Friday, September 17

Don McGlashan - Radio NZ Live Sessions 2013-2015

Radio NZ Sessions 2013-2015
Auckland, NZ

webstream (sound quality VG+ to Ex-)

SAMPLE: "Lucky Stars" (2015 RNZ live session)

Most excellent photos by David Watson
01 Bad Blood (solo)
02 Korea (solo)
03 Envy of Angels (solo)
04 Marvellous Year (solo)
05 Harbour Bridge (solo)
06 Lucky Stars (solo)
07 Charles Kingsford Smith (solo)  
08 Last Year's Shoes
09 Face In the Paper
10 Bathe In the River
11 Harbour Bridge
12 Toy Factory Fire
13 This Is London
14 When the Trumpets Sound
15 Charles Kingsford Smith
16 Lucky Stars
17 The Waves Would Roll On
18 Tomorrow Night

1-5 = solo session, June 2013
6-7 = solo session, Feb. 2015
8-11 = with band, June 2013 (Wayne Mowat, 'Afternoons' show)
12-13 = DM & Seven Sisters, Music 101 live session, June 2013
14 = with Tom Rodwell, 13th Floor Video Session, April 2015
15-18 = with Chris O'Connor & Tom Rodwell, June 2015

Taite Music Prize Awards
Auckland, NZ
April 15, 2015

webstream (sound quality VG+)

01 Hold On to Your Loneliness
02 Girl, Make Your Own Mind Up 
03 Lucky Stars
04 On My Way to You
05 The Waves Would Roll On
06 When the Trumpets Sound

ROB SEZ: Don was the founder, songwriter, and lead singer of New Zealand's beloved Mutton Birds. Friend of the Finns, Don is every bit as talented as Neil & Tim, but not as well known. He deserves to be an international household name. I buy all of Don's albums without stopping to ask "Is this going to be worth the money?" because I know it will be — and I've never been disappointed. I am stoked that he's about to drop his latest, Bright November Morning, at the end of October (see below).

Don's latest album: Bright November Morning — first in 6 years, out Oct. 29.
Listen to the single "Now's the Place" right now.
Sample or preorder this & his others at Bandcamp.

Read more about the music of Don McGlashan 
at his website or FB

Sunday, September 12

Tim Finn - Live 1989 + 1993

Dallas, TX
April 1989
Tim Finn: best widow's peak in pop 
(venue, exact date unknown)

audience recording (sound quality: VG+) 

01 Young Mountain

02 Not Even Close

03 How’m I Gonna Sleep?

04 Parihaka

05 Tears Inside

06 Birds Swim, Fish Fly

07 I Hope I Never

08 Suicide On Downing Street

09 Show a Little Mercy

The Borderline

London, UK

June 16, 1993

soundboard recording (quality: Ex-, ripped from 

promo-only CD via 'Walk You Home' boot)

01 Hit the Ground Running
02 Persuasion

03 Protected

04 Many's the Time

05 Six Months In a Leaky Boat

06 Walk You Home

07 Charlie

08 Parihaka (incl. Weather With You)

09 Not Even Close

10 Protected

11 All I Ask*

12 Persuasion* (w. Richard Thompson, guitar)

*Tracks 11 & 12 recorded live on Later With Jools Holland in 1993, TV audio

ROB SEZ: Fancy a bit of Finn musical fun? If you're showcasing New Zealand talent (as I'm doing these days at the blog), you can't go wrong with either Finn brother. That said, Neil is more prolific, and it can be hard to find live recordings of Tim in good voice. Here are two for your listening pleasure. As always, my biggest thanks go to the tapers and sharers, whose names are unknown to me. Please enjoy.




Saturday, September 4

The Gordons - Wellington, N.Z. 1984 (sbd)

Terminus Hotel 
Wellington, New Zealand
July 5, 1984

soundboard recording (quality: VG++)

01 Reactor
02 Quality Control
03 Joker
04 Red Line 
05 Mono Flo
06 Identity
07 Machine Song
08 Adults and Children
09 Lead Room
10 Dreams Are Free
11 25,000 Years*
12 Mentus Fugit

*song titles for 10 & 11 are guesses, based on the lyrics

ROB SEZ: Once again, I'm featuring a band I don't know much about, except that they're from N.Z., and were part of the Flying Nun crew. They didn't release a lot of music before they folded. Yet The Gordons caused enough of a stir that tapers like crankingamps were paying attention. All thanks to him for recording & sharing this one.

Sunday, August 29

The Chills - Then & Now (Live 1989 + 2021)

Ladbroke Grove 
London, UK
October 11, 1989

audience recording (sound quality: VG+; a solid recording with clear vocals and good instrum. separation)

01 intro
02 Wet Blanket
03 Singing In My Sleep
04 The Oncoming Day
05 Night of Chill Blue
06 Dan Destiny and the Silver Dawn 
07 Familiarity Breeds Contempt
08 Past Part Past Fiction
09 Effloresce and Deliquesce
10 Rain
11 House With a Hundred Rooms
12 I Love My Leather Jacket
13 Pink Frost
14 Dead Web
15 Whole Lot of Non Going On
16 Look for the Good In Others
17 encore break
18 Kaleidoscope World
19 I Saw Your Silhouette
20 encore break
21 Brave Words
22 Great Escape

ROB SEZ:  Got longevity? The Chills do. Thanks to the stubborn persistence of founder, lead vocalist, & songwriter Martin Philipps, The Chills are still at it more than 30 years after they began. Here's a pair of shows 31 years apart, with deep thanks to buenaventura, auto_pilot, and crankingamps for sharing their gems. The Chills' latest studio album is Scatterbrain, released in May of this year.

The Powerstation
Auckland, New Zealand
May 14, 2021

audience recording (sound quality: VG+; there's noticeable crowd chatter, but it's not intrusive during the songs)

01 intro
02 Night of Chill Blue
03 Bad Sugar
04 The Male Monster 
     from the Id 
05 Wet Blanket
06 The Oncoming Day
07 Destiny
08 Monolith
09 Kaleidoscope World
10 You're Immortal
11 Pink Frost
12 Lord of All I Survey
13 Doledrums
14 Little Alien
15 Heavenly Pop Hit
16 I Love My Leather Jacket
17 encore break
18 Dark Sensation [Snapper cover]
19 Rolling Moon
20 Hourglass


Saturday, August 21

Finn Brothers - Mood Swinging Men (live comp)

Neil & Tim Finn
'Mood Swinging Men'
fanclub-only live comp, 1995-1996
various dates & venues: UK, USA, N.Z. & Australia

soundboard recordings (quality: Ex-)

ROB SEZ: Way back when, I purchased this directly from the Finn Brothers / Crowded House fanclub, and I just sold it to help pay some bills. It's never seen a general/commercial release, and is impossible to find at a reasonable price. I ripped it before I sold it, so of course I'm sharing it here. Please enjoy this tuneful treat. (You can find another Finn Brothers share I posted at the blog a few years ago HERE.)


Friday, August 13

The 3D's - Carrboro, N.C. May 1994 (sbd)

Cat's Cradle 
Carrboro, N.C.
May 26, 1994

soundboard recording (quality: VG++)

01 intro
02 Beautiful Things
03 Something In the Water 
04 Meluzina Man
05 Sing Song
06 The Young and Restless
07 The Golden Grove
08 Man On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
09 Sunken Treasure
10 (unidentified song)
11 Hey Seuss
12 Cash None
13 Outer Space
14 Ritual Tragick
15 encore break
16 Hairs

TT: 54:27 mins.

The 3D's:
David Saunders - guitar, vocals
Dave Mitchell - guitar, vocals
Denise Roughan - bass, vocals
Domenic Stones - drums

ROB SEZ:  Honestly, I am not that familiar with The 3Ds, so I don't have a lot to say about this blazing live set. Thankfully, the taper and uploader, mrpember, had some comments. I quote him verbatim, with my deep thanks for his generosity:

Great set from this great New Zealand noise-pop band. Their album The Venus Trail had just been released in the U.S. on Merge Records so this was a bit of a 'showcase' for the label and it went extremely well, they got a legitimate encore which was rare for an opening band. The board mix took a few songs to dial in but for most of this set it is excellent. 

As I normally did after recording bands who were on their label, I dropped a cassette of this show off at the Merge Records office in Chapel Hill the day after the show. I got a call later that day or the next day asking if I could drop off three more copies, the band thought it was one of the best shows they'd ever played and really liked the tape and each member wanted a copy.

They were the second band that night, following the Raymond Brake and followed by The Archers of Loaf (who seemed a bit intimidated to follow them).






Friday, August 6

The Clean - Hoboken, N.J. 2007 (matrix)

Hoboken, N.J.
Dec. 5, 2007

(Hanukkah show, opening for Yo La Tengo)

soundoard-audience matrix (sound quality: Ex-)
01 Hold On to the Rail
02 Side On
03 Factory Man
04 Getting Older
05 Secret Place
06 Too Much Violence
07 Someone
08 Point That Thing Somewhere Else 
09 Tally Ho
10 Beatnik
11 Stars
12 Safe In the Rain

From Ira Kaplan's 2007 Hanukkah diary:

If the holidays are a time for getting together with loved ones, then I can’t think of a better way to start night two of our little shindig than with the Clean. I have a vivid memory of riding toward the Lincoln Tunnel — this is something like 20 years ago — listening for the first time to a pre-recorded cassette of Compilation that a friend thought I’d like, and flipping my lid. Speaking of lids, the Clean’s were topped with black wigs, and had lots to say between songs, much of it profane. They opened strong with “Hold On to the Rail,” “Side On” and a world premiere “Factory Man,” and ended even stronger, with a triple play of classics — “Point That Thing Somewhere Else,” “Tally Ho,” and their Jewish number “Beatnik” — before closing with a gorgeous “Safe in the Rain.”

ROB SEZ: Gotta be up front about my profound love of The Clean, comprised of David & Hamish Kilgour and Robert Scott. If you force me to say which N.Z. band I love the most, I will readily cop to The Clean.  Something about David K's way with words, melodies, and the just-right guitar lines: feels like a complete package. 
HUGE THANKS to YLTfan for recording this one and to neil d for doing the rest. My apologies for being so slow to get this series going: just too much going on re: the rest of my life in the past 6 weeks. I'm now setting aside some early a.m. hours every week now, so look for weekly posts from here on.


Wednesday, June 30

Great Unwashed - N.Z. Indie Supergroup Demos + Live 1983-1984

The Great Unwashed
Demo recordings

Colombo Street
Christchurch, N.Z.

soundboard recordings (audio quality: OK)

01 Zombies at the Door
02 Instrumental
03 Instrumental
04 The Way You Should Be Now
05 Instrumental
06 (2nd take of 2nd piece)

ROB SEZ: This post kicks off a new series focusing on New Zealand ROIOs from the 1980s and 1990s. I thought the Great Unwashed would be a great way to start, since it includes members of The Clean, The Bats, and The Chills. HUGE THANKS to H.T. and Happytrader for sharing their treasures with folks like me. Watch for lots more in the coming weeks...

The Gluepot
Auckland, N.Z.
Aug. 9, 1984

audience recording (sound quality: very good)

Hamish Kilgour (left) & Pete Gutteridge (RIP), 1984

01 Toadstool Blues
02 Neck of the Woods 
03 Small Girl
04 Green Skin
05 ?
06 ?
07 ?
08 ?
09 Born In the Wrong Time
10 Middle Sized Mind
11 Feel Too Much
12 Boat With No Ocean
13 It's a Day
14 Duane Eddy
15 Can't Find Water
16 Sense of Balance


Saturday, June 26

Returning Soon with Cool N.Z. Music Posts

Coming Your Way:
ROIOs by New Zealand Indie Groups I Love

ROB SEZ: After a much-needed break, I will be re-booting the blog very soon with weekly posts by New Zealand artists & bands I love. Who'm I talking about? The Clean, David Kilgour, The Chills, The Verlaines, The Bats, The Great Unwashed, The 3Ds, Crowded House, The Finn Brothers, The Gordons, The Mutton Birds, Don McGlashan, 7 Worlds Collide and the great Dave Dobbyn. That's not a complete list of Kiwi music I listen to, but it pretty well covers the ones for which I have ROIOs to share.

"Why N.Z. music?" you might wonder. I fell in love with the country when I went there with my wife for a 2-week visit back in the 1980s. I love the whole vibe and feel of the place, but I don't think it receives nearly enough attention or recognition. (Let's not forget which country was the most effective in quickly kicking COVID's ass as a public health hazard...) In keeping with the "Every Cult Band Needs a Cult" ethos of the blog, it seemed right to shine a spotlight on a place with a LOT to like — especially its many wonderful indie bands.

The first post of the re-boot is coming your way in a few days, so check back here soon.

Saturday, May 1

Field Music - Live at KCRW, Santa Monica, CA 2010 & 2016

Morning Becomes Eclectic, KCRW 
Santa Monica, CA
April 1, 2010

webstream recording (sound quality: Ex-; best-sounding webstream capture I've ever heard)

01 Them That Do Nothing 
02 Effortlessly
03 If Only the Moon 
     Were Up  
04 Something Familiar
05 Let's Write a Book
06 Rockist
      (School of Language cover)
07 Each Time Is a New Time
08 Share the Words
09 Tell Me Keep Me
10 Interview with DJ Jason Bentley

ROB SEZ: Field Music — how do they do it? How do the Brewis brothers throw so many genres into their magical musical blender and come out with such tasty prog-pop-funk+? And how the heck do they re-create it so effectively in a live setting? I'm hard-pressed to say which of these sets I like the best. They were recorded almost exactly 6 years apart, and have no songs in common. The sound quality is extraordinary for a webstream capture. Field Music just released their latest studio concoction, Flat White Moon (video of lead track "Orion from the Street" is below). I've heard it, and it's fab.

Field Music - the live band in 2016

                                  new album: Flat White Moon
Morning Becomes Eclectic, KCRW
Santa Monica, CA
March 30, 2016

webstream recording (sound quality: Ex-; best-sounding webstream capture I've ever heard)

01 Noisy Days Are Over
02 I'm Glad
03 Who'll Pay the Bills?
04 Disappointed
05 Don't You Want to Know
     What's Wrong? 
06 It's a Good Thing
07 Stay Awake
08 I Keep Thinking About a New Thing  
09 Interview with DJ Jason Bentley

(lossless captures, lossy source)
   "Orion from the Street" - new video

Friday, April 30

New dB's-Related Releases Coming Soon!

Spring & RSD 2021 Bring dB's-Related Releases

Yesterday's Tomorrow — Live 2018 N.C.-centric Release

• Chris Stamey & Peter Holsapple's Our Back Pages — on vinyl & CD

• Chris' Brand New Shade of Blue — on vinyl for RSD

Warm Up Your Wallet, Your Plastic &/or Your Crypto-Currency

Peter, Chris, Mitch, Will, Don & company
Winston-Salem musical nostalgia at its best
(details below) 

Digital-only delight to be released on vinyl & CD in June

Act fast:  just 250 copies of this one will be released on vinyl in July 

ROB SEZ:  In a mystical sign the pandemic might not actually last forever, the musical gods have smiled on fans of The dB's and their cohorts. Thanks to Omnivore Recordings (what an amazing label they are), we shall soon be spoiled by an embarassment of musical riches. While two of these titles are "new" thanks to vinyl- and CD-format releases of material that saw prior digital-only release, one of them is entirely new: Yesterday's Tomorrow: Live at the Ramkat 2018. This was a one-night-only live extravaganza that saw reunions of several bands Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Mitch Easter, Will Rigby, Don Dixon (etc.) were in once upon a time, many moons ago. Sneakers, Little Diesel, Sacred Irony, Rittenhouse Square and many others came together for the event, and Mr. Stamey and Mitch made sure the evening was beautifully recorded for posterity. This one's out May 7th on CD and download, with Our Back Pages (on CD and vinyl) to follow in June and Brand New Shade of Blue (on vinyl) in July, coinciding with the summer Record Store Day release dates.

All righty, then: what are you waiting for?


Yesterday's Tomorrow: Live at Ramkat 2018 - out May 7th on Omnivore (CD & digital)

Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey: Our Back Pages - pre-order CD release on Omnivore HERE; read about RSD vinyl release HERE  (note: CD and digital re-release will have 2 tracks not found in the original download: "Darby Hall" and "In Spain") 

Chris Stamey & Fellow Travelers: Brand New Shade of Blue - read about RSD vinyl release HERE & Omnivore digital release HERE

Read a recent interview with Peter Holsapple 

about Yesterday's Tomorrow HERE

Yesterday's Tomorrow: All the Info 

Live performance by reunited, iconic members of Winston-Salem scene

Package contains detailed liner notes by Stamey and a 24-page color history booklet 

with anecdotes, artifacts, and rare photographs.

In a fun, Nuggets-like trip back to the Summer of Love era, Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Celebrating the Winston-Salem Sound, due out April 30, 2021 on Omnivore Recordings, shines a strobe light on the vibrant ’60s and ’70s Combo Corner rock scene of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Original members of bands such as Arrogance, Little Diesel, Sacred Irony, and Rittenhouse Square —including Mitch Easter (Let’s Active); Peter Holsapple, Will Rigby, and Chris Stamey (the dB’s); singers Don Dixon, Dale Smith, Lynn Blakey, Bob Northcott; and many others — convened on May 12, 2018, at Winston-Salem’s Ramkat club to revisit those fuzzbox years, and this remarkable live recording shines brightly with their camaraderie and precise enthusiasm for those days of yore. In the mind-blowing songs of now-vanished local legends Captain Speed and the Fungi Electric Mothers, the classic set list of the Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin, and amid the amusing scene portrayals of collectors’ favorite Rittenhouse Square, the electric guitars soar, with plenty of feedback and sizzle. With the added oomph of the Occasional Orchestra (live strings, percussion, and brass), music direction by Doug Davis (Vagabond Saints’ Society), and stops along the way for affectionate renditions of then-faves by Bubble Puppy, the Easybeats, the Music Machine, the Electric Prunes, the Beatles, and even Kool and the Gang, there’s a lot to love here.

The impetus for this extraordinary concert was that Stamey had a book fresh off the press, a song-based memoir called A Spy in the House of Loud. A portion of the book references his time in New York, but the first part remembers, song by key song, the late 1960s and early ’70s creative rock music scene in Winston. This was sometimes called the Combo Corner scene, after the title of a short-lived column in Guitar Player magazine was repurposed to ironically christen a hangout spot at R.J. Reynolds High School. A surprising number of the Combo Corner crew went on to play and produce music professionally in the decades that followed — often with one another in different configurations (e.g., dB’s, Let’s Active, or with R.E.M., Steve Earle, Matthew Sweet, Vassar Clements, Hootie & the Blowfish, Big Star's Third Live, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Golden Palominos) and in different locales. They were still in regular contact the day Stamey suggested they try to “play the soundtrack to the book.” 

The band that most credit with starting the ball rolling here, back in 1968, was the aforementioned Captain Speed. Sadly, their bandleader, singer/bassist Bud Carlisle (real name Richard Moore), had died in 2010, and the psychedelic pioneers never released any music whatsoever, although their live shows (complete with flying duck) were still the stuff of local legend. In order to perform their essential songs, Easter, Borthwick, Davis, and Corky McMillan (Sacred Irony’s bassist) created an ensemble just for the event, later dubbed the Love Valets—a tongue-in-cheek moniker taken from “N.C.’s Woodstock,” a 1970 music festival in Love Valley, N.C. And likewise, the catch-all for the new big-ensemble groupings was the Royal Opposition, only a consonant away from Easter and Borthwick’s seminal 1968 surf-rock combo, the Loyal Opposition.

Chris explains: “From the ’50s R&B stylings of the “5” Royales’ “Think” through the dense mystery of Captain Speed’s “Reptilian Disaster” all the way to the future-punk of Little Diesel’s “Kissy Boys” and Sneakers’ “Condition Red” and the sophistication of Let’s Active’s “Room with a View,” there’s a ley line running through a scene and a city, one that you’ll find is worth exploring. Maybe every city has a beloved scene in its rearview worthy of celebration? I hope this is indeed the case. But this one is our story. Or at least a time-tunnel’s glimpse into a part of it. As Captain Speed sang all those years ago, ‘Our high kites do star those nights, where you can see beyond today, tomorrow . . . forever.’ ”

The concert was captured to multitrack, lovingly mixed by Stamey and Easter, and is now available as Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Celebrating the Winston-Salem Sound. A multi-decade tour-de-force, and an important document in itself, Yesterday’s Tomorrow is more than just a celebration. It’s a history lesson, with the present happily dressed up in the past, looking toward the future. 

Track Listing

  1. Hot Smoke & Sassafras—Rittenhouse Square
  2. Reptilian Disaster—The Love Valets
  3. Room With a View—The Royal Opposition feat. Lynn Blakey & Mitch Easter 
  4. Talk Talk—The Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin 
  5. Yesterday’s Tomorrow—The Love Valets 
  6. Hollywood Swinging—Little Diesel
  7. I See Love—Sacred Irony
  8. Black Death—The Love Valets 
  9. S'il Vous PlaĆ®t (Live) – Sneakers
  10. Got to Get You Into My Life—The Royal Opposition feat. Don Dixon
  11. Condition Red (Live) – Sneakers
  12. Every Word Means No—The Royal Opposition feat. Mitch Easter
  13. Think feat. Don Dixon—The Royal Opposition
  14. Like Wow—Rittenhouse Square
  15. King Battle of the Bands—Rittenhouse Square
  16. Kissy Boys—Little Diesel
  17. The Train Stops Here—The Royal Opposition feat. Mitch Easter
  18. I Am Your Doctor—Sacred Irony
  19. RubySneakers
  20. Maybe I’m Amazed—The Royal Opposition feat. Don Dixon
  21. Good Times—Sacred Irony
  22. Galaxies of Love—The Royal Opposition feat. Bob Northcott
  23. I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)—The Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin