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August 10, 2004

To the fan who's mad R.E.M. joined the Vote for Change tour.

Boston Globe is running a story about fans being upset about musicians getting political. The article talks specifically about the Vote for Change tour, and features a photo of an R.E.M. fan who's not happy about R.E.M. getting involved in the tour.

I don't know all the artists on the tour, and certainly don't know details about their personal views, but have been following R.E.M. since Murmur was released back in 1983. I don't get too deep into musicians personal lives, but after 20 years of listening I picked up a thing or two, and certainly am aware of R.E.M's general ideas on political issues.

What I'm suggesting to this R.E.M. fan is it shouldn't be a suprise that they are involved in the swing state tour, given the lyrics in their songs and previous political involvement. A good chunk of their music is about historical, political, social, economical and environmental issues, and in general has a liberal slant. Someone has taken the time to put together a listing of all R.E.M. tunes with possible lyrical meanings.

Off the top of my head I can think of some more specific examples of R.E.M.'s involvement in polical issues:

Perhaps it is possible to listen to R.E.M. tunes and not hear the often subtle messages, but it seems clear to me they've been on the liberal side since R.E.M. time began.

Posted by mike at August 10, 2004 10:46 AM