Wednesday, November 01, 2006

R.E.M. - When the Light is Mine

Growing up, the three most magical letters in the English alphabet were r, e and m. The night before an R.E.M. release was like Christmas Eve. The day I bought Monster - which I love, even if you don't - is etched into my memory forever. I remember sitting in math class about to lose my mind, the drive to the store, not finding it (because who expected a bright orange album cover?) and the excitement of having all my expectations thrown in my face, to delicious result.

There are eight million stories I have about the boys from Athens - the Burger King crown incident and other run-ins I've had with the band, including my trip to Georgia; the fans I've met across this country and across Europe; the shows I've seen. Even my first phone conversation with fellow blogger Geoff G. - as two soon-to-be-freshmen speaking to their future college roomate - went from awkward to the spark of a lifelong friendship when we both had the same answer for "Who's your favorite band?"

My interest in R.E.M. has waned these past few years, as their last two releases have left much to be desired, to say the least. But when I put old R.E.M. records on (I have a nice little collection left over from when I would scour every flea market I could find for them), the magic rushes right back and I'm fifteen again.

Same goes for this DVD.

During the period this DVD covers, I was between 4 and 9 years old - and many of these music videos, live performances and interviews, etc. I'll be seeing for the first time (I just put it on as I started to write this, it being a Halloween gift from Jen, who kicks ass!). But in high school I bought up their entire back catalogue - and these songs make up a very significant portion of the soundtrack of my young adulthood. And, along with the Beatles records my father played when I was a kid, these songs make up the foundation of what I love in music - and, to a great extent, what I look for in every new band I discover. Released: September 12, 2006. MAGIC.

1 comment:

Geoff G. said...

Beautiful. Really.