First Listen: R.E.M. – Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982–2011

I’ve been pretty quiet on the subject of R.E.M.’s final album: the forty-track, quasi-greatest-hits compilation Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011.  At first, I didn’t really want to deal with the fact that this beloved band of mine was splitting.  They have been the direct line through my musical history, and I honestly still feel pretty weird about contemplating a future without new R.E.M. in it.

But for the moment, we’ve got NPR to thank for a preview of the forthcoming release.  You can hear the whole thing, including new tracks “A Month of Saturdays,” “We All Go Back To Where We Belong,” and “Hallelujah,” over at their First Listen series site.  For my own part, I’ve made a video mix of some of my favorite moments in R.E.M. history, and you can find that below:

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Things I Should’ve Mentioned…

It’s been a bit slow around here, huh?  Sorry about that!  I’ve been teaching three classes, working on a research project, and dealing with the Zombie Dissertation From Hell ™!  I really do want to be a good blogger again… honest.  But until that day, it’s time for a quick recap of some of the stuff that has gone whizzing by in my absence.  I hope you enjoy!

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R.E.M. Short-Film Round-up!

While they may not be touring in support of Collapse Into Now, R.E.M. sure have been keeping it interesting with a flurry of “short-film” releases for each track.  You can read the announcement on REMHQ, and find out more from Michael Stipe’s chat with NME.  In a nutshell, Michael has curated a collection of videos by noted filmmakers and artists, and each has put their own interpretive spin on the album’s tracks.  Almost half of the album’s tracks have videos associated with them, now, and the rest are on the way.  It’s an interesting project for a band that has shied away from videos in the past few years, and well worth having a look.  So, follow me, and get caught up on all the short films and in-studio clips!

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R.E.M. Listening Party at NPR on March 1st!

NPR’s All Songs Considered does it again!  On March 1st, at 2 p.m. ET, we’ll get to listen to R.E.M.’s brand new Collapse Into Now (Out Mar 8th).  The experience will be shared – via a chat app on this page at NPR – and will be our first chance to hear the record before it goes live in the First Listen Series on Mar. 2nd.  And for those of you that can’t wait for a taste, follow me for an in-studio video of “Mine Smell Like Honey:”

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The Decemberists Cover R.E.M. on KCRW

The Decemberists stopped by KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic to do some songs yesterday, and one of those songs was “Cuyahoga” from R.E.M.’s Life’s Rich Pageant. The original is positively stunning, and one of my all-time favorite songs…so, naturally, I feel somewhat protective of it.  Happily, despite this cover’s looser, more casual feel, it definitely sounds at home with The Decemberists.

Here, have a listen and judge for yourself.  (Thanks to Stereogum!)

[audio:|titles=The Decemberists – Cuyahoga (REM Cover)]  Download