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Years ago Peter Buck appeared with Kevn Kinney of Drivin' n' Cryin' on MTV's 120 Minutes in support of Kevn's solo album, MacDougal Blues. I searched for them on YouTube and actually found them but Viacom (MTV's parent company) has pulled them due to copyright infringement. However, I was able to locate these two clips, which, according to the descriptions, come from when Kevn & Peter were doing the opening honors for Drivin' n' Cryin' circa the early 90s:

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NPR is streaming another song from Collapse Into Now, "Oh My Heart" which you can listen to here.

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Amazon has a 30 second sample of "Mine Smell Like Honey" which will be out as the first single on January 18th. You can listen to it by clicking on the image above.

Edited by Jahfin
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  • 2 weeks later...

Steeple coming down?

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Richard Hamm

The crumbling Oconee Street steeple - all that is left of St. Mary's Episcopal Church where R.E.M. played its first show in 1980 - is set for demolition.

By JULIE PHILLIPS - julie.phillips@onlineathens.com

Published Wednesday, January 19, 2011

R.E.M. played its first show at the old St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Oconee Street in 1980. All that’s left of the church is the crumbling steeple.

The Steeplechase Condominium Association, which owns the steeple, recently reviewed the ongoing costs for repairs and voted to destroy the dilapidated structure, according to Ken Parker of Parker and Associates Property Management, which is employed by the condominium association.

The vote came after a recent inspection noted the roof has deteriorated. Doug Hansford, director of building permits and inspection for Athens-Clarke County, required the association to make the needed repairs by Jan. 7.

"We're willing to work with them on the time-frame," Hansford said.

Condo association members have talked for years about what to do with the structure, Parker said.

"We've talked about parceling it out and annexing it and gifting it to somebody if they'd like to take it and repair it," he said. "The association is up for all those kinds of options."

The estimated cost of repairing the structure varies.

Jeff Montgomery, a dedicated R.E.M. fan and media analyst in the Public Information Office for the Athens-Clarke government, spoke with an historic preservation specialist in 2005 who estimated it would cost $150,000 for full restoration, including restoring stone and installing steel wall ties and concrete and steel footings.

Parker thinks that estimate is high, he said, and the roof might be repaired for $20,000. Demolition would cost half that, he said.

"As (the association) talked about it, we said repairs would go on forever, and decided just to tear it down. Nobody wants to (see the steeple destroyed), but it's not in the purpose of the homeowner's association to maintain it," Parker said. "It's nothing but maintenance."

That's part of the problem, Montgomery said.

"It's an icon, and of course I would like to see it preserved, but there are issues that make it problematic - financial, location and liability," he said.

The steeple is different from another local R.E.M. icon, the Trail Creek trestle that appeared on the back of R.E.M.'s 1983 debut album Murmur, which the county bought for $25,000 in 2000.

The trestle, Montgomery said, might be re-used as a path for bikes and pedestrians. But the steeple doesn't have a clear use, especially considering where it stands - in the parking lot for Steeplechase Condominiums.

"There's a reason we've been talking it over for several years," he said. "We hope we can find some solution, but right now we just don't know what any realistic options are."

Bertis Downs, manager for R.E.M., didn't want to comment. Band members opted out of participating in restoration efforts to the Trail Creek trestle, noting at the time they preferred to offer money to other organizations in the community.

The Athens-Clarke Commission must approve a demolition permit for the steeple because the structure is more than 50 years old, said Rick Cowick, senior planner for the county.

Commissioner Alice Kinman, who called the steeple a "community landmark," said she would probably put a hold on it when the condominium association applies for a permit.

"That's certainly the kind of thing where I would want to give somebody a chance to maybe buy the steeple and move it," Kinman said.

Newly elected Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson said she would consider other options as well.

"If it's something they (the two commissioners) want to do, I would totally support them doing it," Denson said.

The steeple is included on a music history tour of Athens each year during AthFest (and by appointment through the Convention and Visitors Bureau throughout the year).

"It is a valuable structure indeed from a tourism perspective," said Chuck Jones, director of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We have a lot of international visitors who come here because of the music history, and ask to see the trestle, the steeple, Wuxtry Records, places that are part of that."

The steeple is next-door to another structure that's part of Athens music lore, the Print Shop, which was gutted by fire Nov. 1. Besides a hangout, the Print Shop was where designers laid out early issues of Flagpole magazine.

Staff writer Blake Aued contributed to this article.

Edited by Jahfin
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From the DC101.com website:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills on

Collapse Into Now and the bands future

Plus, find out why the band won't be touring this year

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by Rich McLaughlin - iheartradio

Rock legends R.E.M. will be releasing their 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now, on March 8th. Recently, iheartradio sat down to catch up with bassist Mike Mills and he spoke about the new album and band's future.

Tell us a little bit about where you recorded Collapse Into Now.

The way we do it these days, we like to split the recording up between cities that we want to spend time in. We did the demos in Portland, which is the hippest city in America right now apparently. Then we did two-3 week sessions in New Orleans, which is the musical heart of America. It has been for many years and is also one of our favorite cities. And then we did three weeks in Berlin at Hansa Studios which is a very famous old rock studio. A lot of people have worked there over the years that people know about. We finished up with 3 weeks in Nashville, which is a city that we have a long and storied history with.

You chose to bring Jacknife Lee back to produce the new album. What was it about his work on your last album Accelerate that made you want to bring Jacknife back for this record?

The good thing about Jackknife is what we recognized within moments of meeting him -- he thinks like we do in a sense of how he wants to work. His description of what he wanted to do was that he wanted to make a thrilling record. And we said well how can we argue with that? We like the way he works. He's a positive person. He could be having a bad day but you won't know it. He makes you feel good about the music you're making. He makes you want to go in there and make better music. He and his crew get great sounds. You can relax knowing that as long as you do your part they'll do theirs.

You've spoken about wanting to make the new album a more "expansive" record. With many great R.E.M. records there is a sense of expansiveness/diversity in sound. Do you think that's a key characteristic for any great R.E.M. record?

I think we're very lucky in that Peter and I write music in all different sorts of forms and Michael can handle that. He can write lyrics to whatever we give him. I like diversity on a record. With Accelerate we sort of made a record that was - we wanted to focus on that record. We wanted to make short, fast and loud songs primarily. We felt it was necessary at that point in our career to do that. With this record we wanted to just not think about any particular type of song. We wanted to take the best songs that we wrote and give them to Michael and say take the ones that inspire you and do your best. I think that the best R.E.M. records have that quality. We can do slow stuff, we can do fast stuff, we can do mid-tempo stuff and it all has that essence.

There seems to be a running narrative on this record. One of change and a sense of renewal and purpose. Would you say that those are the key themes on Collapse Into Now?

I think that a lot of characters on this album are undergoing or have undergone some sort of massive change or trauma of some sort. A lot of the songs are about how they deal with that. As is usual with Michael's lyrics, because this is how we are as people, you deal with these things that life hands you but you try to hope for a better future. Know that as long as you persevere the outcome will be good. And if you apply yourself, not to sound like a preacher, but if you apply yourself and do the best you can than hopefully good will come of that to you. Good things will happen. You-ll emerge from whatever you've gone through, if not a better person at least a whole person.

How did you come to the decision to not tour with this record?

For touring with us, we tour because we want to play. We don't tour to support a record. We don't tour to get our name out there. We tour because we like to play. To tour when your heart isn't in it would be a real bad mistake for us. 2008 was a long hard year on the road and we're just not feeling it right now. We go with our instinct. Our two biggest selling records ever, we didn't tour on them. So maybe some of that magic will rub off on this one too.

Your contract with Warner Bros. is coming to an end soon. Have you guys begun to think about the future of R.E.M.?

We've certainly given it some thought. It's a strange time in the music world. The industry as we know it is gone. The paradigm has shifted. It is the end of our contract with Warner Brothers soon. Our options are limitless. We can do everything or we can do nothing. Right now we are focused on this record and helping it do whatever it can and we'll see where we go from here. We just really don't know.

Collapse Into Now will be available March 8th.

Edited by Jahfin
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From Stereogum.com:

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We’ve heard the studio version of “Oh My Heart,” that gently echoing New Orleans-inspired ballad from R.E.M.’s forthcoming Collapse In Now. When we posted it, I mentioned the spacious production and accordion reminded me of the Walkmen. Watch them perform the song at Hansa Ton, Berlin, under the watchful eye of Jacknife Lee. Before they begin, Michael Stipe offers his thoughts on the track.

*Since there's no way to embed videos from Vimeo on here (at least that I know of), you'll need to click here to watch the video.

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From Spinner.com:

R.E.M. Pay Tribute to Buster Keaton in 'Mine Smell Like Honey' Video -- Premiere

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R.E.M. are not just Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, they're also are one of the most successful video acts of all time, with clips like 'Everybody Hurts,' 'Nightswimming' and 'Losing My Religion' earning them the MTV Video Vangaurd Lifetime Achievement Award.

As bassist Mike Mills tells Spinner, videos have always been important to the group. "We figured if you were going to do them, you might as well do them well," Mills says. "We're also lucky in that Michael [stipe] has a great visual sensitivity. He's really good with anything in the visual art world, so we started out ahead of the game."

Their latest visual opus is no exception. Directed by Dominic DeJoseph, the clip for 'Mine Smell Like Honey,' the lead single from the forthcoming 'Collapse Into Now' album, is an homage to one of the film industry's all-time greats. "With this one, it's a reference to the old Buster Keaton silent film kind of days of pratfalls and just watching people look like they're getting hurt when they're really not," Mills says.

Where did the concept come from? "There's a lot going on in that song," he says. "It's got a lot of propulsion and moving forward and so I think the idea of movement is what contributed to that video being like it is."

While the new album has fans extremely excited, R.E.M recently announced they wouldn't tour in support of the record. "We've made an album that we really love and I think it can sink or swim on its own, so I think we probably won't be doing any shows at all," Mills says. "We don't have any planned at this point."

"We're doing a bunch of videos for this record and they'll be non-standard; they won't be like the videos you used to see on MTV," he adds. "We had dinner with several of the guys who are making videos for this record and they were excited about it. I don't want to be the spokesman for their ideas; I'd rather wait for their videos to come out and let you see what they were thinking. But I know they're all talented guys and we're going to have fun with it."

Click here to watch the video.

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From RollingStone.com:

R.E.M.'s new video for "Discoverer" from their forthcoming LP Collapse Into Now is as straightforward and traditional as their recent video for "Mine Smell Like Honey" was bizarre. In "Discoverer" the band plays a powerful, seemingly live version of the song in a large rehearsal space.

This may be as close as R.E.M. fans will get to seeing the group live this year because of their surprising decision not to tour. Collapse Into Now hits shelves on March 8th. It features guest appearances by Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and Joel Gibb.

To watch the video click here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Join NPR live at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 1, as they play COLLAPSE INTO NOW in its entirety as part of a special R.E.M. online listening party. All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton will share and discuss the new record here.

Also on Tuesday, NPR will hold a live chat where you can give your thoughts on the record track-by-track with other fans. Bob and Robin will announce track names and discuss the album during the playback.

Beginning Wednesday, March 2nd, NPR will stream the entire album on-demand as part of their First Listen series.

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Here's another band I missed during it's past/current run.

There is obviously a big fan base and it must be with good reason.

I'm one of those people that only recalls seeing R.E.M. on MTV circa late 80's (when it was still MTV).

In fact, the only video I know is their hit "Losing My Religion" (which I thought was a very inspiring cool piece of music)

Anyhow, they never hit my radar again. So tell me what CD would you suggest as their masterpiece for me to give a listen to?

................. thanks missy

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