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)

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...

Tuesday, October 23

Charlotte Reunion Show 1988 + Copenhagen 1988

UPGRADE - much improved sound!
The dB's
Grady Cole Center
Charlotte, NC
May 15, 1988
("Gimme Shelter" homeless benefit; first-ever dB's reunion show with Chris)

soundboard (1st-gen. copy of master tape; sound quality EX-; some sound & mix problems evident in the first song, but they disappear quickly). With this upgrade, this is now the complete show.

The dB’s playing for a French TV show in 1988
HIGHLIGHTS: Rareish “I’m In Love” plus hearing the guys’ reunion enthusiasm expressed in their playing

BIG THANKS to the taper, Scott for sharing & dB’s Fan for the upgraded Charlotte tracks

SAMPLE: "Ups and Downs (Charlotte 1988)"

01 intro* 
02 Black and White 
03 Ups and Downs 
04 Big Brown Eyes 
05 Dynamite 
06 The Fight 
07 I Feel Good (Today) 
08 Happenstance 
09 Bad Reputation 
10 Living a Lie 
11 I'm In Love 
12 Neverland 
13 Amplifier* (power cut mid-song!)
            *intro and “Amplifier” are from an audience recording;
intro announcer = Hope Nicholls of the late, great Fetchin' Bones

The dB's
Copenhagen, Denmark
Jan. 11, 1988
(venue unknown)

audience recording (sound quality VG; slight distortion on the louder tracks)   

14 This Is Where I Belong (Kinks cover)
15 Neverland
16 Big Brown Eyes
17 Money (cut at halfway mark; fades out)
Jeff Beninato, bass & backing vocals; Will on drums; 
Peter, guitar & vocals; Eric Peterson, guitar
The dB's
Will Rigby - drums
Gene Holder - bass
Peter Holsapple - guitar, keyboard, vocals
Chris Stamey - guitar, vocals
*Jeff Beninato - bass & backing vocals
*Eric Peterson – guitar

*Jeff and Eric did not play the Charlotte reunion show; Gene & Chris did not play the Copenhagen show. In the official bio for The dB's, Will Rigby writes that the four band members appeared under their own individual names for the Charlotte "reunion" show because The dB's were still touring at that point without Chris' involvement. Logically, this explains why Jeff and Eric didn't play the Charlotte show.

Friday, October 19

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

     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 

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
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

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

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)

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