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Out of Time: R.E.M. Says Goodbye

 
By on Thursday, 22nd September 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Yesterday afternoon, R.E.M. announced on their official Web site that after 15 studio albums and 31 years of being together as a group entity, they would no longer continue as a band. Their collective thoughts as a band were as follows:

To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.

The individual thank yous and goodbyes from Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe can be read here.

I never considered myself a huge fan of R.E.M., though oddly they figured prominently a couple times in my life. I remember, very vividly, sitting in Mrs. Hannah’s English class, trying to distract myself from the stifling heat of the classroom and instead engage a classmate in a conversation – any conversation to forget the DC Indian summer. I thought it would be a good idea to befriend the only girl in class who shared the same surname as mine. We could be bezzies, we could go out shopping together, it would be perfect! So I thought. But ultimately and sadly, we never became friends. Why? She was obsessed with Michael Stipe. Had his pictures plastered all over her bedroom. Back in the ’90s there was much speculation, at least in my grade, as to Michael Stipe’s sexual orientation and I guess at that age, it was all innocent speculation anyway…

It’s interesting the timing of their break-up, since this week is also the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’. Nirvana’s followers were dirty, unwashed young people with greasy hair and ugly plaid shirts. If you liked R.E.M., you didn’t have to be anti-establishment to fit in with their crowd. They didn’t really have a kind of crowd, to be honest. If you were ever feeling left out of any sector of society (or perhaps feeling excluded from certain friendship circles, as was in my case), you could join R.E.M. and be a misfit, just like them.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahJ6Kh8klM4[/youtube]

They could rock out like any other good time rock ‘n’ roll band (‘Pop Song 89’), they could be silly (‘Shiny Happy People’, with their buddies the B52s), they could write ballads that made you cry (‘Nightswimming’). I think the kids of my generation will remember the twanging of that lone mandolin on ‘Losing My Religion’, because at that moment, everything in music changed for us. (Those of us who had not been born in Athens, Georgia and did not know the existence ‘Document’ or their other earlier albums.) The music video itself was weird. (Rotten milk in a pitcher on a windowsill? Icarus falling down to Earth? Sure!) And we liked it that way.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if-UzXIQ5vw[/youtube]

Years later when I was university, I found a friend in a fellow college kid who was born in Athens. He often boasted about their clubs and R.E.M. But what comes to mind about this particular friend was that he had mentioned to me that one summer he was depressed and had wanted to kill himself. R.E.M.’s ‘Everybody Hurts’, which understandably been linked to numerous suicide prevention campaigns, has stood the test of time and will probably be the band’s best known song, simply because it went above and beyond what we thought pop stars should do and think and what pop songs could mean to people. Literally, the song saved lives. We’ll never know how many lives were saved of course, but this power sure challenges the notion that pop music doesn’t mean anything. It does.

While many will say that R.E.M.’s best years have been far behind them already, I think if you’re going to quit, going out after putting out so much great music and giving so many fans great concert experiences is the classiest way to do it.

Goodbye, R.E.M. It was nice knowing you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijZRCIrTgQc[/youtube]

 

The Man Behind TGTF’s Many MTV Exclusives…

 
By on Friday, 15th April 2011 at 5:00 pm
 

TGTF has a great relationship with the folks over at MTV. For my entire tenure as Editor at TGTF (and indeed, even before I became Editor), one particular individual at MTV has been responsible for providing us exclusive videos and details on MTV’s music programming. With the massive barrage of emails we at TGTF receive every day, it’s always a pleasure to work with someone who not only has an excellent knowledge of the current music scene, but someone who’s always on the ball, reliable and pleasant. Not to mention someone who has quickly become a good friend.

So imagine my surprise and utter disappointment when I heard this person was no longer going to be brightening my email inbox on a regular basis. You can’t imagine the heartbreak!

Well my dear readers, it is time to unmask this mystery man. And unfortunately, it is to say goodbye to him and wish him well as he goes off to greener pastures.

Best wishes, Adam, from me and all of us at TGTF.

Mary x

 

The Music Announce Farewell Shows / August 2011 English Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 13th April 2011 at 9:00 am
 

After starting as a band in high school, 3 albums and over a decade in the business, the Music have decided to play their final shows together ever this summer before going their separate ways. The band had this to say on their official Web site:

We’ve come so far together and now it’s time to end things the right way and in the place we love the most – onstage playing live. We’re going to give it our all for these last times together and it’s going to be emotional, but were really glad to get back to Japan one last time where people have been so good to us over the years, and we send our love and thoughts to everyone there who has been affected by the terrible events of March 11th. We’ll be saying thankyou [sic] to so many people over these dates and we’ll start now by saying thanks to anyone who’s been with us on this incredible trip. We’re all looking to the future and what comes next, but we’ll always be grateful for the years, times and experiences we’ve shared. We’re going to make these shows as much of a party as we can, and we hope people turn up to celebrate with us.

Tickets are on sale now.

Thursday 4th August 2011 – London Brixton Academy (upgraded from Shepherds Bush Empire)
Friday 5th August 2011 – Leeds Academy
Saturday 6th August 2011 – Leeds Academy

 

Faithless Call It Quits: Band to Play Farewell Shows in Glasgow and London in April

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd March 2011 at 11:00 am
 

After 15 years, 6 albums, and some seriously amazing music, influential electronica band Faithless have called it a day. On the band’s official Web site, the band’s Maxi Jazz thanked fans for providing them an amazing experience as artists and musicians and likening their career to fine literature, stated with much grace, “it’s time to close the book and return to the library…”

Faithless’s final shows will be, fittingly, in the UK – specifically one date in Glasgow on the 4th of April and two dates in London, the 7th and 8th of April. Tickets to these shows as you can imagine for these teeny venues (for Faithless) are in high demand. The London dates have already sold out but at the time of this writing, tickets are still available for the Glasgow show.

Monday 4th April 2011 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Thursday 7th April 2011 – Brixton O2 Academy
Friday 8th April 2011 – Brixton Academy

And in case you’ve forgotten, they gave us this, ‘God is a DJ’…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02BUCVBHSKw[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Farewell at the Oxford Academy (26th October)

 
By on Monday, 27th October 2008 at 6:48 am
 

“What do you guys call boogers over here?” Marshall Davies, lead singer of Farewell asked the audience at Oxford Academy part way through their set. This question along with other comments built up the gaps between the songs as they grew more comfortable in front of us.

The set was opened with “Stay Pretty”, a song that has just the right amount of energy to get everyone to start dancing. The song was immediately followed with a typical American “what’s up?” and a small introduction of themselves with a big thank you to the audience for coming. From there they leaped into a lively set involving the audience and getting everyone moving.

As to be expected, there were was a plentiful dose of screaming teenage girls, but the Farewell lads took it in their stride and kept going – like all good gigs getting everybody hot and a little bit sweaty.

The half way point of their set was the track “Hey Heather” at which point they introduced the song by asking who was in the room that was called Heather. A few hands went up and from there the boys jumped into their song with the last words being “Well this ones for you then.”

From there, Farewell said they were going to do a slower track that was also on the album, and if we have the record, can we sing along. If not then “buy the record!” Marshall joked – though people obviously had been buying up copies as they were completely sold out before the group had even got on stage.

The penultimate song of their set was their latest track to be released: “Eighty-Eights” (out since 20th October); however nobody mentioned that it was their latest release. Despite having given the set their all so far, the lads kept going giving a bubbly rendition of the track followed by giving everything to the last track of the set: “First One On The Blog”.

For a band’s debut tour in the UK, Farewell have clearly built up a good following over the internet and by word of mouth as many of the people at the concert recognised them and knew the songs – despite mainly being there to see YouMeAtSix who Farewell were supporting throughout the tour of England. Their performance exceeded expectations however, this was probably down to the fact they’re well through their tour now and getting close to going home. If you can catch them before they hop back over the pond to America, I would.

Continue reading Live Review: Farewell at the Oxford Academy (26th October)

 

Album Review: Farewell / Isn’t this supposed to be fun?

 
By on Monday, 13th October 2008 at 9:24 pm
 

Punchy melodies coupled with infectious lyrics are bound to make Farewell a hit in the UK; especially with fans of Cute Is What We Aim For and Say Anything. Originating from North Carolina, Farewell are here to take the UK by storm with their debut tour, supporting none other than YouMeAtSix.

The tour will also help to promote their first album: “Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun?” released earlier this year. The album contains 13 full length tracks of power pop goodness. It bears reminiscence to Motion City Soundtrack with the occasional negativity in the lyrics; but when coupled with the lively guitar and keyboard melodies, it turns it into what every screaming teenage girl loves: a fabulous collection of catchy tunes they can sing along to.

The album opens with “Start it Up”, a song that’s guaranteed to push away any flickers of doubts about the band, and pull in every power pop lover to listen further. Lead singer, Marshall Davies, brings this song, along with the others, the right edge to match the lyrics to the catchy tunes bound to make every teenager want to get up and move.

Stand out tracks on the album include “War”, “September Brought the Fall”, “Hey Heather” and up-coming single “Eighty-Eights” released 20th October.

This 5 piece band from America are definitely a band to keep your eye on, and in for big things over here if they can give as good a performance on stage as they do on their record.

You can catch Farewell supporting YouMeAtSix at the below tour dates:

Wednesday 15th October – Middlesbrough Empire
Thursday 16th October – Norwich Waterfront
Friday 17th October – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Saturday 18th October – Wolverhampton Wulfrun
Sunday 19th October – Northampton Roadmender
Tuesday 21st October – Leeds Met University
Wednesday 22nd October – Glasgow ABC1
Thursday 23rd October – Manchester Academy 2
Friday 24th October – Liverpool Carling Academy
Saturday 25th October – Southampton University
Sunday 26th October – Oxford Carling Academy
Monday 27th October – London Astoria
Tuesday 28th October – Cardiff Solus
Wednesday 29th October – Brighton Komedia
Thursday 30th October – Exeter Phoenix

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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