Final Straw

December 26, 2007

Although the song is full of textures and flourishes designed to keep it from feeling too static, “Final Straw” nevertheless comes off as a drab, monochromatic dirge. It’s sort of amazing to realize that it’s just barely over four minutes long — the song is such a tedious, repetitive slog that I was convinced the run time was closer to six or seven. That said, “Final Straw” isn’t exactly a failure. It does well to articulate a particular strain of solemn (self-)righteousness, and its flat structure evokes a sense of aggravated impotence. Basically, the piece is very successful in expressing an uncomfortable feeling, but that uncomfortable feeling isn’t particularly appealing in the form of a folk-pop song.

131 Responses to “Final Straw”

  1. GARY Says:

    Agreed. I hope to never hear the likes of this type of thing again.

  2. Elliot H. Says:

    I didn’t really mind this song that much on ATS. If I were to rank the album’s songs it would sort of in the middle. Not nearly as good as some songs (Ascent of Man, Around the Sun, Electron Blue) but much better than some others (Make it All OK, Leaving New York, The Worst Joke Ever)

  3. 2d Says:

    wow matthew, sometimes i feel like you really say things i want to say myself for some songs! i find that both amazing and infuriating. πŸ˜‰

    i don’t really dislike this song, but i find it too linear, and i think the production doesn’t help at all. for instance, the choir-like vocals that come in at some point are so spacey and monotonous that what could have been a supreme moment is destroyed… the layers/textures show some originality but the production filters the song into something that is just too mushy and lifeless for such a supposedly tensioned piece.

    as a side note, you really don’t like “around the sun”, do you? πŸ˜‰

  4. Well, if it means anything to you, I quite like the three remaining songs from Around The Sun. And if you go back, you’ll note that I’m a really big fan of “Electron Blue.”

  5. Adam Says:

    This is one of those songs where the studio did not add anything and may have even hurt it some. All the pieces are there but it just never gels into something special. I wonder about the recorded version of “Until the Day is Done” – the recorded version (played on Anderson Cooper) sounded flat just like Final Straw and I was a little disappointed. I love the song but without those extra touches it could feel very linear (like 2nd said). I never got that vibe from anything earlier in the catalog.

  6. Paul Alferink Says:


  7. Kirsten Says:

    I’m another one who’s going to have to agree with you Matthew. I think the main problem with the song is the placement on the album. Placing “I Wanted To Be Wrong” directly after it probably did both songs an injustice. They sort of just merge into one very long and tiresome nothingness in the middle of the album. Having said that (’cause I just don’t have it in me to be too negative towards REM) the song has definately grown on me after hearing it live. I no longer skip it 80% of the time, but I don’t think it’ll ever be one of my favourites.

  8. Kirsten Says:

    Oh, and Paul – Blagh is probably a little bit too harsh, even if it did make me laugh.

  9. Tim Says:

    Yeah not one of the best off of ATS, although every time I listen to ATS, I find a thing or two that makes me like the album a little bit more.

    Also, hearing Magnetic North off the 2007 Fan Club Christmas CD, I wonder where it could have fit on ATS. It certainly could have taken the place of Make It All OK or Worst Joke Ever.

    I remember liking the original version of Final Straw that was released (leaked?) a few months before the album came out.

    Also, I probably like the R.E.M Live version best, although the same could be said for all of the ATS tracks live.

    Anyways, I continue to love this blog.
    Very insightful posts, Matthew.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  10. Rich Says:

    Compared to “I Wanted to Be Wrong” this song is downright dynamic. That one feels like about two chords over twelve minutes.

  11. protimoi Says:

    Decent song. Not my favorite but I don’t hate it. Listen to the version on R.E.M. Live, it’s pure tribal music, the soundtrack to an angry mob.

  12. 2d Says:

    i agree on “until the day is done”, yet i will reserve judgement for when i’ve listened to the album πŸ™‚

    also, i dislike “magnetic north” more than anything on “around the sun”, glad they left it off. yes, it’s a demo, but not a very good one at that.

  13. Dark Bob Says:

    This song isn’t that bad. Reminds me a little of DRIVE (not nearly as good though). Problem is,is that too much of ATS has the slow, meandering sound that this song does, so it doesn’t really stand out, but gets lost in the mix. If the album was more up beat and heavy, I think it would do a song like this more justice.

  14. ScottMalobisky Says:

    bought the Live Thing yesterday thanx to my oldest bro with his Best Buy giftcard, haven’t checked this song out yet on that but am very much anticipating it after protimoi’s description…….

    RIDE THE TIGER———-blagh—–

    visualize whirled peas

  15. Ignis Sol Says:

    “Final Straw” is a folk song about frustration and hope. The ATS musical arrangement reminds me of a downed wire smacking on the pavement going into an electrical frenzy. It is also redundant compared to the far superior “I Wanted to Be Wrong.”

    Best line: and love- love will be my strongest weapon. This line is lyrically ordinary, but made extraordinary with Michael’s sincere and mildly inspiring vocal.

  16. “Mildly inspiring” just about says it all.

  17. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I actually really like Final Straw and it has increased in wonder for me the more I listen to it. I think it is a great modern twist on a 60’s folk/protest song. And I agree that the version on Live is wonderful and powerful. Sort of like with Half A World Away I think I would like to hear Bob Dylan sing this one as well! Hey, Bob should just do an REM covers album.

  18. Dark Bob Says:

    Or Rem do a Dylan covers album.

  19. Paul Alferink Says:

    If REM does a Bob Dylan Cover album, “I’m Not There”

  20. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Yeah, I’m sure REM could pull it off, but I’d be much more interested to see what Dylan did with REM tunes. How is this for a Dylan cover album(in no particular order):

    1. Maps & Legends
    2. Good Advices
    3. Swan Swan H
    4. World Leader Pretend
    5. You Are The Everything
    6. Final Straw
    7. Suspicion
    8. Hope
    9. Pretty Persuasion
    10. The One I Love
    11. Chorus & The Ring
    12. Country Feedback
    13. Half A World Away
    14. Try Not To Breathe
    15. Sweetness Follows
    16. Talk About The Passion
    17. Moral Kiosk

    Seventeen songs I’d love to hear Dylan cover, all on one nice, tidy CD!

  21. Paul Alferink Says:

    Listen. Bob Dylan the song writer is pretty cool. But as a performer?!? Please. There’s a reason why the most famous versions of most of his song are done by other people (Jimi Hendrix, Peter, Paul and Mary. Heck, Sheryl Crow’s version of “Mississippi” is better than his) I mean, when he sang Traveling Wilbury songs, I’d start yearning to hear Tom Petty sing again. That’s pretty bad. Not Roy Orbison bad, but pretty bad.

  22. Ignis Sol Says:

    Dylan is not a part of my personal orb or influence or preference, but I can appreciate his artistry and talent. No, he is not a great singer and thankfully, as PaulA mentions, there are versions of his great songs by Jimi, PPM, etc. I guess he gets a pass on being a decent vocalist because he is expressive and it supposedly comes from his heart. I don’t know. I like Orbison, don’t like Petty anymore.

    What would be a good R.E.M. song for U2 to cover?

  23. Paul Alferink Says:

    Stipe Likes Beautiful Day, and it really would have fit Reveal perfect.
    They did “One” once upon a time, (At least some combiation of REM and U2. Stipe did the singing).

    Ironically, I was thinking about this on the way to work today. I thought, “I bet REM would cover “Lightning Crashes” by Live, well. What else would be a good cover for them? A couple Radiohead songs and James song came and went in my head. Finally, Beautiful Day stuck.” All of that was in response to this. My wife got a resume sent to her work. She sent it to me in passing (because it’s a friend of a friend) and I sent her this response in jest:
    Dear Steven,

    As much as I would love to hire you, I found your resume and cover letter lacking. Despite your assurance that writing is your strong suit, you forgot the comma after “On the Journal.” Had you successful completed English 101, I’m sure you would have learned that prepositional phrases that start a sentence should be separated from the subject of that sentence with a comma. Furthermore, fascinating as I’m sure your mother finds your concert band experience in college, the fact that you were third chair flugelhorn fails to impress us, as we do not current have a concert band at the attorney generals office. Should Lisa Madigan decide to start one, and should we need a third chair flugelhorn, let me assure you that you will be first on our list to interview.

    However, I am not without pity. I notice that you attend the University of Georgia for Law School. As I’m sure you are aware, REM hails from the fine town of Athens, Georgia. And my Husband happens to be the world’s biggest REM fan. If, by chance, you happened to befriend REM while attending the University of Georgia, and were to be able to arrange a private concert by REM for my husband, I could assure you an interview. If you were able to arrange said concert with original drummer Bill Berry (since retired), I’m sure a position would be available forthwith for you at our office. If you can convince them to play “Gardening at Night,” and “Begin the Begin,” I’m sure you would be on the fast track to a supervisors position in our office.

    Also, my husband thinks they would total rock out on “Lightning Crashes” by Live, should they ever choose to cover it. See what you can do.

    Julie Crenshaw

  24. Paul Alferink Says:

    Names changed to protect, well, everyone. Except Lisa Madigan. She rocks.

  25. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I agree Dylan’s voice is lacking, but that is part of the charm – I love Dylan and would love to his his grating caterwauling do REM songs.

    U2 songs to be covered by REM? Hmmm – How about “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “Love Is Blindness” (read the lyrics from the point of view of a terrorist or any other person in love with a cause), “Peace On Earth”, “Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World”, “In God’s Country” and “Van Diemen’s Land”. All of those would fit REM well I think.

  26. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Oh, read that backwards, U2 could do a good job with “Welcome To The Occupation”, “World Leader Pretend”, “Crush With Eyeliner”, and “Falls To Climb”.

  27. jim jos Says:

    can’t say I hate it, can’t say that I don’t skip it more times than not. Does not hold a candle too much of the rest of the catalog, I think some of the other songs from ATS do well on the live cd, namely boy in the well, but I still do not really care for final straw all that much.

  28. jim jos Says:

    new cd slated to be “dropped” on April 1st.

    Three months away!!!!

    About three months from now this website will be about a year old. Nice job staying with things Matthew and all of the other posters (like me!) who have been contributing for the past year.

    New album should come out right around the time that you are finish with the existing cannon Matthew! (hint hint hint)

  29. Ignis Sol Says:

    I would like to hear Bono singing “World Leader Pretend.”

  30. jim jos Says:

    final post for final straw.

    There is a book based on the beatles catalog that came out years ago, called “Tell Me Why” which is more or less what this site has done with R.E.M. for the (original) Fab Four.

    The posts put up by Matthew, and many of the added on posts by the R.E.M. faithful are up to the standards of being put out. Could be an idea to get paid Matthew (you could take some of our posts, add them to yours, and send me us a small check!!!)

  31. ScottMalobisky Says:

    those recent comments by Will Smith that were taken out of context and so misconstrued that he had to apologize for them , were interesting to me, what I’ve been saying for years though not in those words ; he says–paraphrasing here–that no one intends to do evil , that no one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “I think I’ll go out and do something really evil today..”, and then he uses Hitler as an example of a man who truly believed he was doing a good thing despite how obviously and horrendously misguided he was . all the more compelling considering the intercepted conversation between those Al Queida guys after the assassination of Butto, like, “Peace to you.” “And to you”. “Our guys did such a great job. They were so brave.” etc etc..I find that to be even more disturbing than I would if these clowns truly believed they are the embodiment of pure evil, you know, the fact that members of the same human race can be so far apart in what they see as good and noble that they would be willing to slaughter each other over it. Mind-boggling…(And supposedly her last word was “Allah”, the same Allah I guess as the butchers ,ironically, or is that claim just a PR stunt by her people?)

    REM doing Dylan:
    “I ain’t gonna work for IRS no more
    I ain’t gonna work for IRS no more
    Well they hand you a nickel
    And they hand you a dime
    They ask you with a grin if you got any free time.”

    Digging on the Live DVD (for what it’s worth) although it seems more like Stipe with his backing band more than ever , first time I ever heard ‘I’m Gonna DJ’, agree very much with sentiments expressed earlier by a bunch of folks that the ATS stuff is stronger live (except for Electron Blue and ,disagreeing with you jimjos, Boy In The Well), amusing how when Stipe introduces Cuyahoga with , “this song takes place in the beautiful state of Ohio” the crowd seems sorta confused-or maybe surprised, not having any idea what song that might possibly be , and PB seems rather bored with the proceedings ,no ?..Probably thinking about what school to send his twins to or some other domestic unrockstar stuff. Just a job and he’s bringing home the bacon , a mighty large slab at that.

  32. jim jos Says:

    that’s okay Scott.

    I do believe that I’m Gonna DJ is going to be on the new one, however.

  33. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I like the live DVD too, but I agree that Peter looks like he’d rather be having a root canal done, especially on the newer songs.

  34. ADB Says:

    I’m a bit surprised Final Straw is getting such a hard time here – some of the other (and to me inferior) Around The Sun tracks (High Speed Train, Worst Joke Ever) seem to have had far more people sticking up for them. I agree that musically, the various production bells and whistles don’t add very much – I wish they’d gone for a much more stripped down arrangement, sometimes a strummed acoustic guitar is all you need – but lyrically, I think Final Straw rules. The words read really well printed up as a piece of writing without any musical accompaniment, and I don’t think you can say that about many REM songs – Disturbance At The Heron House springs to mind, but not too many others. I think Final Straw deserves a bit more credit, especially as it’s the first out and out political song they’d released since Ignoreland (I don’t count Bad Day).

    On another subject, people always say Peter Buck looks miserable on Live/ Perfect Square / whatever and take it to mean he’s been unhappy with the music REM have been making since 1996. I don’t buy it – it seems to me that he is absolutely fundamental to the sound / mood / tempo of every record and that actually he’s just looks like a grouchy bastard a lot of the time! Apart from the Shiny Happy People video, I will admit that then he did look like he’d rather be anywhere, doing anything…

  35. conformistmachinepeople Says:

    “mildly inspiring” is what I think of this critique. The song is by no means terrible, nor does it reach stratospheric heights of excellence. Lame take, Matt.

  36. Paul Alferink Says:

    I’m going to DJ will not be on the new album. That song smack’s of “Revolution” Sounds like it. Kinda monotone, melody-less verses. Mark my words.

  37. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I’m sure we all know what the best New Years Day song will be , one very obvious one , and a couple very pertinent but less obvious ones…..(no , not U2 New Years Day)

  38. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I agree stridently and vociferously with every one of your points there , ADB, very well put and just for the record, I quite like this song , not one of the one’s giving it a hard time . Thanks for listening.

  39. Figgy Says:

    I agree with ADB: the lyrics are quite good and express the frustrated sentiments very well so surely the song can work with the barest of acoustic guitar accompaniment. Unfortunately, the reality is that there’s something lacking in “Final Straw”. I like the song but there’s not enough there to make it a great song.

    I initially thought that studio production was to blame and looked forward to hearing it live on the ATS tour. However, on the night I saw REM play, “Final Straw” was disappointing. As was par for the course on the ATS tour, Stipe introduced a sequence of protest songs aimed at the US government. Out came “I Wanted To Be Wrong” followed by “Final Straw”. For ten minutes the band lost the audience with these flat, lifeless and (to most of the crowd) unknown songs. It was THE low point of the show. The frustrating part for me was that I hoped “Final Straw” would rock a bit more live, and it didn’t. At least not that night.

  40. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I think PB is just miserable looking in an “existential angst” sorta way, furrowed brow , can’t sleep at night, why am I here why am I here ?, is there karma in the universe ?, does what comes around really go around ? , will the slaugterers of the innocents ever have to really pay in the ultimate scheme of things ?

    I can relate ,Peter.
    Hang Tough . Believe.

  41. Kirsten Says:

    Even I, a HUGE lover of Michael Stipe, thought there were way too many shots of him on the Live DVD. When did REM turn into Michael Stipe and the others? This is the sort of crap that brakes up bands. Enen on Rockville with Mike singing, half the song was focused on Michael.

    As for Peter’s unhappiness, I honestly didn’t notice, but I did note that Michael didn’t smile much. And not much bantar between songs with either the audience or the other band members. Maybe they were just all having a Bad Day?

  42. Ignis Sol Says:

    To me, “Final Straw” has a sparse construct. It lends itself to perfect “free-style folk sing-in.” The simple to follow melody of the verses can be sung by most anyone who wants to add a verse for their lament o’the day. For instance, one can make up a verse about police brutality, unemployment or a union strike; “as we walk into these picket lines…” “our mighty voices yelling ‘we must strike!’….” and so on.

    Picture a cozy house party or a perfect circle of friends around a summer campfire. One person with a guitar and group of friends airing their impassioned gripes.

    On this topic, I am having a gathering of friends over soon and one of the topics of discussion – quite serious amongst my activist/political friends – is impeachment (for VP Cheney, most likely). I wish you all could join me – great food and drinks and lively conversations about love, life, the afterlife and foolish people. πŸ™‚

    Peace, Cheers and Happy New Year!

    brighten the world with your light!

  43. Ignis Sol Says:

    The camera loves Michael’s body. He is quite animated and charismatic. I was watching Live with a friend of mine last week and wanted to point out the other musicians who sometimes scurry around our neighborhoods here in Seattle. They were brief shots, but I managed to point them out.

    I think the transition you are talking about, Kirsten, happened during the Green tour. TourFilm focused on him at that time because he was so introverted at that time. Also, I miss the great banter and musical interludes ala the Green tour. He was also giving more intricate creative physical performances then (World Leader Pretend/You are the Everything) instead of his frenzied, trademark (and entertaining) dancing. On Live, I do like his Jesus Christ pose during “I Wanted to Be Wrong.” Did you catch that? Was not Madonna also doing the same pose (albeit on a disco crucifix) whilst singing “Live to Tell” on her last tour? Again, as noted here before, R.E.M. seems to get a pass.

  44. Figgy Says:

    I think you’re right, Kirsten. Stipe gets a lot of coverage on the live DVD. The footage could have done with more shots of the band and the inclusion of some banter.

    To be honest, I haven’t watched the DVD very much, mainly opting to listen to the live CD. I think the songs SOUND great, so this recording clearly shows a band on top of their game in the sense that they play the songs really well.

    A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a bootleg DVD on sale for $7 called “REM – The One I Love” and bought it out of curiosity (can’t go wrong for 7 bucks, right?). I actually prefer it to the official “REM Live” DVD. The live footage for “The One I Love” appears to be taken from the Monster Tour – coincidentally, just like the recent live release, the opening song is “I Took Your Name” – and it’s a joy to watch. Nice to see the original four members looking lean and young(ish), playing the songs with enthusiasm etched all over their faces. Understandable seeing as they hadn’t toured for so long.

    In particular, “Man On The Moon” on the bootleg DVD was delivered full of freshness and excitement, without the weight of playing it tour after tour for many years. To be honest, the song probably doesn’t sound any different from how they played it on the ATS tour but the older footage showed the band enjoying it more. Peter Buck actually smiled quite a lot.

  45. Elliot H. Says:

    According to Q magazine, the new album is called “Accelerate.” It’s a cool name, but it always peeves me when bands title an album after a specific song on it.

  46. Kirsten Says:

    Figgy, I know the DVD you are talking about, and it’s taken directly from Road Movie, so if you enjoyed that little snippet, buy the full DVD – you won’t regret it.

    I hope they don’t name the album after a song – that shows so little imagination. It also makes it hard for us while talking on this site (ala ATS). πŸ™‚

    Have a great New Year everyone!

    !!! πŸ™‚ !!! πŸ™‚ !!! πŸ™‚

  47. Ignis Sol Says:

    maybe the album should be called “Pavement” as in hit the pavement and “accelerate.”

    How about “Racecar”

    or “LiveLifeNow”

    I have been drinkin’ an’ talkin’ ’bout politics…

    be with peace.


  48. 2d Says:

    i still think they should rename the song “ripcord” and get it over with. πŸ˜€ if Q is correct that is. which i am reluctant to accept until i see some official news.

  49. ScottMalobisky Says:

    the new album should be called, NO SMALL PRINT—- featuring the singles, Free Is Free, Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say, Actors Not Remunerated, and Where’s The Integrity, Kenneth?

  50. jim jos Says:

    if Q said it will be Accelerate it probably will be.

    I, also, liked it more when they did not name albums after specific songs. (why is that?)

    if that is the worst their is though….

    Happy New Year’s everyone!

  51. jim jos Says:

    some r.e.m. fans are such complainers, however. Somebody already saying they don’t like one word album titles at all (on the we talk site)

    Kind of strange critique coming from a band that made albums called “Murmur” “Reckoning” “Document” “Green” “Up” and “Reveal”

  52. Ignis Sol Says:

    Accelerate is a great name for an album. R.E.M. has already proven they can think of non-title track album names, now they are doing the opposite. And that is fine. I checked out HQ and the Accele-rate hand drawn font reminds me of Reckoning and Out of Time. I strongly believe that there is a creative relationship through and through in the album making process. This includes album design, lettering, artwork and etc. The hand sketched letters (at least the appearance thereof) that are currently on HQ are indicative of a new found, grassroots creativity that the new songs out of Dublin hint. I am excited about this. I did not like font for around the sun because it is similar to Sheryl Crow’s font used on her “Sheryl Crow” album in 1996ish. It was cool then, but in 2004? C’mon Michael. I know R.E.M. has received Grammy nominations for artwork in the past. I am a bit selfish because I do expect the whole, creative package. However, in the end the music rules. In a way, this band will never let me down.

  53. Tim Says:

    Here is the new album tracklisting according to

    Living Well Is The Best Revenge
    Man Sized Wreath
    Supernatural Superserious
    Hollow Man
    Mr Richards
    Until The Day Is Done
    Horse To Water
    Sing For The Submarine
    I’m Gonna DJ

    Supposedly they have heard the album. If this is indeed the final tracklisting, interesting that On The Fly, Disguised, and Staring Down The Barrel Of The Middle Distance did not make the final cut from what was played in Dublin. (Unless they were renamed) Also it appears ‘I’m Gonna DJ’ will make it onto the new album.

    Either way, from what I heard in Dublin I am very excited for this new REM album.

  54. 2d Says:

    even if “staring down the barrel of the middle distance” wasn’t one of my favourites, it had some potential so it would be nice to at least get to hear it as a b-side. ditto for “on the fly” (glad they left it off though, that way they made room for new tracks!)

    “supernatural superserious” might be “disguised” in disguise πŸ˜‰

  55. ScottMalobisky Says:


    thrash forward red disease

  56. ScottMalobisky Says:


  57. maclure Says:

    Return of the mac… I’ve been away, how is everyone? Happy New Year! What news we have to discuss – when I saw the REM website I chuckled and my wife asked me why. Before checking it, I wondered to myself if they would announce the name today, new year, new beginnings. I was right, which is worrying. My REM fanatacism extends to the arena of prophecy.

    I was hoping for the Live DVD for Christmas but it wasnt forthcoming so I took it upon myself to get it here in Brazil – no luck. Apparently, it is not (legally) available here. That might not be the case in Rio or Sao Paulo but up here in the NE, everything happens a bit more slowly. Anyway, a friend of mine from the UK should be bringing it out later this month.

    As for Final Straw I can’t even remember what all’s been said about this but I do think it is an attempt at REM aiming for a folk-like protest song. It’s interesting that this post came after Half a World Away – another 6/8 song which was so much more textured, subtle and rewarding.

    Re: the new album, the wiki entry for it suggests 12 songs, not the 11 that virginradio list. I’m glad Man Sized Wreath made it, and am a bit dubious about I`m Gonna DJ cos I thought by including it on the Live album they were done with it.

  58. Matheus Says:

    maclure: I’m also from Brazil and I have already seen the CD/DVD being sold around here, too bad I wasn’t able to get a copy they ran out of CDs, but I’m getting it soon.

  59. photoboots Says:

    I agree that the album version is less than grand. But have you heard it live? The live versions I’ve heard I dig a LOT. It sounds less flat, more jangly, and Michael Stipe brings more umph to the vocals. The first time I heard this song was in Birmingham, AL, live during their 2003 Tour. It was great, and I was disappointed when I heard it on the album. So give a live version a listen.

  60. Paul Alferink Says:

    Because it’s been a while since anything was posted, and I went on a movie binge last week . . .
    Top Ten Movies of 2008:

    1.Gone, Baby, Gone
    Can’t figure out why this didn’t get more buzz. Fantastic acting from everyone involved, with special props to Amy Ryan. And Director Ben Affleck does a fantastic job populating his neighbor with extras that truly look like they belong there. Probably the only movie I saw this year that stayed with me for the next couple of days. Best Moment: Casey Affleck’s visit at the end.

    2. No Country for Old Men
    Javier Bardem steals the show in this one. I had forgotten how good he was. It had been a couple of years since “Before Night Falls.” And the Cohen brothers remind us that, as much as we loved the fun movies like “The Big Lebowski,” they are the people who kicked our ass with Fargo and Blood Simple . I lot of people were bothered by the ending. I enjoyed it. Best moment: Bardem’s scary conversation with the gas station owner.

    3. Juno
    Funny, fresh, fantastic. Emotional Resonance without getting all sappy. Good soundtrack. Great performances from everyone involved, but Ellen Page stands out. Best Moment: Rain Wilson and Ellen Page at the beginning.

    4. The Kite Runner
    Didn’t think I would like this movie as much, but there were a lot of things in play here. Communism, Extremism, homophobia, bravery, cowardice, redemption. Really well held together. Best Moment: (Actually, probably the worst) The Stoning at the Stadium. Horrifying.

    5. Eastern Promises: Not as good as “A History of Violence,” which I though was last years under-appreciated movie, this one is well paced and well written, with the menace of the bad guy ever so beautifully slight, and the characters wonderfully full, even those that only grace the screen for a few moments. Best Scene: The Bath House.

    6. Superbad: Is it just me, or did comedy get better after a really bad lull? Apatow is God. Best Moment: “I Heard about that in Health Class”

    7. Sweeney Todd
    Well imagined, and, actually, in an age where so many movies are so long, well edited down to the bare bones of the story. I missed some of the songs, but I didn’t miss my butt getting numb. Depp is the story here, of course, and fully in his element. Maybe not my favorite actor, but he merit consideration. Best moment: The quick cam through London at the beginning.

    8. Borne Ultimatum: I disliked the second movie of these three, but this one was as good as the first, although it lacked the Pen sequence. Best Moment: The Sniper.

    9. The Lookout: Well done. When the heck did Jeff Daniels become a good actor? I loved “The Squid and the Whale.” And he turned in his second good performance in a row with this one. Best moment: When the beeper goes off.

    10. Michael Clayton: Great performances and a good script carry this movie. A little slow at parts, but every moment Tom Wilkerson or Tilda Swinton is on the screen is spot on. Clooney is good too, but he really doesn’t get the moments the other two get. Best Moment: When Swinton’s world falls apart.

    Other movies worth seeing: Zodiac, Ratatouille, Knocked Up, The Simpson’s Movie, Hot Fuzz, Charlie Wilson’s War, Waitress, The Hoax, Breach, Grindhouse, Talk to Me, Star Dust.

    Ehh . . . Suburbia, Ocean 13, I am Legend.

    Skip it “Spiderman 3” (so disappointing because I really liked 1+2)

    Run screaming from the theater: National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

  61. ScottMalobisky Says:

    saw American Gangster , awesome , based on a true story (resulted in about 80% of the NYPD’s Drug Enforcement Unit being indicted for corruption back in the 80,s) . incredible performances by both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe..Wanna see Atonement and Charlie Wilson’s War, wanted to see I Am Legend but I’ve heard a lot of negative shit about it. Saw Spideman 3 as part of a rare social outing–seeing it not my idea–it was alright I guess though too long and cliched and seriously lacking the obligatory Kirsten Dunst underwear scene.

  62. Paul Alferink Says:

    Forgot about American Gangster. Wouldn’t make my top ten list though. Put it in other movies worth seeing.

  63. ScottMalobisky Says:

    ……I’m NotThere…?

  64. maclure Says:

    ANyone clicked on the ninetynights site? What’s that all about then, eh? I like my REM-esque wobbly, grainy films as much as the next guy but so far I’m not impressed. At least it’s something else to check online on a daily basis…

  65. Ignis Sol Says:

    Gone Baby Gone
    Bourne Ultimatum
    Kite Runner
    No Country for Old Men

    Juno is ok
    Superbad is funny, but not one of my favs for 2007
    Sweeney Todd is ok, but I am not into musicals and the Depp/Burton thing seems to be getting old.

    I am looking forward to There Will Be Blood opening this weekend. PT Anderson, I hear, changes his style in this film and it is supposed to be magnificent

    ninetynights is interesting…..

  66. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    This is going to make me sound totally like a weenie (maybe I am) but Enchanted is really good.

  67. Ignis Sol Says:

    That’s ok, I am sure Enchanted is better than the bulk of films played at this year’s Seattle LGBT Film Festival.

    One highlight: Les TΓ©moins, a film from France
    a semi-light: Itty Bitty Titty Committe, from USA
    horrendous: The Walker with Woody Harrelson and Lily Tomlin.

    Last year’s opener Shortbus was great and I got to hang with cute actors for a bit!

    So we talkin’ ’bout movies now?

    Is it true Michael Stipe was considered for the Kevin Spacey role in Se7en?

  68. ScottMalobisky Says:

    isn’t Shortbus one of Stipe’s favorite films ? I’m sure you guys know the Stipe connection to Being John Malkovich ,right? you see that ?

    Anybody ever seen The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane ? totally exquisite though not really that much happens ,
    an all-time favorite of mine . really nails something at the core of my being, I turned to look but it was gone I cannot put my finger on it now……

    So, anybody see ‘I’m Not There’ ?

    …….I wish I was an Oscar Mayer weiner (like BWD) :)……..

  69. jim jos Says:

    i didn’t want to check out the ninetynights thing, because I know all I want to know about the new album. I didn’t want to hear the new songs, not until I can listen to the album proper. I only listened to the Dublin shows once or twice on Youtube, gotta keep things fresh and I must will myself to listen to the album in its entirety on April 1st.

    I went and saw the grainy footage, because I heard that the songs were not on there….the recording studio in Dublin looks really cool.

  70. Mr Cup Says:

    Anyone seen The Darjeeling Limited?
    I’m a bit excited about that and No Country For Old Men.

    I’m also a sucker for grainy B+W album promo’s.

  71. Ignis Sol Says:

    The Darjeeling Limited, I decided to pass on. Wes Anderson is a fine director and I liked Rushmore and Royal Tannenbaums, but something about his style is now irritating. I rather watch how PT Anderson in particular has evolved as an artist (much like R.E.M.) with There Will Be Blood from Boogie Nights and Magnolia. No Country for Old Men is pretty good. The Cohen’s are always good.

    It seems odd to have the promo complete the night of the album’s actual release. I am sure they have more surprises up their sleeves. Can’t wait for Accelerate!

  72. Mr Cup Says:

    I haven’t seen Rushmore or the Royal Tannenbaums, but I loved The Life Aquatic. I think I’m alone here. It was so lush…and dry. Plus the Seu Jorge stuff was great.

    Every time I read Accelerate, I get a picture of New Adventures and hear Incinerate by Sonic Youth.

    What will Ninetynights reveal? Are they all shot yet? Is it a work in progress? Is it a work at all?

  73. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I liked Magnolia a lot (the Aimee Mann soundtrack helped me out there , dig her) . Darjeeling is a tea , right ? which brings us right back to TLGWLDTL, a misclassified movie , one always seems to find it in the horror section only because ( I guess ) there are two dead bodies in Jodie Foster’s cellar—THEY ARE THERE FOR DAMN GOOD REASON , not a horror flick at all, not at all ; the promos an description and the picture on the DVD cover also mislead one on this matter.

    Chopin’s Concerto #1 is a major part of the soundtrack, what an absolutely spine-tingling and moving piece of music !!! at least for me……..

  74. Mr Cup Says:

    I loved the Ligetti in Eyes Wide Shut. So simple, but so effective.

  75. Ignis Sol Says:

    Kubrick, a favorite director of mine, loved using Legeti’s works in his films. Hauntingly in The Shining and eerily in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick often utilized classical pieces to his soundtracks rather than original scores.

    On the subject of Jodie Foster: I am glad she is finally more open about herself. She thanked her long-time lover when she won an award recently. Talk about open secrets. πŸ™‚

  76. ScottMalobisky Says:

    “Darjeeling or Earl Gray?”, she said……;and more specifically , it’s Chopin’s Concerto #1 in E.minor that is used .

    Saw a bit of Eyes Wide Shut , not at all most of it, if I recall correctly………

    Th Shining is great.

    How about an example of a really good movie that you never really expect to be , you sit down to watch it and it totally sneaks up on you and sucks you in : Dolores Claiborne , excellent flick.

    also like Lost In Translation a lot, those shots of neon Tokyo–WOW !! and 21 Grams.

  77. Paul Alferink Says:

    I want to see Enchanted, mostly because Amy Adams is so fantastic. I really loved her in June Bug. I hear she’s really good in Enchanted, also.
    I haven’t gotten around to “I’m not there” It hasn’t been playing when we’ve gotten babysitters.

    We’re going to see at least two more movie this month, and the frontrunners are “There will be Blood” and “Atonement” Enchanted, The Savages, and I’m not There round out the top 5.

    I like Delores Claiborne. Own it.

    I never thought in a million years that “The Sixth Sense” or “The Matrix” would be cool. I also thought that the first “Bourne” movie would be ho-hum.

    “Bob Roberts” also came out of left field for me.

    Go Obama!

  78. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Huckabee is a jack-ass
    And so is Romney
    And Obama is vey cool
    And McCain is a phoenix

    I do like Obama
    But if one is to ask (me)
    I’d have to vote for McCain
    Because of experience and national security issues

    And when all the chips fall
    I believe –objectively speaking —
    McCain will be the next president
    Because of that , despite Obama’s appeal

    McCain got his mind back apparently
    He listened to the people for one thing
    After totally screwing up on the immigration issue
    I think I like him again as I did in 2000………

    where ya hangin’, Oslo ?
    I’m guessin’ you’re somewhere in New York
    Or maybe Athens

  79. Paul Alferink Says:

    Yeah. Um. . . I like McCain also. But he has no chance whatsoever. He’s to much the Maverick to win the primary, and he’s running about 4th right now on the Republican side. I think he loses New Hampshire and South Carolina and drops out. He has no traction whatsoever.

    Again, I like the guy. Read David Foster Wallace’s “Up Simba” essay about him from Rolling Stone back in 2000. Republished in book form in “Consider the Lobster” Another great essay about the AVN Porn awards in there.

  80. Ignis Sol Says:

    I do like Obama and not surprised by his victory last night. Clinton and Edwards are pretty much in a tie, but Hilary still has that distinction of being “third.”
    I am reading information on how she actually did better in the more rural areas (of an already rural state). The county by county results could be interesting. Obama seems to have brought out the youth vote, which is compelling information.

    I instinctively do not trust people like Huckabee and Romney. Their ideas tend to opress people like me just trying to live “my American dream.” In the past they are very negative toward minorities and our basic rights issues. I am writing a piece about just this issue on my website and blogs….

    This conversation somehow seems appropriate for “Final Straw.” Non?

  81. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I was pleased to see the Obama victory as well as I really thought Hillary would win in Iowa. Certainly on the democratic side of the fence I favor Obama. I have to disagree with some of you about Romney. On the Republican side I think he is the best candidate (as of now, I actually do like McCain as well but he is not going to win). Romney does come across as somewhat slick and prepackaged but he has valuse and character that I do not see in many of the other candidates. More importantly than that, I believe he can work with the Democrats rather than simply argue with them – after all he was the Republican governor of very liberal Massachussetts. Finally, I trust him to run things in an effective and efficient way. Living in Utah I saw personally how he literally saved the 2002 SLC Olympics from a near impossible quagmire of scandal, corruption, and infighting, and pulled off easily the most successful winter Olympics ever. All that said, I think I still prefer Obama to Romney though. Huckabee scares me as well.

  82. Ignis Sol Says:

    I respect that, BWD. His ability to deal with the potential disaster of those Olympics is a great success.

    I guess since I am gay and he hates gays, I have to say it is a deal breaker for me. And I too, have values – strong ones. I believe his ideas cause violence toward people like me and my friends and to me that makes him and some of his followers dangerous. All we want are basic rights, man, basic rights. And love- love will be my strongest weapon Let us hope it is the only weapons we ever have to use. πŸ™‚

  83. ScottMalobisky Says:

    the best thing I see is about Huckabee is his FANTASTIC idea of abolishing the income tax and replacing it with a flat sales tax. otherwise , I can’t stand him.

    another bone-headed move by McCain (before he apparently got his mind back), when he went to Baghdad a while back ,walked around , went to that market (on 60 minutes? was it?)…and declared how safe it was there now ….while being surrounded by a freakin battalion with helicopters overhead and body armor on. He came across as SO IDIOTIC !! I couldn’t believe it (that was just after the surge which now seems to be working, I don’t know) …..but, he’s a phoenix , I’m tellin’ ya , he’s risin’ again , and starting to gain momentum again as people see more clearly the flaws of Romney and Huckabee and such; I mean he totally blew off Iowa , wasn’t expected to do well there and he still finished tied for third with “Gets On My Nerves Big Time” Thompson (Reaganesque ??!! how dost thou figure ? because he was
    on a TV show ? the only thing Thompson has in common with Reagan is that they both come across like dead men), hell , this is after he spoke out AGAINST ethanol as an alternative fuel AGAINST IT !! IN IOWA !!..

  84. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Rudy who?
    Hillary who?

  85. Ignis Sol Says:

    Speaking against ethanol (although it a lite-green idea) in Iowa is idiotic. People think cuz he was the bigwig on “Law & Order” he can run a country? Now, I got that Law & Order theme in my head.

    McCaine does seem to be gaining momentum, like as you say Scott – like the phoenix rising from all this political detritus. In the end, it seems, his ideas may come across as archaic (whether justified or not) by the younger throngs of serious voters. How often in presidents do we jump back a generation for our leader? Age should not be an issue, but we need refreshing and progressive ideas to enliven the American senses. Let us hear them, John, from your Straight (ugh) Talk bus (not to be confused with the John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus).

  86. Ignis Sol Says:

    Rudy who?
    Hillary who?

    haha, exactly!


  87. ScottMalobisky Says:

    no , Ignis, MCCAIN is the one who spoke against ethanol in Iowa !!..and still finished tied for third despite not even campaigning there. Had the balls to do it , that’s my point , he’s right about it and he wasn’t tailoring his comments to his audience.

  88. Ignis Sol Says:

    I see, my mistake. You are right. That is the difference. If that dud Thompson said it, it would be out of ignorance. When McCain says it, it is because he is correct and brave. With this said, he may be the golden boy in New Hampshire and NC.

    I believe he is a fine leader and I remember really admiring back in 2000 before he stepped aside to make room for Georgie Boy. I hope he uses his practical, logical bravery to stand up on other issues, too. Shake things up and not be beholden to certain special interest groups who seem to have a stranglehold on the Republican campaign’s agenda.

  89. Mr Cup Says:

    The American Dad episode aired the other night where the gay Republicans (Log Cabins) protest their opresssion. The Dad, after discovering that Gays are people, gives a speach about ‘choosing to be Democrat’.

    From an outsiders veiwpoint, the lead up for your stateside elections is phenomenal. We have about 6 weeks of torture while you seem to have 2 years of hype and rhetoric.

  90. ScottMalobisky Says:

    McCain’s downfall will be (if there is one) that he’s not unreasonably conservative enough for the Evangelicals , which is what happened in 2000 (those nimcapoops in South Carolina)..

    And wait , he voted against the Bush tax-cuts ? That’s troubling ? I wonder why , there has to be a good reason why …some specifics that he didn’t like, maybe the percentages and how it applied to certain income brackets….hmnn…….Why would anybody vote against a tax cut ?? “Let the people keep the fruits of their labor.”

    I hear New Jersey is planning an official apology for slavery. That’s wild.

  91. Ignis Sol Says:

    Yeahh, speaking of politics… I really want to see There Will Be Blood this opening weekend!

    I am watching the Seahawks tomorrow from my place (or I could buy some scalped tickets to see at the stadium, but the weather is gonna suck and I can drink more cheap beer at home and I am broke from the holidays).

    Go ‘Hawks. The 12th Man Flag is flying everywhere.

  92. ScottMalobisky Says:

    just saw Atonement , Paul, definitely a gut and heart wrencher

  93. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I am a Seahawks man myself Ignis, although I do not love their chances this year. Weather here sucks (blizzard) too so I will likely stay in and watch football all day too. I can respect your differences on Romney as you obviously have a very valid and personal reason for not liking his politics, although I do not think he is much of an anti-gay rights activist (at the same time he also not an advocate either is he?). Just out of curiosity I know Seattle is huge (been there a ton as my parents live in WA) but does the downtown area have a large gay community? I only ask because I have a cousin who is gay who lived in Seattle proper for years.

  94. milesy Says:

    Interesting discussion, everyone. While I don’t envy the long drawn-out election process on your side of the Atlantic, I have to say you have an interesting range of candidates this time around. Obviously all that matters ultimately is who you end up with, but you do seem to have quite a choice right now. Thankfully there is no UK election on the horizon- as I can muster no enthusiasm for any of our main party leaders at this point: the turnout in Iowa was amazing, wasn’t it? Here, it just seems set to keep dwindling. Depressing really…

    I’ve been enjoying football today too. But this is England, and the ball is round… (and little chance of a blizzard).

  95. Ignis Sol Says:

    BWD, we have the SECOND largest per capita gay population in the USA

    regarding Romeny: simply stated: I regard this as a safety issue for me, my community and my family.

  96. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I understand (as much as I can), my cousin moved out of Seattle after some ignorant redneck literally beat him almost to death for being gay. He nearly died and decided he would not stay in Seattle.

  97. Ignis Sol Says:

    And strangely, we are more comfortable here holding hands in public than we would be in many other cities in the US. I am sorry for your cousin, Seattle is not immune to gay hostility. We are the first city in the USA to pass a Equal Rights Ordinance protecting sexual orientation in 1973. Anti gay violence is not tolerated here and is dealt severely under the Malicious Crime Law of Washington State.

  98. Ignis Sol Says:

    In other words, even people like me in a liberal, open minded, literate city like Seattle can become victims of violence because of leaders who propagate discriminatory agendas that cannot be accepted. That is why I do not want certain leaders to come into power. Again, I am sorry for your cousin and I hope he was able to seek out the justice he deserves.

  99. Tim Says:

    Yet another Around The Sun song nearing 100 comments.

    Ninetynights is weird.
    What is going on there?

  100. protimoi Says:

    come back Matthew!!!

  101. Theresa Says:

    Matthew really needs to come back; this is turning into another “High Speed Train” thread.

  102. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Ignis, it happened 6 or 7 years ago and I do not think any legal recourse followed. It was a home break-in and I don’t think he really knew who it was, although the details he has given the family are sketchy, so maybe there was more to it.

  103. GARY Says:

    Man, this thread is getting long in the tooth.

  104. 2d Says:

    i wonder which song will be the first to be reviewed in 2008? πŸ˜€

  105. jim jos Says:

    Alright, gang.

    In light of things being so slow, I pose a question to you all.

    I have been getting into the habit of listening to music at night when I should be getting more sleep. I of course play R.e.m. much of the time. I have been toying with the idea of putting together a “mellow, late at night mix” of songs that will suit the late night quite hours.

    Was wondering if anyone would indulge me in a possible track listing. Songs that I am thinking of include Perfect Circle, Gardening at Night (slow Version), Camera, Maps and Legends, Wendell Gee, Flowers of Guatemala, Swan Swan H, King of Birds, World Leader Pretend, Hairshirt, etc. etc.
    something to chill out to while lying there. I was going to burn a copy as opposed to Ipod, so I can keep it as long as I want to (i.e. forever).

    Any case, anyone have a play list/mix order they want to run by me? Thanks

    hello to all.

  106. jim jos Says:

    if Matthew is not opposed to two back to back songs from Around the Sun, he could do Around the Sun. Good time for that song.

  107. ScottMalobisky Says:

    ‘I Believe’ , theme song of Obama campaign . “Chaaaaaaaaaaaange is what I believe in..”; yeah , but what about reform ?

    right jimjos , we’re taking another trip around the sun

  108. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    jim jos,

    You want all REM? Not sure how many songs you want so I’ll give you 18 – a good CD’s worth. Here’s a go (in chronological order):

    1. Perfect Circle
    2. Camera
    3. Wendell Gee
    4. Flowers of Guatemala
    5. Swan Swan H
    6. King of Birds
    7. You Are The Everything
    8. Untitled
    9. Low
    10. Sweetness Follows
    11. How The West Was Won & Where It Got Us
    12. Fretless
    13. Suspicion
    14. Why Not Smile?
    15. Falls To Climb
    16. Beachball
    17. I’ve Been High
    18. Final Straw

    By the way, if you want something not REM (a good mellow mix) I’d happilly burn you a CD and mail it to you if you find a way for me to get your contact info. I’ll even pay postage if you don’t live in Siberia or something.

  109. Kirsten Says:

    What about some of these?
    Why Not Smile, New Orleans Instrumental No 1, Nightswimming, Pale Blue Eyes, Green Grow The Rushes, You Are The Everything, Leave (The alt. version from In Time), Flowers of Guatamala, Zither, Suspicion, Moon River, Endgame.
    And if you have copies, try these songs:
    Wichita Lineman, Summertime, Galviston.

  110. protimoi Says:

    Where was Galviston released? If not released, when have they performed it?

  111. Paul Alferink Says:

    The did Galveston on the Monster tour, along with “Witchita Lineman.” I guess they went to a kereoke bar and Stipe was singing a bunch of Jimmy Webb/ Glen Campbell songs, and they thought he did well. I don’t think it ever got released, unless it was a fan club single. But I was a member around that time, and they did “Wicked Game” and “Hot Java” from the Monster Tour that year.

  112. jim jos Says:

    BWD, that is a good list, I might go with something very close to that (if not that!) Yes, R.e.m. all the time! Thanks Kristin, I do not have copies of those three songs, sadly. Good choices there too!

  113. jim jos Says:

    thank you so much BWD for the offer of a burned mellow disc, I really am touched by that! I know we have much of the same taste in music, so that would, no doubt, be killer. I will have to take you up on that some day or perhaps we could swap discs? I am simply listening to too much R.e.m. at the moment, however!

  114. Mr Cup Says:

    Can you have too much of a good thing jj?

  115. Kirsten Says:

    To much REM??


  116. Mr Cup Says:

    Might just take some WD40 over to the swings. They were getting a little rusty.

  117. Paul Alferink Says:

    This thread is turning into that SNL sketch with Will Farrell and Cheri O’Terri about the morning show when the Teleprompter stops working. . .

  118. jim jos Says:

    that sketch is hysterical.

    You can never have too much R.e.m! I can’t remember ever playing their music as much as now (some feat). All I can say is that for nearly five years (my apologies to the Around the Sun fans) I have had a feeling that my favorite band would not produce an album that I could love as much as their older ones, and now I feel like it might happen. Kind of like a farmer who can predict when rain will fall, I can predict when R.E.M. will come out with a good album, I feel kind of a sharp pain in my left knee which is a sign that the album will be good.

    If anyone is interested, there is a site that seems to have a picture of what the album may look like, (similar to the REMHQ graphics)

    I really like it, I think I might study it the way I remember studying new adventures several years ago.
    This causes much excitement, have to go listen to Reckoning. /detail_results.php?product_code=2540676

  119. jim jos Says:

    ok, that almost worked. Just type R.e.m. in the search engine and you soon find it.

    I think it is very “old school” R.e.m…that’s just me though.

  120. jim jos Says:

    ok, now I have found another one. I don’t like this nearly as much. What is an avid fan to do?

  121. ScottMalobisky Says:

    OK OK OK already ,Barrack !!!!!!!!
    but what exactly are you going to do ???
    great line on CNN , if only the democratic candidate had the charisma and style of Obama combined with the substance and specific ideas of Ms. Hillary (no tthat I agree with them), would be political suicide if the nominee doesn’t choose the other as a VP running mate, that sounds pretty formidable , if the two would combine on one ticket ……and it’s too daggone bad that arguably my least favorite Republican candidate , Romney, has the only ABSOLUTELY NO AMNESTY in any of it’s veiled and sneaky forms stance. What’s this poor voter to do ?

  122. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Hold on world cuz’ you don’t know what’s coming

  123. jim jos Says:

    there is so much that I can’t do.

  124. ScottMalobisky Says:

    the sun ain’t yellow
    it’s chicken

  125. protimoi Says:

    …and we’re all sitting here with the tombstone blues.

    Maybe Matt died and we just haven’t found out yet. Although I think this guy could blog his way out of any death scenario, criticizing the Grim Reaper’s tactics harsher than he did “Make It All OK.”

  126. Paul Alferink Says:

    Both Hilary and Barrack are too high`profile to accept being VP. If Hillary loses, she’s won’t give up her powerful position in congress to be a figurehead as VP.

    Barack is a little more likely, but I doubt he’d take it. Clear up and comers usually don’t`

  127. Paul Alferink Says:

    Turned on the TV today so my Kid could watch some Sesame Street. What are they playing when I turn it on. REM, singing “Furry Happy Monsters.” Today is going to be a good day!

  128. Ignis Sol Says:

    I like “Furry Happy Monsters” Monsters happy monsters, w. Michael’s weird way of sayinng “munsters”

    Seems Matthew is alive and kicking with his great Flux Blog site…. just sayin’ Pop Songs 08 needs some lovin’ πŸ™‚

  129. Clive Says:

    I really don’t like the album version of this song. When I first heard it live during the 2003 tour I found it kind of intriguing and liked the folky acoustic guitar during the verses (and still do) but the album version took the one good thing about the song and over-produced it.

    On a slightly separate note, I hope they produce/mix ‘Until The Day Is Done’ better than they did with ‘Final Straw’ as that song has real potential as a modern-day Automatic-style song, which will serve as a welcome contrast with the louder fast songs of the upcoming ‘Accelerate’.

  130. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Paul, saw Kite Runner, thought it was really really moving. My housemate was crying. The scenes of the Afghanistan landscape and mountains and all are stunning. And what a story.

  131. […] really changed — I may have overstated my distaste for “Leaving New York” and “Final Straw,” but let’s face it, even if I give them a bit more credit, I am not ever going to love those […]

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