(Reposted from my blog)
I never manage to watch the Colbert Report when it airs, but I normally catch it a day late. My fiance occasionally watches it when it airs, and so he mentioned to me that R.E.M. had been on it on Wednesday night... meaning that I watched it last night.
Now I was a HUGE R.E.M. fan in high school. In fact, I think R.E.M. is a lot of the reason why I became this strange part hippie, part grunge type person (later supplemented by goth and punk). The first time I heard R.E.M. was 1989, when I was a freshman in high school. The song was "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (oddly enough, in the movie Dream a Little Dream). And so I was hooked.
Of course, I became a fan of the band right as they were finishing up the tour for Green, and then they opted to not tour for several years. I finally got to see them live when I was a senior in college, in 1995. I have very distinct memories of that show--it was September, it was colder than St. Louis had any right to be, and the show sucked. A lot. We missed seeing Radiohead open for R.E.M. because we were running late, and I dropped my new R.E.M. T-shirt at some point during the trek back to the car.
Now I was already on the decline of being an R.E.M. fan by that point. Out of Time was fabulous. Automatic for the People was pretty good, but I was beginning to have my doubts. I hated Monster (1994), though I think if I gave it another listen now, I might change my mind. But basically, by the fall of 1995, I was disillusioned.
And stayed that way, for 13 years. My fiance had been trying to convince me to give the new R.E.M. a listen, but I was grumpy about it. But when I saw them on the Colbert Report, I told my fiance to go find the album (Accelerate) online and buy it. And it's good. It's really good. So it would appear that I have four albums to catch up on, and am going to have to give Monster another listen.