R.E.M.'s first-ever live album and DVD came out yesterday. I can't speak for the DVD, but Paste is streaming the album, and ohh, it is good. Very, very good. Especially the newer stuff, which I have long attested sounds downright rocking in concert, even if it suffers from excessive production on the albums. I nearly got giddy when "Bad Day" came up, and when I say that hearing "So Fast, So Numb" performed live was a life-changing moment, I do not mean it lightly.
And though it might not be as life-changing for you on CD, the new album has a pretty darn good approximation thereof. Ohh, I hope they tour next year--and more importantly, I hope I can go...
It's odd--ten years ago, R.E.M. was not my favorite band. They probably weren't even my fifth-favorite band. I liked them, I liked them a lot, for sure--but now? It's like I'm caught in a musical feedback loop or something, because I love them more with each passing year. Old stuff, new stuff, popular stuff, used-cd-bargain-bin stuff (yes, Monster, I'm looking at you)--they can do no wrong in my book.
So maybe you shouldn't take my effusive praise of their live album at face value, since I'm admittedly a biased source--but that's why you should stream it for yourself! It's free--and who doesn't love free? With a song that "takes place in the beautiful state of Ohio"? (Yeah, yeah, it's about the Cuyahoga river on fire--a shoutout is a shoutout.)