When Copeland released their 3rd album called Eat, Sleep, Repeat I was in my second year of college. What I find interesting is that Copeland's first two albums were released in the month of March, as Spring is beginning to approach in most parts of the USA. Honestly, most of my happiest memories are associated with those first two albums, and the music is decidedly lighthearted compared to albums 3 and 4. If You Are My Sunshine offered me hope, Eat, Sleep, Repeat offered me a way to cope with heartbreak and pretty much just wallow in sorrow. I wasn't as depressed yet because I was still dealing with the freshness of emotional and mental destruction, and was not in as dark of a place in 2006 as I was in 2008. In fact, I have several fond memories from that year and that time. I saw Brand New twice in one month, and I saw one of the best Warped Tour lineups for 19 year old me that year. I had been enjoying the freedoms college life offers and was just glad to be out of the high school environs. It truly was a special time in my life, and I felt full of adventure, and felt full of invincibility. Then, the storm came.
I'd like to think that everybody has a first love who ends up breaking their heart. It's a much better story than somebody who found love young and never got hurt. In fact, that's almost unrealistic in our society. It's good to get hurt at a young age, because it prepares you for future pain in life.
8 years removed from such heartache, it feels like a different lifetime when that storm destroyed the former me. But without that storm, I wouldn't have drifted to a much more hopeful and safe place. That's a story I'll tell today, and how it intertwines beautifully with what Eat, Sleep, Repeat brought to the table for me.
While 2006 was a pretty hopeful time, the album Copeland released that October deposited itself into my life at a time where I knew things were on the verge of ending with my girlfriend at the time. First, it was a long distance relationship, of which I do not ever recommend for someone to go through unless you're within driving distance of a couple of hours or so. If you have to fly, it's going to end badly. I've only ever seen it work once in my life, and coincidentally, those two people are some of the happiest people I know. But that's the exception to the rule. I was flying to Texas from South Carolina twice a year, and trying to maintain the relationship through means of communication, like AIM chat (this pre-dates facebook chat by a couple of years), and good old fashioned telephones. During that time, my Sanyo flip phone that dropped calls every 15 minutes was a pipeline into what was perceived at the time by many as forbidden love. This was a girl I knew through a band many of you know and love, but we maintained our relationship through the internet and the telephone. What continues to absolutely disarm me is that if it were not for that particular band, I wouldn't even be writing this back story. Nor would I be referencing the very happy couple who made it work. That's how powerful music is. It literally forms bonds between people that can never be separated. As curious as I imagine you are, I'll divulge the name of the band by simply telling you it is synonymous with a common penalty in the game of soccer. Those who read this familiar with this story will know very well who that band was, and who that band remains to be for that close knit group of people.
Looking back on that time in my life, I realize I must have seemed like a hopeless fool, but when you're in love and you feel invincible, you tend to care very little what is thought of you. I was a pioneer on the frontier of foolish love, and I was reveling in it.
I'll admit that at first, Eat, Sleep, Repeat wasn't an album that hooked me. It was very melancholy throughout, and really, a large departure from Copeland's upbeat indie rock from their first two albums. I was still feeling invincible and untamed, and sorta just blew it off for a couple of months. There were good songs, but I was longing for another "California" or "No One Really Wins", not a somber "Where's My Head?" or "Love Affair." Little did I know that the entire album of ESR would completely replace my desires for listening to Copeland's first two records. Happiness was fleeting as I began to see the storm arriving in my life, and ESR really became a soundtrack for utter despair that I'd known nothing of previously.
When I began to see that I wasn't escaping the storm, this album became my anchor through it until it passed. When a person goes through heartbreak, shock is always the first emotion felt. I simply just didn't see this coming because I was blinded by my own feigned invincibility. When I found out I had been cheated on, it broke me. But it also raised up something in me. I'm a spiritual person now, but back then, I hated God and I hated all religions. In a pool of tears in my bed on March 6th 2007, I gave up my life to Jesus Christ, and basically started over, bringing with me the music on Copeland's third album.
In 2007, I actually had a great year in spite of the messy breakup, and it was messy. One, I had new life. Everything before me had died away. And I did feel dead inside at times, but I knew that there was going to be a positive end to all of this eventually. I didn't know it would get worse and darker before it got better in 2009, and as I touched on in the first retrospective I wrote, I wouldn't have made it without Copeland's YAMS. But, in the meantime, I had a timely world to lose myself in until things got better. And this is where Copeland's Eat, Sleep, Repeat impacted me the most.
Love Affair's "Just let me run where I want to run, just let me love who I want" were words literally spoken to me by my ex when I pleaded and begged for us to stay together as naive 19 year old kid. These were words that were spoken to me before this album was released or heard by either of us. And therefore, that song became the soundtrack to my sorrow. It was scripture. I jumped into the ocean and I didn't know how to swim, so I let myself drown.
ESR gave me warnings I ignored with "Careful Now", it made me question my inclinations to cling to what I didn't want to lose with "Control Freak" and gave me an anthem to continue on with the words "live because you love" on "The Last Time He Saw Dorie."
To put it plainly, Eat, Sleep, Repeat is the quintessential breakup album of our generation. I wouldn't have been okay without it. When you go through messy breakups at a young age, you feel like you'll never be able to listen to certain bands again or songs again (this still holds true for some music for me, but for the most part, I largely recovered). For a solid year, I felt like I couldn't listen to albums like DCFC's Transatlanticism. These were sad times, to be sure.
But then "I'd be hanging on her words, like they almost meant a thing" from I'm A Sucker For A Kind Word gave me peace. I could live without a girl who, at the end of the day, meant everything and nothing to me.
It's safe to say we've all been through some sort of breakup in our formative years. Maybe even more recently for some of us. My point in telling this breakup story is to emphasize how crucial it is to turn to music to anchor you through. You won't survive it sans a set of songs to sail you to a safe shore. For me, that album was Copeland's Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Maybe it's something different for you. Maybe it was Relient K's Fivescore and Seven Years Ago, or maybe it was something completely different. Whatever it is, I hope you have a song to keep you well in moments of pain, because we've got plenty of songs to keep us happy as I'll touch on in the next two pieces. Without music we can relate to, our emotions are wasted, and our healing is delayed.
Eat, Sleep, Repeat was integral to forming who I am today, because who I was at the time was being dismantled, and I needed a boat to carry me onward, musically speaking. I look back on that album now and I think of it very differently 8 years later. I stand out now. I found the one who loves me and the one who I love, and I found peace. Here's to hoping someone sees you too when you thought you'd never stand out.
The year was 2008 and the season was Fall. I had never been more depressed in my life than during that year, and especially that season. My professional life was a blithering mess, I had no sense of personal worth, and felt extremely distant and alone from community and love. I had gone through excruciating heartbreak a year earlier, and was still wrestling with deep feelings of loss and betrayal. I was just a very angry and unsatisfied person. At the time I was still unmarried, and there was nobody at all on the radar to speak of. I was just drifting from relationship to relationship, like a plank of petrified wood in the middle of the Pacific, just hopelessly moving through a very dark period of my life. I remember lots of pain from that time, and lots of loneliness and anger. I remember disregard for my well being and others' well being. I remember losing all hope that I was going to do something worthwhile with my life. And then, on October 14th 2008, a warming light broke through the bitter end I thought I'd arrived upon. That beacon was Copeland's 4th studio album, You Are My Sunshine, affectionately known as YAMS.
As the first melodies of Should You Return rolled into my brainwaves, I felt myself instantly alive again. Lyrics like "I never knew what to rely upon" and "because a song is all I have to make me feel" were about as relatable as it gets for the 2008 version of me. "And all i want is just a dream to make it worthwhile" poured through my headphones for the first time, and I had a reason to live again. I had hope again. Remember, I was at a point in my life where I was clinging to an ex like a band sticker on my age 15 year old self's first guitar. I was completely unhealthy, and really had nowhere I felt I could turn to get me through that season of my life. Yet, as the musical universe has most often showed me in the past, that one song, that one album, that one band will always find a way to get you through the toughest of times. Music, as it turns out, is my lifeblood, and this album was the medicine I needed to push through the darkness and find my way back to the start, as the beautiful song The Grey Man communicates so wonderfully.
In my world full of hopelessness, fear, and regret, Copeland made a connection to me that inspired hope, determination, and forgiveness. The pinnacle of this hope was the song To Be Happy Now which soars "And in disarray, you just want to live one more day. Cause you just want to be happy now." As an older man, I know that the pursuit of happiness is a trap, but in those darker moments of my fleeting youth, if you would have told me that I could feel the least bit happy I was tooth and nail fighting to find that feeling.
As I look back on that year of my life, I am thankful to be alive. There were so many could-be decisions that would have changed that. There were so many opportunities to step off the ledge and end a dark and depressing road in a number of dangerous ways. I'm convinced that this album came along at a time when I was most desperate, and I'm convinced that it helped to save my life, and more than that, help me live my life in ways I never thought were possible. Music is the best kind of medicine because it allows us to soak in our sorrows and cope with our cares, and find flowing fantastic life in each note, each line, each chorus. You Are My Sunshine is the medicine I needed then, and Copeland was the medical doctor that provided a cure for a lost and depressed soul. I may not need the medicine this album gave me anymore, but I certainly need a reminder now and again of it's curing caress.
I look back at that album 6 years later, and I realize that it's really meant the most to me of Copeland's four studio albums because it carried me through a very troubling time in my life. Now in a much happier place spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, I can listen to this album with a full heart, a thankful spirit, and a genuine appreciation for the artful help this music delivered to me those fateful six years ago. There is an everlasting bond of thankfulness, hopefulness, and pure joy in my life because of this record.
It's so amazing to me how life-giving music is, and how sustaining it can be when you feel like you've lost all sustenance.
As most of the Ap.Net community has ascertained, Copeland, one of the most adored bands in the scene's history, is back as of yesterday, April 1st 2014. As difficult as it is for me to put into words how much this band has meant to me over the last 10+ years, I'm going to use this space as a way to reflect on the huge impacts each of Copeland's four studio albums has had on me. I'll start with You Are My Sunshine, and work my way back to their first album, Beneath Medicine Tree. My hope by doing this is to better understand myself and the true power of Copeland's music in my life, and how it has connected the dots like a line graph of the various ups and downs of my life thus far. If in the process of sharing these moments, someone else is inspired to start listening to Copeland, then that's the proverbial cherry on top. I wish for everyone to have such a strong spiritual and emotional connection to music, because it's the most soul-stirring form of transforming consumption we have in this world.
I'll be writing a retrospective piece for each album, one per day, starting today.
1. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing
2. Kevin Devine - Brother's Blood
3. Thrice - Beggars
4. Miniature Tigers - Tell It To The Volcano
5. PersonL - The Postives
6. mewithoutYou - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright!
7. As Tall As Lions - You Can't Take It With You
8.Dashboard Confessional - Alter The Ending
9. Relient K - Forget And Not Slow Down
10. Sleeping At Last - Storyboards
11. Owl City - Ocean Eyes
12. The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha
13. Mono - Hymn To The Immortal World
14.The Swell Season - Strict Joy
15. Muse - The Resistance
16. Brand New - Daisy
17. Say Anything - Say Anything
18. Fun. - Aim and Ignite
19. The Dear Hunter - Act III
20. Paramore - Brand New Eyes
This is probably nowhere near anyone elses top list, but it's what got the most plays in my itunes library this year.
It's rare these days that I attend a show where I am equally excited to see the next band on the lineup as the previous. This was one of those shows where it just kept getting better and better. I left with a somewhat nostalgic feel of past Copeland/Anberlin tours after watching Aaron Marsh play bass onstage with Anchor and Braille. I left feeling like I used to feel back in 2003 when music seemed to be at a more innocent and pure stage. It's reasons like this that make me love music.
Barcelona opened things up with a strong set. I saw them play with Mae/personL/Tokyo earlier this Spring and they put on a decent show, but this time around they sounded better somehow. Absolutely flawless performance. GREAT opener.
Here is their set, along with some photos I snapped:
Fall Out Of Trees
It's About Time
Loneliest Number Since The Number One (Three Dog Night Cover)
First Floor People
Come Back When You Can
Up next was Anchor And Braille. Stephen Christian has been a personal hero of mine for years now, and so it was very exciting for me to be able to see one of my musical heroes in such an intimate venue. I was able to meet him for the first time after the show. An absolutely wonderful person to hold a conversation with. Great role model, and great musician. I was pleasantly surprised to see Aaron Marsh playing bass with Anchor and Braille, though he did produce the album and play Piano on parts so it makes sense I suppose.
They played a very mellow and personal set. Stephen's vocals were as true as ever.
Anchor and Braille set and subsequent photos:
Like Steps In A Dance
Sherwood was up next. They have only continued to get MORE amazing live. They played a killer fun setlist and did some interesting alternate versions of a few key songs, like "For The Longest Time." Set + photos:
Middle of the Night
Learn to Sing
I'll Wait For You
The Only Song
Song in My Head
Not Gonna Love
The Town That You Live In
For The Longest Time
Sunday night was my sixth time seeing the lovely Copeland. They never get old, they never bore me. Each and every time I have seen them play, they've always left me feeling in awe of the very existence of the songs they've crafted over the years. Each setlist I've seen them play has always been a musical gift for my ears and eyes and the talent this band possesses has always made me feel like they're somewhat underrated. Why this band isn't absolutely HUGE outside of the scene is beyond me. Copeland played the most mellow set I've seen them play. Lots of ESR songs and YAMS songs. I was STOKED to see them play Love Affair and Coffee. Seeing Testing The Strong Ones for the first time in about 5 years for me was the highlight of my evening. Beneath Medicine Tree will always be in my top albums of all time. It's a timeless record, much like this band's live show.
The Grey Man
On The Safest Ledge
Eat, Sleep, Repeat
When You Thought You'd Never Stand Out
The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song)
Pin Your Wings
No One Really Wins
You Have My Attention
Testing The Strong Ones
Photos and Videos:
Testing The Strong Ones
Absolutely fantastic tour. Copeland has no further tour plans for the United States this year. Sherwood has a new album coming out this fall, and a new EP they're selling on their tour for $5. Anchor And Braille's new album "Felt" is out on August 4th which you can still pre-order. Barcelona is still on tour through mid-august.
So I saw Band Of Horses tonight and OH MY GOSH they were amazing.
The Great Salt Lake
Is There A Ghost
The First Song
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
Ode to the LRC
No One's Gonna Love You
The General Specific
Also had a fantastic evening with the girl. So glad this is working out so well. :)
So I'm finally getting around to posting a blog of my photography from this show, and I've also uploaded all of the video I shot of mewithoutYou and The Dear Hunter for your viewing pleasure (or pain I suppose if you hate these bands for some odd reason).
Photos of Bear Colony:
These guys played a really solid set of songs, honestly. I had never listened to Bear Colony before tonight, but I was impressed. Many of their songs build into an awesome crescendo towards the end. Definitely recommend checking them out.
The Dear Hunter was great, and it was my first time seeing them. I hadn't seen Casey perform in a band since 2005 on the Acceptance/TREOS/Cartel/Augustana/Panic! tour.
I was able to capture three songs on video from TDH's setlist:
The Church And The Dime
The Oracles On The Delphi Express
Where The Road Parts
mewithoutYou always moves me when they play a live show, and it is always enlightening to speak with Aaron Weiss after each show. God is doing wonderful things in my life right now, and this band was the catalyst for the change in my life almost 3 years ago now. I can never thank them enough for being the voice God needed me to hear.
I was able to record 9 songs (8 videos, as one is two songs combined) from their set, and I snapped some pretty cool shots as well.
Bullet To Binary pt 2
A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains
Sun and the Moon which merged perfectly into Tie Me Up, Untie Me!
Every Thought A Thought Of You
Son Of A Widow
A Fox, A Crow and a Cookie
Paper Hanger (didn't play this, although it was the last song on the set during the encore)
Allah, Allah, Allah
In A Sweater Poorly Knit
I look incredibly tired, and rightly so. I drove 7 hours to see this show.
Here are the videos, in order of appearance on the set:
Bullet To Binary (Part Two)
A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains
The Sun And The Moon + Tie Me Up, Untie Me!
The Fox, The Crow, And The Cookie
In A Sweater Poorly Knit
Make sure you go see this band on the "Weiss Family Tour" this August. They'll be coming to plenty of cities they skipped on the current tour. I'll be at the New Brookland Tavern show, so come say hello!
Aug 16 2009 - Mohawk Place **Weiss Family Show**
Buffalo, New York
Aug 17 2009 - Musica **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 18 2009 - The Mad Hatter **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 19 2009 - Off Broadway **Weiss Family Show**
St. Louis, Missouri
Aug 20 2009 - Hi-Tone Cafe **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 21 2009 - The Marquee **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 22 2009 - Outland Ballroom **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 23 2009 - Rocketown **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 25 2009 - New Brookland Tavern **Weiss Family Show**
Columbia, South Carolina
Aug 26 2009 - Catís Cradle **Weiss Family Show**
Carrboro, North Carolina
Aug 27 2009 - The Jewish Mother **Weiss Family Show**
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Aug 28 2009 - The Ottobar **Weiss Family Show**
Aug 28 2009 - Crocodile Rock **Weiss Family Show**