Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Soul Asylum- Grave Dancers Union Demos

This year makes the 20th anniversary of my first ever live concert recording that I actually recorded. It was November of 1993, Soul Asylum at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre in Winnipeg. My seats were in the middle about midway on the floor. I used my dad's micro cassette recorder with a crappy built-in mic that I placed in my crest pocket in a jean jacket (mic peaking out the top). I can remember the anxious, yet excited rush it gave me knowing I would have a souvenir of the concert and that I could play this for my friends that couldn't attend. This show was just as Soul Asylum was riding the crest of mainstream sucess for music fans that now regarded Nirvana and Kurt Cobain as God! The Grave Dancers Union tour elevated Soul Asylum's status from playing clubs and bars to concert halls and hockey arenas which brought them near celebrity status and uncomfortable fame. As half-expected my recording was flawed by shrieks of screaming girls who must have heard about Soul Asylum on MTV with their radio friendly hit, Runaway Train. This recording is probably the worst sounding show in my collection, but it only fueled my obsession to acquire better equipment and capture clearer sounds. After transferring the show from micro-cassette to a regular Maxell cassette, I knew there must be a better way. I used the micro cassette recorder for only one more concert then received a good quality Sony tape recorder (gift from my wife) that I used throughout the rest of the 90's. I have since used a mini disc recorder and more recently a digital recorder that (thank god!!) eliminates the ol' tape/disc flip during the show. I rarely go to a concert without a recorder, but I have to admit I can't let loose and enjoy the show the way some people do because I'm more concerned about the affecting the recording. That's the sacrifice a taper must endure to capture this piece of history and it's their duty to get the best sound quality possible.

In the past few years, I have posted some of the shows I've been to. If I can find time, I'll look back at the last 20 years and post some select shows that might be of interest. As I mentioned many of these recordings are on cassette and mini disc that I will need to transfer to digital. In an effort of self-preservation this should be done regardless as many of these cassettes haven't been played in years and I'm not sure how durable the tapes are. Stay tuned, I've got some good stuff that has never been traded or circulated and if you're from Winnipeg, maybe you went to some of these shows. Except for my recordings, I have rarely come across any recordings of concerts I've attended, hmm...strange?

I'm posting another set of Soul Asylum demos from their big commercial breakthrough album, Grave Dancers Union. Not their best album, but the one that got them an appearance on SNL a couple of times and for Pirner, Winona Ryder. Hey, I'm off to the Twin Cities this week to watch a pair of hockey games and buy a lot of records (and CDs). I have my regular stores I like to visit, but if anyone has any recommendations or suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Grave Dancers Union Demos
  1. Get On Out
  2. Runaway Train
  3. Growing Into You
  4. Easy To Avoid
  5. 99%
  6. Black Gold
  7. Some Obsession
  8. Straight Up
  9. Thick And Thin
  10. New World 2
SOUL ASYLUM- Grave Dancers Union Demos FLAC. rar

Friday, March 08, 2013

Soul Asylum- Hang Time Demos

About a month ago, I downloaded a recording of a Soul Asylum show that took place near the end of 2012 at the First Avenue in Minneapolis. I looked at the lineup and as expected there was Dave Pirner and drummer Michael Bland, but what I didn't expect was the absence of guitarist, Dan Murphy and bass player, Tommy Stinson, as they have been replaced by Justin Sharbono and Winston Roye. Apparently, this lineup change took place in October with a statement from Dan on the band's (forum) website. Tommy had been filling in for Karl Mueller, so his departure isn't a surprise, but Dan Murphy is a co-founding member of Soul Asylum and he helped shape the sound and direction of the band with Pirner. Personally, I have been a solid fan of the band since I first heard Made To Be Broken and I stood by the band (though much less enthusiastically) when they broke into the mainstream and back again. They really haven't released anything that compares with MTBB, And The Horse They Rode In On and Hang Time on their latest albums and i can see why Murphy has lost some of his fire and passion. I saw them live when they toured Grave Dancers Union and around 2001 (?) (when they weren't touring any new album). They have always been known as a great live band and my only regret I didn't see them in the late 80's when their live shows were amazing (at least on the recordings I have). For me, Soul Asylum won't be the same without Murphy and it'll be more like Dave Pirner and his band, playing the songs of Soul Asylum. Imagine Paul Westerberg touring under the Mats name without Stinson or the Stones without Richards or the Feelies without Million or Husker Du without Hart...etc. Hopefully, Dan Murphy's departure from Soul Asylum won't mean he's quitting music completely because I'm still holding out hope for another Golden Smog album and more live shows.

Hang Time was Soul Asylum's major label debut released in 1988. Dan Murphy contributed the song, Cartoon to the record and it remains my favourite Murphy penned tunes. The demos don't differ too much from the versions released, but it's always interesting to hear the rawer, less produced versions of a major label record. The sessions also include 4 songs that would be released on the delightful, Clam Dip & Other Delights EP.

Hang Time Demos 
  1. Sometime To Return
  2. Ode
  3. Secret No More
  4. Twiddly Dee
  5. Standing In The Doorway
  6. Endless Farewell
  7. Down On Up To Me
  8. P9
  9. Artificial Heart
  10. My Saving Grace
  11. Forever In A Day
  12. Just Plain Evil
  13. Jack Of All Trades
SOUL ASYLUM- Hang Time Demos FLAC. rar
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