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January 2nd, 2003

We Need Another Green

The year was 1988. George Bush I was about to become President of the United States, and the Reagan years were coming to a close. A little rock group from Athens, Georgia was about to release its first release on a mainstream label. The band was R.E.M., and the album they released in 1988 was Green.

It was a marked departure from their last album, Document, which felt overly bitter and cynical. Green was filled with a new hope and optimism, while keeping its eye square on the rearview mirror. The band stepped up and became U2-like in some facets, particularly via its environmental stance, and soon enough, R.E.M. became “that green band” to many new listeners.

After thinking about it for some hours (30 minutes), I realized that the mainstream music world needs another Green. Something that is more substantial than the majority of pop and rock that’s out there, but also not so filled with content as to depress the hell out of one. Somewhere in-between. Our situation is eerily similar to how it was in 1988, save for the possibility of impending war. We’re still clawing away at our environment, we’re still dominated by big companies, we’re still working towards a weird isolationist/non-isolationist duality.

Simply having one album out there that knows this, and talks about it, and gives hope certainly won’t change things overnight. But it’d give a lot more comfort to people than something our President says.

Thanks to Ryan for covering me when my car broke down, the dog ate my Ping, my bus was late, my train was late, my Segway malfunctioned, my computer went into 286-emulation mode, and my left foot turned purple.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday January 2, 2003 -- 1:41:25 pm
Try the Ocean Blue's Davy Jones' Locker. I could write a lot about this but I have to get back to work! (Life as the Resident Retail Guru is still crazy even in January! Go buy stuff on sale!)

FROM: Matt
DATE: Friday January 3, 2003 -- 2:06:52 pm
REM were definately one of the better bands to make it in the 80's and 90's. Paul, I too dream of music that makes it being substantial, but aside from a POD here and a U2 there substantial music remains in the underground.

FROM: Sarah
DATE: Tuesday January 28, 2003 -- 10:05:52 am
I think this is the main reason that folk's becoming trendy again. People are looking for more meaning in music. Thinking songwriters are conscious of events and the impact we have on the world around us. I think singer/songwriters like Dar Williams can fill that 'no green gap' without the little-too-kitchy Joni Mitchell factor.

FROM: The Lizard
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 2:19:14 am
I think that's why sometimes I stick to Spyro Gyra - or early 90's hip hop... It's that whole "alternitave" style that always seems to have a "darkening" part to it. These days nothing is really that good on the radio anymore... Too bad you couldn't sit and listen to me play the keyboards - it'd relax you so nice - it eventually puts you to sleep. That's the type of mood I like to be in to listen to music...stuff that's played from the heart - these days there is too much stuff played from the HATE! - and that's an art of fact!

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