Listen: “Leaked” R.E.M. w/Vedder


It Happened Today”
comes from Collapse Into Now.


By Fred Mills


Let’s face it, there are leaks, and then there are leaks. Time was, a “leak” was a bonafide
unauthorized release of a new song or album – say, via a friend of a band,
someone at a recording studio, or a journalist with an advance copy (anybody
remember The Great Wilco Leak?) – that forced the artist and the label into
crisis/spin control mode. Nowadays, though, unless we’re talking a superstar
hip-hop or urban artist, a “leak” typically gets out through aboveground
channels and then makes its way across the web.


It’s a means of creating buzz on an album, the reasoning being
that since record sales are in the dumpster anyway and an album will be passed
around once it is actually released, best to get the loyal fans interested
early in the game and preserve as many of those shrinking sales as possible. It’s
even become commonplace for publicity firms to send out hyperventilating emails
to the press touting some “leak” of a new track or tracks from one of their
clients. So while “leak” still carries a bit of rebel-chic cachet, particularly
for younger fans who still don’t quite know how things work, aybe it’s time to
come up with new terminology… “soft release,” perhaps?


Anyhow, just sayin’… but that’s all apropos of nothing.
Today comes word of a new R.E.M. song leaking onto the web. If you want to
check out “It Happened Today,” which comes from the upcoming March album Collapse Into Now and features Eddie
Vedder on backing vocals, head over to the De Ozonlaag website pronto.


Oh, and don’t forget to check out that other song from the album
that the band is offering for free at its website, “Discoverer,” as well as the
recently-issued fan club holiday single that contains instrumental mixes of
some new songs. Go elsewhere on the BLURT site for all that…


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