Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Night Frolic - Welcoming Fall

Internet source unknown

Pondering the fall Frolic lineup as this rain drizzled last
day of summer walks out the door
the needle misses a few grooves and falls

into a troubling graphic transmission in which
the din pick up is where Michael Stipe et al
leave off

where minstrels of a certain character
examine the turn of each season

where one wakes to an amber fall
reddening maples sway, sprawl

shades of foliage from timber tall
shedding garnish raked by all

just before the seasons fall
a choir of bluebells stall

before the seasons fall
to the winter squall

the seasons fall
to football

seasons fall
the gall


into the Decemberistswho've been busy with their own sort of transition (including the above transmission)moving toward simpler American roots story telling and arrangements (assisted by a special vocalist and musician with whom we shall in the near future frolic), but not altogether abandoning the intricate high-brow narratives and sumptuous ballads written by Colin Meloy, the creative writing major and author of the pocket-sized sort-of-memoir The Replacements' Let It Be 33 1/3.

The Calamity Song video, inspired by David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, demonstrates a turn of direction that is evidenced by the Decemberists most recent release, The King Is Dead (January 2011). The video, shot in Portland, as noted on their website "portrays a game of Eschaton (basically, a global thermonuclear crisis recreated on a tennis court" as invented in Wallace's Infinite Jest.

From The Crane Wife (2003)a stunning compilation of ballads that are as gilded as a New England autumn:

Welcome all. Welcome the fall!
(Which, despite its gall, so happens to be my very favorite time of year.)


  1. ahh and you can think of me while you listen to said portland band, hahaha...

    RIP to the lovely someone said on twitter 'thank you to REM for not breaking up til we became adults' :) i don't know much better than 'gardening at night' et al on a rainy sunday afternoon...

  2. I like the way your poem withers away (like leaves on a tree in the fall).

    I don't think I was in the mood for that first video. I think I'll come back later and try it again when I'm feeling less irritated with Facebook and more concerned about global issues.

  3. I do like the way you made that shrink. as well as the verse too, Jayne. Well I'm all up for fall but this one seems so miserable and rainy

  4. Tell me again when I'm not soaking wet.;)

  5. Ah, the fall. Fall in the desert is vague, a matter of a few shed degrees. It can't hold a candle to Midwestern falls of my youth, but our citrus trees bloom in the fall, and that is now the smell of fall for me. Very weird for a Wisconsin boy.

    Infinite Jest. I picked that up a few years ago, and it still sits on the bookshelf, taunting me, daring me to try to read it.

  6. I drank alot of Guinness tonight, bear with me, first off i loathe the Decemberists, second Colin Meloy should not be allowed to utter the word Replacements let alone write a book about them, Paul Westerberg had balls the size of Texas whereas Colin's don't equate to moth's, third- since it is the first day of fall i've listened to nothing but The Fall, along with a band called Girls, and really what's it matter, taste in art and music is subjective and blah blah blah, thank you and goodnight.

  7. EcoGrrl- It's remarkable how much good music comes out of Portland. And great writing, too. I'd love to visit some day.

    REM had quite a run--paved the way for a lot of great indie bands! ;)

  8. Nessa- Facebook makes a habit of being irritating! What is up with all the changes? Keep it simple, guys! That site is becoming sensory overload for me. ;)

  9. Antares- I was at a cross country meet in the pouring rain this afternoon into evening. Yesterday, it was soccer in the pouring rain. The day before that, yada, yada. Yup, I hear ya! ;)

  10. David- Sure has. I think it's been raining almost all week here. And it's been oddly warm, as well, but the leaves have started to turn. Hmm... Like Mother Nature isn't quite ready to turn in her flip flops. :)

  11. Tim- "Fall in the desert is vague." I love that! I've never really been in the desert (unless Las Vegas counts) but that fall citrus smell sounds wonderful, and it is a pretty jarring contract to Wisconsin this time of year!

    Great writer, that Wallace. Sad story, though.

  12. Kono- Haha! Why does that not surprise me? But Meloy was so influenced by the Replacements he couldn't help but write about 'em. I think his little book didn't do that well, though.

    Yep, it's all subjective. That's the beauty. Sleep well, my friend. ;)

  13. Well, they certainly give you something to think about.

    I want an umbrella like that . . . it'll give others something to think about!

    Here's a wish for happier, less rainy, fall days ahead (and it better be soon, I'm tired of this too!)

  14. Linda- They sure do, don't they! And that umbrella--what fun. Kind of inspires me to make my own silly version. A new project? You could paint some original artwork on it, as well!

    The upside of rain: Finally... All practices and games cancelled today!! Woohoo! Now what am I going to do with myself? Wanna go for a walk? ;)

  15. I've almost had my fill of FB these days. Every time I think I've turned off the news about friends' game (and other app) activity, something new pops up. In fact, if you subtracted all apps from FB, you'd end up with something squintingly like Google+, where I shall spend increasingly more time once all my frustrated FB friends move there. :)

    My fondest wishes to the contrary, I have not yet warmed to The Decemberists. I first saw them on Austin City Limits a few years back and they interested me, kind of, and as I read more about them I got more excited, and then I heard a few more of their songs and thought THIS? This is what everyone's raving about?!? You may remember a Midweek Music Break re: The Moody Blues; I will listen and re-listen to them because of their sound... but as soon as I start to parse their lyrics I think, Whoops, bad mistake! It's sorta the same way with the Decemberists, only I don't care for the sound much either. Different strokes indeed!

    But I loooooooove autumn. And I love the verse (for the reasons everyone else has cited). Thank you for kicking it off in such style!

  16. JES- On FB: Boy are those apps and ads ever the offenders. You have to give its makers kudos for dreaming up a site entirely driven by advert $$ under the guise of a "social network." These guys don't care about social networking--they're essentially a clearinghouse for adverts. Brilliant. I've actually been diddling with Google+, but haven't gotten too far. I like the "circles" idea, but I don't see many folks saying goodbye to FB. Old habits...

    Interesting association you draw with the Moody Blues who, I think, were a the forefront of the concept album. The Decemberists are similarly every bit as ambitious, eclectic and pretentious. But I get a kick out of their lyrics. Their rock opera The Hazards of Love is so heady that it's laughable, but those songs... they have plots, a story arc, it's entertaining!
    What I really enjoy is what The Decemberists are putting out now. And it doesn't hurt that Gillian Welch has been involved.

    Fall, yes... aahhh. I'm looking forward to my first hike of the season. ;)

  17. Oh, marvelous! I guess I've been listening to Joni Mitchell and James Taylor long enough to have gotten their message, don't you? Time to open these old ears to the new, and where else better to learn than right here on your fall frolicsome Friday.

  18. I rarely post links... but last January I wrote my own review of the King is Dead...

    Do you remember Shiny from their first EP? Come by and have a listen.

    great poem.

  19. Nance- And this latest Decemberists album is a great place to start! Sort of takes them back to their roots. ;)

  20. Munk - Thank you for leaving that link. "I couldn't pull the trigger." Finally--I get to use an opening line of yours!

    Spot on review. Couldn't agree more. I think Welch helped bring them full circle. Their 2003 album is terrific. Love Shiny. ;)

  21. I just returned from a week of warm summer in San Antonio (warmer than it ever gets around here), and came back to fall at home. I like the fall too (if the weather is good), but mostly it means waiting for the skiing season to start >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  22. Another treasure found in the midst of drenching chaos and dried out sentences.
    Your poem is lovely; stepping toward the end of what is really just the beginning. And then doing it all over again, and again;)

  23. Not only do I love the words, I love how you arrange them. What brilliant writing.

  24. Cold- One of the reasons I love fall is that anticipation of the winter snow--and the skiing that follows!

    Still warm and muggy here. Bring it on, Fall! ;)

  25. Leah- ..."drenching chaos and dried out sentences." That's quite an image! Nothing like the change of seasons, any season really, to usher in new beginnings. ;)

  26. Beer- Thanks, B. Must be cooling down in those mountains out there! :)