August 12, 2022
HS15: 7M3 - Over Your Shoulder (Live)
Some songs really happened to me, others didn’t. There is plenty of hyperbole and earnestness (the unfortunate byproduct of not having any idea what I was doing) in the early stuff, and then more clawing (Orange Avenue), intentional pop/rock (Economy Of Sound), and riff-rock (Dis/Location) in the later work. Finally, after all that, comes Day&Nightdriving—the beginning, if I’m honest, of really knowing what I was doing, and with a better balance of introspection and storytelling (I hope).
In any case, across all 6 albums, it was (and still is) rare for me to write an entire song in a single sitting.
I’m a worrier. Which when it comes to making records means I don’t like to turn anything in, knowing that it can always be better.
But art, and the machine that wants to sell it to you, waits for no one. So, to clarify a bit more about the period of clawing….
In September of 1997, we headed back to Ardent Studios in Memphis, where we had begun Orange Ave, to keep working. We’d just finished touring on Rock Crown. I think the only new song we played out live towards the end of that run was an early version of “In-Between.” At that moment in the band’s history, I was getting tired of it being complicated. The band-ness was shifting, lives were springing new roots, and we had stopped finishing each other’s sentences.
One cool memory from making Orange Ave is of Golden Smog at Ardent recording “Weird Tales” while we were in sessions. I remember putting my ear to the wall in the lounge just so I could listen to Gary Louris and Dan Murphy work out “Until You Came Along” before they went in to cut the track. I’m a fan of all things Minneapolis, and it was as if they were rehearsing in my living room.
Anyway, “Over Your Shoulder” was written in one go. It was my first crack at trying to sell something to myself: mainly that everything was going to be okay.
It was a mantra that I never really embraced until people started singing along with me at shows. Something finally clicked. And it was definitely what I needed to tell myself in the months following the release of Orange Ave, as the band began to break down, and we needed a reason to keep going.
Here’s a live version of “Over Your Shoulder” from Boston in ’98 @ Axis. Little did we know then that just a year later some guy from Boston would give us a reason to keep on keeping on for another 10 years.
If you jump track, remember
Sooner or later….