31 January 2011
Exactly a year ago Elena and I launched this website, a tribute to R.E.M.’s “secret weapon”, the phenomenal multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Michael Edward Mills! Our idea was to showcase the many sides of his talent, and to celebrate his (and his band’s) legacy. Hope we’ve fulfilled this goal, and we’re really glad that this unpretentious website has attracted lots of visitors, and even formed a nice and friendly community of regular visitors and contributors! Thank you friends, we couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for you!
As a small anniversary treat, I’ve made a new Mike Mills video – I’ve chosen one of his best vocals ever: a cover of Bo Diddley’s “Road Runner”, recorded in 1994 for the soundtrack of the feature film Backbeat. This cool little movie documents the early days of The Beatles, and the supergroup that was gathered together to do the soundtrack (a.k.a. The Backbeat Band) had a difficult task of reproducing the early Beatles’ raw rocknroll sound. Of course, they did it superbly, and the soundtrack itself was actually received better than the movie! So, here’s Mr Mike Mills, in the stellar company of Dave Pirner, Thurston Moore, Greg Dulli, Don Flemyng and Dave Grohl! Hope you like the video, and many thanks to Kirsten who has sent me literally thousands of gorgeous screencaps, some of which I used for this video.
Stay tuned, and perhaps later we’ll be able to post the new video for “Mine Smell Like Honey” as well!
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UPDATE: And finally, here’s the very first official video for “Mine Smell Like Honey”, the first single (U.S. only) from Collapse Into Now. Lol, it’s a weird video, to say the least. I strongly object to the fact that it is like the video for “Animal” i.e. completely Stipe-centric, while the rest of the band is nowhere to be seen. Boo!!! Anyway, click on the link above to watch the video – it should work in the U.K. and possibly the rest of the world. Meanwhile the U.S. fans should use the AOL link.
Phew! If you thought that the video was weird, here’s Mike’s explanation re: what the hell they were thinking about, courtesy of Spinner:
R.E.M. are not just Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, they’re also are one of the most successful video acts of all time, with clips like ‘Everybody Hurts,’ ‘Nightswimming’ and ‘Losing My Religion’ earning them the MTV Video Vangaurd Lifetime Achievement Award.
As bassist Mike Mills tells Spinner, videos have always been important to the group. “We figured if you were going to do them, you might as well do them well,” Mills says. “We’re also lucky in that Michael [Stipe] has a great visual sensitivity. He’s really good with anything in the visual art world, so we started out ahead of the game.”
Their latest visual opus is no exception. Directed by Dominic DeJoseph, the clip for ‘Mine Smell Like Honey,’ the lead single from the forthcoming ‘Collapse Into Now’ album, is an homage to one of the film industry’s all-time greats. “With this one, it’s a reference to the old Buster Keaton silent film kind of days of pratfalls and just watching people look like they’re getting hurt when they’re really not,” Mills says.
Where did the concept come from? “There’s a lot going on in that song,” he says. “It’s got a lot of propulsion and moving forward and so I think the idea of movement is what contributed to that video being like it is.”
While the new album has fans extremely excited, R.E.M recently announced they wouldn’t tour in support of the record. “We’ve made an album that we really love and I think it can sink or swim on its own, so I think we probably won’t be doing any shows at all,” Mills says. “We don’t have any planned at this point.”
“We’re doing a bunch of videos for this record and they’ll be non-standard; they won’t be like the videos you used to see on MTV,” he adds. “We had dinner with several of the guys who are making videos for this record and they were excited about it. I don’t want to be the spokesman for their ideas; I’d rather wait for their videos to come out and let you see what they were thinking. But I know they’re all talented guys and we’re going to have fun with it.”