Sunday, February 21, 2010

Talking Heads- 1975 Demos

The Talking Heads were one of the most influential and critically acclaimed American bands from the 1980's. Their new wave musical style combined elements of punk, pop, avant-garde, world and art rock. In 1975, the trio of David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz recorded a series of demos for CBS, the label didn't sign them, but in 1977, Sire Records did.

What I'm posting today are those original CBS demos from November 1975, these are pretty much the earliest recording the band made. It contains songs that would appear on their first album, Talking Heads 77 and More Songs About Buildings and Food, as well as four songs that went unreleased until they appeared on the Vaseline In The Sand compilation. I'm not a huge Talking Heads fan, but I do love their first two albums. In fact, I think Talking Heads 77 is one of the best debut albums of the 70's! Maybe it's because they have a simple straight forward sound before they added more instrumentation and other worldly influences to their music. The demos are even more raw and basic, but the band is tight and precise. This is a historic and important recording that is a must for any Talking Heads fan and a very satisfying listen for anyone else.
(Note: I'm out of town for the first part of this week, but I have some more demos and unreleased material to share when I return.)

Demos, CBS Studios
New York, NY November, 1975

01 Psycho Killer
02 Sugar On My Tongue
03 Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
04 I Want To Live
05 I Wish You Wouldn't Say That
06 The Girls Want To Be With The Girls
07 Who Is It?
08 With Our Love
09 Stay Hungry
10 Tentative Decisions
11 Warning Sign
12 I'm Not In Love
13 The Book I Read
14 Love Goes To Building On Fire
15 No Compassion

Talking Heads- Demos 1975. rar

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blake Babies- Sunburn Demos

To celebrate the release of Juliana Hatfield's latest album, Peace & Love this week (release date February 16, BUY IT!), I thought it would be appropriate to post some demos from her early days as a member of the Blake Babies. These demos are from their last full length release (until they reunion), Sunburn which was in my opinion their strongest, most commercially accessible album of their short, but influential career. Juliana Hatfield went on to fame and a long and successful (for the most part) solo career, while John Strohm and Freda Love kept it more small scale and indie, performing together in the band, Antenna. The Blake Babies reunited briefly in late 1999 and embarked on a US tour in 2001. Also in 2001, they released, God Bless The Blake Babies and their final release, an EP, Epilogue in 2002 before their "final" break-up.
  • I can't recall where I got these demos from, but a couple of my files were mislabeled (tracks 9 & 10). The sound quality is pretty good and for the most part the tracks are similar, but they have a slight looser, raw sound. As a fan of the band, that's what I like about demos.
  • Take Me and Downtime were not on the official release of Sunburn, but later appeared on the EP, Rosy Jack World.
Sunburn Demos (1989)
1. I'm Not Your Mother
2. I'll Take Anything
3. Star
4. Look Away
5. Train
6. Kiss And Make Up
7. Watch Me I'm Calling
8. Take Me
9. Downtime (file mis-labeled as, "Look Away")
10. A Million Years (mis-labeled as, "Sanctify")

BLAKE BABIES- Sunburn Demos. rar

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nothing Illegal Here!

Here's interesting piece of news courtesy of, that may or my not affect the future of this TDIT (from February 10, 2010):

Over the course of the past day, the Google-owned blogging service Blogger has shut down a number of popular mp3 blogs, including Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, I Rock Cleveland, LivingEars, and It's a Rap. If you follow the links to any of those blogs, you'll see that they've been wholesale deleted. All you'll find is the Blogger message, "The blog you were looking for was not found." The apparent reason? The music posted on the blogs allegedly violates Blogger's terms of services.

The bloggers whose sites were affected are currently trying to understand the situation. Many of them argue that they have followed the rules and taken down unauthorized songs when asked in the past. They say they received no warnings prior to the removal of their blogs. The Daily Swarm has compiled a few blogger responses to the situation.

Google rebuttals with this response (Pitchfork February 11, 2010):

Over the past few days, the Google-owned blogging service Blogger has been deleting a number of popular mp3 blogs. After news of the removals circulated, Google's Blogger Buzz blog issued a statement. (Via the Daily Swarm.)

It said, "When we receive multiple DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] complaints about the same blog, and have no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorized manner, we will remove the blog".

The post points out that the company's usual policy when receiving a DMCA complaint is to notify the offending blogger and to reset the offending post to "draft" status to allow the blogger to delete it. The post also acknowledged that the company sometimes gets DMCA complaints about material that a blogger is actually legally allowed to use, like the authorized mp3s that publicists and record label marketing departments send out for promotional purposes. "If this happens to you, it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question. Otherwise, if we receive multiple DMCA complaints for your blog, this could very well constitute repeat offenses, compelling us to take action."

The statement doesn't explain why so many blogs were removed in such a short period of time.

First of all, I should state I have posted copyrighted material on this blog in the past, including advance copies of albums that weren't available yet. That's a big no-no, as large record labels are extra touchy about leaked content getting heard before it's release date. I've had a 2 requests from the DMCA to remove content they deemed were a violation and I've complied with all their requests and deleted those posts. But, on one other of my posts, it just disappeared without warning and without sending me a request. Since those incidents, I've been more cautious not to post full-albums of popular major label releases, instead sticking to smaller label, out-of-print, import, unreleased and live recordings. I post songs, albums and shows because I love the music and want as many people as possible to listen. If I was in a band, I would embrace the extra exposure that good music blogs offer and it gives the fans an opportunity to share and sample the music.

I think a lot of bloggers are worried their hard work, writing, promoting and sharing will be wiped out without notice and without recovery, years of writing gone! I've read on a couple of blogs that they have been backing up their posts on MS word doc, Wordpress, Dreamhost or moving everything to their own domain in fear their blog will be removed. I've given this issue much thought and it isn't so much an issue of legality and moral stands because Blogger and Google technically own all the content, it's more of protecting what I've already written, as it's been my music diary for the last past years.

As a disclaimer I should re-emphasize that if you're an artist that appears on this blog and would like to have something removed, please let me know and I'll address your concerns ASAP. In the future I will be extra careful what I post, but regardless I'll try to keep it as interesting as possible without watering down the content.

p.s. Another interesting article about the issue of illegal downloading of copyright material and peer to peer sharing was in this weekend's Winnipeg Free Press. Kamal Dhillon was the winner of Glassen Ethics Competition with the topic, "Is It OK to download music, movies and games without paying?" Kamal's essay was titled, "Not Wrong, Just Illegal". For a thought-provoking read, follow this link to the Free Press site. Let me know your thoughts on the issue.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Whiskeytown- Forever Valentine Demos

I was going to post this yesterday (February 14th, thought it would be appropriate), but watching Winter Olympic action distracted me too much.

Ryan Adams fronted the 1990's band Whiskeytown who were known to be very prolific, recording more material than they had room for on their official releases. Though they only released three albums, now many of these unreleased recording sessions have been available through tape trading and the wonder of the world-wide web. Adams continues his frantic recording pace well after Whiskeytown, writing and recording tons of good unreleased music, solo and with the Cardinals.

The Forever Valentine demos were recorded in December 1997 in Ralaigh, North Carolina. Here are some notes about the session from the website,
Personnel: Ryan Adams; Caitlin Cary; Mike Daly; Ed Crawford;
Skillet Gilmore; Chris Stamey; Ben Folds

Chris Stamey - "Skillet played drums, I played bass. Recorded in Raleigh at Scores/Slackmates, and at Modern, my place." "Addendum: I forgot to add that the piano player on the Forever Valentine Whiskeytown sessions was Ben Folds. My memory was jogged by his smashing show this Saturday at the Cradle."

Skillet Gilmore - "Forever Valentine was recorded around Xmas '97. The band at the
time (for the purposes of recording) was Ryan, Caitlin, Mike Daly, Ed Crawford on guit, Chris Stamey on bass and me." "Although the record was made in about a week, the challenge was actually that Ryan wanted to make a record without the label knowing about it. And so we did." (Thanks to Jonathan Lee for the information).

Forever Valentine (1997)
01 Anyone But Me (a/k/a Dial Tone)
02 Don’t Wanna Know Why
03 Easy Hearts
04 Sittin’ Around
05 Rays Of Burning Light (a/k/a Rays Of Light)
06 Ghost Without Memory
07 Runnin’ Out Of Road
08 Can’t Take A Lover (a/k/a Talkin’ In My Sleep)
09 Think About Me (a/k/a (What You) Think About Me)
10 Crazy Lonesome (a/k/a A Memory Away)
11 Caroline
WHISKEYTOWN- Forever Valentine. rar

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash- Demos And Outtakes

Here are the bonus tracks from the deluxe reissue of the Replacements debut album from 1981. Can you believe this album was released almost 30 years ago! I wouldn't consider this the Mat's finest moment, but if you're a fan of their faster punker music, this is a good place to start. As a matter of fact, if you purchase (or find downloads) the Replacement's library, I recommend you start at the beginning with Sorry Ma and proceed forward in order with Stink, Hootenany, Let It Be, Tim, Pleased To Meet Me, then listen to a bunch of Mats bootlegs up until 1987, then repeat. Only after listening to these releases repeatedly, then advance on to Don't Tell A Soul and All Shook Down, you'll thank me later.

The Sorry Ma... bonus tracks are interesting because they include some alternate versions and demos of songs that made it onto the album (Customer, Raised In the City, Shutup), as well as outtakes that never were heard from again (Like You, Get Lost). The early Mats were basically a great straight up rock 'n' roll band influenced by classic rock with a punk attitude. They weren't a punk band, at least not in the way a band like Husker Du or Black Flag were. On their first two albums, Westerberg and the band were still finding their "sound" and honed those skills by playing frequently at any small bar and club that would take them and all this despite the fact Tommy Stinson was only 14 when Sorry Ma was released. These early tracks display the energy and character that would define their sound by the time they recorded Let It Be. Every album they released up until Pleased to Meet Me, showed a progression and maturity in their sound and songwriting. Since I have all the Replacements records on vinyl (without the bonus tracks), the reissues are essential for serious fans and I'll try to eventually post the demos and outtakes from them all. About a year and a half ago I posted the bonus tracks from Pleased To Meet Me and I think they're still active for download, so get them while you can!

Sorry Ma, I Forgot To Take Out The Trash
(Deluxe edition bonus tracks only)
  1. Raised in the City (demo)
  2. Shutup (demo)
  3. Don't Turn Me Down (demo)
  4. Shape Up (demo)
  5. You Ain't Gotta Dance (demo)
  6. Get on the Stick (demo)
  7. Oh Baby (demo)
  8. Like You (outtake)
  9. Get Lost (outtake)
  10. A Toe Needs a Shoe (outtake) (Bob Stinson)
  11. Customer (alternate take)
  12. Basement Jam (rehearsal) (Chris Mars/Bob Stinson/Tommy Stinson/Paul Westerberg)
  13. If Only You Were Lonely
  • Tracks 19-30 previously unreleased.
  • Tracks 19-25 are studio demos.
  • Tracks 26-28 and 30 are session outtakes.
  • Track 29 is an alternate take.
  • Track 31 originally released as the B-side of "I'm in Trouble".
THE REPLACEMENTS- Sorry Ma, demos and outtakes. rar

Monday, February 08, 2010

Demo Week- Wilco A.M. Demos

Sorry for the lack of posts this past week, I've been sorting through my CD's and I've been stockpiling some interesting music to post. Along with live recordings, I'm also a big fan of demos, outtakes, rough mixes, rehearsals and alternative versions, this is music that usually doesn't appear on the official release. Sometimes the songs sound pretty much the same as the official release, sometimes totally different, but regardless, these recordings often provide a glimpse into the creative process of the band and we get to hear some material that was recorded, but for whatever reason never sees the light of day. Just as a forewarning, the sound quality of most demos aren't up to the sound quality of the released version, so don't expect perfect hi-fi. Many of these recordings have pops and static or they might sound a little muffled or the mix might be a little, they might be recommended more for fans or completest.

This week I'll be posting some random album demo recordings by random bands that should be heard. To kick off the week, I'm offering up some demos from Wilco's excellent debut album, A.M.
  • This was Jeff Tweedy's first release after the break-up of Uncle Tupelo and this album more than Wilco's later releases, continues musically where Uncle Tupelo left off, at least with Jeff's songs.
  • Jeff Tweedy forms Wilco only days after Uncle Tupelo's last show (May 1, 1994), he retains bassist John Stirratt, drummer Ken Coomer and Max Johnston from U.T. (minus Jay Farrar).
  • Brian Henneman, the lead singer of the Bottle Rockets plays lead guitar on the album. After the recording of the album, Henneman has to leave the band and is replaced by Jay Bennett.
  • Demo tracks were recorded in June, only weeks after the band forms. Wilco gets signed to Reprise and they record the full album in August.
  • Promising appears on the Chelsea Wall soundtrack and a 10" promo. Let's Hear It For Rock and Gone are never officially released (correct me if I'm wrong).
A.M. Demos (1994)

1. I Must Be High
2. Shouldn't Be Ashamed
3. Box Full Of Letters
4. Pick Up The Change
5. Passenger Side
6. Promising
7. Let's Hear It For Rock
8. Gone

WILCO- A.M.Demos. rar

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

B.T.W.F- More Flake Music

As a companion to the Shins pre-fame band, Flake Music's Spork EP, here's their full-length debut. This album, more than Spork, has more of the trademark sounds that soon would be heard (and critically acclaimed) from the Shins. When You Land Here, It's Time To Return was recorded in 1997 and very much could have passed as The Shin's debut as it was recorded while still known as Flake Music. In an interview with Pitchfork in May 2009, Shins (Flake Music) frontman James Mercer announced plans to re-release the album on his own record label. It's a very respectable CD that isn't quite as good as Oh, Inverted World or Chutes Too Narrow, but I prefer it to Wincing The Night Away.
It's well worth a listen!

When You Land Here, It's Time To Return (1997)
  1. Spanway Hits
  2. Blast Valve
  3. Roziere
  4. Structo
  5. (untitled)
  6. Deluca
  7. Mieke
  8. (untitled)
  9. The Shins
  10. (untitled)
  11. Vantage
FLAKE MUSIC- When You Land Here, It's Time To Return. rar
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