(guest blogged by Howie Klein)
R.E.M. fans probably know that every year at Christmas time the band sends out an exclusive vinyl 7" single to their fan club members.
In 1995 the song was a cover of Chris Isaak's greatest hit, "Wicked Game" (1989). Even rarer is this live version of the song taped off the soundboard at an R.E.M. dress rehearsal.
I was thinking about the song yesterday because Chris Isaak is from Stockton, California and Saturday that area's congressman, Jerry McNerney, did a chat at Firedoglake and we gave away 2-disc sets of Chris' GREATEST HITS (including a DVD) and I saved one for the Late Night Music Club. If you'd like to win the set, send an e-mail to email@example.com with a one paragraph explanation of why you're the one who should get it.
C&L wants to thank all those who participated in the last contest. You can read the winning entries below the fold.
The wind is freedom, it's a dream. The wind is air. It's invisible and yet it exists -- just like dreams and freedom, just like an idea or a thought. The wind zooms past, it's there and, though you reach for it, there's nothing to actually grab. The wind is more than elusive, it's impossible -- but as long as we breath we must try to catch it, hang on to it, never let it go.
Not that far away from futility lies Humanity. With so much of the world (and life) seeming like a cold dark wet and scary night, everybody attempts to grasp at something warm and safe. But as Donovan is reminding us so delicately, a lot of our wants and loves are beyond the realms of possibility. Sometimes those people [or idea(l)s] that we have an intense passion for are not going to come into our lives no matter how much we need them to. Love seems to be the focus of what he would be grasping for in this song; the love of a person no doubt. But the notions of futility he is evoking when he repeats "Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind" could apply to any of our dreams. Peace and love (Oh how lovely and sixties ain't it!) being some of the biggest and best (and most universal) of humanity's hopes doesn't make them any easier to achieve.
We all fail in getting something we love at some point or another, and while it may feel like we're trying to catch something that isn't there, the fact that we try is probably the part that makes us Human. I guess we have to remember that when traveling to the impossible places we " long to be," the road is not a lonely one; Everyone is on it. So in that bluesy tone he was reaching for, Donovan was lamenting about how futile it all can seem, and yet - somehow I think - the failure is so beautiful at the same time.
Breeze through your fingers
Like love, when you close your fist
There is nothing there
C. L., Seattle WA