Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 13th 2008 5:00AM by Bill Crandall
Stipe blamed President Bush for turning this decade into an "overreaction to 9/11" and introduced the new song 'Houston' as a reaction to Barbara Bush infamously suggesting that many of the Katrina refugees actually benefited from the disaster. Lyric summary: R.E.M. disagree.
'Houston' was one of many songs that Stipe and Co. unveiled from 'Accelerate,' their first album in four years. "The good news is that they're all about two and half minutes," Stipe joked to the crowd of music industry faithfuls, "so if you don't like this one you can go take a pee."
The band also rewarded those out past midnight with re-energized versions of 'Auctioneer (Another Engine),' 'Second Guessing' and 'Drive.' Stipe did do a notable positive shout-out, dedicating 'Until the Day Is Done' to Heath Ledger, who had gotten a sneak preview of the song before his death and "loved it."
Oh, and the singer even had a few kind words for a politician: "Austin came out strong for Barack Obama, and I want to salute you for that."
Obama's mom never came up.