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Well, how long have you been a fan?

Mid 80's

Do you like all their stuff or just one era?

Pretty much everything.

Seen them live? What did you think?

Yes, twice. Once on the "Monster" Tour, and then the "Up" Tour. I enjoy their studio work much more than live. I still remember "So Fast, So Numb" though. One of my favorites.

What's the rarest release that you own?

Probably a cd single of "Witchita Lineman".

Favorite song?

That's tough. Probably "Try Not to Breathe" from Automatic. It oozes Zeppelin to me, and I thought that before I even knew about JPJ's contribution. "All the Way to Reno" is quite agreeable because of the production.

Favorite album?

That's tough too. I like "Automatic", but not for the songs that are so overplayed. I still enjoy listening to "Up", and "Hi-Fi". The only release I don't have is their latest.

Favorite member?

None....except I've always thought "the chord king" was a lame guitarist, but I understand that's just me being harsh.

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Seen them live? What did you think?

Yes, twice. Once on the "Monster" Tour, and then the "Up" Tour. I enjoy their studio work much more than live. I still remember "So Fast, So Numb" though. One of my favorites.

Nothing against their studio craft but have you ever heard any of their 80s era live shows or seen Tourfilm?

Favorite member?

None....except I've always thought "the chord king" was a lame guitarist, but I understand that's just me being harsh.

Who is "the chord king", Peter Buck?

Edited by Jahfin
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Who is "the chord king", Peter Buck?

Yes.....Did I get those hairs on the back of your neck standing on edge with that comment ?

Nothing against their studio craft but have you ever heard any of their 80s era live shows or seen Tourfilm?

The only REM video I have is on VHS is from The Monster tour....can't remember the name. I've got plenty of other live stuff from throughout their career.

I liked "Around the Sun", but most of their newer stuff just doesn't stay with me that long. I've probably listened to that album twice since the initial rush. That's why I'm in no hurry to buy "Accelerate", though I'm sure I'll pick it up eventually.

I also have no desire to see them live ever again.

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Yes.....Did I get those hairs on the back of your neck standing on edge with that comment?

Not necessarily, I just wasn't sure who you were referring to. I also wasn't sure what you meant by "the chord king". By this, do you mean Buck plays chords as opposed to notes? I know he doesn't take a lot of solos but I've always admired that about him. It also struck me as a bit odd that you're fan of R.E.M. yet consider Buck to be a "lame guitarist". In case you've never heard them, he takes pretty wicked solos during live versions of She Just Wants To Be and Country Feedback.

The only REM video I have is on VHS is from The Monster tour....can't remember the name. I've got plenty of other live stuff from throughout their career.

I liked "Around the Sun", but most of their newer stuff just doesn't stay with me that long. I've probably listened to that album twice since the initial rush. That's why I'm in no hurry to buy "Accelerate", though I'm sure I'll pick it up eventually.

I also have no desire to see them live ever again.

The Monster era movie they released was Roadmovie. It's cool that you got to see R.E.M. while Bill Berry was still with them but I'd say that was probably my least favorite tour since they were playing all of their tunes with the amps set to 11. It worked well for the Monster material but not for some of the quieter stuff. I also wouldn't rule out ever seeing them again just because you haven't been taken with the newer records (if indeed that's the reason). I'm not so fond of the post-Bill Berry era myself but those songs work much better in concert since they're forced to play them as a five piece rock band (six when Ken Stringfellow of the Posies was with them).

Having seen every tour since Pagentry in '86 I can say without question they haven't played with as much vigor since the 80s. The fact the newer songs worked better live finally dawned on them so they made Accelerate with exactly that notion in mind. This last tour was also full of lots of their lesser played older material as well as at least one song (Ignoreland) that had never even been played live. For my money, they're still one of the best live bands out there. They'll never be the same without Bill Berry but Accelerate was definitely a step in the right direction. Buck even threatened to walk if they made another record like Around the Sun. I liked Around the Sun better than some of my fellow R.E.M. fans but it was quite obvious (especially to Buck) that they were capable of much better.

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One group I seriously regret seeing live. Don't know why I never did as I've been a fan of theirs pretty much since the beginning.

It's still not too late. Considering they just finished a world tour I expect it will be a while before they tour again but they have already started writing new material for the followup to Accelerate. If anyone doubts their prowess as a live band be sure the check the clip below that was uploaded to YouTube by REMhq.com at the end of their most recent tour.

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It's still not too late. Considering they just finished a world tour I expect it will be a while before they tour again but they have already started writing new material for the followup to Accelerate. If anyone doubts their prowess as a live band be sure the check the clip below that was uploaded to YouTube by REMhq.com at the end of their most recent tour.

Thanks for posting the clip. I will definitely make it a point to catch them when they tour again that's for sure. Just would have been great to have also seen them in the beginning.

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Thanks for posting the clip. I will definitely make it a point to catch them when they tour again that's for sure. Just would have been great to have also seen them in the beginning.

I don't know why it took me so long to finally see them in concert either but I was a fan from the moment I first heard Laughing on a local radio station back in the early 80s. The first opportunity I remember having to see them was when they played a benefit for African food aid at Meredith College in Raleigh in 1985 while on tour for Fables of the Reconstruction but I didn't end up seeing them until the following year when they played Duke University with Let's Active on the tour for Life's Rich Pagent. All along they had been playing local clubs such as the Pier in Raleigh and Friday's in Greensboro. I was into the local music scene back then but still those shows managed to pass me by. Thankfully, footage (as well as audio recordings) of some of those concerts have surfaced over the years. Needless to say, I haven't missed a tour since.

R.E.M. w/Don Dixon "Wild Thing" (Meredith College 5/27/85)

R.E.M. "Laughing" (The Pier 10/10/82)

pier300.jpg

R.E.M. at the Pier with the audience onstage and the band in the audience for Gloria.

Edited by Jahfin
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I don't know why it took me so long to finally see them in concert either but I was a fan from the moment I first heard Laughing on a local radio station back in the early 80s. The first opportunity I remember having to see them was when they played a benefit for African food aid at Meredith College in Raleigh in 1985 while on tour for Fables of the Reconstruction but I didn't end up seeing them until the following year when they played Duke University with Let's Active on the tour for Life's Rich Pagent. All along they had been playing local clubs such as the Pier in Raleigh and Friday's in Greensboro. I was into the local music scene back then but still those shows managed to pass me by. Thankfully, footage (as well as audio recordings) of some of those concerts have surfaced over the years. Needless to say, I haven't missed a tour since.

R.E.M. w/Don Dixon "Wild Thing" (Meredith College 5/27/85)

R.E.M. "Laughing" (The Pier 10/10/82)

pier300.jpg

R.E.M. at the Pier with the audience onstage and the band in the audience for Gloria.

More great clips, thanks! Fables of the Reconstruction is my favorite REM album. Were they playing huge sized arenas back then or smaller venues?

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More great clips, thanks! Fables of the Reconstruction is my favorite REM album. Were they playing huge sized arenas back then or smaller venues?

Fables is also my favorite. They are currently in the process of releasing deluxe editions of those early albums, Reckoning is next. When they get around to Fables I hope the extra material Mike Peters of the Alarm turned over to them from his basement will make the cut for some of the bonus material. If not, I hope it makes it onto the box set (which they say they won't release until they decide to call it a day).

Back around the time of Fables they were playing college campuses. It wasn't until the Green World Tour that they graduated to the larger arenas. In case you've never seen them before, the R.E.M. Timeline and Chronicle sites are invaluable tools when researching their touring history and setlists:

R.E.M. Timeline

R.E.M. Chronicle

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Fables is also my favorite. They are currently in the process of releasing deluxe editions of those early albums, Reckoning is next. When they get around to Fables I hope the extra material Mike Peters of the Alarm turned over to them from his basement will make the cut for some of the bonus material. If not, I hope it makes it onto the box set (which they say they won't release until they decide to call it a day).

Back around the time of Fables they were playing college campuses. It wasn't until the Green World Tour that they graduated to the larger arenas. In case you've never seen them before, the R.E.M. Timeline and Chronicle sites are invaluable tools when researching their touring history and setlists:

R.E.M. Timeline

R.E.M. Chronicle

Cool - thanks for the links. I can only imagine what it would have been like to have seen them in small places like that.

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I first saw them in October 1985 on the Fables tour at London's Hammersmith Palais. I remember them doing a few covers that night - Rader Love, Toys In The Attic, What's New Pussycat?. Seen them 6 times in total, last time in 2005. Always great live.

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I first saw them in October 1985 on the Fables tour at London's Hammersmith Palais. I remember them doing a few covers that night - Rader Love, Toys In The Attic, What's New Pussycat?. Seen them 6 times in total, last time in 2005. Always great live.

Cool! Interesting choice of covers too :D

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

As part of the Revolve Film and Music Festival Mitch Easter and Don Dixon (who worked on R.E.M.'s first two full length albums and EP) will be conducting a panel discussion on the making of Murmur at the Garage in Winston-Salem next month. More info below.

Revolve Music Night

Featuring the making of R.E.M.'s Murmur record: A conversation with producers Mitch Easter and Don Dixon followed by Lyrics 101, live performance by Don Dixon with autographed copies of his new lyric book available and a performance by Magnapop (original line-up from Atlanta GA).

Friday, May 22nd @ 8 PM / $10

The Garage

Winston-Salem, NC

The Garage

Mitch Easter

Don Dixon

Magnapop

In relation to the publication of his new Lyrics 101 book, Raleigh News & Observer music writer David Menconi has links to more info on that and a new interview with Don Dixon on his On the Beat music blog here.

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R.E.M. To Reissue Reckoning

From Pitchfork:

remreckoning452.jpg

The R.E.M. reissue campaign continues with a 25th anniversary deluxe edition of their second album, 1984's Reckoning, due out June 23 on I.R.S./A&M/UMe. Like last year's deluxe treatment of R.E.M.'s debut, Murmur, the deluxe Reckoning is a two-disc set. The second disc contains a live show taped at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on July 7, 1984 and aired on Chicago radio station WXRT. The Aragon show features eight Reckoning songs, old songs "Gardening at Night" from Chronic Town and "Radio Free Europe," "9-9" and "Sitting Still" from Murmur, and new songs "Driver 8" and "Hyena", which would show up on Fables of the Reconstruction and Lifes Rich Pageant, respectively.

180 gram vinyl versions of the reissued Reckoning and Murmur will also be released on June 23.

Edited by Jahfin
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  • 2 weeks later...

R.E.M. Works On New Album, Shares In-Studio Photos

rem(2).jpg

By Austin L. Ray

Studio photos by Vivian Johnson

R.E.M. is working on a new album! Now, before you fanboys/girls get too excited, speculating as to whether or not the new offering will top Accelerate, pale in comparison to both the recent and forthcoming reissues, and so on, note that the band's currently amidst the "early, early demo days" for the album. All we know at the moment is where the band was recently recording and who it's been working with. David Bell from R.E.M's office sent Paste the following statement and photos:

"This past week, Peter Buck and Mike Mills of R.E.M. spent a few days with producer Jacknife Lee in Portland's Jackpot Recording Studio. It is early, early demo days for the next record, which is still a ways away. Also involved last week were longtime confederates Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey, as well as noted engineer/producer Tucker Martine."

Click here to see the photos.

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Peter Buck Talks New R.E.M. Album

rem4.jpg

The legendary guitarist tells us about the demos he's recording in Portland.

Photos by Vivian Johnson

Recently, reports have been circulating that members of R.E.M. are in Portland, Oregon right now, working on new material with Decemberists/Laura Veirs producer Tucker Martine. Those reports, it turns out, are totally right. (Thanks to Joshua Ackerman, via Murmurs.com, for the initial tip.)

R.E.M. don't usually record demos, but guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills are making an exception this time, laying down the skeletons of 14 songs that may or may not appear on the follow-up to last year's Accelerate. Accelerate producer Jacknife Lee, slated to produce the next LP, is also on hand. However, they're early enough in the recording process that frontman Michael Stipe hasn't yet heard what they're working on.

Yesterday, we spoke with Buck about the new album and the state of his various side projects. After the jump, find our interview and a few photos of the band in the studio.

Click here to read the interview.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

R.E.M.'s first record remembered by its production team

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Mitch Easter, left, takes questions at the Garage in Winston-Salem during a discussion about the band R.E.M.’s first album. Easter and Don Dixon (center) produced the historic album. Far right, Rolling Stone magazine’s Parke Puterbaugh was the event moderator. (photo by Quentin L. Richardson)

By Jordan Green

Talent and drive are critical for a great band to develop a strong body of work, but a third element often overlooked and just as important is having the right people around at the right time to offer support. Such is the case arguably with REM, whose first full-length album, Murmur, is considered one of the great rock records of all time. It was produced by Mitch Easter and Don Dixon, who have left an indelible mark on the North Carolina music scene over the last 40 years through their work with bands such as Easter’s Let’s Active and Dixon’s Arrogance.

REM had recorded its first single, “Radio Free Europe,” and it's Chronic Town EP with Easter at his Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, which was actually his parents’ garage. When IRS Records signed REM, the label insisted that the band’s first full-length be recorded on a 24-track machine, which Easter’s home studio did not have. So the band and the two producers — Dixon now in tow — decamped for Charlotte’s Reflection Sound Studios, a professional facility used to record NASCAR promos and by televangelist Jim Baker’s Praise the Lord Ministries.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The No Depression website is having a contest to win copies of the Reckoning remaster (along with the deluxe edition of Murmur) as well as an uncut sheet of the LP artwork signed by the band. You can read more about it here.

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