Monday, October 31, 2016

All Hallows Eve 2016

It's a Catholic Thing

One of the more persistent mythologies surrounding Halloween is that it was "stolen" from ancient pagan celebrations, but in fact the holiday is firmly rooted in Catholic faith and tradition.

In the United States, Halloween evolved into its current form when the various observances of European immigrants got blended together over time. And, of course, entrepreneurs with an eye for a commercial opportunity had a lot to do with the holiday's evolution into its present form.

But when someone tries to tell you that Halloween is all about pagan beliefs and rituals, tell 'em they're full of brown stuff.

The Golden Age of Treats

When I was a young boy, hardly any of the Halloween treats in my neighborhood were pre-packaged candy (although every kid knew which houses gave out full-size Hershey bars or Milky Ways!).
It was mostly baked goods like cookies and cupcakes, plus seasonal treats like caramel apples and popcorn balls.

My mom used to put candy corn and Spanish peanuts together in a large paper bag, shake it vigorously, then parcel out the salty/sweet contents into small packages of tissue paper with ribbons holding them closed. There was always a large bowl of that mixture to snack on while answering the door.

"I think I'll stick with ants, thanks."

That's because you don't know what's good...

A Kick in the Head

My beloved Kansas City Chiefs won their third straight game yesterday in Indianapolis, beating the Colts 30-14 to improve their season record to 5-2, just a half game off the lead in the AFC West. It was tough to enjoy the win, though, since Chiefs starting QB Alex Smith was removed from the game twice, the second time for good after suffering a concussion. It is unclear whether he'll be able to play in next Sunday's game.

"Don't sweat it. I got this."

Backup QB Nick Foles played well enough, completing 16 of 22 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, but the Colts defense is dreadful and in the long run the Chiefs will need their No. 1 guy back under center, the sooner the better.

"No big comebacks today, Andrew!"

The defense played extremely well, holding the Colts to just 277 total yards, forcing two turnovers, and sacking QB Andrew Luck six times.

"Say, didn't Spencer Ware get knocked out of the game as well?"

Don't remind me...the turf in Indianapolis is notoriously hard, and there's no telling when Spencer will be able to play again...

No Brooms Needed

Meanwhile, in the World Series the Chicago Cubs avoided getting swept at Wrigley Field last night, beating the Indians 3-2 to force a Game Six in Cleveland on Tuesday. While the Indians still lead the series three games to two, the Cubs should have a pitching edge for the remainder of the series.

"You're NOT sweeping us at Wrigley. No way!"

Cubs starter Jon Lester did his job, holding the Indians to two runs on just four hits in his six innings of work. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter.

Closer Aroldis Chapman was asked to get the game's final eight outs, and he did so, recording four of those outs on strikeouts.

The Indians pitchers weren't terrible, allowing just three runs on seven hits while recording 14 strikeouts, but it wasn't quite good enough.


Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the 4th inning, the Cubs rallied for three runs off of Indians starter Trevor Bauer, starting with a solo home run by 3B Kris Bryant to lead off the inning.

The Indians bullpen allowed only one hit over the final four innings, but the Cubs held on to give their fans a home win to savor.

"Admit think the Indians are going to blow it, don't you?"

Well, "blow it" is a trifle harsh...but I don't see them beating Arrieta or Hendricks,
so yeah, I don't think they're going to win the Series...

More Like ObamaScare, Amirite?

From the insightful pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

One of my least favorite things about Halloween is all of the cheesy music that gets played on the radio just because of this holiday. I could go the rest of my life without hearing Bobby Pickett's "Monster Mash" or the Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein"
or Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" (which is actually pretty good) and be perfectly content.

My own preference for dark, macabre music that perfectly suits this holiday is the canon of  Blue Öyster Cult, the hard rock/metal outfit out of Long Island, New York.

I'll spend a good bit of time today listening to the band's second album, Tyranny and Mutation.

Released a week before my 20th birthday in 1973, it is their best studio recording in my opinion,
and it is chock full of the sort of spooky themes and creepy lyrics that make it perfect for Halloween.

It also features a number of songs which became staples of the band's live shows for the rest of their performing career, including "The Red and The Black," "Hot Rails to Hell," and "7 Screaming Diz-Busters."

Today's send off is the 2001 remastered version of the album's closing track, from the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Potpourri No. 47

Rosary Month

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, so before Mass each Sunday this month here at
St. Peter's we have prayed the rosary together as a congregation.

Although it isn't necessary in order to participate, I like to bring my personal rosary with me to Mass
for such occasions...

On The Brink

Last night's World Series game once again lacked much drama, as the Indians beat the Cubs 7-2 in Game Four at Wrigley Field to take a commanding three-games-to-one lead in the series, which continues tonight with one more game at Wrigley.

Now 2-0, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 15 strikeouts
Indians starter Corey Kluber won his second game of the Series, holding the Cubs to a single run
on just five hits in his six innings
of work.

The Cubs managed just two hits over the final three innings, and have now scored just two runs total in their three Series defeats to this point despite having the second-best offense in the National League over the regular season.

Down 1-0 when the top of the
2nd inning began, the Indians got
a leadoff solo home run from
1B Carlos Santana to tie the score, then took the lead for good when Kluber's infield single resulted in
a throwing error by Cubs 3B Kris Bryant that allowed RF Lonnie Chisenhall to score what turned out to be the winning run.

A three-run home run by 2B Jason Kipnis in the top of the 7th put the game far out of reach.

"So, will the Indians be dancing on the field after the game tonight?"

Hard to say...the pitching match-up favors the Cubs, but the Indians are playing with
a lot of confidence right now...

A Pretty Good Day

Somewhat unexpectedly, considering the number of road games involved, my college football rooting interests had a pretty good day yesterday.

The Army Black Knights came from behind in the 4th quarter on the road to beat Wake Forest 21-13 and improve to 5-3 on the season.

Elsewhere, Boston College also staged a 4th quarter rally on the road to beat North Carolina State 21-14 and get back to 4-4, while Notre Dame rallied at home to defeat Miami 30-27. My best friend Skip's No. 24 Penn State Nittany Lions were tied 17-17
at halftime on the road at Purdue, but exploded in the second half and crushed the Boilermakers 62-24 to improve to 6-2.

The Iowa State Cyclones lost a close one at home, falling 31-26 to Kansas State. On the plus side, though, Nebraska suffered their first defeat of the season and the hated Kansas Jayhawks got bombed 56-3 by Oklahoma.

"Well, that explains why I heard so little cursing yesterday."

Yes, it was a pretty good day of college football outcomes...

Math Dorks On Halloween

From the droll comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday.

Until Next Time...

On October 30, 1939 Grace Barnett Wing was born to upper middle class parents in Highland Park, Illinois. After considerable moving around during her childhood, Grace's family settled in Palo Alto, California, where she attended high school. She went on to attend college in New York and Florida before returning to California to get married.

By 1965 Grace Slick had helped form a band called The Great Society with her then- husband Jerry Slick and his brother Darby. That band went nowhere, but Grace's abilities as a vocalist and songwriter got her an invitation to join a more successful Bay Area band, Jefferson Airplane. That band's first album hadn't made much of a splash, causing their singer to quit in order to raise her child. With Grace's voice added to the mix, however, the new band lineup quickly found success.

On the day after she turned 27 in 1966, Grace joined the rest of her new bandmates to begin recording what became Surrealistic Pillow, one of the defining rock recordings of the 1960s.

Released in early 1967, the album wasn't a big seller right away, and the first single release didn't crack the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The second single, however, was quite a different story.

"Somebody To Love," written by Grace's brother-in-law Darby Slick, peaked at No. 5
on the Hot 100 and was a fixture in the Top 40 all through the summer and into the fall, when I began my 9th grade year. It became a signature song for the rest of the band's performing career, and was selected for Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

Eventually Surrealistic Pillow would peak at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart,
a remarkable accomplishment for a fledgling West Coast "hippie" band. The album wound up being selected for Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, and the Airplane became one of the biggest bands of the '60s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

There were no female rock stars of the period bigger than Grace. I thought she had
one of the most amazing singing voices I had ever heard, and she was quite attractive
as well. Naturally, she became one of my earliest crushes.

Today's send-off is the 2003 remaster of "Somebody To Love," from the band's VEVO channel. Enjoy...

Saturday, October 29, 2016

You've Gotta Deal One Time

Truly Remarkable

One of the key story lines coming into the 2016 World Series was the Cleveland Indians' starting pitching, as many analysts predicted a Cubs victory because the Indians had lost two to their top three starters to injuries late in the season. It certainly hasn't played out that way so far, as the Indians won their second shutout victory in three Series games, beating the Cubs 1-0 in Game Three at Wrigley Field last night.

"It wasn't pretty, but who won the game?"
Indians starter Josh Tomlin only allowed two hits in his 4 2/3 innings, and the Indians bullpen only allowed three baserunners over the game's final 4 1/3 innings.

The vaunted Cubs offense (second in the National League in runs scored on the season) only managed five hits and a single walk. It was the fourth time in their past eight games that they've been shut out.


The game's only run was driven in by former Royal Coco Crisp, who had a pinch-hit single in the top of the seventh that drove in pinch-runner Michael Martinez.

"So, did Francona decide to start Kluber in Game Four on short rest?"

That's what ESPN is saying...not a huge surprise, I guess, but I would sure try to keep his pitch count down and save him a little for a possible Game Seven...

Gridiron Schedule

My college football Saturday will be a bit light, as two of my rooting interests played last night.

No. 22 Navy went on the road and lost a tough one to a good South Florida team. Navy fell to 5-2.

Air Force had better luck in their road game, snapping a three-game losing streak and beating Fresno State to improve to 5-3.

In other games involving teams I follow, Army is on the road at Wake Forest, Iowa State is at home against Kansas State, Notre Dame is at home against Miami, and Boston College is on the road at North Carolina State.

My best friend Skip's beloved Penn State Nittany Lions, now ranked No. 24 after their shocking upset of then-No. 2 Ohio State last weekend, hit the road to play Purdue.

"I predict a fair amount of cursing today."

You say that every Saturday...

Furry Holiday

Today we celebrate National Cat Day, which my feline roommates are observing in their customary fashion,
by sleeping.

The picture above was taken more than two years ago, but perfectly captures the dynamic. It is their apartment, I just get to live in it...

This year's NCD is a bittersweet one for me, as it is my first since my beloved Roy passed away on July 1.
He was a huge part of my life for more than 18 years.

I miss you every single day, buddy...

I know...don't get me started...

Time for a Recall, Mr. President?

From the insightful pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

My interest in blues and blues-rock music coincided with the start of my 9th grade year, when my social life (or lack thereof) made blues lyrics more meaningful to me. I also really dug the blues and blues-rock style of guitar as well. By the time I got to college
I probably listened to that sort of music more than I did straight-ahead rock. One of the reasons I'm such a huge Joe Bonamassa fan is his love for that music, and his ability to cover that material so marvelously well.

The particular variant known as Texas blues produced a number of artists whose work
I especially enjoyed, including Albert Collins, Freddie King, Johnny Copeland, Johnny Winter, and more recently ZZ Top. Probably the most successful recent proponent of the Texas style was the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. His older brother Jimmie is also a favorite of mine even though he didn't enjoy anywhere near the renown of his younger brother. One of the favorite guitars in my collection is "Lila," my Fender Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex Stratocaster.

Jimmie was a founding member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, one of the most influential Texas-style blues-rock bands of the '80s.

On October 29, 1979 the band released its eponymous debut album, which quickly came to be referred to by the band's fans as Girls Go Wild, due to that phrase's appearance on the album cover.

The album didn't sell well, and the obscure label that issued it even misspelled Vaughan's first name on the album cover, but over time it became a sought-after collector's item among blues fans.

The band didn't have any radio hits early in their career, so I first heard them when
a local FM station started featuring them on their late-night blues-focused program.
It wouldn't be until many years later that I would actually be able to buy any of their early music, but the band's first four albums still get regular play now that I own them.

My favorite track from their debut is their cover of "Marked Deck," which features Jimmie's patented Tex-Mex guitar and frontman Kim Wilson's raw, swaggering vocal.

Today's send-off is the remastered version of the song from the 2001 reissue of the album. Enjoy...

Friday, October 28, 2016


Thank Perkūnas It's Friday!

"My thunder kept you up last night? Call a cop!"

Been There, Did That

One reason St. Louis doesn't completely suck

On October 28, 1965 construction was completed on the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. The world's most famous weighted catenary, it is also the tallest arch in the world and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.

The monument is located in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, near where the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition began.

I have visited the monument with students on a few occasions, most recently in June
of 2009 when I drove one of my Atlantic students to Birmingham, Alabama to compete in the National Speech and Debate Tournament.

"Did you ever ride the little tram up to the top?"

I did once, yes...but looking out the window made me nervous, so I never did it again...

Feast Day

St. Jude, by Lorenzo Ottoni

Today is the feast day of St. Jude, also known as Thaddeus. One of the Original Twelve disciples commissioned by Jesus, he was present at the Pentecost, and so images of him frequently show
a flame above his head.

The famous St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee is named for him, and he is also considered the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department.

Catholics around the world venerate St. Jude as the patron of desperate situations and "lost" causes.

World Series Resumes

The 2016 World Series resumes tonight at Wrigley Field, the first time a Fall Classic game has been played there
in 71 years.

Because the Indians and Cubs split the first two games in Cleveland, there will be three contests at Wrigley.

"What do the pitching match-ups look like?"

Not great for the Indians, but then we knew that going into the's going to be an uphill battle for them...

Staying Dead On Election Day

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On October 28, 1972 Bradley Douglas Paisley was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia.
An only child, he was taught the guitar by his maternal grandfather at age eight, and by the time he was ten he was was singing in public. At thirteen he wrote his first song, and that interest eventually led him to pursue a degree in music business from Belmont University in Nashville.

Since releasing his first album in 1999, Paisley has sold more than 12 million albums, earned three Grammy Awards, and dozens of awards from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

In 2008 Brad released his sixth studio album, Play, intended to showcase his skills as a guitarist.
It does that to a fare-thee-well. Paisley shines on the album's mostly instrumental tracks, killing it on everything from bluegrass and country to rock and even metal.
The project richly deserves its subtitle, "The Guitar Album."

Play became Brad's fourth consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, and had crossover appeal also, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard 200.

My favorite track on the album is the Grammy-winning instrumental "Cluster Pluck," on which Brad trades hot licks with some of the very best guitarists in the business: James Burton, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, John Jorgenson, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert, and Steve Wariner.

Today's send-off is the official album track, from Brad's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Needing to Believe


As I mentioned yesterday, my mom re-did
the decorations around our family's house on
a fairly predictable schedule. The Halloween decorations would typically come out around mid-October, followed by the autumn-themed stuff, which she'd leave up until Advent, at which time the Christmas decorations went up. That stuff stayed up until after the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1), when the winter-themed stuff took over, until Eastertide.

I decided against doing Halloween decorations, but this year I have added some new autumn-themed decorations to my living space.

I'm pretty sure my mom would approve of the wreath now hanging on my apartment door...

...and the centerpiece on my dining room table is just the sort of thing she used to love creating.

Whenever I go to Hobby Lobby I can count on mom to sit on my shoulder and help me find cool things.

"Autumn was your mom's favorite season too, wasn't it?"

I think so, yeah...she used to spend hours every fall getting her horn-of-plenty centerpiece to look just right...

No-Drama Zone

The first two games of the 2016 World Series have been remarkably drama-free thanks to a couple of dominating pitching performances. In Game One, the Indians scored all the runs they would need in the 1st inning as Corey Kluber and his bullpen shut out the Cubs 6-0. Game Two followed a similar pattern.

"Here it is...hit it if you can!"
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta didn't surrender a hit until there was one out in the bottom of the 6th inning, by which time the Cubs already held a 5-0 lead.

The Indians got their only run from that one-out double, a ground out that moved the runner to third, and an Arrieta wild pitch.

Former Royal Mike Montgomery and closer Aroldis Chapman got
the final ten outs, six of them by strikeout. Cubs win 5-1. Yawn.

On offense, seven Cubs starters had at least one base hit, led by DMD* Kyle Schwarber, who went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBIs. LF Ben Zobrist also had two hits and an RBI, and is batting .629 in the Series so far.

*Designated Media Darling

Today is a travel day. The Series resumes tomorrow at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

"At least you'll have that great Jaguars vs Titans game to watch tonight."

I know, right? And the NFL wonders why its ratings are declining so rapidly...

Who Gets My Vote On November 8?

And it's an easy call, since he's the only pro-life conservative in the race. Check him out...

TrumpWit™️ Rationalization

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

Once they have reached a certain level of popularity, a lot of musical artists decide to release recordings of their live concert performances. A fair number of such albums have gone on to be huge sellers, with many being considered highlights of those artists' recording careers, including The Who's Live at Leeds, The Rolling Stones' Get Your Ya-Yas Out, The Band's Rock of Ages, Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, Cheap Trick's Cheap Trick at Budokan, U2's Under a Blood Red Sky, B.B. King's Live at the Regal, and Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert.

Very early in my life I became a fan of live recordings, and I number the above-listed albums and many, many others as among my all-time favorite recordings. One of my favorite things about my hero Joe Bonamassa is the frequency with which he releases absolutely killer live albums.

For a variety of reasons, though, my favorites R.E.M. resisted the pressure to release a live album for almost their entire career, even though they were famously one of the best live acts in the business. Once upon a time the only way to get live R.E.M. material was to buy their CD singles, which usually featured one or two live tracks along with whatever studio cut they were promoting. Few stores stocked those CD singles, though, so it was frustrating for fans until the internet blossomed and made tracking them down a lot easier.

In the fall of 2007, 27 years after the band was formed in 1980, they finally released their first official concert album, R.E.M. Live. The album consisted of two CDs and a DVD, all recorded at the famous Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland at the conclusion of the European leg of their 2004-2005 world tour. The album was popular with the band's hardcore fans like me, but was not a commercial success, peaking at just No. 72 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

A couple of years later, the band decided to dip their toe in that particular lake again...

On October 27, 2009 the band released their second full-length live album, Live at the Olympia, recorded in the summer of 2007 at the historic Olympia Theatre, also located in Dublin, Ireland.

Among other reasons for the Olympia shows in the summer of 2007 was the band's desire to polish songs they had written for their next planned studio album, which would become 2008's Accelerate. Every song on that album had its live debut at these "working rehearsals" in Ireland.

The highlight of the album for me was hearing many of the band's older hits performed live for the first time on a recording, but I also enjoyed the live versions of some of their more recent material as well, including my favorite song from their 2001 album Reveal, "I've Been High." That song had been a highlight of the only live R.E.M. show I ever saw, back in 2003 in Kansas City.

Today's send-off is the Live at the Olympia version of the song whose lyrics always move me to tears. Enjoy...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Walk Unafraid

The Fall Classic Begins

I'm really counting on the World Series to keep my mind off of all the political crapola and assorted other nonsense I might ordinarily feel compelled to write about here.

The much-anticipated series got under way last night at Progressive Field in Cleveland, with the Indians beating the Cubs 6-0 in a relatively tension-free Game One. That put
a big smile on this lifelong American League partisan's face.

"Hey, batter batter batter!"

Indians starter Corey Kluber was utterly dominant, setting a new major league postseason record by striking out eight of the first nine batters he faced and allowing only four hits in his six-plus innings. He did not walk a batter.

Relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen allowed some baserunners over the final three innings, but managed to preserve the shutout.

"Boom! BOOM!"

Last year's World Series MVP was Royals All-Star C Salvador Perez. The leading candidate this year after Game One is Indians C Roberto Perez, who hit two home runs last night and had four RBIs. Not bad for a guy who hit only .183 with 3 homers in 153 at-bats during the 2016 regular season.

SS Francisco Lindor and 3B Jose Ramirez each went 3-for-4, with Lindor scoring a run and Ramirez chipping in with an RBI.

"If your team won comfortably, what was with all the cursing?"

I didn't curse that much, but let's just say the home plate umpire had a spotty evening...

Pumpkin Pride Nationwide

So it's National Pumpkin Day, which means I need to finally get over to Hobby Lobby and get a couple of seasonal decorations for the apartment. That sort of thing was always a big deal to my mom, who would change the decorations in our whole house
on a pretty predictable schedule.

I'm hopeful of finding something seasonally appropriate for my dining room table,
and possibly something to hang on my apartment's door until it is time for the Christmas wreath to go up (usually Advent for me). I may or may not put something on the door for Halloween as well. Mom would, but there aren't many kids living in this complex, and last year's bowl of Halloween candy was entirely consumed by me.

My kind of "pumpkin patch"
I should mention that railfans often refer to the distinctive green- and-orange locomotives of BNSF Railway as "pumpkins."

We see a lot of them in this area, especially if you drive by one of the rail yards in the vicinity.

While I'm out and about, I might also swing by Village Inn and pick up a piece of their quite marvelous Pumpkin Supreme pie.

I really shouldn't be eating a dessert, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice in order to honor the noble (and delicious) pumpkin on its annual day of celebration.

"That's very selfless of you."

Sometimes you just need to take one for the team, you know?

How the Mighty Have Fallen

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

I became a big fan of alternative rock band R.E.M. in the fall of 1983 when I discovered their debut album Murmur in a local record store in Casper, Wyoming and remain one today even though the band broke up for good in 2011. One of the things I always appreciated was the stability of the group's membership: lead singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. Although their records and tours often featured auxiliary musicians, those four guys wrote almost all of the songs and played almost all of the instruments on their records for more than 15 years. It took a serious medical issue to change that.

Berry had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm during a show on the band's 1995 European tour. Although he made a recovery he left the band voluntarily in 1997,
and the remaining members decided not to replace him in the group, relying instead on session musicians and drum machines for their subsequent recordings. At the time of Berry's retirement, the band had had six consecutive RIAA platinum albums, four of them receiving multiple platinum certifications. The run had also included two Billboard 200 No. 1 albums, 1991's Out of Time and 1994's Monster.

To say that fans of the group were anxious about its musical future after Berry departed would be a huge understatement. No one really knew quite what to expect, and the band's remaining members were cryptic about the topic as well.

On October 26, 1998 the band released Up, it's first album since Berry's retirement. It was a very challenging album for fans, as the band had moved away from its alternative rock sound and toward electronic music. It took me awhile to fully appreciate what the group was trying to accomplish.

The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, but overall sales fell well short of the band's previous efforts. RIAA certified the album gold, but given their string of platinum releases this was widely viewed as a stumble.

None of the single releases made much of a splash, either, although "At My Most Beautiful" and "Daysleeper" became regular parts of the band's live repertoire.

The song I liked the best, "Walk Unafraid," wasn't even released as a single, but for me
it was the closest to the classic R.E.M. style musically, and it also became a concert staple. At the time the album was released I was struggling with a difficult theatrical production at Bishop LeBlond, my first time directing Flowers For Algernon. Given the pressure I was feeling, the song's lyrics resonated with me more than they might have otherwise. Seeing the band perform the song at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on their 2003 tour was a peak life experience for me, in no small part because the star of that Algernon production had bought my ticket to the concert.

Today's send-off is the remastered version of "Walk Unafraid" from the 2005 Special Edition reissue of the album, from the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...