Friday, November 30, 2007

MNI2k: The Album That Never Was

Unfortunately, the task of reconstructing an album that was never recorded is one that French Philosophe and notable bettin’ man Blaise Pascal might have described as impossible (that’s “impossible” for those of you in Upper Canada). There are just too many unknowns, not least among them Don Varner.

But here is an interesting starting point: on the day before my 28th birthday – which is the traditional rock-and-roll retirement age – I drafted a list of songs under the heading “Second CD.” For each song, I included REM/Life's-Rich-Pageant-style taglines, featuring first-draft lyrics, inscrutable explanations, or other tangential quips:

Hurricane Days

Girl #134

On The Road

Second Time Around

Two Miles Underground

Big Tin Truck

Friend That I Once Knew

My Horizon

Like You

If I Don’t Come Back


red underwater memories linger.

the hand that slaps.

beacon in the night.

ice age size disaster.

subterranean homespun blues.

wide-load brain.

thanks, Mom.

release the hounds.

take that.

twenty-one years; it’s gone.

tarnished armor.

Coincidentally, this imaginary tracklist dates one week prior to our very last concert, at LA Chiropractic College. As fate would have it, Don could not make it to the show, and the “classic” lineup was never to be reassembled.


That’s French for “Oh well, at least we can analyze it to death on the internet!”

Here goes:

Matt and I had recorded a bunch of these in acoustic demo form during the “Black and Blue Sessions” of July-August 1998. A couple others from this list turned up later in the one live performance by Ten Dollar Helmet, in 2002. As for the rest, Vic’s song, “Like You,” is a caustic rock-and-roll gem that has never been aired. The last track, “Sleepwalk” was my own pet project, an instrumental postlude to Matt’s anthemic ballad, “Knight in Dullard Armor.” I probably had in mind closing the album with "Dullard Armor" followed immediately by this instrumental continuation of the music.

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