Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Weakerthans- The Left And Leaving Show

Night 2 of the Weakerthan's 4 & More tour featured their second album, Left And Leaving played in order, start to finish. When I bought tickets for this and the other shows back in July, I knew this was the show I wanted to see for sure. Left And Leaving is my favourite Weakerthans record and though the first album was filled with great songs, the second album is the one that took the band to the next level. They gained much national coverage and attention south of the border with this record as the songs were even better and the songwriting was stronger. A good mix of rockers and slower songs, I was reminded at this show how the range of the band grew and continues to grow with each new record.
The venue for night 2 was the West End Cultural Centre, a larger room than the Albert, but still an intimate space. One of the things I noticed was how cozy and comfortable this room is. The WECC was renovated almost 2 years ago, they added a small balcony with seats towards the back, the stage is bigger and the floor now had carpet (I don't think it did before?) and the room is clean and well cared for by the staff and volunteers that operate the place. Depending on the anticipated size of the crowd, the room is set up with either chairs and tables, chairs only or no chairs with standing only. Most of the bigger name shows are standing only and the sardine-crush to the front of the stage is always a claustrophobic experience. I positioned myself in the sweet spot, pressed record and stood back and embraced the sweet sounds of the Weakerthans and I definitely reached some kind of euphoria bliss. I thought back to the first time I saw the band live and it was here at the West End. They were one of the opening bands (along with Paper Moon) for the Bonaduce's CD release show back in 1998. During this show, the Weakerthans tried out some new songs that would eventually end up on the Left And Leaving record, so in some ways this album was coming full circle, if that makes any sense. Come to think of it, I recorded that show in 98 and it's interesting to hear the progression and evolution of a song from before it's even recorded to 12 years later after the band has probably played many of these songs hundreds of times.

My daughter and wife accompanied me to the show and they both enjoyed seeing the band up close, especially when it was evident the band was having a fun time on stage. Usually, when the band plays in Winnipeg they are designated to play at the Burt (seats 1,200+), but for these smaller venues, like the WECC (>350), it has a more casual, less formal feeling, and I'm sure if the band had a choice (besides the money) they would prefer the friendlier confines of the West End, than the cavernous sounding Burt.

THE WEAKERTHANS
West End Cultural Centre

Winnipeg, MB

December 16, 2010

"Left And Leaving" Show


01. Everything Must Go!
02. Aside
03. Watermark
04. Pamphleteer
05. This Is A Fire Door Never Open
06. Without Mythologies
07. Left And Leaving
08. Elegy For Elsabet
09. History Of The Defeated
10. Exiles Among You
11. My Favourite Chords
12. Slips And Tangles

13. Our Retired Explorer
14. (Hospital Vespers)
15. Leash
16. None Of The Above
17. Civil Twilight
18. Vitute The Cat Explains Her Departure
Encore
19. Bigfoot!
20. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist
21. The Reasons

Songs from "Left And Leaving": Tracks 1-12


WEAKERTHANS- 2010-12-16. rar (mp3-256 kbps)

Dimeadozen.org (members only)- lossless FLAC
Please do not sell this recording.
Thanks!!
Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Weakerthans- The Fallow Show

The title more accurately should read, songs from the Fallow album at The Albert, on December 15th. It was the first of four concerts the Weakerthans played in four consecutive nights conquering one album each night, at four different venues...the 4 & More series. This is an interesting concept as I've heard about more and more bands doing the "complete album" shows sometimes concentrating on a classic record for a tour (Liz Phair- Exile In Guyville or Roger Waters- The Wall). I only had the opportunity to attend 3 of the 4 nights (due to Christmas work commitments), so if anyone went to the 3rd night (Reconstruction Site) and recorded the show, please let me know! I recorded the shows I attended and I want to share them with you, but ran into some trouble during the last show, I'll fill you in later.

Wow, the last time I was at The Albert was seeing the Weakerthans in 2002 during their 5th anniversary concert series. Similar to this year's event, the band also played 4 shows in 4 nights at 4 different venues, but substituting the Burton Cummings Theatre with Wellington's, a now closed bar that hosted many amazing punk and alternative shows from the 70's right through to the early 2000's. The Albert hasn't changed much, still the same dank looking place I remember, kind of both friendly feeling and scary at the same time. Fortunately, with a band like the Weakerthans, the audience is fairly evenly split male/female ratio so the aggression I've felt at this bar seeing punk bands wasn't evident. I was just thinking about some of my most memorable shows I attended at the Albert. Green Day, (before they were famous), Plumtree (their last ever Winnipeg appearance), and the New Duncan Imperials (still the BEST show for under 10 bucks) are just a few of the bands I've seen there.
I staked out a "sweet spot" in front of a pillar directly in front of the centre of the stage and watched the band "perform" Fallow in order from the first track to the end of the album. I'm sure there were songs that they hadn't played live in some time, if at all, but Fallow is a solid debut album and it was a thrill to hear it all live. The second half of their set featured 2 songs each from their other 3 albums and for the encore they played one more song from the other 3 albums. There is something extra special to see a band play at a venue that is "too small" for their popularity and see them genuinely have a good time and I know the crowd was into it as they passionately sang along at the appropriate times, it was a great feeling! A highlight (or low light) was when some drunken guy barged through the crowd and stumbled on stage during Plea From A Cat Named Virtute and grabbed the mic to sing along with Samson. The guy was harmless, he got off the stage after the song, but not before chugging from Stephen Carroll's beer. John K. later told me they just cautiously carried on when he came on stage, figuring as long as he wasn't a threat, no big deal. I guess this shows you the type of security the Albert has or lacks, if this was the Garrick, Pyramid or the Burt, security would have surely beat this guy.
Here's a real review of the show.

THE WEAKERTHANS
Royal Albert Arms

Winnipeg, MB

December 15, 2010

Fallow Show

01. Illustrated Bible Stories For Children
02. Diagnosis
03. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist
04. None Of The Above
05. Letter Of Resignation
06. Leash
07. Wellington's Wednesdays
08. The Last Last One
09. Greatest Hits Collection
10. Sounds Familiar
11. Anchorless
12. Fallow

13. Tournament Of Hearts
14. Sun In An Empty Room
15. Reconstruction Site
16. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
17. Aside
18. Left And Leaving
Encore
19. One Great City!
20. Hymn Of The Medical Oddity
21. Watermark
Songs From "Fallow": tracks 1-12

THE WEAKERTHANS- 2010-12-15. rar (mp3-256 kbps)

If you prefer, I've posted this show in lossless FLAC on dimeadozen.org (you need to register to be a member). If you can't download this and you want a lossless copy, leave a message or email me.

Please do not sell this recording and please ask before re-posting elsewhere. Thanks!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas From Teenage Dogs In Trouble!!

Yes, this is my actual REAL tree!

I just wanted to pass on Christmas greetings and let everyone know that in the upcoming days I will be posting my reviews and possibly some music from the recent Weakerthans 4-night stand here in my (and the band's) hometown. I attended 3 of the 4 shows, including the all-albums finale at the Burton Cummings Theatre. All the shows were awesome and I'll share as much as I can, but first I want to upload them to Dimeadozen.

I've been so busy for the past week preparing for Christmas, but now I have a few days off before I get back to my real job, to get this blog updated and back on track. Also this week, I will be posting my list of recommended albums from 2010 and reminisce of the past year. So please be patient and keep checking back. I promise it will be worth it!

p.s.- I'm still in the process of re-linking past downloads, but if there's anything you still can't access, please leave a comment or email me and I'll send you a direct link.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weakerthans Go "All In"!!


This is the start of "Weakerthans Week" here at Teenage Dogs, with the band performing all four albums in their entirety, in four nights, at four different venues. Back on my post from July 5th (4, 4, 4, 4), I previewed the shows and explained my logic of why you should buy tickets for the first two shows first. As it turns out, the first three shows are completely sold out (probably have been for the last month) mainly because they are the smaller venues, but also because hearing the first three albums in their entirety is a rare treat.

Last week, the Weakerthans announced they would go, "all in" and play all four albums at the final show at the Burton Cummings Theatre. The albums would be performed in reverse order beginning with Reunion Tour and ending with their first album, Fallow. When I heard this I didn't believe the news, will the band actually play all their albums in one night? If each album averages over 50 minutes, will the Weakerthans play for over 3 1/2 hours? Not even Springsteen in his prime turned this feat, or at least not often. My wife talked to John K. last week and he assured her this was true, holy shit! This will be an epic show and I quickly considered purchasing a ticket. I bought tickets to the first two shows back in July, but I wrote off the 4th because I had seen the band often recently and felt the earlier albums would more essential. As luck would have it I monitored the ticket availability on Ticketmaster for a few days as I watched the seats sell quickly making it's way to the top of the first balcony. Then on last Thursday night, a single seat became available for row 4 centre floor, strange considering an hour earlier (and after) I would have been 12th row in the balcony. Someone tell me how this can happen, though I'm not complaining, but it does sound weird. Oh well, I have my ticket in hand along with nights #1 and 2, so I'm attending 3 of 4 nights. Stay tuned to this site because if all goes well, I'll try to post recordings from 3 of the shows and hopefully someone will record night #3. (keep your fingers crossed!)
Is anyone attending ALL 4 shows??
To get you in the mood, here's a show from SXSW in Austin, Texas from 2000. I'm not sure the exact date or the venue or if this is a complete set (might be, the SXSW showcases are shorter sets), but it's an enjoyable set from the Weakerthans circa, Left and Leaving.

THE WEAKERTHANS
SXSW
Austin, Texas
2000

1. Everything Must Go
2. Diagnosis
3. Watermark
4. Left And Leaving
5. Aside
6. Letter Of Resignation
7. Pamphleteer
8. Wellington Wednesdays

WEAKERTHANS- sxsw Austin, TX. rar

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

30 years Ago Today...


...the world lost one of the greatest songwriters of our time. He formed one of the most successful songwriting teams with Paul McCartney and the Beatles were the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the 20th century. John Lennon will be remembered not only for the music he produced, but also for his political activism and bringing attention to issues that he felt strongly about. His anti-war, "give peace a chance" stand is as much part of the John Lennon persona as John Lennon, the rock star. The unfortunate irony of his death at the hands of a gun wielding murderer, Mark David Chapman, is a message to everyone there is much hate and instability in this country.

As a tribute to John Lennon I'm posting a compilation of home recordings, demos, studio and live recordings with just John and his acoustic guitar. This collection might be geared more towards die-hard fans, but there are many interesting interpretations and plenty of songs worth a listen. I especially like this version of Watching The Wheels. Seven of these songs are previously unreleased. Though this album was released in 2004, all the tracks were recording in the 1970's, thus keeping with my 70's theme this week.
Enjoy!!

JOHN LENNON
Acoustic (2004)

1. Working Class Hero
2. Love
3. Well Well Well
4. Look at Me
5. God
6. My Mummy's Dead
7. Cold Turkey
8. I'm a Man
9. Luck of the Irish (Live)
10. John Sinclair (Live)
11. Woman is the Nigger of the World
12. What You Got
13. Watching the Wheels
14. Dear Yoko
15. Real Love
16. Imagine (Live)
17. It's Real
JOHN LENNON- Acoustic. rar

Lost Links?

I noticed some of the links to the downloads have been reverted to "private mode". For some reason the links to my on-line storage supplier, Adrive have been disconnected. It has only affected the posts from before November, but the good news is I have begun to restore the links.

Everything earlier than May 14, 2010 might be still be temporarily unavailable, but don't worry I'm updating the links and gradually they will all be back. Keep checking back here.

Please let know if you are experiencing any other problems.
Thanks!!

Nick Lowe- The Wilderness Years


The Wilderness Years is a collection of songs Nick Lowe recorded between his time with Brinsley Schwarz and his first solo album, Jesus Of Cool (titled, Pure Pop For Now People, in the U.S.). He recorded a lot of songs during this period, doubling as a house producer for Stiff Records as well as later forming Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. There are a number of rarities with outtakes, covers, a few previously unreleased demos, and singles released only outside of the States. The songs on this compilation range from gems to throwaways, but does exhibit the sense of humour in Lowe's writing that gave him a certain charm that is irresistible.

NICK LOWE
The Wilderness Years (1991)


Fool Too Long
Let's Go to the Disco
Everybody Dance (Nick Lowe, Daniel Adler)
Bay City Rollers We Love You
Allorolla Part 1
Rollers Show
Heart of the City
Halfway to Paradise (Gerry Goffin, Carole King)
Truth Drug
Born a Woman (Martha Sharpe)
Endless Sleep
Shake That Rat
I Love My Label (Lowe, Profile)
I Don't Want the Night to End
So Heavy
Keep it Out of Sight
Heart
I Got a Job


NICK LOWE- The Wilderness Years. rar

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The New Favourites Of Brinsley Schwarz


An over-looked band in the early 70's was the influential band, Brinsley Schwarz whose first exposure to America came at the expense of the infamous incident that became known as, "the Brinsley Schwarz hype". The band's manager flew a plane full of British journalists to New York for a show as the band was opening for Van Morrison on April 3rd and 4th, 1970. The band was to arrive in NY a few days before the gig to rehearse, but instead were delayed because of visa problems and only arrived shortly before the gig with rented equipment. The journalists were due the next day, but the flight was delayed for four hours and with a free bar the journalists eventually arrived drunk or hung-over. The band received negative reviews from the critics for the show and panned their debut album. So much for the hype and this drove the band into seclusion before coming back with a different sound and a follow-up album. The band played a more loose, pub rock sound and went on to release six records in total (not counting compilations etc.) before disbanding in 1975. The members of the band went onto other projects, guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and Bob Andrews to the Rumour with Graham Parker and Ian Gomm and Nick Lowe both pursued solo careers.

Brinsley Schwarz's final album, The New Favourites Of, was produced by Dave Edmunds and this was as close to a hit as the band came. It received positive reviews and the slicker, more polished pop sound provided a glimpse of the brilliance of Nick Lowe as a songwriter and performer. This album contained the original version of the Nick Lowe-penned, (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, which became more identified with Elvis Costello (he recorded it for the Nick Lowe produced, Armed Forces album), than Brinsley Schwarz. Lowe and Costello recently played a pair of shows where they both performed each others songs, of course they closed with Peace, Love and Understanding. This album is one of my favourites from the 70's that shouldn't be overlooked when you talk about the whole pub rock, new wave, punk movement of the 70's because without the Brinsley Schwarz band, the careers of Graham Parker and Elvis Costello may not have existed.
Enjoy!

BRINSLEY SCHWARZ
The New Favourites Of Brinsley Schwarz (1974)


1. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?
2. Ever Since You're Gone
3. Ugly Things
4. I Got the Real Thing
5. Look That's in Your Eye Tonight
6. Now's the Time
7. Small Town, Big City
8. Trying to Live My Life Without You
9. I Like You, I Don't Love You
10. Down in the Dive
11. I've cried my last tear (bonus track)
12. (It's gonna be a) Bringdown (bonus track)
13. Everybody (bonus track)
14. There's a cloud in my heart
(bonus track)

BRINSLEY SCHWARZ- The New Favourites Of. rar

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alex Chilton- 1970


The theme this week (I just decided right now) on TDIT is looking back to the past, specifically the '70's. That great decade that produced everything from glam, disco, punk and what we refer to as "classic rock". My last post was a sample of some late 70's punk, today we go back 40 years to 1970. Wow, it's hard to believe the 70's was so long ago, I guess I spent much of my "formal" years in that decade and these are the years when I was first introduced to music.

After Alex Chilton left the Boxtops, he recorded a set of studio tracks in Memphis with the intention of shopping them around to labels for a solo release. This record deal didn't materialize and these tracks sat on the shelf while Chilton formed Big Star with Chris Bell. Just think, if Chilton did release these songs in 1970 to launch a solo career, Big Star would never have happened. Anyways, most these songs sat unreleased, except for bootlegs and some tracks that appeared on an album, Alex Chilton's Lost Decade in 1985, until Terry Manning the album's producer rediscovered the master tapes. The resulting album, 1970, is seemingly the missing link between The Boxtops and Big Star with tracks that sound reminiscently like both bands and like many of Chilton's solo records it's an uneven, inconsistent set of music. Some highlights included the beautiful, Everyday As We Grow Closer, that could easily have been fit into Big Star's first two records and covers of Sugar, Sugar and Jumping Jack Flash that are both loose and sloppy, but are fun and tongue 'n' cheek. An interesting collection of songs that gives insight into Chilton's early work and it's a must for any Big Star fans.

ALEX CHILTON
1970 (1996)

1. Come On Honey
2. I Can Dig It
3. Just To See You
4. Free Again
5. Something Deep Inside
6. All I Really Want Is Money
7. I Wish I Could Meet Elvis
8. The Happy Song
9. Every Day As We Grow Closer
10. The EMI Song (Smile For Me)
11. Jumpin' Jack Flash
12. Funky National
13. Sugar Sugar/I Got The Feelin'


ALEX CHILTON- 1970. rar

Friday, November 26, 2010

Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers- L.A.M.F. The Lost '77 Mixes


Even though Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers were a legendary band with many recordings available, the band only recorded one proper studio record. This album, L.A.M.F. (Like A Mother Fucker) was notorious not for it's showcase of the Heartbreaker's classic songs, but instead for it's crappy sound and brutal mix. It's not to say the songs weren't any good, they are great, but instead the mix of the recording caused much grief as the recording went from studio to studio with each mix considered and rejected. Drummer Jerry Nolan threatened to quit the band if the album was released without "a proper mix". It was released anyways with it's inferior sound and Nolan quit during their UK tour.

I must confess I own the original vinyl LP (on the original cover it says, "The Heartbreakers", not "J.T. And the Heartbreakers") that I purchased in Vancouver, I think in 1986 and the first thing I noticed when I played the album was it's flat, muddy sound. The drums on some tracks sounded like Jerry was hitting a cardboard box and the separation of the mix was inconsistent and sloppy. At this time I already had a bunch of Heartbreakers recordings, Live At Max's Kansas City, D.T.K. Live At the Speakeasy and Live At the Lyceum Ballroom and it's pretty bad when the sound is superior on the live records over the studio record.

In 1982, when Track Records went out of business, the band's manager reacquired the band's recordings including the L.A.M.F. sessions and a remix of the tracks was released as, L.A.M.F. Revisited which was sounded somewhat better, but the reviews were mixed. In 1994, an exec from Jungle records reviewed all the mixes (there was 300+ mixes!) which was then narrowed down to a short-list of 50 to be re-reviewed by some friends and colleagues of Thunders. It was discovered that many of the early mixes were actually suited to the band's proto-punk sound and the "rockier and punchier versions" were reissued as yet another re-release known as, L.A.M.F.: The Lost '77 Mixes was released. This version included an extra disc of outtakes, demos and alternative mixes...confusing isn't it? In 2002, a remastered version of the same 2 disc set (plus a video of Chinese rocks) was available. The version I have is the 2 disc set and I must admit it does sound much better. The sound is fresh, the mix is nicely balanced (sounds nice with headphones!) and the songs are essential and classic Heartbreakers. If you're a Johnny Thunders fan you must have a listen!! If you are not familiar with Thunders and the Heartbreakers, this is a good place to start.
Enjoy!!
For a more detailed history of the L.A.M.F.

JOHNNY THUNDERS AND THE HEARTBREAKERS
L.A.M.F.: The Lost '77 Mixes (2002)

Disc one

  1. Born Too Loose (aka "Born to Lose")
  2. Baby Talk
  3. All By Myself (Walter Lure/Jerry Nolan)
  4. I Wanna Be Loved
  5. It's Not Enough
  6. Chinese Rocks (Dee Dee Ramone/Richard Hell)
  7. Get Off The Phone (Walter Lure/Jerry Nolan)
  8. Pirate Love
  9. One Track Mind (Walter Lure/Jerry Nolan)
  10. I Love You
  11. Goin' Steady
  12. Let Go (Johnny Thunders/Jerry Nolan)
  13. Can't Keep My Eyes On You (Walter Lure/Jerry Nolan)
  14. Do You Love Me? (Berry Gordy, Jr.)

Disc two: a collection of demos, outtakes, and alternate mixes.

  1. Born To Lose
  2. Chinese Rocks
  3. Let Go
    • Tracks 1-3 are from the Essex Studios demo sessions, February 20-22, 1977.
  4. Goin' Steady (backing track)
  5. Baby Talk (backing track)
  6. Pirate Love (backing track)
  7. Born To Lose (backing track)
  8. Chinese Rocks (backing track)
  9. Do You Love Me?
    • Tracks 4-9 are outtakes from the Ramport Studio sessions, with studio chatter and false starts indexed as countdown time on the CD.
  10. Can't Keep My Eyes On You
    • Track 10 is a single B-side, recorded live at London's Speakeasy in early 1977.
  11. Get Off The Phone (alternate mix)
    • Mixed at Olympic Studio, May 16, 1977
  12. All By Myself (alternate mix)
    • Mixed at Ramport Studio, date unknown, 1977
  13. It's Not Enough (alternate mix)
    • Mixed at Ramport Studio, June 1, 1977
  14. One Track Mind (alternate mix)
    • Mixed at Ramport Studio, June 27, 1977
  15. Too Much Junkie Business (Walter Lure/Johnny Thunders)
  16. London Boys (Johnny Thunders/Walter Lure/Billy Rath)
    • Tracks 15-16 are demos done for EMI Records at Riverside Studio, London, December 13, 1977. These two tracks were produced by Mike Thorne.
THE HEARTBREAKERS- L.A.M.F. The Lost '77 Mixes (disc 1). zip
THE HEARTBREAKERS- L.A.M.F. The Lost '77 Mixes (disc 2). zip

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sarah Harmer- 2010 Winnipeg Folk Festival


Last Saturday, tickets went on sale for Sarah Harmer's concert scheduled for January 22, 2011 at the Garrick. I asked a couple of friends if they were interested in going with me because I wanted to buy the tickets during the pre-sale on Thursday, but I have yet to hear back from either person, so I assume they don't really care. I even offered to buy their tickets for a X-mas gift, but still nothing. Oh well, the show isn't sold out yet, so I guess I'll wait and see before buying a ticket for myself. I've had some bad luck buying advanced tickets without finding someone to go with me, the Hatcher's show I paid for 2 tickets and went alone and that happened a few years ago with Dinosaur Jr. I guess what I need is a concert buddy since it's a lot more fun going with someone else, but if I'm recording the show it doesn't really matter if I go alone. But still, bar shows are slow to get the bands on stage and seem to drag on the evening to score more drink sales, so I hate killing time myself sipping on beers to keep myself occupied.

At this year's Winnipeg Folk Festival I only attended one day mainly because I wanted to see Sarah Harmer. This was my first time seeing Sarah and I must admit I wasn't really a big fan before her latest album. Over the past few years I have been slowly acquiring her music, both her solo albums and her Weeping Tile work. I think her latest album, Oh Little Fire (her first album in 5 years) is a fine pop/folk album full of catchy melodies and memorable songs, that is a serious contender for my favourite album of 2010. I was curious to hear this material live and her appearance on the small stage and mainstage impressed me enough want to see her again in a (indoor) theatre venue.

I captured Sarah's performance on my digital recorder as well as my camera with some distant shots of Sarah and her band. I placed the recorder on the ground (standing up in my shoe) to avoid wind-noise and it has the usual crowd noise and chatter from the nearby tarps. I also recorded Sarah in a small stage performance with Gord Downie, Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans and though CBC promised they would air that concert, they have yet to do so. If anyone is interested I can post that show.

This show brought back some great memories from the summer while sitting in my living room watching the snow fall.

SARAH HARMER
Winnipeg Folk Festival Mainstage

Birds Hill Park

July 11, 2010


01. Captive
02. Around The Corner
03. Careless
04. One Match
05. The Ring
06. Basement Apartment
07. Uniform Grey
08. The Thief
09. Pendulums
10. Silver Road
11. Late Bloomer
12. Escarpment Blues
13. Dandelions & Bullet Holes
14. Washington
15. The City


dimeadozen.org- FLAC download (member's only)

SARAH HARMER- 2010-07-11 Winnipeg Folk Festival. rar (mp3)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hatcher-Briggs- Bring It Home!


The last time I saw Jeffrey Hatcher perform was with his band, The Big Beat back in 1988 at the Hotel Fort Garry (in Winnipeg) in one of their ballrooms. I had seen the band many times downstairs in the bar, Broadways, so a concert in the big room was a step up. Around this time their album, Cross Our Hearts was receiving much attention and the band toured the country and rode the commercial success of the record, as Jeffrey Hatcher And The Big Beat created quite the buzz. A second album never happened, but Hatcher formed the Blue Shadows with Billy Cowsill and that band developed a devoted following before the band disbanded in 1996. Hatcher relocated to the west coast and has kept a low profile performing with Wendy Bird (who recorded an album of all Jeffrey Hatcher-penned tunes called, Natural Wonder) and a career in music therapy.

When I heard the Briggs-Hatcher band was playing a two night stand at the Pyramid, my first question was, is Jeffrey Hatcher part of this project? This was also an opportunity for the band to launch a CD of new material with original members from the early days when Hatcher and his brothers, Don and Paul as well as David Briggs performed as The Fuse, The Six and later, The Big Beat. The answer was yes, and I rushed off to buy my ticket for night #2 (I was committed to a Moose game for night #1), and I knew hearing the old songs again would bring back fond memories. When I saw the band in the early and mid-80's at socials and small clubs, they inspired me greatly and they were the first local Winnipeg band that I followed closely. Their sound recalled bands like Rockpile and Hatcher reminded me a little bit like Dave Edmunds. Their sound is roots rock, even a little rockabilly and they were a great dance band!

These reunion shows brought back a lot of sweet memories and I saw a lot of familiar faces. They can still draw people to the dance floor and the effortless magic is still there for Briggs and the Hatchers. The new material is good and it's apparent that Don Hatcher and David Briggs have taken a much more active role in the band. Even during the show, for many of the songs from Cross My Heart, Briggs took the lead vocals instead of Jeff, which seemed to me a little odd. Technically, Briggs played only a bit part on the album (keyboards on, In My Hand), though 4 of the songs were co-written by Briggs/J. Hatcher in 1983. My only disappointment was they didn't play a couple of my favourite songs, World Radio, Coming To Collect, but the band was impressively tight and they dug deep in their catalog to include a couple of songs from the Fuse days, along with some classic covers.

An amazing show!
Enjoy!!

HATCHER-BRIGGS
Pyramid Cabaret

Winnipeg, MB

November 13, 2010


Set 1
01. Intro/ That's the Trouble (?)
02. Midnight Trains
03. Goodnight Mrs. Brown
04. Is Anybody Here *
05. Before The Fall
06. Natural Wonder *
07. Satin Sheets
08. The Simple Things
09. My Elizabeth
10. I Believe
11. Never Heard Of Midnight

Set 2
01. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding
02. Deliver Me *
03. If I Were You (?)
04. Don't Expect A Reply (Runaway Train)
05. St. Enoch's Road
06. (?)
07. (Born To Be) Riding Only Down *
08. In My House Of Darkness
09. Sad Eyes
10. Writing On The Wall
11. Out Of Time
12. The Last Ones
13. Man Who Would Be King
14. encore crowd
15. band introductions
16. Route 66 [lead vocals- Colin Bryce]
17. encore crowd II
18. Coming On Strong
19. Slow Down
20. Twist And Shout [lead vocals- Luke Kennard]

(?)= unknown song or I'm not sure of the title (help?)
* = lead vocals- Wendy Bird

HATCHER-BRIGGS- 2010-11-13 set 1. rar
HATCHER-BRIGGS- 2010-11-13 set 2. rar


Monday, November 15, 2010

Liquor Giants- Live In Winnipeg 1998

This show was requested by Anna (thanks for the photo!) who emailed me to say she also attended this Liquor Giants show way back in 1998. There are better sounding recordings than this, but I've never come across a live recording by this highly underrated band, so if you're a fan this is well worth the download. Upon re-listening to this recording I did on my old Sony cassette recorder with a small stealth clip-on microphone, I can't help think how my recordings have changed over the years. Because it's on cassette, the tape hiss and slight tape drag is showing it's age, even though I doubt I played this tape more than a dozen times. This was my first taping recorder (1994>) and it saw a lot of great shows that I should revisit and transfer one of these days, but judging how long it took me to digitize this tape, it could be a while. Nowadays, with my digital recorder I can upload the wav file directly from the recorder to the computer. I also have to separate the tracks, but still it takes a fraction of the time to have a music file ready to burn or uploaded on Dime or the blog.

If you have any requests of bands that might have toured through Winnipeg in the 90's and 00's, please let me know, I could have recorded the show. I once started a live tape list of all the concert recording I have including my masters and shows I traded for, but I haven't updated it since 2004. Since then, I discovered torrents and live recording sites so my list will definitely be huge when I get around to updating it.

This Liquor Giants show was memorable because I remember it was a quiet weeknight (?) with the streets outside the Royal Albert Arms (now just called the Albert) wet with rain and there was a movie being shot in the area. I think Ward mentions James Brolin during the show and upon further investigation, I believe the movie was called, A Marriage Of Convenience, a crappy made for TV movie co-starring Jane Seymour. A clean sounding show, but it's really trebly and hissy, so turn up the bass. I don't have a setlist, so I don't want to guess the song titles, but a lot of the material they play is from their recent releases at the time, Every Other Day At A Time and their all-covers CD, Something Special For The Kids.

LIQUOR GIANTS
Royal Albert

Winnipeg, MB

May 13, 1998


1 Boys Keep Swinging (Bowie)
2 Riverdale High
3 It's Raining Butterflies
4 Fake Love
5 I Know I'm Wrong
6 Dearest Darling
7 Multicoloured Hipshake
8 Cranium
9 Fire Brigade (Roy Wood, performed by the Move in 1965, I think)
10 Hideous Pleasure
11 Kentucky Lounge
12 Beautiful Flo
13 What's The New Motherfucker
14 Chocolate Clown
15 Bastanchury Park
16 Summer School
17 Mrs. Griffin
18 Now That
19 Hold Tight (originally by Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick and Tich, a UK band, probably from 1965)

(thanks Anna for the setlist!!!)

LIQUOR GIANTS- 1998-05-13. rar

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Stars- Live At The Burt...Again!


I've had concerts and live concerts on my mind this week. Last week, a fellow member (that resides in the U.S.) from dimeadozen asked if I could record the Heart concert next February. I said I wasn't planning to buy a ticket, as I'm not a huge fan of Heart (though I have some of their early albums), but I would go if I had a ticket (I didn't have to pay for). The next day, he emailed me a ticket...Wow, cool! Any requests?? Then this week I had an email from someone (also from the States) that said she was at the Liquor Giants show from 1998 I talked about in a previous post and was interested in the recording I made...small world!! I have the concert on cassette, so yesterday I finally got around to digitizing it to the computer. I'll post it here soon, so stay tuned.

The last concert I went to was on Friday, October 29th to see Stars at the Burton Cummings Theatre. This is the 4th time I've seen Stars, second this year and also the second time at the Burt. Interesting enough, I've gone with 4 different people (Sumi, Don, Cheryl and most recently, Alex). I'm a fan of Stars' records and songs, but seeing the band live is an experience in itself. They always put on a thoroughly entertaining show and you can tell they are truly a band that cares about their fans and are grateful for their following. It wouldn't be a Stars show of course without the roses, the band loves to throw roses into the crowd and this time they added a bubble machine to the mix. I'll tell you, the combination of the rich coloured lighting that flooded the stage, bubbles and backed with the dreamy pop styling of Stars, meant for an amazing visual spectacle. The band played a solid mix of new and older songs incorporating the Five Ghosts songs easily into the set. The flow of the show was much more smoother and more produced than the show back in June, obviously more confident with the newer material. There were several highlights; halfway through the set Amy and Evan performed an acoustic version of Ageless Beauty, that was gorgeous as well as the next song, when Torquil joined Amy for The Woods. And of course, the bubbles were awesome!
A Good solid show! I was close up (row 4), so I took many photos and the sound wasn't too bad, though I was more to one side than I would have preferred for a more balanced sound.
Enjoy!

STARS
Burton Cummings Theatre
Winnipeg, MB

October 29, 2010


1. He Dreams He's Awake
2. Elevator Love Letter
3. The Passenger
4. How Much More
5. Wasted Daylight
6. Time Can Never Kill The True Heart
7. Bitches in Tokyo
8. Undertow
9. The Comeback
10. Ageless Beauty
11. The Woods
12. Dead Hearts
13. Take Me To The Riot
14. We Don't Want Your Body
15. Fixed
16. Set Yourself On Fire
17. Your Ex-Lover is Dead
18. One More Night
19. encore:
20. Celebration Guns
21. I Died So I Could Haunt You
22. Reunion
23. Midnight Coward
24. Soft Revolution
25. Changes

STARS- 2010-10-29. rar (mp3)

If you want a download of the show in uncompressed FLAC format, it's posted at: Dimeadozen.org (members only)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Flop- And The Fall Of The Mopsqueezer!


Continuing with my mini-Seattle series (except for Candy Hearts), we have the debut album from the early-90's band, Flop. I first heard about Flop in an issue of Rolling Stone with an article about "bands to watch" and it praised, Flop & The Fall Of The Mopsqueezer. This was around when grunge broke and the Seattle music scene became the focus of music critics and fans alike. Flop wasn't grunge, but instead relied on great pop hooks, good humor and energetic playing. Every track on Mopsqueezer is solid with many highlights such as the opening track, I Told A Lie, Hello, Ugly Girl Lover and a Kink's cover, Big Sky. Actually every song is pure joy and it continues to be a much played record in my house. Mopsqueezer is one of the few recordings I have on all the formats; vinyl LP, CD, cassette and mp3's...and though it was released 18 years ago, it doesn't sound dated. The album was produced by Fastbacks/Young Fresh Fellow, Kurt Bloch who always leaves his fingerprints on the sound and he doesn't disappoint. At this time I was in a musical phase where I bought every album that Kurt Bloch had a part in, be it production or the bands he played in. My theory was that any project he was involved in was worth buying and I was never disappointed.

Flop only released 3 albums, but they are all worth seeking out. Rusty Willoughby's earlier (and after Flop) band, Pure Joy , also released a bunch of excellent, yet under appreciated albums and I continue to be a fan Rusty's solo efforts. His latest solo record, Cobirds Unite is a collaborative effort with Rachel Flotard (from Visqueen, another great Seattle area band). Seek it out!

FLOP
Flop & The Fall Of The Mopsqueezer! (1992)

1. I Told A Lie
2. Anne
3. Glue Factory
4. Tomato Paste
5. Entropy
6. Big Sky
7. Hello
8. Ugly Girl Lover
9. You Would Be Right Excerpt
10. Zeus My Master
11. Asthenia
12. Sistersmile
13. Parasite
14. Morton The Venereologist
15. Circus Freak
16. B

FLOP- Flop & The Fall Of The Mopsqueezer. rar

Blocking the Sunshine by Candy Hearts



This is so good I couldn't resist. I love this song!!
enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Candy Hearts- Ripped Jeans & Silly Dreams


Sorry, I haven't posted in over a week, I didn't intend this to happen, but my life has been so busy lately. I did find time to see the band Stars, yet again (4th time!), last Friday night and I'm preparing to post it on Dime in the next day or so and then I'll have it here for mp3 download. I great show, a band definitely worth checking out live if they tour through your town.

For the past few weeks I've been trying to listen to new music and one album that has stuck with me is the debut album from NY's, Candy Hearts. This 4-piece indie band plays a catchy, poppy pop/punk that is super infectious. I instantly loved this record! It features a young singer Mariel Loveland, who has such a cute and innocent voice that is backed by a solid crunchy wall of sound, it's so good it scares me. The song, Blocking The Sunshine is my new favourite song this year with such a sweet hook and melody, it has me thinking it's still summer. If the Candy Hearts came to town I would for sure go, they sound like a lot of fun and is it me or do they sound a bit like the Weakerthans on a couple of songs? (Red Balloon, Without Caffeine). This record has me wanting more and believe it or not the band is offering up the album free on the website, If You Make It, a wonderful site featuring plenty of up and coming indie bands allowing fans sample their goods. These are bands that want their music heard, clearly not in it only for the money, but artists that are proud of their work and want it heard by as many people as possible. I've downloaded several albums from good (and no so good) bands here and it's worth checking out as you can sample tracks before committing to a full download. You also have the option of donating money to the band. By the way, the Candy Hearts have the CD for sale on their website for a mere $5. For an extra buck, you also get 2 cute buttons...what a deal!!

CANDY HEARTS
Ripped Up Jeans & Silly Dreams (2010)

1. What I Want
2. Blocking The Sunshine
3. You And Me
4. Flashers Flashing
5. Hiding From My Friends
6. Why
7. Without Caffeine
8. What You Want
9. Punk Songs
10. Red Balloon
11. Anything
12. Size Of The Moon
13. Cracks Beneath Closed Doors

The download from www.ifyoumakeit.com

Or if you would prefer to download here:
CANDY HEARTS- Ripped Jeans & Silly Dreams. rar

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Model Rockets- Hilux


After Stumpy Joe disbanded, John Ramberg formed The Model Rockets and released their first album, Hilux in 1993. The Model Rockets kept the spirit of power-pop alive with a touch of roots flavour. Produced by Scott McCaughey, their sound is not unlike the Fellows or the Fastbacks, this music is catchy and they have kept the spirit of power-pop alive with a touch of roots flavour, it's a brilliant debut! As a matter of fact, all The Model Rockets albums are amazing if you can track them down. They even released a live album recorded and (I'm guessing) only released in Spain. The good news is the band reunited for a show at the Tractor Tavern (opening for YFF's) in Seattle, July 4, 2008.

Hilux has been long out of print and it was one of those records I had been trying to hunt down throughout the 90's, until someone burned me a copy about 5 years ago. I've just found out it is now available as a limited edition 2008 reissue, though it seems it might be a burned CD-R, but you can buy it here. I highly recommend anything by The Model Rockets, another extremely underrated Seattle band lost in the shuffle when grunge became popular.
Enjoy!!

THE MODEL ROCKETS
Hilux (1993)

1. New Cinnamon Girl
2. Ditched At The Grand Illusion
3. Hitchhiker Jane
4. Queen Bee
5. Johnson's Plumbing Supply
6. Behind The Door
7. Untitled Transitional Instrumental
8. Daredevil Girl
9. Never New How
10. Carolyn
11. Cheerleader
12. Shapeshifter
13. Year Of the Sofa

THE MODEL ROCKETS- Hilux. rar

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stumpy Joe- One Way Rocket Ride To Kicksville!


Here's a underrated gem that I haven't seen too often. Back in the late 80's/early 90's I was heavily into ordering albums through mail order. I requested catalogs from smaller indie labels so I can buy their products directly from the label, because I found it difficult to track down certain records at my local record stores. The idea of browsing through a newsprint catalog (a couple of pages to a small pamphlet), making a list of what I want, going to the post office to get a money order, mailing the letter and waiting a minimum 2 weeks for my package to arrive, is so old-school, but fun. Nothing beats the feeling of receiving a much anticipated package full of music, t-shirts or posters!!

One of the labels I ordered from a lot was Popllama records in Seattle. I bought everything by the Young Fresh Fellows they had in stock, including shirts, 7" ers, LP's, tapes, etc. Over the course of only a couple of years I bought records by Jimmy Silva, the Squirrels, The Fastbacks, the 1st albums from The Posies and Dharma Bums, The Walkabouts, Bum, The Smugglers, Teengenerate, The Picketts, Pure Joy, and the one and only release from Stumpy Joe, One Way Rocket Ride To Kicksville. This is a great album of raw garage inspired rawk with songs about drinking and getting drunk...the perfect party album! At the time when I bought this CD (1992?), I knew nothing about the band, but it came highly recommended by Scott McCaughey (who co-produced, engineered and mixed the record) of the Fellows and staffer at Popllama. When Stumpy Joe split, front-man John Ramberg went on to form the Model Rockets, then later The Tripwires. John is also a member of McCaughey's, Minus 5.

"Forget it man and get with the countdown. Shake this square world and blast off for kicksville".

STUMPY JOE
One Way Rocket Ride To Kicksville! (1991)


1. Drunk Idea
2. Matriculated
3. Proverbial Straw
4. I Would
5. Dumb Lil' Song
6. I Get Drunk
7. Spins
8. Love Plumbin'
9. Crazy Woman
10. Halloween Song
11. Drop a Bomb

STUMPY JOE- One Way Rocket Ride To Kicksville. rar

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kathleen Edwards- Live In Philly 2008

Photo by Frailamerica

Just returned from Ottawa and I must apologize for not posting anything while I was there. I was too busy checking out all the typical Ottawa tourist sites such as, the National Gallery, Canadian Museum Of Civilization, Parliament Hill, Scotiabank Place (to see a Senators hockey game) and the local record stores (Vertigo Records and Compact Music). When I go to another city I always try to seize the opportunity to see a band, but unfortunately I didn't see anything of interest in town, unless you count the Crash Test Dummies and of course, I won't!

When I think of Ottawa all I can think of is Furnaceface and Kathleen Edwards. I have a whole bunch of Kathleen Edwards shows, but I came upon this good one the other day that is short, but sweet. It's from her 2008 tour, about a month before I saw her at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and it was broadcast on WXPN and posted at the NPR website. It sounds great and features just Kathleen and band member Jim Bryson (another Ottawa native). The reason the set is so short is because it was part of Philadelphia's NON-COMMvention, a showcase for non-commercial radio programmers and music industry professionals and also because Kathleen was opening for both Alejandro Escovedo and Jakob Dylan.
Enjoy!!

KATHLEEN EDWARDS
Electric Factory
Philadelphia, PA

May 31, 2008


1. Back To Me
2. In State
3. Asking For Flowers
4. I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory
5. Oil Man's War
6. Six O'Clock News
7. I Can't Give You Up
8. The Cheapest Key

KATHLEEN EDWARDS- NPR May 2008. rar

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

John K. Samson- Provincial Road 222


I'm heading out of town this morning to the nation's capital, Ottawa, Ontario. I'm taking the laptop with me, so if I'm not too busy between shopping at record stores (if there are any?), touring the National Gallery, cruising through the Museum Of Civilization, watching a Sens game and, oh yeah, attend a conference on the weekend, I'll add a couple of posts to this blog.

Of course, I'll miss Winnipeg, but to keep you feeling at home, I'm posting the latest offering from the Weakerthans', John K. Samson. Provincial Road 222 is the second in series of ep's thematically inspired by roads in his home province of Manitoba. The opening song is called Petition, which takes the form of an on-line petition to get Riverton's Reggie Leach into the Hockey Hall Of Fame. You can sign the petition here and I talk about this more on a previous posting.

Have a listen, it's different than the Weakerthans and if you enjoy what you hear, buy the limited edition 7" deluxe bundle package with 2- 7" ep's (one black vinyl, one white vinyl), t-shirt and digital download...this looks really cool!!

JOHN K. SAMSON
Provincial Road 222 (2010)


1. The Last And
2. Petition
3. Stop Error

JOHN K. SAMSON- Provincial Road. rar

Monday, October 11, 2010

Liquor Giants- You're Always Welcome


Continuing with my mini-tribute to Ward Dotson, I have the first record from his post-Pontiac Brothers band, the Liquor Giants. You're Always Welcome is musically not far off from the sound of the Pontiac's, but with Dotson fronting the band and providing lead vocals. This is an excellent debut, crunchy guitars, catchy hooks and influenced by 60's pop/rock. Their proceeding releases moved even more towards a retro 60's sound which lead to an all-covers album, Something Special For The Kids, released in 1998, that paid homage to English rockers and the British Invasion.

You're Always Welcome was also released in Japan under the title, America's #1 Recording Artists. I had the privilege of seeing the Liquor Giants perform live in Winnipeg at the Royal Albert in 1998 to a handful of people. It was an amazing show and I stuck around after the show to chat with the band and got them to sign my CD purchase. Nice real down to earth guys who weren't fazed by the small non-responsive crowd. For proof, I recorded the show on my recording tape deck and I had a listen the other day, great memories! If I get around to transferring the tape to the computer, I'll up it for a future post.

LIQUOR GIANTS
You're Always Welcome (1992)

01. Over the Hill
02. Mrs. Griffith

03. Greatest Hit

04. Paint the Whole Town Blue

05. Middle of Nowhere
06. Just Might Cry
07. I Wanna Get Drunk With You

08. The Little Song

09. Lost on Mars

10. My Teeth and Tongue

11. The Jokes On You

12. Fine Line

13. My World


LIQUOR GIANTS- You're Always Welcome. rar

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Pontiac Brothers- Doll Hut


Since I had some requests for the Pontiac Brothers', Doll Hut (that I have on vinyl, see above), I will post the album. I didn't realize there were so many people that remember this great band. There's good news if you are a fan because the Pontiac Brothers will be playing at the Frontier Records 30th anniversary party at Los Angeles' Echoplex on November 7th with a lineup of label mates such as the Adolescents, Middle Class, Rikk Agnew and Flyboys. The Young Fresh Fellows will headline the Seattle show on October 16th at the Crocodile Cafe with the Dharma Bums (this will be an amazing show!!).

To be honest, I didn't think Frontier Records was still active and producing new product. Actually, most of their new releases are re-releases, compilations or previously unreleased material. Lisa Fancher founded the label in 1980 and has maintained it's indie-status and has survived the industry despite the digital market of iTunes customers, with a small roster of bands. I assumed the Pontiac Brothers releases were completely out of print, but only the vinyl and cassette format as you can purchase Doll Hut/Biblioteca together on one CD. If I knew this, I might not have posted these albums as they are still available from Frontier. I figure I'm giving the new listener an opportunity to be exposed to a band they might otherwise not heard of since the Pontiac Brothers were only active (on record) from 1985-92 and I can hopefully convert some listeners to fans. Anyways, buy something from Frontier, they have lots of great music and bands!!

PONTIAC BROTHERS
Doll Hut (1985)


1. Work With Me
2. It's Alright at Home
3. Out in the Rain
4. Straight and Narrow
5. Keep the Promise
6. Too Much Been Said
7. Whole Damn World
8. Almost Human
9. Judy's Problem
10. New Pusher Blues
11. While I Sleep

PONTIAC BROTHERS- Doll Hut. rar


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Pontiac Brothers- Fiesta En La Biblioteca


I had a request a few weeks ago from a reader for some Pontiac Brothers and Liquor Giants. I accommodated his request, but since I transferred my vinyl and tapes to digital and I have these records uploaded on my on-line storage, I figured I should post some here.

The Pontiac Brothers were founded in 1983 by Ward Dotson formerly of the Gun Club and they released 5 albums between 1985 and 1992. I bought 2 of their albums, Doll Hut and Fiesta En La Biblioteca in the late 80's as a hunch because they were on the same label (Frontier Records) as my heroes, the Young Fresh Fellows. Their music style is kind of a Rolling Stones meets the Replacements, straight ahead melodic rock with a hint of blues and drunken playfulness. I liked them instantly and later bought their "comeback" album, Fuzzy Little Piece Of The World, after they took a 4 year hiatus between albums. When the Pontiac's broke up, Dotson formed another band, the Liquor Giants, but more on them in a later post.

It was hard to decide which album I should post, I have Doll Hut on vinyl and hadn't given it a spin in years, but after re-listening, it's really good! But, if I had to choose the album that best showcases the band's versatility and range, then Fiesta En La Biblioteca is their best album. I have Fiesta in cassette format, so as a treat the cassette version includes the bonus track, Movin' On, a Bad Company cover sung by Ward Dotson (The Pontiac Brother's lead vocalist was Matt Simon). Interesting enough, Dotson toured with the Fellows on their 1989 tour when he subbed for guitarist Kurt Bloch when he injured his wrist during a show. A live version of Movin' On, sung by Dotson appeared on the Fellows' cassette fan-club release, Gag Fah...very cool!

(If you would like Doll Hut posted as well, please leave a request in the comments or email me: teenagedogsintrouble@gmail.com)

PONTIAC BROTHERS
Fiesta En La Biblioteca (1986)


1. She Knows It
2. Old and in the Way
3. Look out for That Train
4. Be Married Song
5. Doll Hut
6. Movin' On*
7. Brown Eyed Women
8. She Likes to Rock
9. The Thing Just Goes
10. Can't Get out of Bed
11. Girl From El Reno
12. Don't Have to Die
* bonus track

PONTIAC BROTHERS- Fiesta En La Biblioteca. rar

Sunday, October 03, 2010

HMHB- ACD


Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) is a UK band that has been around since the mid 8o's. Though they split-up in 1986, the band reformed in 1990 and have released an album every 2 years since. I figured since I've referenced this band at least on a couple of occasions, I should give you a taste of HMHB's satirical and sometimes surreal take on life. Their songs are filled with multi-layered pop culture references and a strange weird sense of humour. I instantly fell in love with this album, an expanded CD version of vinyl, Back Again In The D.H.S.S with many of HMHB's essential early tracks, additional singles and live versions. To be honest, I don't think I listened to any bands from outside of North America during the mid-80's, so obviously I must have felt something special (in my heart) with this band. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I first heard HMHB on a Canadian CBC radio program, Brave New Waves (or it might have been Nightlines?) where they did their nightly feature on the band and played 4 or 5 of their songs. I still have this on tape and I just listened to it again last week and it brought back great memories...Reasons To Be Miserable, I Was A Teenage Armchair Honved Fan, Reflections In A Flat and my favourite, Dickie Davis Eyes.
Enjoy!

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
ACD (1989)
  1. The Best Things In Life
  2. D'Ye Ken Ted Moult?
  3. Reasons To Be Miserable (Part 10)
  4. Rod Hull Is Alive - Why?
  5. Dickie Davis Eyes
  6. The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman
  7. I Was A Teenage Armchair Honved Fan
  8. Arthur's Farm
  9. Carry On Cremating
  10. Albert Hammond Bootleg (live)
  11. Reflections In A Flat (live)
  12. Sealclubbing (live)
  13. Architecture And Morality, Ted And Alice (live)
  14. Fuckin' Ell It's Fred Titmus (live)
  15. Time Flies By (When Your The Driver Of A Train) (live)
  16. All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Plague Away Kit (live)
  17. The Trumpton Riots (live)
HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT- ACD. rar

Friday, October 01, 2010

Don't Call Them Twinkies!


Last year around this time, I finally attended my first Minnesota Twins game. I've been to the Twin Cities almost every year for the last 20 years to see bands, go to galleries, shop and to see hockey games. Actually, I have yet to see the Minnesota Wild, only the North Stars before they moved south. It seemed whenever we were in town, the Twins weren't, or it was off-season, so I figured last year was my last chance to visit the Metrodome (unless I go to a Vikes game) before they moved to Target Field. The game and whole major league baseball experience was terrific, as where I live we have a minor league ball team, many many steps below the big leagues. I now have to go to the new ball field and watch the game as it should be, outdoors...the dome sucked! Nothing beats a hot dog, beer and a baseball game in the great outdoors without a roof overhead, I experienced that earlier this year at Wrigley Field.
In case your wondering why I'm babbling on and on about baseball instead of music, it's because these two passions can be enjoyed together with the latest song from the Baseball Project. Teaming up with Craig Finn, from The Hold Steady, the Baseball Project have released an anthem just in time for the Twins playoff run. Craig who is originally from the Twin Cities and is a big Twins fan wrote the lyrics, while Steve Wynn wrote the music. Drummer Linda Pitmon suggested they need a Twins song (she too is from Minneapolis, drumming in Zuzu's Petals) and here's what she had to say, "We couldn't be happier that he complied with some of the most anthemic sports lyrics ever written....name-checking no less than 8 Minnesota cities, 2 neighborhoods, 2 streets, 9 Twins players and 2 coaches in just over 4 minutes - Craig's specialty!"

Seems like a pretty cool coincidence I saw the Baseball Project play at the Turf Club in St. Pauls on the same trip I attended the Twins game last September and now the song, Don't Call Them Twinkies. A great tribute to a great team...Go Twins!!

The song is being streamed at 89.3 the Current-NPR website.
or if you want to listen to this song away from your computer I have the mp3 for download.

BASEBALL PROJECT (featuring Craig Finn)- Don't Call Them Twinkies. mp3

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arcade Fire Returns To Winnipeg

The last time Arcade Fire played in Winnipeg they performed at the Burton Cummings Theatre, a near perfect venue for the band, with it's antique ornate details and a classic red velvet curtain that opens to the stage. That show was truly one of the best live concerts I have attended and I thought the band's theatrics and very visual show was well suited to the old classic theatre. Fast forward 5 years to the much larger MTS Centre, a hockey arena, not an ideal venue for a concert, but to it's credit in 2008, the MTS Centre was the 19th busiest arena in the world (11th in North America and 3rd in Canada), so it's used for more than hockey games and tractor pulls. This was my second concert at this venue (it opened in 2004), the first was the Who and I sat in the far corner of the upper deck and the sound was horrible, but this was my first arena show on the floor.

The popularity of the band has soared since their last visit, as they have impressively sold out venues across the world. In August, they sold-out two shows at Madison Square Gardens in New York, I believe they are more celebrated outside of Canada (apart from Montreal, their hometown), they are big in the states and even more popular in Europe. Their latest album, The Suburbs, debuted at #1 proving they are no longer a cult indie-rock band, but now they have hit the mainstream which means radio play, TV talk shows and more buzz than ever. I predicted they would not draw more than 5,000 fans to the show in Winnipeg, as I noticed a day before the show Ticketmaster wasn't offering tickets in the 300 section (upper deck) anymore, probably hoping to sell out the lower bowl first. I'm not doubting their fan support here, I just think half the people at the show probably only heard of this band in the last month or two, like a couple songs on the new album and are caught in the hipster hype. There was 5,500 people at the show and with a 3/4 setup in the arena it didn't seem as cavernous. Once the show started with the crowd crammed together and the blinding lights, big sound and the large drive-in movie screen behind the band, it grabbed your attention and made you forget you were in a hockey arena. Visually it was stunning, the movie screen projected artsy images and live video of the band on stage perfectly meshing with the band's soundtrack. As expected, Arcade Fire was amazing, their hyper-energetic, grandiose, highly charged style is the only way this band plays. The band members continuously switch instruments and I don't think there was a song where the instrumental set-up was the same. Regine Chassagne moved between accordion, tambourine, keyboards and did a very commendable job on the drums.

Calexico opened the show and I was impressed with what I saw. I know they played at the Folk Festival a few years back, but I would like to see them at a smaller intimate venue as headliners. A band like Calexico that has been around longer than the headliner has lots to offer and they only gave us a small sample of their quite impressive catalog. I don't know if it's just me, though I've heard similar comments, but was the sound more clearer for Calexico than for Arcade Fire? I was standing fairly close to the stage for Calexico almost in line with the overhead speakers and thought maybe I was too close, not getting enough vocals in the mix. For Arcade Fire we moved back to the middle of the floor to find the "sweet spot" to get a more balanced sound. It helped, but the wall of sound from Arcade Fire sounded muddled and boomy, granted it must be challenging being the sound guy for a large 8-member band with various instruments and the arena acoustics don't help, but I thought the headliners were suppose to have the cleanest sound. You can judge for yourself with my recording.

Speaking of recording, there is good news and bad news. First the good news, I recorded the complete Calexico set (I'll post that later) and it sounds pretty good despite the loud talkers behind me, but that's expected during the opening band's set. I also captured the Arcade Fire set and it too sounds better than when I was standing at the show, but the bad news is it's incomplete. When I started the recording, I fiddled with the sound levels and jostled for position on the floor (I yelled at and shoved a tall guy that pushed his way in front of me then stopped inches in front of me as soon as the band began), but I forgot to hit the record button again, so it was paused for the first 3 songs! Fortunately, I noticed after the third song (Keep The Car Running) and I recovered to record the rest of the show. I still can't believe it, I gotta make a check list or something to remind me for the next concert. I got this digital recorder because it was suppose to make recording shows easier and more efficient...damn, human error! The other issue with the recording was the loud idiot behind me who screamed at the top of his lungs between songs and during the quieter parts of songs. His ear splitting, "yeahhhhhh!!!" got annoying very quickly and this attention whore must have felt great pleasure every time he bellowed and everyone around him glared at him...sorry, I should have moved.
I recommend the show in loss-less format, so if you are a member, the FLAC files are posted at Dimeadozen.

For "real" reviews of the show:
Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg Sun

ARCADE FIRE
MTS Centre

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

September 23, 2010

audience master- recorded on the floor (middle)

*Ready to Start
*Month of May
*Keep the Car Running
01. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
02. No Cars Go
03. Haïti
04. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
05. Half Light II (No Celebration)
06. Rococo
07. The Suburbs
08. Ocean of Noise
09. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
10. We Used to Wait
11. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
12. Rebellion (Lies)
13.

Encore
14. Intervention
15. Modern Man
16. Wake Up

*not recorded

ARCADE FIRE- Winnipeg 2010-09-23 rar.


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