R.E.M. bassist to celebrate Record Store Day at Bull Moose in Scarborough

Posted March 17, 2014, at 3:17 p.m.
Last modified March 17, 2014, at 4:38 p.m.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — To celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, R.E.M.’s bassist Mike Mills is coming to Scarborough.

The original member of the seminal alt-rock band will be at Bull Moose to sign copies of a limited edition, four-LP set featuring two live R.E.M. performances from MTV’s “Unplugged.”

The new record, “Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions,” includes “Losing My Religion,” “It’s the End of the World as We Know it,” and 11 songs never aired on the show. It comes out April 19.

“This is huge,” said Chris Brown, head of marketing for Bull Moose. “Can you get any more famous than R.E.M.?”

Brown, who came up with the idea of Record Store Day in 2008 to celebrate vinyl, had his hair fashioned like Mills at one point. He knew the band was big when his grandmother recognized the resemblance.

“When modern rock began to be the dominant sound in pop music, they were the first alt-rock band to get gigantic. You can see R.E.M. as the tipping point,” he said.

Mills is the composer behind the band’s soft but poignant ballets “Nightswimming” and “Find the River.”

So why is he coming to Maine, not Athens, Ga., where the foursome-turned-trio formed in 1980?

One theory, according to Business Insider, is that the Pine Tree State is sweet on the band. A study shows that Maine skews toward R.E.M. more than any other group.

But Brown says musicians dig the scene.

“Maine has become a stop for people to do these things. Mumford and Sons recorded before at Bull Moose in 2012. It has a lot to do with Maine, it’s the way music fans respond to artists,” said Brown, who has featured Disturbed and singer Ani DiFranco in past Record Store Day events.

“Word has gotten around that they will have a really fun time when they come.”

Mills will be at the store at 2 p.m., April 19, at Bull Moose, 456 Payne Road in Scarborough.

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