#NieldsXVII Story Contest : Week 11

Thanks to everyone who took part this week in the #NieldsXVII Story Contest. We’ll be back on Monday with a new question. In the meantime, do you have any questions for us? We’ve been asking them for 11 weeks now and getting great answers. If you’re curious about some Nields history we haven’t covered let us know. Contact form below. See you on Monday!

Week 11 : Question: Are you a Nerissa or a Katryna or one of the Daves?  Why?

If I had to pick one of you, I’d say I’m like Dave Hower – reliably supporting the others in my life most of the time. But sometimes I feel like making sweeping grand gestures like Katryna, and other times I feel like I’m Nerissa, weaving interesting guitar chords in and out of the music of my life. Other times I feel like Dave Chalfant, mostly silent but on occasion offering deep pronouncements on the nature of the universe, like when I have something to say in a meeting at work. I’ll confess to not feeling like David Nields very often, but there are times I just want to energetically hop around and rock an awesome solo.

Mostly I just want to be an Easy Person, and I think I succeed at that.


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#NieldsXVII Story Contest : Week 10

We got all excited for Spring when we wrote this week’s question. Then it went and got a little wintry on us again. Thanks to those who took part and we’ll be back Monday with a hopefully weather-appropriate new addition to the Story Contest.

Week 10 : Question: What makes you feel like Spring has truly arrived and what Nields song would you play to celebrate?

I know that spring has truly arrived when all the snow has melted and the robins have returned; both of which have already happened in my yard! The song that I play to celebrate the beginning of spring is “Glow In The Dark Plastic Angel,” because of the line about the first day of spring. I play it every year on the spring equinox. It’s one of my annual traditions. I also play “Ash Wednesday” and “Just Like Christopher Columbus” on their respective holidays as well!


#NieldsXVII Story Contest : Week 9

Since we had a repeat winner last week we felt justified in picking 2 winners for this one (even though one of those was also a repeat winner). The usual tie-breaker was no help because all 3 of us agreed both of these stories were pretty great.

Thanks so much for another great week and see you on Monday!

Week 9 : Question: What one Nields concert experience would you want to relive? Why?

Wow. A hard one. There have been a few. The winner? At some point (2005?) you were on a double bill with EFO at the Bowery Ballroom. My daughter, Emily (d. 2007) was going to PACE in the East Village and I told her to pick 2 friends and we would all go. I picked her and her two baffled friends up and off we went.

They really had no idea what kind of wacky parent Emily had or what they were getting into. This was the time when, as part of the show, David N. would run around the venue with a cordless plug for his guitar and play while running around like a madman. He came all the way up to the back of the top of the balcony at the Bowery where we were sitting in the little lounge they have and sat on Emily’s lap, playing! Her school friends were astounded, and we laughed and laughed. David ran back to the stage and finished, I think, ” Superhero Soup”

I would love to see my daughter again, laughing like that, with or without David on her lap.


If you were there you remember that night. A blizzard was coming and the snow was starting to pile up with fluffy whiteness outside the doors of the Iron Horse, when the lights went out with a pop. Power outage. No power, no electric guitars, no problem. More candles were lit and lined up across the front of the stage and that night turned into a magical acoustic show with snow falling outside. At one point they were sitting on the edge of the stage just singing to the audience but it felt like no one else was there, it was the most intimate experience. Midway through the show the power came back and we insisted that they turn it off and finish acoustically. It was a beautiful night.


#NieldsXVII Story Contest : Week 8

The number of responses this week was huge! We took a walk down memory lane with a few near-forgotten favorites and were super pleased to see that the freshest pressed cuts off XVII made the list too. This week’s winner got the ball rolling for Week 1, so we’re brainstorming for something to send her way other than a download. In the meantime, here’s her awesome answer.

Thanks so much to everyone that took part this week! See you again on Monday.

Week 8’s Question: What is your favorite Nields lyric–the one you would use as an email signature or post on your mirror as a reminder?

“The mind beats like the tides in a lake that thinks it’s the sea
But only storms create conditions for epiphany
October gardens rusty, ragged, overgrown
The child won’t be consoled and you
Don’t want to be alone.”

My life is lived at the mercy of the seasons, measured by where we are, and where we’re heading.  As the gardens turn to sticks and the last of the tomatoes rot on the vine, my entire body vibrates with the feeling that it is all too much.  Every plea for my time, no matter how small, seems like the one that will wind me until I break.

But with that tension building between my shoulder blades, comes the inevitable release.  And I know that release is what will propel me into spring.  It will leave me with a gratitude that feeds creativity, and makes Pinterest jealous.

These lyrics from Back at the Fruit Tree speak to this part of my life so directly, so powerfully; they seem to be saying that they understand, that they will serve as a testament to the power of the journey around the sun, but also as a reminder that we will come back around, and be all the better for it.


#NieldsXVII Story Contest : Week 7

Not even the tie-breaker could make a call this week. So we gave it to our two favorites. See you again on Monday and as always thank you everyone who took part.

Week 7’s Question: If you could only listen to one Nields song for the rest of your life (you’d have other music, but only one Nields song), which one would it be and why?

I’ve been thinking about this all week, and I think I would choose “Paris.” First off, a song about longing, desire, and heartbreak set in the city of love? That’s going to be hard to beat.

But aside from that, “Paris” is one of my favorite songs because I love how it captures turning to an intimate friend to share something, even though that relationship is in jeopardy or perhaps even ended. Even if a relationship is not in foundering, there are times when one has to be apart from one’s beloved–illness, travel for work, obligations to extended family–but the wish to reach out, to connect, to that primary person remain. You can get so close to someone that wanting to tell him or her something becomes an instinctive reflex.

I don’t really know of another song that captures that feeling, and so that is why I would choose “Paris.”


“Let me love your children as my own…”

My song (which was given to me by my goddaughter) is Love, Love, Love. One of the richest gifts I’ve ever received.

5 years ago 13-year-old Emma’s mom died of cancer, and I stayed with them that difficult year. Now she’s a strong 17-year-old and adopted by a wonderful family. She’s wise beyond her years. She was brought to your concert by her moms old boss Jay, and that night wrote to me giving me the song, and telling me she thought of me, by the song and you, Nerissa.

The song’s words and passion for life were the best gift. And I love your voices and original harmonies. Emma and I know all the words and sing together with you guys.