Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Logrolling In Our Time

Well, this is disappointing. This month's issue of the Brit music magazine Q comes with a free CD of 15 songs handpicked by cover boys R.E.M. and -- with the notable exception of Big Star co-founder Chris Bell's exquisite 1978 "I Am the Cosmos" -- just about all of them are by friends and collaborators of the band. It's like an alternative rock Bar Mitzvah reception.

Oh well. If you're interested, you can sample all fifteen tracks here, along with explanatory notes by messrs Stipe, Buck and Mills.

7 comments:

Dave said...

In my world, Scott McCaughey gets the top billing over Mills/Buck/Stipe. It may be affirmative action, but not all affirmative action goes to the inferior candidate. Young Fresh Fellows ranks as one of the best bands ever.

steve simels said...

I think Young Fresh Fellows are great too, I just think it's kind of bogus that REM's criteria for selecting music we should be listening to is almost exclusively limited to personal friends of theirs.

They couldn't have picked obscure but worthy songs by other folks? C'mon...

David said...

I totally agree that it's lame--and maybe I'm quibbling but, like, where's Kate Pierson/B-52s? Surely the most famous collaboration in REM's catalog is the much-maligned but still cool "Shiny Happy People." I'm surprised the politically aware Stipe didn't see that his list was all white men; Where's KRS-1? What are you sayin' what are you playin'?

steve simels said...

That hadn't occurred to me, but you're absolutely right.

Kid Charlemagne said...

May I second the praise for Scott McCaughey and the YFFs. Scott has also produced many of the really good Seattle pop bands like the great Model Rockets, my current fave at the moment.

David said...

I skirted your main point the first time, but i agree: it seems a bit solipsistic and self-serving for a band to just stick to people they've worked with when asked to put together a compilation of songs. Most people of REM's stature do the gracious thing and cite people who've influenced them one way or another, or who are up and coming and could use some praise from on high. I'd rather hear a mix by Tom Petty or Keith Richards any day. Or by Scott from YFF for that matter.

TJWood said...

I just think it's kind of bogus that REM's criteria for selecting music we should be listening to is almost exclusively limited to personal friends of theirs.

They couldn't have picked obscure but worthy songs by other folks? C'mon...


A valid point, perhaps. And, yes, REM could and should have had a representative black rap or R & B artist in the mix. (They've used KRS-1 and Q-Tip as guest rappers in the past on their own records). Beyond those points, it does look like something worth checking--it does have Warren Zevon on it, after all.