Friday, September 23, 2011

So long, R.E.M.

I didn't want to kvetch about this on Wednesday, because of the other, much sadder news out of Georgia. But I hate to see these guys go. Back in the day, they were my new favorite band, and it was enthralling to watch them unpack one nearly flawless album after another during their heavyweight years. To my mind, they never made a bad album (though in latter years they seemed somewhat less magnificent). Their videos and packaging and fan club operation were always top-notch, suffused with caring. And they delivered two of the finest live shows I've ever seen, in 1989 and 1995. Here's hoping they all find fulfilling projects during their solo years. Thanks for showing how it oughtta be done.

This one was always one of my favorites:


UPDATE: Couple of things.

First is that, even if you sing it soft and slow, unlike "Wouldn't It Be Nice" or "All my Loving," this song just does not make a good lullaby. The kids and I had a nice discussion of what the hell it means, though, involving just what is a "violent green" and who Dan Rather was.

Second, even if their later albums were slightly less magnificent, I stand with the consensus that Collapse Into Now was a welcome return to form. I also note that latter-day singles, like "Leaving New York" and " Living Well is the Best Revenge" can stand with the best of their work.

Third, since I know that my mom reads this blog, let me offer up a song that is not only makes a case for their greatness, not only is a lot less weird, but that is one for the ages. Either "Losing My Religion," or on second thought, this one:

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