R.E.M.’s July 19, 2003, concert at Bowling Green in Weisbaden, Germany, is captured in its entirety on the DVD “Perfect Square,” due March 16 from Warner Bros.
The 23-song set sports such performance rarities as “Maps and Legends” from the 1985 album “Fables of the Reconstruction” and the ancient non-album track “Permanent Vacation.” Prior to the 2003 tour, the former had not been played live since 1989, while the latter hadn’t been unearthed since 1984.
Also featured are “Bad Day” and “Animal,” the two new songs included on the recent best-of “In Time,” plus such R.E.M. favorites as “The One I Love,” “Orange Crush,” “Country Feedback” and the show-closing “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”
“Perfect Square” is bolstered by the documentary “A Stirling Performance,” which chronicles the set-up for R.E.M.’s summer 1999 three-night stand in the small Scottish town of Stirling. The film features performance footage, behind-the-scenes clips and interviews with the band.
Meanwhile, work continues in earnest on R.E.M.’s next studio album, extensive sessions for which have already taken place in Vancouver. According to a post on the band’s official Web site (http://www.remhq.com), group members are in Athens, Ga., writing songs and revisiting some of the previously recorded material. Working titles include “Around the Sun,” “Wanderlust,” “Magnetic North” and “I Wanted To Be Wrong.”
“The band will be heading into the studio in the next few weeks,” the post continues. “We’re hoping for a fall record and hopefully will be touring some of the places we didn’t on the ’03 tour (and some of the ones we did).”