Friday, March 27, 2009

MASTODON - Lowlands Festival, Netherlands 2006

For the weekend, it's a hard-right turn away from Marley irieness into Mastodon gnarliness.

I just snagged the new zombie Rasputin-vs.-cosmic Satan epic Crack the Skye, released this week, and find it easier on the ears than their 2006 major-label debut Blood Mountain, which was almost too far-out for me (kinda like the Mars Volta's Amputechture, which happened to be released on the same day...apparently there was something gnarly as fuck in the water on September 12, 2006).

Not sure where I stand on the burgeoning notion that Mastodon is the greatest pure-metal band since Metallica. (I say "pure metal" to distinguish from jazz metal or heritage metal or death metal or glam metal or pop metal or stoner metal or funk metal or thrash metal or prog metal or ethno-metal...all of which I also dig. However, I won't dignify nu metal, rap metal or hair metal with links.)

I like and respect Mastodon for their brains and craft and chops, not to mention their wicked-nifty album covers, but so far -- as undeniably powerful as they are -- they're a tad sludgy and short on melodic hookage to be any real threat to Metallica's position in the pantheon.

Still, for pure math-rock heavitude, they may very well be the best band in the known Universe.

This killer-ass boot, a Dutch FM broadcast, features much of Blood Mountain -- then a month away from release -- backed up by three or four tunes from the band's undisputed metallic masterpiece, 2004's monumental, Melville-and-Moby-Dick-inspired Leviathan, culminating in the massive magnificence of "Blood and Thunder".

Lowlands Festival - Biddinghuizen, Netherlands - August 19, 2006 (FMB)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - Milan, Italy 1980

Now that spring is officially upon us, I figure it might be time to slow down, lie back in the green grass and take a match ta tings, mon. So why not change it up and lay it down with a top-qual Marley boot, from his final tour in the summer of 1980?

According to the spliff-heads at Wikipedia, "The performance in Milan, Italy on June 27, when Marley performed for about 120,000 people in the sold-out San Siro stadium, is historical and still regarded in Italy as the biggest music event ever. At that time no other musician had reached to have a bigger audience than Marley till then." Well, you catch the drift.

The sound quality couldn't be better if Jah himself had blazed up a fatty and recorded it. This one is just magnificent, and so comprehensive it even includes the four-song opening set by the I Threes, Rita Marley's singing trio and Bob's backup ladies. Providing additional amusement (or bemusement) are the very early-'80s, almost Rush-sounding synth washes throughout. I also never before noticed the similarity in tone between Bob's guitar and Jerry Garcia's, a sound I like to call the "rubber bubble," where the strums sound fat and round, like "Whoa. Whoa. Whoa..."

I think you'll find many of the performances here surpass the studio versions, including the encore of "Coming in from the Cold", one of my fave Bob jams of ever.

Only time will tell if Marley was actually a god, but he’s certainly as close as any musician has ever gotten.

Now, lively up your damn-ass self!

Stadio San Siro - Milan, Italy - June 27, 1980 (SBD)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

THIN LIZZY - Boston, MA 1978

From the Emerald Isle, via Boston, Mass., straight into your pint glass and down the neck.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

THIN LIZZY "Paradise By the Soundboard"
Paradise Theatre - Boston, MA - September 5, 1978 (SBD)

Friday, March 13, 2009

VAN HALEN - Jacksonville, FL 2008

Another Van Halen whomper for the weekend, this one a bit more recent. Damn recent, in fact; a show recorded just over a year ago by some intrepid taper who managed to capture the best-sounding tape of the entire 2007-'08 reunion tour.

Except, that is, for the previous reunion show posted here, which I happen to have attended and most thoroughly enjoyed.

I'd say the two boots are qualitatively even -- but why not grab 'em both and judge for yourself? I assure you, they're the finest available in this price range!

Veterans Memorial Arena - Jacksonville, FL - February 16, 2008 (AUD)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

VAN HALEN - Fresno, CA 1979

A best bud of mine, a die-hard ol'-skool Van Halen fan, recently reported -- admitted? confessed? -- a late-breaking appreciation for Hagar-era VH.

While I, somewhat shocked, take this matter into consideration, allow me the comfort of returning to Green Alien's Chick's roots... as in, my first-ever post back in November of '07. (And damned if the link isn't still good!)

So here's "The first night of the second world tour," 30 years ago this month. "Hello, Fresno! Van Halen has returned! The new album came out today!"

Word is that this is the best boot from the entire '79 tour (and it's in 320 kbps). No argument here.

As to the relative merits of Sammy Hagar...lemme think on it.

Selland Arena - Fresno, CA - March 25, 1979 (AUD @320 kbps)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

THE KINKS - San Francisco, CA 1977

No time to talk, more time to rawk.

Amid long-swirling rumors of a Kinks reunion finally happening, here's one of their best boots ever, a KSAN-FM radio snapshot of them between the tail end of Ray's spotty but ballsy mid-'70s rock opera phase and their fast-approaching, well-earned commercial early-'80s arena rock triumph.

Specifically, Sleepwalker, an OK LP with a killer title track.

God save the Kinks, long live Ray and Dave Davies.

Winterland Ballroom - San Francisco, CA - February 19, 1977 (FMB)