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The Art of Wasting Time
© 2004 Senile Music, Ltd.

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Lost Weekend
The Art of Wasting Time

Total Time: 42:48
Cost: $9.98 + s/h*

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STYLE: Electro-Acoustic Alt. Rock

HOME TOWN: Atlanta, GA

Visit the Lost Weekend WEB SITE

Lost Weekend

1. Pretending
2. When Things Settle Down
3. Endless Summer
4. No-Win Situation
5. Almost Alison
6. Hey, You Kids, Get Out Of My Yard!
         (GrandDad's Theme)
7. Constantly Away
8. Places Where I Don't Belong
9. I'll Be Back
10. A Clutch Of Second Thoughts
11. Stapleton

Check out Scott Robert's other band:
Last Chance Runaround

Issue #74                                 May '05

We have named May “Lost” month, not for the TV series and not for driving purposes, but for an anomaly of factions. Factions as diverse as youth, and the helpless feeling of being lost in transition. Emotion, and the overwhelming impact it can have when lost in it. Age, and the stranded feeling of lost youth. Life, and how lost within it you can actually find yourself. Society, and how whether or not you are a part of an accepted sect, or one oblivious to the masses, you can still be lost amid the population. The soul, and how each one of us can experience the earth-shattering, sinking feeling of hopelessness, that we are alone in our individual journey of heart, mind, and self.

To that, we offer up an almost mid-year resolution to that which has been gnawing at you – or should I say us, because yes, there is a correlation to the fact that these words/views/insights are being parlayed your way by a mid-forty-ish product of the “lost” generation of the 70’s. Who, at the moment, is in the “May” of his life and is still attempting to chart a solid course on the “Lost” directions of life. Rock-n-Roll is in it’s “May” of life, and while to many it is all but “Lost,” we say it is simply crossing into the timeless category where it can no longer be claimed to be solely the rebellion of youth, but the charted direction of (mid) life. When you’re 17 it’s called rebellion, when you’re 45 it’s called a mid-life crisis, when 17 = 45 it’s called the convergence of time, and Rock-n-Roll now provides both sets with directions.

In the up coming months IndepenDisc will be celebrating the immense diversity that Rock-n-Roll/music has grown into throughout the years and all the different sets of directions it now gives to help us all, be it youth, or matured adult, get to the point we are all looking for - the 3-4 minutes of bliss that can also be translated into a journey of LP’s length and worth to help us overcome, no matter how temporary or momentary it may be, to help us find that particular spot/moment in time/life where we are no longer lost, where we have found our purpose, our salvation, our Shangri-La. To get things started this month we have a double issue Featuring Lost Forty Fives and Lost Weekend (now you can see where all this “Lost” reflection and sentimentation is coming from ;-).

In The Art of Wasting Time, Lost Weekend gives us the opportunity to take the time we need for a little R&R (that’s rest and relaxation, and rock and roll), the time to have a lost weekend where we can enjoy the music.

Sometimes a person can get so lost amid what they do that they can fail at what they do without even realizing it. One of my favorite commentaries on that particular subject is a skit David Spade did on Saturday Night Live during the Weekend Update portion of the show. The skit was called “Spade On Hollywood” and it was a take on a TV magazine show such as Entertainment Tonight, and he would just skewer everyone. As soon as I began to listen to The Art of Wasting Time, one of Spade’s taglines ran through my head, except I was directing it at Lost Weekend.

  (Picture the cover art at the top right hand corner of your screen
  [or scroll up to see it] of a foggy morning on a beach where a
  girl sits upon a log of driftwood, her back to us, puffin’ a butt
  and holding either a coffee or a beer in hand [either works just
  fine] and I [David Spade] stating):

  “The Art of Wasting Time is the debut CD by the Atlanta, GA
  band Lost Weekend. Now I won’t say it was an art of wasting
  my time, because I loved this the first time I heard it… (…long
  pause, wait for it, wait for it…and then the punch line)…when it
  was called R.E.M.”  - rimshot -

And what seemed to be lost was found (or some famous quote like that). I ignored the immediate stereotype I flaked off in a somewhat subconscious manner, and proved it to be blatantly wrong. Had I been listening at an i-tunes pace I never would’ve found myself on a road that would lead to an amazing set of music by Scott Roberts, who through a beautiful writing ability, is able to marry lyrics of a variety of situations with the music, in such a manner that conveys emotions with heartfelt accuracy. Used within a solid, early R.E.M. sound of heavy stringing electro-acoustic rhythm and striped down intensified lead guitar that soars, hobbles, slides, and dances around the vocals to create a chilling (and I mean sends chills down the spine), unambiguous use of bluegrass inspired instrumentation, it is a refreshing slice of alt. inspired americana. Where Out of Time era R.E.M found no trouble blending mandolin, Lost Weekend brings the banjo to the table and rocks the house with it. – (Side Note: do not overlook track 6, the instrumental [which does not contain a banjo] “Hey, You Kids, Get Out Of My Yard! (GrandDad’s Theme),” for a slice of Herny Mancini spirited retro 60s sound saturation that uses heavy fuzz guitars to play the horn parts ) – Diving deep into these directions that seemed familiar, I found a treasure trove of an artist and his purpose in life: bringing the joy of music to our lives.

If we had an evening to sit back and enjoy a few cocktails & beers, and pop on The Art of Wasting Time, we could sit and dissect it song by song, because it is that type of album, one that allows you to escape for a few hours (when multiple playings are possible) to find the joys not only in the lyrics (and damn catchy ones when set to the music, hooky enough to have you singing full verses with ease while the overall theme of the composition remains just out of grasp, and yet we know we connect because the musical mood set forth on any one of these 11 forays is just so perfect, what we feel must be the tone and subject of each), but also in the afore mentioned spot on musical instrumentation as well.

I can go no further than one of the best trio of songs within an LP; Endless Summer, No-Win Situation, and Almost Alison are one of the best combos that have come down the pike in a while now. Starting with track 3, Endless Summer, Scott (vocals, guitars, bass, mandolin, harmonica, and more) and Mike Joswick (drums) are joined by whom I assume to be Scott’s wife, Sheri Roberts. It is her dreamy vocals floating atop a serious bass line that makes this song rise like cream to the top. Sheri’s soft wispy velvet voice works off Scott’s octave switching roles as the story plays out in the contrasting deliveries of the male/female vocals. This recitation of the lyrics, as poetic as any put to verse, provides delivery of the CD’s title, which to me is an indicator of how important this track is to the album – “I know nothing lasts forever / if it did / we’d lose the / Art of Wasting Time.” It’s a classic summer romance break-up tale, detailed in two contrasting emotions, as represented in the male/female vocals and layered harmonies both within a classic down and dirty bass that leads us past the Beach parties and into mortality. No matter how many times we hear it, Roberts naming this song Endless Summer pulls no punches.

Something to think about there, but, wham, No-Win Situation hits us. What we have here is the culmination of everything that can converge to create magic. This song includes the perfect words delivered with emotional charges at all the perfect points. Ringing guitar notes shower down heavy rhythm strummin’, carrying each stanza and chorus, and when Scott hits the couplets within this stanza:

There’s no room for me in this…………. /
watch me while I reminisce…………….. /
I can’t talk about it now /
simple words would not allow …………me /
to say the way I feel /
and it all seems so unreal

in this no-win situation

  (look, he rhymes “allow” with “now,” even though “me” finishes
  the line before he moves to the next line, yet the music
  composition that engulfs these lyrics carries it off to where
  anybody can sing right through it in harmony, it’s that perfect),

the music carries it home. Again with the direct R.E.M. influence, but now it’s easy to shake off the prejudicial, reviewer snob personality, point of view because damn if this song doesn’t champion over it all. While it is another break-up song, it doesn’t have to be exclusive to relationships because it is somewhat dedicated to the moment (any moment). Of course, the best is saved for the last stanza:

There’s no room for me in this………….no /
“There’s no room for me in this…………. /
I can’t talk about it now /
and I never will know how /
to explain the things I need /
yes it’s time that I concede /

to this no-win situation

But he hasn’t given in. You can tell by the soaring chime of the tireless rhythm rising over and above, that he’s defying everything, and it’s because of the music that we feel so happy for him and for us. Then the banjo on Almost Alison starts a plunking and chinking courtesy of Kevin Glenn straight outta what seems like a Honky-Tonk juke joint and we are thrust from our situation headlong into a country song that should not be labeled “country.” In fact, Almost Alison is so bluegrass that the current state of country music should be embarrassed by this song. A good ole southern fried tale of a post break-up hook-up in a bar over a number of beers as our protagonist is wanting to go for it, even though… “And you’re not the one / I should be talking to / but tonight you’ll just have to do / Couldn’t feel this way / about just anyone / but you’re almost Alison / you are almost Alison” Take that country music, everyone in Nashville would be singing this song if were in the juke boxes.

That’s the way this entire set of music is handed down to us. It serves a lesson that we must fight our preconceived notions and musical snobbery, that just because something sounds like something else, doesn’t make it a bad thing. Nor, just because it has been done before does not mean it should be lost to our appreciation. Because it may be being done now in such a way that it is again fresh and new and as exciting as it all was when we were first exposed to it. Perfect examples: Constantly Away - this is the way I wish Wilco sounded more like. More country-ish with a deep backbeat. Places Where I Don’t Belong - drips mood rock on the edge, a fragile sound that appeals to a more reflective state than any that Michael Stipe attempted. I’ll Be Back - one of the best reworking of a Beatles song that anyone’s had the guts to try, and also lends itself to a personification of genres that is quite remarkable.

And quite remarkable is what The Art of Wasting Time by Lost Weekend is. Take a little time for some R&R, have a lost weekend, enjoy the music, allow the music to find you, and learn to find what may have been lost.

The Art of Wasting Time by Lost Weekend
is available now for $9.98 + s/h*

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                     Add $1.50 per each CD after.
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