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gperkins151

R.E.M.

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Micheal Stipe is, in my OPINION, the worst frontman of all-time.

The "worst frontman of all-time" in action circa 1985:

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My biggest concert disappointment was getting lost on the way to the Police concert in the fall of '83 and missing the opening act, REM. I admittedly don't listen to them as much these days, but definitely did back in the 80s/early 90s.

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My biggest concert disappointment was getting lost on the way to the Police concert in the fall of '83 and missing the opening act, REM. I admittedly don't listen to them as much these days, but definitely did back in the 80s/early 90s.

Loved their appearance on Letterman and them doing "So. Central Rain" before it even had a name.

Hate you missed them opening for the Police. In a somewhat related note, Jon Wurster (from Superchunk and tons of other bands too numerous to mention) recently posted this on his Facebook page. It's reprinted here with his permission:

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This one’s a little cringy but often so is life.

In March of 1983 my parents and I drove from Harleysville, PA down to Williamsburg, VA to watch my older brother compete in a cross-country meet. When I asked my friend Bob Walsh if he had any new *jams I could listen to on the long car ride he enthusiastically pushed a cassette into my hand (*we didn’t actually call them jams back then). It was a mix his older brother put together featuring stuff like XTC, Talking Heads, Romeo Void, etc. “R.E.M. –Chronic Town side one” was also scrawled on the j-card.

I’d seen ads for “Chronic Town” in New York Rocker but thought R.E.M. was some kind of synth band, so I never felt compelled to buy it. When the EP came up on side B of Bob’s tape I was prepared to hit the fast forward button. I let the tape play and the music just instantly connected with me. I loved the Byrds and this seemed like a weirder updating of what they were doing on their early records. I must’ve listened to those three songs twenty times on the way to Williamsburg. I located a small mom and pop record store when we got to town but struck out finding “Chronic Town.”

I ended up buying “Chronic Town” a couple weeks later at the surprisingly well-stocked Montgomery Mall branch of the Music Scene. I scooped up the EP’s full-length follow-up “Murmur” upon its release a couple months later. You could call the months that followed “R.E.M. Spring/Summer” since that’s about all I listened to. The band played around this time at a local rock club called The Ripley Music Hall but I was too young to get in. You can imagine my excitement later that summer when I spotted an ad for the Philly stop of the Police’s “Synchronicity” tour. There at the bottom of the bill, after the Police, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Madness was…R.E.M.

The first thing I did when I got to JKF Stadium on August 20th was head to the merch table and purchase an R.E.M. t-shirt. There’s no way to sugar coat this so I’m just gonna come out with it: THAT DAY I WAS ONE OF THOSE GUYS WHO BOUGHT THE BAND’S T-SHIRT, PUT IT ON AND WORE IT THE ENTIRE DAY. I was lucky the shirt was so cheap and thin because it was a brutal one-hundred-and-six degrees that day. It’s funny/frightening to look back on those pre-bottled water days. What did we drink?

Just before R.E.M. came on I maneuvered my way through the crowd until I was about twenty feet from the stage. They came out and launched into “Wolves, Lower” and it was, to my sixteen-year-old self, pretty fucking magical. At one point during the band’s twenty-minute set Michael Stipe looked directly at me, pointed at my shirt and smiled. I think he was genuinely surprised there was someone out there flying his band's flag. He was so enthused by this he walked over to Peter Buck --who was in the middle of a guitar break—put his arm around him and pointed at me again as if to say, “Dude, a fan!” I’m not entirely sure any of this registered with Peter but it was pretty exciting, nonetheless. It was the first time I’d ever experienced the (momentary) disappearance of the rock star/rock fan wall and saw a band playing on a big stage who seemed friendly and approachable. And just as important, it planted a seed that maybe someday I could do what they were doing.

Flash forward nineteen years later and I’m tooling down the Pacific Coast Highway as the drummer with the Minus Five, a supergroup featuring Scott McCaughey, Ken Stringfellow, John Ramberg and on bass, Peter Buck. Scott’s at the wheel, Peter’s in the passenger seat and the rest of us are crashed out on the van’s benches. As I teeter between consciousness and unconsciousness R.E.M.’s “Sitting Still” comes through my headphones. I flash back to the road trip to Virgina and then to the supremely positive impact of R.E.M.’s JFK set. I look at the guy asleep in the passenger seat. I shake my head in amazement.

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Funny that Williamsburg VA was mentioned above, because that's where the concert was. I just googled and it is listed as actually Feb. 8, 1984, instead of Fall '83 (we were definitely at William & Mary). Although now I can't find where REM was the opening act for that show; but we were all sooo disappointed that night to have missed them, so I feel that I am remembering that correctly. We got there just as the Police were starting. I did see that REM was uncredited for 6 shows that tour because they were so unheard of still. Maybe that's what happened.

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Funny that Williamsburg VA was mentioned above, because that's where the concert was. I just googled and it is listed as actually Feb. 8, 1984, instead of Fall '83 (we were definitely at William & Mary). Although now I can't find where REM was the opening act for that show; but we were all sooo disappointed that night to have missed them, so I feel that I am remembering that correctly. We got there just as the Police were starting. I did see that REM was uncredited for 6 shows that tour because they were so unheard of still. Maybe that's what happened.

I'm not positive if this will help you any as I'm not sure if their support dates for The Police are listed or not but it may be worth a shot:

remtimeline.com

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I'm not positive if this will help you any as I'm not sure if their support dates for The Police are listed or not but it may be worth a shot:

remtimeline.com

Thanks; there is a show on the list with the Police in Norfolk in Aug '83, but the Feb 8 '84 W&M show isn't appearing (it is appearing on the Police's Synchronicity tour list). :( I know that was a long time ago, but for all these years I was certain they were the opening act. I"m not entirely sure who I went with (lol); the one person I do remember I've lost touch with. I"ll have to do some more looking and see if I can solve the mystery.

Edit: I must have been imagining things all these years; I just found something online that says the opening band was Re-Flex. Boy, that's pretty bad, here I thought for almost 30 years that I had almost seen REM!! :bagoverhead: Including the night of the concert too! :wacko: (REM....REflex; well, they both have an R and an E ...) :blush: Let's just say Never Mind!

Edited by Virginia

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Re-Flex? Now, there's a blast from the past. Not that I ever liked them but we did play them at our college radio station a lot back in the early 80s. Glad you were able to solve the mystery.

R.E.M. used to play around NC a lot back in those days. Even though I was a fan early on, I missed out on those shows (when they were still playing clubs) but finally saw them when they came to Duke in '86. I haven't missed a tour since then.

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http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/03/06/entertainment/doc4d7042e81c47b012633177.txt

Finding the right frequency — R.E.M. learns to communicate,

pull together for new album

Published: Sunday, March 06, 2011

R.E.M. is giving its fans a new album this week — but don’t expect to see a lot of the band once it’s out.

As it’s done at various points of its career, including after 1991’s multi-platinum “Out of Time,” the trio has decided not to tour in support of the new “Collapse Into Now,” which comes out Tuesday, March 8.

“It just doesn’t feel right,” explains multi-instrumentalist Mike Mills. “We’ve always gone with our gut instinct on everything, and right now it just didn’t feel like touring was the thing we needed to do.”

That said, R.E.M. — Mills, frontman Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck, who co-founded the band during 1980 in Athens, Ga. (drummer Bill Berry left in 1997) — had a very strong instinct for the kind of album it wanted to make for its 15th studio release.

“With (2008’s) ‘Accelerate,’ we sort of made a statement record — everything short, fast and loud,” Mills, 52, explains. “And on this one we just wanted any good songs, regardless of the type or the tempo. What we like to do when possible is have a nice diversity, and this has that. It’s got some serious rockers. It’s got some beautiful slow stuff, and it’s got some of that nice, mid-ballad stuff we do so well.

“We just felt free to make ‘Collapse Into Now’ into whatever record it needed to be. We’ve always thought songwriting was our strong suit, or one of them, and I think this kind of displays that.”

It took a bit of doing for R.E.M. to get back into that kind of groove, however.

Prior to “Accelerate,” and particularly in the wake of disappointing sales for 2004’s “Around the Sun,” the members of R.E.M. were at odds — even as the group celebrated an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. “We had gotten into this thing where we were spending a year making a record,” says Buck, 54, “just playing with it forever. I thought we were going down the wrong path.”

Mills acknowledges that “we had a tough time making ‘Around the Sun’ ” and notes that the group members “weren’t communicating very well. When you get to a low point, communication-wise, you have to have a meeting and sit down and look at each other and go, ‘OK, what’s the deal? Are we going to keep doing this or not? And if we’re gonna do it, we have to do it the right way, which means communicating and being positive and pulling in the same direction.’

“And we decided that we could and would do that, so ‘Accelerate’ was made in that spirit.” Continued...(thru link above)

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FWIW, the new R.E.M. release was panned by The Washington Post. The main gripe is that every release since the departure of Berry is interchangeable. I won't buy the collection, but I do have two free songs courtesy of ITUNES (uBerlin) and Starbuck's (Oh My Heart). I've always liked the band and own about 4-5 other full releases.

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FWIW, the new R.E.M. release was panned by The Washington Post. The main gripe is that every release since the departure of Berry is interchangeable.

That's just plain wrong.

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Well, how long have you been a fan?

Do you like all their stuff or just one era?

Seen them live? What did you think?

What's the rarest release that you own?

Favorite song?

Favorite album?

Favorite member?

(I realize this a lot of questions, but they are one of my favorite bands (top ten))

I'll answer when I have had more sleep. B)

Been a fan since early 90s

Love all their stuff

Yes, seen them live and loved it

I have a copy of Bittersweet Me (Memphis sound check) -- not sure how rare it is but....

I have several "favorite":smileyquote: songs but the one's at the top of the heap are Find The River, Oddfellows Local 151 and Harborcoat

New Adventures in Hi-Fi is my favorite album

favorite member? HA! Buck is my favorite guitar player in REM, and Michael is my favorite lyricist in REM, and Mike Mills is my favorite person batting clean-up.... and I miss Bill Berry :mellow:

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FWIW, the new R.E.M. release was panned by The Washington Post. The main gripe is that every release since the departure of Berry is interchangeable. I won't buy the collection, but I do have two free songs courtesy of ITUNES (uBerlin) and Starbuck's (Oh My Heart). I've always liked the band and own about 4-5 other full releases.

I wouldn't go by that review as this record is vastly different from Up, Reveal and Around the Sun. While those albums have a similar sound so did Murmur, Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction and Life's Rich Pageant but I don't think any of them are "interchangeable". If you want to listen for yourself, Collapse Into Now is still streaming at NPR up until March 11th. To my ears, it's the best thing they've done since New Adventures in Hi-Fi. That's not to completely discount the albums in between but it does speak to how deeply Bill Berry's departure affected them.

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Well, today I got my first R.E.M. album CD delivered to my door (thank-you Amazon).

I picked "Up" as my choice. I'm looking forward to it because there are two songs on it I like a lot already.

Thanks for the tips everyone on what to get first!................:) missy

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The Baseball Project (Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of R.E.M., Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate and his wife, drummer Linda Pitmon) played in Athens, GA last night. The first clip is from an in-store appearance at Wuxtry Records.

Kevn Kinney (Drivin' n' Cryin') & the Musical Kings (Tim Nielson of Drivin' n' Cryin', Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry of R.E.M. and John Keane [local Athens producer]) opening for The Baseball Project at the 40 Watt club in Athens:

Edited by Jahfin

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There's also a new four part video with Mike Mills that you can watch here. The interview covers a lot of the same ground as other interviews surrounding the release of Collapse Into Now have but there's a few different questions asked as well. Of course, the future of R.E.M. beyond Collapse Into Now is covered, part of Mills' answer is: "We'll always make music, will we make it together? I don't know, we'll have to find out". If they do decide to go out with this record, it's a very good one to go out on.

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St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Athens, GA where R.E.M. played their first gig (supposedly under the name Twisted Kites) 31 years ago today. The Gibson guitar website has a pretty nice article on it here.

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The Record Store Day site is premiering the new live in studio (Hansa) version of "Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter" which you can watch here.

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"Life and How To Live It", a new interview with Stipe from American Airways magazine. Click on the image below to read the interview.

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From SlicingUpEyeballs.com:

R.E.M. ‘Lifes Rich Pageant’ 25th anniversary reissue to include 19 unreleased demos

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College-rock kingpins R.E.M. continue their reissue series this July with a 25th anniversary edition of Lifes Rich Pageant that will feature a newly remastered version of the 1986 album and a bonus CD that includes 19 unreleased demos — one of which is a song that’s never before been released.

The expanded reissue is due out July 12 as a 2 CD set on Capitol/I.R.S. and on 180-gram audiophile vinyl via Mobile Fidelity, the band announced today. Boasting new liner notes by music journalist and author Parke Puterbaugh, The CD package will be “presented in a lift-top box with a poster and four postcards.”

The bonus disc, dubbed The Athens Demos, features 19 tracks recorded in March 1986 at producer John Keane’s studio in Athens, Ga. Among the tracks are early recordings of all 12 Lifes Rich Pageant tracks, plus several songs later recorded for subsequent releases: “Bad Day,” “Rotary Ten,” “Two Steps Onward,” “Mystery To Me,” “All The Right Friends” and “March Song (King Of Birds),” an early instrumental of “King Of Birds” from Document.

The real treasure, for longtime fans, is the inclusion of the demo for “Wait,” a track never before officially released by R.E.M., although it’s been heavily bootlegged.

Tracklist: R.E.M., Lifes Rich Pageant (25th Anniversary Edition)

Disc 1: Original Album

1. “Begin The Begin”

2. “These Days”

3. “Fall on Me”

4. “Cuyahoga”

5. “Hyena”

6. “Underneath The Bunker”

7. “The Flowers of Guatemala”

8. “I Believe”

9. “What If We Give It Away?”

10. “Just a Touch”

11. “Swan Swan H”

12. “Superman”

Disc 2: The Athens Demos (All Previously Unreleased)

(Recorded March 1986 at John Keane’s Studio, Athens GA)

1. “Fall On Me”

2. “Hyena”

3. “March Song (King Of Birds)”

4. “These Days”

5. “Bad Day”

6. “Salsa (Underneath The Bunker)”

7. “Swan Swan H”

8. “Flowers Of Guatemala”

9. “Begin The Begin”

10. “Cuyahoga”

11. “I Believe”

12. “Out Of Tune”

13. “Rotary Ten”

14. “Two Steps Onward”

15. “Just A Touch”

16. “Mystery To Me”

17. “Wait”

18. “All The Right Friends”

19. “Get On Their Way (What If We Give It Away)”

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R.E.M. still feels fine

By Gllian G. Gaar

Choosing an album title can be a tricky business — particularly if you’re in the happy position of having released a lot of them over the years. So getting an outside opinion is always helpful, especially if it comes from someone who’s pretty creative in her own right.

WEA_REM_small.jpg

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

Which is how Patti Smith ended up choosing the title of R.E.M.’s latest record. Smith was in the studio with the band, adding her unmistakable vocals to what would become the album’s closing track “Blue.” “We couldn’t decide on a title for the album,” the band’s guitarist, Peter Buck, recalls. “And I just went, ‘Hey Patti, what do you want to call the record?’ Michael [stipe, R.E.M.’s lead singer] has a bunch of stuff written in his notebook, and Patti went through them and said, ‘Well — Collapse Into Now.’ And I thought, ‘Well, Patti Smith named it for us — that’s great!’”

To read the interview click here.

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11264.jpg

New Peter Buck interview in the current issue of The Big Takeover. Click on the image for more info.

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