Monday, March 30, 2020

Blue Shadows- Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto 1994

Since I'm officially going to be laid off from my work starting April 1 (no joke!) because in my province, all non-critical and essential services and business will close at least for the next two weeks. I'm not too torn up about it yet, and though I'm no psychic, I'm guessing these closures will be extended longer. For how long, it's anyone's guess. The good news is it is allowing me more time to browse through my collection of shows to post new material on the blog. I also have a bit of a backlog of shows I've uploaded, but haven't posted yet. I might have lost interest or enthusiasm for the show or something more interesting or timely came up. Anyways, it should mean more posts in the upcoming weeks as I'll try to make time to write and listen to even more music. Fun times! I least until the money runs dry.

When you think of Vancouver's, Blue Shadows, country music comes to mind, right? Yes and no, and it isn't a bad thing. I'm not a huge fan of country music in general, but the Blue Shadows are in a wider genre: alt country, folk, rock. You can't help but think of the Everly Brothers with some amazing harmonies from vocalists, Billy Cowsill and Jeffrey Hatcher and a tight band with a touch of rockabilly and 50's rock. Everyone knows the story of Billy Cowsill who co-formed the Cowsills in the mid-60's and stayed active in the music scene through five decades. Cowsill considers his time in the Blue Shadows as his most positive experience as a musician to that point in his career. The driving and creative force of the Blue Shadows was Jeffrey Hatcher, a Winnipegger who relocated to Vancouver (but is back in the Peg) who brought his immense talent to the forefront with some great songs. Hatcher enjoyed modest success with his band, Jeffrey Hatcher and the Big Beat in the 80's and has more recently reunited with his brothers with The Fuse, a band that pre-dated the Big Beat. It really is a shame the Blue Shadows only released two albums due to Cowsill's addictions that broke up the band. I highly recommend you seek out those two albums, On The Floor Of Heaven and Lucky To Me. The deluxe edition of On The Floor Of Heaven features a bonus second disc of outtakes and covers the band recorded.

The live recording from the Horseshoe in 1994 captures the band in fine form that was professionally recorded and aired on CBC radio. The sound is outstanding and the performance is flawless with Hatcher and Cowsill at their harmonizing best. Thanks again to stevemtl who recorded this concert on the radio and transferred and posted the show to Dime. I have many CBC radio broadcasts from this time period on cassette masters, so thanks stevemtl for taking the time to post. There was talk and interest that (allegedly) this recording would be released as a bonus live disc packaged with the reissue of Luck To Me, but unfortunately the label folded so the project didn't happen. Such a shame!

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats (except for personal use)
Please share!

Horseshoe Tavern
Toronto, ON
May 16, 1994
FM Broadcast

Source recording by stevemtl: analogue FM to Fuji A/V PRO videotape at SP
Transfered by stevemtl: videotape > Proscan PSVR82 > D550 (SBM) > R40 (16/48) > HD
Mastered and posted to DIME by stevemtl on 2018-05-13:
HD > Soundforge (L2 dither to 24/48, trim, edit, L2 level adjust) > R8brain (downsample to 24/44.1) > Soundforge (L2 dither to 16/44.1) > CDwave (track cut) > TLH (flac level 8, ffp, md5) > TLH (torrent) > DIME

01.  -radio host intro, etc.-
02.  The Fool Is the Last One to Know
03.  Heart of a Lion, Soul of a Dove
04.  -talk-
05.  A Little Bit Lonesome, A Little Bit Blue
06.  Raised on Robbery
07.  -talk-
08.  Give, Give, Given
09.  -talk-
10.  Johnny's Guitar
11.  -talk-
12.  A Thousand Times
13.  When Will This Heartache End
14.  -talk-
15.  Think It Over
16.  The Seventh Son
17.  If It Ain't Rockin'
18.  -talk-
19.  Born in Love
20.  What the Hell I Got
21.  -talk-
22.  -interview-
23.  -production credits-

note: CBC 'Hot Ticket'; above is broadcast date
Karen Gordon - radio host

BLUE SHADOWS- 1994-05-16 Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON FLAC. rar

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Neil Young Tribute- Live In Winnipeg 1995

With most everyone practicing social distancing, it is an opportunity to sort your record collection and an opportunity to listen to music you have been meaning to listen to. These days, streaming is the popular form for listening and discovering music and there are endless possibilities for making playlists. Presently, a cliche playlist would be about isolation and loneliness (maybe even depression) as it has become the norm for people around the world to avoid any social gatherings or the possibility of being within a meter of an another human being. When I think of artists and songs that meet that criteria, I often turn to the "loner" himself, Neil Young. Neil isn't always anti-social and though I'm thinking he prefers to perform solo, he does have Crazy Horse as his backing band and he has played in other groups such as Crosby, Stills and Nash, Buffalo Springfield, The Squires and even made a record and toured with Pearl Jam! Though his songs have taken on an increasingly critical opinion of politics, the environment and war he has still maintained a certain reputation as a solemn loner. A perfect thing to be during these times.

Instead of a playlist, how about a tribute to Neil Young in the form of a concert. There have been many albums and concerts that have paid tribute to Neil Young (despite being very alive!) so there are many to choose from with many popular artists participating. Today's post is unique to me because this was recorded in my hometown (and Neil's) with local bands all performing the music of Neil Young. This concert was to celebrate Neil Young's 50th birthday on the eve of his birthday, and yes, they sing Happy birthday at the beginning. The strange thing is the radio announcer says the date of the concert is September 27th, but Neil's real birthday is November 12th...??
  • The recording: Recorded in 1995 and was aired nationally on CBC-FM "Real Time" broadcast. Thanks to Stevemtl who recorded it off the radio and posted the show to Dime. Each band performs a short set of Young covers each, but I'm assuming there were other songs that weren't aired on the broadcast.
  • The bands: All Winnipeg bands, mainly indie and I'm slightly familiar with most of these bands though I have to admit haven't seen any of them live. The Blue Meanies, who became the New Meanies shortly after due to another band with the same name, gained modest success and even had airplay. Buick Six, I remember because Mike Koop also played in the band, The Bonaduces and they had a violin player, Julie Penner that was really good that went on to perform and record with many well known Canadian musicians. Zen Bungalow had Rod Slaughter in the band who went on to form Duotang and plays in Novillero. Grand Theft Canoe had a cool psychedelic sound I like a lot and all I know about Not Going To Vegas is that Phil Deschambault in the band co-formed the duo, Ash Koley with Ash Koley.
  • The sound: The sound quality is excellent, FM broadcasts always sound great. All the bands do a commendable job in their own way and style. Very enjoyable!

Though this concert and the bands may only have only regional interest, Neil Young's music is celebrated and appreciated world-wide and the fact he spent many of his formative years in Winnipeg is something to be proud of. The concert is from almost 25 years ago and at the time I believe Young was touring with Pearl Jam. Most of the bands that performed on this night are no longer together (New Meanies still perform occasionally), but Young continues to record new music and tour. If your wondering what Young is doing to keep busy during these grim times, Young has shared his Fireside Session show on his archives site. He has filmed (with the help of his wife, Daryl Hannah) two sessions consisting of some deep tracks and some classic tunes. “Because we are all at home and not venturing out, we will try to do a stream from my fireplace with my lovely wife filming. It will be a down-home production, a few songs, a little time together,”says Young. The sessions have been filmed from Young and Hannah’s home in snowy Telluride, Colorado. Indeed!

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats (except for personal use)
Please share!

West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB 
September 27, 1995

Recorded by stevemtl: at a later date - CBC 'Real Time' broadcast > analogue cable FM > Yamaha RX586 > Fostex D5 or Sony R500 (DAT @ 16/48)
Transferred by stevemtl: DAT > Sony R500 > Roland R44 (16/48 wav) > SD chip > HD
Mastered by stevemtl: wav > Soundforge (L2 dither > 24/48: L2 level adjust, trim, edit) > r8brain (vhq downsample > 24/44.1) > Soundforge (L2 dither > 16/44.1) > CDwave (track cut) > TLH (flac level 8, ffp, md5) > TLH (torrent marker)
Posted to DIME by stevemtl on 2019-12-15.

01.  -radio host intro-
02.  -Happy Birthday, talk-
03.  Southern Man
04.  -talk-
05.  No More   >>>
06.  Cortez the Killer
07.  -radio host talk-
08.  Albuquerque
09.  -talk-
10.  Walk On
11.  -radio host talk, talk-
12.  The Sultan
13.  -talk-
14.  Burned
15.  -talk-
16.  Expecting to Fly
17.  -talk-
18.  Harvest
19.  -radio host talk-
20.  Mr. Soul
21.  -talk-
22.  The Loner  >>>
23.  Tonight's the Night
24.  -radio host talk-
25.  Look Out for My Love
26.  -talk-
27.  Cinnamon Girl
28.  -radio host outro-

[57:10 m.]
Leora Kornfeld - radio host
t03>06: Blue Meanies (now called New Meanies)
t08>10: Buick Six
t12>18: Grand Theft Canoe
t20>23: Zen Bungalow
T25>27: Not Going to Vegas

NEIL YOUNG TRIBUTE- 1995-09-27 WECC, Winnipeg, MB FLAC. rar

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Graham Parker- Squeezing Out Sparks Solo Acoustic

Thoughts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have taken over our lives. It has affected the way we interact with people, how we cautiously move about and how a weird sense of taking back control of our lives has led to hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Schools, universities, professional and amateur sports, movie theatres, galleries, museums, theatre/concerts, restaurants and many businesses are shutting down to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. It's the uncertainty that is one of the biggest concerns and who knows how long it will take for our lives to return to normal, whatever that'll look like. Today at my place of employment (my real job), we made the decision to be closed, except only by appointment to pick up completed work (I work at a picture framing shop). For the rest of week, one employee will be physically there to field phone calls, inquiries and pickups and most likely by next week we temporarily close completely. Since hockey has been a no-go for almost a week now, I will have a lot more free time to dedicate what I truly love best, writing posts on this blog. Expect to see more updates than once a month.

One of the key annual events in the music industry, Record Store Day is also effected by the virus. RSD was to take place this year on April 18th, but has been postponed until June 20th. This is a popular day for a mass of new releases, many limited edition and/or reissues. To be fair and realistically the stores might not be open even a month from now so this is a good decision to maximize the full retail potential. This year, one item that caught my attention was a new release from the Young Fresh Fellows, Toxic Youth, that will be limited to 800 copies. Check the RSD and the Record Store Day Canada website for more details and for participating stores in your area.

Speaking of Record Store Day, here's a little something from RSD 19, a reworking of sorts of one of Graham Parker's best albums, Squeezing Out Sparks. This edition is an album of all new solo acoustic performances from Graham (sorry, no Rumour) that celebrates the 40th anniversary of this classic. It was a limited UK edition limited to 500 copies on blue vinyl and is long out of print. It is sequenced in the same order as the original record with the addition of a bonus track of Mercury Poisoning, which I think is arguably one of his best songs. Just imagine Graham Parker, acoustic guitar in hand performing these songs in your living room (or where ever), no band, no overdubs and no special effects. It's clear and refreshing and he serves up a mighty fine performance. Though the songs are strong and powerful, what this recording lacks is the "sparks" and the angry rebelliousness raw sound that Parker's music expressed 40 years ago. I can't help feeling after listening to this album that I have to put on the original disc from 1979 to remind myself why Allmusic cited it as, "[his] finest album", "a masterful fusion of pub rock classicism, new wave pop, and pure vitriol". Parker's career has varied greatly over the years and he often revisits some of his past triumphs. In the mid-90's he joined up with The Figgs as his supporting band after years of performing solo and his recent collaborations with his former band, The Rumour (Three Chords Good & Mystery Glue) continues to be promising. Parker still has a lot more gas in his tank and he's always worth a listen even if it's not a full tank.

Take care, wash your hands, stay at home, share your toilet paper and listen to good music!

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!

Graham Parker
Squeezing Out Sparks (2019)
(Solo Acoustic 40th anniversary)

01    Discovering Japan   
02    Local Girls   
03    Nobody Hurts You   
04    You Can't Be Too Strong   
05    Passion Is No Ordinary Word   
06    Saturday Nite Is Dead   
07    Love Gets You Twisted   
08    Protection   
09    Waiting For The UFOs   
10    Don't Get Excited   
11    Mercury Poisoning   

GRAHAM PARKER- Squeezing Out Sparks-40th Anniversary solo acoustic FLAC. rar

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Wilco- Live In Winnipeg, March 11, 2020

"You guys are killer!", a fan seated a row in front of me and about 5 seats or so over shouted out between Handshake Drugs and War On War.
Jeff Tweedy: "That's the kind of individual support we're looking for, applause together means nothing, but the brave soul that reaches out in the silence and says you guys are killer. That's what keep us going, sir. When I'm in my bunk thinking about the show tonight, that's what I'm going to be thinking about. All of your applauses is dogshit, but that shouldn't inhibit you from applausing".

That guy was right, Wilco did kill it. The band was on fire, I've seen Wilco many times in our city and this was probably my favourite show. The sometimes moody Tweedy was in good spirits, smiling and with quick witty banter, definitely feeling it, "ode to joy". It definitely helped that we had sweet seats about 7 rows from the front smack dab in the middle with a perfect view of the stage and possibly the best sound I've heard at a "rock" concert. It was at the plush Centennial Concert Hall in beautiful downtown Winnipeg and hell, this is the home of the world famous WSO (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra) so you bet the sound acoustics are damn good.

Interestingly, the show almost didn't happen. With the threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) hitting North America hard, events, sports and public performances had begun to get cancelled and there was a real possibility this concert might be one of them. On the Winnipeg Wilco event Facebook page the afternoon of the show, there was over 20 posts with people selling tickets at below cost and at discount prices. Clearly, there was mild concern. Then on the Fb YFF fans page, someone posted that the Seattle shows with the Fellows opening was cancelled...oh oh! My hope was the band was already in town, probably arriving in the morning from the show in Duluth, MN the night before. To the relief of me and many many other Wilco fans the show went on, we are so lucky! Unfortunately, Winnipeg would be last show for a while. The next day it was announced all the dates going west, then down the coast to California and Vegas are postponed. That's 17 shows for now, maybe more. Stay tuned.

The show had many great highlights. Some of the individual solo performances within the band is always top notch. I've always said drummer, Glen Kotche is one of the best drummers today (fun fact: I saw Kotche's debut Wilco show at the First Avenue in 2001). During the live performance of
Via Chicago there's a a crazy part when the lights strobe on Kotche and he appears to be super-sped up, while the rest of the band are at regular speed, it's hard to describe, but it was cool and wow, what a drummer! There's no doubt Nels Cline is an incredible guitar player and his signature song with Wilco is the epic, Impossible Germany. Live and in person he dazzles effortlessly, his large frame manipulating all the sounds coming from his guitar. Sit back and really listen to this song, amazing! I was impressed, Wilco actually played the song I requested on Wilcoworld (you can request a song for every show), maybe my favourite song, Box Full Of Letters from the first Wilco album, A.M. Multi-instrumentalist, Pat Sansone was in the spotlight playing lead guitar and he proved the depth of talent within Wilco. I also considered requesting, Steely Dan's, Any Major Dude, a song Wilco has covered before.  The encore was great, the always pleasing, California Stars and a trio of Wilco classics from the Being There album, a terrific way to close the show.

I was impressed how good the sound quality turned out on the recording. Crisp, clear and balanced, about as good as you can ask. Of course, being part of an audience there is the usual hooting and hollering close by and some loud clapping from the guy beside me, but it isn't an issue. This is the sixth time I've seen (and recorded) Wilco and definitely this live recording sounds the best. If you ever have an opportunity to see the band live, see them! Oh yeah, after this current tour which also takes them to Europe (hopefully), in August they begin a tour with Sleater-Kinney through the states...hmmmm, what are my summer plans?

Please do NOT sell of profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats (except for personal use)
Please share!

Centennial Concert Hall
Winnipeg, MB
March 11, 2020
AUD Master

Row 7 middle
Sony ECM-DS70P mic> Tascam DR-07> SD card > 16 bit Wav>
Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC> rar file

01. Bright Leaves
02. Before Us
03. Company In My Back
04. Can't Stand It
05. One and a Half Stars
06. Handshake Drugs
07. War On War
08. Hummingbird
09. Via Chicago
10. How to Fight Loneliness
11. Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)
12. Random Name Generator
13. Reservations
14. Impossible Germany
15. Love Is Everywhere (Beware)
16. Box Full of Letters
17. Passenger Side
18. Everyone Hides
19. Theologians
20. I'm the Man Who Loves You
21. Hold Me Anyway
22. The Late Greats

23. California Stars
24. Red Eyed and Blue
25. I Got You (At the End of the Century)
26. Outtasite (Outta Mind)

WILCO- 2020-03-11 Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, MB FLAC Master. rar

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