28 September 2011

R.E.M.: Requiem for a Heavyweight Band

I was listening to Lucinda Williams from her 1993 Live at the Filmore (West) yesterday morning early, watching the birds out my back door. I was on one of my reveries, this one about lyrics, Lucinda's Reason to Cry and Fruits of My Labor.

And then the news I'd caught by accident a few days earlier hit home: R.E.M. was gone.

The band announced via its website that as of September 21, 2011, the band would "calling it a day as a band". (Hilton, Robin (September 21, 2011). "R.E.M. Calls It A Day, Announces Breakup" NPR.org.)

A year ago. The end of carrying on since Bill left for his farm in 1997. And all this time I thought they might be hunkered down in a studio. The obits pile up too quickly these days

Think of it this way. We were shiny, happy people in our glory days.

R.E.M. & Kate Pierson rehearse Shiny Happy People - 1991 (for SNL)

And some of us are angry:

Orange Crush (live in Germany, 2003)

And often reflective, as I was sitting yesterday morning, having my coffee and watching the birds in the early morning light.

Nightswimming (Michel Stipe vocals, Mike Mills piano;
Undated, Live in Jool, Netherlands)

Yeah, reflective, like the mood I'm in now. Michael, Peter, Mike and Bill -- to your band R.E.M., Requiescat in Pace.

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