Thursday, September 13, 2007

Autumn, What Took You So Long?

Fall has finally opted to make an appearance in Manhattan, a completely unscientific conclusion I draw in part from the chillier mornings--recalling elementary-school daybreaks I spent freezing at the bus stop, only for this eight-year-old fatass to wind up sweating to death outside during gym class three hours later--but mostly due to the single red leaf currently hanging over my backyard patio.

Of course, in addition to school, autumn immediately brings to mind R.E.M. For several years the guys from Athens released an album every fall like clockwork, providing the soundtracks to my sophomore, junior and senior years in college. This seasonal malady began innocently enough when I overheard a friend's copy of Life's Rich Pageant back in September 1986. From the opening chords of "Begin the Begin" I knew I had found the music with which I would inadvertently drive my remarkably forgiving roommate Drew--and frankly, anyone in earshot of our dorm room--batshit crazy for the remainder of the school year (actually, for several school years, until I practically brought next-door doorm-mate Dan Gezelter to tears from overplay). To this very day I still consider Life's Rich Pageant to be R.E.M.'s greatest work (with the possible exception of Murmur) and fondly recall seeing Michael Stipe accidentally fall off the stage at Cameron Stadium (and then dive off a few seconds later) during that album's tour (complete with Stipe yelling "Hello, South Carolina!" in North Carolina and opening band Let's Active, which was essentially Mitch Easter and whatever two women he was dating at the time). And to this very day I strongly feel that no introduction to this season would be complete without hearing the extraordinary Fall on Me.

So to help you ring in autumn the only proper way possible (at least according to this 40-year-old geezer), I give you the video to R.E.M.'s Fall on Me, complete with spelling error. See if you can spot it.


125records said...

My record company released Mitch Easter's new album a few months ago!

Anonymous said...

I didn't mind the R.E.M. that much. After all, we were all listening to it non-stop by that point. I was really brought to tears by all the times you thought that I wasn't home and played Starship's "We Built This City" with your volume set to 11.

Or perhaps that you folded your underwear in my room instead of yours.

Francesco Marciuliano said...

I think the worst part about the underwear bit is that your parents--who were visiting campus at the time--walked in on me doing just that. I think the only explanation you could give your folks at the time was "Well, he IS Portuguese."

Andy 3000 said...

Mitch Easter! Man, I haven't thought of that guy in about 20 years. Even after I went off R.E.M., I still liked Let's Active.

Carl said...

I assume the typo you meant was "forsight", as opposed to "dont" or "cant" (meaning "can't").

Hey, I'm

Steve Bentley said...

Amazing! A chill in the air plus R.E.M., and I'm instantly boosted to 200% melancholy!

(also, back in high school and pining over Sarah again...)

Claude said...

1986! You were a wee bit behind the curve.

Those early albums of R.E.M.'s, when all of the airplay they got was on college radio, were just sublime. I still love 'em all.

And that misspelling made my head explode when I first saw it: "No, wait, back that up!!"

Administrator said...

Ah well, they knew how to use the word in context, that's the important thing! Of course, I'm a demon for correct spelling, but I'll give Michael and co. a pass.

Emily (Blogger won't let me link to myself!)

Administrator said...

...and the "Everybody Hurts" video still makes me cry!

Emily (Emdashes--o Blogger, why won't you let me use that account?)