It may be low quality of this recording (from January 29, 2000, my first Fluid Ounces show—though I’m not the moron recording this and asking why the minidisk player is still on “track 1” in the first few seconds of the song—I was lucky enough to find and trade for this recording), but “Out of Your Element” is not a song I reach for when looking for my favorite Fluid Ounces songs. But if I could name an anthem to concisely sum up my experiences with both college and marriage, “Out of Your Element” is it:
“When I was out of my element
I did the strangest things.
So I’m compiling up the evidence
And it doesn’t add up to anything.”
For the immediate sense that this song is about me, I do consider among my favorites, and the fact that few of you have heard this forgotten tune (until now, at least) has always kept it close to my heart as a song about me for me. It has a certain accessibility to it since it is written in “the people’s key of G,” and features one of the simplest guitar riffs for novices to emulate, unlike the rest of the catalogue entirely. The lyrics in it are ambiguous enough to be applied to anything (i.e. one’s experiences with college or marriage), making it one that I wish had caught on more so that I could hear others’ interpretations of it.
The song was among the many that debuted with the new line-up the night mentioned before, and it was because of it that the band would include guitar sets for the next six months until Justin Meyer left the band that summer. The band would not have any more guitar sets until the final line-up debuted in 2004, and it was necessary to showcase the guitar songs from The Whole Shebang. But this song never re-surfaced, and I’ve since been given the impression that Seth Timbs prefers it that way.
Maybe the demo will turn up someday anyway.
Download Live mp3