04 January 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Happy Stipey Day!

Today is Michael Stipe’s 48th birthday. My love for him is pure and everlasting, a love affair that hasn’t disappointed during the quarter century of my devotion (well, maybe on a couple of Aftermath tracks, but every great love is allowed a stumble or two). He’s cool, he’s funny, he’s smart, he’s weird — and, damn, he has an amazing voice and gorgeous eyes. Michael is everything I want from the rock star love of my life.

No doubt Michael’s off somewhere glamorous today, celebrating and hobnobbing with the pretty people. We here at the Cup don’t want to let this auspicious occasion slip by, so we’re honoring my beloved’s birthday with 48 Stipey songs — one song for each glorious year of his life — guest appearances, soundtrack solos, R.E.M. rarities, great party favors. These tracks run the gamut — alternative and rock, punk and rap (yes, rap!), techno and jazz. A few are a bit ridiculous, but most are as fabulous as he is. Now you glamorous, pretty people can hobnob aurally and blogally.

Michael Stipe feat. Chris Martin :: In the Sun

Placebo feat. Michael Stipe :: Broken Promise

Dashboard Confessional feat. Michael Stipe :: Hands Down (live)

Golden Palominos feat. Michael Stipe :: Omaha

Automatic Baby :: One

Radiohead feat. Michael Stipe :: Leave (live)

Annie Ross & The Low Note Quintet feat. Michael Stipe :: Full Moon

Michael Stipe, KRS-One + Harmony :: Civilization vs. Technology

Warren Zevon feat. Michael Stipe (and Buck/Berry/Mills) :: Bad Karma

New York Dolls feat. Michael Stipe :: Dancing on the Lip of a Volcano

Patti Smith feat. Michael Stipe :: Glitter in Their Eyes

Michael Stipe + Eddie Vedder :: Begin the Begin (live)

R.E.M. :: Voice of Harold

Jason & The Scorchers feat. Michael Stipe :: Hot Nights in Georgia

Billy Bragg feat. Michael Stipe :: You Woke up My Neighbourhood

Mandy Moore + Michael Stipe :: God Only Knows (Beach Boys cover)

Spacehog feat. Michael Stipe :: Almond Kisses

10,000 Maniacs feat. Michael Stipe :: To Sir with Love (live 1992)

Michael Stipe + Vic Chesnutt :: Injured Bird

R.E.M. :: Texarkana (outtake with Michael Stipe on vocals)

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians feat. M. Stipe :: Dark Green Energy

Michael Stipe + Bruce Springsteen :: Because the Night (live 2004)

Kristin Hersh feat. Michael Stipe :: Your Ghost

Indigo Girls feat. Michael Stipe :: Kid Fears

R.E.M. :: Hey! Hey! Nadine (live at Tyrone’s, 1981)

Stephane Pompougnac feat. Michael Stipe :: Clumsy

Utah Saints feat. Michael Stipe :: Wiggedy Wack

Tanzplagen :: Peter Pan

Michael Stipe :: L’hotel (Serge Gainsbourg cover)

Miguel Bose feat. Michael Stipe :: Lo Que Hay Es Lo Que Ves

Michael Stipe + Asha Bhosle :: The Way You Dream

Faultline feat. Michael Stipe :: Greenfields

Michael Stipe + Mike Mills :: Galveston (live)

Coldplay feat. Michael Stipe :: Nightswimming (Austin City Limits)

Michael Stipe + Natalie Merchant :: Little April Showers

Neneh Cherry feat. Michael Stipe :: Trout

Michael Stipe :: We’re Not so Bad

Michael Stipe + Rain Phoenix :: Happiness

R.E.M. :: Funtime (live Iggy Pop cover, 1992)

Golden Palominos feat. Michael Stipe :: Clustering Train

Michael Stipe + Everyone :: People Have the Power (live 2004)

R.E.M. :: Where’s Captain Kirk? (Spizz cover)

Hugo Largo feat. Michael Stipe :: Eureka

Syd Straw feat. Michael Stipe :: Future 40's (Sting of Pearls)

Little Jimmy Scott + Michael Stipe :: Ill Wind

Michael Stipe :: Hope (live solo)

Michael Stipe + Thom Yorke :: Be Mine (live)

R.E.M. :: Tired of Singing Trouble

Is there a lovelier, more heart-stopping song than Michael’s cover of Joseph Arthur’s “In the Sun”? If I play it, I must listen to it at least six times straight. It’s a swoon in song.

One of my favorite bootleg tracks is the cover of “Funtime” included here (read this good post about that show). Michael's patter is good … then at 2:17, Mike’s bass begins teasing us ... until at 2:38, when Bill bangs in the best g*ddamn live payoff you can get at an R.E.M. show. I’ve played this track eleven times tonight, dancing and spinning so hard up and down my hall that the balls of my feet are now throbbing. But who cares? This is exactly how an R.E.M. club (not arena) show sounded. Soak up that energy as you dance and spin your birthday wishes.

I coulda, I shoulda been at this 40 Watt Club show. I’d returned from the U.K. the day before, and a friend called to invite me thirty minutes before the show began — just enough time for me to NOT get there in time. Damn him. Damn no e-mail in 1992. At least I have a good recording of the show.

“Voice of Harold” is my favorite R.E.M. B-side ever (and my boys have recorded many a fantastic B-side). Using the music track for “Seven Chinese Brothers” (a favorite fable as a child, and a damn good song), Stipe reads the liner notes from a gospel album (The RevelairesThe Joy of Knowing Jesus) — and it’s brilliant. Simeon and I have spent way too many hours arguing over who first discovered this great track — but since it was on my 12-inch, I win.

Bonus Tracks!

What’s a Stipey tape without R.E.M. tunes? I pulled one song off each studio album — the ones with some of my favorite Stipe vocals, trying to give you a track you don’t hear as often as you should.

Chronic Town (1982) :: Gardening at Night

Murmur (1983) :: Pilgrimage

Reckoning (1984) :: Letter Never Sent

Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) :: Green Grow the Rushes

Life’s Rich Pageant (1986) :: Cuyahoga

Document (1987) :: King of Birds

Green (1988) :: Turn You Inside-Out

Out of Time (1991) :: Me in Honey

Automatic for the People (1992) :: Find the River

Monster (1994) :: Crush with Eyeliner

New Adventures in Hi-fi (1996) :: The Wake-up Bomb

Up (1998) :: Lotus

Man on the Moon OST (1999) :: The Great Beyond

Reveal (2001) :: I’ve Been High

Around the Sun (2004) :: Leaving New York

Accelerate (coming 4.01.08) :: Accelerate (live in Dublin, 2007)

Show of hands for those excited about the April Fools’ release of Accelerate?

Show of hands for the fellow Stipe nerds who noticed that 4.01.08 is Michael’s birthday sideways?

* * * * * *

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At 1/04/2008 12:38:00 AM, Anonymous filegod1 said...

So many great songs, happy natal day to Mr. Stipe. A personal favorite from my boyhood and an excellent cover, " To sir with love." Other R.E.M. song where Mr. Stipe shines brightly, " The great beyond. I know you have enjoyed this labor of love. Great job Beth

At 1/04/2008 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous david said...

P.S. " Funtime/Radio Free Europe most excellent, bet you nearly threw out a hip.

At 1/04/2008 09:18:00 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

This is a ridiculously great collection of Stipe tunes. The Dashboard Confessional number is one of my favorite Stipe guest appearances. The Mandy Moore appearance wins for biggest surprise.

Have you seen the clip of R.E.M. on Sesame Street singing Smiling Happy Monsters? There's a Kate muppet.

Also: Remind me to tell you the story about the time I sand Stipe's part at an Indigo Girls concert in Miami Beach.

At 1/04/2008 09:23:00 AM, Blogger wapentake said...

Wow - here's true devotion for you!

'Voice of Harold' - always makes me smile. In the bonus tracks, I'd have gone for 'Undertow' and 'Hope', but you've truly made a stunning compilation :)

At 1/04/2008 10:07:00 AM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Wow, that dude gets around. Anyone who's recorded with KRS and Mandy Moore has some damn range.

At 1/04/2008 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

FILEGOD1: You have no idea how obsessed I've been with this mix tape ... or for how long I've been working on it. I've been making this mix tape for fellow Stipeheads for decades, so it was fun to finally share his brilliance with the world.

DAVID: I'm too young to throw out a hip when dancing. But I wore myself out last night. Who needs to join a gym when you have R.E.M. bootlegs?

TIM: I have the "Furry Happy Monsters" video and MP3, mister. I nearly included it here, but I think I featured it on a post a couple of summers ago. I will remind you to tell me that tale; you going to Yo La Tengo next week?

WAPENTAKE: I posted Michael's solo of "Hope" (that's him playing guitar) — but "Hope" couldn't have knocked out "Lotus" anyway; that's one of my very favorite dance tunes. I considered "Undertow," but I wanted some glam Michael here. Hope you enjoy the tracks!

PISTOLS AT DAWN: He's the coolest — even cooler than your beloved Steve Perry.

At 1/04/2008 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

Great stuff Beth. I've been kind of re-discovering REM lately.

My biggest memory of REM, though, is a strange one. I can't remember when it was (early or mid 90's maybe?) when Stipe first shaved his head. They appeared on SNL, and during the song Stipe turned his back on the crowd, grabbed his own ass and started wiggling it. What made it even better was, we were at a lodge in Minnesota, and the tv was on in the background.

MizBubs' dad was playing guitar with a couple of other fellows in theh lodge. We have a picture of her dad in the foreground, playing earnestly. Michael Stipe is over his right shoulder, apparently showing his ass in response to MIzBubs' dad. Heh.

At 1/04/2008 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

This is a fantastic post on Mr. Stipe! I am looking forward to some down time this weekend when I can sample some of the songs you included for download.

I had no idea that R.E.M.'s next release was coming out so soon... yes, my hand is raised. I like what I've read about it so far.

At 1/04/2008 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous bookfraud said...

cool post. my brother did his grad degree at uga, and once -- when coming home late from the 40 watt club -- almost got run over by mr. stipe. upon recognizing the singer, my bro just stared at him through the windshield until mr. stipe just shrugged and mouthed, "yeah, it's me."

At 1/04/2008 02:09:00 PM, Anonymous anonymous said...

you used to make these tapes for me a long time ago. still listen to them.

At 1/04/2008 02:37:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

BUBS: How brilliant! You must send me that photo — or post it on your blog.

MALCOLM: You'll have to let me know which tracks you love and hate.

BOOKFRAUD: Excellent story! He's so adorable ...

SHY, ANONYMOUS ONE: Which beloved are you to have received some of my Stipe mix tapes? It was a specialty of mine back in the early 1990s ...

At 1/04/2008 03:10:00 PM, Blogger DaBich said...

Happy B-day Stipey! Great mix, beth...

At 1/04/2008 10:55:00 PM, Anonymous Looking for a Sir said...

So, does filegod1 cry like a baby like I do when listening to "To Sir, With Love"?

At 1/04/2008 11:40:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Happy Michael Stipe's birthday to you!

I heard on Sirius radio today that it was his 48th birthday and thought "My god, how did he get so old?" And then I realized that he's only a year and a half older than I am.

At 1/04/2008 11:56:00 PM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

"Michael" who?

What? You want me to what?

I can't do that to myself, that would be impossible ; )

At 1/05/2008 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Scrivener said...

What a great compilation, Beth. I got some of them before you exceeded your bandwidth, will circle back tomorrow, maybe right after midnight. ;)

And yes, I'm excited for the release of Accelerate! Yay!

At 1/05/2008 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

I love it when you show your Stipes Beth. Great collection and I always enjoy the Golden Palominos stuff.

At 1/05/2008 11:42:00 AM, Blogger Flannery Alden said...

Mmmm...Michael Stipe.


At 1/05/2008 08:33:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a fantastic list! Everybody wants to sing with Stipey, don't they? And what a lovely tribute you have given, I'm sure Michael will be sending you flowers.

At 1/06/2008 03:32:00 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Fabulous tracks and layout. His giant head is a little daunting, but I've always dug REM's sound.

At 1/06/2008 06:42:00 PM, Anonymous gifted typist said...

I too love the Stipe. Thank you and happy new year, Beth

At 1/06/2008 09:51:00 PM, Blogger Doc said...

Sorry Dear,
But I tagged you.


At 1/07/2008 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Michael Stipe 24/7...did you actually listen to nothing but for an entire day?
I'm not saying it isn't a good idea. IT's just an impressive feat of endurance.

At 1/09/2008 12:12:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DABICH: Thanks! I’m sure dear Michael would be proud of me …

LOOKING FOR A SIR: Rumor has it the song reminds him of a lost love. So, yeah, he’s probably sobbing into his sleeve.

JOHNNY YEN: And a year younger than I.


At 1/09/2008 12:14:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

SCRIVENER: Thanks! You know we’re going together to see R.E.M., don’t you?

DALE: They’re bee stipes, Dale. What happened to Golden Palominos? Did Anton Fier retire?

FLANNERY: He is an mmmmmmmm, isn’t he? Tag completed, ma’am.

BARBARA BRUEDERLIN: Thank you! Great range of artists, isn’t it? Still waiting on my Stipe stems, though …

At 1/09/2008 12:20:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

ERIK DONALD FRANCE: His head is perfect! Well, okay, maybe it IS a little big … but he needs all that room to create all that great music.

GIFTED TYPIST: See, yet another reason why we need to be friends.

DOC: No apologies, sir. I’ve fulfilled your demands.

CHANCELUCKY: I have spent more 24/7 Stipe-filled days than some of these bloggers have been alive. No endurance needed — just pure, obsessive love.

At 1/20/2008 11:44:00 AM, Blogger Jimmy Diggs said...

Hello and Happy Sunday to you Beth.
Last night I watched and thoroughly enjoyed it for the third time now... Coldplay's Austin City Limits performance. Listening (and seeing) In The Sun & Nightswimming with Mr. Stipe never gets old. Two simply amazing pieces of live music. With that, I just saw you posted your brilliant Stipe collection, which I unfortunately missed out on. Any chance you could at least repost the Nightswimming track with Chris Martin and Michael Stipe?? I'd be ever so grateful. If not, thank you anyway!!
Take care.
Jim of Waterford, Michigan

At 8/29/2008 02:07:00 AM, Blogger michael said...

Hi, how do I get this mixtape?



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