The story of REM in 9 albums

Their mandolins were clearly Out Of Time in 1991.
Bolstered by success, the next album was to be Automatically For The People.
Fame can be scary, why don’t we scare the fame with Monster?
Adventures in HiFi were to be had during their first tour in years.
Falling to their knees when the drummer left, they stood Up again.
What they thought of the new millennium was Revealed in 2001.
To find new inspiration, they flew Around the sun.
They Accelerated again, but the thrust was not enough.
At the end, to escape the never-ending cycle of rebirths, they Collapsed Into Now.

They’ve been in the present moment with us ever since, part of our collective conscience. Thank you!

(I’ve been a fan since early nineties when my English teacher at the University gave me a tape with Fables of the Reconstruction on side A and Life’s Rich Pageant on side B)…

Books I’ve read recently – Neil Young’s autobiography Waging Heavy Peace

I’ve recently read some very interesting books (I have the time now, as I am recovering after a small surgery – which is the upside of the whole business). One of them – Neil Young’s autobiography Waging Heavy Peace – I read in only three days, two of which in hospital. I started already the evening before the surgery when I came to hospital. The doctor who came to see me on the eve of the operation even asked me, jokingly, how long I expected to be in the hospital, as the book is quite long – it has 500 pages. (like some of Neil’s songs, or solos, one could say…). I enjoyed it a lot. It’s written in the first person and you feel as if Neil was talking to you personally – at times he actually is and it is very nice feeling. You feel like calling him up and asking what he is doing….
In the book, he talks a lot about his hifi pono music player. He seems to be really enthusiastic about it. He says he is fed up with the low quality of the streamed music. We’ll see if his project picks up, I’ve read opinions that you are not generally able to hear the difference between music streamed at 320 kbps and the pono’s lossless format of 1411-9216 kbps. It depends on a whole range of issues I guess, the speakers, the headphones etc… I keep my fingers crossed for his project to succeed, though. I recently bought my first pair of hifi headphones and can say it is a great difference if you use good headphones or not. So maybe it will be the same with his format after all and people will start appreciating it. It’s funny now that, as I have this new pair of headphones, I tend not to choose music which I like musically, but, rather, which is well-recorded technically… E.g. I really like the way Neil Young’s song Heart of Gold is recorded (and written). The sound is intense, full… It’s a beautiful song recorded in a beautiful way. And then, another beautiful song of his, Harvest Moon, has not got such a beautiful sound, even though it is also a great song. It sound a bit flatter… Don’t know. Sometimes it is I guess better to listen to music on speakers so that you don’t hear everything in detail, but, rather a song as such, as a whole…
Have a great week, folks!

The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia of 21 August 1968 – 46 years on

Forty-six years ago, the armies of the Warsaw Pact under the Soviet command invaded the independent Czechoslovak republic and crushed the burgeoning democratization process. The dreams and hopes of millions of Czechs and Slovaks were crushed for a generation. Thousands of people emigrated to the West, their family members who stayed behind were subjected to persecution. Those who did not agree with the invasion and subsequent occupation were forced to leave their jobs, they could not study, travel. The Czech and Slovak societies were to be marked for a long time. Let’s not forget this day.