July 7, 2007

New songs from R.E.M. rehearsals in Dublin, 6/30/07

R.E.M. gave Irish fans a fantastic treat this last week by playing five shows at the historical Olympia Theatre (the oldest theatre in Dublin), calling the shows working rehearsals of new material for their next album. All in all, ten new songs were debuted in this first night’s show (June 30, 2007) and they sound really strong to these R.E.M.-loving ears.

One of the best of the new batch is “Until The Day Is Done,” because it’s reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite R.E.M. songs, “Sweetness Follows.” Several of the new songs (“Horse to Water,” “Staring Down . . .”) have a sort of a fervent Monster-era feel to them; this is good in my book, Monster remains one of my favorite R.E.M. albums.

Continuing this theme of Heather’s Favorites, the encore also contains two of my favorite songs from New Adventures in Hi-Fi: “New Test Leper” (man, what a fantastic, gorgeous, sad-sounding song) and “Electrolite” is simply magnificent — a pure and wonderful singalong.

Olympia Theatre, 6/30/07
Living Well (new)
Staring Down the Barrel of the Middle Distance (new)
Second Guessing
Mr. Richards (new)
Houston (new)
On the Fly (new)
Letter Never Sent
Man Sized Wreath (new)
Little America
Until the Day is Done (new)
Maps and Legends
Disguised (new)
Accelerate (new)
Horse to Water (new)

These Days
New Test Leper
I’m Gonna DJ At The End Of The World


Photos credit remhq.com and
this gal. Also check out this review from The Independent (UK).

Tagged with .


  • last encore track failed.

    Anonymous — July 7, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

  • Yeah, New Adventures In Hi-FI ruled all. Slow and steadily downward after that though. Some bright spots here and there but I’ve pretty much moved on (I’m not sure I even own a copy of their last record). That said, any return to Monster/…Hi-Fi era sounds is enough to pique my interest. Looking forward to hearing some of the new stuff.

    Anonymous — July 8, 2007 @ 12:36 am

  • Great gig, cheers for that Heather, I linked it over on my blog, and uploaded one of the tracks myself, hope that is ok.
    Another great post.

    Joshua Lachkovic — July 8, 2007 @ 5:32 am

  • Last track fixed, thanks.

    heather — July 8, 2007 @ 8:43 am

  • awesome stuff. thanks

    Anonymous — July 8, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  • great post Heather , thanks.

    Gerald , Cardiff

    ps , Any more Jesse Malin in the pipeline?

    Anonymous — July 8, 2007 @ 11:36 am

  • I agree with New Adventures In Hi-Fi, which is my favorite REM record, along w/Monster and Green. As everyone said, pretty much downhill from there. Who knew losing a drummer could hurt so much? Ah well. All that said, I’m definately looking forward to hearing this new stuff!

    Anonymous — July 8, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  • Hey! Thanks for these clips. Can anyone tell me what Michael is saying in the intro to “Million”? Or “1,000,000″…however you spell it. And where are the booming drums on that song?

    I’ve heard that the loss of Bill threw everything out of whack band-wise, because there was a nice Bill/Mike vs. Michael/Pete balance up until then. Now I think Mike just goes with the flow, which seems to me to be flowing all in the wrong direction, sadly. Although having heard a couple of these new songs, I am feeling slightly hopeful. They are infinitely better than the last few REM albums I heard.

    Personally, I push the beginning of their “steadily downward” spiral all the way back to Out of Time, but I’m a purist like that…

    Julie — July 8, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

  • wonderful post – thanks

    motovres — July 8, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  • you’re spot on, as always. Sweetness Follows keeps calling me back, even if i thought i was the only one that really (really) liked it (until now). Electrolite and New Test Leper are also some of my favorites.

    Maybe we actually have something to look forward to in the new R.E.M. album. I never thought i’d hear myself say that again.

    jojoware — July 8, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

  • This is a great gift. I’m someone that missed R.E.M on the first pass. I tried to find subsequent bands with a similar sound. While I’ve enjoyed them, R.E.M is one of a kind. I can’t take them for granted. I’m just glad they’re out there in the world again.

    debs — July 8, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

  • holy mp3 blog, batwoman! this is incredible….

    Bruce — July 8, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  • wow… thanks for the upload… i was just thinking lately it would be awesome to hear some live REM… i want to see them live someday… Michael Stipe has such an awesome voice and i think he is sexy as hell… thanks…


    Thomas — July 9, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  • grrrreat! chance of getting the subsequent nights sets too?

    Anonymous — July 9, 2007 @ 9:10 am

  • Actually, it was a Bill/Peter vs. Michael/Mike vibe. Bill and Peter liked to be spontaneous and knock stuff out quick, while the Mikes were much more deliberate.

    Anonymous — July 9, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  • Bill Berry wrote the music for many of REM’s best songs, hence the fall off in quality after his departure. That’s my take on it at least. Thanks for posting this.

    Wally Bangs — July 10, 2007 @ 7:53 am

  • This is why I love you.

    Dan — July 10, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  • Thank you Heather for this fantastic post!!

    Suz — July 10, 2007 @ 8:37 am

  • Thanks, anonymous…after I wrote “Bill/Mike vs. Michael/Pete” I thought to myself: Is that the right grouping?

    I’m not so sure it is the loss of Bill the individual so much as it’s the imbalance caused when a foursome is suddenly a trio. Everyone’s role suddenly shifted. I still love my boys, but they were never the same…but neither was Bill, for that matter…

    Julie — July 10, 2007 @ 11:48 am

  • With ATS they lowered the bar enough to make them almost totally irrelevant, so any improvement is welcome. Most of these tracks show a possible big improvement on ATS but we’ll have to see how the record shapes up. Yes, the loud tracks have the fire of Monster but still appear to lack the passion and invention of old (LRP). REM no longer excite me but then they’re not really REM anymore are they? Their first 8 albums are quite simply the greatest musical catalogue I’ve heard. Period. Lets hope at the very least they can make me smile one last time even though they should have departed, reputation intact, a long time ago……

    Anonymous — July 19, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  • lets hope the new album rocks, not like around the sun and up .

    Anonymous — July 23, 2007 @ 11:48 am

  • Thanks for posting these!

    I met Peter Buck at a party one time. I told him that Hi-Fi was one of my favorites, and that I never understood why it didn’t sell well. After thanking me, he said that it never found an audience.

    Anonymous — August 4, 2007 @ 10:54 am

  • Until the day is done was recorded in Canada and is 100% certain to be on the rec, as is On the fly and I’m gonna DJ

    Anonymous — August 6, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

  • Heather,

    I must have had my head up my arse and somehow managed to miss this. I’ve heard a few of these on other sites, but not the whole thing. Any chance of reposting?


    Anonymous — September 17, 2007 @ 6:11 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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