Wednesday was a sad day for many of us, as the members of R.E.M. announced they were disbanding after 31 years together. My first exposure to R.E.M. came in the late summer of 1982 via a New York Rocker back-page ad for the band's debut EP Chronic Town. For some reason, my 16-year-old punk rock brain made the illogical leap that the bored gargoyle on the EP's cover signified that R.E.M. was a sterile-sounding synth-pop band. I passed. Seven months later, while on an Easter weekend trip with my parents, I popped a cassette mixtape compiled by a friend's older brother into my trusty old boombox. The last thing listed on the accompanying J-card was "R.E.M.-Chronic Town (3 songs)." When the R.E.M.