Tuesday, April 1, 2008

every whisper, every waking hour


rem's new record, accelerate dropped today, so with a blend of anticipation and dread, i rolled to the borders near my office and picked up the cd/dvd combo. (not that i expect to watch the dvd much, but it was like $4 more so what the hell...) i know itunes and other such mediums are more efficient and the wave of the future, which seems to be now, but for certain bands i still buy the hard copy material. somehow i feel like i'm remaining true to my fan hood, not to mention i like to check out the art work on the inserts.

to date myself, rem has been an obsession of sorts for me since 1986. i remember the days of michael stipe flying around the stage, his arms and ass-length braid cutting the air like an old switch your baptist grandmother might have torched you with when you were a child, of course after you cut said switch from the crabapple tree in the back yard. i digress, but it's not a terrible analogy since back in the early days, there was much angst to do with southern baptist guilt and defining one's self in light of that in their songs. after all, they originated and headquartered themselves in athens, ga for so many years, so how could the bible belt not flail into the collective stream of consciousness on occasion?

i must admit that i ripped off many of stipe's on stage dance antics when i fronted a band for four years in college. hell, i even incorporated a megaphone into the act, which he did a lot in the late 80s and early 90s. belting out lyrics into a microphone via megaphone is something i would recommend to anyone. it's a rare opportunity that fucking screams "rock star," even if it's in the framework of a college band getting by on covers and a few tragic originals.

well somewhere along the line, the band lost its mojo or plainly stopped giving a fuck. the last 3 or 4 records were unremarkable at best and forgettable at worst. it seemed like suddenly michael stipe transcended music to become just a personality, a diva maybe. don't get me wrong - i think anything the cat does is interesting, creative, and intelligent, and it would not be terribly far fetched to say that he falls onto a short list of man crushes. but his thing stopped being music, and music is what brought him to the dance, yes? it almost pains me to say these things since i have such an allegiance to this band and the ripples they have created in the artistic world. that said, i am thrilled about the reviews i've picked up so far and can't wait to check it out, tomorrow morning at the gym.

yes - it would be fantastic to soak it up tonight, but it's bath time, then there's where the wild things are, down by the bay, goodnight moon, and the very hungry caterpillar to read.

how cool would it be to read the bedtime stories through a megaphone?

hmmmmm, yeah, not really cool at all, right...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. You turned me on to The Smiths. Three-story Victorian, wood paneled room, and you said "hey, listen to this album called Louder Than Bombs." I must have played Sweet and Tender Hooligans until the tape broke. I still love The Smiths and can put on any album, any time, and love every song.

Morrissey on the other hand has played himself out for me. It was about the time Maladjusted came out that I saw him in concert for the first time in Lawrence, Kansas. Joy of joys was hearing him play Smiths songs which he just recently settled the rights to play. The new stuff, not so much. He is the only one ever that had b-sides as good or better than the singles. His best "albums" are often b-side compilations, like Bona Drag.

Like you, I try to remain a fan. I bought the newest album on iTunes, but never listen to it. Just thought I should give him a couple bucks for having given me music that I identify so strongly with. Call it his retirement plan, but I'm okay with that. I'm just glad he's finally gay.

Back to REM, as their biggest fan, you also turned me on to them, but I'm ashamed to say I've only ever bought Green, used, on CD. We have a couple more on vinyl around the house, but I'm never disappointed when I listen to the early REM. Never "truly, ah ha ha... disappointed." (Sorry Michael, Morrissey is still my first love.)