R.E.M. broke up on Wednesday. They were my favorite band growing up, and although we drifted apart as we grew older, we remained close.
The Twins will be done playing next Wednesday. They were among the favorites in the AL Central, and although we drifted apart as they grew unwatchable, we remained close.
Here, then, are the REM albums and which 2011 Minnesota Twin they most closely resemble.
Chronic Town: Trevor Plouffe. Their 5-song debut EP (which I have on cassette because I am that old) contains the following lyric: "We'll stumble through the yard."
Murmur: Kevin Slowey. The band's debut LP (if you need to have the difference between an EP and an LP explained to you, ask your oldest living relative), it's generally considered the high-water mark of their early work and put R.E.M. on the map for the cool college kids who would say, "They're pretty obscure, you've never heard of them." Michael Stipe mumbles a lot on this record, so he might say "Sisyphus" at some point. Or he's just clearing his throat.
Reckoning: Jason Kubel. My favorite R.E.M. album. My favorite current Twin. Professional. I think Peter Buck had a beard then.
Fables of the Reconstruction: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. The post-Civil War South was a defeated, scarred, burning mess with an uncertain future. But other than that, I see no reason for concern.
Lifes Rich Pagaent: Michael Cuddyer. There's an amazing song called Superman on this. Superman wore a cape. I assume Cuddy wears a cape when he's doing his magic tricks. Yeah, that'll work.
Dead Letter Office: Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee, Kyle Waldrop, Luke Hughes, Jim Hoey, Brian Dinkelman, Trevor Plouffe again. A collection of B-sides, covers and studio goofs that show flashes of brilliance but otherwise demonstrate why they weren't ready for primetime.
Document: Kevin Slowey again. Their breakthrough, featuring their first songs that got significant radio play (The One I Love, It's the End of the World As We Know It). The less-cool kids started liking them. Kevin Slowey does not approve, and gets really into the Minutemen (you haven't heard of them).
Eponymous: Drew Butera. This is a "greatest hits" collection for a band that didn't have very many hits. Drew Butera doesn't have very many hits. These aren't all going to be comedy gold, folks.
Green: Tsuyoshi Nishioka. He's inexperienced, or "green," you see. And "Stand"ing is what ended up breaking his leg. Get it? GET IT?
Out of Time: Danny Valencia. "That's him at the corner, that's him in the spotlight, losing Gardy's confidence and potentially his starting job in 2012." (Again, Weird Al has nothing to worry about. He could probably even make that rhyme and plug in a food reference.)
Automatic for the People: Ben Revere. Phenomenal range: automatic. Popgun arm: automatic. Blazing speed: automatic. Comebackers: automatic.
Monster: Jim Thome. Not because of his "monster" home runs, but because he really liked it when Stipe quit mumbling and the band went in more of an electric than acoustic direction. (Okay, it's because of the home runs.)
New Adventures in Hi-Fi: Nick Blackburn. There is a song on here called Binky the Doormat, which is a reference from the Bobcat Goldthwait alcoholic clown movie, "Shakes the Clown." Binky the Doormat is an adequate description of how opposing hitters treated Blackburn most of the season.
All the Albums after This: former Twin J. J. Hardy. These albums were made without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the band in 1997. While there are some worthy songs on these records, none of the albums held together like previous releases. It was almost as if losing Berry robbed the band of its...power (zing!).