I never saw REM but I did see Mitch Easter/Let's Active in a tiny Milwaukee bar called The Odd Rock. I think REM and Let's Active were both very special because I couldn't classify them. I tend to have a fondness for musicians who cannot be labeled. I worked out a fingerstyle acoustic (and vocals) version of NightSwimming. Peter Buck wrote this and I think it's brilliant. I don't think that you can label REM and that's very special. Originality is not easy but they still have it.