Friday, October 30, 2009

KISS - Auckland, New Zealand 1980 (HAPPY HALLOWEEN!)

One good Halloween KISS deserves another. So here's another scary-good show from the boys, including then-new drummer Eric Carr, from the final night of the Unmasked Tour.

This live monster is commonly referred to as "Ace's Last Stand," since lead guitarist Ace Frehley would soon depart for the somewhat greener pastures of slightly above-average solo success in the '80s, later followed by his triumphant (if temporary) reunion with original drummer Peter Criss and those other two machers in the mid-'90s.

If possible, I will cap off this little KISStival next week with one of the three Reunion Years concerts I caught -- at Dodger Stadium in L.A., almost exactly eleven years ago -- on the cool crisp night of October 31st...

Which reminds me:


KISS "Ace's Last Stand"
Western Springs Stadium - Auckland, N.Z. - December 3, 1980
(SBD @320 kbps)

Friday, October 23, 2009

KISS - Tokyo, Japan 1977

In solemn acknowledgment of the fact that next weekend brings my favorite day of the year -- and of the fact that THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE LAND has finally been nominated for the Shlock and Roll Hall of Shame -- I give you klassic '77 KISS!

This, my first KISS post ever, is easily among their top bootz of all time, a rough, raw and "real" alternate version of the band's second live album, which would be released a year later in spit-n-polished, studio-tweaked fashion. (Don't get me wrong: I treasure Alive II. It's one of the first three rock LPs I ever owned, along with Elton John's Greatest Hits and Queen's News of the World, sort of a glam-pop Holy Trinity.)

On this version of the album, the tracklist is about half the same as Alive II, and half different or earlier tunes. Rounding out "Side 4" are demo recordings of the five studio cuts that ended Alive II.

Looks like we gon' have ourselves a rawk an' roll pawty tonight!

"The Lost Alive II Album"
Budokan Hall - Tokyo, Japan - April 4, 1977 (SBD @ 320 kbps)

PS -- Haven't checked out the new one yet, but I hear it ain't half-bad!

Friday, October 16, 2009


One great Rolling Thunder Revue show deserves another, right? This one is from the tail end of the tour's second leg in spring of 1976, and it's another Top 75-rated concert according to the superfans at Expecting Rain. In fact, it's actually in the Top 10!

This also happens to be one of the rare boots I've heard that sounds almost perfect despite having a bitrate of just 128 kbps. I merely reveal this information because these days I'm trying to only post material at 256 and above. However, I'm tellin' y'all -- this thing sounds absolutely stellar. I don't know that a higher bitrate would really improve it that much...

'Course if anyone out there has it in 320, do me a kindness and lemme know!

"Hold the Fort for What It's Worth!"
Tarrant County Convention Center Arena
Fort Worth, TX - May 16, 1976 (SBD)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


My busy 2009 concert season starts winding down tonight with good old Uncle Bobby at the Hollywood Palladium, his first of three nights at the historic, recently renovated venue (featuring Mr. "Secret Agent Man" Johnny Rivers opening).

Tonight's show should qualify as some sort of footnote in Dylan lore because he rarely ends up playing on the day of an album's release, and because today's release happens to be his wonderfully odd, oddly wonderful Christmas album. Yes, Virginia, a "Yuletide platter" is certainly a first for the Bard -- and after 48 years of recording, why-in-the-name-of-St.-Nick not?

It's also worth noting that, including 2008's Bootleg Series Vol. 8 edition, Christmas in the Heart marks Dylan's third official CD release in the past year. Not bad for a dude pushing 70.

To commemorate this special day in Dylan history, here's a classic live boot from Halloween 1975, the second night of the legendary, ramshackle Rolling Thunder Revue Tour starring Roger McGuinn, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Joan Baez (who I caught at the Santa Monica Pier this summer), et al. Rated one of the Top 75 shows ever by the invaluable Dylanology resource Expecting Rain, the complete soundboard version was only discovered a few years ago.

Big thanks to the mighty Big O for this one. Go Bobby go!

War Memorial Auditorium - Plymouth, MA - October 31, 1975 (SBD)

Friday, October 9, 2009

RADIOHEAD - London, England 2008

One good Yorke/Radiohead boot deserves another, and this is a tough one to find, too. It's a webcast of a special small-venue gig the band did a few weeks after the release of In Rainbows in compact disc format (quaint concept, that). They play the entire album and more, and it sounds rowdy, noisy, sweaty and typically brilliant.

I threw my back out earlier this week -- Radiohead should record a song about what it feels like to do that -- so I'm done for the day. Wish me luck hauling my ass outta this chair...

93 Feet East - London, England - January 16, 2008 (SBD @ 320 kbps)

Friday, October 2, 2009

THOM YORKE - Bridge School Benefit Concerts, 2002

Rockin' so heavy on the Muse lately has reminded me that the great Matthew Bellamy does in fact have a few other vocal models besides Freddie Mercury, the main one of course being Radiohead's Thom Yorke. That thought led me to track down one of my all-time fave live boots, by anyone, not least because I beheld both of these unforgettable solo performances with my own eyes and ears.

What makes these shows so interesting -- aside from the sheer deep feeling of Yorke's singing and piano/guitar playing -- is that seven years ago, Yorke had no identity as a solo artist; the release of his debut album The Eraser was almost four years in the future. So it was just...odd to see this little guy walk out onstage, alone, right at sunset (a magic moment during any outdoor festival, when the stage lights turn on, everyone is nicely buzzed, and you can finally focus on the music instead of the scene).

But, as you will hear, it took about ten seconds for anyone there paying attention (which, sadly, didn't include everyone in the vicinity of our heroic taper) to realize that something very special was happening. This was especially surprising and thrilling given that what Yorke performed on both nights was not "Creep" or "Fake Plastic Trees," but the weird shit, the heavy shit, the bleepy-whooshy-squiggly electronic shit from OK Computer and Kid A and Amnesiac. On his own old guitar and Neil Young's old piano. Miraculous, really.

In short, two of my favorite live performances ever. Thanks to whoever out there did such a brilliant job of taping this clear, crisp, rich and full recording.

THOM YORKE "Acoustic Solo"
Bridge School Benefit Concert
Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA
October 26 and 27, 2002 (AUD @ 320 kbps)