Thursday, November 18, 2010

THE BLACK ANGELS - Tilburg, Netherlands 2010

Good evening, psychonauts. What can I say about The Black Angels out of Austin, TX except that they are my favorite new band in the world? I've been listening to them so obsessively that I can't even remember how I first heard about them (read about them, actually) even though it couldn't have been more than a week ago. Or maybe it was a century, or even a millennium, whoa wow whoaaa...what does it mean...?

They're even more mind-blowing than a double complete rainbow, is alls I know. While they've been perfecting their brand of spacey yet hard-rocking retro-garage psychedelia for about five years now, it's their recent third LP Phosphene Dream that's really shot them over the top, onto Letterman and the college charts, into Rolling Stone and a sold-out show at the El Rey next week which I'll sadly be missing.

As I may or may not be the first to opine, the Angels' trippy sound basically comprises Austin psych legends the 13th Floor Elevators with better songwriting, melodies, vocals, playing and production. Sue me, but I happen to dig Roky Erickson and the Elevators more for what they symbolize than for what they managed to record. What the Angels represent to me is what those pioneering Elevators attempted 45 (!) years ago brought to fruition, to perfection. And it's because of heavy outfits like the Black Angels that the '60s will truly live on forever. (The less said about comparisons to the dreaded Jesus and Mary Chain, possibly the most overrated band of the '80s, the better.)

Since Phosphene Dream is far and away my favorite album of 2010, I wanted to post a recent show, as opposed to one from four or five years back, of which there seems to be an abundance out there. It wasn't easy to find, but find it I did, and here it is.

Hope y'all dig them crazy Angels as much as I do!

013 - Tilburg, Netherlands - January 26, 2010 (SBD @320 kbps)

PS -- The poster shown above is not from this show, but it is pretty damn cool, no?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hey all. To make up for (yet another) long delay in posting, I'm favoring you with a complete recording one of the best concert experiences of my life, and to my ears one of the best Bridge School Benefit Concerts ever.

As a matter of special interest, the second show is the only Bridge School concert that's ever taken place on Halloween night; yes, costumes were worn by the artists, with Sheryl Crow looking especially cute in a pink tutu and halo.

But more importantly, these shows marked the return of the great Brian Wilson -- no, not the beardy Giants pitcher, although I gather he has a few fans in the Bay Area as well -- to live performing after almost 35 years of god-only-knows-what. Who knew that these concerts would be remembered as just the beginning of an incredibly fertile period of almost nonstop touring, recording, and award-collecting that has lasted to this day? (Listen especially closely to the joyous "Surfin' U.S.A.," which featured backup vocals by Neil Young, Roger Daltrey, Eddie Vedder and Sheryl Crow. Not too bad.)

Due to family obligations I missed this year's Buffalo Springfield-powered blowout; better luck next year for the 25th anniversary. In 1999, however, I was still relatively young and carefree. I went to both shows and I will never forget them.

Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA - October 30 and 31, 1999
(SBD @320 kbps -- 6 CDs in one link)

Big big big thanks to So Many Roads.