Sunday, December 31, 2023

Violent Femmes- New York City 2023, 40th Anniversary of Violent Femmes (1st Album)


 It has been 40 years since, the Violent Femmes released their landmark debut album, Violent Femmes. The album was hugely influential for me and I have to say it changed my life, at least musically. Up until 1983, I listened primarily to classic rock (yeah, it was already called that then, pretty much the same music), the Stones, Kinks, Who, Cheap Trick... The sound of the opening bass riff from bass player, Brian Ritchie, on the first track, Blister In The Sun was so new and unique to me, it blew my dumb-stupid mind. The rest of the album was truly fascinating, it opened my mind to alternative sounds far from the commercial radio I soaked in. The song became a hit (yes, a radio hit!) and the album gave the Femmes enough credibility to build their career around this record. It's no wonder the band was back on tour this year to remind us the album is 40 years old...40 freaking years!! I try not to buy into this trend of anniversary records and tours too much, 5 years, 10 years,15 years and so on, but a lot of these bands like to live in the past (it helps financially) and their fans want to be reminded of the band's best works. To be honest, if I saw the Violent Femmes, I would want to hear the early albums rather than the newer songs, it's only natural, right?

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Violent Femmes
Webster Hall
New York, NY
October 17, 2023

Source: master audience recording
Taper: larryrulz
Location: balcony
Lineage: CA-11 (cardioid) > Sony A10 (44/24) > Audacity (tracking) > TLH > FLAC 6 > foobar2000 (FLAC tags)

Video on YouTube:

01 band entrance
02 Blister in the Sun
03 Kiss Off
04 Please Do Not Go
05 Add It Up
06 Confessions
07 Prove My Love
08 Promise
09 To the Kill
10 Gone Daddy Gone
11 Good Feeling
12 Jesus Walking on the Water
13 Country Death Song
14 I'm Nothing
15 Memory
16 Dance Motherfucker Dance
17 I Held Her in My Arms
18 Black Girls
19 drum solo
20 band intros/end of Black Girls
21 Gimme the Car

22 I'm Not Gonna Cry
23 American Music
Length: 1:29:43
Gordon Gano - vocals, guitar, banjo, violin
Brian Ritchie - bass, xylophone, vocals
John Sparrow - drums

Horns of Dilemma:
John Crew - alto flute
Caspar Zack (?) - orange trombone
Todd Joseph - trumpet
Caspar Zack (?) - little pink trombone
Perry Yung - shakuhachi
Jet Young - shakuhachi
Blaise Garza - saxophones

Green Day- Fremont Country Club, October 19, 2023 (with the Complete Dookie Album)


Before the end of 2023, I thought I would squeeze in a couple of shows that celebrated anniversaries for significant albums for a pair of artists that are still performing and writing new material. 

Green Day formed in 1987 and released several fine recordings before they hit the "jackpot" with their major label debut, Dookie. The album was released almost (in February) 30 years ago and it marked a turning point, as it was a hit and it gained the band a mainstream following that is still strong today. I have to admit, I was an early fan of the band, but the last album I bought of theirs was Kerplunk from 1991, and as a avid reader of Maximum Rock N Roll, I was leery of the band "selling-out" to a major label. The magazine published a now classic article in the June 1994 issue #133 (I still have this issue!) about the threat and the pros and cons of bands signing to a major label. It was pretty much a take-down piece about the major labels and bands that signed to them and it gave a breakdown of the real cost of touring and recording, expenses and compromises to the sound that were associated with appealing to a mainstream audience. A lot of the smaller "indie" labels were in fact owned by the big major label.  My listening preference was heavily influenced by the article and for a long time wouldn't listen to any bands that "sold-out". Of course, my tastes have evolved and realize the music is all good, indie or major label, though it's still hard to listen to bands like the Goo Goo Dolls after, Hold Me Up. I urge you to read a condensed version of the MRR piece, as I found a pdf, (so I don't have to scan pages) at very interesting, especially reading it now.
From the file notes: "Secret" club show downtown, warm up for the When We Were Young Festival. Concert starts with a complete performance of "Dookie", in celebration of the album's almost 30th anniversary. The crowd was dense, a bit rowdy, and very loud. Occasional phasing and mix changes are audible when I get pushed. Quality is good but far from perfect. Very listenable - the crowd singalongs are great. 
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October 19, 2023
Fremont Country Club
Las Vegas, NV

Source: AKG CK61 > Baby N-Box > Sony PCM-A10
Taper: CPS
Location: twenty-five feet from overhead right PA
Lineage: WAV(M) [24/44.1] > WAV [16/44.1] > FLAC
Edits/EQ: RX8 De-click
Notes: "secret" warmup show before When We Were Young Festival weekend

01 - intro
02 - Burnout
03 - Having a Blast
04 - Chump
05 - Longview
06 - Welcome to Paradise
07 - Pulling Teeth
08 - Basket Case
09 - She
10 - Sassafras Roots
11 - When I Come Around
12 - Coming Clean
13 - Emenius Sleepus
14 - In the End
15 - F.O.D.
16 - All By Myself
17 - The American Dream is Killing Me
18 - Geek Stink Breath
19 - One of My Lies
20 - Oh Love
21 - Stuart and the Ave
22 - Disappearing Boy
23 - Graffitia
24 - Letterbomb
25 - Last Night on Earth
26 - Father of All...
27 - Nuclear Family
28 - Warning
29 - Revolution
30 - Homecoming

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Nick Lowe- Live At El Mocambo, 1978


 Yeah, it's been awhile since I posted last and since that time it feels like we've passed through two seasons. There's snow on the ground where I am and we're into November already, so I thought I better get back to posting and catch up! I listened to a whole bunch of shows that seem interesting, some that peaked my interest for whatever reason, including a couple of bands celebrating significant anniversaries of landmark albums that are worth exploring, but more on that in upcoming posts. 

Something that caught my attention was a post on Dime with a live recording of Nick Lowe from the same concert as Elvis Costello's, Live At The El Mocambo promo/bootleg (that was later officially released) from March 6, 1978. The Elvis portion of the concert was a radio broadcast live on CHUM-FM, so the recording was good and in theory the Lowe portion was probably from the same recording, but not broadcast. During the concert when Costello returned for the encore, he introduced Nick Lowe as the "special guest" and Lowe and the Attractions launched into the mini 4 (3) song set. This was followed by Costello performing the encore (that was included on Costello's LP). What I have below is from a rare 7" EP promo released by CBS (not my copy!), that was only available in Canada and wasn't sold in stores. If you can find a copy of this collectible, it's a keeper, as it's supposedly worth a few bucks. If you're a fan of Lowe (or Costello), this is worth a listen and a neat companion piece to Elvis Costello's, Live at the El Mocambo.

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Live at the El Mocambo
March 6, 1978

Promo 7">cdr>eac

1.  Nutted By Reality (first verse)/ I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass
2.  Shake and Pop
3.  Heart of the City

Monday, August 28, 2023

X- Whisky a Go Go, West Hollywood, CA, April 11, 1980


Sometimes the story behind a recording is more significant and interesting than the recording itself. The debut album from X, Los Angeles, was released at the beginning of April 1980 and the show at the Whisky on April 11th was purportedly the record release party. Tragically, the show was also the same night Exene's sister, Mirielle was killed on a Hollywood side street by a drunk driver. The band went on stage just before they heard the news, so it was truly a difficult horrible circumstance and the band continued to perform with many in the crowd oblivious of the situation, while others had already heard to awful news. 

Listening to this recording, there doesn't seem to be any evidence about the circumstances mentioned above, so it's possible the band played two sets and the live recording (below) was from the first set. I haven't seen a recording of the second set, so I don't want to jump to any conclusions. The recording quality isn't great, but it is listenable and definitely worth the listen. Ray Manzarek (from the Doors) produced the debut album and sits in and plays keyboards with the band. A nice version of the Roadhouse Blues is even more cooler with Manzarek's keys and the fact he was involved with X blows my mind! I love X, especially their early albums (the first 3 are essential!) and they're terrific live, at least that's what I've heard!
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April 11, 1980

Cassette Master -> Untracked Aiff File -> Soundforge -> FLAC

01. Year One
02. Los Angeles
03. Sex And Dying In High Society
04. Your Phone's Off The Hook, But You're Not
05. Sugarlight
06. The Unheard Music
07. When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch
08. Lotta Loving
09. Lotta Loving (again!)
10. Bad Boy
11. Soul Kitchen
12. Johny Hit And Run Paulene
13. We're Desperate
14. Nausea
15. The World's A Mess, It's In My Kiss
16. -intro-
17. Universal Corner
18. Roadhouse Blues (with Top Jimmy)
19. Good Rockin' Tonight (with Top Jimmy)

with Ray Manzarek on keyboards 


Thursday, August 03, 2023

New York Dolls- Dawn Of The Dolls

Wow! Today marks the 17th year this blog was launched back in 2006 (hope the math is right?)! I try to post more frequently around each year's anniversary, so we'll kick it off with something cool that is also celebrating a milestone anniversary. On July 27th, it marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the New York Dolls landmark debut album. At the time, the album was shocking and sold poorly polarizing listeners and the conservative US market. What? A band dressed in drag on the cover? Fortunately, times have changed and the album was a very important release spawning a punk sound and bizarre fashion sense that heavily influenced the wave of punk bands in the coming years. 

What we have here is the first ever studio recordings made by Dolls, recorded prior to 1973 debut album! It  features original drummer Billy Murcia and production by famed punk/new wave producer Marty Thau (The Ramones, Blondie, Suicide)! In 2023, the audio has been completely remastered making this "the best sounding version of these recordings ever made available"! Sounds almost too good to be true, right? I've listened to these demos and they sound pretty darn good!


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01 - Bad Girl (2023 Re-Mastered Studio Demo)
02 - Looking for a Kiss
03 - Don't Start Me Talking
04 - Don't Mess with Cupid
05 - Human Being
06 - Personality Crisis
07 - Pills
08 - Jet Boy
 09 - Frankenstein
2023 re-mastered studio demos

Monday, July 17, 2023

Paul Westerberg- RKCNDY, Seattle, WA, July 17, 1993 (30th Anniversary!)

Boy, time sure flies by! My last post was from April (R.E.M.) and I think I posted something else the same day. Apparently, I violated Blogger community guidelines and the post featuring the band, Maow was deleted. This is a band Neko Case was a member of before her solo career and I assume that might be the cause of this take-down. She is adamantly against the recording of her shows (and sharing) and this probably extends to her album work as well. There seems to be no problem with New Pornographers live recordings, a band she is a member of, as I've posted several shows over the years, as they don't have a no taping policy like Neko solo...but Maow? Anyways, the point is I haven't posted much in many months and I apologize.

For fans itching to hear and see another Replacements or Paul Westerberg show, I have no new updates to share and we'll have to be content with past live recordings to keep us satisfied. Another example of how time is flying by, today is the 30th anniversary of a Westerberg show from the tour for his debut solo album. The live recording for the show at RKCNDY in Seattle in 1993 has been shared for years and I actually have the show I acquired in a tape trade that I haven't listened to in a while. The dub (copy) I have is probably multiple generation and the sound quality wasn't great. I seem to remember the volume level was really low and lacked the dynamics of a lower gen recording. Today on Dime, a remastered, fresh 2023 transfer version from an audience master DAT source was posted that is a definite upgrade (thank you slipkid68!!). I'm guessing this is a different capture than the version I have and the sound quality is unbelievably excellent. It seriously sounds as good as a soundboard, but better because the crowd is nicely balanced in the mix. A nice way to celebrate the anniversary of this amazing concert, with a setlist that highlights his first album, 14 Songs, with lots of Replacements songs and a couple covers. I believe the 1993 tour gave us perhaps the best live shows (yes, even including the Replacements) with solid performances and fostered some pretty fine live recordings. If you're craving some live Westerberg or Replacements, this might be the next best thing...for now!

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Seattle, Washington
July 17, 1993
slipkid68 master

Casio DA-R100 DAT and Sonic Studio DSM-6 mics > DAT capture > Sony 670 DAT > Audacity 2.0 capture to .wav > RX 8 and Ozone 10 > FLAC > finishing via TLH

01. Intro
02. Another Girl, Another Planet
03. Waiting for Somebody
04. Mannequin Shop
05. Achin’ to Be
06. First Glimmer
07. Waitress in the Sky
08. World Class Fad
09. Dice Behind Your Shades
10. A Few Minutes of Silence
11. Merry Go Round
12. Someone I Once Knew
13. Knockin’ on Mine
14. Skyway
15. Things
16. Gimme Little Sign
17. Dyslexic Heart
18. Swingin’ Party
19. Runaway Wind
20. Can’t Hardly Wait
21. Daydream Believer
22. I’ll Be You
23. Here Comes a Regular
24. Silver Naked Ladies
25. Down Love
26. Left of the Dial
27. Alex Chilton

The musicians:
Josh Freese - drums
Darren Hill - bass
David Minehan - guitar
Paul Westerberg - lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars

Saturday, April 15, 2023

R.E.M. 40th Anniversary of Murmur: Maxwell's 1983

(Image credit: Laura Levine/Corbis via Getty Images)
Earlier this week, was the 40th anniversary of Murmur, R.E.M.'s full-length debut album. It was released April 12, 1983 and it helped launch the career of one of the greatest bands to emerge from Athens, Georgia. Personally, the album was an important and "life-changing" record that really got me hooked on their sound and the whole alternative college rock scene. I actually purchased their second album, Reckoning first, right after it's release a year later and I loved it so much I returned to the record store to buy Murmur. Peter Buck's jangly guitar sound and Michael Stipes mumbled vocal delivery was so unique to me, I realized there was more to music than what was on commercial radio. In my city, there was no alternative radio station options along with no college (we call it university up here in Canada) stations, so I looked to my record store for guidance and recommendations. A whole different sound was emerging which led me to other like-minded bands, Replacements, Husker Du, Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Dream Syndicate etc... what a great time for music and this is music that has stuck with me even today. Though R.E.M. became too big and popular to my liking, their first 4 or 5 albums are essential listening and I'm happy to see/hear Buck and Mike Mills continuing to record and perform with their many collaborations with Scott McCaughey.
This is an early-ish R.E.M. show a couple weeks after the release of Murmur. They had been performing since 1980, but they really became a solid live band around the release of EP, Chronic Town in mid-1982. The live sets were divided between songs from Chronic Town, songs to appear on Murmur and Reckoning, as well as some cool covers. The show at Maxwell's in April of 1983 was their last appearance at that venue, as their growing fan base forced them to play larger venues in the future. It's nice to imagine them playing at such a small intimate bar, so this set is amazing. If you're seeking more R.E.M. live shows, I found this set at the internet archive (, a great resource for live music.
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Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
April 28, 1983

Original lineage: Audience Cassette Master >>> WAV SoundForge >>> Flac >>> Dime
2020 eckythump remaster: All tracks speed corrected in Audacity (+3%), normalized

Originally uploaded to Dime on 17 May 2009 by Guy_R_E. Remastered version uploaded to Dime by eckythump 5 January 2020.

01 - Moral Kiosk
02 - Catapult
03 - Sitting Still
04 - Pilgrimage
05 - Talk About The Passion
06 - Shaking Through
07 - Harborcoat
08 - Wolves, Lower
09 - Romance
10 - Pretty Persuasion
11 - Gardening At Night
12 - 9-9
13 - Windout
14 - 1,000,000 (w/ Fascists Eat Donuts snippet by Pop-O-Pies)
15 - West Of The Fields
16 - Radio Free Europe

17 - White Tornado
18 - Last Date (Floyd Cramer cover)
19 - Secret Agent Man (Johnny Rivers cover)
20 - There She Goes Again (The Velvet Underground cover)
21 - So You Want To Be A Rock'n'Roll Star (The Byrds cover)
22 - I Can't Control Myself (The Troggs cover)
23 - We Walk
24 - 7 Chinese Bros. (incomplete, fades out)

Michael Stipe - Vocals
Peter Buck - Guitar
Mike Mills - Bass, vocals
Bill Berry - Drums, vocals

Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Modern Lovers- Route 128 Revisited


 Now for something completely different! I'm taking a brief break from Elliot Smith's early bands to post something I've been meaning to post for a while. It's a (old school) Modern Lovers vinyl bootleg of some rare and alternative versions of Lovers songs. There are some demos, early sessions, live versions and a couple songs I haven't heard before. Plea For Tenderness is an epic (8 minutes) live-in-the-studio version unheard until here and Cambridge Clown I've never heard before, that is fast and rocks pretty good, though it suffers from horrible sound. As a matter of fact, a few other songs sound muffled, probably from a higher generation tape, while other songs sound incredibly fine, so overall the sound is inconsistently decent. Included in the files is a track-by-track review of the record with more detail about the songs than I can provide. This bootleg was a numbered edition and limited to 300 copies, so finding an actual copy may prove to be difficult (note: I do NOT own the physical album!). It was "unofficially" released in 1988 (or 1989?), but has the low budget look of bootlegs from the 70's (before tapes and CD's were more commonly used) with a plain white cover sleeve with xeroxed pages glued to the front and back with typewritten notes. So cool!

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Route 128 Revisited (1988?)
No label black vinyl
Matrix TI-002 A/B
A01 Plea For Tenderness
A02 Songs For Remembrance Of Old Girlfriends
A03 Ride On Down The Highway
A04 Wake Up Sleepy Head

B01 Cambridge Clown
B02 Such Loneliness    
B03 Womanhood
B04 Dignified And Old

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Stranger Than Fiction- Menagerie (1987)


 The fourth and final album (cassette) from Stranger Than Fiction before the band changed it's name. Another impressive collection of songs that range in style from poppy 80's jangly guitar to beautiful piano ballads recorded to two four-track recorders, the sound quality is great! Once again, Johnny Panic (aka: Elliot (Steven) Smith) and Garrick Duck (aka: Garrick Duckler) write most of the songs.

Stream it on YouTube!
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Menagerie (1987)

01. Memorandum
02. The Real Estate
03. Cypress
04. Prom Date
05. Don't Give It Up
06. The Party
07. Say I Do
08. Trying To Find My Shadow
09. Asleep
10. I'mNotOutOfBreathAnymore
11. Anatomy
12. Chance

The fourth and final album released by Stranger Than Fiction from Portland, OR.
Recorded at WoofBark Sound in the year of our Lord 1987.

Garrick Duck - Bass
Jason Hornick - Keys, Voice
Adam Koval - Drums
Johnny Panic - Voice, Guitars

All songs by Duck/Panic excepting Say I Do by Duck/Hornick and Memorandum, Prom Date by FatBat/Panic

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Stranger Than Fiction- Waiting For The Second Hand (1986)

Here's the third album from Stranger Than Fiction! Judge for yourself, the sound is good and the songs continue to be interesting and a bit bizarre. What do you think? Leave your comments.
Note: The files were converted from 24 bit to 16 bit so they can be burned to CD. The 24 bit files were really huge, but if you prefer that version, leave me a message and I can link you up. This album is the only one that had the files in 24 bit. The "r8b" in the song title files is the conversion software I used, no worries it doesn't effect anything.

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Waiting For The Second Hand (1986)

01. Time Is Ours Now    
02. Punch And Judy    
03. Ancient Fable    
04. 11:37 Passing    
05. I Wish I Could Not Say I Wish    
06. Egypt    
07. The Roller Coaster To Hell    
08. Little Miss Sally (And Her Evening Meditation)    
09. Fast Food    
10. Sophistry    

The third album released by Stranger Than Fiction from Portland, OR. Recorded September 14th, 1986 at Rainbow Recording.
Cassette only release.

Garrick Duckler - Standup Bass, Flounder
Jason Hornick - Keyboards, Vocals, Barracuda
Adam Koval - Drums
Steven Smith - Vocals, Guitar, Trout

except: Garrick Duckler - Vocals and Codfish on "Sophistry", Steven Smith - Electric Piano and Long-Nosed Pike on "Fast Food"

All lyrics by Garrick Duckler except:
"Egypt" by Glynnis Fawkes
"The Roller Coaster to Hell" by Susan Pagani
"Little Miss Sally" by Garrick Duckler, Lisa Gisvold, Sara Harris, Alice Vosmek

All music by Jason Hornick and Steven Smith

Friday, March 17, 2023

Stranger Than Fiction- Still Waters More Or Less (1986)

Here's the second album from Stranger Than Fiction, the band Elliot Smith was in during high school. The first thing that is obvious is that the sound quality is improved and the songs remain fascinating and interesting. Judge for yourself! More to come...!

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If you want to stream and listen in lossless.

Still Waters More Or Less (1986)

01. Wandering
02. Song to the Great Serpent
03. Living in Rotational
04. The Crystal Ball
05. Freedom of Expression
06. Instinctual Disjunction
07. The Vatican Rock
08. Jump Across The Mountain
09. Tunnel Vision
10. Nothing to do With You
11. Sound to Me
12. In the Light
13. Great Serpent Reprise
14. Laughter

Self-released cassette
2nd release from Elliott Smith and Garrick Duckler's songwriting partnership. 
Stranger Than Fiction is listed as:

Garrick Ducker - double bass
Jason Hornick - piano, synthesizers, vocals
Steven Paul Smith - guitars, piano, vocals
Tony Lash - drums


Ben Walsh - drums on Living in Rotational
Tony Lash - organ on The Vatican Rock
Sally Tapanen - tap dance on The Vatican Rock
Steven Smith - bass on Laughter


Friday, March 10, 2023

Stranger Than Fiction- Any Kind Of Mudhen (1985)


If you are a fan of Elliot Smith, last week was special with the unveiling of a collection of six albums Elliot Smith recorded in high school with his band's, Stranger Than Fiction, A Murder Of Crows and Harum Scarum from 1985-1989. These aren't some crappy sounding recordings made in his bedroom, they are fully realized, mature, good sounding recordings of quality original songs written by the teenage Smith (Steven) and his bandmate, Garrick Duckler. Smith was sixteen when they recorded the first of six cassette tapes that were given to friends and sold at performances and Smith had jokingly dismissed the existence of these tapes and distanced himself from his younger self, "I really promised myself a long time ago I would keep [them] from ever seeing the light of day,”. Thanks to an Elliot Smith super-fan in Texas, Cameron McCrary relentlessly tracked down remaining copies of the tapes and archived them to share. They can be heard and streamed on YouTube, but I wanted to track down copies for myself, hopefully in lossless format. Lo and behold, it took me less than 10 minutes to track them down online and I downloaded all six albums in FLAC. If there is an interest, I will share them all here on the blog. I'm a fan of Elliot Smith and I'm also a fan of listening to early works of interesting and intriguing artists, such as Smith, so this is...special.
Recommended reading:

The first album, Any Kind Of Mudhen is actually quite good. Some piano ballads, some drum machines, New Wavy in parts and not unlike solo Elliot Smith, though maybe a little more upbeat. It's interesting the maturity in the music and I never would have suspected this was a group of teenagers on their first recording. Man, I wish I had the original cassette release, but I'm glad this saw the light of day and shared with music fans everywhere. Included in the file are scans of the j-card liner notes and I will emphasize I do NOT have a physical copy of the tape.

Stream on YouTube: Any Kind Of Mudhen

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Any Kind Of Mudhen (1985)

01. Halfway To Forever (Autumn Signs)
02. Looking At My Watch
03. The Machine
04. Joy To The World
05. Uncertainty
06. Another Letter
07. It Was A Sunny Day
08. Wind Through My Life
09. Pbida
10. Chemisty
11. Nothing To Do With You
12. Pull Me Through
13. To Build A Home

Self-released cassette
1st release from Elliott Smith and Garrick Duckler's songwriting partnership.

Recorded during the summer of 1985.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Wet Leg- Live In Vancouver, BC: August 4, 2022

Photos by Michael Carswell

Today is International Women's Day (March 8), a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. On this blog we'll include the huge impact and contributions of really good music! I just realized as I write this that the last couple of posts have highlighted some female artists and I will continue to feature more women artists moving forward.

In the early days of the blog, there was a semi-regular feature called Something New Mondays. It was a weekly roundup (posted on Mondays, duh!) of new or upcoming releases that may have been overlooked and music that I recommended to give a listen. An album that would have been perfect to feature was Wet Leg's, self-titled album released in April 2022. I heard the hype about the band (before hearing the album) and there was something about their music that stuck with me. The band gained momentum throughout the year (critically and followers/fans) and they hit the height of mainstream popularity as they were nominated for best new artist at the Grammy's and won Best Alternative Music Album and Best Alternative Music Performance for the song, Chaise Longue. Accolades all around internationally for the band hailing from Isle of Wight in the UK! As you've probably guessed, I despise the Grammy's and do not consider it a measuring stick of what I consider is listenable, but I like Wet Leg. We'll see if they sink into the yucky commercially driven mainstream music "scene" or if they can maintain any kind of alternative edge cred.
Fortunately, someone recorded the Wet Leg show in Vancouver at the legendary venue, Commodore Ballroom last summer. As you can see on the poster for the concert, the date was originally for a later date on August 25th at the Rickshaw Theatre and my guess is that due to the rising popularity of the band, the show was moved to a larger venue because of the demand for tickets. There are some fabulous photos taken at the show and you can see more at Scene in the Dark and Unclear mag. The sound quality of the live recording is quite good, as it's a matrix of an audience recording and an IEM feed (in-ear wireless monitors) at the venue, The first two and a half songs in, it's audience only, but once the IEM signal kicks in the sound improves. A solid recording of an emerging band with a very enthusiastic and probably young (female) audience. Happy Women's day!

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Wet Leg
Thursday August 4th, 2022
Commodore Ballroom
868 Granville St.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

IEM + AUD Stereo Mix

Source 1:  Sony ECM > Sony Minidisc MZ-NF810 > Analog Cable > PC Soundcard > Audacity
Recorded by:  crowflies

Source 2:  IEM Feed > H6
Recorded by:  LeifH [2022#72]

Transfer:  .WAV > RX9 > Wavepad > flac (8) via TLH

01 Being in Love
02 Wet Dream
03 Convincing
04 Supermarket
05 Obvious
06 Oh No
07 Piece of Shit
08 Ur Mum
09 UFO
10 Too Late Now
11 Angelica
12 Chaise
The first 2.5 songs are audience only.  Some drops outs occurred during "Supermarket" on the IEM source.  

Rhian Teasdale – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Hester Chambers – lead guitar, backing vocals
Henry Holmes – drums, percussion
Ellis Durand – bass, backing vocals

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Juliana Hatfield- Live at the Echoplex, Los Angeles, January 2020

Let's get back to concert-going! Would love to have been here! (photo by S. Lo)

I broke my live concert shut-out streak and finally saw a live band two weeks ago. I haven't been to a live show (indoor) for almost 3 years and though it should feel weird after the long absence, it strangely felt the same, like I hadn't missed anything. It wasn't a large venue (at least a couple hundred people) and the floor was crowded, but not squeezed tightly. I had a beer in hand, watched the band on a rare occasion where I didn't record the show, so it was relaxing and exciting. I can honestly say since 2020, I didn't miss seeing live concerts, saved a lot of money and I'm not much of extrovert anyways, but it's nice to leave the cave once in while and see live music. 

The big news in my city (Winterpeg) is that Bruce Springsteen is finally playing a show here! This is the first time ever and there have been campaigns and petitions to get the Boss to grace our presence and it's been a solid NO until now. Tickets went on sale last week for a November date and I took a chance and received a "verified fan" pass code to have the privilege of selecting tickets. I knew tickets would be more $$$ than I've ever paid for a concert and though I like Springsteen, I have to admit he's dropped out of my bucket list of performers to see live. If this was 35 years ago, I would have jumped at the chance, but now my interest has waned. I haven't really taken the time to listen to his more recent works (since 1990), so I'd be that guy that wants to hear the songs from before 1985. I scanned over the seat selection (which was disappearing every second I paused) and in the end I couldn't do it. The least expensive seats (that weren't behind the stage!) were $175 in the upper level (which are as nose bleedy as my hockey tickets), which was more "reasonable" than I expected, but I thought of all the records I can buy with the money and all the bands I'd rather see, I didn't buy a ticket. I think if I saw Bruce I'd want to be close enough to actually see him and the band, not relying completely on the screen and $300+ was definitely out of my price range. I have been staying clear of the huge corporate mega-concerts (No, I would never buy Taylor Swift tickets!) and I feel I should be putting my money towards artists that deserve an audience and I can't bring myself to support tours sponsored by Mastercard or Pepsi and those crooks at Ticketmaster and Stubhub. Yes, I'll have some regrets, there's no doubt it'll be an amazing concert and I suppose if I change my mind or if the FOMO is so great I could over-pay later (just checked, there are front row floors for $2281 suddenly available!). Also my wife would have killed me, she doesn't understand the appeal of the Boss and thinks it's a waste of money, well it's hard not to disagree. I'm of a certain age that grew up with his music and there's obvious some nostalgic thing...but I'll try not to think about it too much.

(photo by S. Lo)

Speaking of musicians/bands I would be happy to spent money to see live, someone requested Juliana Hatfield shows and I opted to post one of her last concerts before the pandemic shut down the live concert experience in early 2020. When playing shows in front of a live audience became impossible, Juliana performed a series on online live-streams (I posted them on this blog!) that proved to be very popular and exciting for fans that normally couldn't make it to live venues. She focused a lot of these streams on individual albums played in their entirety, so it was very cool to reconnect with the back catalogue performed solo. There are many reasons this live concert from the Echoplex in Hollywood is worth a listen.
  1. It's a full band show, so the setlist has a lot of upbeat, rock songs. After the pandemic, a lot of her shows and the tour with the Lemonheads were solo Juliana shows. Sometimes having a band elevates the energy and takes it to another level.
  2. Two of her recent cover albums (The Police and Olivia Newton John) are well represented in the setlist and they sound amazing live with the band. Admit it, (Let's Get) Physical is a tremendous guilty pleasure song, well at least in the proper hands.
  3. A headline show, not an opening slot, so the band can stretch out, play a good variety of songs, not just a small sample of 8-10 songs.
  4. Whoever taped this did a good job because the song quality is really good for an audience recording. Thank you!

I have more Juliana live recordings, so if you have a request for a specific era (90's, 2000's, Blake Babies etc.), let me know.


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Juliana Hatfield
Hollywood, CA
January 27, 2020

Shure MV88+ Mic > iPhone > ProTools (Mastering/EQ) > Soundforge (Split/save tracks).  
01 Everybody Loves Me But You
02 Everything's For Sale
03 Hole In My Life
04 Bottles and Flowers
05 Wonder Why
06 Lost Ship
07 Murder By Numbers
08 Roxanne
09 Dog On A Chain
10 I See You
11 Sunny Somewhere
12 Hungry for You (J'aurais toujours faim de toi)
13 A Little More Love
14 Staying In
15 My Sister
16 De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
17 Physical
18 WhenYou're A Star
19 Candy Wrappers
20 Feelin' Massachusetts
21 A Dame With A Rod
 JH - Vocals, guitar
Dean Fisher - Bass
Mike Oram - Guitar
Chris Anzalone - Drums

Monday, February 20, 2023

Tammy & The Amps- Maxwell's July 1, 1995

In 1995, after Kim Deal put her band, The Breeders on hiatus, she formed a new band, Tammy & The Amps. They played some shows and recorded and released an album, Pacer in October 1995. The band featured Kim on lead vocals and guitar, Luis Lerma on bass; Nate Farley on lead guitar; and Jim Macpherson of the Breeders on drums. The band was named when Kim began calling herself Kim Ampersand, so they became Tammy and the Amps, though the name was shortened to just The Amps. The band's sound wasn't dissimilar from the Breeders, with a more lo-fi, unpretentious, sloppy sound, a fun project to keep Deal busy and engaged in performing live that seemed to energize her. The Amps were a one-off side project that eventually evolved themselves to become the Breeders again a short time later in 1996. Their only album, Pacer is an underrated and sometimes brilliant record that fits nicely in the Kim Deal/The Breeders discography. Personally, it's one of my favourite Deal-related albums.

Despite only playing live shows for only about one calendar year, the Amps played well over 50 shows with dates in North America, Europe and Australia. The only live recording I have might be their first ever show at Maxwell's in Hoboken. A very nice sounding recording, it sounds like a lot of fun and the band has a punk energy that sounds great. I love audience recordings from small venues, there's a raw enthusiasm you don't hear in larger concert halls or theater's and it really gives you the feeling of "being there" in the audience. A rare opportunity to hear Kim Deal outside of the Breeders and the Pixies, definitely a must-hear!

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Hoboken, NJ (USA)
July 1, 1995

Equipment: Sony 909 mic > Sony D7 DAT
Lineage: Master DAT > First generation cassette > Tascam 202MKV > Edirol R09 (16/44) > Adobe Audition 5.5 (level boost/hiss reduction) > CD Wave Editor (track) > flac8
Taper: Stonecutter15: Stonecutter Archives
Transfer & Tracking: Smores
1. Pacer
2. Breaking The Split Screen Barrier
3. She's A Girl
4. Empty Glasses
5. Hoverin
6. Bragging Party
7. Full On Idle
8. Mom's Drunk
9. Tipp City
10. Just Like A Briar [The Tasties]

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Ric Ocacek & Benjamin Orr- Pre-Cars Demo Sessions 1974-1975

Many years later, as members of a popular band called, The Cars.
In the early days of this blog, a semi-regular feature called, "Before We Was Famous" (...Before He/She) featured recordings from musicians before they gained wider success or attention. Sometimes there were demos (Lou Reed, Uncle Tupelo), independent, self-produced recordings (Kathleen Edwards, The Refreshments, Emily Haines), early ignored releases (Mary Lou Lord, Norah Jones) or before a name change (The Shins (Flake), Fountains of Wayne (Pinnwheel), Electrocutes (The Donnas), Bangles (The Bangs), just to name a few that I can remember. I've always been fascinated by artist's early works and how they may or not differ from later works. Sometimes the music differs a lot, maybe through a direction change or an attempt to have more commercial appeal. I often wonder if some artist's early works display their "true" sound and how and what influences their direction. Sometimes it's just a matter of polishing up their sound, with better production or a producer that can act as an editor that presents a more cohesive sound.
Benjamin Orr And Ric Ocasek had played in a variety of bands (Milkwood, released one album) before forming, The Cars and they recorded several demos with different lineups as, Richard and the Rabbits, Ocasek & Orr and Cap'n Swing. What we have is a sampling of some of the songs recorded during those sessions that included other future Cars, including Greg Hawkes (Richard and the Rabbits, Ocasek & Orr) and guitarist Elliot Easton (aka: Elliot Steinberg- Cap'n Swing). The info file includes the complete lineups of the groups that recorded these demos. My initial impression of these songs is that it sounds nothing like the Cars, even though the Cars would form in 1976. The sound of these demos are full band, fully produced songs and the sound quality is good. Their style sounds like the early 70's, slick, over-produced, something Todd Rundgren would put out. Interesting, but not overly original or anything that stands out. It's a respectable collection of songs and somehow Orr, Ocasek, Easton, Hawkes and former Modern Lovers drummer, David Robinson altered and revamped their sound to produce a much more unique and appealing sound on the Cars debut album, which is considered one of the best debut albums from the 70's.

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Ric Ocasek
Benjamin Orr
Demo Sessions Circa 1974-75
Studio Unknown
Location Unknown but presumed Boston, MA

JEMS Transfer: 1970s Demo Cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture 2496 > MBIT+ resample to 1644 > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

01 Harlequin (Richard and the Rabbits)
02 Sam’s Decision (Richard and the Rabbits)
03 Mid Spring
04 Your Always Brighter (with guest vocals and different than the Cap'n Swing version)
(recorded as "She's Always Brighter" by Richard and the Rabbits at some time)
05 Never Gonna Get Over You (different than circulating Ocasek & Orr version)
06 Twilight Superman (different than circulating Richard and the Rabbits & Cap'n Swing versions)
07 Everyday (same as circulating Ocasek & Orr version)
08 Start It All Again (a Richard and the Rabbits version was recorded at some time)

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Today Is International Clash Day! Live In Chicago 1979

In case you weren't aware, today is International Clash Day! This is a day to sit back and enjoy their music and reflect on the influence and impact the band's music made on our lives through their songs, albums and live shows. The band's music had an influence on reggae, pop, disco, punk, rock, rap, and even world music. As Joe Strummer, co-founder of the Clash once said, the band is “…anti-fascist, we’re anti-violence, we’re anti-racist, and we’re pro-creative. We’re against ignorance.”
International Clash Day started as a movement on February 7, 2013 when John Richards, radio host on Seattle's, KEXP played Clash songs all day. This year, the station will focus on the message, "Know Your Rights" which is just as relevant now as when that song was written, maybe even more so. 

As a tribute to Clash Day, I'm posting a show I thought I had in a box somewhere, so I had to grab a fresh copy from Dime. This concert is from the second leg of their 1979 North American tour and was recorded for a radio broadcast, so the sound quality is excellent! The songs in the set are a sweet spot, because not only are there songs from the first two albums, but a preview of songs from the upcoming, London Calling album, which would be released in December. My first ever Clash live recording (on cassette) was a show at the Palladium in New York City a week later, which was also a radio broadcast and it's a widely available bootleg.
To do today: Listen to the Clash!

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The Clash
Aragon Ballroom
Chicago, IL US
Performance Date: 1979-09-14
Broadcast date: 2015-08-16 WXRT-FM

Lineage: HD over fm>Sangean HDT-1>Rotel-05 SE>SoundBlaster (Live! 24 bit External)>wav
(CD Wave Editor)>flac

Jimmy Jazz 2:42
I'm So Bored With The U.S.A. 2:43
Complete Control 3:08
London Calling 3:34
Clampdown 4:30
(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais 4:08
Koka Kola 1:33
I Fought The Law 2:34
Jail Guitar Doors 2:51
Police & Thieves 5:24
Stay Free 4:06
Clash City Rockers 4:02
Safe European Home 3:36
Capital Radio One 3:21
Janie Jones 2:04
Garageland 3:16
Armageddon Time 4:30
Career Opportunities>White Riot 4:51

Total Time: 63:00

Friday, January 20, 2023

Soul Asylum- Rock for Karl Benefit 2004!!

We've come to the final set from the Rock For Karl Benefit concert from 2004, that helped support Soul Asylum's co-founding member, bass player, Karl Mueller. Money raised went towards medical bills for Mueller's cancer treatment that he ultimately succumbed to on June 17, 2005, only 8 months after this concert. I'm not sure if Soul Asylum closed out the evening, but I thought it would be appropriate to post this set last, since it turned out to be Mueller's final live show with the band. A touching moment for all in attendance, including the bands that offered their talents to this evening, when Karl took the mic (track 14) to offer his thank you's to everyone that came to the show. This is the only time these bands have shared the stage together. I've seen Soul Asylum only a couple of times, the last time in Grand Forks in 2002, but it's not the same band without Mueller and Dan Murphy (who left the band in 2012) and I'm not sure if I'll see them again, making this show that much more special. The band continues on with Dave Pirner as the only remaining original member.

A Rock For Karl v. 2.0: Kill Kancer fundraising concert was held in tribute of Mueller on the seventh anniversary of his death in 2012. His widow, Mary Beth organized the event with performances from Golden Smog, Curtiss A's Dark Click and the Magnolias.

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Quest Club
Minneapolis, MN
October 21, 2004
Rock For Karl Benefit

Audience recording

01. Intro
02. Oxygen
03. Be On My Side
04. Standing Water
05. Black Gold
06. Lately
07. Success Is Not So Sweet
08. Closer To The Stars
09. <introductions>
10. Debris
11. Cruel Intentions
12. <thank yous>
13. Somebody To Shove
14. <Karl talks>

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Golden Smog- Rock For Karl Benefit, Minneapolis- October 21, 2004

I don't believe this is backstage at the Quest Club.

 A set from Golden Smog featured an appearance by Paul Westerberg on the set opener, the Stones, Dead Flowers, as well as Dream Syndicate/Baseball Project's, Steve Wynn on the Eddie and the Hot Rods hit, Do Anything You Wanna Do. The band mixed covers and a handful of Smog songs to their set that featured a lineup of Soul Asylum's, Dan Murphy, Kraig Johnson, Marc Perlman, Ed Ackerson, Jim Boquist and Linda Pitman on drums. Noticeably absent (correct me if I'm wrong), was Gary Louris, I wasn't there, but the absence of "Gary songs" made me suspicious. Overall, a solid set with many shout-outs to Karl and the guest appearances were cool.

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Quest Club
Minneapolis, MN
October 21, 2004
Rock for Karl Benefit

audience recording

01. Dead Flowers
02. Sunny Afternoon
03. If I Only Had A Car
04. The Losing End
05. To Call My Own
06. Making Waves
07. Signed D.C.
08. Ill Fated
09. Do Anything You Wanna Do
10. Knockin 'Em Down In The City

track 1: w/Paul Westerberg
track 9: w/Steve Wynn

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Paul Westerberg- Rock For Karl Benefit, Minneapolis, 2004

Happy 2023! Yes, it's a new year and hopefully everyone is okay and ready for a new start, at least we can pretend. I'm sorry for the lack of posts for 2022, but as usual, I promise there will be more this year and I'll stay engaged and try to keep things interesting.

I'm going to keep it short and sweet, much like the Paul Westerberg set I'm posting. This is part 3 of the Rock For Karl Benefit concert from 2004, I'm not sure of the actual order of the bands/musicians that played that night, so I'm randomly guessing. The solo Westerberg set is brief and he'll appear again in the next post with another band (spoiler alert: Golden Smog). I haven't heard a lot from Paul in recent years and hoping he might release some new music or play some live dates this year. Fingers crossed!

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Quest Club
Minneapolis, MN
October 21, 2004
Rock For Karl Benefit

Audience recording

01. First Glimmer
02. What A Day (For A Night)
03. Lookin' Up In Heaven
04. Achin' to Be
05. Kentucky Rain
06. Swingin' Party
07. I Will Dare
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