R.E.M. and a day in Treme

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New Orleans continues to amaze me. Already riding a buzz from an exciting NBA game and a few post-game drinks last night, my intrepid photographer and I went to Le Bon Temps to catch the Soul Rebels last night. We caught them just as they finished their first set and went in for the second when Jonathan spotted a bearded and knit-capped Michael Stipe of R.E.M. straight chillin.

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It took me a few passes before I believed it for myself. In retrospect, I should've just asked cause when I introduced myself he was nice enough to chat. Turns out he and the rest of R.E.M. are in town recording an album (gee, where have I heard that before?) and Shamarr Allen brought them over to le Bon Temps. Stipe said their two most successful albums were recorded in New Orleans and that alone was decision enough to come back.

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And speaking of Allen, he rocked out a pocket trumpet (which I mistook for my 5th grade coronet) with the Rebels for a bit. They collaborate often (there version of Nights in Tunisia is rock solid) and have a track together on the Rebels' upcoming album.

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Oh and about that picture. David Simon and co. apparently my block of Thalia St. in the Garden District is a suitable substitute for Treme. And they said that show was going to be authentic.

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