June 18 — “You Never” by The Curtain Society

The Curtain Society

If you only listen to one song today, make it “You Never” by The Curtain Society (1995, from the album Inertia).
The Curtain Society was a dream-pop band from Southbridge, Massachusetts who were active between 1988 and 2005. Technically speaking, they’re an “active” band, but they haven’t released anything in seven years.

I swear I’ve written this post before, but my team of interns insists that I haven’t. Since I don’t trust them, I’ve painstakingly researched the matter, and it turns out that they’re right. I might have written it and 86ed it at the last second, but nothing about The Curtain Society has ever gone live on this blog.

The Curtain Society’s frontman Roger Lavallee hates the “dream-pop” tag, and hates any efforts to define the band. That’s something that I’ve written a bunch of times in other posts. I don’t fully understand that aversion. It might have something to do with wanting the listener to decide for himself, or it might be some overly self-important “we don’t sound like any other bands out there, so stop putting these meaningless tags on us” notion. Personally I don’t mind being told “If you like other music that is generally called ‘dream-pop’, then you might like this”. Frankly, I think that these “don’t label us, bro!” people need to relax. It’s just a time-saving way of saying “This band sounds more like Slowdive than it sounds like Sepultura”. That’s all.

Anyway, The Curtain Society was/is three dudes. Roger Lavallee (vocals, guitars), Ron Mominee (bass) and Duncan Arsenault (drums). They often used guest female vocalists, and they used one of those on today’s song. They frequently collaborated with Shana (daughter of Van) Morrison, but that isn’t she on today’s song. Whoever it is, she’s uncredited in the liner notes.

Without further ado, here’s today’s song:
“You Never” by The Curtain Society

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but think of The Drop Nineteens, and their brilliant 1992 album Delaware.

While I’m not wild about the low, flat, drone-y sound, I still think that it’s a pretty great song. I don’t have a favorite bit because the entire song is really same-y, but I like it nonetheless. Same-y doesn’t have to be bad. Hell, the entire oeuvre of The Wedding Present is same-y, and I love that band.

The Curtain Society was one of the bands flying the flag for the brilliant Bedazzled Records. They only released 40 titles, but they were a pretty serious player in the dream-pop sub-world of College Radio in the mid-late 1990s. In fact, the Curtain Society’s EP Volume, Tone, Tempo(2000) was the last title ever released by the wee but mighty label.

Inertia has been out of print for a long time, but you can find used copies out there. You can also find digital downloads. Do what you have to do. It’s not an “essential” album, but it’s pretty good, and worth the $5 that you might spend for a used copy. There are some Bedazzled Records releases in the amazon store going for $50 or more for used CDs. This goes for $5. It does right now, anyway.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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