Sunday, January 21, 2018

Certain Songs #1106: Matthew Sweet – “This Moment” | Medialoper

Album: Sweet Relief – A Benefit for Victoria Williams
Year: 1993

Greg Leisz – Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, National Duolian Guitar, Pedal Steel
Matt Wallace – Drum Loop

Throughout the early 1990s, you could walk into any record store, go to the “Various Artists” section, close your eyes and grab any random soundtrack album, tribute CD or thematic compilation and it was guaranteed that Matthew Sweet would have a song on it. And not just a song, but a song that wasn’t on any of his other records.

Here’s just a partial list: Born to Choose, No Alternative, Yuletunes, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Saturday Morning (Cartoons Greatest Hits), and of course, perhaps the greatest benefit album of the 1990s, Sweet Relief.

Organized to help singer-songwriter Victoria Williams deal with the bills for her MS, because health care in this country was as ever fucked up, Sweet Relief featured amazing performances of her songs by folks like Pearl Jam, Buffalo Tom and Soul Asylum, and the best of all was Matthew Sweet’s psychedelic strut through “This Moment.”

This moment will never come again
I know it because it has never been before
I listen to the rain outside the door
A thousand voices singing songs
That ain’t been sung before

Anchored by Greg Leisz’s gorgeous picking on a vintage National Duolian steel guitar, decorated with backwards keyboard loops, and naturally featuring Matthew Sweet’s ace overdubbing of his own vocals — counterpoints, harmonies and punctuation — “This Moment” is totally and completely transcendent, as beautiful of a performance as he’ll ever lay down in his career.

Never be again, never been before
Never be again, never been before
Never be again, never been before
Never be again, never been before

A meditation on the impermanence of time and the permanence of memory, I really really wanted “This Moment” to be the first song that Rox & I danced to at our wedding — which I did all of the music for, because of course I did — but, after much discussion, she convinced me that perhaps a more straightforward love song (with a slightly slower beat) like Alison Krauss’s “Looking in the Eyes of Love” might be more appropriate.

Probably, but we’ve listened to “This Moment” far far more in the intervening years, and of course it was the second song we danced to at our wedding.

“This Moment”

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