Firstly, the news…or, well, “the news,” since nothing’s been officially announced. There’ve been whispers of an impending IME reunion for years, but they’ve suddenly begun gathering speed. Earlier this month a brand-new I Mother Earth website appeared whose sole content is a downward-tickling clock that’ll hit zeroes January 24. Meanwhile, Brian Byrne posted posted a Facebook message reading, “I guess its [sic] official! Pretty pumped! Here is to a new year in music and fun with my best friends!” The band’s new Twitter handle is @IMENation2012, which seems telling. Speaking of Twitter, on Saturday I wrote
Even thinking about an I Mother Earth reunion makes me giddy. Hurry up and get here, January 24! #headspace #alone #shapeless
The band re-tweeted me. Something clearly seems to be afoot.
Secondly, the reasons I’m pretty excited. IME was at their peak when they suddenly dropped off the face of the earth back in 2003. Their last–latest?–album, The Quicksilver Meat Dream, might also be their best, while the IME live show was revitalized when Byrne hooked up with Bruce Gordon and the Tanna brothers in 1999. (Edwin–the band’s former singer who seemed to view performing as a chore–was last seen fronting Crash Karma as well as tending bar at Tattoo Rock Parlour on Queen Street West.) I’ve seen them six times, most recently at the Cocamo in Kingston in September 2003, a show that was notable for “Good for Sule” and the best version of “Levitate” I’ve ever heard and an audience that dispersed as soon as IME made way for the night’s ostensible headliners (the wretched Theory of a Deadman). IME concerts at Jock Harty Arena and Cocomo bookended my undergraduate years at Queen’s. In October 2002 Cousin Cam and I saw an IME show at the old Palais Royale that culminated with Brian Byrne dangling upside down over the audience during “Rain Will Fall”. And on June 29, 2000, I was pressed up against the stage at Coyote’s in Thunder Bay as IME delivered one of the most satisfying concerts I’ve seen to this day (at which they opened with “Love Your Starfish”, played “Pisser”, and covered “Forty-Six & 2” by Tool).
So hurry up and get here, January 24! I’m excited to renew my vows with one of my favourite bands, nine years after it looked like I’d never have that opportunity again.