“We watched ‘Talladega Nights’ every night for two years,” Brian Fallon told the New York Times recently. “That movie was the only normal thing we had.” As of tonight, I’d played Gaslight Anthem’s new album, Handwritten, about once a day every day since it came out. Friend Casey tweeted how it sounded like an album of men uncomfortably moving furniture. I wouldn’t dispute that characterization at points. But I did think the other day, out of nowhere: Even when you’re moving furniture, you’re thinking about stuff.
Casey was in town this weekend, and when the Daily contingent grabbed dinner last night, it was great to be around friends who made you think hard about music. You could like different sounds. You could disagree. But you needed to have your reasons. So, when I’d been playing the album last week, when my tickets to their December show in D.C. arrived today, when I loved this throwaway-but-kinda-badass poem in the New Yorker upon rereading it recently, I found my reasons. Even on the grittier days living served us, when I was lifting, sweating, grunting, and moving the literal or, more likely, figurative furniture for reasons no one would recall, grasp, or appreciate, I wanted wheels. Two minutes of howling? Yeah.