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Lambchop - "Buttons"
But my favorite song this year, from my favorite record, was "Buttons" by Kurt Wagner's Lambchop. "Buttons" is a song sung by an old guy, and has to be, because It's so heavy with the weight of personal history. It's about arcs you start to see in people you know as years accumulate. Wagner's precise turns of phrase, are delivered to someone you gather he wasn't even great friends with but has known long enough to really consider at length They're accusatory, informed by bad news, but also empathetic, at least a little conciliatory, and willing to be wrong, even if he's too wise at this point for a positive outcome for this guy to be anything but a surprise.
At the risk of sounding phonily, pre-emptively like a very old dude while still hovering near beginning of my 30s, its easier than ever to recognize how this weight of people you've known for years, decades, can gain significance, even in the periphery of your own running autobiography. Seeing close friends succeed or not, stumble, dust off, is even bigger, but that blurry periphery matters too, little life examples you're moved to ponder from time to time. And in an era of easy, empty catch-ups, passive online check-ins, Wagner's table's length empathy seems all the more admirable and important. In short-story detail, his work cut deeper than any other artist's I heard this year.