Monday, June 27, 2011
The countdown is on and this is the last weekend to get it all together before the big launch. The days were spent checking equipment, gathering food supplies and downloading music because, you know, I'm not going out into the wilderness without some loud music to fill my head those magical moments. Both Friday and Saturday night found me outside in the warm summer evening with the truck stereo cranked.
First up were the Sex Pistols, a very good recording of their live performance at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas, Texas on January 10, 1978, on their one and only North American tour.
This is what was written about the show from someone who was in attendance:
The Sex Pistols were doing this short, weird Southern tour in funky locations and might never play the U.S. again, and there were already personnel problems in the band. Going seemed like the natural thing to do. They were the Beatles of the punk movement. They were the band. It was an event to see them. I'd been to progressive country shows at the Longhorn Ballroom before -- seen Willie Nelson -- so it wasn't exactly a redneck bar.
Sid was really fucked up. Really drunk. He played for a while without his guitar plugged in. He played for a while with a fish. I think somebody threw it up there, a bass or something. People seemed pissed at him. He'd spit on the audience; they'd spit on him. That's what you did. There was this element of, "You paid to see us play?"
The memorable thing about the show was the crowd and how tightly packed it was. Everybody had moments when you were suddenly not on the ground anymore, being swept along with the crowd. Some people were genuinely scared of being crushed. But that's an old British football tradition, too.
I don't remember anything about the song list. I'm sure it was all their favorites. They didn't have all that many songs, but they were entertaining songwriters. Their songs still hold up. "God Save the Queen" is a wonderful song. And it was a great rock & roll show
Sheep blindly gather
Before men in pin stripped suits
Ready to be fleeced
Needle in the arm
Cooked junk burning in their veins
Lies that feel so good
Childs toy left behind
Among the stone monuments
Picked up by young hands
Turn on the TV
We're happily sedated
Forgetting the pain
Another perfect day
Mission to be accomplished
Never to return
Stripes across the sky
Pale white moonlt filaments
There, and then they're gone
Believe every word
It really doesn't matter
See it in their eyes
Honor and valor
Realizing its just crap
Nothing but regret
Download it here:
The loud and raucous Sex Pistols were followed by the softer, moody, darker sounds of Interrpol. Cake, Interpol, Paul Bank, performed during the 17th edition of the ‘Eurockeennes de Belfort’ music festival in Belfort, France on July 1, 2005. This is an excellet FM recording of that show.
Download it here:
Saturday night ended with an excellent live performance by Van Halen, the first 11 tracks coming from the Oklahoma City, OK show on August 6, 1978 while Tracks 12 - 14 are from unknown venues on unknown dates in 1979. Very good quality soundboard recording. Dave raps with the audience the entire show, really enjoying himself and throughly enjoying the sunshine of the day.
Download it here:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Saturday night after a fairly productive day. I started pulling gear out, checking everything piece by piece, for a planned adventure with the family. These two weeks will either result in praise from all or I'll be put on trial alongside Saddam Hussein accused of torture. We shall see. All I know is that time is evaporating and the deadline is fast approaching.
I was up for a good show tonight, having dug up some good music earlier in the day. First up was Television, their live album This Case Is Closed. "An open mic job from the original band's last ever show at the New York Bottom Line in July 1978 ("the first farewell" as the credits wryly note), when the guitars soar across a gripping "Marquee Moon" or an inspiring "Foxhole," Television's undeniable genius shines through. But the rough edges and muffled vocals will always remain more memorable (catch the Pythonesque Gumby backing vocals on "Kingdom Come"), and the audience is far too drunk for comfort."
"When Richard Lloyd was interviewed a few years back he said this of the 1978 tour: “That’s the chainsaw heavy-metal version of the band. We were playing Ampeg V-4 amplifiers on that tour. They were the size of a fucking house! Keith Richards talked us into using them. The Stones were using those outdoors for stadium shows, and we were playing indoors for 500 people!” The volume must’ve been intense!"
"Television is an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973. Although Television have never had more than a cult audience in their homeland, they have achieved significant commercial success in Europe. Today, they are widely regarded as one of the founders of punk and New Wave."
"Television was a part of the early 70s New York underground rock scene, along with bands like the Patti Smith Group, the Ramones and Talking Heads. In contrast to the Ramones' rock 'n' roll minimalism, Television's music was more complex, as well as technically proficient, defined by guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd."
What a music set, starting off slow but reaching a crescendo before the end. The audience was entertaining too!
Download it here:
Next up were the Gang of Four, a recording of their Peel Sessions. The evening was only getting better by the time I put this recording on, the truck stereo being turned up a bit more this late in the evening.
"A Rare Thing is a Bad (John)Peel Session. Many of the Peel sessions released on vinyl (in the 80s) or on CD since have went out of print and become collector's gold. This session or Sessions (there are 3 here) are pure quality Gang of Four. 2 Sessions from 1979 and one from 1981 (just before Dave Allen departed) show the band at it's peak. Every track here is worth a listen. Find this and Buy it. This is a great cd for anyone who loves rock. I would buy the cd just for the song "I Found That Essence Rare" . This definitly a cd you'll want to turn up loudand air guitar to!"
The Amazon.com bio says:
Gang of Four are one of the most radical, and radically important, rock groups of the last 30 years. Their music, starting with 1978’s Damaged Goods EP, offered a danceable solution to the problem of where four-piece guitar bands could go next after punk. They also provided the perfect answer to the question: how to be polemical without being po-faced, ponderous, banal or doctrinaire?
Four young men in their early twenties who convened in the late ‘70s in Leeds, they were the first rock group to come up with the idea that using funk rhythms would be a way forward for rock ’n’ roll, a way out of punk’s cul-desac. Gang of Four were like Dr. Feelgood jamming with Parliament Funkadelic produced by Lee Perry as a Radio 4 newsreader intoned balefully in the background.
More than anything, Gang of Four are about visceral, high energy, maximum impact rock ’n’ roll. They make you dance and they make you sweat, just as they make you think. That exclamation mark at the end of the title of their 1979 debut album Entertainment! – incidentally, one of the greatest debut albums ever made; in fact, one of the greatest long-playing records, period – was no accident or sleight of design. Nor were they rent-a-gobs or rabblerousers. They managed to inveigle complex ideas into powerful songs that were provocative yet simply thrilling. The music on that debut long-player was born out of a specific time in history, the result of a series of very specific circumstances and conditions – social, economic, emotional, political, musical – and yet it remains as true, as resonant, as relevant, as universally applicable three decades on as it was the day it was released.
The big bands of the 80s, the Chili Peppers, INXS, REM, have all spoken of their debt to Gang of Four but in more recent years, the band’s influence has become almost universal with the emergence of post-punk influenced bands such as Modest Mouse and Radio 4 and then the rise of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party.
Read it all and buy it here:
Download it here:
Echo and The Bunnymen performed last, in Njmegan Holland on June 2, 1981. An excellent FM broadcast of an early concert. It's The Bunnymen, what more should I say? I stomped out a dead patch in the grass behind the house with my dancing. I hope the wild flowers forgive me.
Download it here:
Monday, June 6, 2011
It was with great sadness that I had to cut down a tree on my property that was 150 years old. Its seed took root in that field on or around the date the Civil War began, at a time when Colorado was some wilderness crossed by fur trappers on their way to the Rockies. However, this lightning damaged and now weakened tree was heavily infested with pine beetles and I did not want them to emerge this summer and infect other trees around it. In addition the top fell off late this winter due to its weakened condition, lucky it did not strike my neighbors wood shop a few feet away.
I sharpened up the chain saw and took it down on Saturday. I spent all day Sunday sectioning it up into a size that woud fit into the fireplace, after it has been split. To keep the wood, it had to be wrapped in plastic so that when the beetles do emerge, baking inside beneath the hot summer sun. The wood should be ready to use this Fall. That fresh wood is heavy, injuring my back before I had the common sense to put my weight lifters belt on.
The gangs rule Wall Street
Have terrorized a nation
In their pin stripped suits
Little people act
The illusion of control
All part of the plan
Undercurrent of contempt
A spreading disease
Died for the people
To relieve us of our sins
Christ the socialist
Cherry trees blossom
Helped by warm Japanese nights
Jethro’s ship departs
Power’s rope slips from his hands
The rising brown tide
Hands raised up to God
Ask for his forgiveness while
pulling the trigger
Government is bad
Criticize with every chance
Until they need it
Their words of wisdom
Party ideologues write
With their poison pen
Truth’s not a concern
Story told for a purpose
Only to incite
Slept through Egypt’s night
They’re struggling to wake up
Dream of better times
All want to be millionaires
Their sweet sounding words
Lies that we all want to hear
Lull the babes to sleep
Long hours, no free time
Pelosi needs TLC
Requests Weiner probe
The forest fires in Arizona have cast a yellowish haze across Colorado these last few days, a faint burning odor to the air. Makes for some interesting sunsets.
Friday and Saturday nights were spent outside in the warm night air listening to music with a cigar and a few shots of tequila. I'm suprised no one complained Saturday night when, due to a late start, the truck stereo was cranked until 2:30 AM Sunday morning.
The show was kicked off by Baroness, sludge/progressive metal band from Savannah, Georgia. They played at the Roadburn Festival, Tilburg, Netherlands on April 23, 2009. Great quality recording of half the songs played that evening. What a way to kick off the night!
Download it here:
I slowed it down a bit with two solo shows by Ian McCulloh of the Bunnymen, the first performed at the Daytrotter Studio on March 10, 2010.
Grab it here:
This was followed by his performance on November 5, 1989 on BBC Radio One, live in Manchester, UK.
Saturday night started off with the Tokyo Police Club doing a live show at The Great Northern on August 1, 2008.
What's been written about them:
"Toronto's quirky, high-energy indie rock outfit Tokyo Police Club features vocalist/bassist Dave Monks, keyboardist/vocalist Graham Wright, guitarist/percussionist Josh Hook, and drummer/percussionist Greg Alsop. The band formed in the wake of the breakup of the foursome's previous project; after taking a break for several months, the musicians regrouped as Tokyo Police Club in 2005. They began performing live that summer, and that fall they played the Montreal Pop Festival, where the audience's rousing reception convinced the group to make Tokyo Police Club a full-time venture. Monks quit school, and early in 2006 the band signed with local label Paperbag Records and began recording their debut EP, A Lesson in Crime, which was released that spring. Buoyed by blog and MySpace buzz, Tokyo Police Club embarked on their largest tour yet that fall. Around the same time, A Lesson in Crime was reissued with wider distribution, and 2008 saw the release of the band's full-length debut, Elephant Shell. By the end of the year, Tokyo Police Club had toured in support of the album and already begun working on a follow-up record, Champ, which they ultimately released in 2010."
"So what exactly is Tokyo Police Club? Perhaps EYE Weekly summed it up best when they wrote "[Tokyo Police Club] are undeniably catchy and raw, marrying danceable hooks with talk of robot masters and global emergencies, providing an upbeat soundtrack to our troubled times." Personally, however, I prefer Exclaim's proclamation that "somehow, the deeply innocuous subdivisions of Newmarket, Ontario have hatched a four-headed beast of tunefulness."
Download it here:
I then turned to a classic recording, one of the best out there, Nirvana performing at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on November 25, 1991. The show was originally supposed to be at the Melkweg the day before, but had to be moved to a larger venue. During "Come As You Are" at the show, the guitar and bass were horribly out of tune with each other, so Kurt decided to scream most of the song's lyrics.
Find it here:
Closed the night with my recording of Interpol's show at the Boulder Theater on February 8, 2011.
Find it all here: