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Adam Scott Aukerman return once again to discuss R.E.M.’s eleventh studio album, Up. We’ll hear of typewriter faults, fan-submitted sequencings, and their shared love of the Doobie Brothers before they dive into R.E.M.’s first album as a trio. Plus, they describe kissing styles during an episode of “What’s Your Kiss Style?”

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Midshow comment:

 

Self is great! Matt Mahaffey's project from the mid-90s was a favorite. For a time, in 2005-2006, Mahaffey was in Beck's touring band (and did a couple of b-side recordings with him), but beyond that I haven't heard anything of him in awhile. Thanks for the reminder, Scott!

 

Also that new song with McDonald and Loggins is "Show Me The Way" on Thundercat's album, Drunk. :)

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Man, I knew this would be an interesting one. Up is one of my favorites, owing largely to when it came out in my life, i.e., early college years. Soooo much deeper and more complex than all the stuff the FRAT BOYS listened to. "You're In The Air" was the soundtrack to the tortured love obsession angst that I still hadn't really experienced but could totally see myself experiencing with the right person.

 

I don't think this album needs the hatchet as much as "Hi-Fi" did, but maybe that's just because I dug the sound so much, it's an album for a long rainy afternoon. But I could still mostly get on board with both of their resequencings. "Suspicion" still belongs on side 1, maybe just further back than track 3, and I'd save "Parakeet" over "Diminished", I love the dreamy imagery of that song.

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I think Scott is too attached to some very specific rules of song structure. Which is weird when you remember that he loves Radiohead.

 

They should've realized early on that they really should've done all one person's playlist and then the other! I disapprove of Scott's exclusions, but putting Airportman at the end was pretty cool.

 

My ranking of the songs on R.E.M.'s most underrated album, and their last great one:

 

1. Falls to Climb

2. Suspicion

3. Lotus

4. Daysleeper

5. Hope

6. Diminished

7. Parakeet

8. Why Not Smile

9. At My Most Beautiful

10. Walk Unafraid

11. The Apologist

12. Airportman

13. I’m Not Over You

14. Sad Professor

15. You’re in the Air

 

My ranking of the albums so far:

 

1. Automatic for the People

2. Document

3. Up

4. Green

5. New Adventures in Hi-Fi

6. Monster

7. Lifes Rich Pageant

8. Fables of the Reconstruction

9. Murmur

10. Reckoning

11. Out of Time

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Def agree there about Scott's attachment to song structure -- esp. for REM, who totally flaunted such things throughout their career. It's one of their best attributes!

 

That said, I do think Scott was pretty dead-on with his comments about Up. I do love the songs on Up, always have, it's a rich work with a lot of intriguing songs. But I find if I listen to any one song on Up, I'm into it... but listening to it as a whole somehow feels like a bit of a slog. Either it's too long or just needs a couple more fun pieces in there to lighten it up? I don't know. I've never been a rearranger of albums, but the Scott and Adam are making me think about this more and more haha.

 

Favorite Up songs: "Hope" for sure, "Suspicion" is awesome. Have good memories with "Daysleeper" too. I've always had a nice place for "Airportman" too, weird as it is. Love Scott's idea of it closing the album.

 

"At My Most Beautiful" is gorgeous and even today when I hear it, I flash back to when they played it on Party Of Five (Adam never got around to telling this story!) (despite this, I have no recollection of Adam on the show).

 

Current album rankings:

1. Automatic For The People

2. Fables of the Reconstruction

3. New Adventures In Hi-Fi

4. Murmur

5. Reckoning

6. Out Of Time

7. Document

8. Monster

9. Up

10. Lifes Rich Pageant

11. Green

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Bit too much R.E.M. in this one

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Not that anyone asked, but my resequencing:

 

Upside

1. Lotus

2. Daysleeper

3. Hope

4. Suspicion

5. The Apologist

6. At My Most Beautiful

 

Downside

7: Walk Unafraid

8: Sad Professor

9: You're In The Air

10: Why Not Smile*

11: Parakeet

12: Falls To Climb

 

* Either the Oxford version, or the album one without quite so much wash drowning out the cool piano part

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Lots of missed opportunities to do an ep' of I Love Films.

 

I don't know if either of these guys are Smashing Pumpkins fans, but the history of this and production with the drum machines reminded me a lot of Adore, which came out March of 98 before this one. Just funny cause they bring up Kid A as a similar change of direction album.

 

I'm also halfway through the episode so maybe they bring it up later.

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