Wednesday, November 17, 2010

After a Catbird Squeaked in the Special Silence

That's this blog's Official Theme Song, so this boy hasn't forgot Archers of Loaf:
Lost in the frenzy of a reunited Pavement was the equally energized college radio movement of the 80s and early 90s. Any lazy historian can point to the pioneering model of R.E.M., Hüsker Dü, The Minutemen, and The Pixies (among many others) and link to what was eventually labeled alternative rock. Their strident work, unfortunately, found a host of equally talented bands left unappreciated. Such was the existence of Chapel Hill darlings Archers of Loaf.
Pavement, yes, Husker Dü, sure, Pixies, maybe, but until the above paragraph I'd never thought of REM and Archers of Loaf in the same sentence.

I have a three-quarters finished bit on the Sarah Palin Decade in my notebook, but I've ten long years to write about the Sarah Palin Decade, and any and all excuses to post Archers of Loaf are excellent excuses to post Archers of Loaf, though some are more excellent than others.


Delmore Schwartz


A tattering of rain and then the reign
Of our and pouring-down and down,
Where in the westward gathered the filming gown
Of grey and clouding weakness, and, in the mane
Of the light's glory and the day's splendor, gold and vain,
Vivid, more and more vivid, scarlet, lucid and more luminous,
Then came a splatter, a prattle, a blowing rain!
And soon the hour was musical and rumorous:
A softness of dripping lipped the isolated houses,
A gaunt grey somber softness lick the glass of hours.


Again, after a catbird squeaked in the special silence,
And clouding vagueness fogged the windowpane
And gathered blackness and overcast, the mane
Of light's story and light's glory surrendered and ended
- A pebble - a ring - a ringing on the pane,
A blowing and a blowing in: tides of the blue and cold
Moods of the great blue bay, and slates of grey
Came down upon the land's great sea, the body of this day
- Hardly an atom of silence amid the roar
Allowed the voice to form appeal - to call:
By kindled light we thought we saw the bronze of fall.


  1. The only connection I make between REM and the Archers is this: REM's first album made me stop listening to "album rock", which eventually led me to the Archers, but I don't recall how or when I got onto the chain link fence that was a Web in Front.

    Chumming the Ocean's music might've been written by Pete Buck, but the lyrics are a whole other world from REM.

    As to XTC, you ever listen to The Sugarplastic? Check out Radio Jejune.

  2. Not sayin' for sure, but those cliff diving sequences in the Might video look like they might've been filmed at this old quarry just north of Chapel Hill on the Pittsboro road. I used to ride my bike (my only transportation after I lost my license) out there on warm weekends and leap off those high rocks and drink sponged beers and get high and lounge around with topless college girls and nurses. Duude!

  3. My once mother-in-law once lived in those same apartments behind Tick Tock. They were slightly less horrid then, but not much. Glad you escaped.

    You need to ask more philosophical questions like Landru did yesterday. (Hint for those who don't click -- Who is worse, Mailer or O'Rourke?)

  4. "Why the fuck is Jack White on my radio?" isn't a philosophical question of dire importance?

  5. And Elric's father took a job w/MCPS to be head of the math department at the still being built Churchill High, worked his first year at Blair (the old one on Wayne). Churchill opened, so he moved us to Village Square at corner of Veirs Mill and Connecticut for a year while the house in Gaithersburg was being built. I went to kindergarten at Bushey Drive Elementary, which became the Round House Theater. Don't know what that building is used for now.

  6. That building is mostly rec department storage with an occasional public meeting.

  7. Muchas gracias por la linkas, señor.

    I gotta listen to more Archers of Loaf.

    Given the accumulating lists of your future hells, have you thought about mapping said hells in canto form? You can even put Jack White in the frozen lake.

  8. Jack White is on your radio for the same reason that Baby On Board! things got fastened to festooning cars and vans. One person says Jack White's a genius, then two, then four, then sixteen, and pretty soon Everyone Loves Jack White.

    Except me. Personally, I think he sucks no matter what he does. But he's good at selling himself, which is what people tend to admire more than artistic innovation or interesting creativity. Worked for Madonna, Prince, and Justin Beeeeeeburrr. No?

  9. I just don't get the cult of Jack White. Every song, every pose, seems exactly like the last to me. Seems to me there's no there there, but that's just my personal taste. Hey Frederick? Wanna offer a pro-White sentence or two?

    The "why is Jack White on my radio" is one of this blog's anchor tropes. You can probably identify a bunch of others. Hint: this blog's official theme song is one.

  10. Well, except Prince is (or was) a genius.

  11. I'd argue in favor of Madonna's genius, too. But, you know, I have to. Fag.

    I want that book about 4'33" real bad. Buy it for me.