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Old 03-04-2005, 08:11 PM   #16
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Re: Instant karma for REM???

Quote:
Originally posted by cmaly
I have an early interview w/ Peter Buck recorded in 1984 in which he rips U2 for "waving a white flag around..." and last night I watched the documentary "Athens Inside and Out" in which an Athens musician called opening for U2 a "bad experience." It's funny to me how karma has worked its way for this band (who I saw at Red Rocks a couple years back...) Man, I wish they would have waved a white flag... it would have made their standing around far more interesting. Not to offend REM fans (having BEEN one myself) but it's interesting to see the two directions these bands have taken.
The musician who made that quote is Michael Lachowski who is in Pylon, a band that is somewhat legendary here in Athens. I see him often around town. I think he owns a clothing store and a bar***.
When I saw that documentary, and he mentioned opening for U2, my jaw dropped. I had never realized that the man who's served me beer for all these years has shared company with my favorite band of all time. That documentary made me kinda nostalgic for the old days. Athens is not the same town anymore.
Anyway, I agree with those who have said that it's not about the popularity. It's about making the music they want to make on their own terms. Gotta respect them for that.


***EDIT: I just checked and he doesn't actually own the bar but he does work there.
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Old 03-04-2005, 08:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sleep Over Jack


As for REM, I'm a huge fan, and their back catalogue is one of the best of any band ever, but these days, they're aimless as fuck and have fallen into the trap of old bands of over-producing their music to hide the fact that the songs aren't that good.
Couldnt have put it better myself. It's sad, really.
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Old 03-04-2005, 08:28 PM   #18
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just for the heck of it, I'll post a snippet of an interview of Pylon done in '98

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CURTIS: We did a few tours, we played with U2 and Public Image Limited and Talking Heads. Of all the bands to open up for, U2 were probably the hardest. It was like opening for Jesus Christ. Their fans were the singularly most rabid rock and roll fans I've ever seen. There were girls in TEARS out in the crowd. It was like opening for the Beatles. It would have been a fantasic learning experience (ED NOTE: Pylon didn't stay on for the whole tour) and probably gotten us some exposure. At the same time, you would probably be boo'd off the stage four nights out of five doing that (opening for them).

We were actually starting to get out there and be a band. I think that it was one of these things that none of really intended to be in a BAND. It was kind of something that we did while we were in college to entertain ourselves. We never really took it seriously, the whole being-in-a-band business. It started looking too serious for us and we all just decided to bag it. (laughs)

MICHAEL: When I found out about the U2 tour, we were all pissed off and no one wanted to do it. I told him (the booking agent) that and he said 'then what the fuck are you doing? why are you in a band? what are you trying to do?' Being asked those things just proved that we couldn't go on forever saying 'we're just doing this 'cause we wanna have fun.' There were just too many decisions to make and you can't make them all with that kind of statement of purpose. Having those kinds of conversations were driving us crazy. That wasn't the kind of thing we wanted to do. I don't think anyone at the time could care less if that was our living.
Here's a link:
http://www.furious.com/perfect/pylon.html
the quote is from part 2 of the interview...
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:09 PM   #19
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REM haven't been the same since Bill Berry left. Their music has turned to mush.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:48 PM   #20
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rem has made a weird transition from cult band to huge band back to cult band. if you go to see thier shows people are realy to see pre 1998 songs. thier still up thier with the greatest alterative bands ever. could be a matter of just no recent song connected with top 40 radio. i would like to hear something off the latest album through.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:54 PM   #21
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Their run of Murmurs, Reckoning, Fables Of The Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant is wonderful, IMO..its like they inhabited some weird little universe while recording these albums.
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:27 AM   #22
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I find it surprising that critics have been pretty lukewarm towards everything REM has released from New Adventures up to now. Hell, I think their most recent album has gotten the worst reception in years, hasn't it?
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:54 AM   #23
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yes. new adventures did as good as pop, but after that. up , and the 2001 album (forget name) and the recent around the sun, have just realy flopped commercaly and criticly. or mixed reviews at best. the song from up, at my most beatiful, i like alot. clearly been a undergroud band since 1998.
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:19 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2DMfan
I never took REM as overly pretentious, but their fans are. Well, the murmurs forum-type.
So I guess you felt safe to assume that there are no Murmurs posters on Interference? I happen to be one. Way to make a sweeping generalization there.
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:36 AM   #25
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I'm also a longtime R.E.M. fan. While I was aware of them before Out of Time, I always found Stipe's voice to be very grating. It pains me to say I came on board because of Losing My Religion, but I burned through their discography pretty quickly and can at least say that my favorite album is Lifes Rich Pageant.

I've been down with all the twists and turns the band has taken. New Adventures is my second fav, often jockeys for that top position. And I absoutely LOVED Up, despite the fact that Bill had left. I guess some of his instincts were still floating around at that point. If I'm not mistaken, Bill was always insisting that a song have some kind of hook.

I thought Reveal was one of the biggest pieces of crap I've ever heard in my life. Comparisons to the Beach Boys make me laugh, because you can go listen to Brian Wilson's SMiLE and see how it's really done. Reveal's upbeat songs were tempered by CHEESY strings, and some mellower ones were cluttered by bleeps and bloops. I have a diverse taste in music but it's garbage, and aside from a song or two there's NOTHING memorable compared even with great tracks from Up.

I saw R.E.M. in a tiny club the fall of 2003, and when I heard Bad Day and Animal I was pretty excited for the new album. I figured maybe they found their testicles hiding somewhere. Even when the mellow Leaving New York was released, I could recognize the band and the song's quality. I streamed Around the Sun before it came out and was again disappointed. They removed some of Reveal's worst tendencies but the album is just so goddamed BORING! Are they trying to sound like they are standing on their last legs, because that's what I'm hearing...again, some decent tracks but there's no life in it. I firmly believe Bill Berry wouldn't let things get this lame.

Sorry for the long post but this WAS one of my favorite bands, and I've never been so disenchanted with a band I liked this much. I hope they retire before they weaken their legacy any further.


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Old 03-05-2005, 10:42 AM   #26
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Lazarus,

I COMPLETELY agree with every word you wrote in the above post. New Adventures is one of my favorites also, and I too think Up is pretty good.

Everything you said about Up, Reveal, the songs from the best of, and Around the Sun was completely how I feel about the whole thing too.
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:36 PM   #27
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I could be called a "Murmurs" fan myself because I love that album. I haven't liked their recent stuff as much either, but for awhile there, aside from U2 there was no band like REM.
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:16 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrBrau1
REM haven't been the same since Bill Berry left. Their music has turned to mush.
thank you, mrbrau.
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Old 03-05-2005, 03:15 PM   #29
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Since UP, REM has written songs that mimic themselves. If you look at Peter Buck as a guitar player, he has actually de-evolved. He uses the same tired chord progressions time and time again. Furthermore, he has lost is his ability to play riffs: listen to pre-Green and you wonder, "when did this guy give up playing guitar?" He's become a chord strummer who picks up a mandolin for encores. Aside from that, it's the same song...over and over. I
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Old 03-05-2005, 05:13 PM   #30
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I have to agree with what you guys are saying about the post-Bill Berry material. They just aren't R.E.M. anymore. I quite enjoyed Up, but I thought Reveal really sucked and Around The Sun (though I like it a lot more than Reveal) also has major problems. But they're still my favorite band because I enjoy their back catalog (from NAIHF on back) more than anyone else's catalog. And they're still a rockin' live band.
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