By Mike Faloon
I still can’t believe the Measure have broken up. They played a pivotal role in helping me deal with the demise of the Ergs. The Measure didn’t sound very much like their Garden State brethren, but they were equally prolific. They too viewed 7”s and compilations as worthy homes for great material, unlike so many bands that just dump their flotsam and jetsam on smaller releases, saving the good stuff for “real” records. Not so with the Measure. To hear their finest material you had to keep up with their release schedule.
I thought I’d done pretty well in this regard. I’m guessing I have a dozen or so Measure 7”s. My Heart and the Real World is a collection of singles and compilation tracks. I bought a copy thinking it offered, at best, two songs that I’d missed in the barrage of the band's recent records. There are 10. I was off by a factor of five. And more so than the quantity of new songs, there was — yet again — the quality. They managed so many different variables: alternating between male/female vocals, introvert/extrovert lyrical perspectives, being earthy and earnest like a folk duo/loud and fast like a punk band. They could work a midsummer campfire as well as a sweaty, crammed basement with too low ceilings. (And they had a way with song titles too — a mix of puns we could all get and in-jokes: “Triple Quarters on the Dime,” “Mike Breaks a String.”)
The second song on side two is “How to Thrash a Million,” a revved up version of “How to Steal a Million” (from the Songs About People EP). The line that’s been standing out for the past week is “The best thing about this is that the best is yet to come.” The optimistic outlook, in light of the band breaking up, is that ex-members of the Measure will move on to new bands worth following. In the meantime, raise a roof beer for My Heart and the Real World, an excellent collection from a band whose punk rock stopped far too early.