It’s The End Of The Blog As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
September 10, 2008
Well, it’s all over for now. The original mission of this site is completed, and I have written an entry for every song on every R.E.M. record that existed as of March 2007, plus every non-album track that I deemed worthy of consideration. I am generally quite proud of the results, and some of my favorite writing that I’ve done in the past few years has appeared on this site.
A lot of my favorite posts here are the ones in which I arrive at an idea about a song, or discover something in a song that I probably wouldn’t have found if I had never taken on this project, and spent so much time thinking about a body of work that I’d come to take for granted, or just accepted as good and pleasurable without thinking much about why the songs and the band have resonated with me for so many years.
I will definitely be writing about all of the songs on Accelerate at some point in the future, perhaps at some point in 2009. (I may also hit some songs I missed the first time around.) It’s important that I have some time to let those songs sink in — a lot of what made this site work is that I lived with all the music for quite a while — and I think it’s absolutely crucial to wait for the result (and aftermath) of the 2008 Presidential election to put the lyrics in their proper context.
This project would not exist were it not for Chris Conroy. I was stuck on writing up a Fluxblog entry, and I asked him what I should write about. He suggested R.E.M., and specifically “Let Me In,” and so I did. I realized that I could probably find something interesting to say about every R.E.M. song, and the thought of doing just that crossed my mind. A few days later, I saw a video by Ze Frank in which he advises his audience to execute every idea they have, and I felt like a gauntlet had been thrown down, and I had no choice but to go for it. I recommend that all of you take Ze Frank‘s advice to heart.
I would also like to thank my friends Eric Harvey, Bryan Charles, Mike Barthel, J. Edward Keyes, Maura Johnston, Susan Broyles, Karen Broyles, and Hannah Carlen for their feedback and support throughout the life of the project.
Thanks to Scott Lapatine and the Stereogum crew.
Thanks to Ethan Kaplan and Murmurs.com
Thanks to Bertis Downs, David Bell, and everyone at the R.E.M. office.
Thanks to the readers of this site, most especially the regular commenters. I feel extremely lucky to have had such an amazing bunch of commenters on this site. In addition to being exceptionally civil and well-behaved, I could always count on you all to provide your own thoughtful commentary, bring up interesting bits of trivia, offer words of encouragement, or go off on your own little tangents. You are the most enthusiastic and generous audience a blogger could ever hope for, and I really appreciate your attention and support.
Thanks most of all to R.E.M. themselves, for doing what they’ve been doing for all these years.