Friday, August 17, 2018

ACCELERATE: UNTIL THE DAY IS DONE

   I can't unthink of Anderson Cooper riding on a boat with this one. The track was used before the album came out for a series called PLANET IN PERIL on CNN and I think that sort of commercialism is hard for a fan--I'm not sure if the song ever redeemed itself for me. But it's a beautiful song along the lines of 'Find the River' or 'Sweetness Follows.' All the late R.E.M. hallmarks are here, catchy riffs, solid bass line, and anthemic lyrics. In an album that flies by it's a nice respite for what's to come and a strange slowing down after a song called 'Accelerate.' There's nothing much more to say about this except Michael says it's the sister song to 'I Wanted To Be Wrong' and the key to the song is in the Middle 8. Pretty clearly a rebuke of the Bush era and the hawkishness of the whole executive branch in the 2000's.



UNTIL THE DAY IS DONE

The battle’s been lost, the war is not won
An addled republic, a bitter refund
The business first flat earthers licking their wounds
The verdict is dire, the country’s in ruins

Providence blinked facing the sun
And where are we left to carry on
Until the day is done
Until the day is done

So we’ve written our stories to entertain
These notions of glory and bull market gain
The teleprompt flutters, a power surge brings
An easyspeak message falls into routine

Providence blinked facing the sun
And where are we left to carry on
Until the day is done
Until the day is done

A voice whispers ‘son’
The blessed vision comes
What have I done?
What have I done?

So hold tight your babies and your guns
Forgive us our trespasses, father and son

Providence blinked facing the sun
And where are we left to carry on
Until the day is done
Until the day is done
Until the day is done
Until the day is done



   Great song to just lazily pick along to. It kind of feels like Final Straw, but a little less folk and more Buck. I like how he emphasizes the B string in the high part of the pick. There's also a VERY prominent 12 string in the recording that fills out the song if you have one. There's some other flourishes in the background I didn't tab out, but they're easy enough to pick out if you want them. Important note: Peter puts an extra beat in the verse after the first time through, play along with the song to feel it out.

UNTIL THE DAY IS DONE

Intro/Verse
e|-0------0------0---------0>0<0-------0---|
B|-3------3------3---------3>5<3-------3---|
G|-2-0-2h-2-0-2h-2---------2>4<2-------2---|
D|-0------0------0---------0>0<0---2-0-0---|
A|-----------------3---2-0----------3------|
E|----------------------3------------------|

Chorus
e|-5-3-2-x---------x---------x-----------------|
B|-------3--3---3--3--3---3--3--3---3---3------|
G|-------0---0---0-0---0---0-2-2---2---2-------|
D|-------2-2---2---0---------0---0---0---0-----|
A|-------3----3----2-2---2--------0---0--------|
E|-------0---------3----3------------------x3--| 

e|-5-3-2-0--0---0--x---------x--------------|
B|-------2---2---2-3--3---3--3--3---3---3---|
G|-------2-2---2---0---0---0-2-2---2---2----|
D|-------2----2----0---------0---0---0---0--|
A|-------0---------2-2---2--------0---0-----|
E|-------0---------3----3-------------------| 

Middle 8
e|-x-----------x----5-3-2------x---------x---------x--------|
B|-3--3--5-3-5-3--3------------3--3---3--3--3---3--3--3--3--|
G|-0---0-------2---2-----------0---0---0-0---0---0-2---2--2-|
D|-2-2---------0-0-------------2-2---2---0---------2-2--2---|
A|-3---------------------------3----3----2-2---2---0---0----|
E|-0----------------------x2---0---------3----3----0--------|



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

ACCELERATE: ACCELERATE

   According to my unofficial recollection, I've only pounded one R.E.M. song and that was 'The Wake Up Bomb'--not my favorite. This one is a runner up to my least favorite track and it's hard to place why. Perhaps its because the song is pedestrian in a way I don't expect from the band. When I was in a band we wrote songs like this and we pretty much sucked, in fact this would not have been our best song. Unlike most of Michael's lyrics I can't really get any visuals except for falling, jumping out a window, but not suffering as much as others--I read somewhere a speculation that this was about the falling man on 9/11. I can't get a handle, but Michael once said the ending is cut off before the person can finish the thought ... the last word should be 'control.' One up side is Bill Rieflin on the drums, particularly live, he's going apeshit!




ACCELERATE

Sinking fast, the weights chained to my feet
No time to argue with belief
I'm not alone a thousand others dropping faster than me
What put me here?
Nothing to hold on to
Nowhere to brake

Where is the ripcord, the trapdoor, the key?
Where is the cartoon escape hatch for me?
No time to question the choices I make
I've got to fall in another direction

The last thing I remember is climbing up the stairs
I threw the window open, challenging despair
I don't know what I need
I needed time
I needed to escape
I saw the future turned upside down and hesitate

Where is the ripcord, the trapdoor, the key?
Where is the cartoon escape hatch for me?
No time to question the choices I make
I've got to fall in another direction
Accelerate

The vista I see now is changing
Uncertainty is suffocating
Our hope has never felt so grating
Lit up dim and pounding pulse
To make it go, make it slow down, go

Where is the ripcord, the trapdoor, the key?
Where is the cartoon escape hatch for me?
No time to question the choices I make
I've got to fall in another direction

The city sputters like it's ready to explode
(Accelerate)
Accelerate to make it slow, make it go
(Accelerate)
Accelerate to make it slow, make it go
(Accelerate)
Accelerate
I'm incomplete
I'm incomplete
I'm incomplete



   This song is not un-fun to play, but it gets a little boring. It's all Peter Buck special power chords that are nice and open. Scott McCaughey is doing some nifty doodling, but I didn't really tab all of that, just a couple of things to keep it interesting. Maybe the best thing about this one is that open F# pick and adding it to the chord progression.

ACCELERATE

Intro/Outro
e|------------|
B|-----0----0-|
G|----0----0--|
D|--11---11---|
A|-9----9-----|
E|------------|

Verse
e|-0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0--|
B|-0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0--|
G|-4---4---9---7---4---4---0---0--|
D|-4---4---9---7---4---4---5---5--|
A|-2---2---7---5---2---2---5---5--|
E|-0---0---0---0---0---0---3---3--|

Chorus
e|--0---0--------0---0--|
B|--0---0--------0---0--|
G|-11---7--------0---0--|
D|-11---5--------7---5--|
A|--9---0--------7---5--|
E|--0---0---x3---5---3--|

Chorus (Guitar 2)
e|--0---0---0--------0----0---|
B|--0---0---0--------0----0---|
G|-11---5---7-------14---12---|
D|-11---5---7-------14---12---|
A|--0---0---0--------0----0---|
E|--0---0---0---x3---0----0---|

Final Chorus (Guitar 2)
e|--7--10--------5----7---|
B|--x---x--------x----x---|
G|--9---9--------7----9---|
D|--0---0--------0----0---|
A|------------------------|
E|----------x3------------|


Sunday, August 5, 2018

ACCELERATE: HOUSTON

   According to Michael he wrapped up these lyrics about five minutes before going on in Dublin and it turned out to be one of Peter's favorite lyrical moments on the album. The song is very short, compacting everything it needs into a brief time frame, possibly symbolizing the quickness with which people can lose everything. From the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this song could've been a scorching of the Bush response and while that is in there with the excellent first line, the song leans more toward the human cost of natural disasters and the strength it takes to trudge ahead. While the song is very short, I can't imagine a longer version--and this dilemma is rectified with the sequel 'Oh My Heart' on CIN. I've always enjoyed this song because it feels and sounds like an epic natural disaster, and through its succinctness there's a novel's worth of narrative. Also, those of us fans following the story of Michael's love for the song Galveston (originally by Don Ho, but popularized by Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb)--from the covers to the 'Karaoke Story'--get a satisfying name drop. I have to throw this great live version down over the album version:




HOUSTON

If the storm doesn't kill me the government will
I've got to get that out of my head
It's a new day today and the coffee is strong
I finally got some rest
So a man's put to task and challenges
I was taught to hold my head high
Collect what is mine, make the best of what today has

Houston is filled with promise
Laredo’s a beautiful place
And Galveston sings like that song that I loved
Its meaning has not been erased

And so there are claims forgiven
And so there are things that are gone

Houston is filled with promise
Laredo’s a beautiful place
And Galveston sings like that song that I loved
Its meaning has not been erased

And some things, they fall to the wayside
Their memories yet to be stilled
Belief has not filled me
And so I am put to the test



   This is a really fun song to play on acoustic with its hammers and walks. I've added the little bit of mandolin in the background and the heavily distorted atmospheric notes which may or may not be the bass, but are a fun addition. I particularly like how it seems to end on the Middle 8 with a new progression. I've also made the final mandolin chord a Dm which is more in the spirit of the verse chords, in fact if you substitute the Dm for the D2 in the guitar line it sounds cool as well.


HOUSTON


Intro
e|-0---0--|
B|-6---5--|
G|-7---4--|
D|-0---0--|
A|--------|
E|--------|

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

Verse Slide
e|--------------|
B|--------------|
G|--------------|
D|-0---0--0-0---|
A|-5---5>10-5---|
E|-0---0--0-0---|

Chorus
e|-0---0--------1---3----|
B|-7---5--------1---3----|
G|-7---5--------2---4----|
D|-7---5--------3---5----|
A|-0---0--------3---5----|
E|-0---0---x3---1---3----|

Chorus (Mandolin)
e|-2---0----0------0---3--|
a|-0---3---5-------0---2--|
d|-0---2-----------3---0--|
g|-2---0------x3---5---0--|

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

Outro (Mandolin)
e|-1---0---3---1---0---3---1--|
a|-0---0---2---0---0---2---0--|
d|-0---3---0---0---3---0---0--|
g|-2---5---0---2---5---0---2--|


Friday, July 27, 2018

ACCELERATE: HOLLOW MAN

  'Hollow Man' is a very short song. Their second single off the album starts slow and then builds from 1st to 5th gear immediately. The idea that you make choices for yourself and then before you know it you're someone you never thought you'd be is rife with potential, but the song always goes by too quickly for me. It's good, but it's never really impacted me one way or another--I've seen some rumblings that many people consider it a great song on a resurgent album. That's totally cool. Like most of Michael's later lyrics, this song can take on many social meanings. Now I think this song is in conversation with a world getting away from binary standards--the character finding themselves behind as the social conventions pass them by. Cool video by Crush Inc below, the opinion on the song above comes from a tangential interview where the designers talk about discussing the meaning of the song with Michael. Love the complicated mess line.





HOLLOW MAN

I've been lost inside my head
Echoes fall off me
I took the prize last night for complicated mess
For saying things I didn't mean and don't believe

Believe in me, believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I've become the hollow man, have I become the hollow man I see?

I see this echoing
You had placed your trust in me
I went upside down
I emptied out the room in thirty seconds flat
I can't believe you held your ground

Believe in me, believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I've become the hollow man, have I become the hollow man I see?

I'm overwhelmed, I'm on repeat
I'm emptied out, I'm incomplete
You trusted me, I want to show you
I don't want to be the hollow man

Believe in me, believe in nothing
Corner me and make me something
I've become the hollow man, have I become the hollow man I see?
I see


   Not a lot to this song, part of it is piano only and the rest mostly chords and picking. There's a very Peter Buck bridge in there that feels 'Wolves, Lower'-ish which is very cool. Play along with the song to track the couple times he goes to the E chord out of rhythm.


HOLLOW MAN

Intro (Piano)
e|--------------------|
B|-7-5-9---7-5-9-7----|
G|----------------7-6-|
D|--------------------|
A|--------------------|
E|--------------------|

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

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

Chorus
e|-0---0---4---2--|
B|-2---3---5---3--|
G|-2---2---6---4--|
D|-2---0---6---4--|
A|-0-------4---2--|
E|-0-------4---2--|

Bridge Guitar 1
e|--0--0--0---------0--0--0--0---|
B|---0--0--0-----0---7--7--7--7--|
G|----7--6--4-7-6--7--7--7--7----|
D|-7-----------------------------|
A|-------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------|

Bridge Guitar 2
e|----------------|
B|-3-5-9-7-5------|
G|----------7-6-7-|
D|----------------|
A|----------------|
E|----------------|


End on A


Saturday, July 21, 2018

ACCELERATE: SUPERNATURAL SUPERSERIOUS

   The first single from ACCELERATE is a true change of pace type of offering, there are elements of all of the previous versions of R.E.M. and the song isn't a terrible introduction to the home stretch of the band's output. This was their last single to make the Hot 100 chart. The song is featured in a non-chorus form and called 'Disguised' on LIVE AT OLYMPIA, the band apparently found a chorus and a coda in the studio (and a re-titling by Chris Martin?)--although there's a recording of them figuring out the coda live in Dublin. The additions greatly improve the original version and give the song some importance. Michael has said this is an ode to Harry Houdini (and includes a quote in the liner notes), but specifically his posthumous seantic life which I can relate to specifically because I still recall having teenage seances and being freaked out. It's odd how this song specifically conjures the mood and feeling of my experiences, plus the opening lines paint a portrait of outsiders because, let's be honest, who's really interested in seances anyway--weirdos. The coda of the song nicely captures the feelings of discovery through naivete. I like the song overall, but the distorted guitar at the beginning is not my favorite opener--it matches the feel of the song when everything kicks in, but it is too garage band for my taste. I love the Mike backgrounds here, the 'Sweet Jane' style progression, and the homages the band pay to their past sounds--there are traces of MURMUR, DOCUMENT, MONSTER, and NAIHF banging around in here. No surprise, I like it!




SUPERNATURAL SUPERSERIOUS

Everybody here
Comes from somewhere
That they would just soon forget
And disguise

At the summer camp where you volunteered
No one saw your face, no one saw your fear
If that apparition had just appeared took you
Up and away from this base and sheer humiliation
Of your teenage station
Nobody cares
No one remembers and nobody cares

How you cried and you cried
He's alive he's alive
How you cried and you cried and you cried and you cried

If you call out ‘safe’ then I'll stop right away
If the premise buckles and the ropes start to chafe
Oh, the details smart but the story's the same
You don't have to explain, you don't have to explain humiliation
Of your teenage station

Yeah you cried and you cried
He's alive he's alive
Oh you cried and you cried and you cried and you
Realized your fantasies are dressed up in travesties
Enjoy yourself with no regrets, unh, unh

Everybody here
Comes from somewhere
That they would just as soon forget
And disguise

Yeah you cried and you cried
He's alive he's alive
Yeah you cried and you cried and you cried and you cried
(Oh you cried, and you cried)
(Oh you cried, and you cried)
Now there's nothing dark and there's nothing weird
Don't be afraid I will hold you near
From the seance where you first betrayed an open heart on a darkened stage
A celebration
Of your teenage station

This inexperience, sweet, delirious
Supernatural, superserious
Inexperience, sweet, delirious
Supernatural, superserious
Wow




   Some intricate layering going on here and some chord changes that are subtle enough to not even notice upon first attempt. I never knew the intro and verse were different before tackling, all he does is hang on the Em the second time through. The lining up of the vocals creates some cool moments when he goes to the G chord. There are some rhythm changes, so if something is going strangely try playing along to the song or the instrumental on YouTube to pick up. There's more picking than seems apparent and I didn't note in the verse below, but it's standard Buck-fill. There's also an end fill I didn't post here, but it's essentially picking on the A chord to emphasize the final notes.

SUPERNATURAL SUPERSERIOUS

Intro/ Middle Bridge
e|-2---0-0---0-2---0-0---0-2---0-0---0-2---0-0--3--|
B|-3---2-0---2-3---2-0---2-3---2-0---2-3---2-0--3--|
G|-2---2-0---2-2---2-0---2-2---2-0---2-2---2-0--0--|
D|-0---2-2---2-0---2-2---2-0---2-2---2-0---2-2--0--|
A|-----0-2---0-----0-2---0-----0-2---0-----0-2--2--|
E|-----0-0---0-----0-0---0-----0-0---0-----0-0--3--|

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

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

Chorus Riff
e|----------------------|
B|-11b-----------11b----|
G|----13b-11b-------9b--|
D|----------------------|
A|----------------------|
E|----------------------|

Middle 8
e|-0---0---0---0---0---0---0---|
B|-1---0---1---0---1---1---1---|
G|-2---0---2---0---2---2---0---|
D|-3---2---3---2---3---3---2---|
A|-0---2---0---2---0---0---3---|
E|-0---0---0---0---0---0---0---|

Middle 8 Riff
e|-0---0----0----0----0---|
B|-6---8---10---12---13---|
G|------------------------|
D|------------------------|
A|------------------------|
E|------------------------|

End Hang on D-A-Em, End on D