The guys are here in town writing/demo-ing for the new record, revisiting some of the vanc bc stuff. Lots of new tunes too: lush and atmospheric…. just kidding! No attempt here to describe it other than to my ears it sounds wonderful… some working titles I have seen up on the board include “Magnetic North,” “I Wanted to be Wrong,” “Around the Sun,” “Mike’s acbgd” (or something) and “Wanderlust”; it’s been great having them all here. The band will be heading into the studio in the next few weeks. We’re hoping for a fall record and hopefully will be touring some of the places we didn’t on the ‘03 tour (and some of the ones we did).

Meanwhile, Warners is preparing to release a DVD of the band’s first concert-film since 1995’s “Road Movie.” All I can say after seeing what Julia Knowles did with the film is that it might be an even better film than it was a show (and it was a pretty rocking show!)—-she captured a magical night in a warm and singular way; Perfect Square indeed. I can’t wait to get to share this one with friends, and the legendary and rarely-screened documentary “A Stirling Performance” (from Scotland in 1999) is the “bonus content” (gotta have it). We had just started the website in 1999 in time for the tour (after famously declaring that we had secured the title “last band in the world without a website”).

And speaking of the band and all its visual glory, be sure to check out HQTV on the site where you can see all kinds of cool and sometimes obscure R.E.M.-related videos, snippets, and EPKs–pretty entertaining and always on.

Anyway, a new year, new sounds coming.

Happy ‘04

All Best