Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
You Say Party! covers R.E.M.
StereogumI’ve credited this week’s selection to Vancouver’s You Say Party! rather than their former monicker of out of deference for their reasons for dropping the second half of their original name and in the interests of staying current as they prepare to make their live comeback later this week, returning from their year-and-a-half hiatus. They were still You Say Party! We Say Die! in 2007 when they contributed a track to the Stereogum-compiled Drive XV, a tribute album to mark the 15th anniversary of R.E.M.’s seminal Automatic For The People album, toning down their signature dance-punk energy for a surprisingly New Romantic-ish take on “Nightswimming”.
A little basic arithmetic tells us that if 2007 was the 15th anniversary of Automatic, then this year – 2012 – would be the 20th and surely that’d be reason enough for year-long celebrations to commemorate one the great American bands’ greatest records… and yet there’s been nothing. Maybe that’s because they’ve been concentrating on marking the 25th anniversary of another of the aforementioned great American bands’ greatest albums – that’d be Document, the deluxe reissue edition of which comes out this Tuesday, September 25. That also means we’ll have to wait five years or so for the 25th anniversary edition of Automatic, but it also means we’ve got quarter-century editions of Green and Out Of Time coming before then, so that’s something to look forward to.
You Say Party’s return is also marking an anniversary, but not theirs – their label. Paper Bag Records’ tenth birthday party goes this week, and YSP are one of the big draws for the Saturday night of the three-day bender. Odds are “Nightswimming” won’t be on the set list, but it’d be pretty sweet if it was. At the time Drive XV came out, bassist Stephen O’Shea explained to Stereogum why they chose to cover that particular song.
There probably doesn’t exist the occasion that will ever bring R.E.M. back together (though hey, the I.R.S. marque turns 35 in a couple years…). Their dissolution a year ago last week seems pretty firm, and honestly I hope they stick to it. A graceful exit is a difficult thing to achieve, and they did so. But they’ve not been idle; Spin reports that guitarist Peter Buck debuted his new band Richard M. Nixon in Seattle last week, and a solo record will be out sooner rather than later. So there’s that.