible. I got to see them play twice at SXSW last March. The first time was out on the patio at the Mohawk (my favorite venue in Austin) and it was really awesome, but I randomly ended up seeing them play at Emos the next day and being like “well, shit, Bon Iver is playing, how often am I going to get to see him back home.” Like most SXSW bands, he played pretty much the same set. I liked it, of course I did, but I eventually went to sit down on the bleachers with Nick to just talk or something. And then, fuck, he played “Creature Fear” at the end, which he hadn’t played the night before and I immediately rose to my feet and ran to the stage. It was so beautiful, god, it broke me down. Anyway, that’s my Bon Iver story. I spent a lot of my life with this record last year and I don’t really want to talk about any of it. It’s embarrassing, but this record is like, what Alkaline Trio was for me in high school: it got me through the hard shit I didn’t ever think was gonna end and, when it did, I still had absolute respect for the songs that got me through it (except for the last two Alkaline Trio albums, which are atrocities). “I’ll be holding all the tickets, and you’ll be holding all the fines.” Every line on this record is that good, fuck. Seriously, if you have not heard this, even if you deny anything that Pitchfork says is good, sometimes they are right because sometimes records deserve universal acclaim.