As the news cycle turns a candy-cane colored shade of molasses, it’s clearly time to look back at the year that was. And around here anyway, Stipe & Co. were inescapable during said year that was. Let us count the ways: there was the Rock Hall of Fame induction, the tribute from Athens, GA bands, the new tunes unveiled in Dublin, the new tune unveiled on Anderson Cooper 360º, the live DVD … and oh yeah, us getting the Wrens, the Meat Puppets, the Forms, Shout Out Louds, Blitzen Trapper, Bodies Of Water, Rogue Wave, Sara Quin and Kaki King, Amanda Palmer and like 20 other bands to help us celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Automatic For The People on Drive XV. Aside from that stuff, though, you’d barely even know R.E.M. even existed.
So for those wanting a little more but still not members of the R.E.M. fanclub (a small cross-section of people, we’d imagine — but we are a full-service blog after all), head to Surviving The Golden Age, who’s got an MP3 of the Georgian vets present to fan club members this year: a cover of Slade’s jolly holiday track “Merry Xmas Everybody.” And some bonus gossip: According to various news reports, Michael Stipe told the crowd at a New York charity auction on December 6th, “Let me tell you a secret, we have a great fucking record in the bag. It’s a big change. It’s coming out on April Fool’s Day.” No further info, but said news reports are quick to point out that April Fool’s is in fact a Tuesday, so it must be true! Also, we are quick to point out that April Fool’s is in fact, April Fool’s. So while you try and reconcile that bit, here’s Slade doing their track, their way. Merry Xmas everybody!