Monday, September 25, 2017

Radish- Discount Fireworks (Unreleased)

Every once in a while your wishes can true. I'm not talking big lottery wins or fame and fortune, no, I mean the small stuff that make life interesting and sometimes it's simply just plain luck. I've lived to see my beloved Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, not once, but three times and I've been fortunate enough to see many of my favourite artists live (The Replacements, Young Fresh Fellows, Scruffy The Cat, Ray Davies, Elvis Costello etc...). Through this blog I've been made aware of and have been given a lot of cool music that I might not otherwise been aware of. Some bands I hadn't heard of before, as well as live material, demos and unreleased songs and albums from musicians I admire.

A few years back, I made a reference to Ben Kweller's band, Radish and an unreleased album, Discount Fireworks. I posted a couple self-released Kweller EP's (Freak-out It's Ben Kweller and Bromeo) and some of these recordings were holdovers from the proposed Fireworks album. Many of the songs from the Discount Fireworks sessions went on to appear in different versions on these EP's as well as Ben Kweller's debut album, Sha Sha. Kweller originally self released Sha Sha in 2000 and in 2002, ATO Records re-released a different version of the album with a different track order, new recordings and more songs. I don't know the exact timeline of these songs, but I know the Radish versions on Discount Fireworks are very hard to find. Several tracks have been floating around the web in some form or another and this has been one of the most requested items on this blog. I never ever expected to hear or get a copy of the album, but lo and behold, over eight years after that post I received an email from a reader and I was offered up a copy of Discount Fireworks. The rip unfortunately is 128k mp3, but for the opportunity to hear the album in it's entirety this was too good to pass up and I was very excited to finally hear it. I've listened to it several times and it's well worth a listen. Some of the versions that appear on Sha Sha are different recordings and slightly different versions, so if you're a fan of Radish and/or Ben Kweller, this is a must hear!

A special thank you to Johnny Spork for the album and for creating some amazing (unofficial) front and back covers included in the file. The sound quality is pretty damn good and it baffles me why this was never released, but for more information and background about the Discount Fireworks fiasco, Johnny sent me a link for an article from 1999:
 And remember your wishes can come true!  Now if someone has a uncompressed version of the album...

  • This is in lossy format, so please share as mp3. (Don't try to convert to WAV or FLAC, it doesn't work that way) 
  • If there is any issue sharing this recording (Mercury, Seagrams, BK?), please send me a PM first.

Discount Fireworks

(Unreleased Album) 1998
mp3 (128k)

01. Launch Ramp
02. Next Time
03. Drink Me Away
04. How It Should Be (Sha Sha)
05. Silent Scene
06. What It Is Like To Live In Commerce
07. Wasted And Ready
08. Harriet's Got A Song
09. Here Is Dissonant
10. Cally
11. Orange Tic-Tacs
12. In Other Words
13. Panamainian Girl
14. For Forever
15. Bill W. Is My Friend
16. Girl In Between
17. 4.40 (Episode 2)
18. Super Neat (64k mp3)\

RADISH- Discount Fireworks 1998 mp3.rar

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Grant Hart- WECC, Winnipeg, MB May 17, 2005

It's been a while since I posted last, my pre-vacation post was for a show I attended over 10 years ago. A lot has happened since then and I just haven't had the time to write, but I have been actively transferring some old cassette tape masters from some shows I attended in the 90's. I promise I will share them very soon. FYI, I'm writing my first post with my new laptop computer. Wow, these new machines are fast and downloading/uploading speed is unbelievably quick.

For me a story that stood out in the news in the past week was the passing of Grant Hart, the drummer from Husker Du. He later formed his band, Nova Mob in 1989, he sang and played guitar, they released a bunch of records and he also performed and recorded as a solo artist. For me, in the mid-eighties I listened to a lot of college rock, punk and so-called alternative rock (now called indie) and I was especially drawn to the bands from Minneapolis, the closest major U.S. city from my modest sized metropolis up here in Canada. I was heavily into the Replacements, Soul Asylum and Husker Du. This is the music I identified with most at the time, fast, raw, guitar, bass and drums rock 'n' roll. Though all three of these bands started out as punk bands, Husker Du was the most hardcore on their earliest albums. The furious speed and intensity of early Du was what drew me in, but it was the intelligence and maturity of the lyrics and music that kept me a fan. Bands that feature two singer-songwriters often divide the fans into two camps, especially if they breakup, with songs they prefer from one artist over the other. I must admit I enjoyed Grant Hart's songs slightly more than Bob Mould's. It's hard to explain, maybe it's his voice, maybe it's the lyrics, not that I didn't enjoy Bob's songs, his voice and guitar are a large part of the Husker Du sound, it's just that, I felt the songs had a more poppy euphonious quality that I enjoyed. Grant was an underrated songwriter and continued to be creative right up to his last album, The Argument, which is a masterpiece. If you're not familiar with the music of Grant Hart, I recommend starting with Husker Du's, New Day Rising, followed by Flip Your Wig and Candy Apple Grey. Nova Mob's, Last Days Of Pompeii is a great album and though his solo albums are spotty, my favourite continues to be his first, Intolerance.

I have seen Grant Hart twice live. The first time when he was in Nova Mob in the early 90's at the Albert and solo in 2005 at the West End Cultural Centre. Clearly, Hart was the less commercially successful of the Huskers as Mould continues to draw large crowds for his shows. For both Grant Hart shows there were a handful of people in attendance. The solo show at the West End, which has a capacity of 300-400 had maybe 30-40 people tops. It was a very intimate show complete with flubs and equipment trouble as Grant's guitar cut in and out and the sound levels of my recording are up and down (warning if you listen). The setlist draws from throughout his career up to that point and the sound quality is pretty good since there isn't much "crowd" chatter. Grant is passionate about his music even with the small crowd and I was very glad I attended and recorded the concert.

Previously posted on TDIT: Grant Hart- live at Valentines from 2001
 A cool article from Rolling Stone about Grant Hart/Husker Du by Rob Sheffield (a fav music writer of mine)

NO SELLING or converting to lossy mp3 (except for personal use)

West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
May 17, 2005
Solo electric
Audience Master

mini Sony stereo mic> Sharp MD> stand alone Teac CDR Recorder>
audio CDR> FreeRip> FLAC> rar

01. 2541
02. Green Eyes
03. Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill
04. Remains To Be Seen
05. Never Talking To You Again
06. You Don't Have To Tell Me
07. You're The Reflection Of The Moon On The Water
08. Admiral Of The Sea
09. Wernher Von Braun
10. Flexible Flyer
11. Pink Turns To Blue
12. She Floated Away
13. The Main
14. Sorry Somehow
15. Terms Of Psychic Warfare
16. Little Misinformation
17. Over My Head
18. Fanfare In D Major (Come, Come)
19. Don't Want To Know If You're Lonely
20. Puzzles
21. Evergreen Memorial Drive
22. It's Not Funny Anymore
23. The Last Days Of Pompeii

24. Diane
25. Letter From Ann Marie

GRANT HART- 2005-05-17 WECC Winnipeg, MB FLAC Master. rar
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