Collapse Into Now

I’m excited for REM’s new release.

I was introduced to REM when I met my husband in ’91. Oh sure, I had heard the songs that were popular before then (Superman, Stand, etc), but they were this weird little alt band from Georgia and I was a weird little big-haired girl from Wisconsin who preferred rock and metal to alternative.

But I fell in love with an alternative music boy.

We shared stories of the music that moved us. I told him about my songs, Metallica & Pink Floyd, my experiences of growing up in Wisconsin; he told me about his songs, the Cure & REM, growing up as a Navy brat all over the country, the years he spent in the air force in England before we met. Our relationship was forged over our love for music, and we learned to appreciate the music that meant the most to each of us.

REM was always there, ever-present. This was the early 90s, in the days of Out of Time & Automatic for the People. I learned to love Murmur and Green and the 1980s-era REM. My musical horizons were broadened. We saw them in concert at an outdoor venue in Virgina in the mid-90s (in support of Monster) and it was awesome. The standout moment for me was when they performed Tongue while Michael Stipe was holding a disco ball by his face; it was so cool. I’ve continued to be a listener (while my husband remains a fan of his classic REM) and while New Adventures in Hi-Fi was not a favorite, Accelerate is in frequent rotation in my catalog.

And now, REM has yet another album dropping tomorrow, one that has been promoted as a return to the REM of old. And I couldn’t be more thrilled. But, listening to a preview of the songs, I don’t hear the REM of old, which is what I would love to hear; what I do hear is a gnarlier, deeper edge to Stipe’s voice; the grittiness brought by the guitar and drums (and occasionally mandolin and accordian – this is REM, after all) that is more aggressive than the stripped-back style that the band pioneered in their earlier releases.

But I don’t fear progress; I’m excited to see where the band is going. And if this is any indication, where they’re going is forward, and I want to be along for the ride.

6 Responses to Collapse Into Now
  1. Ri
    March 7, 2011 | 10:28 am

    Amen, sister. I’ve been there since “Murmur” came out when I was Junior in High School in 1983 (yes, I REALLY AM that old), and I ain’t goin’ nowhere!

    (And, thanks for reminding me that I need to go preorder the new one ASAP.)

    It’s automatic, baby. Automatic for the people! ;)
    Ri´s last [type] ..“So- there I was – all out of fuel- bombs- altitude AND ideas…”

  2. MisterLucky13
    March 7, 2011 | 2:27 pm

    Also been there since Murmur, favorite memories were Stipe sitting on a stool for an entire show on the Murmur tour at the Warfield in SF because he had broken his foot surfing (somehow added to the energy of the show since he kept wanting to jump off the stool and kept having to pull himself back) and seeing Stipe (with curly, flowing locks) walk in front of our car in a crosswalk in Berkeley while driving to that night’s REM show at the Greek. He stopped in front of our car, thought for a second, turned and went back the way he had come from. A metaphor for something I’m not smart enough to figure out. REM lowlight: Buying a Rickenbacker WB 360 guitar because I was sure it would make me sound just like Pete Buck when in fact, I still sounded like me, only a tiny bit janglier. Looking forward to the album even though I agree, the short samples I heard reminded me less of Murmur and more of Document/Green-era, which is just about when I checked out.

    • Mari
      March 7, 2011 | 5:49 pm

      Dude, you have a frighteningly-sharp musicmemory recall ability! I’d love to see a list of all the concerts you’ve attended, Scott.
      And Ri … I’m not that far behind you, sister!
      Mari´s last [type] ..Emotions in Motion

  3. Motpg
    March 10, 2011 | 9:26 am

    The band of my life. I’ve loved just about all of it. Never tire, never stop listening. Every decade. I am looking forward to hearing what else I will be listening to for the Next 20 years.
    Motpg´s last [type] ..Its A Gift

  4. Michael
    April 29, 2011 | 9:33 pm

    Soooo..
    how is it?
    did it really collapse into now, or was more like:
    stop – here we go?
    should i buy this new album?

    M

  5. They Call Me Superman
    March 13, 2014 | 12:16 am

    Michael Goffinet’s New Book “They Call Me Superman” Available Now

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