Thursday, July 5, 2012


A weekend and the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  But there is no independence from working on this summer's room renovation project, involving some time in the sweltering heat of the attic laying wire for new lighting in the bookcase.  There was a moment of fear when I though the bookcase frames, which stand floor to ceiling would a) too big to haul up to the second floor and b) too big to stand up straight without being stopped by the ceiling.  It all worked out well in the end.

Continuing with my exploration of the Britpop era, as described in John Harris' book Britpop! Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock, this first night I chose to listen to Oasis, their live show at the Copenhagen Dome in Denmark on September 10, 1997. An excellent audience recording.  Mr. Harris writes:

Despite the fact that Noel Gallagger's presence at Downing Street suggested that his influence had reached a new peak, 1997 found the zeitgeist edging away from him.  In the context of the wider musical developments, Be Here Now's songs increasingly sounded as superfluous as its myriad guitar overdubs; as of the summer, rock music began to take on a rather more artful, questioning tenor."

Oasis are described as:

Oasis are a Rock and Roll band from Manchester, England. The group shot to stardom in the early 1990s with a brand of traditional British rock and roll that had, for a number of years, been replaced with hazy Shoegaze and American Grunge. Oasis established themselves as one of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990's, not only with their music, but also by the band's infamous behavior on and off the stage including heavy drinking, drug abuse, confrontations with the media and fighting, particularly brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher.

They have had eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums, and won fifteen NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six Brit Awards, including one in 2007 for outstanding contribution to music and one for the best album of the last 30 years as voted by the BBC Radio 2 listeners; they have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. As of 2009, the band have sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide.[1] The band were listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run by a Group” after an unprecedented run of 22 top 10 hits in the UK. The band also holds the Guinness World Record for being the most successful act in the UK between the years 1995 and 2005, spending 765 weeks in the Top 75 singles and albums charts.

Download it here:

I've been waiting for this one, Ian McCulloch doing a solo performance in the cavernous Liverpool Cathedral on January 22, 2011.  It was ordered when I made a pledge for this and his latest collection of songs, both received as a download.  I paid for a signed copy of the Liverpool Cathedral show, but production problems has delayed its release.  I'm sure it will show up one of these days in the mail, a surprise present from Ian.  The entire show is a joy to listen to.  Buy it if you have an opportunity.

Buy it here:

I was in a Van Halen mood Tuesday night, the night before Independence Day.  I wanted to warm up with Extreme, led by former Van Halen frontman Gary Cherone, their live show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on August 6, 2009.  Gary and Nuno rip up the stage in this excellent recording.

A fan writes:

After physically exhausting everyone in the room, Extreme decided to lull us into a completely false sense of security by pulling out the acoustics and lowering the lights. With a pre-recorded backing track, Pat and new drummer Kevin ‘kFigg’ Figueiredo (Gary Cherone had to go figure out what his next sequence of poses and weird dances would be) Nuno laid down the fucking law with “Midnight Express.” What happened next puzzled, confused and downright pissed me off. They played “More Than Words.” of course. To be honest, Extreme not playing “More than Words” is like Dream Theater not playing “Pull Me Under.” Wait. That’s exactly what happened when I saw Dream Theater, and not only was I not upset that they skipped that dud, but I had a better time because of it.

But, just playing the song is not the part that upset me. What upset me was that the audience, like a collection of retarded automatons who actually didn’t listen to Extreme except for the year and a half they were prominently featured on MTV, pulled out their cameras and recoded videos of the completely and utterly unspectacular performance of the marginally-better-than-awful song. To me, that would be like lighting your friend’s face on fire and only recording your other friends reactions. What’s the point?

Read it all here:

I found a second version of Van Halen's Denver May 24, 2012 show, recorded by CaboRat.  It's an excellent audience recording of the show, better than the one I got.  Three cheers for CaboRat!  I cranked up the stereo and relived that evening all over again, the 2 hour show going by in what felt like a few minutes.  It was about 1 AM before I made it back in the house.

CaboRat writes:

If anything, it’s times like this I am really glad Dave is back. He’s made the band FUN again…and alive, which is also due in large in part to Wolfie reinvigorating them as well. We don’t get the “stand-around-while-I-try-to-think-of-something-cool-to-say” like Hagar used to. Nothing wrong with Hagar, so long as when he opens his mouth it’s for singing and not slamming the band as he's done lately, but I just can’t find any other way to describe Dave’s return as “FUN”. Period. He keeps the concert momentum going non-stop, and I also love how, since he’s back, the band launches into extended jam sessions in the middle of songs. He and Ed will bounce off one another constantly, and I can see genuine happiness and satisfaction in Ed’s eyes when that happens. Looking at Wolf, you can see he gets off on watching his dad and Dave do this, too. I don’t ever recall Ed and Sam doing this. Maybe with their guitars, but doing the “guitar & scat” thing Ed & Dave does, sometimes during multiple songs? Nope. Everything I saw in Denver was 110% genuine…from the onstage camaraderie between all involved to Ed and Dave hugging one another at the end of the show. They love working together and playing together. I really hope it lasts.

Download the flac file here:

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