Sunday, February 27, 2011
Having just received in the mail a second digital audio recorder, I was anxious to take it out for a road test to determine its ease of use and recording quality. Somewhat on the spur of the moment, I purchased a ticket online Saturday afternoon for a show that evening at the Gothic Theater. The draw were The Epilogues who's performance I liked when I first saw them at the Mile High Music Festival this past summer (see http://whatatemper.blogspot.com/2010/08/mile-high-music-festival-2010.html).
The Epilogues were the headliners and were performing with OH No Not Stereo, The Photo Atlas, Della, Mr. Right.
The Epilogues are a local band that is gaining significant attention in the Denver music scene these last couple years. Their combination of synth, guitar riffs, and dance beats has achieved and surpassed their goal of a new, different style that is just as good as it is separate. I would not be surprised if they take off and become part of the national music scene.
Oh No Not Stereo is a high-energy melodic rock band from Los Angeles, California that have been around since 2003.
The Photo Atlas are a dance punk outfit originating from Denver. The show this evening really got going when they took the stage and set the air on fire with their loud sound.
Della is a Denver-based five piece Alternative / Pop / Rock band.
The evening started with Mr. Right, a three-piece band from Denver, Colorado made up of identical twin brothers and a childhood friend from kindergarten. The band was formed in 2008 when the three friends moved in together to go to school and has since recorded two, four-track EP’s and has been playing shows in northern Colorado ever since.
I found enough time late Friday night to spend 2 hours with Johnny and Public Image Limited who performed a live show at the Oxford O2 Academy on July 21, 2010. An excellent recording, Johnny being himself onstage, the band doing a superb job playing their hypnotic sound. During "Albatross" John took a swipe at both Malcolm and Wobble:
"Malcolm ran away. Never forget this. Wobble ran away. Never forget this. You see, the pair of them, they want the money."
Maclolm was the manager for the Sex Pistols and John harbors a lasting dislike of him because of the way the band was treated. Jah Wobble, original bass player with Public Image in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but left the band after two years. he grew increasingly frustrated by the lacklustre creative atmosphere in the band, which he felt stifled his artistic ambitions and PiL's creative potential. According to Wikipedia: "Besides differences in artistic vision, further conflicts were brought on in part by heavy drug and alcohol abuse in the band. Wobble then went on to recording and releasing his debut album The Legend Lives on - Jah Wobble in Betrayal, and found himself accused by other PiL members of having made unauthorised use of material from Metal Box for the making of Betrayal."
In bed by 2AM.
The Oxford Times reviewed this show:
Onstage in the Academy, Lydon remains as outspoken as ever, baiting the crowd throughout and even starting the set by saying “Hello poor people . . . don’t worry, I’m still one of you.” This isn’t true of course; most of us would have settled for an easy life after the Pistols; only one-offs like Lydon have the courage to form a band like PiL. Both he and PiL are certainly worth celebrating.
Read it all here:
Passes through nights dream
Tells me its time to wake up
Voice from long ago
In that lonely room
Pushed to the minds outer edge
Falls to her release
flac file here:
Sunday, February 20, 2011
A week earlier I was checking the upcoming shows in Westword and noticed a concert sheduled for Saturday night with Guttermouth. I watched a video of theirs on YouTube and decided then and there to go, because I liked the sound and wanted to continue testing the recording gear. A cheap ticket was waiting for me at will call.
I arrived at the Marquis Theater shortly before the first act took the stage in this small venue. I chose to park myself behind the mosh pit where a dozen or two people were flailing around violently on the floor before the stage all evening long.
The lineup was Crooked Ways, No Bueno!, Boldtype and finally Guttermouth. I thought the Denver band Boldtype put on a great show and was as good as Guttermouth, with Mike the lead singer wearing a maniacal grin on his face while on stage. All were loud, high energy acts.
"Guttermouth is an American punk rock band formed in 1989 in Huntington Beach, California. They have released nine full-length studio albums and two live albums and have toured extensively, including performances on the Vans Warped Tour. They are infamous for their outrageous lyrics and behavior which are deliberately explicit, offensive and intended to shock, though usually in a humorous and sarcastic manner. This behavior has sometimes resulted in high-profile problems for the band, such as being banned from performing in Canada for several years due to onstage nudity, and leaving the 2004 Warped Tour amidst controversy over their political views and attitudes towards other performers."
The act of recording shows never ceases to amaze me, with new challenges presented each time. No problem getting the gear in. The problem was in getting the equipment to function properly. About 25 minutes into the act I noticed that I was experiencing microphone problems, resulting in needing to stop and start the recorder. Then I get home and find out this first half of the recording is corrupt and unreadable by the software I have. This kind of stuff always creates uncertainty, causing me to have to check the gear more often when recording, an act that itself yields opportunities for operator error. This only means another show must be attended for the purpose of checking the gear and ensuring flawless performance, all in anticipation of capturing the Bunnymen this coming May.
The second half came out fine and is available for your listening pleasure.
The following photos are from some other gig that capture the wild scene at these shows.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
It was Friday and it meant a trip to Jack Jensen's shop to see what new work was gracing the walls. Several new pieces, but nothing that grabbed me on first sight. Instead we talked about the possibility of doing several commission pieces with a rock/punk music theme. I took the idea home with me and will soon be providing him with specifics that I find exciting. I'm already waiting in anticipation.
Friday night found me standing outside alongside the truck with the volume cranked to a level I thought would not attract the neighbors, considering the music started sometime after 10 PM. Up first were the Sex Pistols, their live show on January 5, 1978, a very good recording, wishing Johnny came through a bit more clearly. This was their first US gig at the Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta, GA before an estimated attendance of 500 people.
From Jon Savage's England's Dreaming:
The five-hundred strong audience paled before a horde of journalists, TV crews and members of both the Atlanta and Memphis Vice Squads. Nobody quite knew what to expect, although most expected the worst: they got the worst, but not in the way that they were expecting.
The Sex Pistols did what they always did when they were under intense scrutiny: they stank. Steve Jones's guitar was out of tune, the rhythm section's timing was out and John Lydon's voice was hopelessly flat. There was no murder, no vomiting, no mutilation: just four pale twenty to twenty-one year olds trying to either get on with the big beat or to confound the expectations of spectacle. "Aren't we the worst thing you've ever seen," John Lydon asked the audience, "you can all stop staring at us now."
Sid Vicious completely disappeared after the show: "He went AWOL to get a feel for America." "Sid found these fans that were straight out of Ziggy Stardust. He just showed up again in the morning."
What was I doing back then? I was probably hanging out at my parents house on Long Island, home from school, looking forward to my final semester at the University of Buffalo. How naive I was back then, missing out on all this fun stuff happening musically around me.
The next show was at Max's Kansas Steakhouse in New York City, the night of September 30, 1978. This was after the Sex Pistols died a quiet death, Sid and Nancy moving to New York. This is probably the last recording of Sid performing ever. Nancy was found stabbed to death in their apartment on October 12, 1978 at age 20. Sid was found dead in the apartment form a drug overdose at age 21 on February 7, 1979.
And where was I? Attending my first semester at the University of Oregon, head buried in books, my only link to the music world being my Pioneer receiver, which served me well for many years and was only recently retired to the trash heap. As you can see, I'm making up for lost time. For all I know, I could have passed Sid and Nancy walking on the street during one of my trips to NYC in the summer of 1978.