Against Me! is for me and probably for you too

For a few years, I went to shows 2 or 3 times a week (the heyday of HCT). I live in Nashville, so something’s always playing somewhere. For a few concurrent years, I worked in a venue that has live music every night.

I confess: I got a little burned out. Like all good things, you can even have too much live music.  I hate being at a bar where a unique experience is possible and I’m not genuinely appreciating it. I’m now extremely selective. Even if I really love a band, sometimes I’ll skip a show if I’ve seen them before.

I’ve been anticipating the new Against Me! album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues—so much excitement that I got the release date wrong. Then last week while disconsolately browsing, I discovered that Against Me! was already on tour and in my fair city on Sunday night. I fretted. I pouted. I am old and must be at work far too early on Monday to manage a late Sunday show. Then, miraculously, for the first time my work gave me Monday off for MLK day.

I immediately bought tickets and anticipated the Against Me! show all weekend. I invited friends. Both my first and second invitees ended up too busy working to go with me and no one spoke up in the desperate round of texts I sent at the last minute. I decided to go alone. Sigh. And then I started my period. At 8:45, before a 9:00 show, I was sitting on the couch crampy, dejected and ready to eat the cost of the tickets. But I rallied, put on a clean shirt and tie, swiped on a little lipstick, and drove over the river.

I knew I’d made the right decision immediately. Inside the door were eager young men desperate for one more ticket. Hooray, I had one! They bounced around me like happy puppies, and into the crush of the sold-out show we went. Drink in hand, I found a place to stand with pretty good view. I missed the first act because of my wibbling, but the second opening band, The Sidekicks, was great. By the time Against Me! came on, I had shifted to an excellent spot: a great view and no one crashing into me.

I’ve been to shows alone, but it’s always when I know the band, where I run into people I know. This time, I didn’t even look for people I knew. The room was packed and dark, and I settled to focus entirely on the stage. It was so good: no friends talking through unknown but good opening bands, no wrangling over who’s going to the bar. Isn’t that what happens when you’re out with friends? Even when you’re busy watching the band, there’s all this peripheral activity. Can they get you a drink? Is someone going to the bathroom? Did we lose someone? No, she’s over there talking. Is everyone okay? Is anyone too drunk? It’s always something. But at the show alone I finally felt like I was able to really pay attention and whoa, did I pick the right show to finally be present for.

Photo by: Rebecca Smeyne, from Spin.comLaura Jane Grace is charismatic and electrifying on stage. I’ve never been so engaged in a performance or felt so emotionally connected to a performer. She seems so happy to be performing and I felt so happy to be receiving that performance, grinning like a fool every time she smiled. Without hyperbole, this was a transcendent, life-changing experience for me and I couldn’t have done it any way but alone.

I rediscovered what I’d been missing from live music—not just enjoying the music and performance, but the sense that I’m living through a unique experience. A door opened to a room I’d forgotten was in my house, a space filled with feeling and music. A large, lost piece of myself has been wedged back in place.

You’re sitting there thinking, “But Cricket, what about the damn music? Is this entire post about you?”

Well, friend, here it is: The music is a fucking emotional chainsaw, ripping right through your soul. The songs tap straight into a base sense that something isn’t right in the world, in ourselves. The rage, isolation and despair that so many people feel comes through the music, raw and incredibly intense.

The songs are new on this album, but many have been performed for awhile now. The audience seemed to know all of them from shows or advance album copies or the magic of the internet. After the show, jonesing for more, I spent an hour on YouTube finding recent performances so I could get more of that potent fix.  (Here’s some for you: Dead Friend, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Unconditional Love.)

As I write this, I have the album on repeat. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a love letter to those dark places that you manage to rise above. Like all Against Me! albums, it speaks to my rage and sense of injustice, but this time it’s more personal, because this album leaves me feeling understood. It’s a spectacular feat for a songwriter to take something as personal as gender dysphoria and make it universally accessible.

Laura Jane Grace managed to put hope into every single song. I wept through my first full listen to the album and came through ready to get up and fight, get up and face the world again. I feel an undercurrent of joy through all the bleakness of this album. But then again, after seeing Grace on stage being as she was born to be, experiencing her incredibly joyous energy, maybe some of her joy stuck with me.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues is available for a listen on NPR.

You can buy it everywhere now, but I suggest buying it from the band.

I’m living in a country music graveyard

Because Nashville is, well, Nashville, everything in this video after the 2:45 mark was filmed in my backyard.  Not my metaphorical, my neighborhood, kind of backyard, but literally the property that I own that is behind my house.

The grave is still there, you can clearly see the rectangle outline of it.  I get great pleasure of pointing it out to guests, that it’s a grave, and then not explaining anything else to why there’s a grave.  Now the secret is out, it’s where I made Shooter bury himself in my back 40.


I think I spend more time trying to ignore SXSW than actually thinking about it.  Because I’m jealous.  I’m not shy to admit it.  I mean like holy smokes today from noon to 7pm there’s a party with John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Corb Lund, and ♥Austin Lucas♥.  Do I want to be sitting in my office, whining about how cold it is in Nashville and wishing today was Friday already, or do I want to be drinking bourbon in Austin and seeing a damn show like that?  Why did I even ask that as a question?  Sigh.  So maybe I’ll suck it up and go see some Nashville music tonight.  Raise a glass with my fellow music lovers who for one week a year are in the wrong town.  Tomorrow’s hangover hopefully will come with enough perspective to realize why Nashville is the best the other 51 weeks of the year.

Because I’m not the only one feeling left out, there’s the awesome Couch by Couchwest.  Which has the exceptional John Phelan from Truckstop Darlin’ singing and exclusive song called, “Remember Me.”  The last time John was on my couch I did not get a song out of it.  Something that will need to be rectified the next time he’s down this way.

CXCW also has my friends, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper, singing a new song, “Ancient History.”  If you aren’t familiar, I highly recommend catching them live if they ever show up near you or follow the Red Beet Records site which often has live, streaming concerts from these boys.

There’s also my neighbors, Doug and Telisha Williams (though by this definition, Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, and Austin Lucas are also my neighbors) playing, “Kitchen Light,” in their car right before heading out to SXSW.  My jealousy is only alleviated by the fact that I know they have to come back home and I’ll see them soon, hopefully right around the corner from me.

Sam Lewis, oh Sam, come back to Nashville and break my heart.  It would be totally worth it. Sigh. Sam might be on his way to stealing the hearts right off Austin Lucas’ name in my posts (never!)  Sam’s been recently out with the Kenny Vaughan Trio for but you can see him sing “In My Dreams,” on CXCW.  In my dreams indeed.  Come sing for me, Sam.

Plus CXCW has all these bands waiting for you to discover them.  I’m falling all over some kids who aren’t my neighbors, who I don’t know, from Florida, Have Gun Will Travel, singing my favorite Muppets song, “Rainbow Connection.”

And bonus, ♥Austin Lucas♥ (who kicked off the first ever CXCW) singing “Alone in Memphis.”  Sigh.  Oh to be at that party in Texas today.  But if you can’t go lose a few hours at Couch by Couchwest, they’ve got you covered.

There was some holy shaking indeed

Two Irishmen walk into my bar – wait, this is not a joke! Or maybe it is in some surrealist way. So, two Irishmen walk into my bar and I end up in barn at 3 am, drinking grape soda and triple sec from a coffee cup. Yes, yes, my life is actually more like a circus than the average American dream. I know. But, the upshot is the fantastic music I get to hear, and let’s just ignore the painful downside of a grape soda and triple sec hangover.

Sipping fuzzy grape liquor in that barn, I heard some songs that made my knees weak. Songs that soared far above the barn, the crap drink, and the late night, to shower back down in a sound that was ramshackle good. Songs so new they will not be heard for a while yet. But do not drown in your envy just yet! All hope is not lost!! Because there was an album before which has been melting my heart and cleansing my soul and soothing my hideous grape soda induced headache (surely it was the soda and not the liquor). Gavin Glass and the Holy Shakers.

Here at HCT I am mostly just a giddy and gleeful spaz about music I like. I have considered filling my posts with endless anecdotes of how music matches and shapes the endless saga of my doomed relationships. Or I could tie everything back to the glory and wonder that is East Nashville, the pumping, bleeding, broken heart of Music City. But I generally try to restrain myself from filling your head with these unnecessary poetics, but sometimes it seems impossible. Gavin Glass is making it impossible today. Don’t blame this on the hideous grape soda concoction, oh, no this is all inspired by Gavin Glass’s words and music.

East Nashville is a magnificent and mysterious place. A place where anything that can happen. Sure Glass is from Dublin, and was only in town for 7 days to lay down some tracks, but it is the strange magic of East Nashville that led me to be sitting there in that barn with him. It is through that peculiar alchemy of East Nashville, and the places it takes me and the things it brings, that I am now listening to the Holy Shakers on repeat.

There’s got to be a special name for this sound. What do you call Americana, roots rock that is Irish? Since traditional Irish music is the bones of old time music, which is arguably the nervous system of modern country (sorry, that metaphor does suck), if you take those bones, those nerves and return them to the land of their birth and remake the influences of the influences, do you then have something Frankensteinian and yet cleanly reborn? Yes indeed. And even if it isn’t exactly new, it’s fresh, crisp, smart and very fulfilling. Or at least it’s all those things if it’s Gavin Glass and the Holy Shakers.

It could be, and probably has been, said that there is something vaguely Ryan Adamsesque about this album. Though I think it is more Whiskeytown, Wilco, and Elvis (both Presley and Costello). It is an album that is lyrically pretty spectacular and I think because of that you can’t resist the Ryan Adams comparison (even from me who would smite Mr. Adams if she could).

The album opens with “Underneath the Stars” which is a very smooth song, ready for radio with its slidey opening guitar and the crescendo of horns at the end and yet there’s a Springsteen undercurrent here that saves it from sounding to clean. “Some days pull on your heart strings/drag you into the fire of burned out desire/messy situations, undone obligations, you are crying like a child who did no wrong” sings Glass, and immediately he has me. This is a song about losing your way when you didn’t know where you were going to begin with. It’s about having forgotten who you are and finding yourself again when you realize love is gone. Or maybe it isn’t about that at all. But every second of this song feels to me like that day you wake up and realize you’ve been with the wrong person, in the wrong time and place, and now you are fucked, but somehow much, much freer for having finally realized it. And now you set out to start all over again.

There’s a definite old time jazziness to “Sweet Ophelia”, both in the instrumentation and the incredible backing vocals. “Ragdoll” is faintly twangy, sweet and strangely sentimental kiss-off song. It has a gorgeous duet with Cathy Davey. It’s a beautifully done tale of the guy walking away, and yet the girl gets her sweet and sassy word in, too. I’m not even exactly sure what “Red Dress” is about but I know it makes me swoon in a girly way, secretly wishing that I had a red dress and some boy would sing this song about me. It contains some nifty guitar riffs that might knock that red dress right off, too. “Jukebox Rag” is filled with bright, hilly, twangily cheerful banjos, mandolins and thumpy, toe-tappin’ on the porch rhythms. “Older Than My Years” is swelled and filled with delicious keyboard sounds and the rest of the band echoing the guitar line that so neatly reiterates the sense of loss and pain in this song. “This constellation spells your name” runs through “Intention” and I feel ripped open like I’m reminded of why I got every tattoo on my body and how I felt at exactly the moment I realized that some new love wasn’t love at all. The beginning of “Silently Mine” has a slow, steady, mellow rock start which slides into some grandly Hawaiian steel guitar just as Glass sings about “the queen of broken-hearted fools” (do I even need to explain why I like that line?).

The harmonica that opens “Southern Comfort” sets the song in the sweaty, deep South, until Glass’s vocals delightfully rock you back to Dublin. This song could be cheesy, with it’s drinking metaphors and yet something holds it back, perhaps the instrumentation here, or the fact that by track 6 I am so completely smitten with Glass’s lyrics and singing that I may no longer be thinking clearly. Much like when I drink too much whiskey. Not surprisingly the combination of the two words ‘smitten’ and ‘whiskey’ is how I ended up with most of my worst boyfriends. Luckily for me Gavin Glass is here to write songs to remind me of the good and the bad of those relationships, and make me feel like I’ve risen from the ashes. “Southern Comfort” ends with a round of “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” which sneaks the Soul sound into the song and somehow completely validates my love for Glass.

The hellfire sermon at the end of “Wrecking Ball” is itself damn spectacular, though the song could stand on its own without it. This is a swinging rock song and the drums drive your heart up as they rise, the backing vocals here have driven in from the 60s to remind us of rock ‘n roll when the gloss wasn’t yet worn off yet, and you could fall forever into the sound of a song. The horns make me want to hit the Stax CD collections as soon as I am done listening to these fine, fine Holy Shakers. The horns slow down, the choir comes up and we spin into that hellfire sermon, sounding like it’s coming across radio waves from 70 years in the past.

Wow, that was one of the more self indulgent reviews I’ve ever written, and you know that’s saying something, since self indulgent is all I do when it comes to music. I feel like I need a smoke after that. And some whiskey. And maybe another listen to Gavin Glass and the Holy Shakers. I’m sure I wasn’t convincing here, but that’s okay, you check out Glass on his Myspace page and give some of the songs a listen yourself, then head to iTunes and buy ’em. And forthcoming is Gavin Glass and the Sacred Thorns (the tracks I heard in the barn studio), when it arrives I will surely let you know with as much spastic excitement as I can muster. And y’all know I can muster quite a lot.

The voice that launched a thousand ships

Amanda ShiresWest Cross Timbers

I admit that I am a sucker for attractive female singers, and especially so when those singers’ voices cause them to sound like they could crumble into nothing at any second. Oh my god does Amanda Shires sound wounded. On West Cross Timbers she sings in such an emotionally fragile tone you could almost begin to feel bad for listening. Hell, even I started to feel bad about the way I’ve treated girls.

On the fast paced opening track, “Upon Hearing Violins,” Shires sounds like she’s havin’ a hell of a time while condemning a former love. However, even the giddy piano, bordering on being silly, can’t squelch the anguish in her voice. Aside from just a couple songs West Cross Timbers has a very delicate and almost fairy-like quality to it that is underscored by Shires’ trembling vocals. Quivering, “Darling, I need you now,” she is easily able to evoke the strongest emotions from listeners. Were it not for this delicate delivery and quite possibly (but most likely) her pixie-like appearance I doubt I would be enjoying this as much as I do. [Shires is truly the cutest thing ever.  I love this album, but I suspect even I am influenced by her considerable charms.  I can’t be sure I wouldn’t judge it differently if I had never seen her live.–Cricket]

The first time I heard Amanda Shires’ name was upon discovering the Thrift Store Cowboys, of which she is a founding member. I caught them playing with Cory Branan as backing band but I was disappointed as she was absent from their lineup that night. After hearing this record I wish she had shown up. Since I have exhausted researching the exact sound I like to the Nth degree I’m glad to find another female performer I enjoy but, as is the case with most female singers, I wish there was more aggression[I’m amused that your comprehensive list of links for the sound you like is so very near mine.  I guess that’s why I brought you here.–Cric] In fact it’s in the very few moments when she breaks from the frail softness of her songs that Shires shines brightest, although perhaps she is expecting her accompaniment to shoulder some of that weight. Aiding in her voice’s emotional pull Shires plays a variety of string instruments including fiddle and ukulele. Soft picking and dreamy western swing occupy much of the album, although I can’t really call it a western swing record. This is girly music about girly things and I still like it, so that’s sayin’ somethin’.

At first listen the content of West Cross Timbers might seem simple and perhaps childish. In fact the lyrics are much darker than I had first gathered, and the song structures lend themselves to exactly how Shires sings. The very slight and tender, playful picking really does make itself comfortable next to her voice and lyrically she makes several bold and forlorn stands such as, “Rings and chains they’re all the same.” On, “Put Me To Bed,” Shires purrs, “I wish you’d carry me home/And put my drunk ass to bed.”

Any girl who can get away with singin’ that and actually make me want to do it has somethin’ goin’ on worth checking out.

[I defy you all to see Miss Shires and not fall immediately in love.  She’s at SXSW this week, so if you are around those parts, be sure to go check her out.–Cricket]

As seen from the inside out

Under a magnificent, sprawling tree, there is an unusual house on a mysterious street in Nashville. On this funny little street the weather is never quite like it is in the surrounding neighborhood, sun shines through rain clouds and snow falls from the clear blue sky, sometimes only on the extraordinary little house. The light there, day, night or dawn, always seems slightly purple. The grass is scraggly and pathetic but gigantic flowers bloom all around. In this house lives a mysterious little family, The Joiners. Does the odd little house on the peculiar little street make the Joiners different from everyday people, or is it the Joiners that make the street strange?

No, people, I haven’t completely lost my mind. It’s just that on stage or off The Joiners seem, to me, like characters from a book. A novel I read as child when I was too young to understand exactly what was going on. When I close my eyes and imagine them, I see the scene above. You see, the Joiners are my friends. It’s like old home week on HCT sure, but the truth of the matter is, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. I live in a mystical, magnetic center of music talent (East Nashville) and I know a lot people. I can’t cover them all, because, honestly, I don’t like all the music my friends make, or it just isn’t the HCT groove. But every now and then some things come along that can’t be passed over, they are just too good.

A few weeks ago I was in a brightly colored, well-loved, neighborhood bar watching The Joiners play. I was completely thrown over by their music. I don’t know what I expected, but lovely moody, emotionally complex, musically simple songs was what I got. After the show I told Mr. Joiner that those were some of the saddest songs I’d ever heard. “Sad?” he replied, “but they are full of hope!” No, I maintained, sad sad sad. Fast forward a couple weeks and those crazy kids have finished their album, Olives & Oil. I listened. I listened again. I made a copy for my car. I listened a lot. I played it while I cleaned house. While I worked. While I sat around on my porch, drinking and watching traffic go by. The songs are sad, but truthfully, they are full of hope, in their own strange, crooked little house on a shady lane kind of way. Yes, full of hope, sadness, a little twang here and there, a lot of moodiness, and a bunch of love (for the world, for stories, for people), it’s all packed into 10 little songs.

A little known secret about me is that I am a helper. Or I try to be (it doesn’t always work out for me). So right now I’d like to help The Joiners and I’d like to help you, dear readers. It turns out I can do these things simultaneously. You see The Joiners are giving away their album in a free download. And you need good music. So if I hook y’all up, right here, on this blog, then everyone wins!! You get good music, they get more exposure. It’s genius, really. And more than that, I have badgered these lovely kids into giving a mini interview, so you’ll know a little more about them (although after reading some of this, you may wonder why you though you wanted to know more).

The Joiners are Rachel Joiner – drums & vox, Taylor Joiner – guitar & vox and Joe Bidewell – harmonica, accordion, bass & vox. They make me happy, both with their music and just being who they are. They are all great kids. I want to be just like them when I grow up.

Here’s a few questions answered by our (mine and now yours too!) pal, Taylor Joiner:

– So who are you anyway?

We’re the Joiners. I thought you knew that already. You really should’ve done your research before you started this interview.

– Oh I know who you are! You are the guy who is clearly never going to return the book he borrowed months ago.

I’m Taylor. I used to have a band in Athens, GA called Cafeteria. We were poised on the edge of greatness until I lost it and hauled ass. I’m better now. My wife and drummer Rachel is from Birmingham, AL. where she used to play ice hockey on the boy’s team and pursue her love of writing. Our bass player Joe Bidewell used to live at the Chelsea hotel in Manhattan and play keys for Velvet Underground alum John Cale.

– Tell me a story about how you’d imagine your Best Day Ever.

I’d rather tell you about my worst day ever.

– Of course you would.

I was ten and really in need of a Transformer (the toy that turns from car to robot). I called my mom at work and pleaded with her but to no avail. Thinking on my feet, I decided to clean the house from top to bottom before she got home.

Arriving home from work, she was so happy with what I’d done that she rewarded me by taking me to the mall to get the coveted toy. On the way out of the garage we ran over my cat, Mr. Kitty. It was quite violent. My older brother scooped him up in a towel and drove with my now totally freaked out mother to the vet.

They returned twenty minutes later with Mr. Kitty’s blood stained collar.

– Jeez, man, way to bring the room down. Did you bring me tissues for this story too? Or at least a beer to fortify me afterwards?

“Do you still want to go the mall,” my mom asked, pale from the experience and probably pretty worried about me. Looking up at her from the pillow I had buried my face in, I managed through my tears to answer. “Yeah.” We got to the mall only to discover every single store had sold out of Transformers. Not even a GoBot to be found. Dejected, we made our exit, but not before passing my dad eating dinner with his new family in the food court. “We ran over the cat, Dad.” I mumbled, hoping for a little credit for having gone through such a horror. “That’s too bad,” he replied. We turned and left, toy-less and sad. Today, when Rae asks me to clean the house, my reply is simple, “Two words babe: ‘Mr’. and ‘Kitty’.” I think she understands.

– Okay, I think I need a shot of whiskey or something before we go on. You must be trying to punish me for saying your songs were so sad. Okay, next question: There’s been a lot of talk lately about the EVILS of file-sharing. By giving away your new release you are basically going against the entire crazy machine of the industry. Do you think as an artist this hurts you or helps you?

Definitely helps. It costs so much to make a CD to sell, whatever level you’re at, it all gets recouped by whoever paid for it unless you sell a ton. If you’re lucky enough to sell a ton, you had to pay for radio promotion, press promotion, and all the other stuff that goes into it.

Manufacturing for digital release, promotion on the internet, distribution, all that stuff, is much cheaper than making a CD now, so why not give it away? At this point we just want people to hear it. I read somewhere that the philosophy used to be “give away 300 CDs to sell a thousand,” but now is “give away a million CDs to sell a thousand”. We’re lucky if folks download our record, cause after that, they come to the show, buy shirts, and just might plop down a little extra for the vinyl version. Free digital music aides the return of vinyl.

People who like the music enough are happy to pay a few bucks for the version they can use two hands to hold. The art is bigger and the sound is something you can’t digitally recreate. Digital music is convenient but not the best sounding and there are other ways to make a living off of the art. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for folks to find us and get turned on. When we’re Madonna, we’ll see what the milieu looks like then. In the meantime, wanna buy a shirt?

– Who are the bands that you’ve played with or seen recently that you think deserve more attention, either from fans or record labels?

The entire Trey Deuce club. These are East Nashville guys who play in each other’s bands, help each other out by playing shows together, record each other’s music, and basically just support each other however we can.

What’s the best thing about Nashville? The worst?

The best thing here is definitely the talent pool. The best players in the world are here, all genres, hands down. The worst: the air quality. The Indians that lived around the area back in the day used to hunt in the Nashville Basin but never resided here. The name they gave this area meant loosely “Valley of Fever.” I believe they were referring to the havoc this place wreaks on one’s allergies.

– What songs (besides your own) can you not get enough of right now? Does what you are listening to influence the music you are making?

I let Rachel pick the music and then tell her I think it’s terrible.

Honestly, this question always gets me and I’ll tell you why. A couple of years ago I applied for a job at a fancy bistro here in town. The application asked me to name my favorite foods. Of course, they were expecting me to name a bunch of fancy stuff to show off my knowledge of fine food. Knowing this but wanting to be both unique among applicants as well as honest, I wrote “pizza and sandwiches.” Now, I can cook whatever I’m asked to but they wanted to know what I liked to eat, so I told them.

Disappointed in my response, they didn’t hire me (maybe not the only factor but nonetheless, it didn’t help). I mention this cause your readers might want to hear of obscure bands that they might like that they’ve never heard of but I’m not really the audiophile that say, Rae or Joe are. Having said this, I’ll give it a try. Vic Chestnut’s Little had a particular hold on me for awhile. Will Oldam’s brother has a band called Anomoanon and they sing a song called “The Night is So Uncertain” that I like to sing to guys named Frankie who like to party. Rae turned me on to Superdrag the other day and I really like their song “Sucked Out.” I’m sure there’s more but like I said, pizza and sandwiches.

– How do you go about writing songs? / What is your creative process?

When I was in Athens and just getting started, a guy I knew told me to write every song that came to mind down on paper until it was done, or I couldn’t get any further, regardless of how good. Most of the time the song writes itself and I just decide whether it’s any good or not. Keith Richards once likened it to being a radio receiver, dialing around till something good comes in from the ether. I like the way that sounds but let me be the first to say, I’m no Keith Richards. He’s got a longer antennae.

If you were going to die tomorrow and you could only send one last message out into the universe, what would it be?

Drink apple juice cause OJ will kill you.

The album, Olives & Oil, is available for download at the Joiner House. Please, if you take it, go back and leave the Joiners a comment, show them some love and pass the word to your friends who also like good sad songs full of hope.