rem's 'ignoreland'

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i just realised i've completely exhausted just about every track on 'automatic...'

had forgotten about 'ignoreland' though. what a welcome kick in the pants! what a burst of rock vitriol! in all seriousness, great track

Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Monday, 18 September 2006 14:39 (fourteen years ago) link

"Desecrated otters, since 1972"

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 18 September 2006 14:45 (fourteen years ago) link

one of the worst political alt-rock songs and I'm huge REM fan

Florian Znaniecki (pyotreck), Monday, 18 September 2006 16:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Prefer "Whisper To A Scream" m'self. But Automatic remains a great album.

rogermexico (rogermexico), Monday, 18 September 2006 16:19 (fourteen years ago) link

aaaaahhhhh brooding duplicitous wicked able supercitizen superachiever [foams at mouth, runs around room in circles]

This is not a great song, objectively speaking, but something about it makes me act like an overcaffeinated Beavis.

Erroneous Botch (joseph cotten), Monday, 18 September 2006 17:32 (fourteen years ago) link

ignoreland? 'alt-rock'? beavis? what year are we in again?

^@^ (map), Monday, 18 September 2006 17:40 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm sorry, ^@^.

Kelis's "Bossy" makes me act like an under-Botoxed Crazy Frog.

Erroneous Botch (joseph cotten), Monday, 18 September 2006 17:55 (fourteen years ago) link

something about it makes me act like an overcaffeinated Beavis

it's the "yeah, yeah, yeah" background during the chorus. it just needs a few "heh heh"s

john, a resident of chicago. (john s), Monday, 18 September 2006 17:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I love it too, but REM themselves hate it. Anyone else think it's the Sloop John B of Automatic?

musicjohn73 (musicjohn73), Monday, 18 September 2006 18:04 (fourteen years ago) link

IIRC, it also boasts one of Mike Mills's very few instances of ill-advised slap bass use.

(Slap bass in the coda of "Finest Worksong" being awesome).

Erroneous Botch (joseph cotten), Monday, 18 September 2006 18:09 (fourteen years ago) link

when I was 11 all my favorite R.E.M. songs were the awkward 'funky' ones like "Ignoreland" and "Radio Song" and a part of me still kind of feels that way.

Alex in Baltimore (Alex in Baltimore), Monday, 18 September 2006 18:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Anyone else think it's the Sloop John B of Automatic?

I don't know that it sticks out as much as that one. Plus both songs kinda work because of their wistfulness ("Ignoreland" in that "they hypnotized the summer/autumn/winter" line).

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Monday, 18 September 2006 18:45 (fourteen years ago) link

In 92 I loved this song and thought New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 was the album's weak track. Now I think it's just the opposite.

someteenpartying (someteenpartying), Monday, 18 September 2006 18:53 (fourteen years ago) link

"Sloop John B" vs "Student Demonstration Time"

dave q (listerine), Monday, 18 September 2006 19:10 (fourteen years ago) link

"More Than Words" vs "Get The Funk Out"

David R. (popshots75`), Monday, 18 September 2006 19:12 (fourteen years ago) link

xxx-post You know what that album's most overlooked gem's gotta be? Hint: it got a raw deal.

Erroneous Botch (joseph cotten), Monday, 18 September 2006 19:12 (fourteen years ago) link

EVERYBODY HURTS

David R. (popshots75`), Monday, 18 September 2006 19:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Heh.

Erroneous Botch (joseph cotten), Monday, 18 September 2006 19:16 (fourteen years ago) link

"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" is by far my favourite song on the album. Most of the album bores me now although I loved it at the time. I just put on "Ignoreland." I like the guitar and bass sound (I remember it got Houses of the Holy comparisons at the time!) but Stipe made me cringe a little in a way I can't even really explain.

What happened in 1979? Did the Republicans pick Reagan as their presidential candidate?

Sundar (sundar), Monday, 18 September 2006 19:59 (fourteen years ago) link

i don't even remember what this song sounds like, which must mean it had me reaching for the skip button every time I playe automatic

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 18 September 2006 20:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Horrible song. I can't stand Automatic For the People anymore.

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Monday, 18 September 2006 20:11 (fourteen years ago) link

It's no "These Days.'

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 18 September 2006 20:15 (fourteen years ago) link

POX REM Songs That Are "These Days"

Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars)
Orange Crush
You Are The Everything
Losing My Religion
Cuyahoga
Try Not To Breathe
Strange Currencies
Radio Free Europe
7 Chinese Bros.
These Days

rogermexico (rogermexico), Monday, 18 September 2006 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link

What happened in 1979?

iran hostage crisis began.

i have no idea if that has anything to do with the song, but that was probably the most memorable thing that happened that year.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 00:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Awkward funk R.E.M. >>>>>>>>> Just about all other R.E.M.

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 01:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Just as long as we're talking about "Exhuming McCarthy" and not "Can't Get There From Here."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 01:32 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't really know either of those songs

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 01:36 (fourteen years ago) link

I love it too, but REM themselves hate it.

Details on this, if you have them? I'm intrigued. "Ignoreland" isn't a terrible song, but it's really out of place on Automatic, way WAY more than "Sloop John B" is on Pet Sounds - at least that one is of the same texture as the surrounding tracks to some extent. Even the other uptempo numbers on Automatic (uh..."Sidewinder" and...half of "Monty" I guess) manage to fit with the rest of the album's wistful moody coming-of-age thing a lot better than this half-baked screed. Slap bass aside, the effect on Michael's voice is TERRIBLE and makes the song feel played out the first time you hear it. The lyrics aren't really all that bad; the us-versus-them simplicity is appropriate to a polemic and he captures a citizen's outrage at the passing of events even if he fails to really articulate what it is that's so offensive about the Reaganites. One wonders if Stipe tried to write more lyrics that got into what exactly was being ignored in Ignoreland - the poor, minorities, AIDS? - and couldn't find a way to make it work.

Ultimately, though.... "Ignoreland" is okay. Probably the weakest of their "political rockers" and certainly not a song you think of when you think "REM." I'm sure it would have made a really excellent b-side, or could have dragged down Monster's second side with some effort, but I'm really not sure what it's doing on this record.

(I'd say just swap this with "Tongue," except that I think Monster works the better for having several songs that don't fit its official bill, and also, if "Tongue" is going to replace anything on Automatic it's stupid "Star Me Kitten"..)

[I'm still waiting for someone to write "In Gore Land," a parodic tale of the 2000 election and how different the world would be had things gone the other way...]

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 02:17 (fourteen years ago) link

'radio song' makes me shudder.

completely uncharacteristic of the rest of 'out of time' and one of the worst openers of any good record ever

Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 11:02 (fourteen years ago) link

"Ignoreland" got lots of airplay in South Florida – a bit more than "Drive" actually – despite not being an official single. I guess the election had something to do with it.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 12:41 (fourteen years ago) link

anything political in the right ways getting airplay is fair game with me

Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 12:43 (fourteen years ago) link

please don't interpret the above as a fucking pun.

exactly what i didn't mean

Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 12:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Just to clarify, what's wrong with Radio Song? It's jaunty.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 21 September 2006 15:09 (fourteen years ago) link

It's the mix of the hip-hop and the white funk. THey just blow away my puppy's mind.

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 21 September 2006 16:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Maybe it's my age at that point that counts, but isn't naffness an instrinsic part of the Green-to-Out of Time era's appeal? Y'know: day-glo videos, Michael Stipe's dancing, Mike Mills's everything. Actually kind of sexy naffness in a way, if you factor in K.Pierson.

Re: Ignoreland -- it's never going to be anyone's favourite REM song, but I love the way Stipe sings "undermine the social democratic downhill slide into abysmal" (or something like that.) He does long words better 'n Billy Bragg at least.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Thursday, 21 September 2006 19:50 (fourteen years ago) link

i cannot for the life of me recall the tune to this song although i played this album a lot 13 (?) years ago

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 22 September 2006 06:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Maybe it's my age at that point that counts, but isn't naffness an instrinsic part of the Green-to-Out of Time era's appeal? Y'know: day-glo videos, Michael Stipe's dancing, Mike Mills's everything. Actually kind of sexy naffness in a way, if you factor in K.Pierson.

Yeh definitely. I think their ironic Dadaist posturing was lost on most though. Everyone who says "I can't stand that Shiney Happy People Song, it's too jolly!" etc.

wogan lenin (dog latin), Friday, 22 September 2006 07:07 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

i still like 'ignoreland'. it speeds up the record unexpectedly. otherwise, 'automatic' is too sophisticated. feels like i should be savouring a slice of brie and a glass of shiraz while listening to it.

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 27 March 2008 17:55 (twelve years ago) link

"it speeds up the record unexpectedly."

yeh, rite, 'xactly!!
:)

(you wouldn't believe how fukken hard i laughed for full three minutes after i saw that sentence, heheh)

t**t, Thursday, 27 March 2008 20:38 (twelve years ago) link

p.s. after all these years - no love have i found in me for "ignoreland".

t**t, Thursday, 27 March 2008 20:39 (twelve years ago) link

glad you liked the observation. :)

i've also been noticing that 'the sidewinder sleeps tonite' has a really rough vocal delivery to it. really cool song - i actually like the way it sounds like m.s is contending with a layer of phlegm at the back of his throat while singing it. sounds really interesting juxtaposed with the really polished, refined delivery of 'everybody hurts'. funny lyrics too

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 27 March 2008 23:23 (twelve years ago) link

twelve years pass...

When I was younger I thought of this as some sort of weak link on the album, for some reason. Perhaps because it's not elegiac? Melancholy?? Anyway, for some reason it just came on the radio, and I turned it up, and it kicked ass.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 15 October 2020 00:32 (one week ago) link

Being mad at George H.W. Bush feels so fuckin’ quaint now.

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 00:40 (one week ago) link

not really

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Thursday, 15 October 2020 00:42 (one week ago) link

It’s really the only rock song of its type on either of the early 90s records, and thus it rocks in a strangely singular way that they never really did before or after this era

(ie. the idea of a few more “Ignorelands” from that period seems somewhat appealing to me now)

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 15 October 2020 00:48 (one week ago) link

listen to orange crush instead

mookieproof, Thursday, 15 October 2020 00:51 (one week ago) link

i like it mostly because it sounds absolutely amazing like the rest of the automatic, but i think that even tho it rocks a little bit more, it's using the same sonic palette as the sidewinder sleeps tonight and monty got a raw deal so it fits in on the album.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 15 October 2020 01:29 (one week ago) link

orange crush with eyeliner

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 15 October 2020 02:05 (one week ago) link

i didn't hear automatic for the people in full until like 1998, but this has always been my favorite track.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 15 October 2020 02:13 (one week ago) link

i like it mostly because it sounds absolutely amazing like the rest of the automatic

i kinda disagree? i mean, not that i don't think automatic sounds really amazing, i agree with that part.
idk how to explain this exactly, but the negative space on that album sounds INCREDIBLE. it's like the whole album is set against a pure black backdrop, or maybe like a dark void in the space between the instruments. it's crazy.

except for ignoreland. in ignoreland there's like a wash of background texture that wrecks it. i know this sounds really silly, but i swear.

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 15 October 2020 02:20 (one week ago) link

it's just like a gray wash to my ears. it doesn't have that cleanness, or that contrast. the emptiness on the other tracks is so incredible.

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 15 October 2020 02:25 (one week ago) link

i was in college when this came out; the predominant questions were whether the album as a whole rocked at all and was that acceptable, whether the 'man in the moon' references were too dorky, and whether 'nightswimming' was too gay

pretty sure no one then or now has ever really cared about ignoreland (or its ill-begotten child, electioneering)

mookieproof, Thursday, 15 October 2020 03:29 (one week ago) link

idk how to explain this exactly, but the negative space on that album sounds INCREDIBLE. it's like the whole album is set against a pure black backdrop, or maybe like a dark void in the space between the instruments.

This is so otm and also contrasts with the bright, airy space on Out of Time in a way that encapsulates the very different feels of the two albums, and why I greatly prefer Automatic.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Thursday, 15 October 2020 03:52 (one week ago) link

whether 'nightswimming' was too gay

I'm curious what you were picking up on in that particular song. Until Stipe's "equal opportunity lech" interview (in '94), I had never given particular thought to his sexuality, or noticed any kind of queer aesthetic in R.E.M. (though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that others, who were more attuned, did notice).

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 04:07 (one week ago) link

or noticed any kind of queer aesthetic in R.E.M.

...and yes, I know:

http://www.thebackseatdriverreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/shiny.jpg

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 04:10 (one week ago) link

i mean, it's a song about skinny dipping that goes "i'm not sure all these people understand/it's not like years ago/the fear of getting caught"

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 15 October 2020 04:45 (one week ago) link

Huh, I guess I just took those lines at face value (about skinny-dipping).

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 05:00 (one week ago) link

it could be read that way, or not, and i think the ambiguity is fitting, like the most tentative romantic advances where there's a plausible deniability

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 15 October 2020 05:03 (one week ago) link

(xp - and getting older, reflecting on the thrill of youth, etc.)

yeah, that's interesting... I'm feeling it.

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 05:05 (one week ago) link

As a whole, AFTP is a record which opens up a vast world when played very loud. The sound is beautiful and it becomes emotionally overwhelming, the photo of Stipe on the inner sleeve expresses exactly this feeling.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 15 October 2020 05:08 (one week ago) link

I just finished listening to it all the way thru (on headphones)... the final song reminded me of my friends and I trying to parse every lyric when it came out, and never getting "ginger, mint, and vetiver" right, until we finally read it somewhere (we had never heard of vetiver, I'm still not sure what it is!).

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 05:11 (one week ago) link

I don't hate Ignoreland but it seems like a song that deserves the production style of one of the earlier albums. And even compared to most of the rest of the album it's very cluttered-sounding.

JoeStork, Thursday, 15 October 2020 05:13 (one week ago) link

Hate this song so much. This was the REM album that made me fall in love with them and hoover up all of their releases, singles, bootlegs that I could find around my podunk town.

It's a perfect album except for this song, and it's a bad song within the context of AFTP or standing on its own.

I recently tried to go back and hear it with fresh ears. Maybe I could have accepted it as an instrumental on the album? Probably not. The lyrics are so plain and simple, they flop out and wriggle on the floor. Even the title of the song is a dud. It has absolutely nothing that I like about REM. It's as though Stipe was mad about politics and wrote an angry Facebook post at 1am and immediately decided to set it to music, unedited. Ugh.

Cow_Art, Thursday, 15 October 2020 10:26 (one week ago) link

I always read it as satire, it’s pretty gauche from a writer who absolutely wasn’t

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 15 October 2020 10:38 (one week ago) link

yeah I agree with all that. I hate this song. notably it is bad for the dumb slap bass & Stipey's braying vocal. also it's awfully smug. sheeple pop if you will.

All cars are bad (Euler), Thursday, 15 October 2020 10:41 (one week ago) link

er xp

All cars are bad (Euler), Thursday, 15 October 2020 10:41 (one week ago) link

"igNOREland!" always sounded a lot like "in YOUR land!", to me, which i always took as a nod to the idea of having living in someone else's world, their rules and norms, etc

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 15 October 2020 14:57 (one week ago) link

XP = there's no slap bass on Ignoreland, there is a clavinet though.

I feel like it's the apex of Stipe's dumb vocal tic from that era of repeating words as punctuation.

JoeStork is right, it's really cluttered with guitar overdubs that remind me of some half-assed version of what Vudi from American Music Club was doing around the time of 'Everclear', hate those big 'Hooo' backing vocals too.

The middle eight is great though.

The verse about 'vitriol' is so very bad.

bad

Maresn3st, Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:29 (one week ago) link

The song's a little clunky and dorky-sounding, but also sort of endearing (due to those same qualities)... it's never occurred to me to hate on it the way some of y'all do. Even my least-favorite songs of the band's classic era (e.g., "Oddfellows"), I don't really hate or think are outright "bad."

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:41 (one week ago) link

The only two REM songs I hate are "Ignoreland" & "Strange Currencies". There are a few others, mostly on New Adventures, that I dislike, but those two are just awful.

All cars are bad (Euler), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:48 (one week ago) link

I dislike some on NAIHF for sure (but that's where I get off the bus, anyway).

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:51 (one week ago) link

there are no bad tracks on new adventures

wack opinions itt

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:54 (one week ago) link

ignoreland is good

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:54 (one week ago) link

& I love "Oddfellows", I remember a trip to Athens in high school where I saw a sign for the local Oddfellows lodge & was so happy

All cars are bad (Euler), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:56 (one week ago) link

looking through the discography and the first r.e.m. songs i consider "bad" don't show up until reveal

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:56 (one week ago) link

The only good thing about "Bittersweet Me" is the cover of "Wichita Lineman" on the single, and it is a very good thing.

All cars are bad (Euler), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:57 (one week ago) link

xxp Just learned about that (via Genius.com) earlier today! I never knew that bit of lore, or what that song was actually "about" (Peewee, etc.).

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:58 (one week ago) link

this song is almost objectively bad on its own but I like it as a jolt of energy on what's otherwise a pretty sedate record

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:03 (one week ago) link

"Bittersweet Me" rules!

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:04 (one week ago) link

of all the songs on new adventures... "bittersweet me"????

one of their very best singles and songs

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:10 (one week ago) link

probably my favorite set of stipe lyrics ever too

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:14 (one week ago) link

To me, it felt like they were really repeating themselves for the first time with that song.

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:19 (one week ago) link

I do not like that song :/

brimstead, Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:25 (one week ago) link

oh my peer, your veneer is wearing thin and cracking

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:31 (one week ago) link

it felt like they were really repeating themselves for the first time with that song

I say this with love: between their 80s albums they have at least 50 songs that sound exactly the same

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:56 (one week ago) link

i know the band themselves weren't into "ignoreland"'s production but i kind of like the density, it's like this dark cloud of clashing ideas that stipe's trying to shout through

i have no issue with the lyrics. the paper's terrified to report anything that isn't handed on a presidential spoon, i'm just profoundly frustrated by all this, so fuck you man. fuck 'em!

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:00 (one week ago) link

"fuck 'em" otm, then and now

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:01 (one week ago) link

yeah i just looked up the video and this song rules. lots of wack opinions itt definitely

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:22 (one week ago) link

i mean it's evergreen, the latest xerox is pete buttigieg. fuck em.

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:23 (one week ago) link

between their 80s albums they have at least 50 songs that sound exactly the same

Gonna have to ask you to name a few!

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:41 (one week ago) link

(“7 Chinese Bros” / “Voice of Harold” don’t count 😉)

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:42 (one week ago) link

"The only two REM songs I hate are "Ignoreland" & "Strange Currencies". There are a few others, mostly on New Adventures, that I dislike, but those two are just awful."

Strange Currencies is kind of a perfect ballad, I just think you h8 ballads

rip van wanko, Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:46 (one week ago) link

"Strange Currencies" is sappy ott great!

"Ignoreland" is by far my least favorite song in the catalog.

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:51 (one week ago) link

we should poll ignoreland vs electioneering

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:52 (one week ago) link

The songs between "Be Mine" and "Electrolite" fade into grey but they're not terrible.

"Ignoreland" is fine. Y'all had to be there in October '92 at the tail end of a dozen years of Reagan-Poppy.

Patriotic Goiter (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:52 (one week ago) link

I like that we have a thread for this song, it can get moved to the I Love REM board that eephus and I have been clamoring for

All cars are bad (Euler), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:56 (one week ago) link

xp oh I was there

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:02 (one week ago) link

strange currencies made a little more sense when they admitted during the 25th anniversary press tour that they were trying to write an INXS song.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:02 (one week ago) link

xp I was there too. It fit the spirit of the times.

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:07 (one week ago) link

lol, watching the "strange currencies" video and boy they did not convince in velvets/grunge drag.

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:08 (one week ago) link

Looks like there have been two OKC pos on ILM, neither of which were titled 'I Trust I Can Rely on your VOTE' wtf

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:25 (one week ago) link


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