Reckoning was Re-Released Today
There is a black Memorex tape somewhere. Its label, once covered in Sharpie lines of many colors, the words, "REM reckoning" rendered in pop-art parlance, is likely fallen, like old, old paperback paper, crisp like an autumn leaf, is long fallen off that casette tape, if even the tape itself exists at all. For years, at night, in the morning, in light and in darkness, windows opened and closed, I listened to this radio-recorded album, always, always, always, for years and years, till casettes were a thing of the past, CDs took over, and college began, and we all, we all loved these songs, loved them still, loved them sweetly. I see kudzu. I feel rain on mah head. I envision old overalls covering our gorgeous bodies, the boys with their hair so long. Druggy summers. Late nights writing poetry. Early mornings sleeping still and small and so unimaginably young. The scent of jasmine coming in through the walls. The fig tree out back. The buried cat. The potluck dinners. The piles of dishes. The Cow Haus. Waterworks. Vinyl Fever. Hills. Train tracks. Ah, youth. "Something about listening to REM makes my soul do a wild dance..." those are the words of a KUT (Austin, TX) DJ introducing this album, played on the air in its entirety when it was first released in 1984. Recorded onto a cassette tape by my father...the tape stolen by his daughter...and the daughter who heard those cut-off words prior to every listen of these magical songs, over and over again, from the age of ten on. I'd say, 25 years later, I still agree. Something about early REM still makes my soul do a wild dance. Damn.