Thursday, August 4, 2011

Well, they have similar hairstyles

There are huge, overwhelming, incredible, massive amounts of music that are released all the time. A ton of music was released this year. A ton of music was released when I was 20. A ton of music was released the year before I was born.

Because of this huge volume of music, it's no wonder that we get confused at times.

As you know, Liz is in the middle of listening to 1001 albums. Liz is significantly younger than I am, and she is therefore discovering some of these albums for the first time. This allows her to offer a refreshing take on the quality of the music, unaffected by what else may have been going on at the time that the albums were originally released.

In that spirit, she recently reviewed the R.E.M. album Document. Here is how her review began:

So, R.E.M. is one of those bands that I've never entirely cared for. A while back I watched "Man on the Moon" and they did the theme song for it. That was my first real taste of R.E.M. and there's just something about the tone of Moby's voice that I never really latched onto.

This album was more of that good ol' Moby. Wikipedia says that they're "college rock" whatever that means. They have a sound that is a little bit psychedelic with the wailing guitars and the constant and Doors-like hypnotic drum beat. There is also the mumble-y sound of Moby's voice that makes me feel like on a smidge bit of mushrooms while I listen.

Now I can agree with most of what Liz wrote...with one exception. Because of her unfamiliarity with the band, she got a teeny bit confused about one itsy bitsy detail. Some of you spotted the error immediately. Some of you have no idea what I'm talking about. Some of you are surprised to learn that Moby was the lead singer for R.E.M. before launching his solo career.

He wasn't. For those who don't know, the lead singer of R.E.M. is Michael Stipe.

The whole episode got me thinking. There are some obvious differences between Moby and Stipe, but there are also some similarities - and I'm not just thinking of the hairstyles.

Both artists, in their own ways, are willing to experiment with different musical styles.

Both artists, in their own ways, are extremely open to collaboration.

And guess what? They've both performed together, along with some guy named Bono (no, not Sonny Bono).

And I find it entirely appropriate that when Stipe and Moby got together, they performed a Neil Young-Bob Dylan medley.

It's too bad that Bono didn't shave his head for the event.
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