Directed by Jessica Dobson, Peter Mansen, Tyler Kalberg. From Impossible Weight, out October 16th on ATO.
I saw Deep Sea Diver open up for Wilco back in November, which was the last concert I went to before covid, unless I’m forgetting something, which I totally could be, because this fucking pandemic has obliterated any real sense of time or memory. I would’ve sworn that show was at least three years ago but nope.
And you can hear that maybe a little bit of the headliner rubbed off onto this new song with its swirling chimes and its verses that assassin down the avenue.
But that was then and this is now
I tried so hard not to let you all down
It’s an impossible weight
So I’ll just let you down now
When I was 14 I got into the Monkees when MTV started showing the reruns. Riding the success of that revival, Clive Davis of Arista Records convinced Micky and Peter to a record a few songs for a new hits compilation. “That Was Then, This Is Now” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 5, 1986, peaked at No. 20, and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks. I turned 15 during its reign and I loved it. The album, Then & Now…The Best of the Monkees, stayed on the Billboard 200 for 34 weeks. I played the cassette nonstop.
In not too long I would start to pick up the original albums at garage sales and the Rhino reissues at record stores. My copy of Headquarters had a crack (not a scratch, a crack) that went all the way through, but if I lined it up just right it would still play.
None of that really has anything to do with Deep Sea Diver, but if you’re going to have a chorus that says “that was then and this is now” then you’re going to get a Monkees story out of me and that’s just the way it is.
Oh and also: Sharon Van Etten rules.
From Then & Now…The Best of the Monkees (Arista, 1986).
I hadn’t listened to this song in many, many years. It’s really terrible. Unlistenably awful. The Deep Sea Diver song is way better.