Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I don't like Stereogum, a music web site, as much as I used to, but I do like that they did something like this:

Stereogum Presents... DRIVE XV: A Tribute To Automatic For The People

The new REM Live disc has received mixed reviews at best. Reading the following paragraph from Pitchfork made me wince, cause I know it is more than likely exactly the case:

"Stipe testifies persuasively on "Imitation of Life", one of their best late-period pieces, and the band ratchet up the tension on "Walk Unafraid" so that it sounds positively Green. "Bad Day", from 2003, sounds particularly energized as the band graft Bush-era dissension onto Peter Buck's Reagan-era riffs, creating one of the show's best and most effortlessly crowd-pleasing moments.

Still, the best tracks on Live predate Bill Berry's departure-- as you might expect. Early in the show, they speed up "Cuyahoga" from 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant, making the original's balladic lament about corporate pollution sound more pointed and angrier, even outright hostile. Here is the first glimpse of frustration in the show, the first and strongest hint at a creative dilemma that extends beyond the reach of lyrics and melodies, as if R.E.M. realize that yesterday's change-the-world anthems have actually changed nothing. You want them to hold on to that disillusionment, to keep pushing themselves and their audience, but instead they settle for the easy answers of "Everybody Hurts"."

In other cultural reviewy type news, we finally saw "Away From Her" and it was a night of fresh, cool Canadian goodness! Sarah Polley, K.D. Lang, Neil Young, snow, "eh?"....and all from a short story by Her Royal Canadian Literary Highnesss, Alice Munro.

(Interestingly, I had read this short story in the New Yorker, and remembered it vividly, and knew the plot of the movie from reading it. And it was published in 1999. My God, I had a 16 month old and was pregnant and it was Christmas in the world????)

Anyway, I lurved the film and sat in the recliner and sobbed for a better part of a half-hour. A successful evening indeed.

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