Party to party
You've been looking
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With the wrong crowd
You've got all the right friends...
Our Complete Coverage of Other People's Coverage
Consequence of Sound
The New Yorker
Comedians React on Twitter
New York Times
Slicing Up Eyeballs
Mike Mills Reflects...
Our Five Most Salient Memories of R.E.M.
July 3, 1983: Summerfest Rock Stage (Milwaukee, WI)
The Reckoning Tour. Peter Buck breaks a string on his Rickenbacher during a ferocious version of "9-9" and while he's restringing, a soused Michael Stipe kills time by rolling the base of his microphone stand back and forth across the stage. I catch his eye and applaud copiously. He smiles at me and laughs. My friends hate my guts for the rest of the evening.
April 1991: Student-Slum Squat (Minneapolis, MN)
In the midst of a glut of media hype for Out of Time, we watch an interview with the boys on MTV where Michael Stipe reveals two album titles he's always wanted to use: "Cat Butt" and "The Return of Mumbles." Years later, we suggest these titles to Nels Cline for his upcoming album and get the answer, "Unacceptable!!"
November 1, 1995: Great Western Forum (Inglewood, CA)
The Monster Tour. Lindsey Buckingham comes out for the encore to melt some faces during a scorching solo on "Everybody Hurts." This is also the show where we realize what killed R.E.M. as a live act: BIG VENUES.
September 12, 2001: High-Rise Apartment (Beverly Hills, CA)
With news footage of the 9/11 attacks playing on such an endless loop that it begins to serve the same purpose as the Yule Log or Aquarium Channel, we listen over and over again to R.E.M.'s 1998 song "Airportman," which has now taken on a entirely different meaning: "He moves efficiently / Beyond security / Great opportunity awaits / Airport fluorescent / Creature of habit / Labored breathing and sallow skin / Great opportunity blinks." I mean, yikes.
October 2005: The Ice Box Tavern (Racine, WI)
Sittting at bar and listening in bafflement to a pair of drunken frat boys with plugs of tobacco in their cheeks sing along to the jukebox playing "World Leader Pretend" as if it were Nelly's "Hot In Herre." Still not sure if this actually happened.