Perfect Square

This happens every so often: I’m in some mellow, acoustic-rock, AAA mindset when — BAM! — some shit stirs up the rock in me.

Ok, ok, not the AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age rock. The smart rock, the sensitive rock, the cerebral rock. Tonight it was REM’s new live DVD, ‘Perfect Square’ that whipped me into a frothy rock frenzy.

I know, I know… you’re all like, ‘Huh? REM? Puh-lease.’

Well, to spare myself the injustice of defending my favorite band ever’s ability to rock, I’ll simply supply these two footnotes:

  • My first (teenager, parent-less) concert was REM’s ‘Document’ tour in 1985. I was in the second row, close enough to see Michael Stipe’s mascara.
  • My favorite guitar solo (upon which I modeled many a guitar solo on my records) is Peter Buck’s in ‘Flowers of Guatemala.’ Pure, simple, elegant … genius.

And you may recall the life-affirming, fraternal-bonding experience I shared with my brother at the band’s MSG performance last fall. Shit, they’re what really got me into music to begin with.

So, anyway, here I am in the process of setting up a guitar/cello/drums/keys show, here I am setting up my home studio for solo acoustic recording and… BAM! The roar of the crowd, the adoring, anonymous faces, the din of feedback, the thunder of the drums … And there, in the middle of it all, Michael Stipe turning the crowd with a gesture.

So, first thing tomorrow, I will set up a proper Rock Show at a proper NYC Rock Venue.

You’ll join me, won’t you?

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