Friday, September 20

Michael Head & The Strands - The Olde World (rare promo CD)

The Olde World
promo-only CD
recorded c. 1993-1995
* VERY RARE ALBUM; exclusive to this blog *
studio recordings (sound quality: Ex)
OLDE WORLD is a companion to this CD
ROB SEZ:  This is not the authorized, officially-released Magical World of the Strands, but it is the nearly mythical companion collection from the same 1993-1995 recording sessions. It contains outtakes as well as alternate mixes of the commercially-released tracks. Originally, the plan was to release Olde World along with with a remastered & expanded version of Magical World. The latter appeared in 2015. Promo copies of Olde World were pressed and sent out to reviewers as planned (find reviews of both collections HERE). But then came an unnamed sticking point between Michael Head and Megaphone, his Paris-based record label. Today, Olde World remains a very rare, promo-only item. Recently, I paid dearly for a copy I bought online, which gives me the chance to share it with you here. Fans of Nick Drake and similar artists will want to check out the official album, but fans of the Head brothers' 21st century musical projects will also love this collection. The download folder includes extras such as reviews and a track-by-track rundown from Piccadilly Records in Manchester. Please enjoy.
Learn more about the music of Michael (Mick) Head 
at AllMusic and this FB page

Friday, September 13

Michael Head & Shack - Demos, Rare & Live

Michael Head & Shack
demos, rare & live mega post 

FM & web stream captures (sound quality range: VG- to VG+)
SAMPLE: "Byrds Turn to Stone" (BBC Radio Session 2003)

  • Shack - Radio Clyde Session 1990 - 4 songs
  • Shack - BBC Radio 1 Session May 1999 - 4 songs
  • Shack - BBC Radio 6 Session Sept. 2003 - 3 songs
  • Shack - BBC Radio 2 Session Sept. 2003 - 3 songs
  • Pale Fountains - BBC Radio Merseyside Session Jan. 2008 - 2 songs
  • MH & Red Elastic Band - BBC Radio Merseyside Session Sept. 2008 - 2 songs
  • MH & Red Elastic Band - BBC Radio Merseyside Session Feb. 2012 - 2 songs

    MP3@VAR (varying bit rates, 128 - 320 kbps)

    ROB SEZ: I've admired Michael ("Mick") Head's music, usually partnering with his brother John, since their days in the fabulous alt-pop/rock group Shack. I'm especially fond of Head's Nick-Drake-esque Michael Head & The Strands project (see the demos set below). A couple of years ago, I collected all the Head-related rarities I could find, including some from the site. But the latter now appear to be gone or inaccessible. Here they are for those who might enjoy them: in-session live tracks plus interviews. BIG THANKS to Gary Foreman & all at Shacknet for sharing.
    Michael Head & The Strands
    Michael Head - lost in the music, 2016
    Demos & Alternate Takes
    c. 1993-1995
    soundboard recordings (quality: VG to VG+)
    01 Glynys & Jaqui 
    02 The Prize
    03 And Luna
    04 Fontilan
    05 X Hits the Spot
    06 Poor Jill
    07 Wanda
    08 Hockens Hey
    09 It's Harvest Time
    10 Poor Jill 2
    11 Queen Matilda
    12 The Prize (der der)
    13 Glynys & Jaqui
    14 Green Velvet Jacket (B-side) 
    15 Queen Matilda (Alt. Take 3) 
    16 Queen Matilda (Alt. Take 4) 
    17 Queen Matilda (Demo) 
    18 Something Like You (Live 1998)
    19 (mystery bonus track)

    MP3@192 (best available bit rate)
    Learn more about the music of Michael (Mick) Head 

    Friday, September 6

    Wondermints - Live 1995 + 2000 (Rehearsal Room & Borderline)

    WONDERMINTS - Nick W. (center)
    Live at the Rehearsal Room 
    1995 (exact date unknown)
    soundboard recording (quality: VG++)
    ROB SEZ: Fans of classy pop lost another hero recently with the sudden, unexpected death of Wondermints co-founder Nick Walusko, who became an important part of Beach Boy Brian Wilson's musical world in the 21st century. Here's a wonderful essay in tribute to Nick from someone who really "got" him. I've posted several other Wondermints collections here in the past, but here are two more. Like most of the others, these came originally from Angelo at Powerpop Criminals. All thanks to him!

    The Borderline
    London, UK
    Nov. 11, 2000
    audience recording (sound quality: VG+; a club show with great sound)
    MP3@320 (no lossless source available for these)
    Learn more about the Wondermints' 
    music at AllMusic or this FB page

    Friday, August 30

    Autumn Defense - North Adams, MA 2010 + 2019

    A.D. with strings
    Solid Sound Fest
    North Adams, MA 
    June 30, 2019
    audience recording (sound quality: VG+)

    John Stirratt (left) & Pat Sansone are A.D.
    01 [crowd + pre-recorded music] 
    02 Estate Remains
    03 Winterlight
    04 Every Day
    05 Spend Your Life
    06 Feel You Now
    07 Criminal
    08 The Answer
    09 The Swallows of London Town
    10 You and Your Sister 
          (Chris Bell / Big Star cover)
    11 The World (Will Soon Turn Our Way)
    *12 Feel You Now (fades in)
    *13 tuning
    *14 The World (Will Soon Turn Our Way)
    *15 tuning
    *16 Feel You Now (partial)
       * = pre-show soundcheck
    The Autumn Defense in 2011. Fab photos by Tristan Loper via Flickr

    Solid Sound Fest
    North Adams, MA
    Aug. 15, 2010
    audience recording (sound quality: VG++) 
    01 The Sun In California
    02 Bluebirds Fall
    03 Written In the Snow
    04 Every Day
    05 Back of My Mind
    06 Tell Me What You Want
    07 Spend Your Life
    08 band intros
    09 Feel You Now
    10 Huntington Fair
    11 The Answer
    12 Tuesday Morning
    13 We Would Never Die
    14 You Can't Have Me (Alex Chilton / Big Star cover)

    ROB SEZ: As I write, there's a lovely nip in the air here in our Western N.C. mountains, which reminds me that fall is coming soon. Naturally, this means I thought of a band named Autumn Defense for this week's blog post. Although the band is not new to the blog, Autumn Defense may be unknown to some blog readers. A.D. is a side project of Wilco members Pat Sansone and John Stirratt. Musically & stylistically, their music brings to mind the classier, gentler elements of 1970s-era pop and rock. Sample the sample & see what you think. Massive thanks to J. Noel for recording & sharing the 2019 show, and to B. Murphy, C. Coyle & Owl & Bear for recording, transferring & sharing the 2010 set.


     Learn more about Autumn Defense' music 
    at the band's web site and AllMusic

    Friday, August 16

    Continental Drifters - WFUV-FM 2001

    Idiot’s Delight live session
    WFUV-FM (Bronx, N.Y.)
    July 5, 2001

    FM recording (sound quality: VG++)

    heart & soul


    SIGNIFICANT THANKS to the taper and to TheBynumite for sharing

    ROB SEZ: This isn't one of those live sessions in which the talking bits and the music bits are easily separated. To enjoy this one, it helps to settle in for the chat, because Vin Scelsa was one of the pioneers of free-form FM radio. The man has the gift of gab (as illustrated here as he tells the Drifters about his cousin Judy from Jersey City). Got mystery bonus material? Yes, and you won't have to look too hard to find it.

    01 Vin Scelsa intro
    Offbeat, yes. But usually not downbeat...
    02 chat 1 + song intro
    03 Highway of the Saints*
         (initial false start)
    04 chat 2 + song intro
    05 Cousin
    06 chat 3
    07 chat 4
    08 Live On Love
    09 chat 5 + song intro
    10 Tear My Stillhouse Down+
    11 chat 6 + song intro
    12 Too Little, Too Late
    13 chat 7 + song intro
    14 That Much a Fool
    15 chat 8 + song intro
    16 Crescent City^
    17 chat 9

    *Pat McLaughlin cover
    +Gillian Welch cover
    ^Lucinda Williams cover 



    Russ Broussard
    Susan Cowsill 
    Peter Holsapple
    Robert Maché
    Vicki Peterson
    Mark Walton

    Read the history of Continental Drifters.
    Learn more about their music @ AllMusic

    Friday, August 9

    Murray Attaway - Delirium (unreleased studio album) + bonus

    unreleased solo album by former Guad Diary frontman
    studio recording (sound quality Ex-; might be from a multi-gen. source, but it still has impressive sound quality)
    Murray in the 1990s
    photo by mixtapehero
    Murray in the 2000s
    photo by Shelia McIntosh via Flickr

    WHAT'S THIS? This was to be Murray's second solo album, but for reasons unknown to me, it remains unreleased. To my ears, it sounds similar to his first solo album In Thrall (which I love), so I'm guessing the decision not to release it was unrelated to its artistic merits, which are considerable. The great Don Dixon produced.
    REPERCUSSION: At the dB's now-defunct message board, Peter Holsapple referred to a recording session "that Murray did later on with Bill Bonk on bass and guitar, Will [Rigby] on drums, me on assorted instruments and Don Dixon producing and I believe playing bass. I couldn't tell you whether those recordings ever got released, but Murray, ever the sly dog, was sending around tapes of the songs calling the collection 'How I Spent My Thirties'." ROB SEZ: I have no reason to think this is not that very recording.


    BIG THANKS to lilpanda for sharing this one with the fans

    1. Prince Charming
    2. Curve of the Earth
    3. If the Walls Could Talk 
    4. The Sun at Dusk
    5. You Are There
    6. Heroes In the Water
    7. Long Hard Ride
    8. Delirium
    9. I Had an Answer
    10. In a Dream
    11. Free at Last

    In their heyday, on the waterfront

    Guad Diary interview with live tracks
    "SoundCheck" Local TV arts program
    Athens, GA
    May 16, 1998

    audio rip from video source (sound quality Ex-)

    1. Part A
    2. Part B

    This has 3-4 great live songs from a show in Athens, GA interspersed with segments of a rather random and disorganized interview. Apologies for the lack of tracking and setlist; I just felt a little lazy this week...
    MP3@320 (snag this also if you want the bonus stuff, which is only available in lossy format)

    Go to AllMusic to learn more about the music of Murray  Attaway HERE and Guad Diary HERE

    Friday, August 2

    Nick Drake Tribute 1997 (FM recording)

    'Bryter Later: Songs of Nick Drake'
    St. Ann’s Church
    Brooklyn Heights, NY
    November 8, 1997
    FM capture (sound quality: Ex-)
    1. intro
    2. I Was Made to Love Magic - Syd Straw
    3. One of These Things First 
         - Sloan Wainwright
    4. Joey - Terre Roche
    5. Things Behind The Sun  
         - Richard Davies
    6. Which Will - Duncan Sheik
    7. From the Morning 
         - Dana & Karen Kletter 
    8. Cello Song - Richard Barone
    9. Pink Moon - Syd Straw
    10. River Man - Katell Keineg
    11. Poor Boy - Terre Roche
    12. crowd
    13. Horn - Peter Holsapple
    14. Been Smoking Too Long 
          - Peter Blegvad
    15. Way to Blue - Susan Cowsill
    16. Time Has Told Me - Katell Keineg
    17. Clothes of Sand - Peter Blegvad
    18. Black Eyed Dog - Mimi Goese
    19. Time of No Reply 
          - Sloan Wainwright
    20. Northern Sky - Richard Barone 
    21. Fly - Richard Davies
    22. Hazey Jane I - Duncan Sheik
    23. Fruit Tree - Rebecca Moore
    TT: 1:33 mins.
    ROB SEZ: No less than the New York Times called this event "a daring, iconoclastic move" — and in the end, an event to "treasure". (Read more of the NYT review below.) One glance at the list of lead vocalists, and you'll recognize how exceptional this was. BIG THANKS to WFUV-FM in New York for broadcasting the concert, thanks also to the original taper and uploader, and whoever posted this in cyberspace for me to find and share here. [Errata: the cover is inaccurate re: the venue. The concert took place at St. Ann's Church, not the warehouse.]
    REPERCUSSION: For a few years in the late 1990s, Peter Holsapple had the enviable job of organizing tributes to some of the great, lesser-known artists of popular music. This one, performed in honor and memory of Nick Drake, is a real beauty. Peter assembled quite an impressive roster of artists — which is a tribute to Drake, of course, but also an implicit recognition of Peter’s influence, particularly among musicians in the greater NYC area. My only regret is that Peter's voice can only be heard at the end in brief thank-you remarks, but at least we get to hear him play on the instrumental "Horn" and as a backing musician on other songs.
    “House Band” Musicians
    Peter Holsapple  - guitar, piano, bass (musical director)
    Chris Cunningham - guitar
    Michelle Kinney - cello
    David Mansfield - violin, mandolin
    Deni Bonet - violin

    St. Ann's Church: a unique space for a concert

    The following is part of the New York Times review of the show. (Note the reference to Peter as “Mr. Holsapple”!) You can read the whole thing here.

    Spare, Poetic Songs of a Gentle Dreamer
    Copyright: The New York Times
    Published: November 11, 1997
    The word fetish is often misused in describing objects of passion, but it fits Nick Drake's body of work. Fans of the English songwriter, who died in 1974 at the age of 26, treasure the 31 songs he recorded as if they were amulets to be meditated upon privately and shared with the sympathetic few. To love Nick Drake's meditative folk-pop is to join an esoteric society. Organizing an evening in which more than a dozen singers interpret him is a daring, iconoclastic move.
    Peter Holsapple clearly knew this when he arranged “Bryter Layter: The Songs of Nick Drake,” presented on Saturday night at the Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn. (“Bryter Layter” was Drake's second album.) His musical direction showed great delicacy, while his selection of singers insured that the evening would not grow reverentially leaden.
    Peter Blegvad, Terre Roche, Syd Straw, Richard Barone, Richard Davies, Mimi Goese, Susan Cowsill and Mr. Holsapple himself all know what it is like to be working artists beloved by the few while fame only teases, a situation that contributed to Drake's fatal depression. For them, his music is not frozen iconography but a code unlocking key elements of the song forms they embrace. The evening's younger artists -- Duncan Sheik, Katell Keineg, Sloan Wainwright, Dana and Karen Kletter and Rebecca Moore -- similarly used Mr. Drake's songs to explore the inner workings of pop. 
    Nick in London; photo by Jef Aerosol

    Friday, July 26

    Daniel Wylie - Live 2008 & 2009 (FM)

    Matisse Room
    Valencia, Spain 
    July 6, 2008
    FM recording (sound quality: VG++)
    SAMPLE: "The Pain Inside" (live 2008)

    artwork by Angelo — he posted this show first at his PPC blog
    01 I Love America
    02 Unwind
    03 I Can Fly
    04 You Go There
    05 Revolution
         (In the Summertime)
    06 That Was the Day
    07 The Cello Player
    08 Consoling the Girl
    09 The Pain Inside
    10 The Loser
    11 The Grapevine
    12 Can You Feel the Love?
    13 Snow Pony
    14 Photograph

          (Ringo Starr cover)
    15 The One I Love

          (R.E.M. cover)
    16 Define Love

    The 13th Note
    Glasgow, Scotland
    July 14, 2009
    audience recording (sound quality: VG-)
    01 Revolution In the Summertime 
    02 Melanie
    03 That Was the Day
    04 Unwind
    05 The Pain Inside
    06 Consoling the Girl
    07 Still a Mother's Son (demo)*
        *bonus track - undated demo shared by D. Wylie
    ROB SEZ: I featured Daniel's splendid band Cosmic Rough Riders last year at the blog. (If you don't know about CRR, rush over HERE to check them out. If you like a lot of the bands at Repercussion, you'll thank me.) Daniel's solo work is in line with what makes CRR worth a long listen: sunny melodies, intelligent lyrics and a 1970s California sound (think Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, The Byrds) re-fashioned by way of Glasgow. MEGA THANKS to Angelo of Powerpop Criminals, where the 2008 show was first shared, and to geomck for sharing the 2009 live set.
    Daniel Wylie: Best of the Solo Years (vinyl-only release) HERE