Friday, May 31

WORLD PARTY - San Francisco 1990 & London 1994

The Warfield
San Francisco, CA
Sept. 10, 1990
BBC Radio One
London, England
1994 (FM broadcast)

FM recordings (sound quality Ex-; both recordings sound like excellent FM captures or even better; judge for yourself — I think you’ll like what you hear)   

Highlights: great performances by a post-modern master of funky pop. Pick any track, have a listen, and start to feel a little more groovy… 

NOTE: 2 separate shows; 2 separate downloads

The Warfield, San Francisco, CA 1990-09-10
01 Private Revolution
02 All Come True
03 When The Rainbow Comes
04 Put The Message In The Box
05 Is It Too Late?
06 Love Street
07 World Party
08 Way Down Now
09 Thank You World
10 Take It Up
11 Ship Of Fools

MP3@224 kbps

World Party:
Karl Wallinger - vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion 
David Catlin Birch - guitar, vocals 
Jeff Trott - guitar, vocals 
Chris Sharrock- drums, vocals 
John Turnbull - bass, vocals
BBC Radio 1 broadcast, London, England 1994-XX-XX
01 Is It Like Today?
02 Put the Message In the Box
03 Sooner or Later
04 Is It Too Late?
05 Radio Days
06 Sweet Soul Dream
07 Love Street
08 Private Revolution
09 Take It Up
10 Way Down Now
11 And God Said...
12 Give It All Away (part 1)
13 Give It All Away (part 2)
MP3@256 kbps
World Party founder and frontman Karl Wallinger is making music again after a life- threatening illness. In recent years, he’s played live in North America and elsewhere. He’s reportedly been working on a new album, which we might get to hear later this year or in 2014. World Party’s most recent release is Arkeology, a 5-disc archival treasure trove (read Bill Kopp's review of Arkeology at his Musoscribe blog HERE). 
Learn more about the music of Karl Wallinger and World Party at the official site and/or AllMusic   

Friday, May 17

Scott Miller / Game Theory / Loud Family - Multi-Post Tribute

Something different at the blog this week:

a multi-part tribute to the music of Scott Miller,

founder of Game Theory, leader of 

The Loud Family, and avid musicologist.

After his death at 53 last month, I started

digging into his music and musical writings.

As you'll read in my essay, I found

myself deeply affected by the loss of this

leading light of the indie & alt-pop music world.

This one's for Scott, the musicians who collaborated with him, 
and all their fans.

Scott Miller (R.I.P.) - admirer of The dB's, et al

It’s not only sad but also kind of strange that I’m falling in love with the music of a man who died just a month ago.
Scott & guitar, posing for the Real Nighttime cover shoot
In college, I heard about Scott Miller because of Game Theory, the group he fronted at the time. Although that was decades ago, I’m pretty sure I was turned on to the group’s music for two reasons: 1) Because they had a few singles that charted on “college rock” radio stations, and 2) Because Mitch Easter produced most of Game Theory’s albums.
The Dudes: Scott & Mitch

I have to confess that, after buying and listening to Big Shot Chronicles and Lolita Nation, I placed Game Theory in my second tier of artists worth a listen. I was drawn to the music’s melodicism, alt-rock crunch and frequently challenging wordplay. But some of the noise experiments and avant-garde elements didn’t do much for me — perhaps because I wasn’t ready to appreciate them. In the end, the 1980s weren’t the “opportune time” for me to fully get or dig Scott Miller and Game Theory.
Scott Miller (seated) and Game Theory, in an early incarnation
Fast forward to the last few years. Somewhere along the way, I learned that Scott had been fronting a group called The Loud Family, with the overall vibe being similar to Game Theory. I thought, “Maybe I should give Scott and his ‘new’ band another try.” I did, and once again liked a lot of what I heard — but didn’t really take the plunge this time, either.

But in the past few weeks, Scott’s death has prompted me to revisit and reconsider the music as well as the man. My conclusion? Scott Miller and the groups he led are essential to fully appreciating great alt-pop and indie rock from the 1980s and 1990s. One other thing worth noting for musical posterity: by all accounts, Scott was brilliant, funny, warm, creative, and supremely talented — including his “miserable whine” of a voice (per Scott’s own self-deprecating description).

The store sign tells you what he shoulda been...
Scott sang Big Star's "Back of a Car"

The jewel in the crown of my new-found appreciation for Scott Miller is that he was a huge fan of not only The dB’s, but also Let’s Active and all the music created by Chris, Peter and Mitch. Just last week, I was surprised to encounter The Loud Family’s cover of The dB’s “Tearjerkin’” (included in one of this week’s two music posts). I had the further delight of reading excerpts from Scott’s fantastic Music: What Happened? The book is a chronicle of music from 1957-2011 viewed from the singular perspective of a handful of songs (grouped by their year of release) that Scott writes about with an engaging and quite readable style. [Read excerpts for free and find links to buy the book at Scott’s official site.]

Here are some of the songs you will recognize that Scott includes in the book, along with a coupla choice quotes for good measure:

·     "If I can convert a thousand new people to [the music of] Chris Stamey, there is absolutely no chance my life will have been in vain."
·     1980 - "Black and White" 
·     1981 - "Tearjerkin' "
·     1982 – “Happenstance”
“Some significant percentage of my hope for music at the start of the eighties was pinned to The dB’s…. By 1982 The dB’s were putting out great, inventive, profoundly musical records, and the world wasn’t buying. The writing was on the wall.” In this last sentence, I’m pretty sure Scott was alluding to the dim prospects for the popular success of the music he wanted to make.
·     1983 – “Every Word Means No”
·     1984 – “Something Came Over Me,” “Darby Hall, “ “Grey Scale”
·     1986 – “In Little Ways”
·     2009 – “My Friend the Sun” (Peter and Chris’ version)
Peter H and some members of Game Theory: mutual admiration
There are yet more songs in the book that are related to The dB’s and Let’s Active. But you’ll just have to go find a copy and read it to discover which ones — not to mention what the late and very great Scott Miller had to say about them.

Rest In Peace, indeed.

And for the rest of us — yet to shuffle off this mortal coil — 
happy listening and reading.

The Loud Family - Live Tour Compilation 2000

Live Compilation
“Attractive Nuisance” Tour, 2000
(various dates & venues)

audio rip from video recordings (sound quality range: VG+ to VG++; these are very listenable audience recordings, mono sounding; most are from club shows, so there are occasional moments of intrusive crowd noise)
The Loud Family plays The Knitting Factory, NYC, April 2000

ROB SEZ: BIG THANKS to DP for the original video recordings, and to 125 Records for releasing these on the most excellent Loud Family Live 2000 DVD (It's still available — and a steal at $15. Order that and/or the Loud Family's live CD compilation From Ritual to Romance HERE)

Repercussion: I didn’t realize the late Scott Miller was such a fan of The dB’s — until I started learning more about him just after his untimely death in April at age 53. In his introduction to the Loud Family’s cover of “Tearjerkin’” (included herein), Scott says the deeBs were one of his favorite bands "of all time". Then, while leafing through his fascinating and well-written Music: What Happened?, I found multiple references to his love not only of The dB’s, but also Chris, Peter, Mitch and Let’s Active.

Poor Kenny got the dreaded head-crop chop!
01 720 Times Happier...  
02 Deee-Pression
03 Idiot Son
04 Years of Wrong Impressions
05 Motion of Ariel
06 Sister Sleep
07 Slit My Wrists
08 Asleep and Awake On 
     the Man's Freeway
09 The Waist and the Knees
10 Cortex the Killer
11 The Apprentice*
12 No One's Watching My Limo Ride
13 Blackness, Blackness
14 Nice When I Want Something
15 Story In Your Eyes
     (Moody Blues cover)
16 Kenny's amazing bass riffs 
17 Where They Walk Over 
     Sainte Therese
18 Tearjerkin' (The dB's cover) 
19 Twenty-Four
20 Like a Girl Jesus
21 Rosy Overdrive
              *Alison sings lead vocals on “The Apprentice”

TT: 78:38 mins.

Scott Miller greatly enjoyed this Loud Family lineup
1, 3, 4, 6, 9 = Minneapolis, MN 2000-04-11 
2, 7 = Atlanta, GA 2000-04-20
5 = Go Rehearsal Studios, Chapel Hill, NC 2000-04-19
8, 14, 15, 17 = The Knitting Factory, NYC 2000-04-17
10, 11, 19 = Austin, TX 2000-04-26
12 = Chicago, IL 2000-04-13 
13 = WFMU-FM, Jersey City, NJ 2000-04-16
18, 20 = Cleveland, OH 2000-04-14  
21 = San Antonia, TX 2000-04-25


The Loud Family:
Scott Miller – guitar, lead vocals
Alison Faith Levy – keyboards, vocals
Kenny Kessel – bass, vocals
Gil Ray – drums

Learn more about the music of Game Theory and The Loud Family at AllMusic and at the Scott Miller-Loud Family official site

Game Theory - Boston, MA 1985

Boston, MA
Oct. 7, 1985

R.I.P. Scott Miller (1960-2013)

audience recording (sound quality VG+; a good-quality recording, with vocals a tad distant; I added some compression and tweaked the eq to improve the sound.) The performance? It's a smokin' GT show. ENJOY!

BIG THANKS to the tapers, traders and kneesfudd for sharing.

Scott Miller had all he needed: guitar, pillow, and Game Theory.
Repercussion: Mitch Easter has a strong association with this band, producing and contributing to most of Game Theory’s albums. Chris Woodstra of AllMusic says Mitch functioned as “a fifth member” of the group in the studio, beginning with Real Nighttime (Game Theory’s first proper full-length album) in 1985.  

SAMPLE: "Rayon Drive (Boston 1985)"

01 Here It Is Tomorrow
02 I've Tried Subtlety
03 Shark Pretty
04 Curse of the Frontierland
05 Never Mind
06 Linus and Lucy
07 Twenty-Four
08 Waltz the Halls Always
09 Rayon Drive
10 Where You Going Northern
11 Make Any Vows
12 Real Nighttime
13 Couldn't I Just Tell You (Todd Rundgren cover)
14 Friend of the Family (tape flip cut repaired at 4:35)
15 Like a Girl Jesus
16 Something to Show
17 Any Other Hand
18 Nine Lives to Rigel Five
19 The Red Baron
20 Sweet Jane (Lou Reed cover)

TT: 71:41 mins.


Game Theory:
Scott Miller - guitars, vocals
Suzi Ziegler - bass, backing vocals
Shelley LaFreniere - keyboards, backing vocals
Gil Ray - drums

NOTE: There’s a lot more Game Theory and Loud Family live shows & rarities to be found at the rather groovy Big Plans for Everybody.

Learn more about Game Theory’s music at The Loud Family’s official site and at AllMusic