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October 02, 2008


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I have to admit that I don't understand your points about REM & Neil Young. I didn't understand the previous REM post, either. I don't hear "muddled" production on the early REM records, or production problems on Rust Never Sleeps. The latter sounds much more immediate than Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, which I like, but which has always sounded a bit stiff to me. As for REM, in my view, the songs are better on Murmur and Reckoning than the later stuff, certainly Document or Green, both of which also sound stiff to me, production and performance-wise. The relative obscurity in the lyrics certainly has no bearing on this sense.

Dunno, not that it matters much, we simply differ, but effectively I have almost no idea what you're talking about with respect to these artists (both of whom I have spent a lot of time listening to). Weird!

re: krautrock... yeah, it's weird that it's seen as a genre... the main bands involved have nothing in common!

As for Neu!--I was really surprised by them. Since, like you, Stereolab was how I got interested them, before the reissues, I expected a certain type of sound (and I was coming from the Transient Noise Bursts period of Stereolab). Only one or two of the tracks on Neu!2 have ever really met my pre-conceived notion (by the way, because of budgetary issues they were having--I think--half of that album is simply speeded up or slowed down versions of other tracks on the album). Anyway, I still haven't been able to warm to the first album. 75 is my favorite of the three...

You referred to a lack of interest in Faust earlier... which records have you heard? I think the second album, So Far, is my favorite, plus I like Faust IV. I need to spend more time with The Faust Tapes. Oh, I see you mentioned them here.. which one did you pick up? which Can albums do you know? (I love Can.)

Well, what can I say: I know a lot of people will disagree with me on the R.E.M. thing; many people really hold the early albums as the band's high point. I like the records, but I do feel the band improved beyond them in a variety of ways. The production on Rust Never Sleeps isn't exactly bad so much as... weird. But compare the sound of Neil's guitar on the acoustic tracks to, say, anything on Harvest. It's so much warmer on the latter record.

Neu! 2 is the one I've yet to hear, though I'll probably pick it up very soon. I feel compelled to complete the set this year. As for Faust - it wasn't so much that I was uninterested them; I held their albums in my hands countless times, only to put them down in favor of something else. Going on nothing more than their album covers, I always got a bit of a goth vibe which scared me off. At any rate, I just picked up Faust and Faust So Far earlier this week. I've yet to spend a lot of time with them but I am liking So Far... so far.

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