Today I think, Who the fuck cares. It’s a beautiful California today, and I am buzzing with the rituals of spring in here! The sun and the air; pacing the floor until they let us go; smelling the wind out the window like a dog with a velveteen nose; forgetting to eat just for the simple fact of it being exciting to be here.
Be changing and growing.
I only bought this album for the song “Spooky,” which I first recall hearing as an R.E.M. cover on a cassette tape a friend of mine had in the early 1990s. She was an R.E.M. freak and had stacks and stacks of bootleg tapes of the band; their version of “Spooky” was from a recording of a college radio show on which they had appeared early in the band’s career. It was not that different from this original, although in retrospect I think it might be better merely because the boys from Athens were smart enough to leave out the hella cheesy saxophone solo.
So there it is. I heard a cover song when I was younger and years later sought out the original, and at some point I actually paid several dollars for this record so I could play one catchy little number over and over. Perhaps I should have stuck with my borrowed R.E.M. cassette, or discovered that what I was really looking for was the Dusty Springfield version.
But. Here we are, with this version. And with something still so slick about this song– a little bit sleazy in delivery and unavoidably late-60s-bridging-into-70s-pop-dreck in execution (wonky guitar and artificial feeling hippie sentiments and all). But it’s still. So. Good. The rest of this “very best of” album, in my opinion, isn’t worth it. The tracks are either weak rehashings of the first song or strings-soaked ballads basking in their own blandness like so many polyester collars of the day. So I keep repeating only the first track, lifting and dropping the needle with my hands.
There is a feeling of being, probably in high school, young. A young girl on the lawn, spinning. A boy looking, knowing. Other people, too—those older or less connected or not bold enough to be awash in the hormonal yes of this particular teenage sunrise. She wants to be: one who applies dark kohl around yellow-flecked eyes, smudges, flips her head. Wants to be that mystery. And we are looking at them looking at themselves looking around, and know: It’s not spooky at all. It’s brilliant, shiny, and innocent in its sexiness. Dance in circles.
Also: Does anyone know whether R.E.M. ever officially recorded this song, so I can buy that record and get rid of this one?