Since the snow fell in the middle of last week, I have been sent to the grocery twice. It may seem like this is the beginning of a very shoddy story, but shoddines is what I do. My first trip was the morning after the snow hit, and none of the roads were cleared, and all the sidewalks and trees were still covered as well. The snow was very deep, and would apparently take the road cleaning crews a day to reasonably clear things. I bundled up with my scarf, and peacoat, and headed out into the morning with my new iPod (my x-mas present from my nugget). I looked around, and the sky had all cleared up, and everything was heavily blanketed in white. I saw only two people the entire time, one of which was walking his dog, and the other was struggling to clean their vehicle off. I flipped through my albums until I found Nick Drakes 'Family Tree', and hit play. Something very magical happened as I began walking towards Broadway and Halsted on Grace (or Waveland I forget) to the store. There were no cars out, it was sunny, and everything was beautifully snow covered. I think the stripped down simplicity of Nick's songs really fit the things I was seeing around me. His original finger picking technique, along with his hauntingly soft voice made the bare bones melodies perfect for my walk. There were a couple piano tunes slipped in there that were accompanied by a womans voice that I'm going to assume was Nick's mother, who was also a musician. It was just strange how well the music went with the environment. Everything seemed empty or hollow, and I don't mean that in a 'depressing way', but more like a 'new and unexplored land' kind of way. It was the light with the whiteness of the snow which made a normally bustling Chicago seem tame for a second. My second unique experience happened at night. Not everyone had cleared the sidewalks off yet, but the streets were cleared off. Andrea sent me to the store once again, and just like before, I threw on my coat, and grabbed my iPod and flipped through my albums and selected Andrew Birds 'Weather Systems'. It's the only A. Bird album that I'm not familiar with and felt obligated to give it a listen. Its sound began to meld with the environment just like the Nick Drake album. Only this time, it was a winter night thing. I was particularly drawn to the songs 'I' and 'Action Adventure' because they seemed to inadvertantly capture the aura of the cold and snowy sidewalks of my northside neighborhood. The city lights reflecting off the snow, the lack of people on the street, and the atmospheric and stringy A. Bird songs were the reasons for my vibe during my walk. I can't really explain because I don't have the vocabulary and I don't even know if words can do the vibe justice, but those two albums seem to be perfect soundtracks for winter. It just depends on which time of day you listen to them. Just like most of the music that I listen to, I can hear whichever song, and it takes me to a place in time. I'm sure these two albums will now remind me of walking amongst the brownstones on Chicago's snow covered side streets.