Instead of anything relevant, or entertainingly personal, here's something... else.
The band R.E.M. announced that they're officially calling it quits. They were my favorite band from 1983-1987, and the end was a long time in coming. Fave songs? "Nightswimming," "So. Central Rain," "Fall On Me," "Everybody Hurts," "Rockville;" well, the list goes on for quite a while.
Admitting I'm a Stupid Weirdo
I once earned $1000 by holding my breath underwater in a fish tank full of ice for the duration of "It's the End of the World As We Know It," which takes about 5 1/2 minutes. Broke my previous record by over a minute; the emergency room visit ended up costing me... $1000.
I don't drink that much any more.
Beatles or Stones?
A question that crops up occasionally and which was relevant about 1966 is whether one prefers the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. It's really a question of pop music versus rock and roll (and I got reminded of it because the Stones also lasted decades too long) and sometimes you want one, sometimes the other. The Beatles were genius pop, once they ditched the early Buddy Holly covers. The Stones were best early when the delta blues and R&B records they grw up on were still evident in their sound - before they tried to emulate "Magical Mystery Tour" with "Their Satanic Majesties Request" - really early.
A better question is: R.E.M. or U2? I was never a big fan of U2; one compilation CD heavy on The Joshua Tree would suffice. Here, the question becomes more diffuse: brit-pop filtered through southern roots music or the reverse? Early on, U2 was a mediocre bar band ("Boy" and the second album are unlistenable, except for "40"), and R.E.M. was part of the ultra-weird Athens, GA scene that included bands like the B-52's.
I'd listen to R.E.M. and laugh my head off trying to sing along, not knowing what any of the mumbled lyrics were (I just spent an hour trying to rediscover what song I thought had "Did you eat my car keys?" ... to no avail). I was never sure what it was I didn't like about U2 until I heard John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) singing along to one of their hits on his brief show "Have a Rotten Day" - pompous gits.
Bono and The Edge: take the hint. The time to quit was long ago.
By the album "Green," one had to wonder wether the R.E.M. sell-out was tongue-in-cheek or not. "Pop Song" took self-parody to a new level. They made millions of dollars, but they were done as a band, making appearances on Sesame Street. And then Bill had health problems. It still took 20 years to quit.
And now to feel old
I recently had a date with a woman who thinks Nirvana is an oldies band that plays on the classic rock station her father likes. She's not listening to my i-pod anytime soon.
Another Year, Another Albums list
18 hours ago