Sunday, November 27, 2011


The Thanksgiving Day holiday had arrived, the family driving up to grandma's house while I worked in the basement, inking and hand pressing block prints for this years Christmas card and newsletter.  The boredom of standing in one place for seven or eight hours, broken only by listening to the radio and later the television.  After printing, my dinner was a foot long turkey sandwich made by Subway.  At that point I was so happy having finished the printing, for at least that day.  The process was repeated on Saturday with one more weekend being needed to make more prints before I can say I'm truly done.  Friday was spent in the office, one of the few people to show up.  I biked down to Jack Jensen's just to say hello, learning that he was selling a few different and very interesting works of art from the early 1990's, stashed away in his studio.

Considering it was a midweek evening, I only chose to listen to one show the night before Thanksgiving Day.  Coldplay, an incomplete soundboard recording of their live show at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England on June 25, 2005.  I was looking to listen to something slower paced than the normal high energy shows I've been listening to.

Scholars they are not
We glorify their rudness
National disgrace

Fast years have gone by
The vessel has been broken
Crys, his time has come

The disembodied voice
A sound of childhood friendship
And the phone goes silent

Download it  and another live performance by them here:

Friday night began with an early performance by the Pretenders, their performance at the Heatwave Festival in Mosport, Ontario on August 8, 1980.

Canada's legendary 1980 Heatwave Festival was the brainchild of concert promoter John Brower, who was based in Toronto. Brower established his reputation a decade prior, as the man behind the 1969 Rock and Roll Revival concert at Varsity Stadium (AKA "Live Peace In Toronto," which featured John Lennon's debut live performance outside The Beatles) and the three-day Woodstock-esque Strawberry Fields Festival held at Ontario's Mosport Park the following summer. For Canadians, as well as thousands of Americans and Europeans who traveled to this event, Brower's Heatwave Festival would become one of Canada's most memorable musical events.

This 1980 Heatwave Festival performance literally captures The Pretenders at that breakthrough moment, just as their debut album began climbing the North American charts and their first American single, the soulful and sensual "Brass In Pocket" had become a bona fide hit. That same week, the New York Times began coverage on the band in anticipation of The Pretenders' upcoming Central Park performance (also available here in The Concert Vault) a week after the Heatwave Festival.

Performing in the afternoon between Rockpile and the B-52's, The Pretenders performed during the major influx of the 15,000 ticketless radio listeners descending on Mosport Park. With a take-no-prisoners approach, they kick things off with a lacerating "Precious," signaling to the audience that this is a band with plenty of attitude and swagger. This pummeling opener is followed by the taunting and playful "The Adultress," a full year prior to its release. Destined for the lead off spot on The Pretenders' second album the following August, this features one of Hynde's most immortal couplets of "I'm the adultress I didn't want to be" with "But I'm convenient and I make good tea." These two challenging openers are next counterbalanced by the sweet vibrato purr of "Kid," displaying the two extremes of Hynde's songwriting.

Read it all here:

Find it here (note the need for a password):

Nirvana blasted their music late into the night, performing in the East Ballroom in the Husky Union Building at the University of Washington in Seattle WA on January 6, 1990.  An excellent soundboard recording.   Kurt and Krist were banned for life from all University of Washington venues for destroying so much gear at this show.

Download it here:

Saturday night began slow with Vampire Weekend, live at the French television show De La Semanine.  An excellent recording of course, if you don't mind the talking at the beginning and end of the show.

Download it here:

Late Saturday night was spent with Echo and the Bunnymen, listening to their last release Do It Clean.  There were a few things about it that sounded familiar because of a few comments made by Ian and coming from the audience. The woman calling out for "Steve-o" about whom Ian commented on the recording was the one who thought I was Larry (yeah, she and I met the previous year). The guy always calling out for Broke My Neck stood next to me that night.  I did not realize it but it turned out to be the December 11, 2010 show at the Olympia theater in Liverpool, a show I also recorded.  There was a lot they edited out to make this clean version of the show.   Listening to it made me wish I were going to Liverpool in a couple weeks to see them on their home turf again.

But it here:

Monday, November 21, 2011


Thursday night was spent at the annual Warren Miller ski movie shown at the Paramount Theater with the guys, really the one time of year we get together to catch up on news and have some beers.  This year's movie was a classic, with phenomenal mountain scenes down which skiers would plunge fearlessly, all accompanied by loud, fast music.  It was hard not to contain oneself.   After the show I hopped on the bicycle and peddled back to a location near the office where I camped outside under the leafless cottonwood trees along Cherry Creek.  I slept well, aided by a good pair of earplugs.  I woke up in the morning with a light ice buildup between the bivy sack and sleeping bag.  I'm beginning to really enjoy these camping trips on the edge of downtown Denver.

The Sound of Dentage was the premier website to download close to probably every bootleg recording by Nirvana, sometimes with multiple variations of a show, offering set lists and notes on the show and recording.  A fantastic resource for the Nirvana enthusiast.  A few months ago, very suddenly it was pulled off the air.  Although I had already downloaded a few dozen shows, I panicked, fearing my enjoyment of the music would come to a premature end.  But then this weekend while doing a search I came across it again, on a new server with a changed format, but with all the same information and links to several hundred recordings in lossy and lossless format.  I applaud the efforts of these people to share the music!

Fecal Matter was a short-lived punk band from Aberdeen, Washington, that formed in late 1985. It was the first band conceived by Kurt Cobain. The band recorded only one demo tape, Illiteracy Will Prevail, which remains officially unreleased with the exception of the song "Spank Thru". In February 1986, Fecal Matter disbanded and the Melvins recorded their debut EP.

After Fecal Matter disbanded, Cobain began passing the demo tape around to friends and peers in hopes of starting a new band. Cobain was particularly proud of the tape. To him, the tape showed that he did have talent. He had wanted to start a band with acquaintance Krist Novoselic for some time. After hearing the tape (and particularly liking "Spank Thru") Novoselic agreed to form a band in mid-1986. That band would become Nirvana.

"Sound Of Dentage" is one of the songs off that Fecal Matter demo.

Although I was somewhat tired from having stayed out the previous evening, Friday night was somewhat ambitious with three shows selected.  First up was Public Image Limited, live at Theater 140 in Brussels, Belgium on December 20, 1978.  Sounds like a small theater with a drunk and therefore overly enthusiastic crowd who was continually shouting at the band.  Long waits between each song as PIL waited for the audience to settle down.  Calling the people in the audience "fascists" didn't help.

This was the first EVER PiL gig. I think it's fair to say the audience didn't quite know what to expect, or probably did the band... Due to popular demand the promoters arranged two shows on the same night, one scheduled for 6pm, the other 7:30pm.

It was said about the show:

They made contact with Lisa Robinson at Virgin Records to get authorisation to organise the concert. The gig took place at the Theatre 140 but the demand for tickets was so high that Clean X had to ask Virgin for permission to add a second show the same day.

The second gig started about 20h30 or 21h30 (bad memory). The opening band was Mad Virgins (punk from Brussels). They played a good gig and the audience was okay. About 60 minutes after the end of the Mad Virgins set, PiL came on stage. Johnny went on with two personal heavy rasta body guards that pushed the first few rows away from him (there was no bouncers in the venue). The trouble started when one of the bodyguards took a drum stick and hit a punk that was too excited! The show was between 45' and 60' minutes long with several very long interruptions when the band left the stage. During this show they didn't play a lot of numbers. PiL ended the show without Johnny, doing instrumental versions. After the gig, all the Belgian audience and promoters were furious that the band that didn't care a lot. Like in Paris, most of the people were waiting for a Sex Pistols show. They took the reality right in the mouth...

Read it all here:

The second act was Nirvana playing at a house party at 17 Nussbaum Road in Raymond, WA in March of 1987. This is a rare recording of the first ever live show that Nirvana played, at that time the band was known as "ted ed fred".  While the quality is not the highest possible, it is a treat to listen to the band play live at such an early stage in their career – as unpolished and rough as it gets.

"This was the band's first show. "Heartbreaker" and "How Many More Times" are Led Zeppelin jams. Tony Poukkula, who lived in the house, plays second guitar for part of the show. The circulating recording may be incomplete. "Downer" is slightly cut into. This is the kind of disc that makes people collect bootlegs. The sound quality is not for everyone, but if you appreciate an incredibly rare and early performance, First Live Show is a "must have" CD. At the time of this writing, this is the ONLY commercially available title with this show.The performance that is listed as March 7th, 1987 is mentioned in the Charles Cross Kurt Cobain biography "Heavier Then Heaven". Mr. Cross does a good job describing the events before, during, and after the show and transcribes some of the banter that can be heard as the band runs through nine of Nirvana's earliest songs. The show takes place at a house party in Raymond Washington. Throughout the performance you can hear partygoers and the band chat back and forth. The band receives little to no applause. They are surprisingly tight (Aaron Burkhardt is on drums) and it's easy to tell the band had spent some time rehearsing. As Mr. Cross notes in the book, it's simply amazing that a tape like this exists. The sound is as good or better than anyone could expect. Interestingly, Kris Sproul of the Nirvana Live Guide was able to confirm that this CD was taken from the remaster he circulated - he made an edit after the soundcheck that is present in the commercial title. You won't find a document like this for many bands, this is something very special."

"Hey, who's got all the pot?"
"Alcohol, all night long, that's all you need."
"We're just going to drink alcohol."
"Acid, acid!"
"All I want is pot."
"Some in that little room over there."
"I'm going to pot you in about five minutes."

Download it here:

I closed the evening with Echo and the Bunnymen, a recording that was mislabeled as having been recorded on May 24, 2002, but turned out to be the official 2002 release entitled Live in Liverpool, recorded at live shows in 2001-2002.  Naturally an excellent recording.  Buy this late hour, after a couple cigars and some tequila, upon hearing this recording I felt as though I was tripping out, being so lost into the music.  Who knows what time it was when I entered the house to sleep.

Download it here:

Television started off Saturday night, "Ticket That Exploded," at the Earth Tavern in Portland Oregon on July 2, 1978.  An excellent recording of this performance.  The took nearly an hour to play eight of their songs, just jamming away up there on stage.

Download it here:

Nirvana closed out the weekend's shows, their show at Duffy's Tavern in Lincoln, Nebraska on May 13, 1990, before they skyrocketed in popularity.  The recording starts off with a scream followed by "Oh yeah, we're going to have a party tonight!  You folks out there like tequila?"  Launching right into "School."  That was the invitation I needed to get serious tonight!

"Live At Duffy's is a recording of two of their shows emanating from Duffy's bar in Nebraska, one in 1990, and the other in 1991. A spirited playing of 'School' starts the show, and the recording is actually pretty good. Floyd the barber follows, then Spank Thru, and it's pretty obvious that at this point their set was rather limited. Following Scoff, Krist announces that we've got a new album coming out in September, and this is gonna be on the album. This segues into Dive, which is still embryonic, and features the same verse over and over. About a girl follows, and then we have another embryonic track Breed. It"s decent. Big Cheese and Love Buzz get good responses from the crowd as does the velvet underground cover "here she comes now". A developing Polly is next, and its good. The rest of the 90' show is pretty decent, however it is missing Blew, and that's enough to put the rating down.  A good show, with a lot of energy. Recommended."

About Duffy's:

In its early years, Duffy’s drew a number of acts that went on to great fame, such as The Flaming Lips and most notably Nirvana, which played the tiny club twice.

Dave Rabe took over the booking duties at Duffy’s in 1991, just after Nirvana’s second appearance there. He intended for show No. 3 to be part of the tour supporting the band’s major label debut, “Nevermind.”

“I did book Nirvana,” Rabe said. “Then they got huge in five seconds and their guarantee was way more than we could handle. They canceled on us.”

There was a strong wind blowing this night/morning, a deep rushing sound through the pines.  It was such a pleasant sound that I decided to go to sleep in the back of the truck right there in the driveway.  With the sleeping bag in the house, I instead went to sleep under a thin blanket, only to wake up cold a few hours later, ending this adventure when I enterd the house to find my bed.

Download it here: