Friday, April 18

Big Star - London 2008

Shepherd’s Bush Empire
London, England
August 28, 2008
audience recording (sound quality VG; crowd noise is present, but this is a very good quality recording, from the master)

TREMENDOUS THANKS to Pike1957 for recording, sharing and recently re-seeding this recording by request

Notes: There's an alternate recording of this show with inferior sound, so this may be an upgrade for some of you. The setlist features several songs from 2005's In Space, Big  Star's final album of new material.
SAMPLE: "Baby Strange (London '08)

01 - intro
02 - In the Street
03 - Don't Lie To Me
04 - When My Baby's Beside Me
05 - I Am the Cosmos
06 - Ballad of El Goodo
07 - Back of a Car
08 - Way Out West
09 - Till the End of the Day
(Kinks cover)
10 - Pomp & Circumstance #4 (from Elgar's 'Enigma Variations')
11 - Daisy Glaze
12 - Thirteen
13 - Baby Strange
14 - For You
15 - Feel

16 - September Gurls
17 - Thank You Friends
18 - Slut
(Todd Rundgren cover)
19 - Hung Up With Summer
20 - February's Quiet
21 - Lady Sweet
22 - Patti Girl
23 - band intros
24 - Mine Exclusively
25 - Wouldn't It Be Nice
(Beach Boys cover)
TT: 1:31:06
suggested disc split: between #15 & 16

Big  Star:
Jody Stephens – drums, vocals
LX Chilton – vocals, rhythm guitar
Jon Auer – lead guitar, vocals
Ken Stringfellow – bass, vocals

Friday, April 11

Miracle Legion – Live 1986 and 1992

Clark Hall, Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT
WESU broadcast
December 31, 1986

FM capture (sound quality VG; show itself is clear enough, but the advanced age of the source tape is apparent)

ROB SEZ:  edA said I should check out a recent Dime post featuring these guys. I’d never heard of ‘em, but ed’s pretty savvy about such things, so I hit the download button and gave a listen. Needless to say, ed turned me on to a great little band. Miracle Legion is no more, but leader Mark Mulcahy is alive & well and still making great music. Definitely worth your consideration…

SAMPLE: "Country Boy (WESU 1986)"

01 Hey Lucky
Mark Mulcahy: the musician at the gate...
02 Butterflies
03 Paradise
04 The Heart Is Attached
05 Even Better
06 Will You Wait
07 Six Months
08 All For the Best
09 Happy Birthday
10 Little Man
11 Just Say Hello
12 Storyteller
13 You're the One Lee
14 Country Boy
15 Wish You Were Here
16 The Backyard
17 Wonderment
18 Until She Calls
Steppin’ Out Fest
Blacksburg, VA
August 1992

soundboard recording (quality Ex-; quite excellent sound)

MEGA THANKS to RicGratz for the original post

Here’s Ric’s description of the show: “The mighty Miracle Legion performing at Steppin' Out — an outdoor festival in Blacksburg, VA — in August of 1992. The boys rented a nice red Cadillac for the drive from New England. Hunter S. Thompson watched over them as they made the journey. Later that night ML joined Not Shakespeare at Buddy's nightclub around the corner.”

SAMPLE: "The Heart Is Attached (1992)"

01 Country Boy
02 Butterflies
03 Even Better
04 The Heart Is Attached
05 The Backyard
06 Old and New
07 Say Hello
08 Out to Play
09 All for the Best
10 Mr. Mingo + sign-off

MP3 for both shows (1st = 192 kbps; 2nd = 320 kbps)
Miracle Legion:
Mark Mulcahy – vocals, guitar
Ray Neal – guitar, backing vocals

*rhythm section, 1986:
Jeff Wiederschall - drums
Steven West – bass
*rhythm section, 1992:
Dave McCaffrey - bass
Spot - drums
* = presumed rhythm section members

Learn more about the music of Miracle Legion at leader Mark Mulcahy’s official site, Trouser Press, or at AllMusic
A most excellent set of Miracle Legion album reviews is HERE 

Friday, April 4

Peter Holsapple - WFMU Session 1983

East Orange, NJ
Feb. 25, 1983

FM recording (sound quality VG--; from a multi-generation tape source)
PH: has guitar, will travel (Austin, TX 1984)
Stephanie Chernikowki photo
HEAP O’ THANKS to WFMU for their undying support of The deeBs, to the original taper, and to dB’s Fan for sharing

NOTE: As received, this was not a great-sounding tape (lots of hiss & a handful of dropouts). I used Audacity to make various improvements — and now it's a pretty good listen. Someone else edited out the interview bits, which explains the brief, truncated comments prior to some of the songs.

ROB SEZ: Here's a rare and welcome opportunity to hear Peter in busking mode: just the man and his guitar. He covers a lot of ground, playing dB's tunes, rare solo material, old covers, and a very early version of "She Got Soul." Pretty sure I'd never before heard him sing the old Big  Star chestnut that closes the set... ENJOY!
SAMPLE: "I'm In Love With a Girl (WFMU 1983)"

01 Not Cool
02 You Got to Die (Blind Willie McTell cover)
03 Since You're Gone (Ric Ocasek / Cars cover)
04 Poor Howard (Lead Belly cover)
05 Close to the Hand
06 Modern Boys and Girls
07 She's Coming To
08 On the Battlefront
09 She Got Soul (early version)
10 Nothing Is Wrong
11 I Feel Good (Today)
12 Elvis, What Happened?
13 You Don't Miss Your Water (William Bell cover)
14 Moving In Your Sleep
15 I'm In Love With a Girl (Big Star cover)

TT: 45:49 mins.

Peter Holsapple – guitar, vocals


Friday, March 28

Ann Arbor, MI 1985 (soundboard)

The dB’s
Ann Arbor, MI

venue & exact date unknown (possibly early in the year)

soundboard recording (quality VG++; occasional vocal distortion, from poorly-adjusted levels at the mixing desk, prevents this from getting a higher rating). This is an outstanding show and excellent performance. ENJOY!

Among the odder photos in The dB's scrapbook:
Mardi Gras, 1985 - with king cake letters spelling the band's name

EXTRA BIG THANKS to the taper and to TheBynumite for sharing

SAMPLE: "I Lie (Ann Arbor 1985)"

01 greeting + She Got Soul
02 Rendezvous
03 Big Brown Eyes
04 Working for Somebody Else
05 Lonely Is as Lonely Does
06 Not Cool
07 I Lie
08 band intros + Spitting in the Wind
Peter & Co. look to the future:
Danceteria, NYC roof shot, 1984
09 pH Factor
10 Amplifier
11 Neverland
12 Big Black Truck
13 Rains Around Here
14 Living a Lie
15 Love Is for Lovers
16 Black and White

(this recording lacks encores)

The dB’s:
Will Rigby – drums, backing vocals
Peter Holsapple – guitar, vocals
Gene Holder – lead guitar
Jeff Beninato – bass, backing vocals

Friday, March 21

R. E. M. - Chronic Town REVISITED

The debut EP in demos & live versions
(RCA Studio 1982 demos, produced by Kurt Munkacsi)

ROB SEZ: It's time for a new installment in the blog's "Classic Albums Revisited" series. I've been spending a lot of time lately, collecting the best available sources for demo and live material from the late, great R. E. M.

soundboard & FM sources (sound quality: VG+; see additional note below)
ABOUT THE SET: There are interesting alternate versions of Gardening at Night out there, but they’ve seen official release somewhere along the way, which accounts for the most excellent live version I used here from the band’s first radio broadcast on May 14, 1982. The rest of the songs, including the bonus tracks, are from the RCA Studios, NYC Feb. 1982 demo session.
There will be more here soon from these guys.
Any guesses what the next album will be?
Sample: "Wolves, Lower (demo 1982)"

01 1,000,000 (demo)
02 Stumble (demo)
03 Wolves, Lower (demo)
04 Gardening at Night (live – Atlanta, GA 1982-05-14, FM)
05 Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars) [demo]
06 Catapult (demo)
07 Romance (demo)
08 Just a Touch (demo)

Source: Studio C, RCA Studios, NYC 1982 sessions (Feb. 1, 2, 8 & 22) with producer Kurt Munkacsi (all except track 4, as noted above). Although some boots list these as Chronic Town outtakes or rough mixes, they actually were recorded after the Drive-In Studio sessions with Mitch Easter that led to the master takes released on the EP. In Johnny Black's 2004 book Reveal, Munkacsi said he was impressed with the band, based on their work in the studio during those few days in February: "They knew exactly what they were doing. The session was very spontaneous, with everything going down in one or two takes."
The best-sounding source for these demos is the rare Early Movements boot. I corresponded with the guy who created the thing and sold me a copy. He was a DJ at an Atlanta radio station when Mike Mills gave him a copy of the tape, so you can be assured the sound quality here is as good as it’s going to get. In this "revisited" version, you will hear a less atmospheric, more straight-ahead rock sound than the one found on the IRS release (which I prefer). That said, this collection suggests a fascinating alternate reality in which the group signs to a major label instead of pursuing the artier, indie'r, & ultimately more enduring path they chose. 

A note about the running order: Even the band seems ambivalent about the “proper” sequencing for the EP. The back cover of the original release lists 1,000,000 as the first track. But the “A” side label has Wolves, Lower first, as does the first digital release on Dead Letter Office. Me? I say you must listen to the thing starting with 1,000,000 and ending with the sublime Carnival of Sorts. No doubt about it: the album jacket got it right the first time…

         Other albums in this series include The dB's debut album and 
The dB's Like This. Collect 'em all...

Friday, March 14

R. E. M. - Edinburgh, Scotland 1985 (soundboard)

Coasters Ballroom
Edinburgh, Scotland
June 25, 1985

soundboard recording (quality Ex--; judging by the great sound, I’m guessing this is from the master tape or a first-gen. copy; the punters get rowdier after the first 4 or 5 songs, so you folks who like crowd noise hang in there — it’s coming…)

The performance? Smokin'...

MUCHOS GRACIAS to the original taper & sharer (whoever you are)
There are a few brief anomalies in the set. The most noticeable is track 2 switching from stereo to mono & back in a handful of places. The latter was necessitated by the repair job I did to replace intermittent dropouts in the left & right channels on that track -- which is still quite listenable.
SAMPLE: "Can't Get There From Here" (Edinburgh 1985)

Coasters "Roller Disco", circa 1979
01 - feeling gravitys pull (cuts in)
02 - harborcoat
03 - green grow the rushes
04 - laughing
05 - driver 8
06 - so. central rain (i'm sorry)
07 - have you ever seen the rain?
      (j. fogerty / ccr cover)
08 - can't get there from here
09 - maps and legends
10 - 7 chinese bros.
11 - hyena
12 - (don't go back to) rockville 
       (end cut, fades out)
13 - just a touch
this artwork & above included in download
create your own boot!

14 - auctioneer
       (another engine)
15 - old man kensey
16 - little america
17 - life & how to live it
18 - pretty persuasion
19 - this day
(? – extemporaneous ditty)
20 - talk about the passion
21 - see no evil
     (television cover)
22 - second guessing
23 - theme from two steps onward
24 - gardening at night
25 - 9-9
TT: 1:24:12 (suggested disc split: between #13 & 14)

Lossless WAV (800 MB)  
 Explore the connections between The dB's and R.  E.  M.   
at this earlier post
A B.I.G. R.  E.  M. post is coming soon...