29 October 2007

Nobody Rocks It Like R.E.M. Rocks It

R.E.M.'s first (official) live album was released a couple of weeks ago. I've been surprised by how many neophytes have told me they didn't realize how good my beloveds are on stage. Sad, isn't it? So, dear readers, here's a live clip from the boys to prove they rock it like nobody rocks it.

Don't you just adore Peter's striped pants? And Dan's willingness to laugh at his once ass-whupped self?

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At 10/29/2007 11:08:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

That left me speechless.

But I am happy to say that I have indeed seen REM live and they did indeed rock the house down. And NOBODY dances like Stipey. Except maybe Thom Yorke.

At 10/30/2007 12:11:00 AM, Blogger BeckEye said...

I have to tell you...my brother saw REM live once and he said they were not very good. And he wasn't just a casual fan, he had all of their albums up until that point. (I think it may have been either the Automatic for the People or the Monster tour.) He said the performance was pretty lacklustre and they were playing all kinds of obscure, slow stuff. Then people were yelling out songs (as they do) and Stipe got all pissy and said, "We're not a jukebox, man."

This is just what I was told. Don't shoot the messenger.

At 10/30/2007 01:36:00 AM, Blogger Doc said...

Shiny Happy People was the only tune of theirs that I had ever heard for a long time, and I dismissed them. Then I met Flannery and she turned me on to a lot of great music, R.E.M. included. They are a personal favorite now and I play the heck out of them. Great post.

I sent you some interview questions a while back. This post made me think of it, and in case you missed them, here:

1. You are walking home on Oct. 31 after a wonderful Halloween party thrown by some dear friends. You stumble and fall on the uneven sidewalk and tumble through some bushes and come to rest in a clearing. You are surrounded by a coven of witches. One steps forward to explain that tonight they are going to raise from the dead one artist, and one musician to perform, but they can’t decide who to pick and leave the choice up to you. What artist (actor/painter/sculptor/writer/etc.), and what musician do you choose and why? What would they play or do?
2. Your love of the band R.E.M. is obvious. As a long time fan, could you explain and deconstruct the song “Radio Free Europe” in a few lines for someone who is new to their music?
3. A close friend sets you up on a blind date. You are to meet him at 3 p.m. in some public place of your choice. From there the date continues until you are ready to go home. You meet this guy and he is everything you ever wanted, and everything that could go right about the evening does. It is magical. Whom do you meet and where? How do you spend your date? What did you have to eat and where do you go?
4. You love to read. Name three authors and a short description of a book you wish they would write.
5. You live in Atlanta. Describe all of the great and wondrous things about this city and what it means to you. Tell it like you are trying to convince a friend to move there.

Thanks for the interview, and feel free to shoot me some questions too. Just leave them in the comments section of whatever is on top at my blog.

Thanks again,

At 10/30/2007 09:41:00 AM, Blogger haahnster said...

Beth, thanks for the heads-up...I've been too buried at work to keep up with very many recent releases. I suppose I've enjoyed enough live R.E.M. b**tlegs over the years (and I have enjoyed the hell out of my R.E.M. b**tlegs) that I'm pretty much morally obligated to buy the official release. Plus, the rest of the entire official catalogue would be lonely without it.

At 10/30/2007 10:31:00 AM, Blogger landru said...

I am going to admit something you will not like: I haven't liked R.E.M. since they signed to Warners. Yep, Green onwards ... I know it sounds like "Oh, now they are popular" etc, but after a decade of not thinking about them, I relistened to their stuff and I still feel exactly the same way. I still like "Reckoning" the best, but the first 4 albums are all great. Document was less-great. Green pushed me into a corner and, ultimately I decided I didn't care for it at all.

Of course, since they were famous, it was hard to get away from them in the 90s. I had heard most of their records from girlfriends and others. When Bill Barry left the band I never really bothered to casually listen to them. I literally don't any song they've done since Adventures in Hi-Fi.

Sorry, I know this is not what an R.E.M. fanatic likes to hear, but it's how I feel. I saw them on the "Green" tour and felt very unimpressed, even with the older songs.

At 10/30/2007 10:40:00 AM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

I like 'em in fits and spurts, but kinda just because they were a cool band to like when I was growing up.

At 10/30/2007 02:04:00 PM, Blogger DaBich said...

Wow, Doc doesn't ask for much does he? LOL

REM sounds good here...

At 10/30/2007 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Moxie said...

I am so used to Dan Rather's current aged bitter newscaster look that I didn't recognize him here.

Whatever happened to the crazy guy that said "What is the frequency Kenneth?", anyway? And why didn't Dan just say "89.7 on your FM dial"?

At 10/30/2007 05:08:00 PM, Blogger Allison said...

Wow, it took me a minute to recognize who that was as well. Not R.E.M. I got that much. Nice clip!

At 10/30/2007 06:35:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

R.E.M. came up on random last night on my iPod. As I listened, I tried pinpointing exactly what I like about them. I concluded Michael Stipe is one of those once a decade type geniuses that doesn't appear to make any sense but is completely perfect.

I need to get the live album.

At 10/30/2007 08:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew this song was about Dan Rather getting mugged in NYC. Gotta love google

" In 1997, based on a tip from a psychiatrist, Rather's attacker was identified as William Tager. According to the psychiatrist, Tager, who was currently serving time for killing an NBC stagehand, blamed news media for beaming signals into his head, and thought if he could just find out the correct frequency, he could block those signals that were constantly assailing him. Hence the enigmatic inquiry."

Gotta love REM

At 10/30/2007 10:00:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

The anniversary of the "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" incident was a couple of weeks ago. One of the Sirius radio "Little Steven's Underground Garage" dj's was talking about it, quoting Michael Stipe citing it as one of the great surrealist events of the 20th century. As it turned out, the guy who did it was mentally ill, and believed that people in the media were affecting his brainwaves. Dan Rather was lucky-- he killed a cameraman for another station.

I already liked Dan Rather, but when he did the soundcheck with REM on "What's the Frequency.." I liked him even more-- he's a good sport.

At 10/30/2007 10:02:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

I saw REM the one and only time at the UIC Pavillion in 1986. I ran into my late friend Mark there-- something that happened a lot at events. He saw REM playing on a beach at a stage sponsored by a beer company in 1982 or 83 during spring break.

At 10/31/2007 10:21:00 AM, Anonymous HollyC said...

Enjoyed that Beth, I think they are wonderful and that I really should own more of their music....wouldn't it be great if Dan the News Man visited your site and watched that clip, might cheer him up a bit


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