Saturday, July 25, 2009

Discount- Love, Billy (1998)


With all the hype that surrounds "super" group Dead Weather, that features Raconteur's/White Stripe's Jack White on drums, Jack Lawrence from the Raconteurs, Queen's of the Stone Age's Dean Fertita on guitar and the Kills/Discount's Alison Mosshart on vocals and guitar, one can appreciate the attention given to a once overlooked singer. I'm vaguely familar with the music of the Kills (not to be confused with the Killers), who have achieved a modest amount of commercial success, but I'm a huge fan of Alison's earlier band, Discount.

Discount was a high energy pop-punk band that hailed from Florida, whose sound reminds me of J-Church, but with a girl singer and they released three full-length albums and many singles and ep's. One of those ep's they recorded featured 5 Billy Bragg cover songs, not sure why they would cover Billy, but obviously they we're big fans and this is their tribute to him. They do a fine job rockin' up Bragg's songs!

DISCOUNT
Love, Billy (1998)
1. Accident Waiting To Happen
2. Waiting For The Great Leap forward
3. Pict Song
4. Help Save The Youth Of America
5. North Sea Bubble

Discount-Love, Billy.rar

Friday, July 24, 2009

Before We Was Famous- The Clash!


Lately for some reason, I've been rediscovering and listening to a lot of British bands from the late 70's. Bands such as the Buzzcocks, Jam, Rich Kids, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Joe Jackson, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe and Rockpile...so it's only appropriate I post some early Clash demos from their first album. The first three Clash albums are essential for any fan of English punk, though they abandoned their punk roots for their later albums for experimentation in reggae, dub and funk, the Clash will always be known for their rebellious attitude and politicalized lyrics. These early recordings proved they had the talent and the depth to easily rival and surpass the Sex Pistols (at least musically)...and more!
Enjoy!

THE CLASH
Polydor Demos
01 - Career Opportunities
02 - White Riot
03 - Janie Jones
04 - London's Burning
05 - 1977
Polydor Demos (1976).rar

Mickey Foote Demos
01 - Preamble
02 - I'm So Bored With The U.S.A.
03 - London's Burning
04 - White Riot [Take 1]
05 - White Riot [Take 2]
06 - Career Opportunities
07- 1977
08 - Janie Jones [Instrumental]
Mickey Foote Demos (1977).rar

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Way Before He Was Famous- Lou Reed


During an episode of Elvis Costello's TV show, Spectacle, guest musician Lou Reed made reference to some early recordings he made well before the Velvet Underground formed. He mentioned these rare recordings are out there and probably found on bootlegs. In 1963, Lou worked as an in-house staff song writer for Pickwick Records, but even before that (when he was in high school), Lou recorded some songs with a group called, The Jades. These songs were released by Norton Records in 2000 on an 7" EP called, All Tomorrow's Dance Parties, curiously a song found on the first VU album is titled, All Tomorrow's Parties. This captures Lou's earliest known recordings.

The Jades songs, So Blue and Leave Her For Me, were recorded in 1958, while the first ever Lewis (Lou) Reed solo recordings, Your Love/Merry Go Round were from 1962. If you didn't know this was Lou Reed, you would never guess. Very different from anything he ever released with the Velvets or beyond. An interesting listen and an important document at least for historical purposes.

Here's the YouTube link to Lou Reed and Elvis Costello performing Perfect Day on Spectacle. I must admit Reed sounded really rough and he struggled to sing (...talk?) the song. Elvis on the other hand, sounded inspired and spirited on this Lou Reed classic, which I always considered his most "perfect", beautiful song!

All Tomorrow's Dance Parties (Norton Records)
LEWIS (Lou) REED (1962)
Your Love
Merry Go Round

THE JADES (1958)
So Blue
Leave Her For Me

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Elvis Costello Returns...31 Years Later!


It's been a long time coming, but it was worth it! November 11, 1978 was the last time Elvis Costello paid Winnipeg a visit (The Playhouse Theatre!) and though he technically didn't play Winnipeg on Wednesday night (actually Bird's Hill), Elvis promised, "we know the way now".

The set by Elvis Costello and the Imposters on the opening night of the 2009 Winnipeg Folk Festival was no doubt one of the best shows I've ever seen at the festival. The energy of the band, the amazing setlist and the fact I've seen one of my musical heroes all contributed to this memorable evening. The whole evening was perfect, I attended with my wife, sister and friends of ours and I ran into and talked to many good friends. The weather was great, no rain, clear sky, little wind and the mosquitos were minimal. Good times!

Highlights:
  • What can you say about the setlist! The first four songs were from the early days (first 3 albums + Chelsea, a classic early single) and the last 6 songs of the encore were all classic Elvis, worth the price of admission alone! Radio Sweetheart, Femme Fatale etc...wow!
  • Winnipeg was lucky because Elvis played with the Imposters line-up instead of the Sugarcanes band who played on his most recent album, Secret, Profane and Sugarcane. The Imposters feature two original members of the Attractions, Steve Nieve (on keys and piano) and Pete Thomas (drums). The Sugarcanes were touring with Elvis in June and for the rest of the Summer and they perform primarily newer material with some early stuff sprinkled in. The songs performed with the Lovell Sisters featured many songs from the new album.
  • There was a time in the early 90's when I thought EC was getting tired and I was losing interest in his music and his performances. I saw him on the Larry Sanders show and he looked bloated and old. I think around this time I professed I didn't think I would see him live if he came to town. Something's happened in the last few years where he sounds more inspired and he seems more energized. His voice is prime and his showmanship is first-rate. Perhaps his marriage to Diana Krall or his TV show, Spectacle has given him a new inspiration. Whatever it is, it works!
Setlist:
01. Accidents Will Happen
02. Mystery Dance
03. (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
04. You Belong To Me
05. I Hope You're Happy Now
06. Man Out Of Time
07. Motel Matches
08. Suit Of Lights
09. Complicated Shadows
10. Condemned Man
11. Blame It On Cain
12. Sleep Of The Just
13. Brilliant Mistake
14. Radio Sweetheart / Jackie Wilson Said
15. Femme Fatale - with The Lovell Sisters
16. American Without Tears - with The Lovell Sisters
17. The Crooked Line - with The Lovell Sisters
18. Sulphur To Sugarcane - with The Lovell Sisters
19. Mystery Train - with The Lovell Sisters
Encore:
20. The Scarlet Tide - with The Lovell Sisters
21. Watching The Detectives
22. Alison - including Tracks Of My Tears and Tears Of A Clown
23. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
24. Radio, Radio
25. Pump It Up
26. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding

I'm posting the last 6 amazing back to back songs that ended the show. I recorded the show from the tarp about halfway back, the sound was loud and clear and the recording is surprisingly good considering outdoor shows aren't the idea recording venue.

The complete concert is available now on dimeadozen.org, but if you aren't a member, leave a request in the comments section as I might post a rar. file download if there's enough interest.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back To Blogging!


Sorry for not posting the last few days, but supposedly this blog was locked while it was under review. Apparently my blog has the characteristics of a spam blog, not sure why, (maybe it's my lack of consistent posting?) but obviously it's not... so I'm back to posting. Have lots to say before I'm on vacation at the end of July.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bum- Shake Town!


Happy Canada Day!!
I thought as a tribute to this great day (and mid-week day off from work), I should post a truly great piece of Canadiana, but since I don't have any Gordon Lightfoot, Guess Who or Nickelback (thank goodness!) available, instead I will post something from one of my favourite Canadian bands, Bum. Their best known album, Wanna Smash Sensation was and still is a underappreciated gem, if you're into indie-powerpop from the early 90's, this Victoria, BC band blasted it's way into my record collection with several 7"ers, LP's and CD's, many of which were released in Spain. Instead of posting WSS (you can download it by clicking the link), I'm posting their hard to find live CD, Shake Town!, which I think I bought through mail-order from Midnight Records back in the day.

For some reason many bands have had a big (if not bigger!) following in Spain more than in their home countries. Bands that come to mind are the Jayhawks (who reunited their mid-90's lineup there) and Jonathan Richman, while several bands have recorded their live albums (and toured extensively) in Spain, such as Young Fresh Fellows, Model Rockets, Smugglers and Bum. Bum's live album called Shake Town was recorded at the Revolver Club in Madrid, Spain on May 27, 1994, more than 15 years ago. This recording is a fine example of their energetic live show and showcases what a fun and powerful band Bum was live. I had the pleasure of seeing them in a small club twice and though both shows were poorly attended the band still put on a killer set. After both shows I had a chance to talk to the band and get some 7"ers signed...nice guys and a great band!
(For Bum's 7"ers, the blog, Wilfully Obscure has posted a collection on his site...very recommended!!)

BUM
Shake Town!
1. Debbie Speak
2. I Wanna Be
3. When She Walked
4. Instant Kool Ayd
5. Lift Up Your Hood
6. Wedding Day
7. 1983
8. Why Go Out Your Way
9. Eternal Ideal
10. A Promise Is A Promise
11. Hi-C Half
12. Your Name Was Next To Mine
13. I Hardly Breathe
14. Mrs. Rock-n-Roll
15. Sea And Sand
16. Depression

download: BUM-Shake Town! .rar
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