Vinyl (1991) :: Dramarama
Most days I avoid Dramarama, even though I have loved their music for such a long, long time, but the memories their songs bring to me now, well, most days I cannot find a way to exist within them. Once upon a time the band was mine, or at least my love for them was. They were that band I fell in love with completely on my own, a discovery on one of my record store wanderings, one I would play and play again and again. I would share their albums with my closest of friends, and we would all go see them play live on a Halloween night, all in costumes, all full of smiles and singing-a-long. Their albums, all of them, were the stuff of long car rides, shared packs of cigarettes, traded dresses, and echoing laughter.
He was everything good and bad for me, he was like sugar-laced cocktails, the mix of hard alcohol and something sweet, and in the end he left me terribly hurt and hungover, but at the start we were quite a party, explosive and passionate, and beautiful. He loved Dramarama like I did, until he met me he had thought they were just his, and when we found each other we decided they were ours. We fell in love singing their songs, we would slip their music on traded mix tapes, and hold the phone to the speakers to each other when we went through a long-distance phase. When we were split up their music would remind us of each other, and sometimes that made us cry, other times scream, and eventually it led me to reach out and say “I love you, please come back.”
We listened to their albums on our wedding day, and later as we held each other close and fell asleep in each other’s arms. We fell deeper in love to this album, in particular, and eventually we completely fell apart to the soundtrack of these songs, as well. When I go that phone call that you were gone (I’d Like to) Volunteer played in my head. I tried to hold back the tears, I tried to stop shaking, I tried to to not scream into everything, and nothing. At your funeral a girl we both knew played one of their songs, telling everyone that you had taught her how to play it on guitar, and as the song played I tried to hold back the tears, I tried to stop shaking , and I tried so hard not to scream to you to come back, even though I knew you were never coming back.
This week’s my favorite album choice is Vinyl because it is time I listened to it again, and let myself feel the songs again. Following are my three-sentence reflections by album track. Enjoy, and share your own thoughts and memories of the album, if you will, in the comments:
Until the Next Time
We were always starting over. The same patterns always came along and took us over, the same pitfalls, the same series of mistakes, but we still kept coming back to each other. We were always trying to just begin again.
Haven’t Got a Clue
We sat in the corner with arms draped around each other as the singer walked by. He stopped to talk to us, said he wished us well, and we did the same. When he sang this he said “to the couple in the corner who still believe.”
What Are We Gonna Do?
We went to every Earth Day together, drinking too much, feeling too much, you never dealing well with sharing me with crowds. We tried to smile and sing-a-long, but your emotions took their toll on me. I never could quite figure out how to keep you from falling apart, I could never quite figure out how to fix you, or fix us.
When we fell we fell hard, when we broke we broke everything, we spat and screamed, we tore all the walls down. We always ended up in tears, both of us stubborn, both of us with such heightened emotions. Regardless, I was always the one saying I was sorry, even when I had nothing to be sorry for.
Memo From Turner
What a fantastic Rolling Stones cover this song is. When we made up, well, we sure could make up. Kisses and torn bed sheets, passion that shook the walls and left bite marks and rips in the wallpaper; we knew how to make it up to each other.
Train Going Backwards
But, we always fell back apart, always. It mattered not that we wore rings and made vows, that we had children and that we did truly love each other, it was never enough to hold us together. I have looked it all over, again and again, and I still cannot figure out what we could have done differently, what we could have done better.
I’ve Got Spies
When we were apart we were miles apart, universes apart, even further. We could not connect, or even peer in on each other’s lives because anytime we did it just let us right back to each other’s sides. We would ask sometimes, though, to mutual friends, asking was not the same as seeing.
(Not available on YouTube; listen here at Spotify)
In Quiet Rooms
I wrote back then, in lined composition books and bound journals, in ripped out notebook paper and eventually online. He always read what I wrote, always told me how much he loved how I wrote, always was there to say “keep writing“. It was the one thing he never got jealous of, my writing.
Ain’t it the Truth
We exchanged vows in a broken down court house, one that would be renovated around the time we packed everything up and left California. We were on yet another one of those naive relocations, hoping to relocate our issues, and relocate our hope and love. We had maps on the inner lining of each of our hearts.
(Not available on YouTube, listen here at Spotify)
We shared the same birthday, and later, it became our anniversary, as well. There were more than candles that burned bright, and that eventually burned out, on that day we shared. It is still the hardest day of the year for me to try to get over, even though just like the band, it was once only mine.
(I’d Like To) Volunteer, Please
This one is the hardest to listen to. This one will always be our song. I still love it, but it is so hard to listen to, I think it always will be.
(Not available on YouTube, listen here at Spotify)
Steve is Here
You used to play this on your acoustic guitar to our cat, chasing him around the apartment. We would fall into a fit of laughter, especially the second refrain when you would try to sing it with that touch of melancholy. We would end up laughing even harder then.