Saturday, August 29

New Will Rigby, Peter Holsapple songs released

Will Rigby Releases Anti-Trumpian "Sin Corazón
Peter Holsapple Releases "We All Liked Al"
"Sin Corazón" = "without a heart"

Peter Holsapple's "We All Liked Al" takes its title from Raymond Chandler

ROB SEZ: I'm pretty sure Will Rigby and Peter Holsapple weren't trying to coordinate the timing of their latest releases, but I love that it's worked out this way. Will served for a few years as drummer in the Peter Holsapple Combo, and a BUNCH of years before that as the drummer for Steve Earle's Dukes. These pre-pandemic responsibilities probably explain why it's been a LONG time since Will had a new release of his own. The new one takes unmistakable aim at the current occupant of the White House (for only a few more months, I pray). The song deploys Will's rhythmic chops and sardonic wit in the service of barbed, entertaining political commentary. (See Will's comment about the song below). I thoroughly dug it, and promptly bought the single at Bandcamp (it's also available in Spanish). For his latest, Peter's new single is released as part of a project that uses a list of unused titles by the late Raymond Chandler to inspire writers & musicians, who then create songs and short stories based on the titles. Project spearhead Gina Arnold has roped in lots of artists for the project, including Amy Rigby. (See Peter's comment below.) Find more Raymond Chandler project creations HERE.
WILL RIGBY on the inspiration for "Sin Corazón"

Like you, I’m as angry and distressed about what has happened to our country in  2020 as I've ever been. Never has our government failed its people as much as it is failing us now. Without losing my sense of humor, I put those feelings to a beat, and I hope that “Sin Corazón” is received as both entertainment and political broadside. To paraphrase Emma Goldman, just because we’re protesting doesn’t mean we can’t dance. As a nation and as a people, we must and we will maintain our compassion for and empathy with those around us, even as our so-called leader fails the test. It didn’t have to be this way!


Released August 19, 2020
Written, performed, and recorded by Will Rigby
With additional vocals and recording by Florence Dore
Recorded in quarantine, Chapel Hill, N.C., May/June 2020
Mixed by Mark Spencer, Tape Kitchen, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mastered by Adam Boose, Cauliflower Audio, Cleveland, OH
Video edited by Suki Hawley

PETER HOLSAPPLE on "We All Liked Al"
Gina Arnold who is an author and professor at University of San Francisco, had a fine idea: take a list of unused Raymond Chandler titles, and get people to use them for their own devices.
Some of her famous friends like Greil Marcus and Amy Rigby contributed, and, opportunist that I am, I badgered my way in and wrote this tune called "We All Liked Al" for The Raymond Chandler Project.
Maybe you knew Al too?


Friday, August 28

The dB's - Ritz, New York, N.Y. 1987 - NEW FIND!

The Ritz (119 East 11th St.) 
New York, N.Y.
Oct. 2, 1987
audience recording (sound quality: VG+; Gene Poole master recording source)
01  intro
The dB's - 1987 touring lineup
Eddie Muñoz (rear left) played 2 shows with The dB's
and Harold Kelt (rear right) continued into 1987
Below: 1987 in-store appearance with Michael J.
02  Today Could Be the Day
03  Never Say When
04  Change With the Changing Times 
05  Working for Somebody Else
06  Lonely Is (As Lonely Does) 
07  She Got Soul
08  A Spy In the House of Love 
09  I Lie
10  Think Too Hard
11  Living a Lie 
12  White Train
13  Sharon
14  Suspicious Minds

TT: 51:03 mins. 
The dB's:
Peter Holsapple – lead vocals, guitar
Jeff Beninato – bass, backing vocals
Harold Kelt – keyboards, guitar
Will Rigby - drums, backing vocals
ROB SEZ: This one's got great energy, and the sound quality makes a big jump for the better by the end of track 2. I don't have much more to say about this one, except "BIG THANKS" to Gene Poole and elegymart for their generosity. (Check out elegymart's notes for this recording, below.) People like Gene & elegymart are the unsung heroes for those of us who love this music. Why not leave a comment now to say "Thanks"?

This time we take you to a late Friday night show at the Ritz for a set from the dB's. The Go-Betweens and Dash Rip Rock were also on the bill. Tickets were $13.50.

The show finds the band near the end of their first run, before they disbanded in early 1988. This Toyota minivan tour started in September, and after performing a few more dates around this time, they would take over the opening slot from 10,000 Maniacs on R.E.M.'s fall U.S. tour for pretty much the remainder of the year. Peter would later put in a four-year stint as a full-fledged R.E.M. sideman. Also don't ever forget the factoid that they were all label mates with Holly Robinson from "21 Jump Street" back then.

For this set, the dB's as a freshly minted signing from I.R.S. (rescued from the deadweight status of Bearsville) are primarily pushing their latest label release "The Sound of Music," which had been kicking around for about two months at this point, although it had temporarily gone out of print while the label was busily focused on keeping up with the demand to continuing pressing R.E.M.'s excessively popular "Document." Other than "Living a Lie" off Repercussion and the standard closing Elvis cover, the rest of the set are selections from Like This and The Sound of Music. We've got Harold Kelt here on keyboards and additional guitar, doing double duty to take the place of Eddie Muñoz who didn't quite work out after the band's attempt to replace Gene Holder, who had amicably parted to worked with the Wygals full-time. By the end of the tour and before December rolled around, Peter and Will decided Harold's brief gig with the dB's should be consigned to history as well. 

This is a short set probably due to the time of the show, with three bands on a 11PM start time. If Gene taped the other two sets, hopefully he'll find them soon. As with most of his collection, he did not have the exact date noted on this cassette, just "same week as Zevon" noted (technically not the same week, but same weekend, yes: see Vols. 5 & 6). Thanks to gv0000 and john234 always at the ready with their lightning-fast research, the exact date was sussed out. 

Gene flubs the recording levels at the start of the first song, and there's a significant chunk missing on the tape flip. Ironically "Sharon" — a CD bonus track, back when people had to be enticed to buy CDs versus vinyl, before they became popular reigning media and before the world then reverted back to vinyl worship again — gets atrophied, as does the beginning of "Suspicious Minds." The sound of the music though is primo, the drums and instrumentation along with the vocals all in fine balance.



Friday, August 21

The dB's - Peppermint Lounge, NYC 1982 - NEW FIND!

Peppermint Lounge 
New York, N.Y.
Jan. 22, 1982

audience recording (sound quality: VG+; from Gene Poole master recording)

The other Fab Four: Peter, Will, Gene & Chris
photos by Julia Gorton except Will Rigby by (unidentified)

01  Black and White
02  We Were Happy There 
03  Ups and Downs
04  I Feel Good (Today) 
05  pH Factor
06  Amplifier
07  Ask for Jill
08  Living a Lie
09  Excitement
10  Bad Reputation
11  Happenstance
12  Neverland


13  intro
14  Up Around the Bend 
       (CCR cover)
15  Soul Kiss
16  Big Time
17  Living a Lie
18  Molly Says
19  The Summer Sun
20  Judy
21  In Spain
The dB's by Julia Gorton, c. 1982
courtesy of The Winston-Salem Journal
22  Big Brown Eyes
23  Storm Warning
24  Excitement
25  I Thought (You Wanted to Know)
26  Tobacco Road (John D. Loudermilk song 
        via Spooky Tooth) 
27  The Fight

The dB's:
Chris Stamey – guitar, vocals
Peter Holsapple – guitar, vocals
Gene Holder – bass guitar
Will Rigby – drums

ROB SEZ: In case you ever wondered about the value of this new-fangled thing called the Internet, wonder no more. Through the magic of the web, here now is one of two recently-surfaced dB's audio artifacts. Both are courtesy of the tape archives of Gene Poole and the audio expertise of elegymart. The first one, offered here, is vintage dB's. It was captured during the brief period after the guys recorded Repercussion but before Chris left the constraints of the band to pursue other musical adventures. Mr. Poole managed to capture very good quality audio without undue, non-musical intrusions. Recently, elegymart lovingly transferred the raw audio and made it available to us (read his fine notes about the recording below). There was a speed problem I corrected before offering it to you here, so this is my take on GP's original recording. Next week: a 1987 dB's live recording, newly-unearthed, also courtesy of Gene Poole & elegymart.




We're bringing you two sets this time from the classic line-up of the dB's from the Peppermint Lounge. 

The band have just come back from playing Los Angeles, and this was their supposedly final show before embarking for an European tour (Robinbrevard's live gigology shows they continued playing some US east coast dates into February, so who knows). There's also an ad for this show that appears to be edited and has the old 128 West 45th Street address on it, but the Peppermint Lounge should have closed out of that location by 1978. By 1980, the club would have been firmly established at its downtown address.

The dB's play what they consider a tight set at 11:30 PM, followed by their much later and looser set at 2:00 AM. Admission was half price before 10:00PM, which seems to have encouraged Gene to be there on time. Consider these other following elements: Gene continues to be an avid follower of the dB's to this day, plus his recordings of 1982 vintage were not plagued with mic problems as they were in later years, and he was usually able to situate himself in the sweet spot at the Pep. Yeah, this one's a keeper.

The dB's only repeat two songs in each set, "Living a Lie" and the heretofore still unreleased "Excitement." There's enough variety between the two sets, and their early catalog was chock full of power pop goodness, so you're bulletproofed against disappointment here. The quirkiness of the late show turns up covers from Creedence and the Nashville Teens (there is a mid-cut due to a tape flip on the latter, however). The Pep DJ sounds thrilled enough by the CCR that "Sweet Hitchhiker" is cued up to play after the band concluded the evening.




Friday, August 14

Let's Active - Boston 1988 (aud)

The Paradise
Boston, MA
Oct. 25, 1988
audience recording (sound quality VG+; there are a few momentary glitches here and there and a chatty girl near the taper you can hear from time to time, but the rest of this is smooth sailing, with nice sound from the PA....)
Mitch & Co. on location, "In Little Ways" video shoot

01 Every Dog Has His Day
Yes, Virginia — it was a single (at least in the UK)
02 Last Chance Town
03 Talking to Myself
04 I Feel Funny
05 Writing the Book of Last Pages
06 Horizon
07 In Little Ways
08 Sweepstakes Winner
09 Night Train
10 Orpheus In Hades Lounge
11 Bad Machinery
12 Room With a View
13 Mr. Fool
14 Too Bad
15 The Swinging Creeper
    (Ventures cover)
16 Pow R Touch (P. Floyd cover)
17 I Can't Reach You (Who cover)
18 Crows On a Phone Line
19 Ten Layers Down
20 Call Me Animal (MC5 cover)
21 Badger (cuts out)

ROB SEZ: When I acquired this tape, I forgot to make a note re: who to thank, but I'm pretty sure it's dB's Fan (...again!)


Let's Active:
Mitch  Easter – guitar, vocals
Angie Carlson – keyboards, vocals 
Eric Marshall – drums
Jon Heames - bass

Friday, August 7

The dB's - Hoboken, N.J. Oct. 1987

Hoboken, N.J.
Oct. 3, 1987
audience recording (quality VG+; very solid audience recording from a first-generation tape source; a club show that makes you feel like you’re right there…)
Outtake from The Sound of Music cover shoot.
The dB's were touring behind the album at the time of this show.
Don't miss the interactive tour of TSOM's artwork HERE. 
01 Today Could Be the Day
Jeff, Will and Peter, NOLA public access show, 1987
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 Never Before and 
     Never Again
09 Feel Alright  
      (Cargoe cover)
10 Living a Lie
11 A Better Place
12 Why Did You Sleep With My Girlfriend?
13 Message from the Country (Move cover)
14 Amplifier
Proof that Harold Kelt (right) really existed...
and played briefly with The dB's... 
15 Neverland
16 band intros
17 Suspicious Minds
18 Love Is for Lovers

TT: 1:12:49
ROB SEZ: Good karma compels me to say yet again: THANK YOU to dB's fan for sharing.

The dB’s:
Jeff Beninato – bass, vocals
Peter Holsapple – vocals, guitar
Harold Kelt – keyboard, additional guitar
Will Rigby - drums

Sunday, August 2

The Glands - Live in 2004 & 2014

Echo Lounge
Atlanta, GA
April 23, 2004 

audience recording (sound quality: Ex-; Sloan Simpson master recording, March 2013 remaster)

01) ?
The Glands @ Shapiro's house in Athens
02) Free Jane
03) Have Your Cake
04) Ground
05) You Are the Mountain 
06) ?
07) Lovetown
08) Do Unto Others
09) Livin' Was Easy
10) ?
11) Welcome to New Jersey
12) Breathe Out
13) Holiday Walk
14) Work It Out
15) Soul Inspiration
16) Two Dollar Wine
17) Something In the Air
18) When I Laugh
19) Grey Hats
20) I Can See My House from Here
21) Freedom of Choice
22) Straight Down

Green Room
Athens, GA
Oct. 4, 2014
audience recording (sound quality: VG+; Sloan Simpson master recording)
Ross Shapiro (center) & The Glands: at home in Athens
01) Have Your Cake
02) Na Na Na Na
03) When I Laugh
04) So Hi
05) Son-O-Mine
06) Two Dollar Wine
07) Pretty Merrina
08) Something In the Air
09) You Are the Mountain 
10) Free Jane
11) Holiday Walk
12) Every Time I Listen 
      to a Stranger 
13) Do Unto Others
14) This Is the Coat
15) The Virgin Loses Again
16) Got You
17) Call Me Doctor
18) Livin' Was Easy
19) I Can See My House from Here
20) (A Screwed Up Way of Saying) I Want You 
21) They Were All Small
22) Welcome to New Jersey
23) Is It Any Wonder
24) Belle Epoque
25) No. Zero
26) Southern Charm
27) Work It Out
28) Ground
29) Head That's Mine
30) Breathe Out
31) Swim
32) Fortress
33) Straight Down
34) Soul Inspiration
35) Mayflower
36) Lovetown
Ross Shapiro - guitar, keyboard, lead vocal
Joe Rowe - drums, vocal
Doug Stanley - guitar (2004)
Andy Baker - bass (2004)
Frank MacDonell - guitar (2014)
Derek Almstead - bass, vocal (2014) 

ROB SEZ: The Glands! One of these days, I'll get in on the ground floor of an amazing, talented, and cultishly cool band. Not so with The Glands, one of Athens, GA's best-kept secrets. It took the untimely death of leader & founder Ross Shapiro from cancer in 2016 to bring the band to my attention, and I am utterly gobsmacked by their music. With two striking albums and a third collection released after Shapiro's death, The Glands left behind an admirable legacy. For fans, the missing piece of the puzzle was quality live recordings. But that's been remedied by Sloan Simpson of Southern Shelter (more or less an Athens version of NYC Taper). I am indebted to Simpson for his beautiful recordings and his willingness to share lossless versions of these shows with me. He's recorded and archived an amazing collection of live shows; go check out Southern Shelter.