Saturday, December 1, 2007

Unseen Power of the Picket Fence

"There's some bands I'd like to name-check/And one of them is REM."
And so begins Pavement's contribution to the alterna-compilation benefiting AIDS research and education, No Alternative. This homage to REM, the Athens-based band that made college rock mainstream, pays tribute to the band's influence on Pavement. Like any dedicated fan, SM describes both what made REM important (left standing after Sherman rapes the South) and disappointing ("Time After Time" was my least favorite song...). SM offers a song-by-song audit of REM's best (and earliest) work while relating the band's cultural significance to a fallen and broken South.

Some reporters asked REM front man Michael Stipe what he thought of the Pavement track. He was insulted they didn't like "Time After Time" but he was honored to be name-checked by such up-and-coming indie band. According to indie rock lore, Stipe suggested that the band could play the song as if serenading him on an MTV special featuring the songs, bands and issues of the compilation. Pavement declined.

1 comment:

Chrisco said...

Of course by saying "Time after Time was my least favorite song", what you are saying is you really like the song, just less than the others, so that is really a high complement.