posted on May 16, 2009 at 4:44 am

trying to understand it
is it a masterpiece…i am the last person to ask
it seems there is an oh so delicate balance
cant get any aspect wrong
then you wait for the zeitgeist
you may have to wait 20 odd years
for the next zeitgeist to come along
so be patient be very impatient
theres no sense
theres no rhyme or reason
i been making these weird yet wonderful records awhile now
i dont look gifthorses in the mouth any more
hey i’m on this bandwagon
and baybee let me tell ya
it feels kinda good
even tho i know
it may all end tomorrow
hey…come back…!
nope too late
now i gotta wait a double decade to come back into style
everybody got a different take
my mother rings me up
steven the singing on this record is your best yet!
damn right it is mum…im a slow learner
i had all those fancy lyrics
but i didnae know how to sing em…
some talk about the conciseness
the simplicity
the complexity
the melody
the instrumentation
let me tell you everyone who worked on this record
is excellent
dave trump who mixed about a 3rd : excellent
jorden brebach who engineered n mixed n played : excellent
sophie glasson on cello : fucking excellent cellist and intuitive master
frank kearns on bass n guitar n good vibes : a godsend
the boys in the band : theyre all masters
and then after all that
all my stars align
tim n i get our modus operandi sorted on painkiller
and we are sufficiently detached
to add the right finishing touches
i write whatever comes into my head
why pangaea someone asks
why not someone else replies
what are these songs about?
theyre about being a child in a grown up world
and vice versa
theyre about the sun and the moon and the washed up stars
theyre about 5 minutes long most of em
suddenly everyone understands us
is this because as 2012 hastens on its merry way
that the weird n the wonderful become more plausible?
is it because im singing more n more in a slightly higher register?
is it because we straddle dumb n intellectual effortlessly?
is it because if you like the beatles n floyd et al then
well why wouldnt you like the church?
no longer a sulky cultish mopish melancholy lot
we have turned into the consummate rockers
we understand and have the chops to manipulate
every fucking stylistic device in rock
we are obsessed with rock
we live n breathe rock
and we reflect all that good rock back atcha
with the love increased
with a modern touch
with my anglo/aussie take
as older n wiser wiseguys
because i do yoga n swim
n tim produces hundreds of bands
and pete teaches music
and marty is a true rocknroll gypsy
with a record collection too big to fit in rhode island
chuck it all together
with a hunger
the hunger of the misunderstood
the ones who arent getting their justified desserts
and then at the right time in the right place finally
we accidentally make u#23
like a meandering river
winding its way to the sea
it aint over yet
it could all fizzle
it probably will
n in some ways probably should
we dont need a fat lazy complacent church again
we dont need those arrogant smirks n cant be bothered shrugs
we need max energy
we need full thrust
we need total obsession n kicking goals
not by schmoozing
not by recycling utmw
not by doing the retro circuit or corporate circuit
but by
i read we are influenced by u2 or coldplay or spiritualized
thats a fucking joke
oh how weary i am of that bullshit
dont make me fucking laugh
we had done 3 records before i even heard of em
the cure….are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me?
baby here are my influences
the beatles the stones dylan
trex bowie genesis
then harley strange nelson foxx
it ends
then i swirl it all together
n i turn into me
dont compare me to bono
im the anti bono
hes rich
im poor
hes ugly
im handsome
hes a self righteous irish berk
im a righteous aussie mofo
and i dont hob nob with the fucking pope
and i dont hang out with models at airports
i made 2 records before i heard his maudlin voice too
so stick the comparisons up yer achtung baby
cant they see?
but still i dont know really what i’m doing
but we made a record in a garage in ryde
that is somehow pushing all the right buttons
and we’re actually on a load of charts
and people are calling up
ooooh i love yer new disc
n the snowball is off n rolling of its own accord
vishnu keep my feet on the ground
in the deep tranquilty of my yoga asanas
i truly realize


43 Responses to “unentitled to 23 chances..?”

  1. avatar
    heyday2day | 16 May 2009 at 7:11 am #

    everything indeed is all bullshit but it’s better to be recognized for your genius than filed away in the masses collective minds as an 80’s one and done band. i can’t imagine how you feel about that oh so misguided notion because when i encounter that mentality it royally chaps my ass (and i’m just an effin fan).

    i’m too damn close to the band, have lived and breathed it for too long to objectively decide if this new album is better than previous. i’m too close to too many of them for those kinds of statements from me but if others want to throw it out there well…..i’ll stomp my feet, clap my hands and jump on that bandwagon if it helps bring to the Church just a smidgen of what the Church have brought to me. it’s somewhat asinine for a 41 year old man like myself to feel so giddy and geeky that the world might finally be fucking catch on but it’s the truth. you can’t define what has made it turn this direction and neither can we but whatever it is, it is SO deserved. kudos to those in the world that are finally opening their ears and minds.

    i have had the album now for about 6 weeks and as usual i’m finding/forming new thoughts daily. couldn’t get enough of anchorage, angel street and happenstance for awhile but now i’m operetta is just slaying me. the melody is fucking gorgeous and the atmosphere……i’m inclined to agree with andy. if it was released as a single and given a small push…..the world might finally be ready.


  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 8:22 am #

    yeah, you definitely got some sort of balance right with this album. You can already sense a timelessness about it.

  3. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 16 May 2009 at 8:22 am #

    like i’ve said before, ride this friggin’ wave, baybee……anybody who tries to schmooze and brown nose because ‘all of a sudden’ you’re having a degree of wider success, well, tell ’em to stick it up their viva la vida, ok? that kind of bullshit from other people would make me throw up…..bleurgh…
    love always….

  4. avatar
    phil in Canbagerra | 16 May 2009 at 8:25 am #

    Well everything maybe BS however untitled #23 is everything about where the modern western mind is at! Seeking solace in not quite known worlds tantalizingly in reach.

    The PM

  5. avatar
    EDD | 16 May 2009 at 8:33 am #

    Well, Steve, I got U#23 but haven’t had a chance to really listen to it. I’m off work all day tomorrow. Gonna get low and listen to it. I am an R E M fan and was disappointed by Accelerate. I never thought you were influenced by them but more like kindred sprits. I guess you don’t like them but Fables of the Reconstruction is my favorite of theirs(in my opinion, them at their most psycadellic). You guys have overtaken them for me. Simply more interesting. Thought you should know. BEB

  6. avatar
    EDD | 16 May 2009 at 8:38 am #

    P.S. I’ve liked the church for a long time. My favorite album by ya’ll is Priest=Aura as far as a flowing, complete mood. As far as I’m concerned, Day of the dead, Pharoah and Destination are the best opening moods to a recording I’ve heard.

  7. avatar
    Richard | 16 May 2009 at 8:43 am #

    if you think a documentary is too ambitious, how about a video to start with?

    Not a religion

  8. avatar
    Freddie | 16 May 2009 at 8:49 am #

    “i made 2 records before i heard his maudlin voice too
    so stick the comparisons up yer achtung baby
    cant they see?
    Sorry M’Lord …but you were in here the other day praying for a new wider audience. They don’t yet know how to describe you and The Church so that’s just “virgin” talk, but they’re TALKING!!!!

    I’ve got a feeling that before all this is over (and I predict a pretty good ride) a lot of things are going to rub you the wrong way but as you yourself said “EVERYTHING IS BULLSHIT”

  9. avatar
    davem | 16 May 2009 at 9:07 am #

    Bullshit perhaps but I’m still proud as punch.
    I think it’s just brilliant to see you get some ridiculously overdue recognition.

  10. avatar
    timetunnel | 16 May 2009 at 9:34 am #

    There’s been something going on in the way people perceive music over the last 5 or 10 years. More and more people have become weary of the mainstream bullshit and long for honest and good, maybe even challenging, music. It first occured to me when Radiohead’s Kid A came out and made it into the top of the charts, which confused me to no end. I love that album, but in the charts??? Then Sigur Rós’ released their masterpiece Ágætis byrjun, I went to one of their gigs in 2001 and realized how many people already seemed to like them. Today they’re even a lot bigger. I try to imagine these records in the 90s … no way, only few people would have cared, I guess. And in the 80s? Haha. In a “pre-historic” sense of “accessibility”, these records are not accessible at all. In a modern sense, they are. Now U#23 adds itself to the album convoy on this road of recent musical developments, driving there properly. People are ready for it. Not everyone, but more and more. Because: yes, it’s a masterpiece.

  11. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 16 May 2009 at 9:38 am #

    not everything is bullshit esskay, if it wasn’t for me and you this world would be nothing, i thank vishnu for keeping us both alive, long live rock ‘n’ roll babylon…

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 9:47 am #

    We wuz discussing this just last night and all concured that singing more n more in a slightly higher register and with more conviction is the key difference this time.. of course having the right balance of mood and ‘song’ has helped also.

    The other thing I particularily like is yr bands ability to sustain different energies at the same time, it’s the thing that Wilco are the current live champs at.

    I love the start of Pangea, the sound of a flower opening up..luverly


  13. avatar
    eek | 16 May 2009 at 10:34 am #

    You know how many fans say it takes them a while before they know whether they like a new Church album? Well I tend to like them right off the bat, and then after several weeks of listening I find a song or two that I don’t like as well and will sometimes skip. I’ve had Untitled #23 for a while now and have yet to find any skippable songs. I think that speak very well for this album.

    “i read we are influenced by u2 or coldplay or spiritualized
    thats a fucking joke
    oh how weary i am of that bullshit”

    I’ve been thinking about this and I believe in most cases, the reason reviewers will compare you to particular bands is that those bands are the reviewer’s influence or frame of reference. I think many have a hard time trying to explain you, so they compare you with bands they know or that they think their readers will know. To me it’s a mark of a lazy review (even if it is a positive review).

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 10:38 am #

    You mentioned some other great bands there…i have always put the church up there with them…it is only fate that you havnt sold as many records…i think its a pity that there seems to be so much bitterness and bile in your comments….enjoy steve! i would give anything to have had as much success as your self….

  15. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 16 May 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Damn, I think I may have added my comment for today’s blog to yesterday’s blog?

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Operetta isn’t a single, it’s a perfect album closer. Its brilliance, its beauty, leaves you wanting more … leaves you wanting to play the album all over again. I think one of the reasons this album is so cohesive, is so sublime, is because there are no obvious pandering singles tracks (not that there have been in the past, I might add – pandering, I mean). It’s a work of art in its wholeness, in its completeness.

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 11:32 am #

    its a different lp hey…slowly digesting it….been listening for ~28 years and still learning…


  18. avatar
    Almost anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    You are going to punch me, but a thing (among many other aspects) I loved about U#23 was the use of mellotron in some places. That reminded me The Moody Blues, a group that made seven of the best records ever recorded.

    I’ve noticed the key about you and the rest of the band is that after more than 20 albums you still enjoy finding out the way to make great music and that’s something that can be felt in every song.

  19. avatar
    restaurant mark | 16 May 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    sorry for my absense sir. my computer isn’t wanting me to post apparently. my mac is getting very outdated unfortunately. using the wife’s now. speaking of my wife…our baby should be here any time. got her room ready last week (painting, bedding, etc.).
    i have been enjoying the blog this week though…yesterday had my head spinning…
    so happy to read all the great reviews for untitled #23…you deserve them. i’ve looked up and read every one i can find online. i’ve only heard the snippets of the songs on itunes (about 8 times). plan on buying the cd today. the only thing i don’t like about the reviews is when one of them says the church returns to form…didn’t know you lost form??? ultc and forget yourself…back with two beasts…all are excellent. i believe your form to be intact! i look forward to a good loud listen on my headphones. i hope the record really takes off and the compliments and shining reviews keep coming.
    i do find it unfortunate that on the record that has the potential to be your biggest in some time you’re gonna miss a large portion of the country on your tour. and if i lived in new york i’d be going to three shows! i do wish you the best on your tour…great sound, sold out venues, an appreciative and receptive audience…all the merch sales you can handle! but it is a bummer reading about the upcoming tour and knowing i’m not gonna get my night with the church.

    ps- i find it funny someone would say you’re influenced by u2 or coldplay…really??? didn’t coldplay steal one from you on their last record?

    take care steve…everyone

  20. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 16 May 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    What’s bullshit is that the Church did not remain huge after Starfish. In the last 20 years all your CDs have ranged from great to peerless. The only one that I generally don’t like is Magician Among The Spirits. It’s too otherworldly,abstract and detached even though it’s intrinsically brilliant. I do know a few people who love it ! Bono’s a political hypocrite but he is a good vocalist. Commentors like I do try to compare The Church to other bands but you guys have been an ethereal and surreal anomaly since 1992.

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 8:01 pm #


  22. avatar
    catchow | 16 May 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    i do like your opposing to bono!
    it ‘s killingly funny!…You don’t like him,neither do i!that guy is’nt pleasant and your music is much original and varying…and your voice!
    i am me and no other:so right!!!
    there ‘s only 1 sk on earth!

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    Just some random thoughts…

    I as well extremely appreciate The Church’s use of the mellotron. It is so subtle, yet so rich in it’s textures. Outbound off Painkiller is also a wonderful example of it’s usage.

    The only reason people compared The Church to R.E.M. is that Marty and Peter Buck both played the Rickenbacker 12 string which achieves that marvelous jingly jangly sound. I think Marty works it far better than Peter in every way. Although Murmur was a good record.

    I think Bono is a first rate vocalist.
    But to me, he hasn’t made a great record since War. That is just my own personal opinion. And he can quit pretending that the world’s problems rest squarely on his shoulders.

    Lastly, agree 110% with Restaurant Mark. Very bold, yet truthful comments. I’d be pounding the pavement if it were me. Three shows in New York? Really? But none in the South? My tour manager would be getting a phone call.

    Tampa, Fl

  24. avatar
    fantasticandy | 16 May 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    the journalists trying to compare you to bono ‘n stipe do so simply because they know no better…..
    basically mate….your’e making NEW fans!
    and that has to be good…yes?

  25. avatar
    veleska1970 | 16 May 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    the church cannot possibly be compared to anyone else.

  26. avatar
    Mary | 16 May 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    you are right SK there isnt another you out there, I think really the two best bands in my oppinion are the church besides Steve being hot lol and Duran Duran, both music and voices are very unique to me and the words to the songs you guys make are wonderful and it makes me feel good listening to it, I never cared for U2 either, all there songs always sounded the same to me and the band members were always so full of themselves and you are absolutly right Bono is a very unattractive man, I remember and dont laugh, yes im married but when I would watch 120 min on vh1 classic everytime they played reptile or under the milky way, i would pause my dvr right on your face and my husband would get mad cause i would be like this is the guy i would marry if i wasnt married to u, lol sorry i just think u are a very attractive man and yes it makes my husband jealous lol

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 May 2009 at 12:17 am #

    you are handsome-er

  28. avatar
    KapustinYar | 17 May 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Richard is right. Church needs to check into making a video. Maybe a fan based project? Not that i have any talent but im sure there a few ppl who could make it happen.

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 May 2009 at 1:55 am #

    Wow, those reviewers sure know a brilliant record when they hear one, I hope Untitled goes straight to no 1 where it deserves to be.
    So happy for you and the other guys, long overdue recognition.
    The world is your oyster, may it deliver everything you have dreamed of.

    Long may the Church live!! Keep on rockin all over the world.

    Peace & love

  30. avatar
    Kokky | 17 May 2009 at 2:04 am #

    There’s never been a doubt in my mind The Church are capable of making masterpieces of albums and do mindblowing live-performances; that’s always been a large motivating factor to my dedication to, and passion for the band. It’s no mad coincidence either, nor a fashion thing.. with KLKs foundation of support, you persevered, and finally it’s dawning upon more people(*) with a passion for music, that, no.. you’re not a retro-band, but you evolved.. you’re brilliant! Those concerts in march were in many ways the best I’ve seen.. in many NEW ways too i.e. your vocal performance. ‘Seize the day’ is the motto: That’s why I am gonna go see you again in San Francisco, just to get one more fix. I do have high hopes for what more there is to come, and my mind’s already set on the next album.. how far will you be able to take this, until time crushes it all to pieces?

    (*) with this I mean more people than our little, global group of dedicated appreciators of the band. And in spite of our fondness of the back-catalogue (and the odd song-request being thrown at ya), the thrill of being on this creative musical-exploration with you guys is far greater. We don’t want a greatest-hits Church either.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 May 2009 at 2:33 am #


    I’ve got to say “Untitled#23” is the a great name

    Next album should be called ‘Everything is Bullshit”


  32. avatar
    steve kilbey | 17 May 2009 at 3:51 am #

    kokky in san fran…..the mind boggles…

  33. avatar
    W Street | 17 May 2009 at 4:06 am #

    Well, this is either good news or bad, and I hope it’s good.

    The Best Buy chain here in the States used to be great for music. If you were near one, and buying music pre-Internet download in the 1990s, then Best Buy was heaven when the Indie shops weren’t convenient. I would drop 7 or 8 discs at a time on the counter and pay 11.99 or so apiece. It was a great time.

    I went to Best Buy today, here in Columbia MD to try and get U#23, and there was nada, nothing, not a one. I checked the end caps, the new releases, and I scoured the so-called Indie sections. I tried Target (hmmm, what’s the chance?) and nada. I really, really wanted to pay retail and markup today. If you’d have said the price was 20 bucks, I’d a paid it. happily.

    Now, the optimist in me says that the copies they had were all sold out. The optimist in me says that this is gonna sort itself out in the favor of Killer and co.

    I’m hoping. If nothing sorts itself out, I’ll go right to ChurchMerch and wait for snail mail. Happily, yep, I will. Sure would have liked to give you a sale here though.

  34. avatar
    W Street | 17 May 2009 at 4:11 am #

    And who even mentions REM anymore?

    No band has collapsed faster, and sunk into self-parodying ridiculous bullshit faster than REM. I used to scrounge and get their stuff at nearly the same rate as I would the Church, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that their bootleg catalog 1982-1989 is five stars.

    I really, really wanted to keep liking REM. They decided to suck.

  35. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 May 2009 at 5:08 am #

    “We Were too bloody good for the charts” -R. Forster

    “90% of all music is crap 10% is great”- D. Byrne

  36. avatar
    Jasperina | 17 May 2009 at 5:41 am #

    When I saw the Church play at the factory in March there was something remarkable about that show…I have seen your shows here in Sydney over the past few years but that night was somethin else. Can’t put my finger on it..just the energy and electricity was present and palpable. I’ll keep crossing my fingers for you that the momentum continues to grow. Checking out your myspace page a few days ago listening to the sample of tunes there at the same time watching the moving wallpaper of your artwork…well there it is already Steve a perfect video for the new single. The ones that worked best were your ABSTRACT artworks all the swirls and kaleidoscopic lines and colours. Combine the magic of your art with the crunch sound ooh it was doing it for me baby!

  37. avatar
    heyday2day | 17 May 2009 at 6:52 am #

    W Street…….trying to help you a little. Target/Best Buy, etc..only sell music that is mainstream (Target doesn’t carry any Church product, Best Buy will order it for you). Barnes and Noble and Borders (tho’ Borders in Dallas/Ft. Worth are downsizing their music departments as of last week) occassionally carries good indie stuff but your best bet will always be the independent music stores. Forever Young (super indie record store) in DFW has the new album listed at 14.98. Not bad at all.

  38. avatar
    W Street | 17 May 2009 at 10:55 am #

    =Target/Best Buy, etc..only sell music that is mainstream (Target doesn’t carry any Church product, Best Buy will order it for you).

    Not entirely true–at one time, you could get all kinds of indie and less-than-mainstream from these places, if you had the chance to shop at them when they did a better job with music selection. As you said, everything is being downsized and reduced down to nothing.

    Perhaps it’s me, but the Church has ALWAYS been mainstream to me, and deservedly so. I didn’t expect to find them at Target; my copy of Uninvited Like the Clouds was bought at Best Buy the week it came out, as was After Everything Now This and Parallel Universe. That’s why I’m betting on “sold out.”

  39. avatar
    Kokky | 17 May 2009 at 11:00 am #

    hehehe.. finally it’s me making your mind boggle for a change ;D

  40. avatar
    W Street | 17 May 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    Outstanding news – got my copy of U#23 at Borders, Annapolis Mall.

    Things are looking up.

  41. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 May 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    Hey Steve
    I head up the buying department for a 28-store chain in New England. Looks like you sold double what you did of ‘Uninvited…’ first week. Pops you in our chart at #14!

    Fantastic album, btw.

    CM (Newbury Comics)

  42. avatar
    m.p.k. | 18 May 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Compare you to bono? Aw come on it’s fun. He hasn’t made a sound since the 80’s that I can listen to whereas your artistry and musical integrity has blossomed to it’s greatest heights in this decade. It shows no sign of letting up. How’s that for a comparison? Would you rather be rich and artistically dead? I’d prefer your lot over his any day.

  43. avatar
    Anonymous | 26 June 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    "and i dont hob nob with the fucking pope
    and i dont hang out with models at airports"


    This post was hilarious.. thanks Steve..

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