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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Imagination Monster

Michael Stipe - (i) inspired by photo by Mark SeligerAnother terrific post from Zane Ewton. I love the creativity I'm getting to share with these guest posts! Reading the music. Hearing the art.

I did it all wrong. REM is the quintessential college band. You are supposed to discover "Document" in some dorm room during your sophomore year. Then you get to complain that no record that came after that was as good.

I did it wrong. I found "Monster" when I was in junior high school. The stamp is on my forehead. It reads: Not Cool.

"Monster" was my first REM record and it remains my favorite. There is someone in Georgia with long gray hair and an old copy of "Murmur" who wants to stab me right now.

Those classic REM records are timeless. Given their career, the quality control is exceptional in that band. It would be tough to put "Monster" in the list of top five REM albums.

It doesn’t matter to me. I love it when Peter Buck turns his jangly guitars all the way up for the riff on “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” I love the weird, murky, muddled mess of the whole record.

But that’s just me. I like it when emotional, articulate bands leave their subtlety at home. I like it when they sound like a rock band banging away in a basement. I am sure instead of KISS posters; REM has William S. Burroughs posters on their basement walls. Then Michael Stipe roller skates while Mike Mills plays “Let Me In” on the Farfisa organ and a lurking Peter Buck smokes a cigarette. Bill Berry grows beets.

It must have happened something like that. At least in my imagination.

And "Monster" is my favorite too.


1 comment:

Joel said...

Hey, how'd I miss this?

Zane, I feel you. My favorite album my any band is the one everyone bags on. (REM fave: Fables of the Reconstruction. Dire Straits fave: On Any Street.)

What's the Frequency, Kenneth is one of REM's finer moments.

You are a poet, and I'm sure Bill was indeed growing beets. Just certain of it.