Saturday, April 23

The Clientele & Alasdair MacLean - Live at WFMU, N.J. 2009 + 2014 (sbd)

The Clientele 
WFMU Live Session
Jersey City, N.J.
July 18, 2014

webstream capture (sound quality: VG++) - Irwin Chusid's Show
The Clientele - Live Session 2010

01 We Could Walk Together 
02 Porcelain
03 On a Summer Trail
04 Missing
05 Driving South
06 Bicycles
07 Impossible
08 Lamplight
09 intro, interview segments, outro

ROB SEZ: I've fallen hard recently for the amazing The Clientele, founded in London in 1997. As you'll hear in these recordings, the heart and soul of the band is co-founder Alasdair MacLean's voice, mesmeric guitar playing, and poetic lyrics. The closest analogy for the inevitable question of what the group sounds like is to imagine the mature Teenage Fanclub playing gentle-yet-compelling folk pop, fronted by Nick Drake. Try one of the video samples and see what happens. Me? I'm hooked for good. All thanks & praise to WFMU DJ Irwin Chusid for championing The Clientele and arranging a live session in 2014, preceded by MacLean's solo session 5 years earlier. The Clientele's most recent releases are two singles from 2020, so here's hoping they'll soon be releasing new material and/or touring.

...and here's what Alasdair sounds like solo

Alasdair MacLean
WFMU Live Session 
Jersey City, N.J.
Oct. 28, 2009

webstream capture (sound quality: VG++) - Irwin Chusid's Show
01 Bonfires On the Heath 
02 Since K Got Over Me
03 Rain
04 Saturday
05 Six A.M. Morningside
06 intro, interview segments, outro

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Friday, April 15

Boo Radleys - The Astoria, London 1995 + 1997 (FM)

The Astoria 
London, UK
Jan. 26, 1997

FM broadcast (sound quality: VG to VG+)

01 C'mon Kids
02 Wake Up Boo!
03 Melodies for the Deaf
04 From the Bench at the Belvidere
05 Everything Is Sorrow
06 Reaching Out from Here 
07 What's In the Box?
08 Roadie
09 Find the Answer Within
10 Ride the Tiger
11 Lazarus
12 Stuck On Amber
13 Bullfrog Green
14 Get On the Bus

The Astoria
London, UK
April 13, 1995

TV broadcast (sound quality: VG+)

01 It's Lulu
02 Reaching Out from Here
03 Joel
04 Stuck On Amber
05 Twinside
06 Wake Up Boo!
07 Find the Answer Within

ROB SEZ:
Sometimes I really think I should've been born in the U.K. I would never claim something as ricidulous as "All the good bands are from the British isles." However, when it comes to great guitar-based rock and pop groups — with strong melodies and lyrics that aren't dumb, the United Kingdom certainly has a TON. The Boo Radleys are in this league, and some fans will tell you they're the best of the under-the-radar bands from the 1990s. When their song "Wake Up Boo!" was a Top 10 single in the U.K., and the similarly-titled album topped the 1995 British album charts, the Boos become a phenomenon in Britain. As is often the case, however, their success did not make it across the Atlantic. Enjoy these two live recordings from the same London venue to find out what you may have missed. The Boos are back in 2022 with an all-new studio album, Keep On with Falling and the digital-only Live In 2021. My gratitude goes to S. Smith and Doing It for the Vids for sharing their FM recordings. 

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Saturday, April 2

Comet Gain - Indietracks Fest UK 2016 (aud)

Indietracks Festival 
Midland Railway Centre
Swanwick Junction, UK
July 31, 2016

audience recording (sound quality: VG- to VG)

00 stage entrance
01 My Defiance
02 Saturday Night Facts of Life
03 David, banging on about something 
04 Love Without Lies
05 An Arcade from the Warm 
     Rain That Falls
06 Why I Try to Look So Bad
07 The Fists In the Pocket
08 Fingernailed for You
09 I Never Happened
10 Working Circle Explosive!
11 You Can Hide 
     Your Love Forever
12 Herbert Huncke Pt. 2
13 Herbert Huncke Pt. 2 (cont'd)

David Christian (aka David Feck), banging on his geetar (fab photo by Greg Neate)


ROB SEZ: My last post was also by Comet Gain. By request, here's another one. Soundwise, this one's a bit muddier, but it's perfectly enjoyable — especially when you remember just how darn rare these things are.

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Saturday, March 19

Comet Gain - Buffalo Bar, London 2014

Buffalo Bar 
London, UK
April 24, 2014


audience recording (sound quality: VG)


sample a track from the show


00 stage entrance, song intro
01 'Sad Love' and Other Short Stories
02 The Fists In the Pocket

03 rambling song intro

04 Behind the House She Lived In

05 David's shambolic song intro

06 An Arcade from the Warm Rain That Falls

07 Candles

08 Working Circle Explosive

09 These Are the Dreams of the Working Girl

10 'I broke my plectrum' + other BS 

     by David

11 Breaking Open

12 Say Yes

13 Love Without Lies

14 David's rambling BS + song intro

15 Confessions of a Daydream


ROB SEZ: For a good while now, I've been looking for recordings to share by the stupendously talented and hugely entertaining Comet Gain. If you've never heard of them, I bet I know why. Over the band's two and a half decades, David Christian (aka David Feck) and company have guaranteed their cult status by accentuating their punk-inspired amateurism, frequently switching record labels, taking long breaks between album releases, and touring only sporadically — all while apparently enjoying the adulation of the few who tune in. Yet Comet Gain deserve a much wider hearing. Trouser Press describes their early sound thusly: "The soul bus let off the pop children in Oxford, England, and what sprouted was Comet Gain, a thoroughly enticing bedsit quintet." Beside the music, there's an understated, brainy charm to David's between-song rambles. I am indebted here to Andunemir for sharing (and presumably also recording) this great show, which anticipates the band's excellent 2014 album Paperback Ghosts. If I receive any encouragement via comments, I have more I can share.


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MP3@320


Saturday, March 5

The Wake - Live in England & France, 1985 + 1991 (sbd)

The System 
Liverpool, England
July 26, 1985


soundboard recording (quality: VG; transfer from low-generation tape source)
01 Of the Matter
02 Send Them Away
03 Melancholy Man
04 World of Her Own
05 Torn Calender
06 All I Asked You to Do
07 Here Comes Everybody 

Le Gibus
Paris, France
Sept. 20, 1991

soundboard recording (quality: VG+)

The Wake: reunion show, Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2010
01 Joke Shop (cuts in)
02 Selfish
03 Firestone Tyres
04 Provincial Disco
05 Holy Head
06 Solo Project
07 Down On Your Knees
08 Carbrain
09 Shallow End 

ROB SEZ: In keeping with the indie, obscure, and worth-a-listen ethos, here's a UK band you might have missed. The Wake signed to Factory in the 1980s, then gravitated to Sarah Records when support began to fade at Factory. I don't know how to describe The Wake's sound (it was inaccurately labeled a Joy Division wannabe band), and I can't honestly say I'm a big fan. But if you like other indie British bands featured elsewhere here, you might want to give The Wake a try. All kudos should go to autopilot for sharing these recordings. (If you want more, I have two audience recordings from the same 1991 French tour — but you'll have to exert a little effort & leave a comment! 😎)

The Wake fans should check out the 1987 goodies the band posted HERE & HERE


   

Friday, February 25

Even - Melbourne, Australia Dec. 2022 (sbd)

“Christmas Even”
Brunswick Ballroom

Melbourne, Australia

Dec. 23, 2021


Moshcam pro-shot video (webstream audio capture)


01 greeting + Stop & Go Man
02 Six Monkeys

03 Black Umbrella

04 Mayfair Laundry Bus

05 Electric Light

06 Cherry Afterglow

07 Dandy Stomp

08 Be Still

09 Golden Sunday

10 There Is a Light 

     That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover)*

11 Candle

12 Stupid Dream

13 Shining Star

14 Don't Wait

15 Rock 'n' Roll Save My Life

16 Urgent (Foreigner cover)**

17 Lennon medley

18 Rock 'n' Roll Save My Life (reprise) 

19 Jamming

20 Lifetime

21 Life Gets In the Way

22 Bowie In My Dreams


*Nick Barham, lead vocal

**Wally Kempton, lead vocal

Even:

Ash Naylor - lead vocals, guitar
Wally Kempton - bass, backing vocals

Matt Cotter - drums


Anton Ruddick - guitar (for this show)

as well as cameo appearances by assorted family & friends


ROB SEZ: I’ve raved about the Australian band Even before, and it’s time for me to do it again. If you like your guitar-based rock in the classic 1960s and 1970s British mold — with hummable melodies and succinct guitar solos — I highly recommend you give Even a try. Start with their masterful 1998 album Come Again and explore from there. Even have a great new double-length album Reverse Light Years, released late last year. Moshcam made a beautiful pro-shot film of one of the band’s annual “Christmas Even” shows in late December. It’s well worth paying to view HERE (you can sample a full-length song for free).

   

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MP3@320

        

Tuesday, January 25

The Optic Nerve - Live In Spain (FM)

unknown venue, town, date

FM recording (sound quality: VG++; might possibly be sbd or TV audio, but it sounds great; stream capture by Rob-in-Brevard


00 stage entrance, tuning
01 I'll Give You Loving Like Nobody Can
02 Kiss Her Goodbye
03 banter, song intro
04 Shine Tomorrow
The Optic Nerve: hipsters on location
05 I Sometimes Wish We'd Never Met 
06 Spend It With You
07 Like to Get to Know Her
08 While Shineth the Sun
09 What's Been Missing
10 applause, song intro
11 Leaving Yesterday Behind
12 Call On Me
13 Find My Own Way Back Home
14 Happy Ever After
15 applause, song intro
16 Up In Her Room
17 A Hard Time's Comin' Around the Bend
18 Time


ROB SEZ: The Optic Nerve! Where else but here are you gonna snag a live show in very good sound quality by this nearly-forgotten, Dylanesque NYC garage band from the 1980s? If you like the Fuzztones, the Long Ryders, or the Lyres, I recommend you check out this group. This recording captures a fairly good performance, which picks up steam starting at track 11. Consider it a teaser for The Optic Nerve's two albums: Forever and a Day and Lotta Nerve, both of which are terrific (AllMusic gives them both 4 & 1/2 out of 5 stars). Lotta Nerve, a singles-plus-other-tracks comp, is due for re-release in April. HUGE THANKS to whoever posted this (possibly the band?) for me to snag and share here. 



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Sunday, January 16

The Semantics - Pre-debut Demos (early 1990s)

Demos
c. 1991 and/or 1992
recording location(s) unknown

01 Avalon
02 Baby It's You
03 This One's for Me 
04 Facts of Life
05 Hippy Woman
06 Lonely Girl
07 Standing Still
08 Merry Go Round
09 Wildflower
10 Victim for Somebody Else
11 Maria
12 Sticks and Stones
13 Future for You
14 Coming Up Roses
15 The Sky Is Falling
16 Black and Blue
17 Johnny Come Lately
18 Life Goes On
19 Glasses and Braces

Musicians:
(Will) Owsley: vocals, guitars, keys, percussion, bass
Millard Powers: vocals, bass, keys, guitars
Jody Spence: drum machine programing, drums (on some tracks)
Ben Folds: drums (on "Coming Up Roses" and one other)
Zak Starkey: drums on a couple (probably "Life Goes On" and one other)
John Mark Painter: mellotron on "Coming Up Roses"

ROB SEZ: All credit here goes to Mick and Don from the old ASH blog, to whom I am indebted for so many posts over the years. Not sure why I never shared this back when I was regularly doing the "ASH Tuesday" posts, but I guess it got lost in the shuffle.  All these tracks are power pop gems, and serve as the prelude to Powerbill, considered one of the best (and hardest-to-find) power pop albums of the 1990s. The debut album features Owsley, Millard Powers, and Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr). There's a mystery bonus share included in the download folder. (Before you ask: I do not have this in lossless. I'm sharing it the way it originally came to me.)
   
P.S. - Paul over at Albums That Should Exist has posted a shorter set of these as an "imagined" album by the band. He always does a good job with his posts. Go check it out.

      

Friday, January 14

Ladybug Transistor - Live 2004 + 2015 (sbd)

Contempopranea Music Fest 
Alburquerque, Spain
July 24, 2004


soundboard recording (quality: VG+; webstream capture from a (probable) VHS tape source; a small handful of audio anomalies were present in my source)

01 Echoes (fades in) 
02 Empty Bottles
03 Choking On Air
04 3=Wild
05 Song for the Ending Day
06 A Burial at Sea
07 Wooden Bars
08 Here Comes the Rain
09 banter with crowd
10 NY - San Anton
11 Splendor In the Grass
12 Oceans In the Hall
13 banter, band intros
14 Rushes of Pure Spring

ROB SEZ: As a new fan of Ladybug Transistor, I was ecstatic to find a full live set in very good quality. I guess it was unrealistic to expect great sound AND an amazing performance. It’s a soundboard-sourced video from the festival organizers, so no problem there. Considering the band played their set well after midnight, it’s certainly a very good — and goodnatured — performance. Just not exactly “raw & rockin’.” I’ve added the 2015 WFMU live set here, which livens things up, thanks to the band and the zany DJ.

The Ladybug Transistor, live in 2019
WFMU Live Session
The Dave Hill Show
Jersey City, N.J.
Jan. 12, 2015


webstream capture (sound quality: VG+) 

00 DJ Dave Hill intro & joshing around
01 [unknown song]
02 more goofing around
03 Hold On
04 final DJ zaniness
05 Thieves (fades out)

WATCH THE ENTIRE 2004 SET HERE

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Friday, January 7

Ladybug Transistor - Lively & Rarified (comp 1997-2012)

'Lively & Rarified' 
Rarities & Live comp 1997-2012
(various venues)

webstream captures (sound quality: VG+ to Ex-)

01 Terry (KDHX 2007)
02 Three Days from Now (KDHX 2007)
Ladybug Transistor: bookish, but cool
03 This Old Chase (KDHX 2007)
04 NY - San Anton (Daytrotter 2007)
05 Always On the Telephone 
      (Daytrotter 2007) 
06 Into the Strait (Brooklyn 2009)
07 Nico Norte (NYC 2009)
08 Clutching Stems (hotel room 2009)
09 I'm Not Mad Enough (Merge 2009)
10 Wooden Bars (NYC 2012)
11 I Found a Reason (VU cover)
12 Today Knows (demo 1997)
13 Six Times (demo 1998)
14 Like a Summer Rain
      (live, Other Music NYC)

source info:

01, 02 & 03 = KDHX Radio, St. Louis, MO 2007-07-29
04 & 05 = Daytrotter session 2007-06-06, unknown location
06 = Bruar Falls, Brooklyn, N.Y. 2009-10-23 (Punkcast)
07 = Cake Shop, NYC 2009-09-05 (Punkcast)
08 = N.C. hotel room, July 2009 (XX Merge)
09 = XX Merge, Chapel Hill, N.C. July 2009
10 = Popfest, Littlefield, NYC 2012
11 = Rabid Chords VU Tribute album 2000
12 & 13 = Gary Olson demos
14 = Other Music, NYC (undated)

ROB SEZ: Feeling forlorn and still missing Paddy McAloon's Prefab Sprout, I recently went 
looking for a musical place holder. I was delighted to find Brooklyn-based combo The Ladybug Transistor. Gary Olson and company make melodic, offbeat, lyrically interesting, and engaging music. Definitely not a Prefab Sprout clone, Ladybug Transistor nevertheless fills the niche for me due to their fearless creativity and lyrical sensibilities. Although the band doesn't appear to be a going studio concern these days, they toured as recently as 2019. Founder/leader Gary Olson released a fab solo album in 2020 — confirming my Prefabs associations in full. For your musical enjoyment, I assembled this compilation of live tracks and a few rarities. (Stay with this beyond the first track or two, because the energy builds as you listen.) There will be more Ladybug Transistor goodness here next weekend.





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