First Listen: R.E.M. Live At The Olympia & Interview

Another GEM compliments of NPR

This is the sound of four twentysomethings figuring out who they were and their places in the world. It’s the sound of a band making music for The 40 Watt Club in downtown Athens, Ga. It’s the sound of subtle political music at the dawn of the Reagan era.

For each record represented, the songs the band chose to perform live are among the least obvious picks. From 1987’s Document, R.E.M. plays “Disturbance at the Heron House” and “Welcome to the Occupation,” not “Finest Worksong” or “The One I Love.” From 1992’s Automatic for the People, they perform “Drive.” From 1994’s Monster, the track is “Circus Envy” — one of the most energetic and bold pieces the group has ever recorded.

This is the history of R.E.M. told through 39 songs, spanning 1981-2007. But no longer are Stipe’s lyrics unintelligible, and the band sounds better than ever. Its members are better musicians who they seem to genuinely love what they’ve been able to create over the course of nearly three decades.

Read more and listen:

Guy Raz with Stipe Interview:

~ by castleqwayr on October 24, 2009.

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