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Band: R.E.M.

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R.E.M.?

Crap
72
32%
Not Crap
151
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Total votes : 223

Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby John Turbo on Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:39 pm

curry pervert wrote:Forced coolness: CRAP
Art rock posing: CRAP
Calculated 'Indie-ness': CRAP
Corporate rock masquerading as something it's not: CRAP
Bland music: CRAP
Trying to be witty/clever lyrics: CRAP
Stipe with Stripe: CRAP


im no big REM fan and can take them or leave them at most times but i find this type of hyperbole criticism of them just straight up weird.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby jtyler on Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:07 pm

I love R.E.M. They were a huge part of my musical development, regardless of how often or not I may decide to listen to their records today. I'll always have a special place in my heart for Murmur and Reckoning.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby curry pervert on Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:43 pm

John Turbo wrote:
curry pervert wrote:Forced coolness: CRAP
Art rock posing: CRAP
Calculated 'Indie-ness': CRAP
Corporate rock masquerading as something it's not: CRAP
Bland music: CRAP
Trying to be witty/clever lyrics: CRAP
Stipe with Stripe: CRAP


im no big REM fan and can take them or leave them at most times but i find this type of hyperbole criticism of them just straight up weird.


There's no hyperbole, those are all the things I see when I happen across one of their videos or a live performance. Not necessarily all at the same time.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby Mason on Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:26 pm

What's your benchmark for lyrics that aren't trying to be clever?
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby Get dog costumes on Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:01 am

Been listening to Out of Time in the car last couple months. "Half a world away," "Texarkana," and "Me in honey" in particular are much better than I remembered. Overall, I thought of this period of R.E.M. as being overproduced, orchestrated, overdubbed pap and was happy to realize that there is much less of that than I remembered. Still, I pine for the LP that includes only

Losing my religion
Low
Near wild heaven
Half a world away
Country feedback
Texarkana
Me in honey

That would be 28:08, even shorter than a U.S. Maple record. I guess we can keep Endgame (3:50).
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby emmanuelle cunt on Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:34 am

The Het wrote:I tend to agree. They're not "cool" to like at this point. Even less than U2.




That's interesting, I do know people who think listening to REM is embarrassing, but I do know far bigger amount of people who will stare at you in disbelief if you say something positive about U2, like they're Limp Bizkit - level bad. Fuck all of them, both bands made some fantastic records and both are my go-to drunk youtube searches. "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" is a record I can always listen to and enjoy the hell out it every time.


PS: In case someone else drunkenly youtubes U2: check out Pop tour concerts from the 1998 part of the Pop Mart tour, like from Johannesburg or Santiago. Awesome live footage combined with still impressing stage design and visuals.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby M.H on Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:25 am

Nostalgia aside, they missed way more than they hit, even in their glory days. Most of the major label era is torturously bland MOR underneath the 'arty' ornamentation. Some of those albums (Green, Monster, Up) are as bad as it gets. They got so lazy towards the end that they were basically rewriting their earlier songs.

Like U2, the unavoidable oceans of meh they've unleashed since '88 means they've got more in common with Foreigner or Chicago for my generation than they may have done if you saw them rise up from the same pool as the Minutemen or the Replacements back in the early 80s.

It's no longer music for college darlings - it's muzak for embarrassingly immature still-single-at-40-somethings. They were always a shallow and superficial band, and most of their art hasn't held up well as a result.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby Get dog costumes on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:56 pm

Your post is way more embarrassing than R.E.M. It reminds me of some of my own bad writing about music: it's really hard to speculate about either 1) what the audience for x band should be, or 2) what y band's intent was at any time, without sounding stupid. Unless someone's trying to be funny, but I didn't read your post that way.

I don't really understand what is so "arty" about '80s R.E.M. - maybe this was put on them in comparison to the punk of the time? Maybe it's the vocals and lyrics? A lot of the music sounds like meat and potatoes rock'n'roll, just with weird vamps instead of guitar solos. I don't think "9-9," the "We Walk" sound effect, and "Feeling Gravity's Pull" are enough to earn the tag.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:15 pm

Get dog costumes wrote:I don't really understand what is so "arty" about '80s R.E.M.... I don't think "9-9"... and "Feeling Gravity's Pull" are enough to earn the tag.


Does it say something about my tastes that these are two of the only R.E.M. songs that I can still actively enjoy in 2018?

The lyrics are definitely arty and Stipe had played in the incredibly abstruse Boat Of... (w/, of all people, Tom Smith, who would go on to Peach of Immortality and To Live and Shave in LA), but I agree that the muttering vocals, ska beats, and folk chords on those early records are a lot earthier than say, something like Talking Heads or whatever UK synth band was passing itself off as the height of sophistication. I remember a lot of people going on about the Byrds in relation to the guitar playing on Murmur and Reckoning, which seemed like more of a hippie reference than an arty new wave one.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby amar on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:34 pm

I would have said easy not crap for the string of records between from murmur to document, but with the hypocrisy revealed here, I vote crap:

https://pitchfork.com/news/michael-stip ... ntroversy/
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby M.H on Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:23 pm

Get dog costumes wrote: it's really hard to speculate about either 1) what the audience for x band should be, or 2) what y band's intent was at any time, without sounding stupid.


I'd argue that quite a few of the bigger, blander bands of the 80s (R.E.M, U2, Midnight Oil) were totally sending out signals about the kind of audience they wanted and their righteous intentions / rejections of the mainstream. Stipe used to come out with some right tosh in interviews; I recall him saying (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'his job was to make political activism sexy' or some other banality.

Get dog costumes wrote:I don't really understand what is so "arty" about '80s R.E.M. - maybe this was put on them in comparison to the punk of the time? Maybe it's the vocals and lyrics? A lot of the music sounds like meat and potatoes rock'n'roll, just with weird vamps instead of guitar solos. I don't think "9-9," the "We Walk" sound effect, and "Feeling Gravity's Pull" are enough to earn the tag.


The early stuff is basically Byrds + Post Punk – the risk for pretentiousness was always high. I hear a lot of similarities between the approach taken by Wire or Gang of Four: there's a clear set of lines drawn about what they will and will not do musically, and the adoption of high culture tropes / student politics trappings to cover the cracks in the tunes.

Making conscious choices to try and be clever and tasteful = arty, IMO. It's always a coward's move to stray away from anything unexpected that might come up. It's the difference between R.E.M and bands like Mission Of Burma or Pere Ubu who always put the music first.

To be fair, the sparse folk-rock rehash gave them some room to generate some tunes, melodically at least, but that dried up by the 4th album. And there is nothing - nothing - rocking about R.E.M. At all. Ever.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby ErikG on Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:48 pm

M.H wrote: And there is nothing - nothing - rocking about R.E.M. At all. Ever.


I say!

I bet you don't care for The Smiths either. *snort*
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby hellholiday on Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:25 am

R.E.M. was a dance band first and foremost. Especially the IRS years.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby Big John on Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:51 pm

I think looking back on them they seem different than they were at the time. In the present world had had more of an profound effect on alt country music than rock.

They were fun and came from a different bunch of influences than most bands back then, clean guitar sounds and such. Not so much a rock thing which I enjoy more but something that was heartfelt to them and not some kind of produced formula so a not crap from me.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby Mason on Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:44 pm

M.H wrote:And there is nothing - nothing - rocking about R.E.M. At all. Ever.


I read in an interview—someone who recorded with them early on, I guess it'd be Mitch Easter but that doesn't seem right—that REM were resolutely opposed to letting their amps distort. The engineer or someone would turn the amps up to the edge of breakup, and REM would bat their hands away and turn the amps back down. Eventually they turned up a little or whatever, but capital-R rock was not at all their scene, so that makes for a bad criterion.

REM doesn't rock; the B-52s aren't heavy; I can't dance to these Eleh records; I can't drive my oven to work. This is all fine.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby ErikG on Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:51 pm

Mason wrote:
REM doesn't rock; the B-52s aren't heavy; I can't dance to these Eleh records; I can't drive my oven to work. This is all fine.


These are good points. But R.E.M. could rock. Did no one watch the video I linked to several posts back?

Peter Buck spins, kicks and jumps. These are great Rock Moves.

Also plenty of songs Rock with clean guitar tones, and many distorty guitar songs do not Rock.

I hope I don't come across as some sort of R.E.M apologist. That's not how I planned to spend my time today.

(edited to capitalize 'rock' in the second half of the third sentence to match the capitalized 'Rock' in the first half. Apologies all around.)
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby geiginni on Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:28 pm

One of the things I liked best about this band when I listened to them in the 80s was the dedication to clean guitar amp tones.

I've always hated distorted guitar. It's the lazy man's solution to choosing an instrument with crappy sustain and coupling it to their own lack of technique in getting the instrument to put out a consistent sound and tone. Rock musicians are too often completely unimaginative with respect to tone, passing a nice sine wave through a shitbox meant to cause a square wave to come out -either through power supply saturation or gain device breakup. Wholly tired.

I like sine waves - fundamentals and harmonics. Fuck your square and sawtooth wave-music.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby Mason on Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:59 pm

ErikG wrote:Also plenty of songs Rock with clean guitar tones, and many distorty guitar songs do not Rock.


For sure. REM were a rock band, of course—using rock instrumentation, operating in the tradition of rock music. Not surprising they eventually used a drive pedal or something. But they weren't doing rock & roll, or whatever you'd call derivatives of rock & roll if that term has a cutoff point.

I don't know. Idioms are fucked up.

geiginni wrote:Fuck your square and sawtooth wave-music.


Why leave anything off the table?

I 100% appreciate where you're coming from, and I think yours is a good post, but that's also like the ur-Yells At Cloud take. Kind of astonishing. Well done.
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby numberthirty on Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:08 pm

Mason wrote:
geiginni wrote:Fuck your square and sawtooth wave-music.


Why leave anything off the table?

I 100% appreciate where you're coming from, and I think yours is a good post, but that's also like the ur-Yells At Cloud take. Kind of astonishing. Well done.


If you dig the little Crayola box? Fine.

I like that big one and every color in it(except for mabye "Skin" colors).
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Re: Band: R.E.M.

Postby seanurban on Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:37 pm

just saw this one.
Image
left to right: Cyndy Stipe, Lynda Stipe, Laura Levine, Michael Stipe, Matthew Sweet, Linda Hopper, Bill Berry, Chris Slay.
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