Posts Tagged ‘Michael Stipe’

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“No Time For Love Like Now” is the first song from Big Red Machine since the release of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2018. Big Red Machine began as a collaboration between Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon in 2008, and has grown into a multi-artist collective. When the group got together this year to begin working on new music, this particular song made a detour and ended up with Michael Stipe.

We’re so pleased to share this powerful new song from Michael Stipe & Big Red Machine, out now on 37d03d. The collaboration came about when Aaron Dessner shared a folder of new Big Red Machine music with Michael last year. No Time For Love Like Now was written last fall but when the reality of the COVID pandemic and social distancing and self-isolation descended the words felt like they were written about this time. The song features orchestration by Bryce Dessner,  Justin Vernon, Brad Cook, JT Bates, Thomas Barlett, Clarice Jensen and Yuki Numata Resnick also perform on the track. 

Michael Stipe & Big Red Machine have also designed a “No Time For Love Like Now” t-shirt and tote. All proceeds from the sales will go to the Equal Justice Initiative and COVID-19 Protest Relief Fund.

Written by Michael Stipe and Aaron Dessner, produced by Aaron Dessner, with Orchestration by Bryce Dessner, and lyrics by Michael Stipe

Out now on 37d03d

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10,000 Maniacs ~ In My Tribe from 1987 produced by Peter Asher. It’s a worry that I still consider it to be quite a recent album.

In My Tribe was the second and best major-label album by this American folk rock group. The bell-like voice and song writing talents of Natalie Merchant were their main assets from 1982-93, after which she pursued a solo career. And even if there’s nothing quite as immediate as ”Back O’ The Moon” the highlight of their previous album, The Wishing Chair, this is a more mature, consistent set, overall. This album introduced a lot of people (including myself) to the wonderful talents of Natalie Merchant. “Like the weather”, “Gun shy”, “Campfire song” (with a guest appearance from REM’s Michael Stipe) and especially the piano ballad “Verdi cries” are still among the best songs she’s ever written.

Though much has been made of the fact that their accessible, mostly mid-tempo songs often dealt with serious themes (such as child abuse on the opening ”What’s The Matter Here”, they’re hardly the only pop act to do so before or since. Their real legacy probably lies in the undeniable hummability of tunes such as the aforementioned, ”Hey Jack Kerouac” and the catchy, stumbling rhythm and nursery rhyme simplicity of ”Like The Weather”.

”A Campfire Song” features an unmistakeable vocal cameo from celebrity fan Michael Stipe of REM, and the chamber-folk calm of the closing ”Verdi Cries” makes it clear Merchant herself was a fan of Kate Bush. Not everything else is essential or memorable, and it’s a shame Bucks ringing mandolin isn’t higher in the mix. The only song that hasn’t dated well is ”My Sister Rose”, which over-indulges the bands occasional penchant for Afro/Latin world music flavours and now sounds rather clunky and dated.

The choice of ”Peace Train” as the only cover must have seemed inspired at the time, but when its author Cat Stephens (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) declared his support for Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa on Salman Rushdie, Merchant insisted it be withdrawn from the US version of the album.

Following last year’s debut solo effort “Your Capricious Soul”Michael Stipe has now released a second solo single, “Drive To The Ocean”. Proceeds from sales of “Drive to the Ocean”, which is available to download exclusively from Stipe’s website, go to benefit climate-focused campaign Pathway To Paris.

Stipe, who turned 60 years of age on January 4th, also released an accompanying video message,

Visit michaelstipe.com to download this video, the audio and other bonus items, and donate to Pathway to Paris

Michael Stipe

Eight years after R.E.M.’s breakup, frontman Michael Stipe is finally going solo. Stipe said he had 18 songs “already ready.” He explained, “Now I’m writing, composing and recording all by myself and for the first time.”

On Saturday, October 5th, Stipe is too release his debut solo single, “Your Capricious Soul”. The track will initially be available only for purchase through Stipe’s website for 77 cents, though there will also be the option to download the song for free digitally.

The release of “Your Capricious Soul” coincides with the International Rebellion climate justice protests on October 7th, and proceeds from the song will go toward Extinction Rebellion to help aid their work of non-violent protest of government inaction to the climate emergency.

In a statement, Stipe says, “I took a long break from music, and I wanted to jump back in. I love ‘Your Capricious Soul’ – it’s my first solo work. I want to add my voice to this exciting shift in consciousness. Extinction Rebellion gave me the incentive to push the release and not wait. Our relationship to the environment has been a lifelong concern, and I now feel hopeful—optimistic, even. I believe we can bring the kind of change needed to improve our beautiful planet earth, our standing and our place on it.”

A video by artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson will accompanying the single’s release

Iconic alternative rock band R.E.M. has shared a previously unreleased song, “Fascinating,” an unreleased song from R.E.M. out  with all proceeds going benefit global organization Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. Band members Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe recorded “Fascinating” in 2004 at Nassau’s Compass Point Studios

“Fascinating” was originally recorded for the 2001 album “Reveal”, but “it made the record too long… and something had to go,” Mike Mills says. This 2004 version — an ornate ballad with twinkly electronics, an oboe and flute arrangement and a psychedelic climax — was made at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas.

In fact, was singer Michael Stipe’s favorite song from the Reveal sessions (according to guitarist Peter Buck’s recollection, as chronicled in David Buckley’s R.E.M. biography, Fiction). The song was produced by Pat McCarthy and engineered by Jamie Candiloro. “It’s really beautiful,” bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills told Buckley. “It has a flute, oboe arrangement, but it made the record too long… and something had to go.” R.E.M. rerecorded the track in Nassau for 2004’s Around the Sun, but the lush ballad ultimately didn’t jibe with that spare, atmospheric album. Now this poignant outtake finally finds its fitting moment, as a means to aid the country where R.E.M. enjoyed over two months of creative retreat.

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“We first became aware of Mercy Corps around the time of Hurricane Katrina, and we supported their efforts to help in that situation,” says Mills . “I spend a lot of time every year in the Abaco Islands, which was literally ground zero for this disaster. I know a lot of people who lost everything — their homes, their businesses, literally everything they own is gone.”

“I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” Mills continues. “It breaks my heart to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian. Please help us and Mercy Corps do what we can to alleviate the suffering caused by this catastrophe.”

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Happy 8th birthday to R.E.M.’s farewell de force ‘Collapse Into Now’, released on this day in the US on 8th March 2011.

Sessions for Collapse Into Now started back in early 2009 with songs worked up with interesting titles such as ‘After Ski At Timberline Lodge’, ‘Rusty In Orchestraland’, ‘Victim Of Psychic Surgery’ & ‘Sounds Of The Big Racers’..., (the guys certainly having fun) eventually changing to more. For Collapse Into Now, R.E.M., which is singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, and bassist Mike Mills, re-teamed with Grammy Award-winning producer Jacknife Lee, who produced the band’s acclaimed previous album Accelerate. Lee is also noted for his work on albums by U2, Snow Patrol, The Hives, and indie stalwarts Kasabian, Editors, Aqualung, and Bloc Party. R.E.M. and Lee recorded the album in New Orleans at the Music Shed and in Berlin at the famed Hansa Studios, where several legendary albums, including David Bowie’s Heroes, U2’s Achtung Baby, and Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, were made. Additional recording and mixing was done at the venerable Blackbird Studio in Nashville.

The band has also revealed that Collapse Into Now features some very special guests: Patti Smith, guitarist Lenny Kaye, Peaches, Eddie Vedder, and The Hidden Cameras frontman Joel Gibb.

“I guess a three-legged dog is still a dog,” said Michael Stipe when drummer Bill Berry quit R.E.M. in 1997. True, but a three-legged dog never triumphed at Crufts or the racetrack. Even so, the R.E.M. that recorded 1998’s Up (experimental, frequently beautiful), 2001’s Reveal (lush, frequently beautiful) only started listing badly on 2004’s Around the Sun, where a mystifyingly insipid production and sluggish mood got in the way of frequent bouts of beauty. Stung into action, they tore through 2008’s frequently thrilling Accelerate – but can an R.E.M. album ever feel like an event again?

The clock is indeed ticking for the band, this being their 15th album on their 30th anniversary. But Radiohead should be so lucky at this stage. Even if a lyric sheet on a R.E.M. album doesn’t feel right, Stipe’s words are alluring, enigmatic and provocative, free of rhetoric (the Hurricane Katrina aftermath of Oh My Heart notwithstanding). Unlike Accelerate, Collapse into Now is also free of a planned response to a predecessor. It’s as varied and deep as previous R.E.M. classics. It’s not epochal like Automatic for the People, but it can’t be. These are different times.

On that basis, the album kicks off like Accelerate Part Two, with Discoverer and All the Best incorporating that sinewy and keening R.E.M. rock thrust of old. There are also passages that are, yes, frequently beautiful. All five ballads get the tense, urgent delivery they deserve, and at best, Walk It Back show as they get older, R.E.M. are even better at gravitas, Oh My Heart’s accordion/mandolin undertow is an immediate earworm and Every Day Is Yours to Win is the kind of wistful lullaby often reserved for an album finale.

The closing track here is more in line with You from 1994’s Monster: Peter Buck’s guitar is drenched in fuzz, Country Feedback-style; Stipe’s spoken word diatribe and Patti Smith’s solemn incantation equally fire; and a surprise coda returns to Discoverer’s exuberant chorus. Before then, though, we’ve heard the first (non-session) guest men on an R.E.M. album. Every Day… features Eddie Vedder and The Hidden Cameras’ Joel Gibb on valiant backing vocals and Patti’s faithful guitar foil Lenny Kaye transforms Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter into something that’s virtually hard rock (Peaches adds lascivious vocal back-ups). Fun, maybe, but also overblown. Consider it the album’s only misjudgement. Fortunately, That Someone Is You follows in a more dutifully golden, Byrds-ian rush.

One of the great final gasps of R.E.M. is this stunning jam that stresses the idea of carpe diem. It’s about embracing the unknown and the changes that come from within. Musically, the whole thing brims with harmonies, hooks, and the kind of woodsy instrumentation that made the Athens outfit so iconic, but we’ll leave it to Stipe to explain the lyrical nature itself: “I wanted to picture an almost blunt outsider’s perspective – the experience of a guy who is walking through a city that is completely new to him and still very unfamiliar. I have combined these two words to express that. I don’t pretend being a German or a Berliner. Not at all. I just tried to figure out the mind of this outsider….” Well, there you are.

Buck reckons no R.E.M. in 20 years has 12 songs as good as this. 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi may have something to say about that, but Collapse into Now genuinely feels like their first post-Bill Berry album to resemble a four-legged dog. And that, folks, is an event.

R.E.M. in Ireland in 1994.

R.E.M. collected rare and unreleased live and studio material for the massive R.E.M. at the BBC box set, out October 19th via Craft Recordings. The career-spanning set, assembled from the BBC and band archives, will be available in several formats: digital, 2-CD, 2-LP and a Super Deluxe 8-CD/1-DVD box set.

The deluxe package includes several in-studio sets (a John Peel Session from 1998, Drivetime and Mark and Lard from 2003, a Radio 1 Live Lounge performance from 2008) and live British broadcasts (1984 in Nottingham, 1995 in Milton Keynes, a headlining 1999 show at the Glastonbury Festival and an invitation-only 2004 set at St. James’s Church in London).

R.E.M.: R.E.M At The BBC

The DVD includes an hour-long retrospective of the band’s BBC performances in the Accelerating Backwards film, previously broadcast only in the U.K; it also includes interviews with R.E.M. members Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills, along with performances on Later….With Jools Holland, Top of the Pops and more.

R.E.M. at the BBC features elaborate liner notes from BBC DJ/presenter Jo Whiley, BBC producer Mark Hagen and rock journalist Tom Doyle.

An instant-grat download of “Losing My Religion,” recorded in 1991 for an Into the Night session, is available with pre-orders of the box set or the two-disc Best of the R.E.M. at the BBC album.

R.E.M. grew up with the BBC, and this historic relationship is lovingly celebrated across an incredible collection that beautifully illustrates the career trajectory of one of modern music’s greatest bands. The collection—available as a super-deluxe edition 8-CD/1-DVD box set, as well as 2-CD, 2-LP and digital formats—comprises a treasure trove of rare and unreleased live and studio recordings culled from the BBC and band archives. This is a must-have collection for R.E.M. fans and an authoritative introduction for newcomers. In-studio performances featured in the 8-CD/1-DVD box set include a John Peel Session (1998), Drivetime and Mark and Lard appearances (2003) and a glorious Radio 1 Live Lounge performance (2008). Live broadcasts include a rough-and-tumble show from Nottingham’s Rock City (1984), the stunning 1995 Milton Keynes Monster Tour (their first after a six-year break), a blistering 1999 Glastonbury headline set and an invitation-only 2004 show at London’s St James’s Church.

R.E.M. have now released a version of ‘E-Bow the Letter’ featuring Thom Yorke to celebrate the release of their new BBC Sessions box set.

The New Adventures in Hi-Fi track was originally released as a single in 1996 and featured backing vocals from rock icon Patti Smith. This version of the track was recorded in 2004 at St. James’s Church in London, where Thom Yorke made a surprise appearance. Radiohead had supported R.E.M. back in 1995 on their Monstertour.

R.E.M. at the BBC is out October 19th

R.E.M. grew up with the BBC, and this historic relationship is lovingly celebrated across an incredible collection that beautifully illustrates the career trajectory of one of modern music’s greatest bands. The collection—available as a super-deluxe edition 8-CD/1-DVD box set, as well as 2-CD, 2-LP and digital formats—comprises a treasure trove of rare and unreleased live and studio recordings culled from the BBC and band archives. This is a must-have collection for R.E.M. fans and an authoritative introduction for newcomers. In-studio performances featured in the 8-CD/1-DVD box set include a John Peel Session (1998), Drivetime and Mark and Lard appearances (2003) and a glorious Radio 1 Live Lounge performance (2008). Live broadcasts include a rough-and-tumble show from Nottingham’s Rock City (1984), the stunning 1995 Milton Keynes Monster Tour (their first after a six-year break), a blistering 1999 Glastonbury headline set and an invitation-only 2004 show at London’s St James’s Church.

R.E.M.-Chronic-Town

On this day (August. 10th) in 1982: Athens, Georgia alternative rock band R.E.M. released the ‘Chronic Town’ EP, the first result of their signing with IRS Records the previous May; the tracks had been recorded with producer Mitch Easter back in October, 1981 when the group was considering setting up their own label; the disc provided the first extended illustration of R.E.M.’s signature musical style – jangling guitars, chords played in arpeggio, murmured vocals & obscure lyrics – & introduced such early, lo-fi classics as “Gardening At Night” & “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)”.

I.R.S. released Chronic Town in August 1982 as its first American release. Reaction to the EP varied; one I.R.S. radio promoter said that many of his contacts at universities radio didn’t know what to make of the record, but added, “The Georgia stations and some of the more together college stations across the country jumped on it.” The band filmed its first video for “Wolves, Lower” to promote the record. The EP sold 20,000 copies in its first year.

“Chronic Town” is five songs that spring to life full of immediacy and action and healthy impatience. Songs that won’t be denied.” NME praised the songs’ auras of mystery, and concluded, “R.E.M. ring true, and it’s great to hear something as unforced and cunning as this.

The debut 5 track EP from R.E.M. titled ‘Chronic Town’ was the beginning of a long love affair for many of us with the boys from Athens, GA. The original vinyl EP R.E.M. labeled the A side (tracks 1–3) as the “Chronic Town” side and the B side (tracks 4 and 5) as the “Poster Torn” side.

 

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe.

Side one – “Chronic Town”
  1. “Wolves, Lower” – 4:10
  2. Gardening at Night – 3:29
  3. “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)” – 3:54
Side two – “Poster Torn”
  1. “1,000,000” – 3:06
  2. “Stumble” – 5:40