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Tag: R.E.M. (11-15 of 15)

The National Recording Preservation Board inducts tracks by R.E.M., Loretta Lynn, and Tupac Shakur. What songs would you preserve for posterity?

REM-TUPACImage Credit: Ben Desoto/Retna Ltd; Ron Galella/WireImage.comThe Library of Congress’s National Recording Preservation Board announced today its annual list of music that the organization deems important enough to preserve. As always, the line-up is eclectic and includes tracks by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (“Canal Street Blues”), Little Richard (“Tutti Frutti”), Loretta Lynn (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”), R.E.M. (“Radio Free Europe”), Tupac Shakur (“Dear Mama”), and entire albums from The Band (The Band) and Patti Smith (Horses).

It’s not a bad list—though it is a fairly unsurprising one. What do you think of the Board’s choices? And what songs would you like to see inducted (bearing in mind that, according to the Board’s criteria, the music must be “culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States,” and be ten years old)?

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Roky Erickson: The psychedelic rock legend talks about his first CD in 15 years

Roky-Erickson-and-Okkervil-RiverDon’t be surprised if the opening song on Roky Erickson’s new album True Love Cast Out All Evil sounds somewhat lo-fi. And certainly don’t complain to Will Sheff, singer with much acclaimed rockers Okkervil River, who produced the the 62-year-old singer’s first album in a decade and a half. The track, a haunting lament called “Devotional Number One,” is based on a recording made by Erickson four decades ago, while he was incarcerated at Rusk Maximum Security Prison for the Criminally Insane in East Texas.

Thankfully, while the origin of the song is a reminder that Erickson is one of rock’s more troubled and plain unlucky souls, the album itself—which officially comes out April 20, but which can currently be previewed at Relix.com —is testament to both his talents and his recovering mental health. The CD features nearly all new performances by the Okkervil River-backed singer of previously unreleased, Erickson-penned tracks. “Roky’s manager sent me 60 songs after we had played a show together at the Austin Music Awards,” says Sheff of the project’s genesis. “When I heard the songs, I just fell in love. I knew I had to do the record.”

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Happy 50th Birthday, Michael Stipe! The R.E.M. frontman celebrates the half-century mark

Life (or should we say, its Rich Pageant) made an internationally recognized rock star out of a scrappy little military brat born January 4, 1960, in Decatur, Georgia; today, it also makes him one of the first of 2010 to celebrate his semi-centennial.

To follow this year: Bono (May 10), Chuck D (August 1), Aimee Mann (Sept. 8), Husker Du’s Bob Mould (Oct. 16) and the Replacements’ Paul Westerberg (Dec. 31). Also? Sean Penn, Hugh Grant, Jean Claud Van Damme and Jennifer Grey (nobody puts Baby in the AARP!)

Now 27 years into a career that began with R.E.M.’s college-rock watermark Murmur in 1983, Stipe has been an activist, a multi-Grammy winner, a misplacer of religion, a maestro of Mary Kay, and, as of 2007, an official Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Watch him and the band performing “Moon River” and “Pretty Persuasion” on England’s Old Grey Whistle Test in 1984. Youth! Hair! Wonderment! Mr. Stipe, we salute you:

Friends respond to Vic Chesnutt's death: Michael Stipe, Jeff Mangum, Patti Smith

Michael Stipe has issued a brief statement on the death of his friend Vic Chesnutt yesterday. “We have lost one of our great ones,” writes the R.E.M. frontman on the band’s official site. Stipe produced Chesnutt’s first two albums in the early 1990s and was instrumental in bringing his music to a wider audience.

For more of the statements posted on R.E.M.’s website, including tributes from Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Patti Smith, and others, click through to the jump.

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R.E.M. to release live EP, 'Reckoning Songs from the Olympia'

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Good news for all R.E.M. obsessives, and we know you’re out there: Michael Stipe and his Athens brethren will release a four-song EP, Reckoning Songs from the Olympia, via iTunes and those mysterious “digital service providers” on July 7th. Timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary re-release of Reckoning, the tracks are taken from the band’s residency at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre two summers ago, a series of expansive, catalog-baring shows that took up their own residency on YouTube almost immediately.

The EP’s four tracks — “Harborcoat,” “Letter Never Sent,” “Second Guessing,” and “Pretty Persuasion” — will also serve as a sort of amuse-bouche for the 2-CD live album R.E.M. plans to release this fall from the same Olympia gigs. I went ahead and pasted an incomplete clip of “Harborcoat” below; YouTube has informed me this is the first time they’d played it since 1986, one of those helpful snippets of information that the aforementioned obsessives can always be relied upon to know. So what do you think, Mixers? Is this EP something for everyone, or will only the fanboys pull out their wallets? Did you catch R.E.M. on their Accelerate tour — and do they still have it? And do you require another live album from these guys at this point, or does 2007’s R.E.M. Live still cover your bases?

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