Monday, September 12, 2011


This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11, this century’s Pearl Harbor like event for the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, that some longed for. But alas many died on that day and many more were to die in the years to follow, the product of right-wing chicken-hawks, men who never saw its horrors but are intoxicated with the idea of war. The job is botched, the world is an even more dangerous place than before and the coconspirators run free while people continue to die. The dead weigh upon my mind.

But in the meantime, work continues on the bathroom, monopolizing another weekend. Regrouting shower stall walls, some painting and putting up trim and floor boards. Slow but steady progress continues to be made, although we are third of the way through September and I should be farther along. What is encouraging is that I’ve reached the stage where it is time to begin putting things back together again.

A fragile divide
The fine line within our hearts
Kindness and contempt

A floodgate opens
Waves carry the love away
Awash in their grief

First up was Wire, playing their first album Pink Flag, released in December 1977.  They are described as such:

Wire are a punk/alternative rock band which formed in London, England in 1976. The band initially consisted of Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). The band split in 1980, but reunited in 1985 and released six further albums before disbanding in 1992. The band reunited once more in 1999 and has remained active sporadically since.

They were originally associated with the punk rock scene and were later central to the development of post-punk. The band, which gained a reputation for experimenting with song arrangements throughout its career, exhibited a steady development from an early raucous punk style to a more complex, structured sound involving increased use of guitar effects and synthesizers. Critic Stewart Mason writes, “Over their brilliant first three albums, Wire expanded the sonic boundaries of not just punk, but rock music in general.”

Download Pink Flag here:

Mourn the innocent
Having forgot the guilty
They go unpunished

Plans set in motion
Leaping from a flaming death
Send our boots marching

Fan the nations fears
Their slingshot of aggression
Osama has won

Hurtling downward
Dust clouds spread waves of darkness
That no sun can pierce

A couple weeks ago I was driving over the mountains with a coworker who turned me onto a band I had never heard of before, Morphine.  The second show this Friday night was Morphine performing live at the Fox Theater, here in Boulder, Colorado on May 15, 1994.  I loved the whole arrangement: Mark Sandman's voice, lyrics and guitar playing, complemented by Dana Colley's saxaphone.  I also enjoyed Mark's rapport with the audience too.  Excellent soundboard recording, yielding a super show!

They are described as:

Morphine was an American alternative rock group formed by Mark Sandman and Dana Colley in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1989. Sandman and Colley added drummer Jerome Dupree to complete the lineup. After the release of Good, their debut album, Dupree left the band and was replaced by Billy Conway They disbanded in 1999 after frontman Sandman died of a heart attack.

Morphine combined blues and jazz elements with more traditional rock arrangements, giving the band a very unusual sound. Sandman's distinctive singing was described as a "deep, laid-back croon"and his songwriting featured a prominent beat influence. When asked by reporters to describe their music, the band created the label "low rock". One critical appraisal suggests that "Morphine immediately established a minimalist, low-end sound that could have easily become a gimmick: a 'power trio' not built around the sound of an electric guitar. Instead, with sly intelligence, Morphine expanded its offbeat vocabulary on each album."

Although Morphine was critically lauded throughout their career, it is difficult to measure their success commercially. In the United States the band was embraced and promoted by the indie rock community, including public and college radio stations and MTV's 120 Minutes (which the band once guest-hosted), but received little support from commercial rock radio and other music television programs. This limited their mainstream exposure and success in their home country, while internationally they enjoyed mainstream success and support, especially in Belgium, Portugal, France and Australia.

Download their Fox Theater show here:

A war without end
Draining the nations coffers
Profit for others

Atop the tower
Face the inevitable
Make a leap of faith

The criminals plot
Our lives are no consequence
In their worldly games

Falling through the sky
Over the river and cross
to the other side

Final cigarette
Crushed in airports parking lot
Boards flight ninety-three

Lost reality
Ears filled with the magic sound
Eyes closed and dreaming

Saturday night started off with Television, performing live at My Father's Place on Long Island, New York on March 20, 1978.  God, had I known about this music when I was so much younger I could have easily seen them while in New York at the time.  Oh, all the things I missed out on, but I'm trying to make up for it with my virtual concerts here in the backyard.

Downlaod the March 20, 1978 show here:

Saturday night ended late into Sunday morning listening to Echo & The Bunnymen perform at the Rockpalast in Bochun Zeche, Germany on March 5, 1983.  A long time ago I listened to this same show, but that recording was only about half the show.  This one tonight was the whole show from beginning to end.  Love this excellent recording, the band performing the best from their first three albums.

A full moon hung in the cloudless sky above on this cool Septemeber evening.

Download the flac files here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi volcanoman, Dave Sez here. Thanks for the Peter Hook recording - grand! A request for info: is this version of the Television gig one that you got via our Television megapost at Just checking in case I need to go get it as an alternative vinyl rip ... thanks for letting me know here, cheers Dave Sez.