At what point in a band's career is it impossible to evaluate its new album without referencing its back catalog? Just ask R.E.M., whose albatross is its past — at least, every time they release a record and people whine that it doesn't sound like R.E.M. circa 1983, 1986, 1992 or 1996, etc. A five-night live residency in Dublin, Ireland, last July didn't help matters. Old songs R.E.M. hadn't played in decades ("Kohoutek" and "Second Guessing" were dusted off for the first time since 1986) fit snugly alongside new songs... More >>>
R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe accelerates at Stubb's BBQ during South by Southwest.