Friday, February 27, 2009

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA - Boston, MA 1976 (R.I.P. Kelly Groucutt)

Mas ELO, cuz WTF not bro?

R.I.P. Kelly Groucutt.

Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA - March 19, 1976 (AUD)

Friday, February 20, 2009

LILY ALLEN - "Mr. Blue Sky" Cover

As promised, a little "Mr. Blue Sky" for the weekend. And I mean very little, a morsel really: it's the single recorded by the loverly Miss Lily Allen last year for a French cell phone company.

I happen to love "Mr. Blue Sky" more than life itself, and am always gratified when he pops up in, say, a Guinness beer ad (narrated by Donald Sutherland, randomly enough), or maybe a trailer for the best movie of 2004 (an Oscar-winner for Original Screenplay, and for once they meant original), and/or the greatest Volkswagen spot ever (the ad which reminded me of "Mr. Blue Sky" about 6 or 7 years ago, and he's been a friend ever since).

Now, I do find Miss Lily's production is a bit tarted up -- that is, even more than Jeff Lynne and ELO would have done -- but that's to be expected from a tarty contempo pop singer, so I can dig it. Lil definitely nails the harmonies, as she does on her brand-new album, which I also like quite a bit. The girl is smart and sassy, naughty and nasty, and let's face it, damned adorable.

Aw, so bad. Bless ya, luv!

LILY ALLEN "Mr. Blue Sky" single

Friday, February 13, 2009


I'm on a bit of an ELO trip at the moment, particularly 1977's expansive double-LP Out of the Blue, which seems pretty universally regarded as their masterpiece. (Even the hipster twits at Pitchfork dig it.) I especially adore lesser-known but stupendously sweeping, intricately melodic tracks on the album's second half, like "Steppin' Out," "Big Wheels" and the climactic gorgeosity that is "Wild West Hero". Monster choruses, massed choirs, strings, synth-n-vocoder? I say bring 'em on.

And then, of course, there is always -- and I mean always, now and forever, into eternity -- the holiest of holies: "Mr. Blue Sky". One of my Top 10 all-time can't-live-without-it tunes. It's everything that ELO and pop music itself are all about, and so much more. (About which more next week, involving Lily Allen of all people...)

Meantime, here is one of only two bootlegs that exist of ELO's top- grossing, giant-fiberglass-spaceship-rocking 1977-'78 Out of the Blue Tour; word is that the other boot, from Wembley Arena, is no good. There is an official DVD of another Wembley concert, but as far as complete audio shows, this is it. It's a crisp, complete audience recording (leave it to Japanese fans to make an audience recording this clean), spiced with painfully polite applause (Cheap Trick at Budokan this ain't), violin and cello solos, plus Jeff Lynne saying "Domo arigato."

But sadly, no "Mr. Blue Sky." He'll have to wait until next week.

Venue unknown - Osaka, Japan - February 23, 1978 (AUD)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

METALLICA - Los Angeles, CA 2008 (12/17) {NEW LINKS!}

As promised a couple weeks back, here's Part II (which is really Part I) of my Metallica 40th Birthday Experience Extravaganza (this one only in the sense that the show occurred on my 40th birthday, not in the sense that I actually, like...went.)

The concert I did see, the next night, was indeed fantasterrific -- but the thing is, at this show the night before, they did "Damage, Inc." Possibly my all-time favoritest shred-tastic Metalli-rager jam of ever. As in, the entire history of the known Metalliverse.

I'm still glad I saw them and all, but...oh, well. Fuck it all and fucking no regrets!

Los Angeles Forum - Inglewood, CA - December 17, 2008 (SBD)