Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amy Millan And Her Secret Weapon- Live At The WECC.

Photo credit to Kendall.Burke (Thanks! Taken at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. Forgot my camera and no one from Winnipeg posted on Flickr)

It's been over a week since Amy Millan was in Winnipeg to perform along with her "solo" band, Secret Weapon. Amy's music with her solo project contrasts greatly from her main band, Stars, as it is strongly influenced by country and folk. Electric guitars, keyboards and synths are replaced by banjo, mandolin, steel pedal, trombone and acoustic guitars. The easy-going vibe of the West End Cultural Centre, a venue favoured by many touring folk fest-type musicians is a nice change from the theatre setting of the Burton Cummings and Pantages Theatre, a full blown rock concert complete with light show and dry ice smoke. Amy seems comfortable in either setting, the rock goddess or the folk/country western performer.

This was the first "real" concert for my daughter, whose only other concert experience was seeing Moxy Fruvous (also at the WECC) back in 1999, but she claims she fell asleep for most of the show. I was happy to see it was a seated concert with chairs in rows instead of tables or just floor to stand on. The show was enjoyable, a more quiet, intimate show that lets you really appreciate the musicianship and skills of the artists without the flash and pomp. She only played songs from her solo albums, Honey From The Tombs and Masters Of The Burial (seems be a death theme here), so for those expecting Stars songs, you were out of luck, but seeing Amy Millan perform solo or with Stars is always entertaining.

Here's my recording of the concert, share, but DO NOT sell! If you have any problems downloading from Dime (you need to be a member) or the mp3 rar file, let me know.

AMY MILLAN and Her Secret Weapon
West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB.
October 18, 2009

01. Intro/ ? (gospel song?)
02. Old Perfume
03. Losing You
04. I Will Follow You Into The Dark
05. Ruby II
06. Come Home Loaded Roadie
07. Lost Compass
08. Run For Me
09. Skinny Boy
10. Bury This
11. Finish Line
12. Baby I
13. Towers
14. Bruised Ghosts

15. Madere Waltz (Dan Whiteley- mandolin solo)
16. Day To Day
17. Low Sail

2nd encore
18. Pour Me Another

Download: Amy Millan 2009-10-18 .rar (mp3)
Download: www.dimeadozen.org (FLAC)

Monday, October 26, 2009

B.T.W.F.- The Bangs (Bangles)

When I think of guilty pleasure bands I often indulge in some good ol' all-girl rock, not only the "good" stuff like, Sleater-Kinney or the Donnas, but also usually embarrassing stuff like the Go-Go's and the Bangles. Both bands were actually quite good, playing the dingy local clubs and weren't the overnight sensations MTV has led you to believe. For this edition of "Before They Was Famous", I bring you some pre-Bangles, The Bangs. The Bangles formed in 1980 and went through a number of name changes, The Colours, The Supersonic Bangs, before morphing into The Bangs. In 1981, the original line-up of Susanna Hoffs and Vicky and Debbi Peterson recorded a single (Getting Out Of Hand b/w Call On Me) as The Bangs and in 1982 recorded an EP. A legal issue forced the band to change it's name to the Bangles (dropped the "The" and added "les") before the release of the self-titled EP. Their following albums (All Over the Place, Different Light, Everything) increasingly became more commercial and radio-ready for the MTV generation. I can't say I was much of a fan after their initial releases as they moved a little bit away from their power-pop roots and their 60's jangly sound (I love the Rickenbacker guitars sound!) to a slicker generic sound. If you're wondering what the members of the Bangles are up to, supposeably the reformed band is entering the studio to record something new and have a listen to Susanna Hoffs collaboration with Matthew Sweet, Under The Covers Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.  

THE BANGS- 7" (1981) 
BANGLES- Self-Titled EP (1982) download: Bangles-EP .rar

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tweedy On Q

Guesting on CBC's mid-morning program Q this Wednesday October 21st was Wilco's, Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy and Jian discussed Wilco's recent album, Wilco The Album and music in general. The range and quality of guests that Q attracts is promising and actually has me interested. Being at work during the hours of the problem is a little tricky to follow every word that is spoken, but i do have the option of listening later at night (12 hours later) or (in this case) listen to the podcast of the Q website. A very interesting interview with a very interesting guy, Jeff Tweedy and if you're a regular reader to this blog, you know he's one of my favourites. Buy the album too!!

Podcast: Q-Jeff Tweedy interview Oct. 21, 2009 mp3
The full uncut interview (scroll to Oct 21, 2009)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Something New Mondays- Juliana Hatfield

Something New Mondays returns with a new song from Juliana Hatfield! Juliana hasn't really released anything since last year's, How to Walk Away, but a new album titled, Peace And Love is in the works and scheduled for release in January 2010. The new song, We're Not In Charleston Anymore is from the compilation, Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs Of Mark Mulcahy which is a tribute to Miracle Legion frontman Mark Mulcahy. Mulcahy's wife Melissa died suddenly in September 2008 and proceeds will go to Mulcahy to continue his music career and raise their 3 year old twin daughters. The album features 21 exclusive covers of Mulcahy songs by Juliana Hatfield, Dinosaur Jr, Michael Stipe, Frank Black, Ben Kweller, Thom Yorke, The National, and others. JULIANA HATFIELD- We're Not In Charleston Anymore mp3

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jonathan Richman- The "Lost" Album

Here's a series of unreleased studio recordings Jonathan Richman recorded likely in 1981, when he was transitioning from his band, the Modern Lovers to a solo career. Some of these songs turned up on later releases while others never officially saw the light of day. The instrumentation and production is sparse which indicates these were demos or rehearsals and the songs that appeared on later albums were re-recorded. The album would have filled the gap between 1979's, Back In Your Life and 1983's, Jonathan Sings!, so it was a good productive time for Jonathan and the beginning of a fertile period (80's) when he pretty much released an album every year.

The Lost Album (1981)

1. I'm A Little Airplane
2. The Morning Of Our Lives
3. In The Checkout Line
4. Try This Brand New Dance
5. Theme From Moulin Rouge (instrumental)
6. And That's Rock 'n' Roll
7. Ancient And Long Ago
8. The Fenway
9. Not Yet Three
10. Stop This Car
11. Shirin And Fahrad
12. Walter Johnson
13. Five Year Old Feeling

Tracks 1 & 2- live version on 1977's Modern Lovers Live
Tracks 9 & 10- different version on 1983's Jonathan Sings
Tracks 8 & 12- different version on 1985's Rockin' And Romance
Tracks 7 & 11- different version on 1986's It's Time For...

Download: Jonathan Richman- The Lost Album .rar

Monday, October 05, 2009

Van Morrison Speaks to Q!

I admit, Ive never really been a big Van Morrison fan, I'm familar with songs like, Brown Eyed Girl and Moondance, and I really dug his work with his pre-solo band, Them. Everyone knows songs like, Here Comes The Night and the garage-band classic, Gloria, but I've never really had the urge to seek out any of his classic albums from the 70' s, 80's or even the 90's.

Last Thursday, CBC's radio program Q pulled a coo by getting an exclusive interview with Van Morrison in his Toronto hotel, in town for a couple of shows at Massey Hall. I've heard that Van Morrison rarely give interviews, so we should feel somewhat honoured that he would selectively talk to a Canadian interviewer such as Jian Ghomeshi. Out of curiosity and by coincidence I turned the radio on just as the interview had started and I'm sure glad I did. Van was very candid as he revealed that his participation in The Last Waltz concert film (The Band) was a mistake and a rip-off. He also blasted the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame and how the whole system was a rip-off (He refused to accept the induction). It was a very interesting interview and I couldn't believe how honest and bitter he is to the music business. I wholeheartedly agree with most of his points and I have a new respect for Van Morrison and the last couple of days I have been seeking some of his classic recordings. I've started with Astral Weeks and Moondance (the album) and I'll go on from there, so far it's been enjoyable, but seriously, have a listen to the interview, especially the uncut longer version, it's pretty hilarious!

Q Podcast from Thursday October 1, 2009 mp3 (includes the edited Van Morrison interview)

Uncut interview with Van Morrison (link, scroll down to Oct. 1)
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