michael's communiqué #10
05/05/2004

"Cruel is the gospel that sets us all free, then takes you away from me...
With a pious smile, a smile that changes what I say.
While I waste my time, in regretting that the days, went from perfect to just O.K."
-Prefab Sprout

So we're back from Sweden and it would be a little insincere to say we are glad to be back. Actually we've been back for over a month. But it rained in New York for the first 20 days, the Yankees lost 6 of 7 games to The Red Sox and I spent my nights on a futon glowering at my stuffed animals. What's new you might ask with ill timed sarcasm? Well aside from a Magnetic Feilds record, my recipe for japanese curry, and a new apartment with a bathroom decorated in the style of Picasso's little known "really blue" period...nothing...or most things. The tour was really, really, really great, and I spent the first week back more or less lost in my recollections. Walking the flooded streets of New York (the city that makes it's own gravy when it rains) under an umbrella of nostalgia. A moment of joy "that was amazing"... a moment of melancholia "could it ever be so amazing again?" Only a really troubled individual would find it this difficult to be happy in consecutive moments. Luckily I still get to share 2 for 1 happy hour tekka rolls at the corner sushi bar with a certain someone. The weather is now turning towards a good kick of the soccer ball, and Derek Jeter's batting average is back over the mendoza line. I should count my blessings, even if I only need one hand... but alas I'm caught with my hands in my pockets again...

Those of you in New York knew that before we left, the band was in a little bit of crisis. Our show at The Mercury Lounge could truly have been our last, and we more or less admitted that. Emotions, stress, poverty, memory; the usual suspects had put some distance between us and we really did not know whether something brighter could prevail. Allow me to pause and thank the gang which packed the house full on that cold Friday evening in the east village. The White Rose Collective at last. That night really marked the beginning of better times, which only multiplied in Sweden.

The Swedish kids put us straight on our value and our valour with numbers and futbol chants the likes this sicilian man has only witnessed in his dreams. And the Swedish streets led us to cafes and conversations most needed. They were...how do you say...the happiest days of our lives.

And after we played our last song...in Lund...wondering if it was the last song we would ever play...in the last city we would ever play in... the DJ spun dark shimmering pop records all night long. And he kept playing them as we danced amongst the crowd with our equipment still on stage. He kept playing them as we pushed past kissing kids on the staircase and out the double doors. He kept playing them as we piled into our van to catch a flight out of Gothenburg at the edge of day. He kept playing them long after we could hear him anymore with our ears. And I realized then that this was all I ever wanted My Favorite to do. Linger in the soul for awhile after the deadbolt on your door clicks shut and you hit the grey streets where everything...anything...is supposed to matter more. Linger in the soul when you need something with which to spackle the cracks that you put in your walls by banging your blessed head against them. To help you make a room suitable for dreaming. I started writing these songs...a long time ago...for myself...but now I think I'm just another student union DJ. The DJ who plays for whomever wants to dance. Plays because...I think... before people can move they need to be moved. This is my soul music. And all other success I find will come after this. Shine through this forgotten stained glass. The battered church on the hill called to Bresson's country priest, becuase they had both suffered enough to merit being reborn. So we will try one more time...

The Faves are staying together, with a hymm book of new songs and a lust for blood... a lust for the Americans with souls as blue and bright as the lights in Stockholm (for those details you will have to read my tour diary, which I will be updating over the next couple weeks.) It's worth a shot in the dark. To borrow a phrase...You belong with us. Black Sheep leaping fences, and us counting each other to fall asleep and into dreams. We will be continuing our break from shows until Memorial Day Weekend (stay tuned), while we search for a larger label, rehearse new material and plant the seeds for various plans and projects designed to bring you more of our world, in colors, pictures, sounds and words. Saint Peter Green once instructed us to "take everything very seriously", and we do... now more than ever. If obscurity is our fate... we will make your recollections of it glorious. If the thorn of our rose can enter the side of the world at large...the petals will fall at your feet.

More from me soon... I promise... but most importantly... more from us...

Always,
Michael Grace Jr.
Darkside Up.
Sunnyside Down.