This is the first of what I hope will be a series of essays written on behalf of the album, Reckoning which will be rereleased to celebrate it's 25th Anniversary on June 23rd.
It started with an innocent enough phrase (or maybe not so much now that you think about it) in a pop song and turned my life into something completely different. Looking back at that moment it was not entirely special or spectacular. I did not see the an apparition of the Virgin Mary nor did I know of it at that time that 20 plus years later I would be writing this here.
But the song had resonated with me deeply as a prepubescent teenager. This was a challenge when dealing with early R.E.M., as anyone who was listening before Al Gore invented the Internet can attest to. Michael Stipe was not competing at the “Enunciating” World Championships because if that was the case, the East German judge would have quit on the spot in disgust.
The only reference I had to the song was the fact that 'The Five Chinese Brothers’ was a familiar fable that I had read/been read in my early youth about boys that each had a supernatural power.
Realize at this time I was just a silly suburban kid with bad acne and was not at this point involved with investigating the deeper meanings of songs. For example, there might be literary criticism existing somewhere of Van Halen’s “Jump”, however, at the time these types of songs were clearly more vested for me in terms of watching music videos or hearing them on the radio. My music world contained songs that didn't derive much more than what was on the surface.
As an R.E.M.-Centric shareholder in REMChronicle, the idea of Songkick is fascinating as it's use of data-driven methods attempt to find for you concerts that you would enjoy. If you are like me and wrap a couple of headphones around your ears and allow last.fm to do its thing, you will be provided with a slew of concert events as well as create an official site for every possible concert event in the history of music.
As if that is it's primary goal, Songkick has a long way to go, whether they will try to be the "Wiki" of concert data; if fans decide to flock in droves in order to do just that. My couple of moments were reviewing the concert data for R.E.M. It would seem that of course the busy workers at Songkick visited the Chronicle as well as remtimeline to acquire the full-fledged concert history of R.E.M., missing of course the most vital component, the songs! I could imagine that such an endeavor would take a long time, considering how much time I spent data-entering this information-most likely sitting in my boxers listening to music as I dutifully spent that time making sure that every setlist was entered.
I have to look at this from two different perspectives. As a music fan I find it fascinating. If the site gathers enough fans that find it's pages attractive then I would surely deem it as a source.