I recently rekindled a new friendship after googling an old friend. Except this wasn’t a friend from high school or college, it was a friend from the old hi-fi: Mitch Easter. Mitch Easter gained recognition for his production skills in the early ’80s producing R.E.M.’s first single, “Radio Free Europe,” and their first two LPs with Don Dixon. And thinking back to my own history as a music fan I don’t remember which came first for me, R.E.M. or Mitch’s band Let’s Active. I do remember that Let’s Active played a key role in formulating my taste for pop music. Smart, snappy, and cheerful without being sappy Let’s Active helped forged the template for American indie pop while flying mostly below the radar. Constant line-up changes, usually coinciding with changes in Easter’s relationships, occurred throughout the band’s one EP and three album history. Mitch has kept busy over the years as producer, working with everyone from The Connells, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk, engineer, Pavement and Ride, and as guitarist extraordinaire (the two tracks from Shalini feature Mitch on guitar. Shalini currently plays bass in Mitch’s band). Coming across brand new music from Mitch Easter was an unexpected and thrilling surprise. He’s still got it. He’s like the King Midas of pop music. Everything he touches sounds like gold. Watch for his first release in eighteen years, Dynamico, in the next couple months on 125 Records.