Some home, some still traveling… all adjusting to life of calm after months/years of what is also known as a touring cycle. After all this time of prescribed movement, and knowing exactly where we would be/what we would be doing months in advance, it takes a little getting used to just remembering who you’re supposed to have lunch with… must get a calendar. Meanwhile, without shows tonight, tomorrow, next week, next leg…the torrent of email is a more manageable trickle and the relief is palpable…no more shows, for the time being.

Here in Athens, normal routines are setting back in, university students are back, and so of course the impeccable timing of streets torn up all over downtown has ensued…. comforting somehow that some things never change. Here at the office it’s been fun going through material from the tour–mail, photographs, tapes–must find that definitive killer version of “Country Feedback”/”Man on the Moon” for the Christmas single!

No particular plans in the works–some time off for R.E.M. as R.E.M. My sense is that the guys will do some side projects with people/groups that interest them, and we will try to post any such news here at REMHQ, even during a naturally slower news cycle. This will be our first autumn in awhile without an actively marketed record, so I guess we will have a merchandise sale or something. Some of those collectable posters or t-shirts would make great gifts, so watch this space for the Fall Merch Clearance Sale-–otherwise the stuff sits around some warehouse.

One thing coming up that might be of interest to anyone in the Nation’s Capital area is the Future of Music Summit. Mike Mills and I will be on panels at this annual conference of artists, representatives, policy-types, activists, others interested in… the future of music, and more specifically how legal and policy frameworks respond to the technological changes affecting music and other content industries. The Future of Music Coalition has been very involved in the FCC issues affecting radio consolidation and presented the Billy Bragg/Tom Morello/Steve Earle Tell us the Truth Tour a couple of years ago (that Mike joined for several shows). For more, visit FutureofMusic.org. We are looking forward to the trip, as D.C. is always a highlight.

I guess that is about it from here at HQ, other than to list a few of my favorite readings of late (my personal best of the recent web):

-a particularly well put response to a guy from Pennsylvania who will probably run for President in 2008:


-some recent analysis of voting patterns in Ohio and Florida:




-a very practical effort towards a solution to voting fraud (going forward of course):


-so many players, you need a scorecard–a who’s who in the Rove/Novak/Miller brouhaha:


-a heartening piece on literature and politics in these times:


-a superb letter from one mother to another:


-finally, earlier this summer Bill Moyers posted a pretty thought-provoking analysis on TomPaine.com, a definite worthwhile read:


Happy End of Summer Everybody,