The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has determined that, for their purposes, R.E.M. can now be considered an Irish band. This might be somewhat surprising to, say, Americans who have assumed for sometime that considering the band was formed in Athens, Georgia they would be one of our own. Apparently not.
Actually, Irish radio stations are required to hold aside around 30 percent of their spins for Irish acts–which has kept the guy from the Hothouse Flowers off the unemployment lines, I imagine–and since R.E.M. recorded Accelerate in Ireland, the album can be considered Irish for those purposes. For obvious reasons, this development was upsetting to actual Irish musicians, however, several smooth jazz musicians have been reported to be researching cheap studios in Dublin with good sax miking. [The Independent]