Thursday, February 25, 2010

GENESIS - Liverpool, England 1975

Working on getting into these guys, the Gabriel era that is. Never been a big fan. It's a process.

I still maintain that Yes, the quintessential (pompous, pretentious etc.) prog band, should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame first -- '80s hit singles, record sales and solo careers be damned.

But it's awfully hard not to groove on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel's swan song with the group and by most reckonings their finest effort. For your enjoyment, courtesy of our good friends at Viva Les Bootlegs, here's the most acclaimed bootleg from the epic 1975 Lamb tour.

Empire Theater - Liverpool, England - April 19, 1975 (SBD @320 kbps)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

THE KNACK - Long Island, NY 1981 (R.I.P. Doug Fieger)

It's a shame that the late Doug Fieger and his band The Knack are today remembered, if at all, more for the rock-snob backlash that greeted their instant success than for their music. They've been permanently tagged as one-hit-wonders thanks to the staggering success of their debut single, the legendary you-know-who:

(See? You don't even need to see her name.)

Now, I haven't listened to a note of any of their albums after the debut, Get the Knack, and I'm making no grand claims of eternal genius here. But one listen to that fantastic debut LP tells you this was no one-hit-wonder act. Ignore the infamous Beatle-baiting cover photos and marvel at how it's packed with snappy, witty, tightly played, catchy-as-hell tunes. (I count "Oh Tara" as a particular favorite. I mean, how was that not a #1 single?) The thing just kills from beginning to end, sounding as fresh today as it did to my virgin ears in the summer of '79.

So they didn't become the next Cheap Trick. So sue 'em! Get the Knack remains a flat-out great album; the fact that it portended no further greatness doesn't diminish its own inherent greatness one bit. Maybe poor Mr. Fieger took some comfort in witnessing similarly steep quality/popularity dropoffs suffered in later years by The Strokes, the Hives, the Arctic Monkeys and a thousand other anointed power-pop "saviors."

Anyway, this zippy WLIR-FM soundboard show -- by far the best-quality Knack bootleg -- captures them promoting their third album, by which time the rock press and most listeners had long written them off as has-beens. Listen and judge for yourself. But remember: one listen to rock radio in 2010 should remind you that writing a great power-pop song, not to mention a whole album's worth, is no piece of cake.

Venue unknown - Long Island, NY - December 10, 1981 (FMB)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CRISIS OF CONFORMITY - "Fistfight in the Parking Lot" (SNL)

Y'all know I hardly ever post vids on this blog, but I couldn't resist...

This spot-on skit was on last weekend's Saturday Night Live -- in the dead-last slot, naturally -- and it's my fave in ages. (Probably since this one, and that's saying something.)

If you happen to have grown up in '80s "harDCore" D.C. like I did, you'll get it and dig it.

"Ya hear that, Alexander Haig?!?"

(PS -- In case the above link goes dead, here's the skit on Fred Armisen's SNL Blog.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

THE WHO - Largo, MD 1973

Rumor has it that The 'Oo is playing a quick-cash, smash 'n' grab gig at some football game this weekend. I wouldn't know anything about that, being a Packer Backer myself.

This Quadrophenia Tour concert was recorded for ye olde King Biscuit Flower Hour FM radio show at my hometown arena (or near enough to D.C., anyway). Yeah, too bad about them 'Skins...

Oh, well: go Saints!

Capital Centre - Largo, MD - December 6, 1973 (FMB @320 kbps)

PS -- more classic live Who here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

LED ZEPPELIN - Cleveland, OH 1977

My good buddy "RC" left such a kind comment on my previous Zeppelin boot post (see below) that, well, hell, I just couldn't resist posting another. You wanted '77 Presence Tour Zep, you got it!

This was the band's hugest and lastest tour ever, the one with the immortal T-shirt design still proudly worn by 15-year-old stoners to this day (of course I found it in green):

Word is that this live soundboard recording is the best-quality boot of that entire legendary tour. However, I must admit I don't think it quite matches the '75 show posted last week. The performance is certainly on par, but the audio is a bit trebly and the stereo separation not as wide. At any rate, it's still goddamn good, and I did find it in the highest bitrate available.

So I hereby post it for your rocking pleasure...and yes, it must now be said: Hello Cleveland!

Richfield Coliseum - Cleveland, OH - April 27, 1977 (SBD @256 kbps)