The final trick of winter is upon us

At last, I noticed the last of the series of winter’s tricks. I’m a few weeks late in the observation, but we’ve now worked through the full sequence. The sun returns. Then you have a random day or two of unseasonably warm weather. We’ve done that too. And now, these guys.

That’s about as low angle as I can get in coat and tie. But when these emerge, from this particular spot, in a bed between the parking lot, the street, and our campus building, that’s the signature trick of winter here. You want it to be spring; just look at these petals …

… but winter isn’t done with us yet. You don’t know when, or why, but winter will be back. This stems from a 2017 observation. Oh, I was fooled that first winter. The next year, I had that in mind. You want to believe the outliers break your way, but outliers don’t always break your way.

One’s a dot, two’s a line and three is the dawning of understanding a pattern. By the time 2019 rolled around I recognized this for what it was. The winter and first flowers of 2019 didn’t fool me. I was, by then, wise to Mother Nature’s tricks.

Thing is, this has been a remarkably mild winter. It got up to 75 today! It makes you want to believe. But winter isn’t done with us yet.

We are 51 days from spring.

Not many people liked this album, apparently, and most of them were wrong. That’s the takeaway from today’s installment of the Re-Listening project. We’re listening to Seven Mary Three’s third studio album, and that puts us in the early summer of 1997.

My roommate and a friend and I saw them in a small venue the year before. It was very much a post-grunge type show. (Moe opened for them. Their bassist did the stage-dive-crowd-surf thing. His giant clodhopping boots were a danger to society.) And the band was continuing down this route, even as “RockCrown” was flirting with the idea of becoming a concept album. It went to number 75 on the Billboard 200. Two singles hit the top 40 on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts. But critics kinda panned them and the one-hit wonder jokes started right away.

I liked the record.

This one was just uploaded three weeks ago. It’s a 2008 performance. And the original song isn’t acoustic, but maybe it should have been.

The problem, I think, is that most of the songs on this album aren’t designed for airplay. That doesn’t make a project bad, or even unsuccessful. Maybe everyone had misplaced that concept for a time. But if something sticks in your head for whatever reason, it sticks in your head.

There are a few lyrics from this song that still come to mind unassisted — sitting quietly, working in the yard, walking down a sidewalk, they just float to the surface — all these many years later.

These guys are from Virginia, and using a guitar like this is allowed on that side of the mountains, I guess.

This was always a car CD for me. Windows up or down. Better when moving around at a fashionable speed. And I don’t know if it evokes the desired response, but this song always makes smile.

So it is good to hear all of this in the car. And the next CD has started, to my delight, which means we’ll be Re-Listening here again soon. We’ll be going all the way back to something released in 1991, though I picked it up six years late. I enjoy it every time I listen to it, though. I may listen to it twice. But that’s a topic for another day.

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