Friday, January 30, 2009

LYNYRD SKYNYRD - Cardiff, Wales 1975 (R.I.P. BIlly Powell)

Never been much of a Skynyrd or Southern Rock man, myself, but I am open to persuasion. That's what's great about 1960s and '70s rock; it's a bottomless well of discovery. I'm sure there are many fine folks out there who treasure the Skynyrd the way I treasure, say, The Zombies or Queen. It is, as they say, all good.

The truly amazing thing about bands of this magical period is how incredibly goddamn prolific they were. I mean, the original -- which is to say pre-crash of October '77 -- lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd put out five studio albums, plus the requisite double-live LP set, in four years. Who does that anymore? And back then, this was hardly the exception; it was the rule. (In the first decade of his career, Elton John put out thirteen studio LPs! No wonder his did so much of the llelo.) Just astonishing! These days, except for a couple of industrious indie outfits like Animal Collective or Of Montreal, I can't think of a single act that produces music at such a rate.

So here's a Skynyrd boot that both superfans and never-weres can agree is top-drawer. With pristine 320 kbps audio, it's a King Biscuit Flower Hour concert that not only has never been commercially released -- bar a couple of tracks compiled here and there -- but apparently was never even broadcast at the time.

Now, why the best-ever Lynyrd Skynyrd boot happened to have been recorded in Cardiff, Wales and not in some stanky, swampy Southern juke joint is beyond my reckoning. But hey, what it means is this: you get to hear some guy yell, quite unironically, for "Free Bird" a fookin' Welsh accent!

R.I.P. Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell, who died this week, joining Ronnie, Steve, Leon, Allen etc. etc....

LYNYRD SKYNYRD "King Biscuit Flower Hour"
Capitol Theatre - Cardiff, Wales, UK - November 6, 1975 (FMB)

Monday, January 26, 2009

METALLICA - Los Angeles, CA 2008 (12/18)

No time to elaborate, busy at work here, but this is the very Metallica show I attended last month, the night after my 40th birthday, my last concert of 2008 and the thrilling climax to an epic year of shows. (I shall also post their previous L.A. show, which was on my actual birthday, next week.)

First time I'd seen them -- outside of their two Bridge School acoustic shows in 2007 -- in a good 7 or 8 years, and it majorly renewed my love for the boyz.

The new Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, that is...

Los Angeles Forum - Inglewood, CA - December 18, 2008 (SBD)

Friday, January 16, 2009

GRATEFUL DEAD - Veneta, OR 1972

In celebration of The Jerryless Dead's 2009 tour -- their first with Bobby, Philly, Billy and Mickey in five years -- your faithful Greenie hereby posts what may well be the single best Dead boot ever (and, it happens, the first one I ever heard.) I'm reasonably confident many Heads would agree that this is in fact the supreme Dead boot of all time; probably explains why it was my first, a ragged cassette reverently passed to me by my bro David back in our heady NYU days. I'm no pushover when it comes to live Dead, but for the life of me I can't find a single flaw in the entirety of this show; I don't think the "China > Rider" or "El Paso" or "Bertha" or "Me and My Uncle" or "He's Gone" have ever been surpassed. It's just epic perfection and ineffable gorgeousness from stem to stern. Even the onstage banter is priceless (there's a lot of it too).

Rumor abides and abounds that there's an official DVD in the works, since apparently the entire show was Super 8 (anyone under 40, read about Super 8 here). You can watch a good portion of the show on YouTube (clips here, here and here); the obvious discrepancy between sound and image quality explains why they're taking their sweet time in releasing the thing.

Even if you can't deal with the Dead, do give this show a try. It may just turn your skull around and steal your face right off your head...

Speaking of "He's Gone": This goes out to Mike DeLuca, my friendly neighborhood weed dealer (by "my" I mean the neighborhood part, not the weed part), who passed away a couple weeks ago of a heart ailment. He loved the Dead, and is missed, especially by my dog Jack.

Nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile...

GRATEFUL DEAD "Sunshine Daydream"
Springfield Creamery Benefit
Old Renaissance Faire Grounds - Veneta, OR - August 27, 1972 (SBD)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

IGGY AND THE STOOGES - Glastonbury 2007 (R.I.P. Ron Asheton)

Well this sucks. Poor Ron Asheton. And just as The Stooges have a real shot at induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame too...

(UPDATE: they didn't make it in. Again. But thank god Run-DMC did, since they're so much more important to the history of rock and roll! Heckuva job, assholes. Maybe next year you can continue your streak, and screw over hacks like The Stooges, Rush, Randy Newman, Todd Rundgren, Deep Purple and The Zombies while inducting such rock and roll icons as Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, the Sugar Hill Gang, Biz Markie and the Fat Boys. )

Aaanyway, the real point is that it always hurts when someone dies in the midst of a well-deserved revival -- just ask poor Roy Orbison or Arthur Lee.

Oh well, here's a wicked show from the midst of that epic comeback, two summers ago at the U.K. Glastonbury Festival. Nice loud TV broadcast sound, and some bonus interview/ performance bits from the "Jonathan Ross" show over there.

R.I.P. Ron, Punk Godfather and Psychedelic Stooge!

Glastonbury Festival - Pilton, England - June 23, 2007 (SBD)

Friday, January 2, 2009

PAUL McCARTNEY - Bridge School Benefit, 2004

Yes, I was there...

Happy New Year!

18th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert
Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA - October 24, 2004 (SBD)