Friday, August 17, 2007

Hope Despite the Times?

I've made my peace with the idea that R.E.M. might never make another great -- or even very good -- record. In general, what fuels my doubt is the almost-ironclad rule that rock bands decline as they age; the more specific fuel being everything that's happened since Bill Berry left the fold, which is now a good decade ago. Of course, what keeps my last ember of hope burning is that they are the greatest band to ever grace the planet. Arguments against this fact will not be entertained.

Well, the guys have been recording new material in Ireland, and they recently played a series of what they called "live rehearsals" at a small theater in Dublin. Word is, the shows were pretty great. So I went searching for a clip of the performances (only to find YouTube overflowing with them), and I'll be damned if the medley of brief moments below doesn't stoke that ember a bit.


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