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Live Gig Video: First Aid Kit perform ‘Walk Afraid’ R.E.M. cover with Peter Buck

By on Friday, 16th January 2015 at 4:00 pm

For the soundtrack to the Reese Witherspoon film drama Wild released last autumn First Aid Kit recorded a breathtaking cover of R.E.M.’s ‘Walk Unafraid’. While we knew that they sisters Soderberg filmed a promo video for their version of the song, we didn’t know that during the down time of the making of the video, someone had the good idea to film this live acoustic performance of the sisters singing the song while R.E.M.’s own Peter Buck played backing guitar. You can watch both the live performance and the forest atmospheric promo video for the song below.

TGTF’s past coverage on First Aid Kit is here.




Video of the Moment #1047: R.E.M.

By on Tuesday, 20th November 2012 at 6:00 pm

Hmm. I thought R.E.M. were over? Isn’t that what we heard last year?

Oh wait. This is ‘Blue’, from the band’s last album, ‘Collapse Into Now’, finally getting a promo video. Directed by James Franco (probably not that James Franco?) and starring young fallen Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan, watch the video below.



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.


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.


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.



Album Review: R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now

By on Monday, 7th March 2011 at 12:00 pm

Words by John Fernandez

From the first minute of album opener ‘Discoverer’ to the final beats of ‘Blue’, ‘Collapse into Now’ could not have been written by any other band then R.E.M. It’s an album that you are going to find difficult at first, as there is no doubt and it is for sure one that needs to be listened to as a whole. Listen to a track on its own and well prepare for disappointment: there are no ‘Man in the Moon’s or ‘Losing My Religion’s here. No, this is something different, this is a record that needs to be listened from start to finish, and when you do, you will be rewarded with something special. You will be witness to a band doing exactly what they have done for 14 albums once more and that, my friend, is something beautiful.

‘Collapse Into Now’ starts slowly with opening tune ‘Discoverer’, a song that just makes you want to shout out, before roaring into ‘All the Best’. The relentless pace of ‘All the Best’ serves as a build-up to the rest of the album and in my opinion is the best standalone track on the record. I t’s one of those tracks that you just don’t expect from R.E.M and is even more reason why even after over 25 years in the business, it’s easy to see they are as full of energy as they ever were.

‘Überlin’ is easy to digest; it isn’t anything groundbreaking but has an uplifting quality that only Michael Stipe’s beautiful vocals can create, when he breaks into the chorus “he’s flying on a meteor tonight, he’s flying on a star”, you really feel like you’re being taken away to a different place. Songs like radio single ‘Mine Smell Like Honey’ and ‘It Happened Today’ are trademark R.E.M. and really broadcast what is good about this album. They have catchy lyrics, great pace and that feeling of grandeur that makes R.E.M’s album different from everything else out there.

I definitely felt like this album was something special from the start, but it is at the end that it really shows its true colours, no pun intended. ‘Blue’ starts off as a mind boggling spoken word number. It’s haunting but at the same time it sounds special, it sounds beautiful. Then it evolves and turns into something else entirely, a fitting end to an outstanding album.


‘Collapse Into Now’ is out today (7 March).


MTV’s Greatest Album Ever: Results

By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 1:10 am

MTV Greatest album (side)We introduced a few weeks ago MTV’s hunt to find “The Greatest Album Ever“. It raised a fair few questions, and a lot of angry responses from you guys as you listed your favourite bands who weren’t included.

Rather unsurprisingly, Michael Jackson topped the poll, having announced his sensational run of London shows between the announcement of the show and the results. Almost one in three of all votes went to the crazy American. In a shock move, Craig David was number 2 in the poll, and has been deemed more popular than Radiohead and Nirvana, receiving more votes than the Oxford based quintet and Seattle grungers combined. Surely that’s got to be some kind of mistake?

Over forty thousand votes were cast, which gives a pretty good perspective of what people think. Many in the comments of the previous post asked about some pretty seminal albums, however it should be noted that these are the best albums since 1981 – when MTV began, so many classics (Pink Floyd, Smiths, Who etc) aren’t eligible for the list. However, as Thom so rightly commented…. no Libertines? Crazy, no?

Speaking of wacko Jacko’s win, Trevor Nelson commented

I don’t think there’ll ever be another album like it ever in the history of music. There will never be a marriage of producer and artist and song writing and pop sensibility – it just won’t happen again. And also, due to the way people buy records now, there’ll never be an album that sells as many copies – and that’s the thing that will keep it at number one.

Interestingly, Zane Lowe didn’t agree with Craig David’s high ranking, commenting

The guy was hugely successful and there’s no denying that album is a great listen from start to finish as a pop record. It probably stands up as the greatest British urban pop record of the last twenty years. Still no one’s really topped it – apart from Winehouse. Should it be number two in The Greatest Album of all time? No, in my opinion, but I’m not going to begrudge anyone’s success, and if his fans voted for it then what’s encouraging for me is that they still consider that record to be an important part of their lives and that’s what music is.

After the jump: the complete list of albums
Continue reading MTV’s Greatest Album Ever: Results


MTV’s Greatest Album Ever

By on Thursday, 26th February 2009 at 3:42 pm

MTV Greatest album (side)It seems every awards season we have another “Greatest album” survey, most of them from one random source who have basically surveyed their friends to see what they like best that day.

However, when MTV do a survey you know it’s going to be the right choice. They’ve just launched their hunt to find the “Greatest Album Ever“, after they crowned Duran Duran’s Rio as having the “Greatest Video Ever” last year.

In conjunction with music industry experts, MTV’s flagship music channels VH1, MTV Two and MTV Base have each collated their top ten greatest albums since 1981, the year MTV launched. The debates to select the albums were chaired by channel presenters Edith Bowman (VH1), Zane Lowe (MTV Two) and Trevor Nelson (MTV Base).

Suggs (of Madness fame) was one of the key contributors to the shows, talking about Amy Winehouse’s decline and then subsequent rejuvenation:

It’s great to see her looking marvellous again. There was quite a gap between her first and second album and I used to see her around Camden a lot, and when you see someone regularly its harder to notice their demise. I’m so glad she looks well again. It was fate putting her together with Mark Ronson for Back to Black, and was so good for her putting her voice right in the middle of it.

Meanwhile, as only MTV can, Pete Burns gave us an, erm, “intriguing” insight into his friendship with Morrissey, who failed to make the top 10 for any of his solo albums, but whose Smith’s classic “The Queen is Dead” appeared in both VH1 and MTV 2’s top 10’s:

I knew him personally back in the day, he gave me a copy of this album. I loved it from track one. He has a very unique sense of irony and humour. As a person he’s very difficult and awkward to get on with. He stopped talking to me over a fur coat, and still to this day he holds a grudge about it!

Personally, I’d love to see REM get the award. All the others are great, but people seem to underestimate the consistency of REM. Plus, Michael Stipe is a legend in my eyes. Either that or Human League, but I can’t see them beating the big boys – can you?

Voting for the top album is now open over on MTV’s website. Each channel’s review of the top 10 albums can be seen this weekend, with Trevor Nelson presenting the MTV Base run down Saturday 28 February at 9pm, followed by Edith Bowman presenting VH1 and Zane Lowe MTV Two both on Sunday 1 March at 9pm. The final winner will be announced on Sunday 12th April.

After the jump, check out the top 10 albums chosen by each channel.
Continue reading MTV’s Greatest Album Ever


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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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