Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Trans-Canada Highwaymen- Club Regent Event Centre, Winnipeg, MB, March 22, 2024


I still have it, my actual copy!
One of the first record albums I bought (with my own money) was in elementary school and for whatever reason they were selling K-Tel records. I can't remember if there were other choices, but I bought, Sounds Spectacular, a compilation with "20 original hits" and "20 original stars", including hits such as Kung-Fu Fighting, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Crocodile Rock and I Got The Music In Me, along with 16 other songs jam packed on one LP. The sound quality of all K-Tel records had the quality of a super low-bit mp3 and a visual inspection of the grooves on the vinyl has you wondering, how the hell can they squeeze so many tracks on here? Anyways, for many kids my age at the time, it was the gateway to hearing a variety of different artists all at once. Yes, the sound sucked, but what did I know at the time. 
When I first heard the album by the Trans-Canada Highwaymen, Explosive Hits Volume 1, I had an instant flashback to that K-Tel album. I guess that was the point, to a certain demographic (and Canadians), the band included, we shared that feeling of familiarity. Explosive Hits Vol.1 is basically a covers record, except for the origin story theme song, with recognizable songs from well-known Canadian bands, circa late 60's to the mid 70's. The "super group" consists of front-men from some truly great Canadian bands from the 90's to present. There's Steven Page, originally from the Barenaked Ladies, now solo, Chris Murphy, singer-songwriter, bass player from Sloan who primarily is the drummer in TCH, Craig Northey from the Odds and Moe Berg from the Pursuit of Happiness. I haven't had much desire to go to live concerts lately, but when I heard they were coming to play in Winnipeg, I made a priority to get tickets during the presale and was fortunate to get some prime seats.

Since the pandemic, I've only attended a handful of concerts, both indoors and outdoors, and I've taken a hiatus from recording shows, except for a Cheap Trick show last summer. The Trans-Canada Highwaymen concert is the first indoor concert I've recorded in almost exactly 4 years (Wilco in 2000), and I must admit I was hesitate. Since I've last attended a concert, "enhanced" security at larger venues is now the norm with airport-style metal detecting technology and wanding, so I'm not sure exactly what can or can't be detected, so dealing with the extra security is another challenge. Anyways, I made it through unscathed and accomplished a good sounding recording. The concert venue within a casino is actually pretty nice. The sound quality is amazing, the sight lines were really good (they even had video screens scattered around the room), the seats are comfy and the crowd was well behaved. Recently, when I've gone to shows I've felt like the oldest person in the crowd, but here the average age of the crowd must have been over 50, as there were many, many white-haired fans a lot older than me. I guess, there's a reason the concert was held in a casino. Overall, the show was great and the banter from the band was highly enjoyable and funny, mainly Chris Murphy and Steven Page. Here are some other highlights and notes:
  • Along with the many cover songs from the album, each member of the band took their turn with songs from their own bands. It felt like a greatest hits showcase and it really was a smart format. As much I wish I had previously seen the Odds and Pursuit of Happiness live, I heard the songs I wanted to hear from each group, Someone Who's Cool, She's So Young and I'm An Adult Now, are some of my favourite songs by a Canadian band, ever.
  • As mentioned during the show, it was Moe Berg's birthday, so a unrehearsed, impromptu version of Birthday by the Beatles was an added bonus.
  • The retro look of their album, Explosive Hits Vol. 1 is no doubt a tribute to K-Tel records, as acknowledged by the band. K-Tel of course, proudly (or shamelessly) rose up from Winnipeg.
  • You can't overstate the talent on stage. Each member took their turn on the drums and the trading of instruments showcases their versatility and amazing musicianship. Chris Murphy is the bass player in Sloan, but it quite competent at drums (I've also seen him play drums with Tuns). Along with the other members of Sloan, he can sing and can write some pretty great songs. I've underestimated Steven Page, he truly is a excellent entertainer and incredible singer and the fact he can play guitar, keyboards and drums amazes me. I've never been a fan of the BNL's, but Page is a talent beyond that band.
  • As far as the recording, it turned out great. It has to be one of my best sounding recordings! I was situated about 14 rows back, dead centre, there was no one sitting directly in front of me and the sound at the venue was amazing. The levels are adjusted a couple of times and there's a bit of chatter between songs, but nothing that takes away from the experience. Hmmm, I predict I might have to attend more casino shows? Well, the next night was Reveen...
Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
Please share!

Club Regent Event Centre
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
March 22, 2024
AUD Master

Sony ECM-DS70P mic> Tascam DR-07> SD card > 16 bit Wav>
Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC

01. Intro (Kevin McDonald)
02. It's All Been Done
03. Someone Who's Cool
04. Hard To Laugh
05. Lovin' You Ain't Easy
06. Theme From Trans-Canada Highwaymen
07. Birthday
08. It Falls Apart
09. Jane
10. Pretty Lady
11. Underwhelmed
12. Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love
13. Undun
14. She's So Young
15. The Other Man
16. The Old Apartment
17. Make You Mad
18. Brian Wilson
19. Rock Me Gently
20. The Rest Of My Life
21. I'm An Adult Now

Steven Page
Chris Murphy
Craig Northey
Moe Berg

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper- The Chime, Baton Rouge, LA, 1987- R.I.P. Mojo

 “August 2, 1957 — February 7, 2024 Mojo Nixon. How you live is how you should die. Mojo Nixon was full-tilt, wide-open rock hard, root hog, corner on two wheels + on fire…,” his family shared in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Passing after a blazing show, a raging night, closing the bar, taking no prisoners + a good breakfast with bandmates and friends.

“A cardiac event on the Outlaw Country Cruise is about right… & that’s just how he did it, Mojo has left the building,” his family’s statement continued. “Since Elvis is everywhere, we know he was waiting for him in the alley out back. Heaven help us all.”
Love him or hate him, Mojo Nixon was a one of a kind guy. Straight shooting, straight talking, Mojo often took things to the extreme, as his songs were often social commentaries and in an interview with Rolling Stone last year he said, “I firmly believe you can make fun of anything as long as your joke is funny. And I also believe that you can say anything, as long as you’re willing to suffer the consequences. We don’t need a thought police.”
This is what I loved about Mojo and you have to admit, he was always entertaining! I saw Mojo Nixon perform three times, Twice at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where he was a hit, in a totally off-beat, anti-hero type of way, especially amongst the Folkies. His first appearance was just before the "Elvis Is Everywhere" craze hit and shortly after he exploded in popularity on MTV. His second time at the WFF in 1990, without Skid, I remember hearing, Don Henley Must Die and Destroy All Lawyers for the first time and it was hilariously enjoyable. I even posted a snippet of one of his performances from that weekend (no, I didn't record it) on the blog in 2015, I must hear for Mojo fans! https://teenagedogsintrouble.blogspot.com/2015/07/mojo-nixon-winnipeg-folk-festival-1990.html The third time was later the same year on October 30, 1990 at the long departed, Le Rendez-vous with his band the Toad Lickers. A great rocking show, at an indoor venue which is so much better than an abbreviated set at a music festival. I don't believe he ever returned to Winnipeg.

I wish I had a live recording from Le Rendez-vous, so instead I had to dip into the Mojo Nixon live archives to find a good sounding recording. I chose the show below because: 1. It's a nice clear sounding soundboard recording, 2. It's a sweet spot album-wise with a lot of tracks from the brilliant, Frenzy album from 1986 and a few choice songs from the soon-to-be released (in a couple of weeks), Bo-Day-Shus!! An amazing performance, with the usual Mojo Nixon shtick and definitely worth a listen!
Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
Please share!
Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper
The Chime
Baton Rouge, LA
July 27, 1987
sbd cass > wav > speed corrected > wav > flac

Disc 1:
01. Get Outta My Way
02. Stuffin' Martha's Muffin
03. I Hate Banks
04. I Ain't Gonna Piss in No Jar
05. I'm in Love with Your Girlfriend / The Amazing Bigfoot Diet
06. Skid
07. Rutabaga
08. Gonna Eat Then Words

Disc 2:
01. Be My Lover
02. Elvis is Everywhere
03. Gotta Have More Soul
04. Mushroom Maniac
05. Jesus at McDonalds / Burn Down the Malls
06. Amsterdam Dogshit Blues
07. Gin Guzzlin' Frenzy

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Liz Phair- Exile In Guyville 30th Anniversary Show, Chicago, November 18, 2023

There are certain albums that are career-making for artists that are best known for that record even years later. For Liz Phair, it was her debut album released 30 years ago (technically 31 now in 2024), Exile In Guyville that placed her on the rock 'n 'roll map with a brilliant debut and without argument, her best album. When Guyville came out it was a time when alternative music was gaining the attention of mainstream audiences and Grunge was already converting listeners to non-commercial music, as Nirvana's, Nevermind came out two years earlier. 
I was thinking about Exile In Guyville a few weeks ago, as I was preparing to submit a grant proposal for an art project that will focus on portable cassette players (Walkmans) and cassette culture. Recently, I've been a bit obsessive about Walkmans and older, obsolete technology (and my minidisc recorder recently died), so I've been painting and drawing these game-changing machines and using them to listen to tapes again. The grant will allow me to expand deeper on this theme both in quantity and quality (more on that later, if I get it). Anyways, the connection here is that Liz Phair's, Girly-Sound tapes preceded Guyville, recorded in her bedroom on a 4-track cassette recorder and those tapes, which were circulated to early fans in Chicago, helped get her record deal with Matador.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album, Phair and her band toured the record and played the album in it's entirety and for the encore a couple of her best known songs. For the hometown show in Chicago, Liz performed all six songs she rotated in and out of the encores in other cities. She was warmly welcomed at the sold out show at the Chicago Theatre and it would have been amazing to be there. I left the recording notes and comments from the taper, to give you more details about the sound quality and the concert.

Taper Comments: Liz brought her 30th anniversary "Exile in Guyville" tour to the sold-out Chicago Theatre and the results are what one might have expected -- the fan base that all own "Vs.", "In Utero," and various Cranberries albums were rapturous at seeing "Exile in Guyville" in its entirety. Four backing singers appeared in strategic spots in the audience (spread across the main floor and balcony) for "Flower" and "Johnny Sunshine," in what I suspect was a one-off for Chicago -- it was very cool having spotlights on singers throughout the auditorium backing the songs. The encore featured *all six* of the songs that she's been rotating in and out of the encores throughout the tour, presumably making this the longest show of the tour. She paused before "Go West" to apologize for adding songs as a nod to her hometown fans, for those who would be late for commitments they'd made after the show. :)

The performance was great, and Liz frequently noted that the show was a dream come true for her.

The recording itself is very good. There are moments that the enthusiastic crowd impinges on the music, although mostly this is manifest in loud bursts of applause between songs. The women next to me were chatty, but you can't really hear them because I had a solid line on the left stack and the music drowns out nearby audience chatter. The guy to my right had a few enthusiastic outbursts that I can't really do anything about, but it just accentuates the excitement of the crowd.

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
Please share!
Liz Phair
Chicago Theatre
Chicago, Illinois
November 18, 2023

Source:  DPA 4060 => Tascam DR-2d
Conversion:  WAV => Audio Cleaning Lab => FLAC (16-bit)

Location: 6th row, left side

Track listing:

CD1 (58:44):
(1)  Intro (1:08)
(2)  6' 1" (3:04)
(3)  Help Me Mary (2:43)
(4)  Glory (2:00)
(5)  Dance of the Seven Veils (2:37)
(6)  Banter (1:04)
(7)  Never Said (3:26)
(8)  Soap Star Joe (3:14)
(9)  Explain It To Me (3:02)
(10)  Canary (3:43)
(11)  Mesmerizing (4:28)
(12)  Fuck and Run (3:42)
(13)  Girls! Girls! Girls! (2:20)
(14)  Divorce Song (4:12)
(15)  Shatter (5:11)
(16)  Flower (2:44)
(17)  Johnny Sunshine (5:02)
(18)  Banter (0:41)
(19)  Gunshy (4:14)

CD2 (33:34):
(1)  Stratford-on-Guy (3:07)
(2)  Strange Loop (4:24)
(3)  Encore break (1:54)
(4)  Supernova (3:09)
(5)  Johnny Feelgood (4:04)
(6)  Go West (3:48)
(7)  Polyester Bride (4:14)
(8)  Extraordinary (3:39)
(9)  Band introductions (0:30)
(10)  Why Can't I? (4:21)
(11)  Outro (0:18)

LIZ PHAIR- 2023-11-18 Chicago, FLAC. rar

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Jayhawks- Live At Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN, December 16, 2023


As promised, here's the rest of the Palace Theatre show with the headliners, the Jayhawks. Though this wasn't necessarily a "Christmas" concert, the on-stage set had a festive look to it. The band is tight and play a typical Jayhawks set with the usual crowd favourites and closed with the Golden Smog "cover", Until You Came Along, bringing back Dan Murphy and Steve Gorman from the Smog and Gary's wife for a festive sing-a-long. Though they didn't play Father Christmas, Run Rudolf Run or 2000 Miles, like they did last year, but they did include a couple Christmas songs, the Kitty Wells cover, Christmas Ain't Like Christmas Anymore and the Band's, Christmas Might Be Tonight. The sound is exceptional and the Jayhawks, as usual put on a great show. Get this while you can, highly recommended!

p.s.: For those asking, I'll try to re-seed previous shows that aren't working (downloading), specifically the Golden Smog show from 1992. Leave your other requests in the comments section. Thanks for your patience!

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
If you ever have an opportunity to see the band live, see them! If you like the band, support them and buy a CD or LP.

Palace Theatre
St. Paul, MN
December 16, 2023

SBD>Livestream master
laptop> Tascam DR-07> 16 bit wav> tracksplitter> FLAC> rar

01. Jesus Christ
02. The Man Who Loved Life
03. Angelyne
04. Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces
05. Nothing Left To Borrow
06. Bitter Pill
07. Christmas Ain't Like Christmas Anymore
08. Save It For A Rainy Day
09. Tampa To Tulsa
10. Leaving The Monsters Behind
11. Waiting For The Sun
12. Sixteen Down
13. Settled Down Like Rain
14. River
15. This Forgotten Town
16. Smile
17. Kingston Girl
18. Christmas Might Be Tonight
19. All The Right Reasons
20. Dogtown Days
21. Trouble
22. I'd Run Away
23. Blue
24. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
25. Tailspin
26. Until You Came Along
Gary Louris- vocals, guitar
Karen Grotberg- vocals, keyboards
Marc Perlman- bass
Tim O'Reagon- vocals, drums
Kraig Johnson- guitar

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Golden Smog- Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN, December 16, 2023: Happy New Year 2024!


Happy New Year!!
To begin the new year, I have an excellent concert to end 2023 with! (well, halfway through December, close enough) The Jayhawks annual (seems like it?) December holiday hometown show took place at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, on December 16th. Opening was Golden Smog, which is pretty much the Jayhawks, without Karen Grotberg and adding Dan Murphy and Steve Gorman, who is a first time Smogger. For fans that couldn't attend or couldn't get tickets, the show was also live-streamed, which is a bonus to see and hear the band up-close with exceptional sound. I had the opportunity to watch the stream and get a good audio capture of the concert. I'm of the mindset that I can watch a concert, either live or a video once or twice, but I can listen to live recordings multiple times no problem. No real surprises during the Golden Smog set with a typical setlist for a Tweedy-less lineup of the band, so obviously there aren't any songs sung by Jeff. The band closed the set with a tribute to the late, great Shane MacGowan with a cover of the Pogues', Dirty Old Town. I'll post the Jayhawks set next!

Please do NOT sell or profit from the recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
Please share! If you enjoy the band, support them by purchasing their albums, CDs and related items!
Palace Theatre
St. Paul, MN
December 16, 2023

SBD>Livestream master
laptop> Tascam DR-07> 16 bit wav> tracksplitter> FLAC> rar

01. Yesterday Cried
02. Won't Be Coming Home
03. To Call My Own
04. Looking Forward To Seeing You *
05. Starman
06. Ill Fated
07. He's A Dick
08. If I Only Had A Car
09. Glad and Sorry #
10. Red Headed Stepchild
11. Revolution Blues
12. Corvette
13. Dirty Old Town
Gary Louris- vocals, guitar
Dan Murphy- vocals, guitar
Kraig Johnson- vocals, guitar
Marc Perlman- bass
Steve Gorman- drums
Special guests:
Ava Levy- backing vocals *
Tim O'Reagon- guitar #
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