This is not a music blog. But I realize I do go off on these music tangents quite often. I mean, it makes sense… I work with music all week, and I write about it, and there always seems to be something playing while I drive (and boy, do I drive a lot.)

So yeah. Music’s pretty important to me. And in an effort to share the melodic joy with you without overdoing it, I thought I’d try introducing a weekly bit called Music Monday. It’s totally a longform rip off of the #musicmonday Twitter meme, but I think it’ll be a fun regular sort of feature. We’ll see what happens! :)

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I was going to start with some reflections of 2009 favorites, but changed my mind. Instead, I’d rather talk about the first concert of the year… and what a great kick-off to 2010 it was!

Heavy and Light, hosted by To Write Love on Her Arms, appears to be an annual fixture in Orlando. Makes sense, since it’s the city where TWLOHA got its start. Last year was amazing, but this year… well, lets just say this year had me sold from the start. (as a self-proclaimed fangirl experiencing the withdrawals of a 2009 without an Anberlin show, I would have gone for Stephen Christian alone.)

Highlights for sure:

– Aaron Marsh’s darkly serious, yet tongue-in-cheek funny cover of Paramore’s “Misery Business,” followed by a surprising duet with Aaron Gillespie: Underoath’s “Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape” Didn’t see those coming.

– Stephen Christian giving UCF a shout-out (“Anybody from UCF? This one’s for all two of you.”) and making fun of Polk County. I love inside jokes.

– The way the artists all performed, joked, and simply had fun together. Whether it was Zach Williams and Aaron Gillespie pairing up for “Where the Streets Have No Name” or Mat Kearney’s “Hey, I met this fiddle player backstage and asked her to play a song with me!” bit, it’s fun to see people do more than just play their own stuff and get off-stage. Adds to the spontaneous, relaxed atmosphere.

– The encores! At the end of Heavy and Light, all the artists come play a song together. Last year, it was “A Little Help from My Friends” by The Beatles. This year, it was a double treat of “Stand by Me” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” So much fun!

– It didn’t feel like a “scene” show. Which is great for me… love the music, but I always feel out of place when I’m surrounded by emo kids and hipsters. This was more like something everyone could connect with and enjoy.

Downsides… well… 4.5 hours is a loooooong time for any show, and that was with everyone playing only 4 – 6 songs each. The rapid-fire short sets kept it moving, but sometimes, I just wanted to hear a little more from my favorites.

And I’m sorry Mr. Tworkowski, I know you want to be president of the Anis Mojgani fan club, and I really wanted to like the poetry part… but in the end, it just didn’t do it for me. Does that make me an evil elitist literature snob? I hope not.

I won’t ramble on and on. If you want, you can still watch the whole thing on SyncLive as it was webcast Saturday night. It was a great night that represents all that TWLOHA is about, and will definitely be something I’ll look forward to every January.

(This review was so much better in my head. :P)

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