Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Surprise Your Pig: A Tribute to R.E.M.

The nineties produces a torrential glut of punk rock compilations and a similar excess of tribute albums. In that spirit, let us consider 1992's Surprise Your Pig: A Tribute to R.E.M. It's certainly no generic compilation full of sound-a-like bands or dead-faithful covers. Nope this one walks a jagged line between the more song-oriented punk bands (J Church, Jawbreaker, Mr. T Experience and Jawbox) and the more quirky noisiness of the old Shimmy Disc bands (Gumball, When People Were Shorter.... , King Missile). How often these re-workings succeed, and few directly compete with those ringing originals, is up for debate (hopefully) but R.E.M. would surely approve of Vic Chestnut's deconstruction of "It's the End of the World..." and Jawbox's bass-heavy take on "Low" (which might well best the original).

1. "Radio Free Europe" by Just Say No – 3:10
2. "1,000,000" by Band of Susans – 4:25
3. "Stumble" by Gumball – 6:19
4. "We Walk" by Steelpole Bathtub – 3:40
5. "Talk About the Passion" by Samson & The Philistines – 4:07
6. "Pretty Persuasion" by Jawbreaker – 5:35
7. "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" by J Church – 3:40
8. "Feeling Gravitys Pull" by Phleg Camp – 3:03
9. "Cant Get There from Here" by The Mr. T Experience – 2:50
10. "Good Advices" by Flor de Mal – 3:06
11. "Bandwagon" by The Punch Line – 2:19
12. "I Believe" by When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water – 2:39
13. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by Vic Chesnutt – 4:04
14. "Get Up" by King Missile – 2:31
15. "Losing My Religion" by Tesco Vee's Hate Police – 3:05
16. "Low" by Jawbox – 4:08
17. "Shiny Happy People" by Mitch Easter – 3:28

Download Surprise Your Pig CD


  1. You're welcome-enjoy the sifting process which is sure to ensue.

  2. I've always struggled with REM for some reason. I like the odd track here and there but listening to a whole album in one go has never been easy for me.

  3. I don't own any albums - just one of those home brew CD's we all made in the early 21st century when we didn't fathom what the MP3 was really going to do to our music listening habits.

    So yeah, I cherry-picked their career and have never really wanted a full album even though there's a lot I like (it is a two CD set). Even if I did own something it would probably be "Eponymous" which is a good collection.

  4. That cover of "Low" leads me to believe I should re-examine Jawbox. Which will, of course, make me want to take a closer look at late period Government Issue.

  5. I prefer late-period G.I. but the first Jawbox album ,especially "Tools and Chrome" is really good.

  6. Brillant! Thank You!


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