Thursday, June 14, 2018

IN TIME: ALL THE RIGHT FRIENDS

   I wish I could convey how thrilled I was when the band remade this ancient song for the movie Vanilla Sky. As a fan who reveled in old bootlegs, I wanted the band to pick up these old tracks again, but it seemed that they would never go back. However, because it was a song they had thought of putting on albums from time to time, when they were approached for a soundtrack song with a rock edge and an eight day deadline, this song seemed to be the right fit as no outtakes from REVEAL had a rock feel. What's great about the song is it has retained the basic lyrics from day one, aside from ditching the middle 8 improv Michael would throw out in the early days. Michael has said he didn't write a lot of the earlier lyrics, but it's also been noted this song was originally put together by Peter and Michael, so this could be an early insight to his train of thought. In addition, the song retains the dance feel the band leaned toward in the beginning. The song is a pretty straightforward break-up song which is probably why it never fit the feel of an album.



ALL THE RIGHT FRIENDS

I know you say
Maybe someday
I need never be alone
I know I say
It's the right way
But you'll never be the one

I've been walking alone now
For a long, long time
I don't wanna hang out now
With the friends that just aren’t mine

Party to party
You've been looking
But your search will never end
You've been hanging
With the wrong crowd
You've got all the right friends

I've been walking alone now
For a long, long time
I don't want to hang out now
With the friends that just aren't mine

I said
I don't wanna be with you anymore
I just don't want you anymore
I don't wanna be with you anymore
I just don't want you anymore 

I don't wanna be with you anymore
(I just don’t, I just don’t want you)
I just don't want you anymore
(I just don’t, I just don’t, I just don’t want you)
I don't wanna be with you anymore
(I just don’t, I just don’t, I just don’t want you)
I just don't want you anymore 



   Really fun song to play which has been compared to Cheap Trick's 'Way of the World' and it's close which might again be a reason it was never an official album track. The picking below seems strict, but it can be played freely. In fact, the verse pick probably hangs more on the 11 note on the G string, but I've followed the vocal line a little. 

ALL THE RIGHT FRIENDS

Verse
e|--------------------------|-2---2-2---|
B|--------------------------|-2---2-2---|
G|-6-6-6-6>8-11--8--9--8----|-3---4-3---|
D|-7-7-7-7>9---9--9--9------|-4---4-4---|
A|-7-7-7-7>9--------------x3|-4---2-4---|
E|-5-5-5-5>7----7--7--7-----|-2---2-2---|

Bridge to Chorus
e|-4---4---4-4-4-4---4---2--|
B|-4---6---7-6-4-6---4---2--|
G|-4---6---6-6---6---4---3--|
D|-6---6---6-6---6---6---4--|
A|-6---4---4-4---4---6---4--|
E|-4---4---4-4---4---4---2--|

Chorus
e|-0---2---4---|
B|-0---2---4---|
G|-1---3---4---|
D|-2---4---6---|
A|-2---4---6---|
E|-0---2---4---|

Middle 8
e|-2-2--2--2-2--2--2-2--2------4---|
B|-2--2--2----2--2----2--2-----4---|
G|-3---3--3----3--3----3--3----4---|
D|-4---------------------------6---|
A|-4---------------------------6---|
E|-2---------------------------4---|






Wednesday, June 13, 2018

IN TIME: ANIMAL

   The first time I heard this song was on the tour just before IN TIME was released and enjoying the song without being terribly moved. The chorus 'rooftop' overlap is particularly inventive, but I remember feeling the song was an uptempo 'I Don't Sleep ... ' rehash and as I learned the guitar part that feeling was satisfied. There's a subtle shift here lyrically, and maybe it's because of the care Michael had taken with UP and REVEAL, to an over use of cliche and forced rhymes, maybe anticipating AROUND THE SUN a bit. However, there's still enough inventiveness to make the song interesting--the best example of this walking the line is the lyric 'I am vibrating at the speed of light' which feels obvious and different at the same time, and they liked the sentiment enough to put it on a t-shirt (running down the sleeves on one design making me think putting 'we're sick of being jerked around' down a sleeve would've made more sense). The song became a favorite to play live and according to setlist.fm was just behind 'Country Feedback' for amount of times played. The video is sort of the beginning of Mike and Peter washing their hands of performing for the camera and leaving everything to Michael, I've included it because it's the different mix of the song and also because it is (with 'Lotus') Michael finally going for the whole lip-sync thing. Finally, I have decided to put an attempt at what Mike is saying after the lyrics instead of woven into the song as my interpretation is distracting. There's no way he is saying anything like what I have, and if he is actually saying something specific he doesn't care if we know what it is. When they played the song live, he started changing the lyric which falls into his penchant for not really honoring or remembering the exact recording performance. His aesthetic is more about the feel and sound of the words over intention, vocals as instrument and support rather than function as has been mentioned before. Someday I will spend more time trying to isolate the background vocals, but if you sing the parts below it'll sound decent, to copy the live feel make the word 'sad' sound like 'side'.






ANIMAL

Hey what’s the big deal?
Tell me how to feel
I know where I boomeranged and fell from grace
Point me to the stars I’m up for the chase
I know where we fell on our face

Jump with me
You jump with me

Hey!
What’s the big deal?
I’m an animal
(The answer landed on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(The future and the truth on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(It’s calling me to work it out, it’s calling me to work it out, whoa)

I don’t wanna boomerang
I don’t wanna cannonball
I’m not angling
I don’t want to fall
Tell me I’m the anchor of my own ascension
Tell me I’m a tourist in the fourth dimension

Hey!
What’s the big deal?
I’m an animal
(The answer landed on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(The future and the truth on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(It’s calling me to work it out, it’s calling me to work it out, whoa)

Work it out

I am vibrating at the speed of light
Take my hand we’ll wind up the night
Spin me, win me, lift me, kiss me
Trip me, cuss me, bend me, trust me
Touch me now you take my hand
You trust me now you understand

So, what’s the big deal?
I’m an animal
(The answer landed on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(The future and the truth on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(It’s calling me to work it out, it’s calling me to work it out)
What’s the big deal?
I’m an animal
(The answer landed on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(The future and the truth on my rooftop, whoa)
I’m an animal
(It’s calling me to work it out, it’s calling me to work it out, whoa)

I am vibrating at the speed of light
(I am vibrating at the speed of light, yeah I am vibrating at the speed of light, I am vibrating at the speed of light)

    VERSE BACKING VOCAL THOUGHTS:
The lip so sad it was so sad oh whoa
The lip of sad it was so full oh whoa
The lip of sad it was so whoa

The lip of side it was so full whoa
Turn oh was so whoa
Turn oh was so whoa

The lip so full it was so full whoa

The lip so full it was oh whoa


   If you already learned 'I Don't Sleep, I Dream' good news! This is the same song with a couple extra chords and a lead. I've always enjoyed playing Sleep, so this one is fun too--I wonder if it was an excuse for Peter to keep a riff idea he liked and be able to justify playing it live. Sort of like how they used to re-tool old songs when they got sick of them.

ANIMAL

Verse/Riff
e|-----7----7-----|
B|--5---5-5--5-5--|
G|---5-----0--0---|
D|-7--7--7--------|
A|-0--------------|
E|----------------|

Chorus
e|-0---3---2---0-|
B|-0---3---3---2-|
G|-0---0---2---2-|
D|-2---0---0---2-|
A|-2---2-------0-|
E|-0---3-------0-|

Lead (C-D x3, F-G)
e|--x-x-x-x-x-x-x----------1---1-1-------1>3--3-3-5p-3--|
B|-10-8-5-3-1-3-3-10-8-5-3-1-3h---1-3p-1-1>3-3-3--------|
G|--9-7-4-2-2-0-2--9-7-4-2------------------------------|
D|--0-0-0-0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------|



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

IN TIME: BAD DAY

   There's a lot to like about this song. After REVEAL it sounds like a band getting back to basics, they're dusting off the old trick of resurrecting old discarded tracks, and it was extremely timely politically. I remember hearing of PSA (Bad Day), but I had never heard a copy of the original before this version came out so as a fan I was super excited. The song gave them a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and charted well everywhere. The original idea for this song was scrapped and became ITEOTWAWKI, and after a few listens it's easy to understand why as the repetitive nature of the song wears thin a little. I also turned off the song when Michael started playing harmonica on it live, which he also does in the demo, but--yuck, even as a sardonic nod to Dylan it's painful. It's the perfect mood song for a bad day, and a good song for the Bush/Iraq War era showing the frustration of watching a country do something stupid and not being able to stop it. Fifteen years later I guess we're not sick of being jerked around because we're at it again. Another exciting development is the Mike Mill vocal, which is a little bland, but one of the criticisms of REVEAL was his harmonies were not around, so it's good to hear him again. It's the perfect track for a compilation and 'Romance' worked so well on EPONYMOUS, this being a sort of sequel, the band tossed a few tracks on the album. By this time they realized putting new tracks on a best of would make it an essential purchase. Added the music video because it's very inventive and the demo because. Short story: When I asked my daughter what R.E.M. songs she had on her collection, somehow she only had this song and I think 'Imitation of Life' which wouldn't have been my first choices for her--this was when I knew I failed her musically, but kids are supposed to hate their parents music, right?





BAD DAY
A public service announcement followed me home the other day
I paid it never mind
Go away
Shits so thick you could stir with a stick
Free teflon whitewashed presidency
We're sick of being jerked around
Wear that on your sleeve

Broadcast me a joyful noise into the times lord
Count your blessings
We're sick of being jerked around
We all fall down

Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus subcommittee prize
Investigation dance
Those ants in pants glances
Well look behind the eyes
It's a hallowed hollow anesthetized
Save my own ass, screw these guys
Smoke and mirror lock down

Broadcast me a joyful noise into the times lord
Count your blessings
The papers wouldn't lie, I sigh, not one more

It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please
It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please

We're dug in the deep the price is steep
The auctioneer is such a creep
The lights went out, the oil ran dry we blamed it on the other guy
Sure all men are created equal
Here's the church, here's the steeple
Please stay tuned, we cut to sequel
Ashes ashes we all fall down

Broadcast me a joyful noise into the times lord
Count your blessings
Ignore the lower fears
Oh this means war

It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please
It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please

I saw the light it can’t be right

Broadcast me a joyful noise into the times lord
Count your blessings
We're sick of being jerked around
We all fall down

It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please
It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please
It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please
It’s been a bad day
Please don’t take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please



   Another fun riff from Peter, re-purposed from the demo into something a little more solid but the finger slide to the notes was fun too. Just in this song versus its demo you can hear how Peter isn't above playing chords in the arena version of the band. This way Mike doesn't have to fill in the spaces as much!

BAD DAY

Verse/Riff (2nd and 4th times, don’t slide to C)
e|-0---------0----------1---1>3--|
B|-1---------1----------3---3>5--|
G|-2---------0-----0----3---3>5--|
D|-3-3-3-2-0-2-0-2h-2-0-3---3>5--|
A|-0---------3----------1---1>3--|
E|-0---------0----------1---1>3--|

Verse Riff (Guitars 1 and 2)
e|-6-6-6-5-3-5-5-5-3----|
B|------------------6---|
G|-3-3-3-2-0-2-2-2-0----|
D|------------------3---|
A|----------------------|
E|----------------------|

Bridge to Chorus
e|-0---0---1---1----|
B|-1---1---3---3----|
G|-0---0---2---3----|
D|-2---2---0---3----|
A|-3---3-------1----|
E|-0---0-------1----|

e|-0---0---1---1-|-0---0-|
B|-1---1---3---3-|-1---1-|
G|-0---0---2---3-|-2---0-|
D|-2---2---0---3-|-2---2-|
A|-3---3-------1-|-0---3-|
E|-0---0-------1-|-0---0-|

Bridge to Chorus Riff
e|--------------------|
B|-1111-3333-5555-6---|
G|-0000-0000-0000-0---|
D|--------------------|
A|--------------------|
E|--------------------|

Chorus
e|-8---3---3--|
B|-10--5---3--|
G|-10--5---3--|
D|-10--5---5--|
A|-8---3---5--|
E|-8---3---3--|

Lead (Over Chorus Chords)
e|-13b----------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------|
G|-10b----------------------------------|
D|--------3-2-0-------0--3-2-0----------|
A|-------------3-1-1-3-0------3---1-0---|
E|-------1--------------1------3-3---3--|

e|--------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------|
D|--3-2-0-------0--3-2-0----------|
A|-------3-1-1-3-0------3---1-0---|
E|-1--------------1------3-3---1--|




Friday, June 1, 2018

REVEAL: BEACHBALL

   Another album down, two more to go and a revisit of CIN puts a wrap on the major portion of the blog--the end is in sight. Speaking of the end, what a way to end an album--I mean it's no 'Find the River' but ... okay, it's really not FTR. However, the album stays extremely true to its themes and style that the song wraps up REVEAL quite nicely. I've never had any problem with the song per se, when tagged on to the end of REVEAL, I mean if you get this far with a drastically different R.E.M. sound your beef shouldn't be with 'Beachball.' The song is perfectly harmless. That said, if you were to introduce a non-listener to ... say ... 'Radio Free Europe' followed by this song, good luck with that mixtape. I can't imagine the drum beat is not simply a preset rhumba beat, it's almost like the old They Might Be Giants method of percussion when they didn't have a full band. Unlike UP and NAIHF, this song isn't as much a harbinger to the next album as it is a final completion of a phrase. Some cool imagery here as always, the standard French blessing for sneezing, the 'coffee klatch career,' and the final welcoming of other people create a wistful and welcoming evening. This song might get the award for least R.E.M.-like song. They never played it live.




BEACHBALL
Tonight's alive the beachball's set to fly
Those well tequila'd guys who smile at strangers

à tes souhaits
à tes amours chéri
You give a little sneeze and dance the rhu-rhu-rhu-rhu-rhumba

This life is sweet
We're dancin' in the street
Who knows who you might meet?
You'll do fine

The little weekend's here
Thursday has an ear
Her coffee klatch career she talks to strangers

And kissing by the sea
Particular to me
'ti punch, mojito, sling, and dance the rhu-rhu-rhu-rhu-rhumba

This life is sweet
We're dancin' in the street
Who knows who you might meet?
You'll do fine

We flash the seaside sky
With starfish butterflies
To cast a spell and welcome locals, weekenders, and strangers

You'll do fine
You'll do fine
You'll do fine




   This song is mostly keyboard, but there is some guitar in there. I've converted some of the keyboard flourishes to guitar for fun. I've found using the Db chord in the song and the Db7 for the end the most pleasant, but you could do wither for the whole track. Also, Capo 3 for ease!

BEACHBALL

CAPO 3
Verse (Bb-Db x3, Cm-G)
g |-3---1----------0------0----|
D |-3---3--------1--1-1----0-0-|
A#|-0---3-------2-2--2--1---1--|
F |-0---3--------------2-2-----|
C |-2---1----------------------|
G |-3---1---x3-----------------|

Chorus (Fm7-G)
g |-2---0---2---0---2---0---2--|
D |-2---0---2---0---2---0---2--|
A#|-2---1---2---1---2---1---2--|
F |-0---2---0---2---0---2---0--|
C |-0---2---0---2---0---2------|
G |-0---0---0---0---0---0------|

Verse Keyboard Riff
g |----3-----3-5-----3---------|
D |-3-3-6-3-3---6-3-3-6-8-8-5--|
A#|--4-----4-------4----------1|
F |----------------------------|
C |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|

Chorus End Riff
g |---------|
D |-2-0-0---|
A#|----2-4--|
F |---------|
C |---------|
G |---------|

Final Pick (Bb-Db7)
g |-3---3---1---1-----|
D |--3---3---3---3----|
A#|---4---4---2---2---|
F |----5---5---3---3--|
C |-------------------|

G |-------------------|


Thursday, May 31, 2018

REVEAL: I'LL TAKE THE RAIN

   Upon reflection, there is an earnestness in this song that comes across as forceful philosophizing. However, I'm no longer sure I'll Take The Rain actually wants to push us in any direction and the character here is simply trying to make a point a la: if I were given the choice between a beautiful day with you and a rainy day alone, I'll take the rain. Sort of a punch line, like in Grease where summer ends and Danny and Sandy miss each other, except in the case of this song it didn't end well. Here interpretations are beside the point, what is the point is why I didn't care for the song one way or the other for a long time--this is where the album fell flat for me and summed up everything about why I wasn't infatuated with REVEAL as a whole. I'm not really given a reason why such a drastic choice is made in this song, plus at the time it felt like the song was trying too hard to be musically anthemic when it's actually rather personal in nature. As I've combed through the song for this post I've come to appreciate it in a different context, but I can't put it up there with the other re-discovered gems on this album. Some key lines: 'In summer's yawn now hopeless' and my favorite 'summer schemes and stretches out to stay.' This song makes me think the summer of the album is over, but the Beachball of the next song helps us remember the wistful times.




I'LL TAKE THE RAIN
The rain came down
The rain came down
The rain came down on me
The wind blew strong and summer's song
Fades to memory

I knew you when
I loved you then
In summer's yawn now hopeless
You laid me bare and marked me there
The promises we made

I used to think as birds take wing
They sing through life so why can't we?
We cling to this and claim the best
If this is what you're offering
I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain

The nighttime creases
Summer schemes and stretches out to stay
The sun shines down you came around
You love the easy days

But now the sun the winter's come
I wanted just to say
That if I hold
I’d hoped you'd fold and open up inside
Inside of me

I used to think as birds take wing
They sing through life so why can't we?
We cling to this and claim the best
If this is what you're offering
I'll take the rain, I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain

This winter song I'll sing along
I've searched it’s still refrain
I'll walk alone if given this take wing and celebrate the rain

I used to think as birds take wing
They sing through life so why can't we?
We cling to this and claim the best
If this is what you're offering
I'll take the rain, I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain, I'll take the rain, I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain
I'll take the rain




   A fairly basic strum here, but I love the F7 into a G with the same shape. The picking is fun as well, it's hard for me to play notes above my 12th fret, so I play it at the 3rd in the same shapes and it still sounds cool. 

I'LL TAKE THE RAIN

Intro : Am (Lift finger for Am7 at end of measure)

Verse
e|-0---0---0---0-0----|
B|-1---1---1---3-1----|
G|-2---2---2---4-2----|
D|-2---3---2---5-3----|
A|-0---0---0---0-0----|
E|-0---0---0---0-0----|

Chorus
e|-0---0---0---0----|
B|-1---1---0---1----|
G|-0---2---0---2----|
D|-2---2---2---3----|
A|-3---0---2---0----|
E|-0---0---0---0----|

Chorus Pick (Chords above 12th fret)
e|-----15------15------17------17------15------15------17------17---|
B|---17--17--17--17--17--17--17--17--17--17--17--17--18--18--18--18-|
G|-17------17------17------17------16------16------17------17-------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------|

End Chorus Lead
e|-12-10--------10-12-10--------10---------------------10-----------10---|
B|------13-12-13--------13-12-13--12-12-13h-12-10-13-10--13-10-13-10--13-|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-12-10--------10-12-10--------10------------------13-------------------|
B|------13-12-13--------13-12-13--12-12-13h-12-10-13--13-13>15-13-10-13--|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-12-10--------10-12-10--------10---------------------10-----------10---|
B|------13-12-13--------13-12-13--12-12-13h-12-10-13-10--13-10-13-10--13-|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-12-10--------10-12-10--------10------------------------------------------|
B|------13-12-13--------13-12-13--12-12-13h-12-10-10-13>15-13-10-13>15-12-13|
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Middle 8 Lead (G-Bm x3, G-F-G-F)
e|-------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------|
G|-------------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------4-4-5-3-----|
A|--3>5-3-2---3>5-3-2-3-5---2-3-5-5----------|

E|-3-----3---3-----3-------3------------3-1--|