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Day 18 – Around the Sun…. the Song

September 19th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

The continuing adventures of “Eric’s Trip Around the Sun”. One final trip with the iPod.


There are days when you are left with an almost endless supply of music to write about. Beyond the selections below, I also had mistyped Weird Fishes/Arpeggi and thus it appeared as Arpeggi(Weird Fishes) for a live Radiohead set. Also included was such standouts as Elf Power’s ‘The Arrow Flies Close’, back when the band was coming out with solid material as well as tracks from Mike Watt and White Fence. Let’s not forget Pink Floyd and ‘Arnold Layne’, where The Floyd start their career off properly by writing about a deviant man. (Yes, Pink Floyd cornered the market on writing songs about deviants and insane individuals).

Instead, I must write about ‘Around The Sun’ the title track to R.E.M.’s most dubious album ever written. In terms of critical acclaim the album has always been stuck at the bottom of the heap as being a hot mess. This is not up for debate. For you youngsters at home however, reading this blog the 1st post as well as the byline before every entry are inspired by this song.

Hot Mess, yes. However, I still find about 4 songs on this album better than anything that they wrote during the naughts.

Michael Stipe spent the better part of his 20s and 30s writing about sad depressing shit and he did a pretty awesome job at it but he is not that person anymore. A good example, is ‘Make It All Okay’, off this same album which might be my least favorite song that doesn’t even come off as R.E.M. by Numbers but rather R.E.M. off the rails.

Point is, he has have a different perspective in life and there are points when he does that really well and this was one of those situations. For me it was a theme song to Barack Obama (who I still believe that was the best fucking president of my lifetime). In the midst of the Bush era, there was not all that much to be joyful about. The fact is, that beyond all the naysayers I did have hope and we do have change and quite a bit for the better. This was one of those songs that kept me going when you would think some election surprise would ruin his chances. This was on top of quite a few songs that were very political and he goes through his thoughts and feelings about the first few years of the Bush years and says, “It’s gonna get better.” And Stipe was right.

When you start counting points for favorite albums or songs, do you still sometimes get goosebumps when you listen? Number 1 sign that a song fucking rocks.

• Nico – Ari’s Song
• Pink Floyd – Arnold Layne
• R.E.M. – Around the Sun
• Wilco – Art of Almost

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