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What the world needs now—

A couple-three years ago, cruising the net, I found a page with some instrumental MP3s; stabs at what would have been the next Babe the Blue Ox album, in another, better world. There was a note from Tim I think about time passing, and families being raised, and walls stubbornly unfallen even after they’d circled them seven times and seven times again, blowing that horn, and what that felt like; too content to be called resignation, I think. (Boy, turning her back: “I stopped needing to save the world. Saving is what misers do.”) Rose was in law school, or Hanna maybe; time passing. —They were spare and crunchy and beautiful, those MP3s, or the three or four I downloaded; when I went back to get more, and drop some cash in the PayPal slot, the site 404ed, its links all rotted away. Then I lost the songs in a harddrive crash.

Which makes this the saddest and most hopeful thing I’ve read all week, but I’m a fan:

The last time I saw Rose, Hanna, and Tim perform—in 1999 or 2000?—they seemed dispirited, mixing brilliant unreleased songs with fragments that crumbled under their hands, that didn’t end but stopped, just like this.

“Babe may be in a deep deep sleep,” Hanna told me via email in 2005, “but we are all alive and well and in touch with each other too.” She added: “We are the future of rock and roll.”

You were, you are, you will be again. It’s terribly selfish of me to ask, but please: come back. The world still needs to be saved.

  1. Keith in Ohio    Dec 19, 04:40 PM    #

    Amen. I’m listening to “People” right now and missing those guys. Rose is currently playing with the M Shanghai String Band (also featuring members of VPN and Beekeeper). I haven’t spoken to Hanna in years (waves hello), and much longer for Tim. But here’s a tidbit for you: the band recorded an instrumental album after they were dropped from RCA. It was never released. :(

  2. babe the blue ox    May 30, 09:40 PM    #

    The Ox is stirring.

    A new myspace page: babetheblueoxmusic.

    And funny Babe action is brewing – check out this.

  3. Paul Winkler    Jun 5, 04:11 PM    #

    Hey Kipper. I was at the Magnetic Field gig a couple Fridays ago.
    Rose’s kid-to-be got a good dose of full-body vibrations, I can tell you that.

    And “Vatican III” is something awesome that I wish everyone could see.
    Kind of like the “band” you would form with your best friend when you were nine, where you had no instruments except a couple toy drums to bang on, and made up some songs to yell in unison. Imagine if you’d learned to play really well but kept doing that. Can’t find anything on the web though. I hope they do more.

    I also really dug the Walking Hellos. They were just… odd. In a good way. After their set I chatted with the singer/banjoist, Myla … small world: she’s married to Jason Little, the cartoonist behind “Shutterbug Follies”.
    And the W.H. website is illustrated by Megan Kelso. Cartoonist geeks rejoice!

    As for the Babe reunion… it was exactly like you’d expect: Great, and too short. It reminded me of seeing them in Northampton at the Bay State with about three other people: that “holy crap this is amazing” feeling hasn’t gone away.

  4. Kip Manley    Jun 5, 05:04 PM    #

    Paul Winkler, ladies and gentlemen, who introduced me to Babe, the best band ever in all the world. —I got to see them just the once, myself, here in Portland, at Berbati’s Pan. Yeah. Holy crap this is amazing.

    And Myla Goldberg is also of course a Decemberists’ song.

  5. ms_xeno    Jun 12, 01:36 PM    #

    Hell, even Cheryl Pyle has a damn MySpace page now. Cheryl Pyle is the Greatest Caucazoid Jazz Flutist To Ever Make One CD Ten Years Ago And Then Vanish Forever Into The Aether. No band or artist need ever die, now that there’s MySpace. Of course, I can’t spend much time there because it crashes my computer. Still, just knowing it’s there makes it all a little better.

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