R.E.M. Brings La Blogothèque To Athens

A lot has been made of R.E.M.’s approach to announcing “they’re back.” Their work with Vincent Moon — which we’ve see in official video and Take Away form already — has been a major basis for the approach, and the ensuing discussion. Earlier today, while we’ve been busy enjoying, the La Blog folk published the other four tunes from their sessions in Athens, Georgia with the Accelerate-rs. We have them here for you, but we particularly dug this passage in the accompanying essay, which speaks directly to the potential friction from a veteran band squeezing itself into up-and-comers’ means.

Doing a Take Away Show with REM could be seen as a way to rejuvenate their image. Obviously, it’s part of the whole thing; letting aside the huge venues and ultra-sophisticated recording studios to play in the street, that is said to be highly fashionable. But when you push REC for the first time, doubts assail: what if it didn’t work ? What if the band looked ridiculous, old-fashioned, too much used to playing songs perfectly, in front of cameras you’re expected to be looking at ? Most of the bands filmed for the Take Away Shows are young and almost beginners, they participate in acoustic sessions often with great pleasure and curiosity – as it also represents a very welcome promo. So, what with such an “old” band, so experienced in the classical media stuff…?

That night, on the 7 songs played in only two hours, it had to get to the third song, “Living Well”, crammed in the car, to finally see the doubts fade away. It happened when Stipe burst into laughter, finding sincere pleasure in taking part into this little game. After that moment, everything seemed to be floating, dreamlike elements like when “Born To Be Wild” came right after “Living Well”, but no one will be able to see that – record companies stuff. A night in Athens which (almost) changed into a trip between old friends.

The first tune up is “Until The Day Is Done,” the superserious, acoustic cut that premiered while Anderson Cooper was out saving the world. Obviously, it works well as a La Blogothèque take:

“Until The Day Is Done”

And more…

As mentioned, this was presented as the “Vincent Moon version” of the “Living Well” video a few weeks ago, but was then only an iTunes download. So, here’s an embed if you didn’t feel like opening iTunes that day:

“Living Well Is The Best Revenge”

A tune not on Accelerate

“On The Fly”

…and two that are:

“Houston”

“Sing For The Submarine”

Tags: R.E.M.