A paper weight, junk garage

I’ve been a big fan of Pop Songs since the day I realized that fluxblog* writer Matthew Perpetua had another place on the internet–a place where he planned to write about every single R.E.M. song.

It’s a great site, too. I know that I posted some big ol’ R.E.M. nostalgia not too long ago, and I also know that one of these days I’ll write my big essay detailing how Up and Monster are not the Death of Good R.E.M. like so many critics/fans think. I also know that it takes a special kind of fan to tackle this kind of project, so my hat goes off to Perpetua.

Anyway, shortly after he finished the project–running out of “every song on every R.E.M. record that existed as of March 2007”–Michael Stipe contacted him and essentially said, “hey, I’ll answer some questions, whatcha got?” which must sort of be like getting a call from Bill Clinton or a letter from Bill Gates.

Some of the stuff is pretty amazing, too. Check it:

2. There is a song on Green called “untitled” what was your thoughts on a possible title at the time? Was there a working title for the eleventh untitled song from Green? I heard it was So awake, Volunteer. Any others?

at the time it was really cool to have unlisted, ‘hidden’ tracks for the fans, and that was ours. Its untitled because we just pretended like it didn’t exist. I really wrote it to my Mom and Dad, from the road. We basically toured the entire 1980’s and I didn’t see my family much.

What’s amazing to me is that all throughout, we’re left thinking about what it must be like to be Michael Effing Stipe, but with this anvil of humanness smacking us on the head–“I didn’t see my family much.” So little that he wrote a song to them like some of us might write postcards. Under it all, these dudes are people, after all.

The answers to the questions are collected as Ask Michael Stipe. Much like the blog itself, these entries have me rediscovering individual R.E.M. songs all over again. Awesome.

*btw, fluxblog looks a lot different nowadays, eh?

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