The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving
Sub City, 2000
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2005
The Weakerthans are one of my top 3 favorite bands. It's an all-time sort of thing. They eased my transition out of punk rock (front man John K Samson played bass in the political punk band Propagandhi which made it OK) and into music for people with more sensitive hearts. And indie rock, I guess. I have a hard time picking a favorite record of the four they've released, but I always come back to this one when I think of which one is their best. It's the one I fell in love with first, so it has sentimental value (although Reconstruction Site is a close second, and I did break down weeping to Reunion Tour when I thought about being a full-time blogger, and I can't decide which one I will put on my best of the decade list (which, I have decided, can only include one entry per band)). “Aside,” the bands most notable song (it was featured at the end of Wedding Crashers, for some odd reason), came very, very close to being my song of the decade. On a personal record, it's the most important song of the 00s for me, but it was edged out by a song that I just could not ignore. When I think of high school and every time I ever felt aimless or broken in the last ten years, “Aside” is always the song I listen to. “I'm leaning on a broken fence between past and present tense” is the most perfect distillation of uncertainty, and being ok with that uncertainty. This is a song about leaving, and ultimately I think this is the reason why I've been so adamant about not staying in the midwest. It doesn't necessarily advocate moving, but I can imagine listening while driving across the country with a Uhaul in tow. Honestly, this is a perfect record. One of those records where every line is something I want to post on my Xanga in 2003. It's an album for the dead of winter and one for the hours between day and sunset and night and sunrise. These are songs I want to sing to someone I love. Anyway, I'm getting sappy, which is something that always happens when I listen to this record. It's one of those “frameworks labeled 'home'” he sings about on my favorite song, “This is a Fire Door Never Leave Open.” This reminds me of Olathe East and the folly of my relationships senior year. This reminds me of riding my bike on the train that runs along Indian Creek in the evenings in the summertime. This reminds me of falling in love and having my heart torn into a million pieces. It reminds me of my bedroom basement of my parents house, with this record coming out of the stereo constantly. This is a band I've never been able to get over, one that I'm going to carry with me for a long, long time and probably forever. This record is always forgiving and understanding, and when it's becoming harder and harder to rely on people and trust people and where friends are few and far between, this record is a good reminder of what's important.
This poorly constructed music video for "Aside" reminds me of something I could have made in high school, what with all the drama and all.