Marking a significant moment for the multimedia artist and forefather of alternative rock, Michael Stipe will release a never-before-seen installation at Moogfest 2017. The installation will be a compilation of video footage he has shot over the years in New York City that explores desire and movement. Using Moog gear, Stipe will score the piece, marking his first solo composition ever. The installation will run continuously throughout the festival.
Stipe became involved thanks to festival’s exec producer Kai Riedl, a former member of experi-post-rock band Macha. It’s thanks to the Athens, Georgia connection, that Riedl and Stipe have been friends for 20-odd years.
“Over the last decade, Michael has expanded his futurist leaning and artistic output through various projects, many of these with imagery and film he’s shot himself,” says Riedl of Stipe’s involvement. “During this time, largely as a member of R.E.M., he has also worked often with Moog synths. This installation presents a unique opportunity to wed these two worlds in a multimedia experience and to expand on his explorations as a solo artist. Stipe has always had a futurist yet Southern leaning style and has had a rich history of creating in the South, so having Moogfest in the region of his hometown of Athens made it all the more appealing. In addition, Stipe has always been a voice for equality, new creative possibilities and futurist ideals—many of the same pillars of Moogfest.”
Here is a NY Times interview from last year that serves as a prediction to Michael Stipe’s return to live performance. He has joined his good friend, Patti Smith at several of her concerts including her birthday celebration on 12/30/16 at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago.
It’s rejuvenating to have R.E.M. back in the spotlight with media press events, interviews etc. They are working to promote the 25th Anniversary deluxe reissue of their break through Out of Timerecording. The video segment Michael Stipe conducted with Willie Geist NBC’s Sunday:TODAY was instrumental in understanding how Michael Stipe visualizes the captivating lyrics he has created to the songs he illustrates.
“I don’t hear music I see it. My job as a lyricist is to close my eyes and hear the peaks and the valleys, see the landscapes the vista that the band has created sonically. I then have to create a story.” Micheal Stipe does this better than any lyricist I have heard in my lifetime.
I am jazzed Michael wants to work in music again. He is starting by producing “SIR” an album by the electroclash group, Fischerspooner.
I was watching the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon when I heard Jimmy mention that Michael Stipe would be performing a tribute to David Bowie. I did everything in my power to stay awake for Michael’s performance. I had been missing his soulful voice. I wasn’t disappointed.
I don’t get HBO on my Optimum Cablevision system. I was thankful that Rolling Stone Magazine posted information that the full HBO Nirvana Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 induction ceremony was available on YouTube.
If you love Grunge Rock and emotionally inspirational live music performances you should watch the 38:39 YouTube HD video segment. It also includes the three-minute video intro, featuring archival commentary from Kurt Cobain and reflective asides from drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic.
“It is the highest calling for an artist, as well as the greatest possible privilege, to capture a moment, to find the zeitgeist, to expose our struggles, our aspirations, our desires, to embrace and define their time,” he says. “That is my definition of an artist. Nirvana captured lightning in a bottle. – Micheal Stipe, R.E.M. Induction Speech”
There are four wide-ranging performances, with Grohl, Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear joined by four female rock icons. Joan Jett helps out with a seering “Smells Like Teen Spirit”; Sonic Youth vocalist-bassist Kim Gordon adds abrasive wails to “Aneurysm”; St. Vincent’s Annie Clark helps out with “Lithium” and Lorde assist on “All Apologies.”
I have read a great deal about last night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 Induction. Thanks to the eye of the camera lens which captured two wonderful “emotional” moments that took place for Nirvana. How could the music of our heart not be consoled and glad for all.
“I’m probably going to cry. I’m already crying because he’d be so proud. He’d say he wasn’t, but he would be. I just miss him so much. He was such an angel,” said Kurt Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, after Nirvana was inducted. Cobain was 27 when he died.
Many Nirvana fans were probably holding their breath last night when Courtney Love walked up to the podium. She’s done little to mask her feelings about Dave Grohl over the years and one never know what she’ll say in front of an open microphone. But Courtney seemed overwhelmed by the moment — particularly after watching Kurt Cobain’s mother cry — and she completely abandoned a long speech she prepared and used the time to pay tribute to her Nirvana “family,” speaking for no more than a minute. When she got to “Mr. Grohl,” she teared up, walked over and gave him an enormous bear hug. It was one of the emotional high points of an extremely emotional night, and a very classy move for Courtney.
Record Store Day 2013 is two weeks from today, Saturday April 20th. I still haven’t figured out where I will be shopping on that day. But I’m working on it 😉
I purchased the book, Record Store Days, written by Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo to celebrate the upcoming semi-annual treasure hunt. The book underlines a major passion of mine, it’s written by record collector enthusiasts for vinyl lovers everywhere. The book tells the story of the development of record stores which has become a threatened species.
Peter Buck of R.E.M. fame wrote the foreword where he shares with us his history of working at record stores. He met Michael Stipe while working at Wuxtry Records in Athen, Georgia and they each discovered they were looking to form a band. His favorite record stores are in Seattle, Washington, most notably Easy Street Records which I have yet to frequent but plan to next time we visit Seattle. May that be soon 🙂
The book is a delightful read. We learn about the origin of record stores and the brave owners who built them. Its well illustrated with 150 photographs of record stores, owners, consumers, and artists.
There is text dedicated to Russ Solomon and Tower Records. I made a special point of visiting Tower Records on Sunset Strip, Hollywood, California in 1978. I was managing the record department at Caldors a discount department store chain in Stamford, Ct. in those days.
Ameoba Music is also featured in the book. I went to Ameoba Music in Hollywood on my birthday a couple of years back .It’s the world’s largest independent music store I found it a cavernous store with a sea of product to choose from and I loved being overwhelmed like that as a music collector.
There is a chapter dedicated to in-store appearances which I get to on occasion. I saw Los Lobos perform an in-store at Tower Records in the Village when The Ride was released in 2004. They performed on the street level of the store that day and then did a signing on the second floor walk up. I always find Los Lobos to be very accommodating to their fans.
All in all this is a cool, fun book that I plan to finish before Record Store Day 2013 😉
I purchased R.E.M.‘s latest double CD, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011.
I don’t consider this a repackaging of their music or a larger greatest hits collection. I a liken it to an opportunity to get acquainted with songs I don’t know and to reconnect to songs I have come to treasure over the years. The song that I reconnect with first of the 40 songs chosen by Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Michael Mills is “Leaving New York“. It was recorded for their CD, Around The Sun. Around the Sunis my second favorite album by R.E.M. after Automatic for the People.
“Leaving New York” is an eloquent song. You can feel the heart of Michael Stipe and his love affair for New York City.
The lyrics are so memorable, I especially love the vocal over vocal technique with the chorus being sung underneath the lyrics like a rhyme. It’s a beautiful haunting effect.
It’s easier to leave than to be left behind
Leaving was never my proud
Leaving New York, never easy
I saw the light fading out
I told you, forever
I love you, forever
I told you, I love you
I love you, forever
I told you, forever
You never, you never
You told me forever
R.E.M. published their “collective” and individual sentiments about ending R.E.M. as a “band” on their Web site today. I wasn’t surprised to see their announcement when the news appeared in my Facebook stream. I have anticipated a major fundamental change from the members of R.E.M. ever since they released Collapse Into Now.
Personally as a 30+ year fan, I am grateful for their music and activism accomplishments. I am genuinely excited for Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills individual future growth however they each define that.
R.E.M.’s Collective Statement
“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.” R.E.M.
As a couple who have been very moved by your art, we extend our deepest regards to all the members of R.E.M., past and present, for making the music of our heart enriched and full.
You have taught us that:
We offer in return with affection (taking liberties with one of your lyric stanzas…)
It’s the beginning of their next phase, as they grow it
In 2011 we face a new era of sweeping changes combatting an even deeper cynicism and intolerance. With Just Kids, her memoir of her friendship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti, 64, reminds us that innocence, utopian ideals, beauty and revolt are enlightenment’s guiding stars in the human journey. Her book recalls, without blinking or faltering, a collective memory — one that guides us through the present and into the future.