R.E.M. – Unplugged 1991/2001: The Complete Sessions Review

On R.E.M.’s new live release showcasing their 1991 and 2001 MTV Unplugged sessions, there are almost two different bands displaying a similar sound. In the first CD that contains the 1991 MTV Unplugged session, there is a young, emotional band that is starting to settle into a sound they are comfortable with but still wants to explore new sounds. The 2001 MTV Unplugged session shows a much older band that has settled into their defining sound and only looks back to the past for their inspiration instead of going forward into new fields of sound.

The 1991 unplugged session is an audio document of R.E.M. At their peak in popularity and sound. Out of Time had just come out, and R.E.M. was just starting to explore new instruments like organs, mandolins, and bongos to add into their music. Michael Stype sounds happy, even on the more somber tracks, consistently through every track and the rest of the band reflects this overall feeling of happiness that dominates the 1991 MTV session. There are some minor mistakes that can be heard over the course of the session that even Michael Stype acknowledges on some of the audio tracks, but it’s the imperfections that make the band and the session seem more real than just an audio recording. It’s as if you were right in front of R.E.M., watching them play their greatest hits in 1991.

The 2001 unplugged session is similar to the 1991 session, but more overall themes can be heard in the 2001 session that aren’t in the 1991 session. It’s as if there is nothing no longer new to R.E.M. that they haven’t already done. There are marimbas, banjos, pianos, and so many other instruments used in this session, but the band feels to comfortable with all of the different instruments. The band doesn’t seem to have that enthusiasm and happiness that was on the 1991 unplugged session. Michael Stype seems almost bored and just treats the session as if it’s just another show; there is nothing new and nothing that no longer excites him. It’s almost sad to hear such a stark contrast in sound in ten years from a young band that was enthusiastic to do anything to a band that knew they could do anything and took that for granted.

- Brandon Oleksy


KZSC Loud Rock CMJ Charts 6/3

Hey, metal listeners! These are the top metal picks for the week.

1 TRAP THEM Blissfucker Prosthetic
2 BURY TOMORROW Runes Nuclear Blast
3 BROTHER FIRETRIBE Diamond in the Fire Pit Spinefarm
4 VOYAGER Voyager IAV/Nightmare
5 HEAVY GLOW Pearls and Swine and Everything Fine Purge
1 MISS MAY I Rise of the Lion Rise
2 PET THE PREACHER The Cave and the Sunlight Napalm Records
3 THE LAST VEGAS Sweet Salvation Culvert
4 WOVENWAR All Rise (Single) Metal Blade
5 AVATAR Hail the Apocalypse eOne Entertainment
6 WHITECHAPEL Our Endless War Metal Blade
7 MUSHROOMHEAD The Righteous and the Butterfly Megaforce
9 BEHEMOTH The Satanist Metal Blade
10 PRONG Ruining Lives SPV



Perfect Pussy – Album Review

Perfect Pussy at the CatalystPerfect Pussy’s full-length first album, Say Yes to Love is a fantastic showcase of the unique, unclassifiable sound that the band has to offer. After the band’s debut EP last year, several people got excited about the band’s future. And after almost a year of waiting, I don’t think fans  will be disappointed. The overall sound can be summed up as a masterfully crafted wall of noise. Guitars mimic the shoegaze bands like Loop and My Bloody Valentine; the drums add a very upbeat, thrashy element to the music. Then there are the vocals-barely coherent from all the feedback added-which are inspired. I think there are some really well orchestrated tracks on the album, but the feedback that dominates over the other instruments gets in the way of the instrumentation on some tracks. The best description of Perfect Pussy’s sound would be “thrash-gaze”; very easy to visualize a mosh pit forming in front of the band at a concert while Perfect Pussy plays their emotionally driven noise. It’s as if D.N.A and Deafheaven got together to record but had really low quality microphones. The album isn’t perfect, but it still leaves you wanting more. After Say Yes to Love, I join the other very curious fans to hear how (and if) the band progresses in sound.

- Brandon Oleksy


Newest World Releases

Time for fresh World Music on your multicultural plate! Still lovin’ that twisty new bossa nova from Thievery Corporation and desert rock from Tinariwen. Add La Misa Negra to the list! An old school style Cumbria group from Oakland with a kick. As hard as it is to stop playing these three on repeat mode, here are some other worthy new World Music releases:

  1. SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80 A Long Way To The Beginning
  3. CAETANO VELOSO Abracaco [Nonesuch]
  5. HAFEZ NAZERI Rumi Symphony Project Untold
  6. FAREED HAQUE Trance Hypothesis
  7. RODRIGO Y GABRIELA 9 Dead Alive
  8. JEFFERSON ROSE BAND Feel Like Dancing
  9. YOLANDA DUKE Te Llevo Bajo La Piel

And just in time for Father’s Day, check out the new album from father-and-son collaboration, Toumani & Sidiki Diabate



RPM Charts, Last Week in May

Top 10:

1. TEEBS – Estara / Brainfeeder
2. CHROME SPARKS – Goddess / Future Classic
3. HETEROTIC – Weird Drift / Planet Mu
4. CONRAD CLIFTON – Picture In Picture / Self-Released
5. TENSNAKE – Glow / Astralwerks
6. TOURIST – Patterns / Monday
7. JACQUES GREENE – Phantom Vibrate [EP] / LuckyMe
8. BADBADNOTGOOD – III / Innovative Leisure
9. DOSS – Doss [EP] / Acephale
10. ILLUM SPHERE – Spectre Vex / Ninja Tune

Top 5 Adds:

1. RESISTOR – First World Problems / Self-Released
2. SLEEP – Oregon Failure / Strange Famous
3. SHAPESHIFTER – Remix [EP] / TrueTone
4. POPSTRANGERS – Fortuna / Carpark
5. FUTURE DEATH – Future Death / Bloodmoss


Rock Charts – Last Week of May

It may have been a three day weekend but the charts never stop! This week we played Thee Oh Sees endlessly and Perfect Pussy had a huge bump in air-play. I think it’s cause our DJ’s are all really excited for their show in Santa Cruz this week.

Top 10:

ee1edafa8a13824e022e32efb22cdcc4d001b5c21. THEE OH SEES – Drop
2. CHROME SPARKS – Goddess
3. EX-CULT – Midnight Passenger
4. PERFECT PUSSY – Say Yes To Love
5. WOODS – With Light And With Love
6. MIRAH – Changing Light
8. LITTLE DRAGON – Nabuma Rubberband
9. MYSTIC BRAVES – Desert Island
10. LES BIG BYRD – They Worshipped Cats



Top 5 Adds:

images1. GOLD-BEARS – Dalliance
3. YANN TIERSEN – Infinity
4. BABES – Babes [EP]





Gold-Bears new album is some really fun, catchy pop rock off of Slumberland records. The record, entitled Dalliance, is a very logical addition to the Slumberland line up. It’s got great fuzzy, punky guitars with sweet pop-y vocals thrown on top. It goes well as a kind of lighter cousin of the some of the other bands on the Slumberland roster, like Terry Malts or Joanna Gruesome. The album comes out June 3rd, but you’ll likely hear it over the KZSC airwaves throughout this week. I really dig this record. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Here’s a song off of it called For You: