By the time you read this we will be less than a month away from the twelfth Annual EAST Conference! Can you believe it? Because I sure can’t. At the EAST Offices, we are making final plans and arrangements for the event. What that looks like in practice is a cross between a book club meeting and black Friday at the mall.
As I’ve said on numerous occasions, the Conference is my favorite activity of the entire year. It’s a three-day extravaganza of what is best in education, and I get to see many of my favorite people all under one roof. This year in addition to the 2,000 or so regular conference participants, I have the distinct pleasure of getting to see two of my absolutely all-time favorite musicians, and EAST has the pleasure of sharing Trout Fishing In America with the larger EAST world!
I have been a HUGE Trout fan since college. In a Little Rock club one Saturday night, a strange looking pair climbed up on the stage and launched into a blistering and bizarre set of quirky, funny feel-good songs. After the show, like a lot of itinerant musicians, they set up shop and proceeded to hawk their wares. I bought two of their CDs, Truth is Stranger Than Fishin’ and Big Trouble. Since that day I have been a die-hard Trouthead and evangelist for the greatest band not enough people have heard of.
TFIA is a two-man band like no other. Based in Prairie Grove, Arkansas (a well-known hotbed for rock and roll talent) Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet have built an incredible career with their indie/folk-rock style of songs for people of ALL ages. I compare their “family” music to Looney Tunes or Bullwinkle and Rocky; sure the kids like it, but the adults appreciate another whole layer of insight. Their music is smart, funny and engaging. Over the course of their career, TFIA has received three National Indie Awards, more Parents’ Choice awards than you can count (from parents like myself, grateful for something between the extremes of the Wiggles and Lil’ Wayne), and four Grammy nominations!
We have been trying to book Trout for Conference for a few years, but their touring schedule has never matched up to our needs. This year we got lucky. (Is it a coincidence that their new album is titled Looking at Lucky? I think not.) I am so excited to share an evening of Trout Fishing with you.
To get ready, I’ve been listening to TFIA pretty extensively. I share here my Top 10 Trout Fishing songs and look forward to hearing yours.
Matt’s Top 10 Trout Songs
10. Baby’s Got The Car Keys
9. Pico de Gallo
8. Park Avenue and Tyson Street
7. Breakfast Blues
6. Lori’s Song
5. What I Want Is a Proper Cup of Coffee (I use this one to warm up before every presentation I make.)
4. You Can’t Get There From Here
3. Eighteen Wheels on a Big Rig
2. The Window
1. Closer to the Truth
I’ll leave you with this quote from TFIA that convinced me they are EAST people as well. It comes from my favorite Trout song:
“I’m getting further from the things I thought I knew… but I’m closer to the truth. There’s a distance to be crossed… and it’s the space between me and you.”
I can’t wait to see everyone in Hot Springs! If you want to hear more from Trout Fishing in America before Conference, check out http://www.troutmusic.com/ and catch ’em live at EAST Conference 2011!