Friday, October 26

I Beam, San Francisco - 1984

The dB's
I Beam
San Francisco, CA
Nov. 15, 1984

audience recording (GD++; not the greatest sound quality in the world, but the energetic performance just about makes up for it)

Highlights: unusual opportunity to hear a pre-show dB’s soundcheck, plus a gaggle of entertaining covers
Artwork courtesy of the ever-generous batchain 
(it's included in the download, as usual...)
THANKS A BUNCH to the taper and batchain for sharing!

SAMPLE: "Black & White (I-Beam, 1984)"

01 Neverland
02 Love Is for Lovers
03 She Got Soul
04 Bad Reputation
05 Amplifier
06 Not Cool
07 Black and White
08 Death Garage
09 White Train
10 Suspicious Minds
11 New Gun In Town
12 Spy In the House of Love
13 Paint It Black
14 See No Evil
15 Everybody's Happy Nowadays (Buzzcocks cover)
16 Big Brown Eyes
17 Heart of Gold
18 Sex Drive (The Embarrassment cover)

THE SOUNDCHECK
01 riffing & jamming
02 more riffing & jamming
03 faffing around + Love Is for Lovers
04 She Got Soul (partial)
05 Everybody's Happy Nowadays (partial)
This post's style, color scheme & theme song is Black & White.  

The dB’s:
Will Rigby – drums & vocals
Gene Holder – lead guitar
Peter Holsapple – guitar & vocals
Rick Wagner - bass

Steve Earle - Stradbally, Ireland 2010

Electric Picnic
BBC broadcast
Stradbally, Ireland
Sept. 4, 2010

FM capture (sound quality EX-)

Highlight: Just Steve, his voice and his guitar, raw and righteous. Note the “dedication” of “Rich Man’s War” to Tony Blair, who was in Ireland at the time for a book signing event…

Repercussion: No self-respecting music blog about the “repercussion” of The dB’s can ignore the fact that Will Rigby has been the main drummer for Steve Earle for a long time. (Even though you won't hear Will this time around, I will rectify that soon enough. For now, I thought a Steve solo show would make a good introductory post.)

Guitar, Vocals - Steve Earle at the Electric Picnic, 2010
photo by Dave via Flickr

01 Copperhead Road
Steve belts it out for the Electric Picnic
02 The Devil's Right Hand
03 My Old Friend the Blues
04 Someday
05 Rich Man's War
06 Taneytown
07 Now She's Gone
08 Goodbye
09 Way Down In the Hole
10 Billy Austin
11 Dixieland
12 Galway Girl
13 Guitar Town

TT: 50:48

Steve Earle: guitar, vocals


Will stands next to the lovely Allison Moorer, but
husband Steve Earle gets to hold her hand...



Friday, October 19

Mick Ersatz - Wear & Tear (Best of the Demos)

     MP3@320
     Alt. Link

Roscoe's Gang - NYC 1989


Lone Star Café
New York, NY
February 4, 1989
(early set)

audience recording (sound quality VG; transfer from 2nd-gen. tape)

THANKS to the taper and original uploader, whoever you might be!

REPERCUSSION: The show includes the Peter H song “Next to the Last Waltz” (marginally co-written by Eric Ambel, as he says here). Also, Peter was a guest musician on several tracks on Eric’s 1988 album Roscoe’s Gang. Will Rigby played tambourine on the album and drums on some of the group’s live appearances (but not this one). If you ask real nicely, I might post one with Will some time…

A worthy addition to any musical collection — CD, LP, cassette, 8-track, etc.
Read the 4.5 star AllMusic review

SAMPLE: "Total Destruction to You Mind (Lone Star 1989)"

01 intro
02 If You Gotta Go, Go Now [Bob Dylan]
03 Next To The Last Waltz [Eric Ambel/Peter Holsapple]
04 Forever Came Today [Ambel/Scott Kempner]
05 I Waited For You [Kempner]
06 Shame On You [Kempner]
07 Judas Kiss [Kempner]
08 Total Destruction To Your Mind [Jerry Wms. – aka Swamp Dogg]
09 Power Lounger Theme [Ambel] / band Intros
10 Love's Gonna Live Here* [Buck Owens]
11 You Must Have Me Confused [Lou Whitney]
12 The Girl That I Ain't Got [Ambel]
 

TT: 53:55 

MP3@320 
Alt. Link 

Eric Ambel - guitar, vocals
Donnie Thompson - guitar
Smokin' Joe Terry - keyboard
Rocco W. - drums
Lou Whitney – bass (*vocals on #10)

Eric Ambel remains active in music as a musician and producer

Learn more about Eric & Roscoe's Gang HERE


Friday, October 12

Rahar's, Northampton, MA - 1980

The dB's
Rahar’s
Northampton, MA
1980 (month & date unknown; might be spring)

audience recording (sound quality VG; transfer from copy of
master tape).
 
There’s a bit of distortion and the sound guy got a little silly with the reverb at times, but otherwise a quite enjoyable early show, with surprisingly little crowd chatter.
    
Very likely one of the band’s first live shows in New England.
   
Highlights: Gene rocks the house with his killer fuzz-tone bass! This show also features the only known recording of a mega-rare Chris composition called “My Sire Wristwatch”. According to Chris, “Sire Records gave out promo wristwatches to promote some punk rock band, and it seemed like some kind of commentary at the time (1978?) about how the scene was changing.” OK now, everybody sing along: "My Sire wristwatch, my Sire wristwatch / Thanks a lot."
    
This is the site of the now-defunct Rahar’s Inn.
Whatever else you might say, at least it’s got character… 
BIG HUGE THANKS to the taper and dB’s Fan for the generous
share!

01 (I Thought) You Wanted to Know
02 Spitting In the Wind
03 Black and White
04 I Feel Good (Today)
05 Judy
06 Dynamite
07 Soul Kiss
08 pH Factor
09 If and When
10 Can't Take Her Away from Me
11 Bad Reputation
12 My Sire Wristwatch - mega rare song composed by Chris
13 Big Brown Eyes
14 You Got It Wrong
15 The Summer Sun
16 Cycles Per Second
17 Tearjerkin'
18 Death Garage

The dB’s:
Gene Holder – bass
Will Rigby – drums
Chris Stamey – guitar & vocals
Peter Holsapple – guitar, keyboard & vocals    
           

Pylon - NYC 1982

Danceteria
New York City  
April 10, 1982

audience recording (sound quality VG-; transfer from first-generation tape)

Chomp cover & dino postcard...
REPERCUSSION: Chris and Gene produced Chomp, Pylon’s second (and some say best) album, most of which was recorded at Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studio. Have a listen to this show and hear why R.E.M. covered the Pylon song "Crazy" and R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry told Rolling Stone that Pylon (not R.E.M.) were “the best band in America.” Propulsive rhythms that you can dance to, jagged-but-hooky guitar riffs, yelping/growling vocals — how bizarre-cool can you get?? 

BIG OL’ THANKS to the taper and dclubok for sharing!
Pylon: early eighties indie rock heroes (& friends of The dB's)
SAMPLE: "Beep (Danceteria NYC 1982)"

DISC 1 (first set)
1.  intro
2.  Crazy
3.  Working Is No Problem
4.  Read a Book
5.  Cool
6.  Gravity
7.  Altitude
8.  Italian Movie Theme
9.  Reptiles
10. Beep (early version)
11. Stop It
12. Volume
13. encore applause
14. M-Train (brief cut repaired at 2:33)

DISC 2 (second set)
1.  Crazy
2.  3x3
3.  Gravity
4.  Dub
5.  Cool
6.  Danger
7.  Weather Radio
8.  No Clocks
9.  Stop It
10. Beep
11. Volume
12. encore applause
13. M-Train
14. Feast on My Heart            (brief cut repaired at 2:41)
15. encore applause
16. Driving School
17. outro

Someone at the torrent tracker had these comments about some of the tracks:


Set 1: Track 10 - Beep (from Chomp, but the lyrics seem a bit different, perhaps these were just working lyrics prior to completing the lyrics that ended up on the album)
Set 2: Track 2 - 3x3 (unreleased as far as I know, only performed live)
Set 2: Track 16 - Driving School (from Gyrate, was on original pressings, later pressings [as well as European pressings] used "Recent Title" instead)

MP3@320
Pylon:
Randall Bewley (R.I.P.) - guitar
Michael Lachowski - bass
Curtis Crowe - drums
Vanessa Briscoe – vocals

Here's Vanessa Briscoe Hay (Pylon vocalist), describing the recording of the band's second album, Chomp (produced by Chris Stamey and Gene Holder) to music writer Fred Mills in 2007:

"Working with Chris and Gene, they both had such different personalities and they really complemented each other. Chris was playing around with things, stuff we hadn't thought of, like noisegating the drums; he just thought outside the box, and he didn't look at anything like it was a problem, but more like, ‘Well, if this isn't going to work, what else can we do?'" 

The rest of Fred's great feature is HERE.  

Learn more about the music of Pylon
 

Friday, October 5

The Metro, Chicago - 1987

The dB's
The Metro
Chicago, IL
September 19, 1987

audience recording (sound quality VG++) I could tell with this recording that the house sound and taper’s equipment were high quality because the show just sounds good — in fact, I did very little tweaking to the original files other than boost the volume a bit, split the tracks, and fade in the intro & fade out the outro. ENJOY!
Windy or not, who wouldn't enjoy playing a venue like this?
photo by vxla via Flickr
Highlights: The group sounds pumped to be playing Chicago (as usual) and to be starting their “Sound of Music” tour. They play eight tunes from the album of the same name, counting the CD bonus track “Sharon”. (Despite the fact that he was later sacked, I think Harold Kelt’s keyboards sound pretty good here.) All this, plus a very rare cover of The Move's "Message From the Country"!
  

BIG THANKS to the taper and SUPER DUPER THANKS to dB’s Fan for the share. 

SAMPLE: "Sharon (Metro, Chicago 1987)"
  
01 intro + Today Could Be the Day
02 Never Say When
03 Change With the Changing Times
04 Working for Somebody Else
05 Lonely Is as Lonely Does
06 She Got Soul
07 A Spy In the House of Love
08 I Lie
09 Think Too Hard
10 Molly Says
11 White Train
12 Sharon
13 Suspicious Minds
14 Amplifier
15 Love Is for Lovers
16 Any Old Thing
17 Message From the Country (Move cover)
18 Neverland

The dB's:
Peter Holsapple: guitar, vocals
Will Rigby: drums, backing vocals
Jeff Beninato: bass, backing vocals
Harold Kelt: keyboards
   

Nigel & The Crosses - Borderline, London – 1989

Nigel & The Crosses (aka Robyn Hitchcock & friends)
The Borderline
London, UK
May 28, 1989

This is Robyn Hitchcock as the lead dude, plus various combinations of  
Peter Holsapple, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Glenn Tilbrook, Billy Bragg, Andy Metcalf & Morris Windsor
  
One of the few photos available proving that Nigel & The Crosses played a gig!

audience recording (sound quality VG+; transfer from DAT copy of master tape)

REPERCUSSION: Peter H was the inspiration for the handful of appearances that were made by this eclectic group (see the interview below). Alas, he only gets to sing lead briefly for 1 song here. Nigel & The Crosses even released a single with 2 tracks from this show via the fabulous UK music ‘zine Bucketfull of Brains. Makes sense: the group took its name from Nigel Cross, founding editor of B.O.B. HIGHLIGHTS: A unique and enjoyable show, featuring several Robyn Hitchcock tunes, a bunch of covers, spirited performances, and very good sound quality.

BIG HEAPIN’ THANKS to BP, TN and Vierstein91 for recording, transferring & sharing!

For maximum enjoyment: play the “who wrote & originally sang that?” game while you listen…

SAMPLE: "Rain (Borderline 1989)"

DISC 1 Main Set (TT: 59:33)
01. I Wanna Destroy You
02. She Said She Said
03. Eight Miles High
04. Queen of Eyes
05. Waterloo Sunset
06. America
07. Freeze
08. The Veins of the Queen
09. Birdshead
10. Rain
11. Flesh Number One (Beatle Dennis)
12. Bells of Rhymney
13. The Rumour
14. Kingdom of Love

DISC 2 Encores (TT: 28:49)
15. Listening to the Higsons
16. Revolution Number One
17. Sin City
18. Route 66
19. You Ain't Goin’ Nowhere
20. I Saw Her Standing There
21. Foxy Lady  
  

DISC 1 (MF alt. link)
DISC 2 (MF alt. link)
  
 
Peter H was touring with R.E.M. in 1989, which probably had a lot to do 
with him playing in groups such as "Nigel & The Crosses,"  "Worst Case Scenario," and later, "Bingo Hand Job," etc.


From an interview with Robyn Hitchcock June 21, 1989 by Robert Loerzel:

I read that you occasionally played with Peter Buck and Peter Holsapple and you were calling yourselves Nigel and The Crosses?

RH: That's right, yeah. We did a Nigel and The Crosses gig. The first one was actually at the Cubby Bear in Chicago [and the group was billed that evening as "Worst Case Scenario"]. It was a sort of accident. Holsapple was doing a benefit, and we all got up and played with him. We were basically covering ourselves and covering other people, doing old Soft Boys songs... basically just pop rock.

Are you planning on playing together again?

RH: We did one in London last month, which was quite fun [ie, the show featured in this post]. But it's a matter of getting everybody in the same place. I'd like to do one at Christmas, but it gets expensive. I can't imagine doing a Nigel tour.

I read that you thought of it as an equivalent of the Traveling Wilburys?

RH: (laughs) Well, actually the guy put that into my mouth. He said, "You mean, is it like the Wilburys?" And I said, "Sort of." The Wilburys was a way of relaunching their respective careers, you know, which was a brilliant marketing move. With the exception of Tom Petty, the rest of them hadn't been doing that well recently. I don't know really know whether -- it's different for us. We have guest Wilburys. We have Billy Bragg as a guest – Not Wilburys, Nigels, sorry. Billy Bragg was with us, and Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze. So they're kind of honorary Nigels. It's a floating outfit.