Mar 24, 2008

My favorite band of all time

I haven't done a music post for quite awhile and tonight just felt right.

I have loved R.E.M. ever since the first time I heard them, which I believe was on the old MTV show 120 minutes that would come on late on Sunday nights. It was likely a video from the "Document" album, probably "The one I love" or "It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)". Since then I've collected all of their albums and I actually have many of them in triplicate — cassette tape, CD and vinyl. I've actually bought their debut album, "Murmur" four different times. In high school I would wear their t-shirts till they had holes in them and I wore a Automatic for the People shirt under my gown at graduation.
I've only been to one of their shows sadly, and it wasn't as great as I'd had hoped. They played the big stage at Bumbershoot a few years back — has anyone played a great show on the big stage at Bumbershoot? It was cool but they pretty much stayed with stuff from the most recent albums.

Anyway, SPIN had a cool article on them and their new album coming out soon and it had made mention of these shows the band did last summer in Dublin which they termed "live rehearsals," and featured many of the new songs. But the really cool news is that they played a bunch of songs from the early albums, which they haven't played in some cases in about 25 years. And (thank God for YouTube!) people posted a ton of the songs online. I know that for some of you this may be old news by now, but hey, it's cool and new for me ...

So here are a select few of the videos. For some reason I can't embed them, so I guess I'll just give you the links so you can check it out for yourself if you so choose. The video quality isn't great but the audio is pretty good in all of them.

Wolves, Lower — From their debut EP, Chronic Town. This is fantastic, one of my early faves by them from an album most people haven't heard.

Second Guessing — One of my faves from their second LP, "Reckoning" which may be ... hmmmm ... my favorite album by them?

West of the Fields — From "Murmur," I love that album so much.

These Days — A great rocker from a great rock album, "Life's Rich Pageant." This song has some of my favorite REM lyrics, "We have many things in common, name three ... We are young despite the years, we are concerned, we are hope despite the times." That is so great. "These days have been promised, take this joy wherever, wherever you go."

Living wells the best revenge — This is one of the new ones from the Accelerate album coming out. Sounds better than anything on their last three albums...

And here's a bonus — REM were inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame last year and they performed with original drummer Bill Berry for the first time since 1996. Here's a clip:

Gardening at Night — From Chronic Town. I guarantee you they hadn't played this one in 25 years, and this is the first time I've actually understood most of what he was singing... It's not a particularly great performance, as Stipe seems a little stiff, no where near the excitement as the Dublin clips, but the historical value is cool.

Anyways, enjoy if you like,


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