Monday, October 3, 2011


Another weekend of working on the bathroom, another weekend of virtual concerts. The work on the bathroom largely consists of reassembly which I thought I would have completed this weekend, but everything takes so much longer than expected, especially when there is no motivation. The worst was climbing up into the attic to replace the exhaust fan and vent pipe, working amidst fiberglass insulation that gets into your skin and clothing. This only makes me party even harder when 10 PM rolls around.

The only thing to break up the monotony of the daytime chores was a bike ride on Sunday morning down to Parker and beyond, a grueling experience because I am so out of shape. My ass still hurts.

Friday night started off with something new, The Ruts and their very first album, The Crack, released in 1979. The Ruts were a reggae-influenced British punk rock band, notable for the 1979 Top 10 hit "Babylon's Burning", and an earlier single "In a Rut", which was not a hit but was much played and highly regarded by the UK BBC Radio 1 disc jockey, John Peel. In his book Babylon's Burning, Clinton Heylin said of them:"The Ruts had risen on a groundswell of concert converts from eighteen months of solid gigging.  Turn-screw tight, The Ruts were the best musicians to play hard and fast since the proto-typical Pistols imploded."

"The Crack" was, and still is, a masterpiece of the period.  Opening with a screaming police siren which leads into "Babylon Burning" it highlights the sheer diversity and depth of the band.  Sure the early punk basic Punk numbers like "Criminal Mind"", "out of Order" and the chaotic live version of "Human Punk" were there to keep the hardcore following happy but it was the lyrical and musical progression which made the most impression.  "Jah Wars" saw that love of Reggae taken even further, seven passion filled minutes based around the Sothfall riots set to a biting Reaggae back beat that Misty themselves would relish.  The LP received it's fair share of critical acclaim and today is still essential purchase.

Read it all here:

I would agree with what was said above that it was a really good album that will cause to to hunt down more of their music, particularly the live shows.

Download it here:

The main act this Friday night was The Pretenders performing a really good show at the Norwegian Wood Festival at Frognerbadet in Oslo, Norway on June 13, 2009.  Chrissie sounds just as good now as she did 30 years ago when I saw her at Stony Brook University.  Sound board recording, but I think its not the complete show.  Still enjoyed it.

Download it here:

The Gang of Four's first two singles released kicked off Saturday night. The Gang's debut single, "Damaged Goods" backed with "(Love Like) Anthrax" and "Armalite Rifle", was recorded in June 1978 and released on 10 December 1978, on Edinburgh's Fast Product label. "At Home He's a Tourist" followed in 1979.    Comparing these two recordings with the Peel Sessions that followed, you can clearly hear an improvement in their performance.

Hugo Burnham: The Buzzcocks were playing [somewhere] and we [decided], "Lets do what the Pistols did , turn up and say, hello, we're the support act."And we just said , "Hi, we're..." "No, you're no." "[Well], can we be?"  Richard Boon was rather taken by our [nerve], and said, "All right, then."  And they loved us.  So literally two or three weeks later [he called us up and said], "We're going on tour.  Do you want to come with us?  You can be an opening act [before] The Slits, who are on tour with us."...We did Leeds University, opening for The Slits and Buzzcocks on stage where Live at Leeds was recorded.  We ended up at the Lyceum [in London] - one of those great nights.  It was Buzzcocks, The Slits, John Cooper Clarke, The Fall and us.  It was unreal...We were enveloped in the ruck, 'cause it was very exciting.  We were on the road.  We were a rock band!

Download them here:

I couldn't resist continuing to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind, pulling out their live show, “Playing at the Moon” recorded at a small club in New Haven, CT on September 26, 1991, almost exactly 20 years ago to the day.

The audience again almost steals the show, chatting with the band in between songs.  "Anybody here go to Yale?"  Loud "No" response from the audience.  "Yeah, you look too stupid."  Several cryptic references were made to "two weeks", perhaps implying that Nevermind, released only two days earlier would be reaching record stores in that time?  "Free bird!"  "Rock and roll!" After "Sliver," the band started playing "Blew," but ended up jamming on the song for a while because Kurt had guitar problems, as he did the entire night. Once Kurt got his guitar working again, the band played all of "Blew" from the beginning.

Download it here:

Sunday night relaxing with a cigar outside after sunset, listening to Amy Winehouse, "Absolutely Live" at the Tempodrom in Berlin on October 15, 2007. Great soundboard recording.

"The good news for fans is that after a string of no-shows, the troubled star turned up at Berlin's Tempodrom to kick off her first proper gigs since her drug overdose in August."

"And, true to form, the night was marked with the same thrills and wine spills that became a constant feature of her live performances before her demons forced her to take a break."

"But after a slow start she showed moments of sheer brilliance that confirmed she is one of the most talented artists of her generation."

Download it here:

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