home studios equipment staff/friends booking/rates for sale forum contact

Band: R.E.M.

Vote and debate.

Moderators: kerble, Electrical-Staff

R.E.M.?

Crap
72
32%
Not Crap
153
68%
 
Total votes : 225

Postby stewie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:09 pm

My iPod just gave me Country Feedback from "Out Of Time".

I never realized how absolutely great this song is. I always thought it was good, but never this great.

It completely saves this record from being the worst example of painful Billboard aspirations.

It is a sad, lonely song with real emotion. It's even sadder because it's surrounded by some of the worst songs the band ever wrote. And it's even sadder still because it's the only song on that album that doesn't sound like there were weeks of overdubs and retakes going into it.

It's as if the band took all their experience as a band from the 1980's and poured it into one final swansong before they began to suck on the corporate knobend. It's a fucking great song.
User avatar
stewie
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6879
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:43 am
Location: Near Boston

Postby The Kid on Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:32 pm

If REM had broken up after Green many people would look at them very differently.
I don't think they made a bad record up to that point. After that, they did almost nothing but make bad records.
I just pretend they broke before "shiny happy people" came out.
The Kid
canasta
canasta
 
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Chicago

Postby Bradley R. Weissenberger on Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:05 pm

stewie wrote:It completely saves this record from being the worst example of painful Billboard aspirations.

The surefire approach to scoring a top o' the pops hit is to:

1. release a single that features the mandolin as its lead instrument -- bonus points if the song has no clearly defined chorus ("Losing My Religion");
2. have your squirrelly bass player sing two songs ("Texarkana", "Near Wild Heaven");
3. include KRS-One on a song ("Radio Song");
4. feature three downcast dirges with no drums ("Low", "Half A World Away" and "Country Feedback");
5. include a baroque instrumental ("Endgame"); and
6. include a song with speaksing verses and no words in the chorus ("Belong").

This is the roadmap for a Big Pop Album? Come on, stewie!

Bag on "Shiny Happy People" (or even "Radio Song") all you want, but don't judge this record by these dumb missteps. "Out Of Time" is a very good record.

And to respond to the "The Kid", other post-"Green" records such as "Reveal", "Up" and "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" are also very good records. "Automatic For The People" is a classic. Oh how I love that record!

But they followed that record with "Monster", which is flaccid mediocrity.

And their new album is a total dog except for two spectacular songs.

And note that "Green" itself is not so hot.

I know. I love R.E.M. Blah blah blah. But I'm making a different point here, which is that I find this early R.E.M./late R.E.M. distinction to be totally meaningless. I just don't get where this argument comes from, and it frankly sounds received/parroted. I mean, I've listened to each of these records an innumerable amount of times, and I cannot identify a specific period at which R.E.M. was at a relative creative peak or downturn. Their catalog is all over the calendar in terms of when their best records were released. I find this very sexy.

But stewie, I will say that "Country Feedback" might be my favorite R.E.M. song. And while I do not normally recommend videos, you should see the fucked up super-8 clip for "Country Feedback". It's great.

Okay! Salut, stewie! Salut, The Kid!

Salut, beautiful rock band R.E.M.!

Salut, friends who are to read my R.E.M. posts so much!
User avatar
Bradley R. Weissenberger
King Of All The Taverns
 
Posts: 7328
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:22 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Postby glynnisjohns on Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:43 pm

Gonna' have to say not crap.

" i remember california" off a' green is still a favorite.

although, i wish peter buck would lay off that d-major thing.
i swear to christ he uses that in most of their songs.
they also do a cover of "dark globe" by robyn hitchcock.(good?)
another knock against them as they flayed that b-side to
the consumer on a coupla' singles.
i dont know what the hell that guys lyrics are about.
athens seems like a nice oasis in the middle of deliverance.
User avatar
glynnisjohns
Perfect Picture of Wisdom and Boldness
Perfect Picture of Wisdom and Boldness
 
Posts: 3079
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: vista, ca. the zapotec district

Postby Redline on Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:06 pm

Bradley, reading your REM fandom made me pull out Murmur again.

I will continue to like it, and it still reminds me of certain psychedelic music I hold dear (Southwest FOB, The Nightcrawlers, 13th Floor Elevators).

I had more fun reading your posts, though.
User avatar
Redline
World's Greatest Lover
World's Greatest Lover
 
Posts: 11150
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:53 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Postby The Kid on Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:13 am

Bradley R. Weissenberger wrote:And to respond to the "The Kid", other post-"Green" records such as "Reveal", "Up" and "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" are also very good records. "Automatic For The People" is a classic. Oh how I love that record!

But they followed that record with "Monster", which is flaccid mediocrity.

And their new album is a total dog except for two spectacular songs.

And note that "Green" itself is not so hot.

I know. I love R.E.M. Blah blah blah. But I'm making a different point here, which is that I find this early R.E.M./late R.E.M. distinction to be totally meaningless. I just don't get where this argument comes from, and it frankly sounds received/parroted. I mean, I've listened to each of these records an innumerable amount of times, and I cannot identify a specific period at which R.E.M. was at a relative creative peak or downturn.


I'll admit I can't speak with the authority of a person who has listened to all of the post-Green records "an innumerable amount of times."
This is because I gave up on the band after they put out three straight records that I didn't like: Out of Time, Automatic, and Monster.
I liked a couple songs off of both OOT and Automatic. I liked nothing off of Monster. I sold each of those records, knowing I would never choose to listen to those over any of the previous albums.
REM was a gateway band for me. Before my older sister turned me on to them, I was into metal. And not good metal, either. After REM, I was into, for lack of a better word, good music. So maybe I create a distinction between the era when their albums still did something for me, and the era when they stopped doing anything for me.
I still enjoy Green. I think it's a good record.
And I don't find it necessary to parrot other people's arguments, regarding rock bands or anything else.
The Kid
canasta
canasta
 
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Chicago

Postby mattw on Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:56 am

Bradley R. Weissenberger wrote:
But I'm making a different point here, which is that I find this early R.E.M./late R.E.M. distinction to be totally meaningless. I just don't get where this argument comes from, and it frankly sounds received/parroted.

And their new album is a total dog except for two spectacular songs.



REM's never been 'cool' and I think this has helped them in their very long and varied career. Even when Out of Time was out, Nirvana was like the cool band, or the band that others wanted to emulate. I was about to say the very same thing about that record, but I knew zealous BRW was hot on stewie's tracks. Salut!

Around the Sun, save for a few songs, is one of the better things they've done since Mr. Berry left. I still maintain most of Bill's power came from that unwieldy unibrow.
User avatar
mattw
World's Ideal Leader w/ VersatileTalents
World's Ideal Leader w/ VersatileTalents
 
Posts: 3967
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 12:28 pm
Location: Carolina of the North

Postby The Kid on Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:10 pm

mattw wrote:REM's never been 'cool' and I think this has helped them in their very long and varied career.


I disagree. Maybe you're too young to remember when "college rock" was a phrase that people bandied about in sincerity.
I remember that pre-huge, pre-"shiny happy people" REM was somewhat "cool." As an adolescent, my punk rocker friends didn't ridicule me for liking REM. They grudgingly respected it. And when you're 13, nobody is cooler than the kids who are into Minor Threat and Circle Jerks.
This was 15-16 years ago. They've just been uncool for a really long time. But there was a time when they weren't.
The Kid
canasta
canasta
 
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Chicago

Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:03 pm

tmidgett wrote:i can't think of a single band
who was making music while i was in high school
who is still making music
about whom i was truly crazy
about whom i am still truly crazy as a whole

i still appreciate and sometimes still love large swatches of the oeuvres of these groups, but none of these bands or my feelings about them cohered completely over time

the contemporary part is important--i've always loved the velvets and the stones for example. the stones don't really count as i was listening to old records.

wait...neil young. neil young makes it. but that seems different somehow.


Neil Young counts. As do Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

And Prince almost makes it, but not quite.
User avatar
Brett Eugene Ralph
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6808
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Western Kentucky

Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:08 pm

The Kid wrote:As an adolescent, my punk rocker friends didn't ridicule me for liking REM. They grudgingly respected it. And when you're 13, nobody is cooler than the kids who are into Minor Threat and Circle Jerks.


We ran in wildly different circles, my friend. Because everyone I knew 15-16 years ago liked Minor Threat and the Circle Jerks, and our feelings towards those liking REM cannot best be described as "grudging respect." Maybe if you'd been into Big Country, we'd have cut you a little slack.

Guitars that sound like bagpipes--there's something to grudgingly respect!
User avatar
Brett Eugene Ralph
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6808
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Western Kentucky

Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:11 pm

I'm sorry. I meant 25 years ago. Maybe it was easier (and more acceptable) to like REM after those hardcore bands we loved were long gone. I wouldn't know...I rode out the early nineties on a steady diet of Stones, Skynyrd, and Allmans.
User avatar
Brett Eugene Ralph
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6808
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Western Kentucky

Postby The Kid on Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:17 am

Brett Eugene Ralph wrote:
The Kid wrote:As an adolescent, my punk rocker friends didn't ridicule me for liking REM. They grudgingly respected it. And when you're 13, nobody is cooler than the kids who are into Minor Threat and Circle Jerks.


We ran in wildly different circles, my friend. Because everyone I knew 15-16 years ago liked Minor Threat and the Circle Jerks, and our feelings towards those liking REM cannot best be described as "grudging respect." Maybe if you'd been into Big Country, we'd have cut you a little slack.

Guitars that sound like bagpipes--there's something to grudgingly respect!


Maybe my friends were posers. Or maybe they just made fun of my tastes behind my back. Both are possibilities. But I remember getting shit for liking Living Colour and U2.
Neither of whom I could stand to listen to today. So they were right on about that stuff.
The Kid
canasta
canasta
 
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Chicago

Postby tipcat on Tue May 03, 2005 11:10 pm

For those of you too young to remember, people have been dissing REM ever since they came out with "Fables of the Reconstruction" 20 years ago. I remember a sticker placed on the album by the music director at the station I worked for: "may be too commercial." Fables is probably the least commercial REM record in the catalog. I started listening to REM in 1986 and already lots of people were saying that they were selling out, etc. For these people Reckoning was the last "real" REM record. Fables was considered the transitional album between early and later REM, which properly begins with Life's Rich Pageant (produced by Don Gehman of John Mellencamp fame, which earned REM much ire). It's jangle vs. less jangle, essentially. I never got it.

For most there comes a later break that is even more subjective, anywhere from Green to Automatic for the People. There are people who think Automatic was the last great REM record. I thought it was a pos...the moment I heard the strings on "Drive" was exactly when I lost interest in REM for good. Out of Time was a middling effort that marked the beginning of the end. Green was solid, if unspectacular. But many think these records are golden, with the decline starting only with Monster (for me, that record sounded like it came from a different band). So it seems this early/late REM business is a highly variable thing, perhaps defined by when one started listening to them. Automatic was the first REM album for a lot of folks and is the benchmark by which all others are judged. For me, it's Murmur.

What is remarkable is that this band, at every point in their career, has been able to attract new fans that are as rabid as the ones who fall away. There is something about what they do that, whether you like them or not, is utterly genuine. There is also something about REM that seems to turn people off after a few years, and I don't really know what that is.

There is also another issue when it comes to melodic, contemplative bands like REM. I think there is a real prejudice among people raised on punk, hardcore, and music that is indebted to both. For these people, bands that are focused on songwriting and melody are almost always dissed as being not "confrontational" enough or too "mainstream." (Arcade Fire, for instance, got crapped here big time for being "boring," which boggles the mind.) I'll never understand what it is about a straightforward song-oriented approach that turns so many people off. For me, bands that lack good songs are boring, no matter how "confrontational" they may be. I'll take 10 REMs over a US Maple any day.

Oh yeah, not crap. Murmur still sounds fantastic.
User avatar
tipcat
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
 
Posts: 2360
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:54 pm
Location: Brooklyn

REM - crap

Postby alex maiolo on Wed May 04, 2005 12:13 am

Hello. I'm breaking out of lurker land for this one.

I can't remember being more disappointed by a band's direction change. I'm from the South, and in the early 80's it was really exciting to hear music coming from my region that wasn't redneck bullshit about the Stars and Bars, Jack Daniels, guns or whatever. The Buttholes and Scratch Acid were from Texas (which is it's own fucking country) so they didn't count. I was probably two years away from hearing them anyway. I can't remember.
REM made me think there was hope for this region. That we had a "sound," and that anybody could put out a record, even if they weren't from a big city. At 13 years old, I didn't know that bands had been doing that for years. I didn't know the story of the Kingsmen or other bands like them.
Pete Buck balanced the line between approachable guy and rock persona.
Plus he had a comic book.
Everything changed when he actually learned how to play guitar. 9-9, West of the Fields and Little America were parts written by a guy who knew dick-all about guitar, and that's what made him great. Compare that to the boring I, IV, V stuff that came later.

I was into the fact that "singing" could be whatever you wanted it to be. That made Stipe cool.

So when they made the move to the big-time, I felt like they turned their backs on that stuff. I now realise that it was probaby the goal all along.

I got over it as soon as I heard Mission of Burma (right after they broke up), Wire, and especially Gang of Four and XTC. Agit punk seemed to have everything I was looking for and it actually *was* the real deal. Then the South started cranking out bands like Slint and all was right with the world again.

Jim DeRogatis' interviews with REM make me cringe. Especially Mike Mills. It's all about the music, eh Mike?

So, REM? Once a great band, and I still like it when Reckoning or Murmur comes on unexpectedly. That could be nostalgia, but I like it.
Today? utter, utter crap. I find it unlistenable, irrelevant, far from creative, miles from groundbreaking. I lump them in with the Stones. Give it up already guys, you've worn out your welcome.

To recap...crap.
User avatar
alex maiolo
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
 
Posts: 7367
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 11:47 pm
Location: Chapel Hill NC (please excuse my english)

Postby Maurice on Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am

tipcat wrote:There are people who think Automatic was the last great REM record. I thought it was a pos...the moment I heard the strings on "Drive" was exactly when I lost interest in REM for good.


I remember thinking at the time that the string arrangements would have been much better if they'd gotten Mick Harvey to do them. As it stands, they're often unlistenably syrupy, clichéd, and distracting. (Compare to Nick Cave's The Good Son, which in my opinion is strings done right.)
music every week | here, too | snwv

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you: What the fuck?
User avatar
Maurice
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
 
Posts: 7950
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:02 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Postby mattw on Wed May 04, 2005 10:29 am

Maurice wrote:I remember thinking at the time that the string arrangements would have been much better if they'd gotten Mick Harvey to do them. As it stands, they're often unlistenably syrupy, clichéd, and distracting. (Compare to Nick Cave's The Good Son, which in my opinion is strings done right.)


Why get Mick Harvey when you've got the guy from Led Zeppelin?

John Paul Jones' solo album, Zooma, is the shit, btw.
Last edited by mattw on Wed May 04, 2005 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mattw
World's Ideal Leader w/ VersatileTalents
World's Ideal Leader w/ VersatileTalents
 
Posts: 3967
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 12:28 pm
Location: Carolina of the North

Postby Maurice on Wed May 04, 2005 10:36 am

mattw wrote:Why get Mick Harvey when you've got the guy from Led Zeppelin?


True, that's who they got, but the string arrangements are still ass. I think Mick could have done a better job.

mattw wrote:John Paul Jones' solo album, Zoom, is the shit, btw.


Have to give it a listen sometime.
music every week | here, too | snwv

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you: What the fuck?
User avatar
Maurice
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
 
Posts: 7950
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:02 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Postby mattw on Wed May 04, 2005 11:12 am

'Drive' would've worked better stripped-down, but strings turn me off almost instantly, with a few exceptions. The second Shellac puts strings in one of their songs...
User avatar
mattw
World's Ideal Leader w/ VersatileTalents
World's Ideal Leader w/ VersatileTalents
 
Posts: 3967
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 12:28 pm
Location: Carolina of the North

Postby Apathetic Zealot on Fri May 06, 2005 9:42 pm

NOT crap, but time is passing and Michael Stipe really needs to get over himself.
"Machines have less problems.
I'd like to be a machine."
Andy Warhol
Apathetic Zealot
ensign
ensign
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 4:58 pm

Postby djanes1 on Wed May 11, 2005 3:30 pm

The first CD I ever got was REM's Automatic For The People, as I was the 7th caller for a giveaway by 'Power' 106.7 in Midland, TX. This was a good first record to have. It helped make me want to learn guitar and stuff. I can't say this CD led me to have good taste in music in the future, because I promptly went on to listen to more of the crap they would play on a station called 'Power 106.7'. It wasn't until high school that I started listening to 'good' music. I could then go back and listen to 'Automatic' and appreciate it more.

REM is a good band. I got all their CDs cheaply in the BMG music club. Pretty much everything up to and including 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi' I like. Even Monster, which may have sounded contrived at the time it came out, sounds to me like a band being successful in stepping outside of its comfort zone (like Sonic Youth's Dirty)

They aren't a 'ground-breaking', 'creative', or 'indie' band, but the quality of music they made was good enough to be 'not crap'. It's quite possible that they were the Interpol of their day (Mainstream band plugged as 'alternative' and 'ground-breaking', and very devisive to groups of people that normally listen to independent music) but I wasn't around at the time to suffer through that. I don't understand why they are a band that many people become obsessed with, but I do know several people that are.
User avatar
djanes1
hank aaron
hank aaron
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 11:28 pm
Location: Austin, TX

PreviousNext

Return to Crap / Not Crap

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests