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Episode Info: 33 and ⅓ is a monthly music column by Ryan Lynch, exploring the records that keep him inspired in a cynical world. You can find episodes on and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have any suggestions or thoughts, my twitter handle is @stoopkidliveson and I’d love to hear from you. You can find Ryan’s band, Premium Heart, on facebook, twitter, or instagram for upcoming releases and shows. The original column was published on November 15th, 2019 and can be found below. Should we talk about the weather?(Hi, hi, hi)Should we talk about the government?(Hi, hi, hi, hi) Currently, I’m in the final stages of a new music project that I’m so excited to release and it’s a great new direction for my writing. I’ve dabbled in political songwriting in the past, but I usually fell short and started feeling that when you make a political message the main focus, the song too often becomes more about sending the intended message over writing a great song. Sacrificing catchiness for importance. Placing relevancy over memorability. But this time, helped by the fact that someone else is writing most of the music, we’ve really crafted a record that I think is about some really important things, but never at the expense of making a great record that people will (hopefully!) want to listen to. And nobody balanced those two things half as well as R.E.M. did, especially on their 1988 album, Green. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even sing(Say, say, the light) I’m very scared for this world, I’m very scared for me(Say, say, the light) Eviscerate your memory, here’s a sceneYou’re in the back seat laying down(Say, say, the light) The windows wrap around to the sound of the travel and the engine Green was released on November 7th, 1988, the day before the 1988 American Presidential election. R.E.M. was very outspoken at the time against then-candidate George H. W. Bush and supported the Democrat, Michael Dukakis. Using their first major label release to raise their platform, it was clear that this album was going to be even more political than they’d been in the past. I sit at my table and wage war on myselfIt seems like it’s all, it’s all for nothingI know the barricades and I know the mortar in the wall breaksI recognize the weapons, I’ve used them wellThis is my mistake, let me make it goodI raised the wall and I will be the one to knock it downI’ve a rich understanding of my finest defensesI proclaim that claims are left unstated, I demand a rematchI decree a stalemate, I divine my deeper motivesI recognize the weapons, I’ve practiced them wellI fitted them myself Green is an interesting album in R.E.M.’s catalog. They’d been primarily playing in minor keys with more traditional instrumentation, but with Green they somehow managed to be more mainstream, while also becoming more experimental. Their songwriting bec...
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