"Fair" / Remy Zero
Not doing too well on the writing-only-quickies front, am I? Well, this one must be quick, because I know nothing about this band. I just got the Wikipedia facts -- they're from Birmingham, AL, were "discovered" by Radiohead, did three albums, got freaked out by fame, and split up; they all seem to be in other bands now. Oh, and one of them -- Cinjun Tate (how's that for a name?) -- was once briefly married to Alyssa Milano, whom I still think of as the little girl from Who's the Boss?, way too young to marry anybody.
And I only know this one song of theirs, which was on their 1998 album Villa Elaine. I probably should be ashamed to admit that I only discovered it through the movie Garden State, but honestly, it's a great soundtrack. This song's existential misery totally suits that movie -- mournful mumbled vocals, a slightly draggy melody, the hazy sonic clutter of its arrangement. Here's just a list of the melancholy buzz-words in the first couple of verses: lonely, damage, cold, fade, fallen, blue, fail. You don't even want to go there.
The lyrics don't make complete sense, but it seems to be about the singer clinging desperately to someone else who's a little more together than he is ("Where'd you go to? / But you're alive!"; "So what if you catch me /Where would we land?") That makes it perfect for that movie, which, if you haven't seen it, is about a numb overtranquilized slacker played by Zach Braff coming home to New Jersey for his mother's funeral and finally facing up to what a dysfunctional mess his life is (apparently sleeping with Natalie Portman helps him in this quest -- well, it makes sense in the context, honestly.)
It's a stunningly moody little film, with this killer soundtrack, and every time this song comes up on my shuffle I go into this weird dislocated head-space all over again. Remy Zero may have disappeared, but I'd like to hear more by them, and maybe investigate some of the bands they splintered into (starting with Spartan Fidelity, which is where Cinjun Tate went, along with Shelby Tate who looks to be his brother -- as if I needed another brother band to follow...)
Of course, to do that I'd have to have free time. Oh, someday, someday...