I couldn’t be more excited to announce that last Friday I passed the 50,000 word mark for the novel that I’ve been playing with on and off for the last five or so years. There’s a long way to go and most of what is written out is rough and will need a great deal of revision, but I’m happier with it than anything I’ve ever done.

Each night before I work on it, I go through my records to pick out just the right albums to listen to while writing. I’ve been listening to almost exclusively instrumental post-rock these days, but last week I was looking for something a little different and found Sleeping at Last, a band I first stumbled on in high school. Out of Wheaton, Illinois, SAL was originally a four-piece indie/emo/garage band. Thanks to my friend James I have their first ep, released in 1999. It’s a bit rough and not the best recording, but I still love it. It was on repeat throughout my senior year. Sometime that year I was fortunate enough to be able to see them open for The Appleseed Cast at some small club in the suburbs and they both blew me away.

Sleeping at lastI ended up more or less forgetting about SAL until I stumbled upon them again in 2009, having no idea they were still around. They’d been quite busy in those 10 years – putting out their own full-length in 2000 that Billy Corgan took a liking to, after which they signed to a major label for their second record in 2003. They put out two more independent releases in 2006 and 2009 – 2009’s Storyboards is where I met up with them again, listening to it over and over.

On Februry 11, 2010 I was able to see them again, this time with a string section at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Is an incredible show that included a marriage proposal, Normally at that point in my life I would’ve rolled my eyes at such a thing, especially being so close to Valentine’s Day and all, but with the great crowd and venue and performance, it was simply a wonderful moment. I have no idea who those two people are, but I hope they’re still together and happy. It’s a little dark, but here’s my video of it:


Anyway, SAL has since become the one-man project of Ryan O’Neal and he has continually put out great songs. Here’s a favorite by the band, which they performed after the above proposal.


Sleeping at Last links: