Monday, November 12, 2007

Liquorish Vampires

From Big Notebook for Easy Piano and Remember Cassettes, Vol. 1

In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a college town full of aspiring musicians and recording industry majors, it always seems like a good idea: a local, independently-owned coffee shop that caters to local hipsters, giving them a place to study, socialize, or just hang out and look cool. To make the place even cooler, have live music. Sounds like money in the bank, right? Then why have so many sprung up in Murfreesboro, only to close their doors after a short time, while simple beer holes like the Boro and Gentleman Jim’s can stay in business forever? I don’t think there is an answer.

But one such place was called Java, and it was open in the early to mid-nineties. There, the Features would play their first show. Seth Timbs and the Mad Hatters would play their first few shows there as well. Seth Timbs was employed there around that time. In fact, one night, apparently while he was working, his friends Matt Mahaffey and Richard Williams met there and the three of them discussed starting an independent label based in Murfreesboro to showcase the local talent, especially Matt’s new band Self and Seth’s new band, Fl. Oz. Without deliberation, Seth suggested that it be called Spongebath Records, and a local legend was born. So the story goes, at least.

“Liquorish Vampires” was written about Seth’s experiences working there, with people coming in at all hours of the night and the strange hours they would keep to study.

Beyond that, I don’t really know what this song is actually about. Being schooled in lyrics by R.E.M., I too easily accept the lyrics as lines completely independent of each other that only work together to create a feeling in its listener (I know, I know, then why am I of all people writing a blog about interpreting the lyrics of others?). With this song and “Daddy Scruff,” I simply enjoy them and interpret them based on the feelings they convey rather than their intended themes. Sorry to cop out on you like that.

The live mp3 is the last one that surfaced from the 2005 radio performance.

Download Live mp3


Soymilk Revolution said...

"this is the end of true believers / this is the best i've felt in years"...just one example of countless cool-sounding, impossibly esoteric couplets from this song. i can't even imagine what ANY of this has to do with working at a coffeeshop...but hey, if you can take an experience that mundane and make a song this great and mysterious out of it, then all the more credit to you.

this one sounds like weezer to me, a little -- the old, good weezer. certainly the only song in the canon that does that for me, and certainly a compliment at that.

Juan Horsetown said...

I'm only familiar with early Weezer, but this song does not remind me of them at all. It reminds me more of something from REM's first three records--both in its lyrical style and in the sound of the guitars.

Soymilk Revolution said...

listen to "the world has turned and left me here" by weezer -- that's probably my subconscious reference point.

tha b said...

if you had seen the majority of the clientelle of the coffee shop, you would understand... Seth paints a pretty good picture of those 'little big kids'.

I believe that place was also called, 'The Chameleon Cafe', but I could be mistaken. I've lived another life since then.

magnum opus said...

...also, this song predates weezer by a year or so but i still like weezer

Kerriffic said...

this song is very REM-esque. It could have been on Murmur or even Fables of the Reconstruction. This is one of my favorites on Big Notebook and was really happy when Seth decided to play this song on Steve Cross's radio show. There was also another recent performance of this at The Boro in 2005. It was played because the crowd wanted more. Seth gave us a nice solo version with Tha B singing the back in some places. If i'm not mistaken, that was also the same night The Peach drank PBR for the first time!

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!