Saturday, May 30, 2009


Another week slips by. The wife's in Wyoming, I'm in charge of the kids. Last week of school for them, summer vacation begins. My enslavement to the house renovation project persists, trying to squeeze in an hour or more of work time after dinners on weekdays. I now look forward to the weekends for two reasons: to get in some good hours working on the siding project and the Friday night concerts. Friday night and its time to play.

Dressed in three piece suits
Sadists have something to share
Our gift of torture

We learned from the best
The Spanish Inquisition
Modern day Middle Age

First up is Nirvana, Aqua Seafoam Shame, a live recording of their December 14, 1993 show at the Center Arena in Seattle, WA. This show was part of Nirvana's first American tour in two years to promote their third and final studio album, In Utero. An excellent soundboard recording. You listen to this stuff and you can't help but rock to the beat. Although I enjoyed it, this show seemed to be a bit over produced, lacking the "crispness" of the 1991 show I listened to last weekend. As a result, I've found and downloaded several other earlier shows, hoping to capture their sound when they were on a fast rise to national stardom.

The following was clipped from "GOONIES BE DAMAGED" (

In Utero was released in September of 1993 to positive reviews and strong initial sales, debuting at the top of the U.S. and U.K. charts. Nirvana supported it with a fall American tour, hiring former Germs member Pat Smear as an auxiliary guitarist. While the album and the tour were both successful, sales weren't quite as strong as expected, with several shows not selling out until the week of the concert. As a result, the group agreed to play MTV's acoustic Unplugged show at the end of the year, and sales of In Utero picked up after its December airing. After wrapping up the U.S. tour on January 8, 1994, with a show at Center Arena in Seattle, Nirvana embarked on a European tour in February. Following a concert in Munich on February 29, Cobain stayed in Rome to vacation with Love. On March 4, she awakened to find that Cobain had attempted suicide by overdosing on the tranquilizer Rohypnol and drinking champagne. While the attempt was initially reported as an accidental overdose, it was known within the Nirvana camp that the vocalist had left behind a suicide note.

Cobain returned to Seattle within a week of his hospitalization and his mental illness began to grow. On March 18, the police had to again talk the singer out of suicide after he locked himself in a room threatening to kill himself. Love and Nirvana's management organized an intervention program that resulted in Cobain's admission to the Exodus Recovery Center in L.A. on March 30, but he escaped from the clinic on April 1, returning to Seattle. His mother filed a missing persons report on April 4. The following day, Cobain shot himself in the head at his Seattle home. His body wasn't discovered until April 8, when an electrician contracted to install an alarm system at the Cobain house stumbled upon the body. After his death, Kurt Cobain was quickly anointed as a spokesman for Generation X, as well as a symbol of its tortured angst.

Drawn out of thin air
The sound of inspiration
Put into our heads

Cool spring evening
Scent of lilac in the air
Clouds vail on the moon

Eyes are upon them
Intense pressure to produce
Successes failure

A rapid ascent
To touch the high pinnacle
Only to fall down

Fills the nighttime air
Distant cosmic static and
Organized chaos

Barriers are down
He has been set free to fly
Drifts among the stars

Download it here:

The highlight of the evening was Echo & The Bunnymen, their live performance in San Diego, CA on December 9, 2005 September. This is the fourth live "House of Blues" album they released, recordings of shows performed in California in December 2005. Naturally, a great quality recording. Ian's voice is a bit rough sounding, the smooth crooning probably lost to the ever present cigarette.

This show was part of their world tour in support of their studio album, Siberia, released on September 19, 2005. They started the tour in Europe before embarking on a 16-date North American leg. "The band we've got around us now are the closest to the old Bunnymen we've ever had," frontman Ian McCulloch said in a statement to press. "Not that we've intentionally set out to capture the past in any way. I think I'd been trying to get away from the approach of 'Heaven Up Here' or 'Porcupine' where a lot of the songs were based on a single note, or a pulse even."

Friday night's twilight
Heavily lubricated
Slips into the zone

Plastic in his hand
Loose fingers unscrew the cap
Taken far away

Exclaim victory
Their distant voices singing
Coyote pack howling

Monday, May 25, 2009


A busy Saturday, getting serious about the house siding project. Rebuilt the deck off the TV room, getting rid of the ancient stained redwood and replacing it with a recycled plastic/wood product. Very nice. A cool wet day that slowed the pace that I could work on the house. Went with the family to see the new Star Trek movie in the early evening. Considering we went to see Terminator Salvation the night before, I've been to the theater in one weekend the same number of times I probably went all of last year.

After the movie I decided to listen to some music in the darkness outside the house. Cool wet evening, cool enough that after nearly two hours standing outside I had to switch to a down jacket. The show of choice was Van Halen at Jones Beach Theater, in Wantagh, NY on August 23, 1995. An obvious audience recording, B quality, but still enjoyable, especially considering it was a familiar location, having gone swimming there often as a child. Sound gets a little "wobbly" in spots, apparently due to the wind that kicked up this evening, as noted by Sammy several times. This was the second night of three they played at this location. A classic Balance tour show, just wish the quality were a little better.

The following was from an unpublished book allegedly written by Sammy, explaining where the band was shortly before the break up the following year:

As the "Balance" bandwagon headed into the fall, Van Halen was on course to perform more dates during one single tour, than they'd ever done in their entire career. The wear and tear on the musicians was starting to show. Alex still wore the neck brace to protect his fragile neck. Eddie was limping around with a cane and taking pain killers for his aching leg. His battle to control his liquor intake was also unsuccessful, according to Hagar. For maybe half the tour, the guitarist imbibed heavily, despite his constant denials that drinking was a thing of the past for him. Unfortunately, after years of sobriety, brother Al also began to partake in alcoholic beverages. He was separated from his wife and, despite his attempts at reconciliation, his marriage was falling apart. The marital discord was devastating him, and periodic doses of booze were his way of coping with the grief. "Listen," Sammy chided, "Eddie really became a horrible person when he tried to quit drinking. Throughout the tour, he was constantly battling his addiction. Every time Eddie got drunk, he ended up hating himself. The guy was one miserable bastard to be around,because the more he drank, the worse his guilty conscious got to him.Often after shows, Ed would walk straight off the stage into a waiting limousine. He wouldn't change his clothes, shower or even eat any food. For some reason, all the cat wanted to do was head back to his hotel room and be by himself. Eddie did drugs too, but I'm not going to sit here and make him out to be a drug addict. Within a year or two after I joined the band, he started cleaning that up a lot. He just became a closet user,like myself. I don't smoke dope religiously, but I do light up three or four times a year. I'll do cocaine three or four times a year as well. I'm not saying Eddie was that sparse with it, but his main problem was alcohol. When he would drink, his emotions would swing wildly. He would cry and almost have breakdowns. I don't want to say he necessarily had them, but you would certainly assume that it was going to happen if he didn't get his shit together. He had extremely bad mood swings and used to get in a lot of trouble, as we well know, with chicks and all that other shit.

Stage on Fire Island
Feels the sand between his toes
Ocean surf breaking

They know the answer
To the question they don't know
Chanting for Eddie

Tomorrows promise
Knows nothing lasts forever
He just wants it now

Calling the faithful
Travels to a holy land
Gods up on the stage

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Friday night and its time to party. This is probably the 7th or 8th weekend in a row where the weather turns cloudy, cool and damp after gorgeous days during the work week. I've got to get serious about the house residing project. Sitting here to type this post is just another delay.

Sometime after 10PM the party started, the opening act being Nirvana's October 30, 1991 show at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC. An excellent quality sounboard recording of a fantastic concert during which Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl rocked the house. You can't listen to this music without having to move. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the show was, fearing it would out perform The Bunnymen who were to follow. This show took place shortly after Nirvana released their second studio album Nevermind on September 24, 1991, and just before they began their European tour.

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

Nevermind was responsible for bringing alternative rock to a large mainstream audience, and would subsequently be regarded by critics as one of the best rock albums of all time.

Guitar World wrote, "Kurt Cobain's guitar sound on Nirvana's Nevermind set the tone for Nineties rock music."

Rolling Stone wrote in its entry for Nevermind on its 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, "No album in recent history had such an overpowering impact on a generation -- a nation of teens suddenly turned punk -- and such a catastrophic effect on its main creator."

Clouds fill the night sky
Lit by city's orange glow
A light rain falling

Poured out on the stage
They play for their audience
Hearts tied together

Drawn up from within
Wealth of creativity
Offered to our souls

Download it here:

I was afraid no one could follow that opening act, but Echo & The Bunnymen succeeded, and even managed to take it up a notch. Up next was their March 18, 1983 show at the Rotterdam Arena, what also sounded like a high quality, crystal clear soundboard recording. This show took place shortly after the release of their third studio album, Porcupine on February 4, 1983. All four band members performed beautifully making this another in a string of many great concerts of theirs that I've had the pleasure of listening to. Rock solid music from a time when they were riding a wave of popularity. This is the stuff I crave.

What a way to end the night. Who knows what time it was when I dropped into bed.

A decade apart
Both exist within the past
Here in the present

Always beholden
For opening the eyes wide
Swept right off his feet

Flask that overflows
Poison floods his bloodstream
Opens the locked door

Raindrops on his skin
Connected to the present
Dancing in the past

Heard in the present
William's guitar is singing
Pulled into the past

Sunday, May 17, 2009


After a late night, I once again had to wake up early for the purpose of driving up to Wyoming with the family to visit the in-laws. A fast trip and back for the purpose of visiting with my wife's dad who is experiencing severe health problems. For once, I drove up as a passenger, mostly because I was groggy from the night before. I was able to sleep for a bit, cutting out an hour and a half of the nearly 5 hour drive by being unconscious. The day was spent hanging with the family, doing some maintenance on the riding mower, and rollerskating, during which time I fell on my face when my son cut directly across my path. The one elbow, knee and wrist are still sore. My first thought was "Oh shit, how's this going to f-up my shoulder right before I begin work on the house!"

After dark I stepped outside for a bit of drink and music, scent of refinery in the air. This Saturday night I brought along with me the May 18, 2008 Van Halen bootleg recording of their concert in Hershey, PA. Excellent audience recording of their classic 2008 show, with Dave throwing in a few extra bits here and there for the locals. Rock on I did with their great performance. In my opinion, the band seemed to perform noticeably better after they shut the tour down in February and returned in mid April. They came back refreshed and with more of a commitment to perform a little bit better for their fans?

When the show was over I returned indoors to a house where everyone was asleep for the night. I found my bed of sofa cushions on the living room floor. Returned to Denver the following afternoon. There goes the weekend.

Rude awakening
Blissful dream interrupted
Wakes to a tired world

Begins to collapse
Life's work coming to an end
Waits their helplessly

Travels through the night
Distance crossed in centuries
Silver points of light

Sunken and sallow
Sagging flesh draped on the bone
Sees eternity

Fast days are passing
Dreams extinguished one by one
The doors are closing

Run down little town
So soon to be forgotten
Wind will cease blowing

All just a dark blur
Having long since checked out
Peaks and then he falls

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Hit the end of the work week and it was time to listen to some music. It was a cloudy evening, damp from a light rain coming down. That's been the pattern this last month or longer: beautiful weekdays followed by wet, cloudy weekends. The next weekend is shaping up to be the same.

I was planning on listening to some Green day in celebration of the fact I received my tickets to there August 15th show here in Denver, but the one show I had downloaded had already been listened to. So I switched to another favorite, Linkin Park dropping their January 1, 2007 soundbaord recording from the live at "Le Galaxy"Amneville, France show. Like I said "soundboard", meaning excellent quality. High energy rock cranked up to what my poor ears could tolerate. I rocked out under the roof overhang just outside the front door, occasionally stepping into the drizzle to feel the freshness of the rain on my face.

Gentle rain falling
Scent of cedar in night air
Wet flagstone glistens

Young voices straining
Power measured by volume
Locked in their strong grip

Turn up the volume
Their loud sound corrupts the soul
Blowout the eardrums

Lives in the moment
Captures all within his reach
All lost in the end

Download it here:

The warm up act was followed by Echo & The Bunnymen, having chosen to listen to their third studio album, Porcupine, released on February 4, 1983.

From Wikipedia:

Following the release of Heaven Up Here in 1981, Echo & the Bunnymen had difficulty writing new material for their next album despite rehearsing five days each week at The Ministry, their rehearsal room in Liverpool. While lead singer Ian McCulloch still wanted them to be the best band in the world, bass player Les Pattinson was expressing his weariness with the music industry, drummer Peter de Freitas produced and played drums on Liverpool band The Wild Swans' debut single "Revolutionary Spirit", and lead guitarist Will Sergeant recorded a solo album of instrumental music called Themes for 'Grind' (1982).

Recording the album was a slow process, de Freitas said, "Porcupine was very hard to actually write and record [...] Heaven Up Here was pure confidence, we did it really quickly; we had a great time doing it – but this one was like we had to drag it out of ourselves." McCulloch later said that when recording the album, the mood between the band members was "horrible".

Chris Adams in his Turquoise Days book says:

Although it ascended to #2 in the UK charts, it was savaged by the majority of critics for being self-indulgent, overly doomy, lyrically incomprehensible, and, overall, unbearably difficult listening.

Porcupine is probably...the most Bunnymen, way beyond Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here. But it was horrible to make and nasty to listen to. - Ian McCulloch, 1999.

Voice so alluring
The seduction is complete
Siren sings his song

Bathe in the music
Pulled down by the undertow
Drowns in emotion

Drinks from that deep well
Never felt this way before
Will go back for more

Psychedelic reach
Played to words with lost meaning
Captures and enchants

Hardships we don't know
Stories that are forgotten
Life so far away