Friday, November 4, 2011

THE BEACH BOYS - Washington, DC 1981

It's starting to get downright damn chilly and rainy here in L.A., but this week is still all about that bright sunny SMiLE. Yes, as all followers of this and my other blog have surely heard, Mr. Brian Wilson and His Beach Boys' long-dormant album project has finally been officially released after a mere 45-year wait. And while I'm still anxiously awaiting my copy in the mail, my adoration of Brian's monumental 2004 SMiLE recording knows no bounds, so I can only imagine that the remastered, reassembled original will be at least as great. No megabudget Hollywood epic can hold a candle to these mind-movies, baby. (Of the hundreds of reviews online, my favorite is here; as usual, U.K. critics and fans are way ahead of us when it comes to this quintessentially American band. It bears mentioning too that The SMiLE Sessions received an extremely rare 10 rating from those annoying hipster dick-dweebs at Pitchfork.)

Speaking of Mr. Wilson, my main man also happens to have a charming new CD of Disney songs, In the Key of Disney, out now as well. (I played this track for my 14-month-old son many a time today...yes, Wilson Sings Newman!) This on top of last year's deeply wonderful Reimagines Gershwin album, and in addition to regular worldwide touring. Not a bad run of productivity for a senior citizen whom many wags long ago wrote off as a braindead waste-case loony tune.

All of this to say that this is a uniquely exciting time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved B-Boys. In that spirit, I proudly present one of their hugely attended 1980-'85 Independence Day concerts on the National Mall in my hometown of Our Nation's Capital. This one, a complete FM broadcast (from Q107, my fave station as a kid!), was my first Beach Boys concert and I vividly remember watching from atop my dad's shoulders. I believe too that 1981 was the last year that all six members of the band performed live together. As with everything Beach Boys, it contains a lot of joy laced with a little sadness...

THE BEACH BOYS
The National Mall - Washington, D.C. - July 4, 1981
(FMB @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OZZY OSBOURNE - Memphis, TN 1982

The maaadmaaan is baaack!!!

And so am I, in a momentary break from my new life as Mr. Mom. Apologies for the long break; I promise I will try to keep it up a bit more on the blog front...

Now allow me to lay upon you a prime slice of a loony, still-young and very high Ozzy chopping it up on Elvis' home turf. This here is a brand new 2011 release of FM-broadcast-@320 wickedness, and a bat-biting bloody good time.

OZZY OSBOURNE
"Silver Cross"
Mid-South Coliseum - Memphis, TN - April 28, 1982
(FMB @320 kbps)

Thanks to Viva Les Boots, and...
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BEN SOMMER - "Fist" (Special Album Preview Track)

Sorry for the long-ass break. Had to hop back online and tell y'all how glad I am to hear that my all-time-fave indie post-prog libertarian rock brainiac Ben Sommer is up to his old tricks again.

Ben has kindly furnished Green Alien Chick with track 7 -- the fantastically energetic rocker "Fist" -- from his upcoming long-player entitled Super Brain, which sounds to be even better than his much-admired debut, 2009's America'd.

As always for the eclectic Mr. Sommer, "Fist" is catchy, quirky, and all kinds of up in your face. Check it out on the player at bottom, and/or head on over to the album page on Ben's site, where you can hear this and all the other new tracks so far.

So wake up, America: it's Sommertime!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY, FREDDIE!



I'm just tickled to be living in an era when the phrase "Freddie Mercury memorial Google doodle" not only makes sense, but describes something that currently exists.

Long live Fred!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

THE BEACH BOYS - "SMiLE" SESSIONS...It's Happening!

Back soon with a regular post -- I promise! But for the moment, this was too exciting -- too utterly unbelievable, really -- not to feature on the blog.

All I can say is that after almost 45 years of waiting (three years longer than I've been alive), I am most definitely ready to SMiLE.

Are you?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND - Cleveland, OH 1978 (R.I.P. Clarence Clemons)

Oh, why not...since it's America's birthday weekend, how 'bout one last tribute to the Big Man and the Boss Man? And maybe even the best of the lot while we're at it?

Like oh so many Americans -- not to mention so many Springsteen song subjects -- I've been laid off. As of tomorrow evening I will be officially unemployed for the first time in seven years. The greed goes on, the country heads straight down the shitter, so let's all celebrate with beer, hot dogs, fireworks, and Transformers 3. Yippee!

Anyway, good times. I can't be sure when I'll be posting again; I have to get my own damn PC first...

Wish me luck if you please, Happy July 4th, and I'll be back!

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND
"Agora Night"
The Agora - Cleveland, OH - August 9, 1978
(FMB @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2 / DOWNLOAD 3

Thanks once again to Addicted to Vinyl.

Friday, June 24, 2011

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND - San Francisco, CA 1978 (R.I.P. Clarence Clemons)

As promised, one more shot of epic '78 Boss, in honor of the late great Big Man.

This is the legendary, four-hour (including bonus tracks) KSAN-FM broadcast from San Francisco's venerable Winterland -- two weeks before it closed forever -- introed by Mr. Bill Graham himself.

'Nuff said for now.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND
"Winterland Night"
Winterland Ballroom - San Francisco, CA - December 15, 1978 (FMB)
DOWNLOAD

Monday, June 20, 2011

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND - Passaic, NJ 1978 (R.I.P. Clarence Clemons)

How will the Boss ever replace the mighty Big Man?

To commemorate the beloved sax king's passing this weekend, possibly the single greatest Springsteen/E Street band show ever -- certainly one of 'em. More will follow.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND
"Passaic Night"
Capitol Theatre - Passaic, NJ - September 19, 1978 (FMB)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2 / DOWNLOAD 3

Thanks to Addicted to Vinyl.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

JETHRO TULL - Seattle, WA 1975

Time to change it up for summer, dudes! Just saw good ol' Tull for the first time last Saturday at the Greek Theatre, and probably the last time. Nothing against them, they were lovely -- but in my exciting "I'm a new dad who just got laid off" life, they must fall under the "see-them-once-and-check-them-off-the-list" heading.

Anyway, I had already posted a couple of sweet early Tull boots over on my all-'60s blog, Heavy Sugar Radio, so do check those out as well.

As for this one, it's a recently remastered @320 beaut, with solid sound quality and setlist and a stream of frequently hilarious between-song banter by the always fluterrific Ian Anderson.

JETHRO TULL
Seattle Center Coliseum - Seattle, WA - July 25, 1975
(AUD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2 / DOWNLOAD 3

Friday, June 10, 2011

PRINCE - Los Angeles, CA 2011 (21 Nite Stand, Show #3)

Alrighty, one last blast of royal rockin' funkage from that lusty young knave, Mr. Rodgers Nelson, and we out. Off to celebrate my first wedding anniversary on Sunday.

Much love, y'all!

PRINCE
The Forum - Inglewood, CA - April 22, 2011 (AUD @320 kbps)
Welcome 2 America: 21 Nite Stand -- Show 3
DOWNLOAD

Thursday, June 2, 2011

PRINCE - Los Angeles, CA 2011 (21 Nite Stand, Show #12)

I think this might be my first post ever in which the accompanying photo was taken by yours truly!

Ah, another week, another regal Prince boot fo' ya. But this one is different, since it documents the second of the three shows I attended during the already-legendary, now apparently concluded "21 Nite Stand" at ye Olde Fabulous Forum. As it turned out, by His Purpleness' math, "21 nites" actually ended up only being "15 nites," but who's counting? (Oh wait, I was. Even though I made it to what turned out to be the final show on May 29, I still wanted more!)

This one is especially special to me because at this very show, my dear cousin Daniel and his lovely girlfriend Christine got engaged, during "Take Me with U" as it happened. My wife and I walked up to their section, unrolled a banner with the big question written on it, and about 3,000 amped-up concertgoers, family and friends went even crazier as my man got down on one knee...a moment I will never forget.

Even better, this wonderful audience recording is possibly of even better audio quality than the first one I posted; it's also 320 kbps. How do these cats do it? (Setlist linked here.)

Congratz again to Daniel and Christine, and thanks to whatever magnificent bastard did such a fine job taping all 2 hours and 40 minutes of this glorious show!

PRINCE
Welcome 2 America: 21 Nite Stand -- Show 12
The Forum - Inglewood, CA - May 14, 2011 (AUD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD

Friday, May 20, 2011

PRINCE - "Small Club" Live and "Lovesexy" Tour Rehearsal, 1988

This Saturday night will be, unlike the past two, a Prince-free evening. Reason being, the Purple Yoda is taking a break from L.A. and heading up north to play this weekend. So if the world doesn't end tomorrow, I will sure as hell try to attend one more "21 Nite Stand" show. 'Til then, we better party like it's...

1988! That's the year of this glorious two-fer of musical majesty. Both halves are equally acclaimed as two of the best Prince boots ever: Disc 1 is the legendary after-show club gig at the Trojan Horse club in The Hague, Netherlands; Disc 2 is from the Lovesexy Tour rehearsals at Prince's own Paisley Park Studios. Both boots are complete and perfect soundboard recordings, 100% official-release quality all the way.

If you're any kind of Prince fan, you need these. 'Nuff said!

PRINCE
"Small Club"
Trojan Horse - The Hague, Netherlands - August 18, 1988
and
Lovesexy Tour Rehearsal
Paisley Park Studios - Minneapolis, MN - April 5, 1988
(Both SBD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2

Friday, May 13, 2011

PRINCE - Los Angeles, CA 2011 (21 Nite Stand, Show #8)

What's up y'all? I've been snooping around for another Queen show that will uphold the sky-high sonic standard of the first two boots I posted in honor of the Royal Wedding, but so far no luck finding it. However, since I'm not quite ready to switch out the above banner featuring The Future Queen Formerly Known As Kate Middleton, I've decided to stick with the royal theme for awhile yet...

Now, I've been seeing me some shows lately: the past three weeks have encompassed Paul Simon, Robert Plant, and Elvis Costello -- wonderful shows all. And Sunday night brings my beloved Black Angels. However, any music fan or musician -- including all of the above esteemed artists -- will tell you that the reason L.A. is the center of the musical universe right now is due to one man: his name is PRINCE, and he is funky indeed. (At last night's show, Elvis C. even played a little "Purple Rain" in tribute.)

As you may have heard, the Purple One is currently blanketing the City of Angels with love. His current Welcome 2 America tour kicked off last December on the East Coast, but the already-legendary "21 Nite Stand" residency has been happening out here for a solid month now and it still ain't done! I took the wife last Saturday as a Mother's Day gift, and we're headed back tomorrow night for more. Lord knows we might even squeeze in a third show before the purple party's over.

In addition to throwing a nonstop funk-rock bash like you ain't never seen or heard, Prince is also actually performing a great public service for L.A. by staging the entire 21 Nite Stand so far -- unless you count Wednesday night's two surprise gigs at the Troubadour in West Hollywood -- at the venerable and vulnerable Forum. Followers of my blog will know that I happen to love this old shed, which opened way back in my birth year of 1968 down in the 'hood of Inglewood (and yes, it really is the 'hood.) Historic arenas such as this are being torn down by the dozens, and the Fabulous Forum, which is now owned by a church, will no doubt reap great benefits from Prince's 15 shows and counting, despite the fact that most seats are priced at $25 all-in, which obviously benefits the fans far more than the artist or the venue. But if Prince worried about being able to sell that many seats for that many shows, he needn't have once word-of-mouth got out about what a unique event this is, and what an epically great time.

So: great musician, great venue, and great shows, of which this bootleg is one. For an audience recording taped under what I'm sure must have been severe duress -- Prince frowns on any photos being taken at his concerts, not to mention bootlegs being recorded -- this thing sounds fantastic, well-balanced, with the vocals right up front, nice and clear. The two-and-a-half hour show begins in a mellow mood with a jazzy-cool vamp, which then turns into a (gulp) slow jam, my least favorite genre of music in the world. But that's redeemed -- destroyed, really -- by a (no shit) Van Halen-style geetar solo at the end. And then we're off into a cover of "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" and the party is on. (Setlist linked below.)

If you're anywhere near L.A., get here. If you ain't, then download it and weep!

PRINCE
Welcome 2 America: 21 Nite Stand -- Show 8
The Forum - Inglewood, CA - May 5, 2011 (AUD)
DOWNLOAD

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

QUEEN - London, England 1977

One great '77 Queen boot deserves another, wouldn't you agree, my lovelies? So here you go, in keeping with our Royal Wedding-themed FredFest, and also -- because why not? -- to celebrate that other historic news story from this past weekend (how do you say "fish shit" in Arabic...?)

This one represents the penultimate show of the group's American-European A Day at the Races Tour, which along with the final show on June 7 were pro-taped for an official release that never materialized, possibly due to Freddie and the boys' understandably not-quite-perfect voices, these being the last shows of a six-month tour. That said, and some vocal dropouts and other quirks aside, this is a near-perfect show, and a full 28 tracks just like the Houston Summit gig.

More soon. God save the (future) Queen!

QUEEN
Earls Court Exhibition Centre - London, England - June 6, 1977
(SBD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2 / DOWNLOAD 3

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

QUEEN - Houston, TX 1977 {MP3 & .WMA}

OMG, I like totally can't decide what I'm more psyched about: the Royal Wedding on Friday, or the first box set of brand-new, 40th anniversary Queen remasters (out May 17 on our side of the pond).

I well remember, exactly 20 years ago, the first Queen remasters -- actually the first domestic CDs of Queen's Elektra albums -- coming out, along with their bittersweet studio swan song Innuendo, on Disney's Hollywood Records; what an odd fit that seemed, but I was so glad that one of my all-time favorite bands might again get some shred of recognition and even respect in the benighted U.S. of A. at last!

Little did I realize at the time how Freddie's death late in 1991, coupled with the high silliness of the hit Wayne's World movie, then the massive Tribute Concert in April '92 (of which I was a lucky and proud attendee), would bring the boys roaring back to American and even greater global consciousness. 20 years later, they've still never left, long since universally acclaimed and beloved as one of the very top British bands of all time.

(However, the latest slab of printed pomposity from Mount Rolling Stone, its new "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list, slights the band as always by placing them no higher than number 52. That's behind both Run-DMC and Public Enemy, which can only be called a bad joke. While hip-hop's inexplicably enduring popularity is an unfortunate given, Rolling Stone's tiresome insistence on placing this shallow, monotonous, artless genre on the same level of historical -- not to mention musical -- importance as rock, blues, soul and jazz is at once hilarious, pathetic, and reeking of middle-aged desperation to appear "down with the kids." Alrighty! End of digression.)

Anyway: 1977. In pop culture terms, I recall that long-ago-and-far-far-away year as being entirely about three things for me: Star Wars, KISS and Queen. Having recently graduated from Sesame Street and Disney 45s to my first rock record, the gift of Elton John's Greatest Hits LP, I was now, at age eight, striking out on my own, and in 1977 that meant KISS' monstrous Alive II and Queen's expansive, eclectic News of the World, which were released only two weeks apart.

This brilliant 28-track behemoth of a bootleg comes from that tour, and is widely esteemed as a quintessential Queen concert. The sound is rip-roaringly great and it features all the hits and deep cuts you could want, everything from punk slammers "Stone Cold Crazy" and "Sheer Heart Attack" to gossamer delights "The Millionaire Waltz" and "My Melancholy Blues." If you're as tickled as I am by the idea of Freddie trilling the outrageously queer "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" to 16,000 fans deep in the heart of Texas, then this is most assuredly the show for you.

Here's to a right Royal weekend, my darlings!

QUEEN
The Summit - Houston, TX - December 11, 1977
(SBD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2

(Also: .wma @192 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2

Note: Top links are 320 kbps MP3s, bottom are the .wma files I orignally posted. This is such a sweet-ass boot that I will leave both sets active for you all.

PS -- The reason I posted the "Definitive Edition" DVD cover above is that since I've heard the pro-shot tape of the complete concert is one of the absolute best Queen video boots ever -- which might explain why it's proven impossible to purchase so far, and I don't download video -- I'm hoping that somehow it'll magically manifest one of these days. Anyone...anyone...any way the wind blows...?

Friday, April 22, 2011

BRIAN WILSON - London, England 2004 ("SMiLE" Live!)

In a hurry to get home to the family, but I wanted to thank "Anonymous" who kindly furnished me, on my previous Brian Wilson post, with the below links to this magnificent live boot from the very first concert performances of Brian Wilson's legendary "SMiLE", inexorably emerging as my favorite album of all time.

It's all here and much much more -- 40-some tracks worth! Thanks also to whoever in the lucky audience recorded the show: job well done, very well done indeed.

Smile on, y'all!

BRIAN WILSON
"SMiLE" Live!
Royal Festival Hall - London, England - February 24, 2004 (AUD)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THE STROKES - Cannes, France 2008

Headed out on a road trip up to my beloved Napa, but wanted to leave you with a sweet boot from those loose, louche, always too-cool-for-school boys known as the Strokes.

I believe their new LP, Angles, happens to be their strongest since Is This It, the epochal debut of ten years ago (!) now. Quality live boots of the band seem to be in short supply, but this powerful, 18-track soundboard is surely one.

Till next time, lay chilly...

THE STROKES
Eurock - Cannes, France - April 23, 2008 (SBD)
DOWNLOAD

Friday, April 1, 2011

DEVO - Boston, MA 1982

As promised, one last live Deev boot from the Orpheum in Boston.

No foolin': it's wicked pissa!

DEVO
Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA - November 11, 1982
(SBD @256 kbps)
DOWNLOAD

Friday, March 25, 2011

DEVO - Boston, MA 1980

I am stupid fond of Devo right now, and still aglow from seeing them live for the first time last weekend here at Club Nokia. If you've never had the pleasure, oh my GAWD is it a good time. I got everything I wanted from Mothersbaugh & Co., muscially and visually, plus a whole lot more flat-out rocking than I ever expected.

My lovely wife thinks my febrile Devo love is silly and totally out of character for me; I might agree with the latter part. But as much as they're associated with '80s new wave, the genesis of the band couldn't be more '60s: they were essentially born out of the Kent State student shootings in May 1970, during which founding member Gerald Casale dodged bullets and saw two of his friends shot dead. If that ain't heavy, maaan, what is?

Now then: for whatever reason, Beantown's historic Orpheum Theatre seems to have been a magical venue for the Ohio quintet, yielding fantastic live boots from three years running: this amazing July 1980 WBCN FM broadcast, a November 1981 show previously posted here, and a November 1982 show which I'll try to post next.

Oh, and anyone who still doubts that Devolution is real -- I mean realer than real -- should just read this.

DEVO
Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA - July 17, 1980
(FMB @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD

PS -- Incidentally, your everloving unearthly Chick got some big-time Mainstream Media press coverage this week. Well, not really, but do check out the new LA Weekly's Letters page, now known -- in a nod to today's exciting computer technology -- as "Comments." You see, I couldn't resist the uncontrollable urge to scold my beloved local lefty rag for its inexplicably, laughably yet depressingly fawning cover piece on the dreaded Insane Clown Posse and their idiot fans (speaking of Devolution).

So here is the printed exchange in its entirety:

"Green Alien Chick writes: 'There is some great music being made in the world, and none of it is by this ridiculous duo of fools. Why would you waste your time and ours on such moronic garbage?'

'A real ass OC juggalo' responds: 'Ummmmm, fuck you and go read about your favorite faggot ass artist bitch.'

Alien Chick's response: 'Exactly. See? Couldn't have said it better myself.'"

Can I get a "AMEN!" up in here, bitches?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE BEACH BOYS - "Landlocked" 1969-'70

I'm so beyond thrilled about last Friday's momentous announcement -- possibly the single happiest piece of music news I've ever had the pleasure of receiving -- that in celebration I'm posting two versions of the same bootleg.

(In case you haven't heard, the news can be summed up in one word: SMiLE.)

As for "Landlocked", what we have here is a lovely compilation of outtakes, alternates and demos for the post-Capitol tracks that would comprise much of the Boys' first two, equally sublime LPs for Warner Bros.: 1970's Sunflower and 1971's Surf's Up. The first link is for the original, 12-track version in top bitrate; the second is for an expanded 24-track version in slightly lower quality. Both sound great.

Take your pick, or take both. Either way...smile!

THE BEACH BOYS
"Landlocked" 1969-'70 (STU)

DOWNLOAD (12 tracks @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD (24 tracks @192 kbps)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ERIC CLAPTON - Richmond, VA 1985

Sorry not to have posted any toonage since the Super Bowl...man, having a 6-month-old baby boy can cut into one's bloggin' time!

Anyway, tonight I'll be happily seeing my first show in ages: in a word, GOD. (No, not Hendrix -- I mean the ORIGINAL psychedelic-blooze-rawk geetar god.) I've only ever seen Clapton twice; once recently, with short-lived Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood at the Hollywood Bowl, and once way the hell back in high school, at the Baltimore Civic Center, the very night after this live boot was recorded. This here show was recorded FM-stylee for ye olde King Biscuit, so it's an all-'round ass-blaster.

Promise to be back sooner than later...'till then:

ERIC CLAPTON
Coliseum - Richmond, VA - April 22, 1985 (SBD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD

Monday, February 7, 2011

LIL WAYNE - "Green & Yellow" 2011

Y'all know I'm the farthest thing from a hip hop fan, but c'mon!

Dude dropped this track like five days ago, and he calls it, nails it, sees the future that -- glory be! -- came to pass last night. Right down to Rodgers as MVP!

At the end Weezy says "I gotta say, this ain't a dis song -- I just love my team." Well I love 'em too, and the shit sure sounds like a dis to me...and that sounds goood. In fact, right now it sounds like the best goddamn hip-hop jam ever recorded!



You aiiight, Weezy.
For the last time (until September): Go Pack Go!

Friday, February 4, 2011

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA - Koln, Germany 1981

Appreciate all the kind comments, readers! Always good to hear from you and know you're out there digging what we do here...

Been on something of an ELO tear lately, as is my occasional tendency. Thought I'd add to my previously posted Boston '76 and Osaka '78 live boots with this one from the Time tour of 1981-'82. Time is a sorely underrated album, silly sci-fi time-travel "concept" or not, and in my opinion the band's last gasp of greatness. Sure, Jeff Lynne replaced sweeping orchestration with cheezy '80s synths, but the songs are all pretty wonderful and some are flat-out magnificent. This performance nicely represents hits both old and new, with a generous sampling of the best Time tracks. Lynne's way with a memorable melody was as strong as ever on Time; too bad by that time not many still cared, at least among record buyers. But the band was still a major live draw from the sound of things here.

Speaking of sound, I'll come out and admit that the audio on this one isn't quite up to the standards of those prior boots. But for a band as underrepresented by quality live recordings, official or otherwise, as ELO -- damn those studio perfectionists! -- we'll take what we can get, yes?

And those who continue to dismiss Lynne as too much of a slickster should remember that only three producers ever worked with the Beatles: George Martin, Phil Spector, and Jeff Lynne.

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
"Twilight"
Sporthalle - Koln, Germany - March 2, 1982 (AUD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2

Cheers to the great and powerful Viva Les Bootlegs.

Now, one more time...
Go! You Packers GO!

Monday, January 31, 2011

JELLYFISH - San Francisco, CA 1993

Today's post will wrap up my epic Jellyfish streak -- the longest by a single act that I've ever done -- and I hope convincingly rest my case for them as a tremendous live band. I would have dearly loved to see them at The Warfield, one of the best music venues in San Francisco, Jellyfish's hometown and my absolute favorite city in these United (or is it Untied?) States.

I should be a "Child of the '80s" due to my age, but I'm most assuredly not. Unlike many of my peers, who pine ceaselessly for those halcyon days, I tend to be far more nostalgic about the early to mid-'90s, which roughly coincided with my early to mid-20s, i.e. my sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'-roll years. In fact, just about 20 years ago now I had a hellacious psychedelic experience at The Warfield during a Blues Traveler show (in brief: mushrooms, pot and dehydration don't mix. I just took a big swig of cool water after writing that sentence; a lesson learned once and never forgotten!)

I found the '80s -- at the time and far more so now -- to be rather a barren wasteland of pop culture, especially musically, not to mention politically: a decade that began with the murder of John Lennon and the election of Ronald Reagan is by its very nature not a good decade.

The early '90s, on the other hand, brought a swift corrective in the form of grunge (not to mention Bill Clinton) and stayed strong until about 1999, when the inevitable decline set in with all the vapid pop tarts, boy band retardoids and nĂ¼-metal meatheads.

Man, how I wish these much-missed Jellies would bury the hatchet and get it together...we could use them now more than ever! But until then...

JELLYFISH
The Warfield - San Francisco, CA - July 7, 1993 (SBD @320kbps)
DOWNLOAD

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JELLYFISH - Frankfurt, Germany 1991

And we're back. More Jelly for ya on a Tuesday afternoon; this one goes out to Anonymous, who wrote in asking for...more Jellyfish!

Here we're blessed with a complete concert from what sounds like a rather modestly sized club in Frankfurt, on the Euro leg of their tour promoting the ever-tasty debut LP Bellybutton. The show was pro-recorded for German TV, so this DVD rip sounds just wunderbar.

In addition to all the incredible music (bonus: plenty of cover tunes!), this one amusingly climaxes with a persistent, loudmouthed American fan being told just what to do.

Work calls, gotta hop -- more Jelly for your belly soon!

JELLYFISH
Music-Hall - Frankfurt, Germany - April, 1991 (SBD)
DOWNLOAD

Oh, and...GO PACK GO!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

BEN SOMMER - "America'd" Album, 2011

Taking a break from Jellyfish for a minute, this is a first for me: endorsing a brand-new artist's brand-new album. But I must say that this Ben Sommer is rather an interesting cat. If the measure of a good album is the desire to listen to it five times in a row without blinking, then this is 34 minutes of pure "edgy, political prog rock" goodness -- maybe, I daresay, even greatness.

The plentiful nods to Rush, Yes, the Who, Van Halen and especially Zappa -- sometimes in the same song -- are as whimsical and witty as they are utterly unsubtle. I'm all for unsubtle, in case you haven't noticed. The playing, production and arrangement, down to the harmony vocals, are top-notch.

And if you never thought you could sing along to choruses that go "Itchy-kitchy-kitchy-koo, waah-waah!" and "Thread-count fetish, thread-count fetish, oh-whoa-oh...," then all I can say is, think again. This political prog rock is brainy and complex stuff, sure, but it's also catchy as hell. Even the obligatory rap parody, "Kill the Estrogen Queens," brings some serious Funkadelic flava. Some listeners might find it offensive, but speaking as someone who believes that over the past 15 years or so hip-hop has mutated into an unkillable cancer on popular culture, you'll hear no such complaints from me...

Even after multiple listens it's tough for me to tell where exactly the satirical Mr. Sommer places himself on the political spectrum, which I'm quite sure is the point. When he sings about Henry Kissinger, based on the funny lyrics he sounds as if he's aware of the fact -- not widely believed, apparently, but a fact nonetheless -- that Kissinger is a vile pig of a war criminal on whose orders a million people were slaughtered for no reason. But I couldn't tell you for sure! As a dug-in Repuglican hater -- yes, I did say hater, and I mean that shit too -- I'd be damn curious to find out where Mr. Sommer's head is really at. Maybe next album?

He's an educated East Coaster, which makes him a homeboy to me and an enemy to the GOP. On his website Mr. Sommer teasingly IDs himself as "libertarian," but the definition thereof has always struck me as spongy at best, especially these days. At least half of the Tea Party psychos call themselves "libertarians," yet last November these "fiercely independent" yahoos happily voted in the same breed of assholic country club Repuglican that drove this country into the shitter in the first place. (John Boehner thanks you all, by the way.)

Anyway! Good times.

So, to grab America'd, head to the below link to DL the individual tracks, or -- why not? Trust me! -- actually buy the album in exciting new Compact Disc format.

You'll be damn glad you did, America!

BEN SOMMER
America'd - 2011
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Friday, January 7, 2011

JELLYFISH - San Juan Capistrano, CA 1993

As promised, more live Jelly fo' ya.

This one is an FM recording of a sweet show down San Juan Capistrano way, plus four bonus tracks from various 1990-'91 Cali dates. It amply proves how surprisingly strong this band of consummate studio rats was in a live setting; the musicianship and especially the harmonies are note-perfect.

A weekend of work calls, so that's all...for now.

JELLYFISH
"California Dreaming"
Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA - April 4, 1993 (FMB)
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

JELLYFISH - "Socrates, Pathos, and Plato" Live 1993

Every once in a while I'm reminded, for no good reason, of how much I love and miss the great pop-rock collective known as Jellyfish. It's a sad fact of rock history that this band of brilliant young lads only lasted three years, during which time they released a precious two studio albums (while, on the other hand, the worthless Bon Jovi has been stinking up the place for over a quarter-century).

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more perfect collection of 1990s power pop than their swan song, the utterly sublime Beach Boys-Beatles-Queen-Supertramp-10cc mashup masterpiece Spilt Milk. If you've never heard it -- and chances are you haven't -- then by all means get on the good foot (that means buy it; I bet they could use the money). I consider "Joining a Fan Club" and "New Mistake" to be the two greatest songs of the '90s, for starters.

I'll be posting a few more tasty Jelly boots to ring in 2011, but this one is an ideal place to start. It's a beautifully recorded compilation of live tracks from November 1993, not far from the end of the line for the band, who called it quits about the same time a certain Seattle grunge icon did too.

If you, like me, were fortunate enough to have snapped up the 2002 limited-edition box set Fan Club you'd have most of these tracks plus the bonus B-sides. If not, then feel free to drop that $120-$300 on Amazon or eBay...or click below, and stay tuned.

Because, oh yes indeedy, I do think you're ready for this Jelly.

JELLYFISH
"Socrates, Pathos, and Plato"
Universal Amphitheatre and other venues - November 1993
(SBD @320 kbps)
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - "Bat Chain Puller" Original Version, 1976 (R.I.P. Don Van Vliet)

I've never been a big Beefheart fan, or much of one at all to be honest. But his death last Friday -- also my 42nd birthday, as it happens -- seems as good an occasion as any to post my first (and most likely last) Beef boot.

Like the below-mentioned Roky Erickson, the crazy ol' Cap'n might have been a bit too far out for my taste. But most agree that Bat Chain Puller, even in its rejiggered 1978 official version, is one of his finest later works. A few of the tunes ("Harry Irene," the instrumentals "Flavor Bud Living" and "A Carrot is as Close...") are even rather pretty, I daresay. Then there are the slide guitar-powered classics "Floppy Boot Stomp" and the Hold Steady-inspiring "Owed T'Alex," which represent Beefheart at his flat-out rocking best.

Word from the Zappa estate, which holds the rights to this original 1976 version of the LP, is that an official release will finally be forthcoming in the next year. Until then, I present by far the best-sounding version available.

So git on yer trout mask, or a replica thereof, and freak out!

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART
"Bat Chain Puller" Original Version, 1976 (STU @320 kbps)
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PS -- For some rare early Beefheart, please visit my all-'60s blog, Heavy Sugar Radio.

Friday, December 3, 2010

ELVIS PRESLEY - Las Vegas, NV 1974

From one group of Black Angels to another...

Just a real quick li'l post for your weekend and mine. This is a recently unearthed, high-quality first-generation soundboard recording of a chatty, funny, loosey-goosey, pill-popping, karate-chopping '74 Elvis.

This show also features what is likely the only recorded instance of The King saying "fuck you" to an audience member. Now if that ain't worth the price of admission, what is?

As ever, thankyaver'much.

ELVIS PRESLEY
"Black Angels in Vegas"
Hilton Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - August 30, 1974 {Midnight Show}
(SBD)
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