Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm tired and naked

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Quite how it was decided, what with all the famine, pestilence and imminent return to the Dark Ages, that the retirement of R.E.M. justified a piece on last night's national news is somewhat beyond me. Whatsherface announced the split with a faint undercurrent of glee and proceeded to furnish us with a quick list of their hits, all of which apparently came from either the semenal, go on correct that one in comments, I dare you, I triple dare you motherfucker, 'Out of Time' or the considerably less spunky 'Automatic for the People'. But what of the turgid 'Monster', Eileen? The mumbling 'Murmur'? The dismal 'Accelerate'?

I seem to know an awful lot about R.E.M. for someone who doesn't particularly like them. But they're just one of those bands that  lay down their grooves unbidden on the soundtrack of one's life. "Stand in the place where you live!" I sing to Data as we perform the ritual morning dance of dressing and brushing. "Please, please stop singing, Daddy," she responds. When Riker was a toddler, I used to wake her from her morning nap with their cover of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. She doesn't remember this, but I'm sure it will all come rushing back under hypnosis. Many a self-involved wallowing has been deepened, with blatant disregard to the actual point of the song,  to the strains of 'Everybody Hurts.' That track also makes me think of MIchael Douglas. No prize whatsoever to anyone who can work that one out. 

In summation, I lied, I do kind of like R.E.M., 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi' was by far their best album, and despite having taken the time to sit down and write a couple of paragraphs about them, I couldn't give a flying rats ass that they're splitting, secure in the knowledge that all these kind of break-ups are merely the precursor to the inevitable reunion tour, and album, and tour. And no matter how hipsterly ironic the intention, 'Shiny Happy People' was a crime against decency for which they may  never be forgiven. 

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