Mark Olson and Friends (Jayhawks)- New Years Eve 2004
Happy New Year!
Last year, I meant to post my favourite albums of 2011, but unfortunately it didn't happen. I won't even attempt to pretend I have the time or the energy to recall all the new music I heard this past year. As usual, I listened to a lot of music, but not necessary "new music" as I was in a "reflective" mood re-listening and rediscovering a lot of bands from my youthful days (80's and 90's). In the last few years there seems to be a large amount of reissues and special edition anniversary collections being released to reignite interest (and sales?) of "classic" or overlooked albums.
Another continued trend is the reformation of original or classic lineups of bands that had either been broken up or have been inactive for a prolonged period of time. A recent example would be Dinosaur Jr, Guided By Voices, Graham Parker (and the Rumour), and the Jayhawks who have reformed classic lineups to record and tour. Off the top of my head, other favourite groups of mine that have reformed and stayed to together (maybe only temporarily or maybe for longer than originally) include: The Pixies, The Feelies, Descendents, Dead Milkmen, The Posies, Del Lords, Camper Van Beethoven, Pavement, Fastbacks, Ben Folds Five, Rolling Stones (?), Mission of Burma...just to name a few. (Any other bands you were excited when they reunited?)
Some interesting reunions I'm looking forward to in 2013 include Ben Deily, co-founder and ex-Lemonhead reuniting with Evan Dando, along with Juliana Hatfield and Ryan Adams (!) for a new Lemonheads album. Deily hasn't recorded or performed with the band since 1989, hopefully a tour will follow. It would be nice to hear more pre-It's A Shame About Ray songs performed live.
A semi-reunion of the Replacements (at least on vinyl) will see Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson release a 4-song, 10" EP, Songs for Slim limited to 250 copies with proceeds going to benefit the ex-Replacements guitarist, Slim Dunlop who suffered a stroke last February. Founding member/drummer, Chris Mars is not performing on the tracks, but does the cover artwork. Mars recorded his own benefit song for Slim that can be purchased at Chris's website.
Speaking of Minneapolis, reunions and New Year's (eve), I have a cool show from 2004, Mark Olson's first show with members of the Jayhawks since he left the band in 1995. This impromptu set was recorded at the small intimate 400 Bar in Minneapolis and was advertised as Mark Olson and Friends, opening with Mark's solo material followed by Jayhawks songs as he was joined by Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Tim O'Reagan. This concert with Olson back in the fold was proceeded by a joint tour and album with Louris, then a full Jayhawks reunion with the Tomorrow The Green Grass-era "classic" line-up in 2008, in Spain. This was followed by a extended tour and an album of new material. The sound on this recording is good and clear and the performances as expected were a little rusty, but the enthusiasm of the crowd and the band are evident. Mark Olson's solo material doesn't excite me, but the Jayhawks songs with this lineup and the familiar Mark/Gary vocal harmonies are worth a listen. Sounds like a fun time!
Mark Olson and Friends 400 Bar Minneapolis, MN December 31, 2004 Audience DAT recording source: SP-CMC-8 premium stereo cardioids > SP-SPSB-1 > Sony PCM-M1 (@44.1) > 7 pin to coax > Audiophile2496 > SoundForge > CDWav > FLAC Frontend > FLAC
Disc One (first set) 01. Poor GW 02. Say You'll Be Mine 03. Walking Through Nevada 04. Blue* 05. Will I Be Married* 06. George Bush Industriale 07. King Of Kings* 08. Image Of Me* [Harlan Howard] 09. I Still Miss Someone* [Johnny Cash] 10. Waiting For the Sun* 11. Walk With Them 12. Portrait Of a Sick America > Crowded In the Wings > Linda Lee
Disc Two (second set) 01. December's Child 02. One Eyed Black Dog Moses 03. Pray For Me 04. Sing Me Back Home [Merle Haggard] 05. Over My Shoulder* 06. Clouds* 07. If You Really Want Me To, I'll Go* [Delbert McClinton; recorded by the Sir Douglas Quintet on their classic album, "Mendocino"] 08. Two Angels* 09. End Of the Highway, Rumsfeld 10. Ain't No End* 11. Martin's Song* 12. Reason To Believe* [Tim Hardin] 13. Six Pack On the Dashboard* 14. My Own Jo Ellen* 15. Take Me With You (When You Go)* 16. Still We Have a Friend In You* 17. -encore break- 18. I Must Be Somebody Else You've Known* [Merle Haggard; recorded by the International Submarine Band on their classic album, "Safe At Home"] 19. Get the Load Out* 20. Crowded In the Wings*
Mark Olson - vocals, electric guitar, bass, dulcimer, keyboards Gary Louris - vocals, electric guitar Marc Perlman - bass on * Tim O'Reagan - drums, vocals (Karen Grotberg was listed on the bill, but wasn't there...)