C/NC: rem after 1990

i ask because i’m uploading a copy of monster right now, ‘found it in a pile somehwhere. i remember liking certain tracks, especially the one with the thurston appearance. i know some really dig automatic for the people, but that one was a little too croon-y for me. and the rest of the stuff i really dunno well enough to say.

i hope monster sounds good. i had a conversation ’bout ’em a while back with cassidy and he mentioned having the impression that rem were major-label, faux indie plastique, which is of course fallacious and made me worry that the athens boys will be mis-remembered. we’d never have a pavement or a gbv, par example – let alone a latter-day husker du – without a reckoning. anyway i wonder what your opinions are.

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10 Responses to “C/NC: rem after 1990”

  1. rob Says:

    doesn’t everybody remember? REM was COLLEGE MUSIC! no one spoke indie yet, so how could they ape it? i liked em in middle school, but got burnt fast; can’t say i dig em so much now, but they deserve plenty of cred. pat, do you remember when we saw michael stipe with all those 16 year old chicks in front of the 40 Watt, after stereolab, when mokky moscow was wasted and we got the vain with kennedy? if stipe was part of that night, he’s got all the cred he needs. automatic may be croony, but they pulled it off, right?

  2. elvira Says:

    They definitely went downhill with age. I don’t remember being too crazy about Monster, but I was never a committed fan anyway. (I really liked Green, and didn’t get too into much else.) Living in Georgia, one hears them somewhere around town just about daily. Their music is played on many a local station, and their name is dropped here and there. Then there was the unfortunate time I heard a girl on the GA State station repeatedly saying “Michael Stripe” in a lil’ news report. Woops.

  3. minxxx Says:

    When the clock struck 9th grade for me, all the cool, older high school kids were into REM. Green had just been released. People spoke of Document in reverent tones. I started smoking cigarettes.

  4. Jordan Says:

    I bought Monster when it came out. I liked the sounds of it’s first single, “what’s the frequency, kenneth?”, but I honestly lost interest after a short period. I strangely think it’s a good album still, I feel they did no wrong even if I (and many others) didn’t like it–does that make sense?

  5. wobs Says:

    REM was THE definitive band of my youth (and gave us alienated Southern youth something really cool to glom on to). My take is all their work on IRS is worth owning (with Murmur, Life’s Rich Pageant, and the Chronic Town ep being particular faves). Their Warner Bros. releases were a little more hit and miss for me. At the time, Green and Out of Time grated on me, with me flinging high school accusations of “sell out!” I’ve since re-fallen in love with Green, not so much the other. Count me as an Automatic fan – that album has a whole emotional resonance associated with graduating high school that I can’t even begin to explain. I love it. Monster didn’t make an impression at the time with me, as I was moving into my hippie rock phase, and really, after that the only work they put out that really impressed me was the first half of Up.

    But REM, yeah, I love ’em.

  6. Angela Says:

    The first time I ever heard REM I was about 9 (we’ll say 1989) years old and riding in the back of my babysitter’s Volvo. She was less my babysitter and more the older daughter of my parents’ friends that had to hang out with and watch over me when our parents hung out and talked about wine and telescopes and shit. She was 16 and I thought she was REALLY cool. I don’t remember where we were going, but she was listening to Green while driving and I was not paying attention to the music, chewing my gum in the backseat. (I was more into Golden Oldies on the radio at this stage in my musical development) Suddenly, she brought the car to a halt, turned around to me and said, “Listen, you have to stop smacking that goddamn gum! I am trying to listen to the music and I can’t hear anything with you smacking your lips back there- so shut up!” I didn’t even know what smacking my lips was, but I clamped my mouth shut and tried to chew the gum silently as she turned the music up really loud. I figured that if she liked it that much and it was important enough to get pissed off at me for chewing my gum during it, I should shut up and pay attention. I think that I can say that was the first time I actually stopped everything and LISTENED to music with real intent. It was forced intent, but it changed the way that I heard and experienced music. I had my mom buy me the Green cassette tape and listened to it without end. While I don’t listen to them much anymore (Monster was the last album I bought), I credit them as being the first “modern” rock band that really grabbed me.

  7. Adam Says:

    I’m as big a fan of REM as the next guy, but for me REM should have stayed local (Athens GA), or at least in the college seen for UGA and GT. Once they went mainstream, it seemed as if they lost a part of their beginning, which showed in their music. Does anybody agree with me?

  8. david Says:

    Their post-90s stuff is definitely hit and miss, I never really got into Monster, though I do love the Kenneth single, but Green and Automatic are both tops. One of the first MTV videos I ever saw was for The One I Love off of Document, and the video for It’s the End of the World is one of the greats. That kid doing skateboard tricks in an abandoned tenant farm house, very cool. During fall of my freshman year at Sewanee I was being rushed pretty hard by the Sigma Nus and a bunch of them from my dorm took me to see REM at Starwood with Radiohead opening, Monster tour, it was a great show but it rained on us on the lawn.

  9. Jason Says:

    I dug and still dig monster, though I have to admit I have only listened to Reckoning in like the past 4 years.

    On a somewhat interesting and tangentially related note, the Stipe compound is 2 blocks from my girlfriend’s house. In lieu of grass in his front yard, he has a massive bamboo forest that creates quite an ominous “don’t fucking come try to get my autograph or talk to me about records” vibe. And I have yet to see the Drive By Truckers show that Mike Mills isn’t at, and that been quite alot.


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