Saturday, October 06, 2007

You Might Have Succeeded In Changing Me

Word on the street is that R.E.M. are putting the finishing touches on a great new record. To tide us over until it comes out, we have a new CD/DVD, R.E.M. Live, to look forward to. It's the band's first live CD & DVD package, and it comes out October 16. Featuring 22 songs, it's a document of a February 27, 2005 concert, when the South's favorite sons played a show at The Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland on their tour in support of Around The Sun.

Frank has already waxed eloquent on the meaning of this band to good post-punk Southern boys (and will do so again soon), so I will not attempt to repeat him here. Suffice it to say that R.E.M.'s sense of mystery and Southern mythology, in a time of great and exciting upheaval in popular music, gave us in the American South something of which we were so proud. They were every bit the equal to that awe-inspiring band from Ireland that emerged at approximately the same time, and against whom they were often favorably measured.

I will never forget my best friend Kenny, who at the time lived about 160 miles away, calling me on the day that Reckoning was released. The phone rang. I picked up and said hello. Kenny sang into the phone: "Seven Chinese brothers swallowing the ocean . . ." Naturally, I tunefully responded, "Seven thousand years to sleep away the pain." "Oh good! You bought it," he said. That's devotion, people.

YouTube: Trailer for R.E.M. Live