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R.E.M. Tonight

Going to the R.E.M. concert tonight. Given their recent "Bush sucks" tour, I'm hoping the rhetoric is kept to a minimum, but I've always respected R.E.M. for voicing their political concerns while keeping their personal lives relatively to themselves. It's well known that front man Michael Stipe is, uhh, of "alternate" sexual orientations, but they make great music and are my favorite band. While others use Stipe as a reason to dislike R.E.M., I really couldn't care less. Others use their political voice as a reason to dislike R.E.M., but I see that as "a good thing™."

Unfortunately, their last album, Around The Sun, was pretty lame: they're getting entirely too far into the land of froo froo music. They need a solid drummer, and one who can push them to having a bit of a harder edge. Even their first albums, soft by modern standards, featured more of a driving drumline than current songs.

R.E.M. has never been a singles band, and I admire them for that. However, as a fan, some catchy tunes now and then would be nice. "Bad Day" was good. A few songs from Reveal were good. Up was okay… I just don't know.

I do know that R.E.M. puts on a good show. They're usually on stage for nearly three hours, play a good mix of old and new songs, and are not too far into the tour that it should be boring or old hat. They give their all and it comes across. Carey and I will be in the fifth row, so it should be quite incredible.

11 Responses to "R.E.M. Tonight"

  1. Automatic for the People is one of my beloved albums. Hope the show goes well.

  2. I still respect the band, but my fanaticism towards them started waning around the time of the move to Warner Brothers, and became terribly cautious after New Adventures in Hi-Fi. What I have heard of the new album beats my expectations, but I really haven't given it proper attention.

    Before the election on this tour, Stipe drew boos by displaying a Kerry T-Shirt. I recommend you not get too riled up by any post election dissent which is as likely to occur. After all, dissent is the American way.

  3. "It's well known that front man Michael Stipe is, uhh, of "alternate" sexual orientations"

    Quite surprising that you make such remarks when it doesn't matter. Many people tend to do that and I never understand why. Members of a really tolerant society should not find it necessary to talk about this if this is really part of people's personal freedom. But I figure there must be a direct connection between your election result and your understanding of tolerance. I don't give a sh*t about his sexual orientation and I like their music. IMHO, Out of Time and Green were the best they made

  4. I don't see why his sexual orientation needs to be mentioned. The way you say it with "but they make great music" right after it sounds like you are saying this is some kind of detriment against the band.

  5. It's not a detriment. In the past, folks have used Stipe's sexual orientation as a negative, or a reason not to like the band. I've heard things like "They're great, but Stipe is a fag."

    What he does or does not do does not concern me. He didn't get too political, and even if he had I really wouldn't have cared about that either. I admire how Michael Stipe and R.E.M. have handled lots of issues - speaking out politically but remaining silent on personal matters.

    If you want to paint me as something I'm not, you've completely failed to do so here, Ralph and Jeff. Your "holier than thou" attitude won't work here.

  6. Please explain how "they're great, but Stipe is a fag" is overtly bigoted, but your statement "he may be gay, but they're great" is completely innocent.

    Bonus points: if you agree that being gay is not something one chooses, replace "gay" above with "black" and explain how that's not bigoted.

  7. I'll chime in and say Monster is probably at the top of my list, but probably only because it brings back memories of two R.E.M. shows within a couple months of each other that I went to. Automatic is also high on the list.

    I stopped buying R.E.M. albums after Monster until this most recent one, but it sounds like I haven't missed much.

  8. Dave, I've already answered the question. Read above (again). The only bonus points we have here are the ones you lose by continuing to pick at an issue that doesn't exist.

  9. I dont think anyone was trying to be "holier than thou" I think they were just pointing out that the use of the word "but" in your post gave the impression that you believed that R.E.M. is a great band despite the lead singer's sexuality. Personally I'd give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just phrased the sentence badly and are not actually homophobic.

  10. I wasn't being "holier than thou" in any way and I don't appreciate the condescending attitude.

    I wasn't trying to paint you as anything. In fact, I know that you're not homophobic and have no problem with it from other stuff I've read here. If you read my comment again you'll see that I was just point out that the way you phrased it might make you come accross that way to those who like to jump to conclusions or haven't read your other writings on this subject (sexuality) on your site.

    I'm not trying to level any charges of homophobia at you or claiming to be "holier than thou." Sorry if I came across that way. I was just trying to point out how your sentance could have been interpreted in that way.

  11. Fair 'nuff, Jeff.


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