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.

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
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) (members only)- lossless FLAC
Please do not sell this recording.

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 (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.

Austin, Texas

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.

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.

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.

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
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
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