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:

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