Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Several days of snow this past week, with more due to arrive on Saturday.  But it wasn't nearly as deep as the blizzard of words flying around the office with the news of the "toxic goo."  But on Friday night the sky had cleared and I was outside enjoying the music in the frigid cold.

 I wanted to try something and chose Florence and the Machine, a soft spoken woman who sings beautifully, someone I had been hearing on the radio for the last several months.  Here was my chance to get to know her.  It was a relatively short show from the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Special on November 25, 2011.  Naturally the sound quality was excellent.

Wikipedia says:

Florence and the Machine (stylised as Florence + the Machine) is the recording name of English musician Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide music for her voice. Florence and the Machine's sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul.

The UK's Sunday Times described Welch as "the most peculiar and most highly acclaimed female singer of the moment" and "the latest in a line of great English pop eccentrics".

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The main attraction this evening, as it is every night they're playing, was Nirvana performing live at Lee's Palace in Toronto, Canada on April 16, 1990.  A classic Bleach set list, a high quality audience recording from within a relatively small venue, before they skyrocketed to super stardom with the release of Nevermind at the end of the year.  The people in the audience chatter while this Kurt, Krist and Chad pour it out on stage. At the end of the show, Kurt started throwing bottles at the wall behind Chad, then the audience started doing the same. Krist had to be carried off stage because he was barefoot.

Someone says (Kurt?): Mr. Sound man, the drummer can't hear the guitar.  Turn the guitar up a little bit for the drummer.  Thank you

Audience: Turn the guitar way up.

Audience: Yeah, towards the ceiling.

An interview from that evening:

In the spring of 1990, April 16th to be exact, on the stairs leading up to The Dance Cave above Lee's Palace, I had the chance to meet up with the trio who call themselves Nirvana. At the time the lineup consisted of vocalist and "Dark Star" Kurdt Kobain, outspoken and eccentric bassist Chris Novoselic, and since departed drummer Chad Channing. (He has been replaced by former Scream drummer Dave Grohl). The club had approximately 90 people inside. For the bulk of the session, however, it was just Chris rifling off crude comments and dreams.

PEACE: Give me a brief history.

Chris: "We crawled out of the sea. We were amoebas and we crawled out of the sea and slowly evolved into legs and arms and hands and picked up guitars and started playing."

Chad: And then we were born. No wait, we were reborn first

Chris: We were reborn Christians. We're going to talk to you about the Lord and God and your personal relationship with Jesus Christ

PEACE: It has been rumoured that the only reason you were signed is that Kurdt is a Robin Zander lookalike?

Chris: Yeah. See, there was an intense bidding war. It was sign with Sub Pop or sign with K-Tel

Kurdt: Or Buddah Records.

Chris: They put us up because of the Cheap Trick Dream Police album cover.

Kurdt: Made us pose and dress up in exactly the same costumes.

Chris: (singing) Police, Police.

Chris: Yeah. We're gonna do a Cheap Trick cover tonight. We're gonna do "The Flame."

PEACE: Is it true that Kurdt had an accident at a K-mart perfume counter.

Kurdt: Well I wanted a scent that would reflect me so we put together some spices, Ginseng…

Chad: And dirty socks.

Kurdt: Dirty socks. Well actually its not true. You don't have to go by that

PEACE: Tell me about your new material, (which became Nevermind).

Chris: It's a lot more melodic. There's a lot more melody. There's driving songs. There's gonna be melodic songs. There's not gonna be anything real slow or grungy on it.

Chad: There's boating songs and airplane songs.

Kurdt: We're every category you could think of, like Reggae.

Chris: Funk. I do some of the most amazing slap bass on this one song. You should see it. I just break the string right off. I keep on playin' and while I'm playing I tune guitar strings around the broken strings so I can still play while I'm still playing (not a typo) because I am such an accomplished bass player. While we're talking about my bass playing, also, I practice about seven hours a day. You see my talent and the way I play you'd know that it would take dedication. It takes…

Kurdt: A lot of reading Guitar World

Chad: And no drugs.

Chris: I know every John Entwhistle lick and every Emerson, Lake and Palmer like and while we're talking about mmmeeeeee…

Unknown person listening in: But can you slap like Sly Stone? (Editors note: You fool, Larry Graham played bass for Sly.)

Chris: Sure I can slap him. I slap him upside the head. I slap him. I slap him. Let me talk about me again. I'm a pretty nice person. I get along with… I'm insecure. I can't function socially. See. I'm breaking down in public now. Do you like me? What's wrong with me?

PEACE: I don't know. What is?

Chris: What do I look like? A Goddamn psychoanalysis schiz or something?

Unknown person still listening in: I told you we shouldn't have given them the five per cent beer. These Americans can't handle it.

The show which took place following the interview was a rock spectacle which has yet to be matched for both intensity and excitement. It all began when Chris climbed on top of his bass cabinet with his bass head. Towering 12 feet above the stage he began to balance the head on his own and before you could blink threw it across the stage and tumbled into the drums. Chad began to furiously drum all over including on the legs of Chris. Not to be outdone, Kurdt entered the crowd and began to throw beer bottles at the pair. Excited members of the audience joined in. Promoter Elliot Lefko quickly hopped onstage and, dodging bottles, beseeched the audience to stop.

Read it all here:

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