I have two (2) stories about Mercury Rev, and interestingly enough, they're not about the two (2) new albums they're dropping right quick. They are, however, horribly awkward and Mid-Hudson Valley (that's New York, you know)-specific. I mean, it's me we're talking about here. Or Mercury Rev. Whatever.
An illustrious mix CD thrust upon me by our very own Judy Ain't No Punk (once she realized I was listening to entirely too much of The Smashing Pumpkins and not much else) contained "Opus 40," and I remember her telling me that her father was particularly fond of it. What Mr. Ain't No Punk doesn't know is that I went out and bought Deserter's Songs one week later, much to the dismay of Adore. What set my 13-year-old world on end was when my cello teacher's sister casually mentioned she had played violins for some band she met on a train, and I ran home and opened the CD insert and stared at "Rachel Handman" for awhile. I think I got her autograph and sent it to Judy in a birthday card. Check it, I was schmoozing like y'all don't know, and I'm pretty sure I still had braces.
Obviously, by the time I was an intern for Some "Independent" Adult Contemporary Radio Station in Overrated & Overpriced Hippietown, I had gained immeasurable poise. I did Ryan Adams' grocery shopping to satisfy a concert hospitality rider. I drove a gigantic van emblazoned with the station's logo. I spotted Mercury Rev on our soundstage. I hid in the bathroom.
Eventually, I was coaxed out of the bathroom by the promotions director and took a picture of the afternoon DJ with the band:
I had style, I had grace, I had photography skills. Obviously.
Mercury Rev have suffered great injustices at my hand, but it hasn't stopped them from issuing The Essential Mercury Rev -- Stillness Breathes 1991-2006, which drummer Jeff Mercel describes as " a box of candy. We took all the maple creams out, the ones people pinch." Looks like the Rev's website (where the 2-disc set is exclusively sold) is gonna get pretty sticky! HA! That's a kneeslapper! Er, the other release is a soundtrack for a French film, and it's called Hello Blackbird, which is also available on MercuryRev.com. I am never going to try and be funny again.