Every now and then the New Musical Express will refrain from over-hyping bad bands in favor of reporting musical news that eludes American journalists.
I didn't attend R.E.M.'s November 4th show at Madison Square Garden because they'll need to make a record better than Around the Sun before I drop another 50 bucks on one of their shows. But this one might have been interesting. NME reports that the band performed the unprecedented act of opening the show with "It's The End Of the World As We Know It" and opted for the political side of their repetoire including the seldom played "Welcome To the Occupation" and "Cuyahoga," simply introduced as a "song about Ohio" to massive booing. Michael Stipe barely addressed the audience at all, save something along the lines of "I really have nothing to say. I'll let the music do the talking." You'd think that the election results would have set the stage for a uncharacteristically sneering rendition of "World Leader Pretend," but this wasn't on the setlist.
Largehearted Boy is reporting that the Drive-By Truckers are playing the Bowery Ballroom on December 31st and January 1st. These guys make fantastic records, but I'm unfortunately always out of town whenever they hit Manhattan (which is a ton).
That said, I don't think I'll be seeing them this time either as I've already got Wilco tickets for 12/31. In fact, I'm guessing that a lot of people who would be interested in this DBT show have Wilco tickets for the 31st (the two bands should join forces at MSG). While there's nothing in theory stopping me from seeing DBT on 1/1/05, I'm assuming that general tiredness from the previous night's rock action will likely keep me away. Poor planning guys!