Friday, August 31

Alex Chilton - Live in 1977 (feat. Chris Stamey)

TWO Alex Chilton live shows for your listening pleasure
Alex doing his unique musical thing at CBGB, NYC, 1977 (most likely May or Sept.) –- and, yes, that’s Chris Stamey on bass, standing next to LX. (photo by Godlis)
Alex Chilton, his band Big Star, and the members of The dB's crossed paths many times, especially in the 1970s and '80s (see this page that spells out these connections). Here, I'm posting two live shows from 1977, the year Chris Stamey played bass in Alex's backing band (sometimes billed as The Cossacks).
Alex Chilton
Ocean Club, NYC
April 19, 1977
audience recording (sound quality: VG)
BIG THANKS to the original tapers & uploaders — whoever you are. This one's fairly common in trading circles -- perhaps because it has the best sound quality of the surviving 1977 shows, plus an energetic performance.
Highlight: Alex sings "The Summer Sun" — the early single written by Chris & produced by Alex

Stephanie Chernikowski took the photo above, on the front cover.
1. When My Baby’s Beside Me
2. All the Time
3. Don't Believe In Miracles
4. She Might Look My Way
5. My Rival
6. Take Me Home and Make Me Like It
7. September Girls
8. In the Street
9. Can't Seem to Make You Mine
10. The Summer Sun (composed by Mr. Chris Stamey)
11. The Letter
12. A Little Fishy
13. Shakin' the World
14. Government Center
15. O My Soul
Alex Chilton & The Cossacks
The Hot Club, Philadelphia, PA
Dec. 13, 1977
audience recording (sound quality VG-)
Uploader's notes: While it would be a stretch to call this show "tight" it certainly is a rare nugget. Recorded by The Big A at Philly's venerable punk club, this is one wild ride: one moment horrendous, the next transcendent, sometimes in the same song. Both sets are in the 55 minute range and the SQ is very good, especially for the era. It sounds like Alex is doing some off-mic singing so occasionally his vocals could be louder, but you can hear this pretty well. Wild covers galore. If I remember right this was Chris Stamey's last gig w/ Alex.
ROB SEZ: I was reminded of Chris Stamey's 1977 musical involvements with Alex Chilton while reading Chris' recent book, A Spy In the House of Loud. Don’t expect to hear either a dB’s gig or a Chris Stamey solo show. This is early Alex Chilton, raw and at times intentionally lackadaisical. If you’re into it, you’ll probably love it. If you’re not … umm, you might want to go clean out your junk email file instead. Mega thanks to the Big A for the recording and to realomind for sharing.

[1st Set]
01. The Letter
02. Criminal Type
03. Take Me Home and Make Me Like It 
04. Every Trick In the Book
05. Whole Lotta Shaking Goin’ On
06. Like Flies On Sherbert (early version)
07. Night Time
08. My Rival
09. No More the Moon Shines on Lorena
10. All the Time
[2nd Set]
11. Bangkok
12. Can't Seem to Make You Mine 
LX & Chris at the Lower Manhattan Ocean Club in 1977
13. Wouldn’t It Be Nice?
14. Kanga Roo
15. Baby Doll
16. Executive Suite
17. You Get What 
      You Deserve
18. Hook or Crook
19. Do You Wanna Dance?
20. Jenny
21. Secret Agent Man
22. Domino
23. Oh Oh, I Love Her So
24. Funtime
25. Fire and Water
26. instrum. medley
Set 1
Set 2
Musicians (for both shows):
Alex Chilton - vocals, guitar
Chris Stamey - bass
Fran Kowalski - keys
Lloyd Fonoroff - drums

Friday, August 24

Peter Holsapple Combo - Carrboro, N.C. 2018 (matrix)

Cat's Cradle Back Room 
Carrboro, NC
August 4, 2018

soundboard-audience matrix (quality: Ex-)

Peter H Combo, live in Carrboro. Photo by Ed Speas
01 Game Day*
02 Commonplace
03 Continental Drifters
04 In Too Deep
05 Invisible Boyfriend
06 Don't Mention the War
07 Inventory
08 pH Factor
09 Big Black Truck
10 The Better Man
11 I Got High with You
12 Tuff Day
13 The Smartest Thing 

     I've Ever Done
14 Them Changes/
     Sing Lady Sing

*first 30 seconds of track 01 includes only soundboard feed

VIDEO from the show — with Larry's AUDIO included

Peter Holsapple: guitars, harmonica, vocals  | Glenn Jones: bass, backing vocals
Will Rigby: drums, backing vocals

Peluso CEMC6-CK4 + Soundboard > Tascam DR-680 @ 24/48 Adobe Audition (editing, mixing& mastering) > CDWave (tracking) > Flac/MP3

ROB SEZ: Long-time blog friend Larry Tucker made this beautiful recording and was kind enough to share it with me so I could pass it along to the fans. Muchas gracias to Larry, who's been making excellent recordings of dB's-related live shows for a long time. Great job, Batchain.


Friday, August 17

The Cramps - Alex Chilton Demos 1977

IRS Demos / Session Outtakes
Sun Studios
Memphis, TN  
June 1977
soundboard recording (quality: VG+; sourced from IRS Records in-house cassette)

1-6: What's Behind the Mask?
(various takes, false starts, alt. mixes)

7-9: Rock On the Moon (takes 1-3) 

10: false start

11: Rock on the Moon (take 4)

12-14: Daddy Drives a UFO
(takes 1 & 2 + false start)

Ardent Studios
Memphis, TN
October 1977
soundboard recordings (quality: VG-; sounds like a multi-generation tape source)
01 TV Set
02 Domino
03 Can't Hardly Stand It
04 Lonesome Town
05 I Was a Teenage Werewolf 
06 Sunglasses after Dark
07 Human Fly
08 Love Me
09 Uranium Rock
10 The Way I Walk
11 Strychnine
12 Surfin' Bird
13 I'm Cramped
ROB SEZ: I've covered quite a bit of the Alex Chilton / Big Star story over the years via many ROIOs. Now we bring you an odd little chapter that's not yet been featured: Alex producing The Cramps in 1977. Thanks to fanatical Cramps collectors, here are the (nearly) complete demos & studio outtakes from The Cramps' Chilton sessions in Memphis in 1977. (I left off a few duplicative takes of "What's Behind the Mask" — how many of those do we need to hear in one sitting, anyway??)  The Chilton sessions led to the 1979 Gravest Hits EP & full-length Songs the Lord Taught Us, released in 1980. The Cramps aren't really my thing, but I can't deny there's a good bit of ghoulish, primal "rawk" fun to be found here. Enjoy.

POST-DEADLINE BONUS: Here are 5 superior-sounding tracks (VG+) from the second set via an alternate source, plus artwork & photos. FLAC or MP3@320 (poke around a bit to find even more...)

Tuesday, August 14

Chris Stamey - New Song available for streaming

"Greensboro Days" (with Peter H.)

Here's what Chris says about this track:
A seasonal song for the coming of autumn, and a sequel, after 41 years to my "Summer Sun" (Ork Records, 1977). With John Teer from Chatham County Line (fiddle & mandolin), Peter Holsapple (harmonies), Dan Davis (drums), Jason Foureman (acoustic bass). Thanks to Jeff Crawford for production assistance on this one!

ROB SEZ: In my recent Q & A with Chris, he said this song will appear on The Great Escape, his forthcoming studio album, due later this year. Whether or not this version of "Greensboro Days" turns out to be the master take on the album, we'll just have to see. (In case you missed it, you can stream another new song by Chris at THIS earlier post.)
ALL PRAISES to Fantom for alerting me.

Friday, August 10

dB's - Rare Demo Bonanza ('TomTom, Part 2')

Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey
(+ Alex Chilton bonus)
Early, Rare Demos
late 1970s & early 1980s
various locations, variable sound quality (range: GD to VG+)
Chris and Peter at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC, 1981
photo by dB's Fan
Think of this collection as “Ride the Wild TomTom, Part 2” 
(except that most of these are without the other dB's)
I never thought I'd hear demos for Repercussion era tracks,
but here are 3 for your listening pleasure...  

01 Bad Reputation (earliest demo) PH
02 Ups and Downs (demo) CS
03 We Were Happy There (demo) PH
04 Happenstance (demo) CS
05 You've Been On My Mind 1 (demo) PH
06 You've Been On My Mind 2 (demo, full-length)* PH
07 instrumental (demo) PH
08 What You Said to Me (demo)* PH
09 Looking Around Corners (demo) PH
10 A House Is Not a Home (demo) PH
11 Leave My World Alone (demo) PH
12 Crimson & Clover (demo)* PH
13 The Death of Rock (earliest demo) PH
14 Lonely Is as Lonely Does (demo) PH
15 Depth of Field (demo) CS
16 Face In the Crowd (demo) CS
17 Excitement (demo) CS
18 Big Time (demo) CS
19 Walking the Ceiling (It's Good to Be Alive) demo CS
20 Tennis Bum (demo) LX with PH
21 My Rival (demo) LX with CS & Cossacks
22 Little Fishy (demo) LX with CS & Cossacks

TT: 77:13 mins.

ROB SEZA huge thank-you goes to dB's Fan for the original share. The oldest of these are the final two Alex Chilton tracks, accompanied by Chris and the rest of The Cossacks, probably 1977. “Tennis Bum” is a better-known track from Peter’s Memphis sessions, recorded some time in 1978 at Sam Phillips’ studio with Richard Rosebrough. Most of the other Peter tracks are thought to be from these sessions except for the 3 marked “ * ”. Those are said to be from a later session in 1979 at Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem, NC. Chris’ demos are dated 1982, but there’s no other info. I can't imagine the Repercussion songs would have been demo’d in 1982 since the album was recorded in 1981. But I’m just passing on the info I was given...

Peter visits London, 1981

Chris phones it in, just this once

Alex Chilton strumming away in someone's bedsit
photo by S. Chernikowski


You DO own the most excellent Ride the Wild TomTom comp, don't you?

      Whaddya mean, "No, I just haven't got around to buying that one yet"?!?
You've got to fix that RIGHT NOW:


Wednesday, August 1

Peter H - TWO new releases for 2018!

New solo album Game Day is out now;
archival release with Alex Chilton due in October
Order the album directly from Omnivore (or, if you must, @Amazon)
Congratulations to Peter on the release of his second proper solo album in 21 years! Game Day is receiving excellent reviews: 4 stars from AllMusic and No Depression calls it "a real gift". Read more reviews here & here. Interviews with Peter are here, here & here. Live gigs in N.C. and Los Angeles are scheduled, and other live shows may follow elsewhere (at last report, a certain Mr. Will Rigby is playing drums in the band). Peter is blogging again, so keep up with Game Day developments here.
PH - clearly psyched for Game Day

Sample Track from the new album:  "Continental Drifters" —
a beautiful tribute to a great band

The Death of Rock
credited to Peter and ... Alex Chilton!
It's probably the last thing Peter & Omnivore Recordings want you to be
thinking about right now. But this is a fan blog, so we're spilling the beans.
40 year-old recordings from Memphis, TN become an album. In 1978, Peter had relocated from N.C. to Memphis, hoping to collaborate with Big Star leaders Chris Bell and Alex Chilton. When Bell said he wasn't interested, Peter found a willing partner in Richard Rosebrough, local engineer, musician & friend of Big Star. Peter & Richard began recording sessions in the summer of 1978 at Sam Phillips' studio. Alex Chilton got involved a bit later (see below). I was tipped off to this release by eagle-eye Fantom, so all credit to him.

Here's pre-release info recently posted at Amazon, iTunes & similar sites:
Peter Holsapple vs. Alex Chilton - The Death Of Rock

• Newly discovered recordings of early solo Peter Holsapple and Like Flies On Sherbert–era Alex Chilton 
• Liner notes by Peter Holsapple and author/filmmaker, Robert Gordon
• Previously unseen photos from the collections of Peter Holsapple and Pat Rainer

It’s 1978 at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, TN. Peter Holsapple had rolled into town chasing the essence of Big Star. He hooked up with musician/ engineer/ friend-of-Big-Star, Richard Rosebrough after approaching, and being turned down by, Chris Bell who Holsapple had hoped might be interested in producing him. Together Richard and Peter started laying down tracks during the off hours at the studio. 

Chilton meanwhile, was knee deep in the making of Like Flies On Sherbert, also being tracked at Phillips. He told Peter, “I heard some of that stuff you’re working on with Richard . . . and it really sucks.” Alex promised to come by and show Peter “how it’s done.” The results? Alex’s tracks definitely line up with the chaos found on Flies, while several of Peter’s songs found homes on The dB’s albums (“Bad Reputation” and “We Were Happy There”) and on an album by The Troggs (“The Death Of Rock” retooled as “I’m In Control”), so not a loss at all.

What we have in these newly discovered tapes, is a fascinating pivot point with both artists moving past each other headed in distinctly different directions. Chilton moved toward punk/psychobilly as he began playing with Tav Falco’s Panther Burns and produced The Cramps debut, Songs The Lord Taught Us within a few months of these recordings. Holsapple was off to New York to audition for The dB’s and enter the world of “sweet pop.” 

Liner notes by Peter Holsapple tell the story of these recordings firsthand and author/ filmmaker/ Memphian, Robert Gordon, helps pull the time and place into focus. Previously unseen photos included in the package are drawn from the collections of Peter Holsapple and Pat Rainer. Produced by Cheryl Pawelski with mastering by Mike Graves at Osiris Studio and Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl/Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, who brings it all right back to where it started.

Track Listing:

  1. Bad Reputation
  2. Tennis Bum
  3. House Is Not a Home 
  4. Marshall Law
  5. We Were Happy There
  6. Heart and Soul
  7. The Death of Rock
  8. Train Kept a Rollin'
  9. Take Me Back
  10. Hey Mona
  11. Mind Your Manners (backing track)
  12. Bad Reputation (backing track)
  13. Tennis Bum (rehearsal)
  14. O My Soul (instrumental rehearsal)
  15. In the Street (instrumental rehearsal)
  16. Baby I Love You (rehearsal)
  17. The Death of Rock (rehearsal)
  18. Someone's Gotta Shine Your Shoes (rehearsal)
  19. Mind Your Manners (4-track version with vocals)

Notes: tracks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 13 are credited to Alex Chilton; all others to Peter Holsapple (Apple Music & Apple iTunes list the same tracks in a different order)

DUE OUT Oct. 12, 2018 on Omnivore Recordings
Pre-order The Death of Rock HERE (CD) and HERE (vinyl).
Go to Amazon & iTunes for digital download pre-orders; they come with an immediate download of the song "The Death of Rock" — which can also be downloaded separately.