Friday, June 29

R.E.M. with Peter H - MTV Unplugged 1991, etc.

R.E.M. with Peter Holsapple
(various venues, years, etc.)
 
Repercussion: The dB’s and R.E.M. have all kinds of ties through the years (see below). Here, I’ve hand-picked some choice tracks, many of which are R.E.M. with Peter H singing lead vocals. The MTV Unplugged set is a nifty R.E.M. acoustic show with Peter as accordion and mandolin-playing sideman. Stay with this one until you get to the bonus tracks…

BIG THANKS to the tapers, uploaders, Margaret Griffis for permission to use her great photo, and Ed A for the inspiration
Peter and Peter, jamming in 1984 
photo by Margaret Griffis via Flickr
Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ (aud.)
1982-11-27
01 Sloop John B
02 Judy

Hobo's, Knoxville, TN (aud.)
1982-11-10
03 Neverland

MTV Unplugged (DVD audio rip)
Chelsea Studios, NYC
1991-04-10 (R.E.M.’s first MTV Unplugged session)
04 Half a World Away
05 Disturbance at the Heron House
06 Radio Song
07 Low
08 Perfect Circle
09 Fall On Me
10 Belong
11 Love is All Around
12 It's the End of the World as We Know It
13 Losing My Religion
14 Pop Song '89


BONUS TRACKS:
The dB’s were the first group 
to perform at
the R.E.M. Tribute Show in 2009

Mountain Stage, Charleston, WV (pre-FM soundboard)
1991-04-28
15 White Train
 
R.E.M. Tribute Concert (aud.)
Carnegie Hall, NYC
2009-03-11
16 Fall On Me (The dB’s cover R.E.M.)
so-so recording of a strong performance


LINKS DELETED
Viacom, which owns MTV, said this was
a copyright violation, so I yanked 'em.
  
Peter Buck plays on “Black & White” during The dB’s opening set for an R.E.M. show in 1984
Page Auditorium, Duke University, Durham, NC photo by Batchain

THE dB's - R.E.M. CONNECTION
  • Chris Stamey formed The dB's in NYC a year or so before R.E.M. got started in Athens, GA. Having in common a southern upbringing and similar musical tastes (eg, Television & Big Star), R.E.M. looked up to The dB's, who were pioneers in the DIY American indie rock scene.
  • In early 1981, R.E.M. manager Jefferson Holt asks Peter Holsapple about possible producers for some of their first professional studio recordings. Peter H recommends that they look up his childhood friend Mitch Easter in Winston-Salem, NC. (If you know much about R.E.M.'s early recordings, all I have to say at this point is "the rest is history.")
  • R.E.M. opens for The dB's at Friday's in Greensboro, NC on Oct. 20, 1981 (see music post HERE).
  • After the live tour following the release of Repercussion, members of The dB's are at loose ends. R.E.M. invites Peter H to open for them as a solo, acoustic act. Peter H does exactly that at about two dozen shows in Oct. and Nov. of 1982.  (The first 3 tracks above are from a couple of these shows.)
  • At the time the album Like This is released, The dB's open for R.E.M. early Sept. to mid Oct. 1984.
  • Peter Buck uses his pull at R.E.M.'s label, IRS Records, to lobby the powers-that-be to sign The dB's to the IRS roster. It happens in early 1987.
  • After the release of The dB's The Sound of Music album on IRS Records in August of 1987, the band once again opens for R.E.M. on the latter's "Work Tour." The dB's play numerous opening slots from late Oct. through the end of Nov. in 1987. Ironically, The Sound of Music goes out of print while The dB's are on tour because IRS devotes most of its vinyl-pressing capacity to produce more copies of R.E.M.'s increasingly-popular Document album, which features the hit song "The One I Love."
  • After The dB's call it quits in 1988, Peter H is invited to join R.E.M. as a touring musician with the band, mainly playing additional guitar and keyboard. He plays with R.E.M. for nearly all dates of the "Green World Tour" in 1989.
  • Peter H joins R.E.M. in the recording studio in late 1990 as they work on tracks for their next album, Out of Time (including the eventual U.S. Top 10 hit, "Losing My Religion"). He also joins them for the promotional tour in 1991 which followed the release of the album. One of these is the Mountain Stage appearance in April from which the above track, "White Train," was taken.
  • Following reported differences over credit and compensation for the R.E.M. songs on which Peter H played (those that were commercially released), he is not invited to join the band for the Automatic for the People recording sessions or subsequent promotional appearances. Afterwards, all parties downplay the significance of any differences, and continue to praise each others' personal character and musical accomplishments.
  • The dB's are invited to perform at a tribute show, "The Music of R.E.M. at Carnegie Hall," in 2009 (see above). The dB's are first on the bill, performing "Fall On Me." 

Thursday, June 28

FOtS on Vinyl - Mini Review

Falling Off the Sky on Vinyl - mini review

The vinyl package includes the 12-track CD 
and a download card to access 5 bonus tracks.
BONUS TRACKS accessible by download card in the vinyl package:

1. Revolution of the Mind
2. Picture Sleeve
3. The Instrumental Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel
4. The Wonder of Love (Ian Schreier Radio Remix)
5. Before We Were Born (Scott Litt "T Rex" Mix)

SO VERY COOL to have the new album on 180-gram vinyl. "Old school is the best school," I thought to myself as I unwrapped the box — and this coming from someone without a working turntable! (I hope to get mine fixed soon or borrow a friend's so I can hear how the LP sounds.)

Did someone say "value for money"?!? For a little under $20, you get the LP, the album art in the "correct" size, a great-looking inner sleeve with full album credits and color photos, the 12-track CD in a cardboard sleeve, and a card with a unique code. Go online to Bar-None's web site, click the Downloads tab at the top, and you'll be taken to a screen where you'll be asked for the code. Type it in, hit the "Get Your Music" button, and after a few seconds' wait, you'll have the 5 bonus tracks, all in high-quality MP3 (@320 kbps).

And what about those bonus tracks? Well, you've probably heard at least a couple of 'em already. There's nothing very surprising to be heard, but I must admit I'm glad to have them. The first 3 previously-released tracks sound great in high-quality sound (for example, most folks have only heard "Revolution of the Mind" in the lower-quality version released via the band's web site). 

To my ears, the mixes for Tracks 1 and 2 sound slightly different than those previously released. In particular, the backing vocals on "Revolution" sound more prominent in this mix, which I prefer to the original. I missed the earlier release of Track 3, "The Instrumental Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel," which at one point was available as a free download on the band's web site. But it may be the best of the bunch. As much as I love the album version, this one removes the lead vocals so you can better enjoy the song's musical dynamics and instrumental interplay. Worth repeated listening.

And what about those final two remixes? Well ... they're cool to have, as I said. But they're not the radical remixes or revisionings of the songs that some might have hoped for. You do hear some extra brass riffs on the Ian Schreier remix of "The Wonder of Love." And Scott Litt used extra reverb on Chris' vocals for the T-Rex Mix of "Before We Were Born." Otherwise, they sound a lot like the album versions. I can imagine, however, that someone out there might like them better than the master versions.

Bottom line? If you've been hesitating to spring for the LP release of Falling Off the Sky, you shouldn't wait any longer. Think of all the ephemeral and disposable stuff you spend $20 or more on and tell yourself the truth, "This week, I'd rather spend it on the vinyl edition of one of the greatest alt-pop albums released in recent memory."

Friday, June 22

Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ 1985


The dB's
Maxwell’s
Hoboken, NJ
Nov. 1, 1985

audience recording (VG quality)

Highlight: a rather energetic "hometown" show; enjoy! 

BIG THANKS to glenn s for recording & sharing!

Then there were three: with the departure of Chris, 
 The dB's were down to 3 original members by 1985


01 Black and White
02 Lovers of Today (Only Ones cover)
03 Any Old Thing
04 Not Cool
05 Lonely Is as Lonely Does
06 Next to the Last Waltz
07 Judy
08 Working for Somebody Else
09 She Got Soul
10 I Lie
11 Say It Again
12 Rains Around Here
13 Living a Lie
14 Amplifier
15 Love Is for Lovers
16 Goin’ Out of My Head (cover)
17 A Spy In the House of Love
18 Neverland
19 Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? (cover)
20 See No Evil (Television cover)
21 Money (That’s What I Want) – [cover]

The place to be in Hoboken.  
photo by EmilyNorton via Flickr


Alt. link (disc 1)
Alt. link (disc 2)

The dB’s:
Will Rigby – drums & vocals
Gene Holder – guitar
Peter Holsapple – guitar & vocals
Rick Wagner - bass
   

Alejandro Escovedo - Austin, TX 2004

Texas Union Hall
Austin, TX
Oct. 1, 2004

soundboard recording (quality Ex-)

Repercussion: Chris Stamey produced a couple of albums for Alejandro and, together, they co-wrote the song “One True Love” — which Alejandro sings in this show. It’s one of the only times he’s played it live. After being diagnosed with Hepatitis C and its complications, Alejandro was forced to take a break from music. The following show marks his return to public performances.

BIG THANKS to Don L for the recording and necronomekon for upping it!

Alejandro at his triumphant return after several years' absence.
-->
Disc 1
01 Paradise
02 Broken Bottle
03 (banter 1)
04 Dark Eyes (Bob Dylan cover)
05 Baby's Got New Plans
06 One True Love (co-written with Chris Stamey)
07 Wave
08 (banter 2)
09 Notes On Air
10 Everybody Loves Me
11 Crooked Fame
12 (banter 3)
13 Tugboat
14 (banter 4)
15 Follow you Down
16 By Eleven

Disc 2
01 (banter 5)
02 Five Hearts Breaking
03 (banter 6)
04 Dear Head On the Wall
05 Velvet Guitar
06 (banter 7)
07 Castanets
08 (encore break 1)
09 The Ballad of the Sun and the Moon
10 Break This Time
11 (encore break 2)
12 Rosalie

NOTE: You can just delete all the banter & encore breaks after downloading if you don't want the chitchat & extra applause to get in the way of the music...
Alejandro and some of his collaborators, Austin, TX, Oct. 1, 2004

MP3@320

Alt. Link (Disc 1)
Alt. Link (Disc 2)

You lossless nuts can actually find this in FLAC here.

Lineup:
Alejandro Escovedo, vocals, guitar
Andrew DuPlantis, bass
Jon Dee Graham, guitar
Hector Munoz, drums
Bruce Standefer, cello
Susan Voetz, violin

THANKS to rioblanco for the photos!

THE ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO – CHRIS STAMEY CONNECTION
Chris and AE, listening to an album mix.
Alejandro Escovedo has recorded 13 albums to date.











 


  • Chris produced Alejandro’s Bourbonitis Blues in 1999 and A Man Under the Influence in 2001.
  • Chris and Alejandro co-wrote the song “One True Love.” Three versions are known to exist: the one released on the John Cale-produced album The Boxing Mirror. A second — said to be more raw and live-sounding (with Stamey engineering, I think) — was available briefly as a thank-you to those who contributed to Escovedo’s medical fund. It’s no longer available anywhere (but I'd really like to hear this version, if anyone can help me out).
  • Chris and Roman Candle recorded a third version of the song for the Alejandro benefit album called Por Vida. You can purchase the song or the whole album to download at the usual places. 
  • To my knowledge, Chris and Alejandro have never played together live, but I’d love to be proven wrong about this…

LEARN MORE ABOUT ALEJANDRO'S MUSIC AT AllMusic

 

Friday, June 15

Peter Blegvad (& friends) - Brooklyn Heights, NY 1992 (FM)

 Here's a gem of a concert by a friend of Chris, Peter and Syd Straw. 
If you've never heard of Peter Blegvad, you're in for a New Music Find treat. 
To my ears, he's something like an American version of Robyn Hitchcock crossed with 
a more melodically-minded Bob Dylan. 
I think this is one of the coolest shows I've shared here so far. 
Leave a comment to let me know what you think of it...
  
Peter Blegvad
with Peter Holsapple & Syd Straw
St. Ann’s Church
Brooklyn Heights, NY
March 14, 1992
FM broadcast (sound quality Ex-; off-air recording, 1st generation tape)
 
St. Ann's, Brooklyn Heights: Church? Concert hall? Both! 
photo by shehasnostrings via Flickr
BIG HEAPIN' THANKS to the taper who kindly shared his master cassette with me. Embarrassed to say I've lost your name after a trashed email cache, but you know who you are...

01 Powers In the Air
02 The Incinerator (aka "Perfect Strangers")
03 Animated Doll
04 How Beautiful You Are
05 Real Slap In the Face
06 Meteor
07 Chicken
08 Driver's Seat
09 Meet the Rain*
10 Last Man*
11 Meantime
12 Swim
 
13 (thank-you's, etc.)
14 Stranger to Myself
15 Karen*
16 Shirt and Comb (at end of song, had to do fade out & fade in b/c of abrupt cut)
17 Northern Lights*
18 King Strut
19 On Obsession (duet with PH)
20 Gold
21 (Something Else Is) Working Harder

MP3@320

Alt. Link (Disc 1)
Alt. Link (Disc 2)

Peter Blegvad is a musician, illustrator & cartoonist  
photo by blacque_jacques via Flickr

Lineup:
Peter Blegvad - vocals, guitar
Dave Hofstra - bass
Dave Schramm - guitar
Peter Holsapple – guitar, squeezebox, mandolin (?), keyboard, vocals
*Syd Straw - vocals

MORE ABOUT PETER BLEGVAD

More info about Peter Blegvad's music can be found at AllMusic and John Relph's beautifully-detailed discography. I heard about him because of the Chris & Peter connection, and I've since bought several of his excellent albums, such as:
Chris Stamey produced this one & Peter H plays on many tracks
I get the feeling Peter Blegvad has been friends with Chris and Peter H for some time, but I don't know how they met, etc. Chris produced Peter B's wonderful King Strut & Other Stories album (mentioned in the above concert since many of the songs come from this album). Peter H did his multi-instrumentalist thing on several of its tracks. Sadly, King Strut is now difficult to find at a reasonable price in any format. Some benevolent music label honcho: please get this one back in print for the discerning music lovers of the world!

 

Friday, June 8

Falling Off the Sky - The Review

Disruptive Patterns #43 by Harrison Haynes
The dB’s Repercussion Blog
Review - Falling Off the Sky

      Special thanks to Daniel Coston for this & most of the photos here       
Was it only a dream,
Was it only a dream?
Tell me please, can it be?
All the things that we’ve seen,
All the things we believe:
Tell me please,
Is it only a dream?                     
(The dB’s, 
“Collide-oOo-Scope,” 
Falling Off the Sky)
Chris Stamey is looking through a kaleidoscope.  

No wonder. 

No wonder he gave a similar title to one of the songs he composed for The dB’s new album, Falling off the Sky. He and his band mates seem to know instinctively that you don’t reach the ripe age of 50-something — after experiencing everything they have, separately and together, musically and otherwise — without it shaping and coloring your perspective.

Kinda like a kaleidoscope.

The dB’s have decided not to pretend they’re exactly the same people or musicians they were when they made their last album together — three decades ago. And the music they’ve now created is all the richer for it. Falling Off the Sky is an immensely satisfying collection of alternative pop music. It beguiles you, it draws you in, and sounds better and better the more you hear it.
 
These poor slobs slaved away in the dead of winter to create a great summer pop album for you. 

As with all great bands, there’s some mysterious X-factor at work here. Call it “musical group chemistry” if you like. Or you can adopt Peter’s explanation — the “shared hallucinogenic background” of a band that grew up together in Winston-Salem, N.C. Whatever it is, this extraordinary something makes Falling Off the Sky a far greater achievement than the mere sum of its parts.

When Chris and Peter Holsapple first cooked up the idea of The dB’s getting back together to make new music, they gave themselves a big challenge. Half a dozen years ago, they had little to gain and a lot to lose by recording and releasing another album. Being critics’ darlings meant The dB’s legacy was secure as the great (but popularly unappreciated) link between Big Star and R.E.M. After four albums of stellar music, a lousy fifth collection this late in the game would have prompted many of the same critics to lament, “Why did they have to go and mess up a good thing?”

Not to worry. Some seven years in the making, Falling Off the Sky assures everyone that The dB’s sterling reputation remains unblemished. Really, “unblemished” isn’t the right word. FOtS not only preserves, but extends and improves the group’s well-deserved legacy as creators of uniquely wonderful music. Is the new album “jangle pop”? Is it 1980s “New Wave”? Or, to use my preferred term, is it masterful “alt-pop” music? In the end, it doesn’t matter. FOtS transcends whatever category you might choose.

The dB's - far away & long ago
As I told Peter when I interviewed him recently, FOtS sounds to me like it’s sequenced as an old-fashioned LP. The A-side is a great collection of singles. And the B-side? It’s a stone-cold masterpiece, a six-song sequence that deserves to be savored in its entirety. Years from now, I predict discerning music lovers will rank the second half of FOtS up there with other all-time classic rock and pop albums. It’s that draw-droppingly good.

By now, you’ve heard the lead track, “That Time Is Gone.” It borrows heavily from the garage rock The dB’s knew and loved growing up, with combo organ, bluesy guitar riffs, and a maniacal drummer firing on all cylinders. Lyrically, it’s classic pop music fodder: the guy is trying to forget the woman who keeps occupying rent-free space in his head. Thus, the gotta-getta-hold-of-myself refrain: “You’d better wake up, wake up, wake up — that time is gone.” This Holsapple-penned song announces two things to the listening public: first, the new album is not going to replicate 1980s jangle pop, but use whatever type of music that best serves the songs. Second, the past really is over and done. As much as we might yearn nostalgically for that woman, that vintage musical sound, or our youthful past, this album is about refusing to be “stuck in the 1982s,” to quote a character from Napoleon Dynamite.

            "What'd you call this one, Chris?            
      Pop prog psych rock?"   
Such a determination doesn’t mean, however, that there’s no point in reflecting on the past. In a nutshell, this is the lyrical tension at the heart of these songs: how can a person remember and reflect without falling into a time warp? Is there a way to dream about the past and still stay awake in the here and now?

Track 2 is Chris Stamey’s “Before We Were Born” — a song that’s musically more buoyant and thematically rosier than its predecessor. In his joy, the singer revels in the idea that he and his love knew each other “before we were born.” The music itself is straight-no-chaser pop rock, done to perfection. Mitch Easter, longtime friend of the band and unnamed “fifth member” of The dB’s, shines here on electric guitar as he does on several other tracks.

While the first two songs highlight the delightful sound of Holsapple-Stamey vocal harmonies, the next three let each singer in The dB’s have his own turn in the spotlight. Peter’s “The Wonder of Love,” Track 3, is white boy Philly Soul, complete with shuffle groove and punch-drunk horn section. Though it’s a departure for a dB’s record, this isn’t new territory for Mr. Holsapple: he recorded the similar “Live On Love” years ago with the Continental Drifters. Lyrically, Peter is up to his old self-described “smart-ass” tricks but charmingly so: “It isn’t metallurgy / It’s not rocket surgery / It’s not as hard as you make it sound” and, “Sometimes I wonder if the wonder of love / Is ever enough or always too much / And then I figure that it all levels out / Homeostatic and soft to the touch.” (There’s only one false step here, which is Peter’s use of the now-passé “that’s how we roll.” But I think we’ll forgive him that.)

         Will: "No; it's called a knuckleball!"            
On Track 4, drummer Will Rigby finally gets his own star turn with “Write Back.” Even though he’s been writing and recording music for years, this is the first dB’s song that’s truly his. And it’s a stunner, featuring a great fusion of countrypolitan and pop music. It features appropriately amazing drumming and a Jackson Pollack-esque organ solo*, also courtesy of Will. The song has an intriguingly clever lyric, filled with ambivalence about the narrator’s fateful decision to not write back to his ex love: “I never replied to your reply to my reply to your reply to my reply to your reply to my letter.” If you fall prey to Mr. Rigby’s musical charms here, hurry over to his Bandcamp site and help yourself to the many other musical treasures you can find there.

The other Fab Four
By Track 5, the spotlight turns back to Chris. As another reviewer has already noted, “Far Away and Long Ago” leans heavily on the classically-inclined chamber pop of The Beatles' “Yesterday.” Musically and lyrically, it’s an audacious move. Fortunately for us, Chris has everything required to pull it off, to great effect. His vocal performance strikes a bittersweet balance between wistful remembrance of a past, lost love and rueful recrimination. Musically, he manages to unashamedly incorporate Lennon, McCartney & Martin’s best without making it sound like a Beatles knock-off. “Far Away and Long Ago” also demonstrates the breadth of Chris’ musicianship (did you know he’s also a trumpeter and cellist?). Here and elsewhere on the album, his expert use of string players from North Carolina (some from the chamber folk group Lost In the Trees) provides a sonic depth missing on most other pop albums.

We humbly suggest a format you can touch
Nearly halfway through, now, and Falling Off the Sky is only starting to hit its stride. Track 6, “Send Me Something Real” incorporates all the strengths named above: gorgeous melody, Holsapple-Stamey harmonies, tasteful instrumental flourishes that enhance the song (flute and strings in this case), and words that manage to be honest without falling into cynicism. “Send me something real,” sings Chris, “ ‘cuz I don’t remember how it feels / To be free and pure / And I’ve got to find that door.” The track revels in the musical dynamics that set The dB’s apart from their peers. There’s a pause at the 3½-minute mark that makes you think it’s time for the AM radio fadeout. But then a smidgen of backwards guitar announces “hang on a second” — followed by 75 seconds of pure dB’s bliss, as the four friends sing, strum, pluck and pound away, delightfully lost in the music.

The world should hear "World to Cry"
How much more needs to be said about Track 7, “World to Cry”? What a song; what an arrangement; what great playing! Why can’t we live in a world in which this song gets played all over the radio and climbs to its rightful place, high in the pop charts?!? I don’t know. But this much I do know: it’s one of the catchiest pop songs I’ve heard since … since the last dB’s record. And it’s the perfect song to launch “Side B” of the album.

With Track 8, Falling Off the Sky starts to get pretty weird — in the best, most surprising sense of the word. Chris composed and arranged two songs in the second half of the album with several things in common. “The Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel” and “Collide-oOo-Scope” (Track 10) both have two protagonists, non-linear lyrics, and a mixture of music that’s head-spinningly uncategorizable. One might venture to say they’re pop-prog-psych-rock. But that doesn’t begin to suggest how outlandishly good they are. It’s as if Chris decided, “I don’t care if anyone understands or likes these songs; I’m going to write and arrange these for our enjoyment. If anyone else digs them, so be it.” I hope he does it a lot more often.
Chris, recording songs to please himself & band mates — thank God!



Track 9 is Peter’s “I Didn’t Mean to Say That.” It starts off sounding like an apology in ballad form, but gets more interesting as it reaches the refrain, “So what are we to do? / If only we knew / Oh, I didn’t mean to say that.” To be sure, the mid-tempo song is about forgiveness. The singer/narrator humbly explains to his beloved: “I didn’t mean to call you off / I didn’t mean to call you down / Or out, or anything / Anything.” But it also explores the awkward thought that comes after an apology: OK, what happens now? I don’t think the younger, 1980s-era dB’s would have come up with a song like this. It’s mature, it’s wise — and for those who know what Peter's talking about — it hits pretty close to the bone.

Take a bow, guys. The album's amazing.
Track 10 is “Collide-oOo-Scope,” the second of Chris’ pop-prog-psych-rock tracks. It begins as a sing-along nursery rhyme, “…singing hidey-hidey hey.” Moments later, however, strummed acoustic guitars give way to a clatter of drums, the swell of strings, and the thump of an electric bass. In a few minutes, the song grows in musical complexity until the listener has no freaking idea what he or she is hearing. Which, I might add, is a very cool and all-too-uncommon experience for most pop music listeners.

Lyrically, “Collide-oOo-Scope” might be a veiled account of two friends starting a band. Or it could be about growing older and meeting the Grim Reaper “down the road” one day. Or the reunion of The dB’s. Or it might be all — or quite possibly none — of the above. I really have no clue. But it’s great fun to puzzle your way through lyrics like these: “Walking backwards to cover our tracks / Singing hidey-hidey hey / There’s a fire brigade through a tall Marshall stack / Singing hidey-hidey hey / Trespass the border of fiction and fact / Singing hidey-hidey hey / Reversing the engine without looking back / Hey, hey.”

She won't. But, then again, that's what he's here for.
“She Won’t Drive In the Rain Anymore” (Track 11) is the most swoon-worthy of the bunch for me. Co-written by Peter and Kristian Bush, it’s a compelling, lump-in-the-throat song — a musical short story about a woman scarred by the trauma of surviving a hurricane. It’s one of those unforgettable pop tunes that builds in emotional intensity until the final crescendo. Best of all, it demonstrates a deep appreciation for the silence surrounding the rest of the music. (If you want to read more about the song, and how it’s based on a true story, you can find it here, in Part 2 of my interview with Peter.)

Finally, we come to Track 12, “Remember (Falling Off the Sky)” — the song that pretty much had to close the album. On first listen, it sounds like a litany of memories set to a pretty, straight-ahead rock tune. Give it a few more spins, though, and you might start hearing something else: a meditation on memory, mortality and the finality of death — accompanied by an upbeat, energetically-played melody.

"You gotta use these to appreciate the low end!"
Judge the lyrics for yourself: “I saw you, wearing only white / I saw you in the dead of night / Remember / Then everything went black / Remember? Remember?” Then the refrain: “But I won’t be back again / No I won’t be back again / I will always be your friend / But I won’t be back again.”

Whatever’s it’s actually about (and I bet Chris isn’t telling), the music has a nice twist at the 2-minute mark. I’ve never heard an album’s final song actually speed up midway through, but that’s exactly what “Remember” does. It’s as if the four dB’s are trying to tell us, Age-wise, we may getting long in the tooth; but musically, we’ve never had more fun. So maybe we’ll just keep on playing.

IF ONLY, guys, if only…


*Will’s organ solo in “Write Back,” as described by Chris.