02 March 2011

Duhberlin – UPDATE 2

The brand new video for R.E.M.’s fantastic new single “Uberlin” was released today via several media outlets (all listed here). Alas, the video is rubbish; now, I admit that I am visually retarded and not particularly interested in films and visual art(s), but this particular video sucks for at least three reasons:

1) it does not feature any of the band members (come on guys, you aren’t THAT old and grey!),
2) it does not relate to the song (okay I didn’t expect to see stars and meteors, but I expected at least… something), which brings me to 3),
3) it is just not interesting at all – it showcases a random dude doing random stuff. straight face

So yeah, if you thought that the video for “Mine Smell Like Honey” was lame, well this one is even lamer. As I have said before, they should not have bothered with filming this at all – they should have simply released the beautiful “lyrics video”, it would have worked much better.

As for Michael Stipe’s motivation for making and releasing these dumbass videos, it will become a bit clearer after you have read the second part of the interview from the latest issue of Italian Rolling Stone. The lovely Dol has translated the interview for us, so I have merged part 2 with the part 1 that we published a few days ago – find the entire interview here.

Our new staffer Kirsten has translated the next huge chunk of the German Rolling Stone feature. As we all kinda knew already, it was Michael Stipe who decided that they should not tour this year. sad Judging by this interview, Mike Mills was pretty disappointed with this decision, but Michael obviously used his right to veto the tour. crying He says that the reason for that decision was that he wanted to focus on other things. Well, if these little films are what he has been focusing on, then they definitely should have toured. straight face Anyway, read the interview here – I have merged all translations that Kirsten has done so far. Also, a huge thank you to Linda who did the proofreading!

Also in news, R.E.M. have announced the singles that they intend to release for the Record Stores day (17 April). Now, I’m trying not to get too excited about this, because last year they released Chronic Town on beautiful blue vinyl, but it was only available in the U.S. – and then the rest of us poor souls had to either accept the fact that we’ll never own that beauty, or splash £50+ on eBay for it. It would be nice if at least some of these new 7″ singles were available in the rest of the world, but we’ll see.

As for freebies, R.E.M. has teamed up with iTunes for an one-day promo offer to U.S. and U.K. fans; so, if you live in the States, you can download “Uberlin” for free today from iTunes store, while the British and Northern Irish fans can download “Mine Smell Like Honey”.

Finally, many thanks to folks from SiriusXM Radio for dropping by to tell us that Mike Mills will give a track-by-track preview of Collapse Into Now on SiriusXM’s The Spectrum (Sirius channel 18 & XM channel 45) this Friday, 4 March at 4pm ET and again on Saturday, 5 March at 12pm ET. If you don’t have a Sirius account, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.

By the way, if anyone would like to write a review for Collapse Into Now, please go ahead – we’ll be glad to publish it here! You can make it as long/short as you like, you can focus on individual songs or general observations, etc. Looking forward to reading your reviews! Oh and don’t worry if English is not your mother tongue, you can email your reviews to me or Linda, and we’ll be happy to edit them. happy

UPDATE: And here is a short but sweet review of Collapse Into Now by Entertainment Weekly’s Rob Harvilla. Btw, apparently there’s a Mike Mills interview in UNCUT, but I’m still debating with myself whether to buy that magazine because of their scathing review of Collapse Into Now. What do you think?

UPDATE 2: Kirsten has translated even more excerpts from the German Rolling Stone interview, so find them all here.

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22 Responses to “Duhberlin – UPDATE 2”

  1. Ivana Says:

    Many thanks for these translations ladies! I’ve submitted them for the newsfeed @ Murmurs, hope the submission will be approved soon. Seriously, that forum needs more administrators.

  2. Auctioneer Says:

    Grr… Michael… if I knew how to do an angry face smiley, it would be inserted here! First a rubbish music video, and now we know the real reason behind the lack of a tour. sad

    Still, it couldn’t have been easy last time they toured – a whole gruelling year on the road, playing concert after concert, and they’d probably get sick of playing the same songs night after night. I guess we can’t really blame him for being exhausted.

    Looking forward to Mills’ solo album – perhaps he’ll play “The Eagle” again? happy

    I’ll eventually post a whole review of “Collapse Into Now”, which I will gladly share with you here. Just give me a few days to construct a better, clearer opinion of the track (rather than “aw man, that’s soooo cool!” tongue ), and I’ll send you a link as soon as it’s done.

    Oh, and Ivana, about the piano track. Just want to check you haven’t forgotten about it, but there’s still no rush at all to record it, and I know this time of year is busy (I mean, CIN alone is enough to get us all excited!). I’ve set up a box.net account for the virtual band, to post the finished songs – that way we can share the track on our blogs! happy

    Yours truly,

  3. Kirsten Says:

    Yup yup, the video is, well… not good. At all.
    Now I’m really a very visual person and I like visual arts, but this I have no use for.

    I can only fully agree with you Ivana, and sorry that I’m repeating myself, but: No band members in the video, just some dude walking through the streets making strange moves (jumping? dancing?), what is this supposed to be, and what kind of audience is this supposed to attract? Certainly not R.E.M. fans, or at least not very many…
    In another context it might make sense and might have some appeal, but as a music video to an R.E.M. song (yes, please remember Michael: an R.E.M.(!!) song)??
    In no way does this do the song any justice, and it kind of destroys the song’s atmosphere.
    I want to see the band members (mind you, all of them, and not just Michael!) featured in their music videos. And I would love to see an atmospheric video that supports the song’s meaning and/or atmosphere, that caters to the song and dwells on the song.
    Please, no more strange art experiments that have nothing to do with the song, but I know this wish won’t be fulfilled sad

    BTW, thanks Dol for the translation!!!
    And wow, thanks Ivana for posting our translations in the Murmurs news!! happy

    On another note, the blue colored vinyl versions of Chronic Town are currently pretty cheap on eBay, around $20-30, and most sellers ship worldwide.

    And aren’t you all also excited about Mike’s statement that he will release a solo album someday? big grin

    Oh, and sorry for being a smart ass, but I think you meant “if you thought that the video for “Mine Smell Like Honey” was lame” winking

  4. Ivana Says:

    I haven’t forgotten about our cover project, don’t worry! I hope to be able to finally start working on it on Saturday. Can’t say Friday cuz I’ll be listening to Millsy on Sirius, and hopefully recording his talk. winking

    Oh and here’s an even better smiley: “at wit’s end” aka “losing my religion”! at wits end

    (find all Yahoo Emoticons here http://messenger.yahoo.com/features/emoticons/ and here http://messenger.yahoo.com/features/hiddenemoticons/

  5. Ivana Says:

    Lol yeah Kirsten I’ve just corrected, it is MSLH. happy I was still under the impression of the interview, you know, the very important font used for “Discoverer” and all. rolling on the floor

  6. Linda Says:

    You guys are tooooo funny! Auctioneer,may I adopt you?happy Oh wait….I would probably have to be ‘almost” your Granny! Ivana is the age of my eldest sonlaughing))I can adopt her…. I have already adopted Kirsten……..now all I have to do is begin to educate all of you on the relevance of the “art film” as a cultural phenomenon for the 21st century.nerd Oh hell……..rolling on the floor

  7. Kirsten Says:

    LOL Linda!! big grin big grin big grin

  8. Kirsten Says:

    Next part of the translation:

    “Oh My Heart”

    Mills: This is the sequel to “Houston”. It is our view of New Orleans and how the city dealt with the hurricane catastrophe and how it tried to recover. “Collapse Into Now” however is not at all a political album – perhaps because there’s less reason to be angry at the moment. We now have a president that we like, which is good. Of course there are some things that we are not happy with, but overall the situation has improved. And what we should not forget: Even our angriest songs always had an optimistic turn, at the end at the latest (can you say that? Or better “at least at the end”?). That’s simply us. We are always hoping that everything turns out well.
    Stipe: “Accelerate” was released during this absurd, insane moment of American history, when George W. Bush was president. Unfortunately, that still continues to have an effect, but nevertheless the times now are happier, although many people are having a hard time right now because of the depression. But at least we have a president we can trust, who is smart and who is not afraid of his own intelligence.

    “It Happened Today”

    Mills: One of my favorite songs! It has such a powerful ending: just voices lifted in the joy of singing. Joel Gibb of the Hidden Cameras sings in the bridge, Eddie Vedder at the end. Eddie is never obtrusive. But at the end you can still hear him through, he sings that chorus so beautifully, together with Michael and me. He dropped by in the studio in Berlin because Pearl Jam were on tour there at the time, and originally he just wanted to listen. He never wants to be the star of the show.
    Stipe: Sometimes it’s about the pure singing. The language doesn’t have to get in the way there, it’s just pure chant. However, it would have felt strange to bring out Eddie’s voice too much. One should not exploit that. The power of his voice still conveys when it is mixed with other voices. In this song it’s not about Eddie Vedder or Michael Stipe, it’s about the song. Maybe we disappoint some expectations with it, but like that it’s much stronger.

    “Every Day Is Yours To Win”

    Mills: A wonderful song on which we have worked brutally long. Sometimes I’m just a slow writer. Now it almost became a lullaby, that wasn’t planned at all. We just didn’t want to give up on the song. That happens sometimes, when you busy yourself for too long with a little piece of music. Then you end up like a dog chasing its own tail, and it comes to nothing at all. Here we only just managed to get our act together.

  9. Kirsten Says:

    BTW, here is some more info about the 12 art films for Collapse Into Now:

  10. Ivana Says:

    Do adopt me Linda! puppy dog eyes But I’m afraid that it’ll be completely impossible to educate me on the importance of art films. I guess I’m just an aural type of person – most musicians are, especially instrumentalists and composers. I suppose that’s why I can easily identify with Mike and Peter’s attitude to music videos (“we can’t be bothered…” ) To me, music always comes first, while lyrics and/or visual presentation are of secondary importance. One of the reasons why I appreciate the lyrics videos is that they actually drew my attention to lyrics.

  11. Linda Says:

    LOL Ivana….consider yourself another daughterbig grin As to the art films, as always, to each his(her)own. I really enjoyed the lyric videos( especially Uberlin) where the graphics told a story in themselves. It was really interesting to me to “see” the protagonist moving through Berlin, as we read his story, all the while listening to the beautiful story unfold. My son feels the same way you do(the drummer). His favourite videos are drum solos…go figurehappyAnd I thought the font for Discoverer was pretty cool……batting eyelashes)

  12. Linda Says:

    BTW…I will be happy to edit anything needed. Just send it to lindasommerville@hotmail.com and I will take care of it. Those schoolteacher skills still have a placehappy

  13. Auctioneer Says:

    Dol and Kirsten are translation machines! not worthy

    Don’t know if anyone’s posted this yet, but there a film for “It Happened Today” too. You can see it here:

    Not bad… better than Uberlin at least, in the sense that you do actually feel like something is ‘happening today’, to paraphrase the song. The greyscale to colour change probably signifies this. Anyway, it’s pretty cool. happy

  14. Auctioneer Says:

    And Linda, I accept! thumbs up

  15. Linda Says:

    AW..thanks my Auctioneer son……big hug

  16. Kyle Says:

    The video is amazing, foolface!!! And it has given the song a huge boost in popularity. Relating to the song? The song about the toll of daily life and dreaming to do something spontaneous and different? Areyaserious?! It’s one of the more relevant videos around.

    And as your pun in the title of this post falls flat on its figurative face, please at least listen to the lyrics more closely to get yourself a proper pronunciation.

  17. Linda Says:

    Um….@Kyle. We love discussion about the music and lyrics, and videos, but name-calling isn’t necessary. We tend to be a respectful bunch here…even when we disagree with one another. Love to hear your ideas, but we would really appreciate having them expressed with more politeness pleaselaughing Ivana works VERY hard on this website and deserves everyone’s respect.

  18. Linda Says:

    OOPS…there is that annoying emoticon sneaking in again….Sorry…that does NOT belong there. I was inserting a happy

  19. Kyle Says:

    Hmm… I won’t bother anyone further on this website, but please note the levels of respect that Ivana uses in the article: “rubbish,” “dumbass,” “lame”… Respectful is hardly the word that comes to mind. I apologize that I didn’t clarify the playfulness intended behind the use of “foolface” in my previous post!

  20. Linda Says:

    @Kyle…sorry if i missed the playfulness….sad My response to you about Ivana’s choice of descriptive words would be that the comments made by Ivana( and debated by me, and heartily disagreed with re: the video), were made about a video(s)…..not directed at a person. Of course we are all disappointed that Michael chose this project over a tour, but some of us actually LIKE the videoswinking Hope you will continue to contribute. We love to hear others’ opinions.


  21. Linda Says:

    BTW…My reviews of the first 3 videos are on here somewhere….just can’t remember where…..hope you can find them and comment. big grin

  22. Hi there Says:

    Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

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