This past week, R.E.M. was the subject of a Carnegie Hall tribute. Formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980, the band was a pioneer in the post-punk, alternative rock sound and is noted for enigmatic ballads with a folk-rock influence. Rolling Stone wrote, "The quartet's arty mix of punk energy, folky instrumental textures, muffled vocals and introspective, often oblique lyrics influenced a generation of alternative-rock bands." Band members are also known for their support for progressive causes.
Here singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck, playing an electric mandolin, lead the group in "Losing My Religion," performed somewhere in Canada. The song is not about religion per se; Stipe explained that it is "about romantic expression" and the title is "a common Southern expression that means being at the end of one's rope."