Over the weekend, we had occasion to visit with Chief Real Estate and UFO Analysis Correspondent BC at his satellite office in the wilds of Alagoddambama, where we engaged in more cigar smoking than should be legal, not to mention the barbecue.
Anyhow, ol’ BC has music tastes sometimes more adventurous than ours, and definitely hipper. Consequently, we were exposed for the first time to a band we’d heard of, but never listened to: Rainer Maria, an emo-esque trio from Wisconsin (and eventually Brooklyn) that formed in 1995.
(The first disappointment was that they’re already broken up, but this may not end up being so awful given what followed.)
BC had their second album “Look Now, Look Again” (1999) on his iPod, so it was that that we first pulled off eMusic when we got home. It was as good as we recalled — hey, even Pitchfork liked it — so we went back to the well, so to speak, to see what happened next.
That would be 2001’s “A Better Version of Me,” which was, if not as strong as LNLA, at least as good. We liked it enough that we immediately checked out 2003’s “Long Knives Drawn,” only to find that we’d gone A RECORD TOO FAR. It’s plodding, and not nearly as interesting as the earlier work. As it happens, the mavens at Pitchfork agree with us (like we care) that the tension provided by Kyle Fischer’s occasional backing vocal are a key part of the mix, and that relying exclusively on Caithlin DeMarrais’ voice is a mistake. Sadly, nobody seems to have told Rainer Maria about this, as the final record provides more of the same. We doubt we’ll even bother with it, actually.
So, there you have it: we discovered the band on Saturday, and by last night we’d already decided when they jumped the shark. Someday, perhaps we can manage to compress the entire process of fandom to an afternoon.