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Tupac and R.E.M. are Officially History

Tupac-afeni-shakur  You may know you're getting up in years when the music that had a major impact on your generation and your own little life is deemed historically significant. 

That's what the Library of Congress is saying about Tupac and R.E.M. So thanks, Library of Congress. Because you know this is really all about my mortality. 

I kid, honestly, mostly. Fresh from cataloguing all tweets ever tweeted, the Library of Congress has added a new group of 25 musical works of art to its Recording Registry, meaning they are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant," or, one could assume, all three. Patti Smith's "Horses," Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter" and Willie Nelson's "Red-Headed Stranger" are on the list this year too, among a lot of other cool stuff that I should be listening to instead of all of the crappy new stuff I seem to be assaulted with lately.

I'm no music critic beyond how it makes me feel and what I like and don't, so I'll spare you any rambling about the whys and wherefores of lists like this. But I will recommend that you watch this clip for a peek at Michael Stipe's hair.  And pants. And maybe to marvel along with me that this clip is almost 27 years old. TWENTY SEVEN!

The LOC said R.E.M. paved the way for more indie releases by "breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio's general indifference." I wish I could remember, but I was 12 and therefore indifferent to everything, pretty much. My memories of the Green tour in 1989 are amazingly sharp, however. That was fun.

"Dear Mama" replaces "Nevermind" as the youngest recording to be included on this list, a whippersnapper of a song at 15 years old. FIFTEEN. Sigh. **Cane wobbles slightly.** It's also the third hip-hop work, in addition to Public Enemy's "Fear of a Black Planet" and "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. 

The LOC calls it "a moving and eloquent homage to both the murdered rapper's own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference." I can get behind that, yes? 

You know how sometimes you don't listen to something for a long time and you forget how cool it was and then you do and you remember? Yeah, that. 


You can see the official list here

. . . . .

Laurie still gets a little teary at "Night Swimming," every time.







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Comments

BaltimoreGal

REM's Green is one of the formative albums of my LIFE. Combine it with Document and I DIE.

Kathryn

R.E.M. = Best. Band. Ever.

Although, I was only 5 when Michael Stipe's hair looked as it did in that "Radio Free Europe" clip.




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