R.E.M. – Nightswimming

How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

10. One to screw it in, and nine dumb Polish people to get lost in the wrong joke.

Now that that old joke’s out of my way, let’s review an Arie M. single. I hope that wasn’t a retelling of that old joke; I found it lying around in a text file where it didn’t “belong.”

“Nightswimming” is an amazing song – a goshdarn poetic tale of skinny dipping with friends that’s really about the natures of aging and friendship. There’s a nice circular piano riff that’s catchy while staying pretty, and dat inventive melody. If you can identify then you know your life is richer for the privilege, and if you haven’t – go identify while you still have time!

The B-sides are three live, acoustic, full-band song playin’s from some “Mountain Stage” thing, like they’re a bunch of greasy hippies with songwriting talent. The song selection (“World Leader Pretend,” “Belong,” and “Low”) shows good recognition of what works with the instruments at hand, and they don’t sound sick of playing yet, so it’s a nice little performance. Mike Mills gets a nice ovation for hitting the high notes on “Belong,” as well he should (speaking as a fellow countertenor), and Stipey does a nice job of subdued singing. No real replacement for the album versions (and you don’t really need any version of “Low”), but overall a nice little single with no bad moments.

Sevenoutoften!

Have I done enough complaining about work yet? No? Well I’ve been mostly unemployed for six months now, and just when I finally had a two-month contract (doing data entry but whatevs) that would allow me to not feel awful every morning, they go ahead and cancel it after half a day. This happened concurrently with my having another job doing surveys for the Ministry of Transportation, but they were too slow in filling out the security clearance, so the job is two-thirds over before I started. Two weeks ago I had a real two month job and eleven shifts of extra work. Now all I have is two days of office work and four stupid shifts making minimum wage standing outdoors trying to talk to drunken sports fans. The world of employment seems designed to snuff out hope itself. My girlfriend sometimes mocks me for my ineptitude at finding gainful employment (while helping me so I ain’t Brad), and I am pretty weak at it, but this is ridiculous. How can I essentially lose two jobs in two weeks without doing anything wrong? I know degrees are cheap in this post 9/11 world, but really, I’m not suitable for data fucking entry, working at Starbucks, or doing phone surveys? These aren’t exactly out of my league jobs that I’m applying to here. And I’m not eligible for employment insurance, so I’m on a timer to homelessness. Good golly miss molly.

Shuggie?

7/10

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