Many thanks for creating Janglin Souls, a much-needed tribute to a musical group that is so much more than that. I’m 33, married with two children (a 9-year-old and a 1-month-old that we just adopted). My two baby boys!
I came from a pseudo “rough” upbringing, I was fortunate enough to come out “OK” and meet the most amazing partner (my wife Carrie). I have the job, and house, and car, blah, blah, blah. Something was always missing, I mean always. Maybe I didn’t know it, but it certainly was a void.
I remember the exact moment that I first heard Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I had finally started opening myself up to connecting more with nature and trying to overcome the bullshit that is typical Americana, money, stuff, vanities, etc.
I had purchased a kayak to hit a local lake and fish from it. I had been out a few times and it was so peaceful, a slightly less molested space in the world. I was driving out to the lake listening to NPR (here I was a lifetime staunch fraternity alumni Republican) headed out to a lake to kayak and fish. The weather was amazing. I had every window open and was taking in the rural Ohio farmlands. I turn the radio on and it is an interview and song session with this band I had never heard of. At first the DJ was interviewing who I now know to be Alex Ebert. His voice sounded familiar to me and ironically, I thought it was Ryan Gosling (the actor) — like maybe he had formed a band or something. So the first song they play is Man on Fire, and I nearly started to cry. Everything, and I mean every single thing in my life changed that day. The lyrics are intoxicating! This is what I needed; it was divine intervention! In the past three years since that day, those three ESMZ albums are just about all I listen to (plus the “Alexander” solo album as well).
My entire way of thinking has changed. It’s like this filter, this mask has been lifted from my mind, body, and soul! The greens are greener, and the sweets are sweeter.
Last summer, I had the honor of working backstage security in the artist tents at the Gentlemen of the Road Tour in Troy, Ohio (long story, as I’m not a security guard). I spent hours right there with the entire band. Wow man! What a trip; I didn’t bother them or act like a super fan; I just drank it in.
I want so much more for everyone around me now, especially my sons. Through Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, I have learned that life is everything, and everything is life. Slow down, take it in, and just love. Dance and love, and smile and surround yourself with the same.