Friday, March 28

Ann Arbor, MI 1985 (soundboard)

The dB’s
Ann Arbor, MI

venue & exact date unknown (possibly early in the year)

soundboard recording (quality VG++; occasional vocal distortion, from poorly-adjusted levels at the mixing desk, prevents this from getting a higher rating). This is an outstanding show and excellent performance. ENJOY!

Among the odder photos in The dB's scrapbook:
Mardi Gras, 1985 - with king cake letters spelling the band's name

EXTRA BIG THANKS to the taper and to TheBynumite for sharing

SAMPLE: "I Lie (Ann Arbor 1985)"

01 greeting + She Got Soul
02 Rendezvous
03 Big Brown Eyes
04 Working for Somebody Else
05 Lonely Is as Lonely Does
06 Not Cool
07 I Lie
08 band intros + Spitting in the Wind
Peter & Co. look to the future:
Danceteria, NYC roof shot, 1984
09 pH Factor
10 Amplifier
11 Neverland
12 Big Black Truck
13 Rains Around Here
14 Living a Lie
15 Love Is for Lovers
16 Black and White

(this recording lacks encores)

The dB’s:
Will Rigby – drums, backing vocals
Peter Holsapple – guitar, vocals
Gene Holder – lead guitar
Jeff Beninato – bass, backing vocals


Friday, March 21

R. E. M. - Chronic Town REVISITED


The debut EP in demos & live versions
(RCA Studio 1982 demos, produced by Kurt Munkacsi)

ROB SEZ: It's time for a new installment in the blog's "Classic Albums Revisited" series. I've been spending a lot of time lately, collecting the best available sources for demo and live material from the late, great R. E. M.

soundboard & FM sources (sound quality: VG+; see additional note below)
ABOUT THE SET: There are interesting alternate versions of Gardening at Night out there, but they’ve seen official release somewhere along the way, which accounts for the most excellent live version I used here from the band’s first radio broadcast on May 14, 1982. The rest of the songs, including the bonus tracks, are from the RCA Studios, NYC Feb. 1982 demo session.
There will be more here soon from these guys.
Any guesses what the next album will be?
Sample: "Wolves, Lower (demo 1982)"

01 1,000,000 (demo)
02 Stumble (demo)
03 Wolves, Lower (demo)
04 Gardening at Night (live – Atlanta, GA 1982-05-14, FM)
05 Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars) [demo]
06 Catapult (demo)
07 Romance (demo)
08 Just a Touch (demo)

Source: Studio C, RCA Studios, NYC 1982 sessions (Feb. 1, 2, 8 & 22) with producer Kurt Munkacsi (all except track 4, as noted above). Although some boots list these as Chronic Town outtakes or rough mixes, they actually were recorded after the Drive-In Studio sessions with Mitch Easter that led to the master takes released on the EP. In Johnny Black's 2004 book Reveal, Munkacsi said he was impressed with the band, based on their work in the studio during those few days in February: "They knew exactly what they were doing. The session was very spontaneous, with everything going down in one or two takes."
The best-sounding source for these demos is the rare Early Movements boot. I corresponded with the guy who created the thing and sold me a copy. He was a DJ at an Atlanta radio station when Mike Mills gave him a copy of the tape, so you can be assured the sound quality here is as good as it’s going to get. In this "revisited" version, you will hear a less atmospheric, more straight-ahead rock sound than the one found on the IRS release (which I prefer). That said, this collection suggests a fascinating alternate reality in which the group signs to a major label instead of pursuing the artier, indie'r, & ultimately more enduring path they chose. 

A note about the running order: Even the band seems ambivalent about the proper sequencing for the EP. The back cover of the original release lists 1,000,000 as the first track. But the “A” side label has Wolves, Lower first, as does the first CD release on Dead Letter Office. Me? I say you must listen to the thing starting with 1,000,000 and ending with the sublime Carnival of Sorts. No doubt about it: the album jacket got it right the first time…

         Other albums in this series include The dB's debut album and 
The dB's Like This. Collect 'em all...

Friday, March 14

R. E. M. - Edinburgh, Scotland 1985 (soundboard)

Coasters Ballroom
Edinburgh, Scotland
June 25, 1985

soundboard recording (quality Ex--; judging by the great sound, I’m guessing this is from the master tape or a first-gen. copy; the punters get rowdier after the first 4 or 5 songs, so you folks who like crowd noise hang in there — it’s coming…)

The performance? Smokin'...

MUCHOS GRACIAS to the original taper & sharer (whoever you are)

There are a few brief anomalies in the set. The most noticeable is track 2 switching from stereo to mono & back in a handful of places. The latter was necessitated by the repair job I did to replace intermittent dropouts in the left & right channels on that track -- which is still quite listenable.  

SAMPLE: "Can't Get There From Here" (Edinburgh 1985)
Coasters "Roller Disco", circa 1979

01 - feeling gravitys pull (cuts in)
02 - harborcoat
03 - green grow the rushes
04 - laughing
05 - driver 8
06 - so. central rain (i'm sorry)
07 - have you ever seen the rain? 
       (j. fogerty / ccr cover)
08 - can't get there from here
09 - maps and legends
10 - 7 chinese bros.
11 - hyena
12 - (don't go back to) rockville         
      (end cut, fades out)
13 - just a touch
this artwork & above included in download
create your own boot!
14 - auctioneer
       (another engine)
15 - old man kensey
16 - little america
17 - life & how to live it
18 - pretty persuasion
19 - this day
(? – extemporaneous ditty)
20 - talk about the passion
21 - see no evil
     (television cover)
22 - second guessing
23 - theme from two steps onward
24 - gardening at night
25 - 9-9
TT: 1:24:12 (suggested disc split: between #13 & 14)  

MP3@320 (this was missing track 2, but that's been corrected)
Lossless WAV (800 MB)            

 Explore the connections between The dB's and R.  E.  M.   at this earlier post A B.I.G. R.  E.  M. post is coming soon...      


Friday, March 7

Let's Active - Best Live Covers (!!)

‘Should We Play Somethin’ REALLY Dumb??’
Best Live Covers
Various Dates, Venues

audience, FM & soundboard recordings (sound quality: GD++ to Ex-; variable, of course!)

SAMPLE: "Hush (Deep Purple) - date unknown"

01 Shakin' Street (MC5)
02 Dancing Days (Led Zep)
03 Hush (Deep Purple)
04 Classical Gas (Mason Williams)
05 Lucifer Sam (Pink Floyd)
06 Back of a Car (Big Star)
07 Lies (Knickerbockers)
08 The Rover (Led Zep)
09 Hey Grandma! (Moby Grape)
10 Tush (ZZ Top)
11 I Wont Let It 'Appen Agen (Slade)
12 Hot Smoke & Sasafrass (Bubble Puppy)
13 Sunshine of Your Love (Hendrix/Cream)
14 I Want to Hold Your Hand (in German)
15 He's a Whore (Cheap Trick)
16 Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult; feat. Don Dixon)
xx mystery track

TT: 50:41 mins.

SOURCE INFO (where there is any) can be found in the comment tag for each track

Let’s  Active:
Mick Ersatz (guitar, vocals)
+ various other musicians