R.E.M: Progenitors of Indie Rock?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Minimalist518, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,188
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Location:
    Timbuktu, Earth
    I grew up in an Indiana town, I had a good looking Momma who never was around.
     
    Bruxist and beyer160 like this.
  2. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,632
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    As to REM, they're kind of the Elvis of underground music. They didn't invent it, and although they were often very good (less so as time wore on, though) they weren't as good as the best at it, but they did a hell of a lot to popularize it. Sorority girls weren't going to be blasting the Flamin' Groovies, Mission of Burma or Husker Du on the quad while sunbathing, but they sure loved "Shiny Happy People."
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  3. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,435
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Location:
    GCDB
    No.. but the gal w/ the vintage Jantzen and Ray Bans who had the key to roof access on the science building sure did!
     
    beyer160 likes this.
  4. luckett

    luckett Banned

    Posts:
    3,614
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    .
    From the land of the big chicken.



     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
    Johnson johnson and Whatizitman like this.
  5. Minimalist518

    Minimalist518 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Location:
    Albany
    Huh? Who called R.E.M. Prog? Is this a personal opinion, or is that a real thing?
    Maybe there’s another R.E.M. out there, maybe an REM without the periods between the letters that was a Prog band?
    Personally, if you’re referring to R.E.M and not conflating them with another band, I don’t see it. Prog is all about virtuoso musicianship and long, complex, ambitious arrangements.
    R.E.M. could barely play when they started and I can’t think of one of their songs that diverted from standard pop-song verse/chorus or that clocks in over the 3 1/2 minute mark.
    Good choice of covers, though. Sounds cool!
     
    Mike Eskimo likes this.
  6. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,993
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Port Moody, BC
    When I first heard REM, I immediately thought of Martha and the Muffins.

     
  7. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,993
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Port Moody, BC
    There's also this:



    Vocally, it's pure Tom Petty, but the instrumentation has similarities to REM. It's also early Jangle Pop.
     
  8. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,632
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    In the late '80s there was a brief period when "college rock" was marketed as "alternative/progressive."

    And while Bill Berry has a ... "unique" drumming style and Pete Buck is the poster boy for turning limitations into an asset, listen to the bass on an REM record.
     
    Whatizitman likes this.
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    12,743
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Yeah. Whatever the bass player is doing, calling REM a progressive band is not a conventional use of the term, to say the least.
     
    Mike Eskimo and boris bubbanov like this.
  10. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,460
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Vocally, it's pure Tom Petty, but the instrumentation has similarities to REM. It's also early Jangle Pop.[/QUOTE]

    Reviewers of his early stuff lumped it in with punk and new wave.
     
  11. Zeonoid

    Zeonoid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    560
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Slovakia, EU
    a problem with todays indie rock is that most of time it is misunderstood for high school rock with stoner or shoegaze signs. REMs albums like Automatic fot the people and New Adventures in hi-fi, were soulfull painting of Van Gogh while independent rock now are most of the time precalculated comics of 17 year old boys.
     
  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    55,121
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Tom really was Sui Generis, in the time he arrived on the scene.

    I think it says a lot (of bad) things about the state of rock music, when Tom Petty tried to come to our rescue, that he didn't trigger a dozen imitators. I think that musically, we were bankrupt right then. No rich, bewildering array of choices. Some good pickings, just not many of them.
     
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    55,121
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    I don't what it was, but it wasn't the direction I wanted the lads to go in. I understood the days of Chronic Town were over, and I really didn't know what I wanted next from this band. But this wasn't what I wanted. And I wasn't 17. Hey, I wasn't 17 even when I was 17.

    If anything, the reverse is true. This band appears, with all these incoherent, enigmatic lyrics and a hard to describe other world-ness of the front man, and musiciansship that seemed both approachable and yet very innovative. Then REM moved TOWARD the conventional. The secrets were unmasked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    55,121
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    I wouldn't participate, and you'd never get an earful of my thoughts about them.

    I'm not going to waste time, trying to pry Velvet fanatics away from their teddy bear. I'm hoping to find some open minded people who could come to accept that this Velvet attribution is a Cliff Notes version of what really happened. The perfect venue, and I think a lot of folks realize that it is.

    If one can call into question this "Everyone Took the Same Pill, and it was the Velvet Underground" mythology, we can destroy this nonsensical theme where everyone started a band on the same day with the same intentions and the same vision and the same plan or approach in mind. What is more the Truth is, a field lay fallow for several years, as the conditions for germination were just lousy. Then one spring, there was the right amount of moisture, the right nutrient mix, the right amount of heat in the soil and so Seeds of every sort of description all came up about the same time, each with their own Blueprint, and similarities were more imagined than real.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  15. Minimalist518

    Minimalist518 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Location:
    Albany
    Fair enough, I appreciate the knowledge; but still, IMO, record companies and/or radio program directors briefly (and confusingly) flagging this music as “alternative/progressive” five-some-odd years after R.E.M. formed doesn’t mean R.E.M. “were considered Prog when they came out.”
    But that isn’t to impugn or judge jaybones. I just wondered where the assertion came from.
    True about Mike Mills! His bass lines were the real lead instrument on the early records.
    They did everything backwards earlier in their career. The drums were pretty much all fills, the guitar carried the rhythm, the bass played melody and the vocals were mixed lower than, or the same as, the instruments. It totally worked, though.
     
  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    55,121
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    This is the first time I've every heard such a thing.

    No, I think it would be fair to say, that many of the less young early adopters of REM were burnt out on prog rock. We still listened to maybe King Crimson or Adrian Belew, but we gave away all that Emerson Lake and Palmer vinyl.

    It wouldn't be a stretch to call REM the antithesis of prog rock. Although the attendees of the early REM concerts were mostly guys, that I saw. The women didn't start showing in droves, until after Murmur I would say.

    Maybe we're all missing the boat, on so many of these bands and their progression into "stardom". The bands were pithy and full of new energy, for a few cycles, and then the band "matured" and this coincided with the arrival of significant numbers of women in audiences. I'm talking about tour concerts; obviously there's a home town female fan base that can long precede the big time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  17. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,379
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    This. I would hesitate to call it all "progressive". But in terms of bass, Mike Mills is one of the most underrated bassists of all time. Incredible melodic lines.

    I was gonna link a song or two, but there are too many examples. Basically, just listen to the entire Fables album.
     
  18. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,379
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    The term 'indie' referred to DIY, independent and small record labels. The vast majority of bands are "indie", in that regard. Later on it became to be synonymous with certain sounds and styles (jangly pop, americana, post-punk, etc...). Metallica was an independent band with a respectable following for several years before going major label. But indie doesn't sound as all metally and hardcore as "underground".

    By the time REM signed with Warner, the only think "indie" about them was their style and historical relevance.

    Oh yeah, and just to add nothing to the discussion, I still think Cowboy Junkies did Sweet Jane better than VU.
     
  19. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,427
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    VU makes a comeback on page 4 !

    It is often been said that only 1000 people bought the first velvet underground record, but that each of those people formed a band.

    It has rarely been asked though, how many of those bands were worth a crap ?

    I do understand Patti Smith and why she was massively influential on REM as a band.


    Michael Stipe : my Brooklyn brother in law has a bunch of friends in common with Stipe so they see each other at dinner parties and the like on a regular basis. Though he is in his late 50s And out of the mainstream the majority of his life he says that he and Stipe have never talked about music once. It’s always art and furniture since that is what my bro in law does for a living .

    Randomly: I bet the checks for “losing my religion” alone are fairly impressive. There are a lot of “doctors office radio stations” out there just in our country alone.

    I agree with Boris on REM starting from the outside and moving toward the middle of the road. Supposedly there are all these nuggets on their last four or five records but I just haven’t had the heart to try to explore them – even to take them out of the library or go on Spotify ...
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  20. luckett

    luckett Banned

    Posts:
    3,614
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    .
    Is there anybody that did a VU cover that didn't do it better than VU?
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.