Monday, December 19, 2011

The Oh Sees - Live From KEXP (9.10.2010)

Thee Oh Sees are a lo-fi psychedelic Garage group from San Francisco, California. Initially the band was conceived of as a Solo recording project for the prolific musician and composer John Dwyer. Over the years it it has evolved into much more than that.

John Dwyer grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. He came out to San Francisco in the mid 1990's. He played in a number of diffrent bands including Pink & Brown, It's Alive, Sword and Sandals, and most notably Coachwhips. As the Frontman for the Coachwhips Dwyer pounded out hard hitting Garage Punk tunes that seldom exceeded a two minute runtime.

While he was still a member of the Coachwhips Dywer started a solo recording project on the side called OCS. His side project became an outlet for his more experimental side. Over time OCS gained some additional members and became a fully realized rock and roll band. Dwyer continued to Sing and play guitar, but he recruited Petey Dammit on Bass, Mike Shoun on Drums, and Brigid Dawson for Tambourine and vocals. Now going by the name Thee Oh Sees Dywer had a group that combined his roots in Garage-Rock with his new direction of ambient experimentation. The resulting music was met with an extremely positive reaction from the listening public.

This is a live performance from the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland Oregon recorded September 10th, 2010. This show was broadcast live during the annual Musicfest NW. The Gories were also playing that same weekend.  At the end of the first track you can hear Dwyer talk about how excited he is to be playing the same festival as The Gories. He says, "We've been loving them and trying to rip them off for years now."

At the end of 2nd track Dwyer thanks KEXP. Later on you also hear him say "I will not swear on the air" under his breath. This recording was captured from the Soundboard and originally broadcast by Seattle's KEXP-90.3FM. KEXP is a public radio station has gained a strong reputation in the greater Puget Sound area for helping to foster a strong underground music community. You can go to the KEXP website to download some podcasts or hear the 24/7 live stream. This recording was posted as an episode of their Live Performances podcast.

At the end of the 3rd track Dwyer says, "Alright here's a real old one." when introducing the song "Enemy Destruct." "Enemy Destruct" had only been released a year earlier on their 2009 album Help. For most bands that would not be that old but Thee Oh Sees are one of the most prolific bands in rock and roll. They had released three full length albums and a handful of singles between 2009 and this performance in 2010. It would be very easy for the Thee Oh Sees to simply rehash old favorites from their back catalogue to please their audience. But Thee Oh Sees have always looked ahead to their next release and never dwelled on the past. For this broadcast they performed two songs from Help and the Titular track from their 2009 Tidal Wave 7inch, but most of the songs on this bootleg were un-released at the time of this recording. 5 out of the 7 tracks here didn't get release until their 2011 record Carrion Crawler/The Dream.

Thee Oh Sees sun baked guitar riffs and re-verb drenched vocals have helped re-define and expand the sound of modern surf rock. Many of Dwyer's song's evoke imagery of the beach and other hauntingly distant seascapes. In may of 2010, A few months before this show was recorded, John Dwyer gave did interview for to promote the release of their Warm Slime LP. The interviewer asked Dwyer about his relationship to the ocean and to the beach. Not surprisingly Dywer had a lot to say:
It’s just the calm of one relaxing moment. You realize your problems are pretty small when you’re sitting in front of the ocean...I love the beach. I grew up in Rhode Island, and there’s a weird parallel between San Francisco and Rhode Island, in a weird way it’s Providence in particular and New Port, Rhode Island. They’re both real heavy in shipping and importing and exporting so there’s all these crazy industrial areas for boating, creepy docks, beautiful beaches. That’s the way I grew up, my parents were always taking me to the beach. There’s a place off the coast of Rhode Island that’s an incredible island with no phones, and we would rent a shitty little broken ass down house for $100 a week out there in the summer. And those were all my formative years, going snorkeling and eating muscles.


Thee Oh Sees
Doug Fir Lounge
City: Portland, OR
Date: 9.10.2010
Size: 20.4 mb
Runtime: 32:47
Source: Soundboard-FM Broadcast

Track Listing:
1. Crushed Grass
2. Contraption Soul Desert
3. Meat Step
4. Enemy Destruct
5. The Dream
6. Tidal Wave
7. Crack In Your Eye

Monday, November 28, 2011

Radio Birdman - Live in Sidney (11.23.1976)

Radio Birdman was formed in Sydney, Australia in 1974. They were one of the pioneering Aussie punk bands and by far the most influential band on the future of the Sydney punk scene. They chose their name after misunderstanding a line from the Stooges song "1970". The line actually goes "Radio burnin' up above" but Iggy was never known for his annunciation so the confusion is forgivable.    

The popular view of history says that that punk started in New York and then spread to England. However the history of Radio Birdman tells a much different tale. Really punk started in Detroit and then spread to Australia.

Radio Birdman was formed by an unlikely pair: vocalist Rob Younger, a native Australian, and Guitarist Deniz Tek, an American who had just moved to Sydney to attend medical school. Tek had come from Ann Harbor, Michigan. Ann Harbor was a little college town about an hour outside of Detroit but in the late sixties and early seventies it became a key music hub in the American Midwest. It was a regular stop for world famous touring acts and virtuoso Jazz greats but most importantly it was home to the first wave of proto-punk bands like the Stooges and the MC5.

The sound of Radio Birdman was too fast, heavy, violent, and psychotic to play any of the established Sydney Clubs. As forerunners of the D.I.Y. punk ethic the band took over the a small pub, renamed it The Oxford Funhouse in tribute to their favorite band, and made that pub into the center of Sydney's exploding Punk scene.

Like many artists who were ahead of their time Radio Birdman never got the recognition they deserved. They never got very famous outside of Australia. They toured the rest of the world but nobody really took notice. They almost got a record released in America through Sire records but the deal fell through at the last moment and Radio Birdman was left to virtual obscurity. They broke up in 1978 before most of the world had even heard the term "punk".

This Record was made in November of 1976 on month after the release of their debut E.P. Burn My Eye. It was only a few months after the release of the Ramones first record and it was a year before The Damned or the Sex Pistols released anything in England.

This bootleg is true rarity. It was recorded live Sydney's legendary Double Jay Studio for an A.M. broadcast. Double Jay was a Sydney Radio station that played an integral role in the formation of the Australian music scene because they focused on Aussie bands and they were willing to play songs that other stations had banned for references to sex and drugs.

The sound quality is a little muddy but so is every recording of a cutting edge punk band from the mid seventies. This recording sounds better than any bootlegs you will ever get of the Stooges or MC5. This recording represents a diamond in the rough and a it is essential listening for anyone intrested in the roots of independently produced Rock & Roll music.


Radio Birdman
Double Jay Studios
City: Sydney Australia
Date: 11.23.1976
Size: 170 mb
Runtime: 1:14:24
Source: Amplitude Modulation Broadcast
Bitrate: 320 kbps

Track List:
01 - Route 66
02 - Murder City Nights
03 - Don't Look Back
04 - Anglo Girl Desire
05 - Man With Golden Helmet
06 - Love Kills
07 - TV Eye
08 - Surf City
09 - Hand Of Law
10 - New Race
11 - Transmaniacon M.C
12 - Burn My Eye
13 - Descent Into The Maelstrom
14 - Time Won't Let Me
15 - I 94
16 - Do The Pop
17 - Descent Into The Maelstrom
18 - Death By The Gun
19 - Snake

Monday, November 7, 2011

X - Chicago 10.7.1983

X are one of the most iconic bands to come out of the Los Angeles punk scene. There sound is so heavily immersed in the city of Angels that they named their debut album after the city itself.

Billy Zoom came from Savanna, Illinois.  His background was in rockabilly and blues. He heard about punk after reading a review of the Ramones. It criticized the Ramones' songs for being too fast and too short. Billy thought those sounded like positive attributes and decided to form a punk band.

 Jon Doe grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He had been exposed to punk rock by listening to Patti Smith records. He moved to LA and decided he wanted to be part of a band. He answered an ad and in a local paper and met Billy Zoom. During this time Jon Doe was also participating in a poetry workshop where he met future X singer Exene Cervenka, who had just arrived to L.A. from Tampa, Florida.

Doe thought that Exene's poetry would make great lyrics so he invited her to come sing some songs for his new band. Billy Zoom was not thrilled that Jon Doe had invited his crazy, new, poetry writing girlfriend into the band without asking but they all managed to make it work. The band went through a variety of drummers before Billy and Jon discovered D.J. Bonebroke playing drums with The Bags at the historic L.A. punk venue the Masque. With the addition of D.J. Bonebroke the classic X lineup was complete.

X played scaled down strait forward punk-rock when the L.A. scene was splintering in every direction except Rock and Roll. Bands like Fear, Black Flag, and the Circle Jerks were pioneering the brutal sound of hardcore while other bands like Devo were crafting a more slick and modern aesthetic that would become new-wave. X retained a classic sound through the eighties which is one of the many reasons why their records remain timeless while many of their contemporaries have faded into obscurity.

By 1980 X had attracted a lot of attention in the L.A. scene. Ray Manzarek, founding keyboard player and founding member The Doors, was also an L.A. native and a fan of the band. Manzarek agreed to produce X's first album Los Angeles for Slash Records and to play keys on the Doors cover of "Soul Kitchen". Upon it's release Los Angeles recieved rave reviews from independent punk fanzines and even some attention from the national press. X's debut sold over 50,000 copies which was very rare for a punk album on an indy label. Ray Manzarek went on to produce X's next three albums.

Their 1981 follow up Wild Gift proved to be just as strong of an album both artistically and commercially. It was their second and final album for Slash records. The single "White Girl" became their first major hit and the record snuck on onto the Billboard Pop chart at #165.

For their next album X signed to major label Elktra Records. Under the Big Black Sun was slightly more polished than it's predecessors. It charted at #76 but it held true to the band's sound and for a little bit it looked like X was one of the few punk bands that could gracefully handle the transition from indy credibility to widespread commercial appeal without alienating their original fanbase.

More Fun in the New World, X's fourth album in four years, was the final X album to be produced by Ray Manzarek. It was just as solid as any of it's predecessors, it sold just as well, and it charted at a respectable #86. But through the twisted eyes of and Elektra record executive steady sales is not enough. More Fun in the New World was released in September of 1983. It was the last great X album. After that most of the members of the band became distracted by side projects. Everything else they recorded as X after More Fun had a slick commercial sound that felt like a betrayal of the bands original aesthetic.

This bootleg was recorded in October of 1983 less than a month after the release of More Fun in the New World. It captures the band at their peak before they lost their edge. They perform an assortment of songs from their first four albums.

The sound quality and performance on this recordings are excellent. The show was captured from an F.M. broadcast. All the instruments are clearly audible and the vocals are mixed at a good level. This record is infinetly better than that official 1988 album X - Live at the Whisky a Go-Go. This bootleg sounds much deeper, louder, less compressed, and more vibrant than it's commercial counterpart.


Venue: Park West
City: Chicago, IL
Date: 10.07.1983
Size: 132 mb
Runtime: 58:04
Source: Frequency Modulation Broadcast

Set List:
01 Motel Room In My Bed
02 We're Having Much More Fun
03 In This House That I Call Home
04 Make The Music Go Bang
05 White Girl
06 True Love Pt. 2
07 Beyond and Back
08 Hungry Wolf
09 Poor Girl
10 Riding With Mary
11 Year One
12 Some Other Time
13 Breathless
14 Johnny Hit And Run Pauline
15 The Once Over Twice
16 Sugarlight
17 Because I Do
18 How I Learned My Lesson
19 Soul Kitchen

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Black Joe Lewis And The Honeybears: Paris France (12-18-09)

Black Joe Lewis picked up his first guitar at the age of twenty while working at a pawn shop in Austin, Texas. Over the next few years he practiced and mastered his instrument. He formed a band called Cool Breeze which consisted of Joe on Guitar and Vocals and a rotating cast of characters backing him up. He secured a weekly gig at "The Hole in The Wall" a local Austin dive bar.

Joe continued his gigs there for a while. But he was beginning to get frustrated with music. The lineup of his band would change almost every week, and he wasn't getting any real attention. In 2007 Joe was considering leaving Austin and giving up on his music career. But fortunately at that time future Honeybears guitarist Zack Ernst was a student and member of University of Texas Music and Entertainment Committee. They were planning their annual 40 Acres Fest. Little Richard was to be the headliner and the Entertainment Committee needed an opener.

Ernst asked Joe to the be the opener. The show was a huge boost for Joe's career and opened him up to a lot of new opportunities. After the Little Richard show Ernst and Joe developed a friendship based around a mutual affinity for blues and soul music particularly the contemporary blues artists on Fat Possum Records like Junior Kimbrough and R.L.Burnside. Soon Ernst became a member of the Cool Breeze.

Despite his recent success Joe still had some trepidations about his future in music. The Cool Breeze wasn't a stable group of dedicated musicains. Joe got offered a gig at an Austin club called The Parish but he was going to turn it down because he didn't have a band. Zach Ernst, who wanted to play the gig, got together a group of his college friends to form a horn section and help round off the rhythm section. This band eventually became The Honeybears. They retained the blues style of Joe's earlier work but incorporated new elements of deep soul, funk, and punk.

In 2008 interview, Zach Ernst was asked to describe the Band's sound. He responded:
Well, Joe came up with “garage soul” and we all liked that. We draw from influences like James Brown and Howlin’ Wolf, and also from ‘70s punk rock, garage rock, the Sonics and the Monks. We’re definitely influenced by all the great, older blues and rock-and-roll artists. Joe plays a really unique style of guitar, like an aggressive lead guitar. Having two loud guitars in the band isn’t really something that any of those soul bands we love so much really ever did. 

This was show recorded December 18th, 2009 for the French television program Live De La Semaine (Live This Week) the same year year Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears released their first full length album Tell em What You're Name Is. This show is comprised of eight tracks off their debut album.

This record begins with a promo featuring a smooth talking frenchmen introducing the band over a recording of "Get Yo' Shit", one of the few songs from their record they don't perform for this show. The first song "Gunpowder" comes off harder with more firepower than it does on their record. It only takes a second to realize that Black Joe is at his best performing live.

Joe introduces "Bitch I Love You" by saying this is our hit. He says this with a hint of Irony. It is one of their more popular songs but it is also caused the band a lot of troubles. Their tongue and chic lyrics have earned them a reputation for misogyny and "Bitch I Love You" has done the most to perpetuate that image. They got kicked off of a tour with Al Green because he found it offensive. They also had a Baraka Obama staff member threaten to pull the plug on them if they played at it a 2008 presidential rally in Austin. Lewis has stated that he likes opening for bands like The New York Dolls because their fans are not as easily offended and he can play whatever he wants “I’m not ashamed of doing ‘Bitch, I love you’ in front of them." he said, "You do that in front of a jam band, and there’s like, feminist chicks who freak out.”

This recording ends the same way the album does on a high note, with "Please Pt. Two". It is an extremely heavy track full of tension and psychotic screaming that would put Iggy on edge. This live mix features a particularly pronounced Saxophone freak-out that is very reminiscent Steve Mackay's sax playing on Fun House.     

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Le Live De La Semaine
Location: Paris France
Date: 12.18.09
Size: 27.4mb
Runtime: 30min
Source: French Television Broadcast

Set List:
00. Sexy French Introduction
01. Gunpowder
02. Sugarfoot.
03. I'm Broke
04. Big Booty Woman
06. Bitch I love You
07. Bobby Bouchet
08. Please Pt. Two

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Keith Richards - Toronto Tapes

1976 was a dark time for Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones. They hadn't released a great record since Exile on Main Street (1972) and their last attempt in the studio, Black and Blue (1976), was the worst album they had made to date. The Stone's have a long history of drug busts, deportation, and operating in exile, but by the late seventies the joke was getting old. Keith Richard's severe heroin habit was getting in the way of his creativity. Mick Jagger, who felt that Richards had lost it, had taken over most of the creative control of the band. This lowered the overall quality of their performances and put strains on rock and roll's most famous songwriting duo.

During this turbulent time The Stones had been recording a Live double-album: Love You Live. This album only featured a few of their current songs. It was mostly made up of old blues numbers or Stone's originals from their glory days.

During this time Keith Richards relationship with his long time lover, Anita Pallenberg was stressed as well by the obligations of fame and dark nature of Heroin addiction. Anita was an actress and a model. She had originally been Brian Jone's girlfriend but she ended up with Keith. She gave birth to three of Keith's children. Their youngest child died on June 6, 1976 at less than three months of age. That night after finding out about the death of his youngest son, Keith Richards performed in Paris. Some of the performance from that night were used on Love You Live. Both Anita and Keith had been very strung out on cocaine and heroin, before during, and after the pregnancy of their third child. When the baby died things only got worse.

A few months later in March of 1977 Love You Live had still not been completed. The Stones decided to finish off the long overdue album with a few club dates. At the time they were only playing large stadiums and they thought it would be good to get back to their roots by playing somewhere small and intimate. They chose the El Mocambo Tavern in Toronto because Keith didn't need a visa to get into Canada and most other countries would not have him.

The Canadian shows seemed like a good idea but trouble started immediately. Keith showed up four days late and missed a number of rehearsals. Upon entering the country customs found a chunk of hash and a blackened spoon in Anita's purse. The couple was permitted to enter the country but the spoon and hash were held as evidence.

On February 28th, 1977 fifteen Canadian Mounties busted Keith Richards in his hotel room. Less than 24 hours after entering the countries Keith had procured an ounce of heroin and five grams of cocaine. Even though he had gotten the drugs in Toronto the Canadian goverment was charging him with trafficking. All of a sudden Keith found himself in jail looking at a potential sentence of seven years to life.

Keith got out on bail shortly after his arrest. He pulled things together enough to make it to rehersal and on March 4th and 5th the Stones recorded the final shows for their live album at El Mocambo. Afterwards Keith still needed to stay in the country to attend his upcoming court dates. The rest of the Stones, freaked out to find that Keith was still holding drugs, promptly fled the country and tried to distance themselves from Keith as much as possible.

On the night of March 12th 1977 Keith found himself alone in Toronto's Interchange Studios. The next day was his final court date where he would receive his sentence. On that long night, abandonced by his band and thinking about spending the rest of his live in a Canadian prison, he decided to record a few songs. These are the first recordings ever of Keith as a solo artist. He recorded five extremely somber and poignant old country songs. Keith had learned all these tunes from Gram Parsons, a fellow musician and country music enthusiast, before his untimely death in 1973.

The first track, "Worried Life Blues" is an Old Traditional song originally recorded in 1941 by "Big Maceo" Merriweather on vocals and piano, and Tampa Red on guitar. It is a sad song about loss but it may be the happiest song on this record because it hints at slightly better days ahead. "Worried Life Blues" was covered by countless blues artists and then later by rock musicians. It has often been heavily embellished both musically and lyrically, but Richard's rendition is surprisingly faithful to the original tune.

"Sing Me Back" home was originally recorded by Merle Haggard in 1968. This is a fitting tune for Keith to sing while awaiting trial. The song tells the story of a death row inmate on his way to the chair. His final request is to have someone sing him the same song his mama use to sing him as a child. The Prisoner seems to feel that if he can here that song one more time that it would take him back to his childhood and by listening to the song he could tranced his imprisonment and impending death. Keith's rendition of this song actually sounds more sorrowful and depressing than the Merle Haggard version.

"She Still Comes Around" was a song written by Country songwriter Glenn Sutton and first recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1969. It's about a drunken fuck up who is always disapointing his wife. But despite his flaws his wife is always there to love him and take care of him when he is at his lowest.

"Apartment #9" was a Johnny Paycheck song about a rejected man who sits alone in an apartment shrouded in darkness hoping his ex-lover will forgive him and come back home.

The final track "Say It's Not You" was written by country songwriter Dallas Frazier for George Jones in 1968. It's about a heartbroken man. He's heard rumors of a wild woman in town who would go home with a diffrent man every night. After hearing about her the man realizes the other men are describing the woman he loves. In 1994 Keith Richards recoreded this song again as a duet with George Jones on the "The Bradley Barn Sessions".

There is a common theme of regret and remorse over failed opportunities and a wasted life that runs through these sessions. Every track is written from the perspective of a man who has pissed away the best days of his life in a drunken, strung-out stupor. They are poignant lamentations for Richards to be singing the night before he his sentencing. These songs could have been written by Richards himself if they had not already been written by generations of country and blues-men years before him. 

With his firm repuatation as an ultra-heroin addicted rock mega-star it's hard to remember that Keith Richards was once an awkward teenage choir-boy who just wanted to play rock and roll and meet girls. His vocals on this whole record are surprisingly angelic. Beneath the years of excess and regret you can almost hear that choir boy crying out. These tapes were made on the other side of addiction and stardom, but through the haze you can you catch a glimpse of Keith at his most raw and vulnerable.

Keith Richards - The Toronto Tapes
DATE: March 12th, 1977
Location: Sounds Interchange Studios, Toronto, Canada
Source: Demo
Duration: 16:06
Size: 37.04 MB

1. Worried Life Blues            
2. Sing Me Back Home        
3. She Still Comes Around    
4. Apartment No. 9                  
5. Say It's Not You                  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lou Reed Acoustic Demo's 1970

In August of 1970 Lou Reed quit the Velvet Underground. This decision was followed by a severe mental breakdown and two long years of regret and isolation. At that point the Velvet Underground was a complete financial failure. Lou was broke and disillusioned. He didn't see much of a future for himself in the music business so he moved back to Long Island to live with his parents in the suburb of Freeport where he took a low paying job at his father's accounting firm as typist. 

These demo's were recorded during the fall and winter of 1970. They reflect Lou at his lowest point. He didn't make any more live appearances that year after leaving the Velvet Underground. The only thing he recorded were these twelve tracks. They are the first known recordings of Lou Reed as a solo artist. 

The fall of 1970 was a strange and dark time in Rock and Roll. The whole artistic world was in transition. The 1960's had just ended and the entire counter culture was searching for a new identity and means of survival in an increasingly harsh and unloving world. This transcendent bummer was only made worse by the death of hippie idols Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. 

Reed was particularly shook up by Hendrix's death partially because he was an admirer of Hendrix's style but also because he saw himself as the next potential victim of the rock and roll lifestyle. During this period Reed was also searching for a new identity and relevance. He began seeing a psychoanalyst. He replaced his use of amphetamine and heroin with a new regimen of pharmaceutical narcotics. 

Most of the songs on this demo were used on later Lou Reed albums. A few of these songs were also recorded with the Velvet Underground before Reed's departure however those recordings were not available until 1985. At the time Reed recorded this demo none of theses songs had ever been released to the general public.

This tape was not meant to be heard by fans. Most likely it was for Lou's personal use so many of these songs are works in progress. Most of these tracks are not much diffrent than their official liscensed counterparts, except for a lot of shortened intros and a few skipped guitar solos, but a couple of the recordings are barely recognizable as the building blocks of the finished product. This recording serves as an important snapshot of an artists in transition and of a lost and confused man in rapidly changing world.

"Going Down" and "Walk It and Talk It" both appeared one year later on his eponymous solo debut. The Demo version of "Going Down" shares a common chorus with the Album version but most everything else is different.   

He does an early rendition of "I'm So Free" and "Lonely Saturday Night (aka Goodnight Ladies)" which came out on Transformer in 1972. The song recorded here as "Lonely Saturday Night" was later reworked and turned into the second half of the song which evenentually became "Goodnight Ladies" .  

He also does an early version of  "Looking Through The Eyes of Love (aka Oh Jim)" which eventually evolved into the song "Oh Jim" on Berlin in 1973. These two songs contain a number of lyrical similarities to each other, but they are structurally and thematically different. "Oh Jim" is a song about a man jaded by stardom and "Looking through the eyes of hate". "Oh Jim" is very dark and bitter especially when compared to the surprisingly upbeat version of the song found on this demo which is an optimistic tune about "Looking through the eyes of love."

Another song on here that is dramitcaly diffrent than the stuido version is "Kill Our Sons (aka Kill Your Sons)" which was later released as "Kill Your Sons" on Sally Can't Dance in 1974. These two songs share a common structure, music, and chorus but the lyrics and meaning of the two are completely different. The recording on this demo, "Kill Our Sons" is a very typical protest song about the Vietnam war. It may have meant something at the time, but in retrospect it sounds very naive and it makes Lou Reed come across like a hippie. It is probably best that this version never got released. The later version of the song "Kill Your Sons" is about electro-shock treatment and it's mentally crippling side effects. This songs was inspired by Reed's personal experiences as a teenager growing up in the 1950's. At the age of fourteen he was subjected to a series of electro-shock therapy sessions with the intention of curing him of his homo-sexual feelings. Lou was still pretty gay after getting electro-shock therapy but as a result he has suffered long lasting effects of memory loss and he described himself as feeling like a vegetable.

"Ride Into the Sun", "She's My Best Friend", and "I'm Sticking With You" were all recorded for the infamous "Lost" Velvet Underground album but never appeared in any of Lou Reed's solo work other than on this Demo. The Demo take of "She's My Best Friend" is much more subdued than the Velvet Underground version. The lyrics are the same except the Reed sings the verses in a slightly different order. The demo version of "I'm Sticking With You" is a noteworthy because Lou Reed sings the song himself instead of Maureen Tucker who always sang that song for the Velvet Underground.  

"I Can't Stand it Anymore" and "Lisa Says" were both recorded for the "Lost" Velvet Underground album and then they were later re-recorded for Lou Reed's self-titled debut. The Version of "Lisa Says" on the Demo is completely different than the Velvet Underground version but it is relatively similar to the Self-Titled version. On the Demo and Velvet Underground version of "I Can't Stand It" Reed sings, "If Shelly would Just come back it would be alright," during the chorus. On his self-titled album he sings "If Penny would Just come back it would be alright". In addition each version of "I Can't Stand it Anymore" features three verses. The first two verse are always the same but the third verse changes on each recording. In the Velvet Underground version the final verse is just a repeat of the first verse. In this Demo version Reed Sings:

I'm Tired of Being Alone
I never once had a home-home
So when things get too hard
I just play my music loud-loud

On his Self Titled Album Reed Sings:

I'm Tired of Being Alone 
No one ever calls me on the phone
But when things aren't getting better
I just play my music louder

The rarity on this collection is "So In Love".  It was never performed with the Velvet Underground and Reed never re-recorded it for any of his later albums. This Demo is the only available recording of this song.

The sound quality of this recording is good not great. It is a little distorted and there are lots of hisses and pops, but I assume this is of comparable quality to the average demo tape made in 1970. Despite the low-fidelity these recording are an essential collector's item due to the unique performance and historical significance of this little documented period in Lou Reed's life.

Lou Reed
Demo Tape
Recorded: Fall and Winter of 1970
Length: 31min 52sec.
Size: 54.3mb

Set List

Fall 1970:
1. I'm So Free
2. I Can't Stand It
3. Walk and Talk It

Winter 1970:
4. Going Down
5. Ride Into the Sun
6. I'm Stick With You
7. Lisa Says
8. Kill Our Sons (aka Kill Your Sons)
9. Lonely Saturday Night (aka Goodnight Ladies)
10. So in Love*
11. She's My Best Friend
12. Looking Through the Eyes of Love (aka Oh Jim)

*This track is not available on any other recordings.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jacuzzi Boys - The Cavern - Dallas, TX (5.13.2010)

The Jacuzzi Boys are a lo-fi, psychedelic, garage-punk band from from Miami Florida. They formed in 2007 and quickly gained a following as they released a series of successful 7inches. In 2009 the small Indy label Florida's Dying released their first full length record No Seasons, In 2010 they recorded a live album for Jack White's Third Man Records, and just last month in August of 2011 they released their second album Glazin' on Hardly Art, a subsidiary of Sub Pop.

The Jacuzzi Boys prove that you don't need to be from California to make catchy sun baked surf rock for apathetic, drugged-addled hipster kids. Their sound is comparable to many of the giants of the California garage scene such as Ty Segall, Hunx and His Punx, and Nobunny. But the Jacuzzi Boy's sound does differ from their contemporaries in a few key ways. They come across as more genuine than cute, they are less poppy and gimmicky than Nobunny or Hunx, and they have managed to retain the high level of energy that Ty Segall brought to his early records but seems to be lacking in his later work.

It is very rare to get a good bootleg of a current band. Most bands don't start getting bootlegged until decades after their prime. This record was recorded at The Cavern in Dallas Texas a little over a year ago on April 13th, 2010. It captures the early days of a phenomenal band that has yet to peak.

This record is from a fairly high quality soundboard recording. The songs are all taken from their first album or other early singles, but this live performance is unique because it is markedly more high energy and raw than on any of their official records.

Jacuzzi Boys
Venue: The Cavern - Dallas, Texas
Date: 5.13.10
Source: Soundboard
Duration: 33 min
Size: 36mb

Set List:
01. Intro
02. Do the Coma
03. Smells Dead
04. Island Ave.
05. Black Sand
06. Bricks or Coconuts
07. Fruits
08. Docks
09. Freakazoids
10. Sing Along
11. Plandet of Dreamers
12. Blow Out Your Lights
13. Alligator
14. You Should Know
15. Age of the Giant Jellyfish

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Ramones - The Palladium - NYC - 1.7.1978 (SBD)

It's hard to imagine that someone actually had to write the lines "hey-ho, lets' go". It feels like such a simple and basic chant that it must have predated time itself. But someone had to be the first to come up with it. 

The Ramones formed in in Queens, New York in 1974. They all came together sharing a mutual love of The Stooges who's raw bloody rage gave The Ramones infinite inspiration. They quickly found a home in Manhattan clubs like CBGB's and Max's Kansas City playing alongside the god fathers of punk like the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop. 

The Ramones can be credited with being the first true and pure punk band because they invented and perfected the basic punk formula. They boiled the music down to it's most basic elements. They played quick two minute songs, which was about half the length of the average Dolls tune. Every song was built around a fast sloppy 3 or 4 chord riff with a simple, driving, repetitive hook, a basic verse-chorsu-verse structure, and fast simple lyrics that walked a fine line between psychotic and retarded. 

The Ramones also pioneered the punk attitude of complete indifference to their audience. Before them Iggy had experimented with attacking his audience, but Joey just ignored them completely. He did not dance, move, or even look up while he was playing. He just stood in front of the mic with his long, greasy, black hair in front of his face. There was no stage banter. The only way you could tell when one song stopped and the next started was by a short pause for Dee-Dee to yell, "1-2-3-4!". 

In the second half of the 1970's The Ramones produced four albums using their signature formula: Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia, and Road to Ruin. These four records pushed rock and roll to new levels of intensity and cemented the sound and aesthetics of  punk rock. They worked their way through the Ramones formula in every possible permutation and by the end of Road to Ruin they had carried it to it's natural conclusion. 

Today I'm a sharing the Ramones live at the historic Palladium in New York City recorded live January 7, 1978. This was recording right in the middle of the Ramones hey day. They had already achieved world wide success, but they were still young and fresh. They were not yet tired, aging rock stars. This show has some special energy because they are performing back in their hometown of New York City. One of the only pauses in the whole set is right before Blitzkrieg Bop. A very energized Joey says, "Well, it's great to be back here in New York City, and it's good to see all of you again."   

This show was recorded from the soundboard for an for F.M. radio broadcast on The King Biscuit Flower Hour. The audio quality is excellent. If it weren't for the cheering crowd after each song it would be difficult to distinguish between some of theses tracks and the recordings used on their early records. 

The Ramones
Location: The Palladium - New York, NY
Recorded: 01.07.1978
Source: FM Broadcast
Duration: 56 min
Size: 125mbs 
Bitrate: 320 kbps

01. Rockaway Beach
02. Teenage Lobotomy
03. Blitzkrieg Bop
04. I Wanna Be Well
05. Glad To See You Go
06. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
07. You're Gonna Kill That Girl
08. I Don't Care
09. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
10. Havana Affair
11. Commando
12. Here Today, Gone Tommorrow
13. Surfin' Bird
14. Cretin Hop
15. Listen To My Heart
16. California Sun
17. I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
18. Pinhead
19. Do You Want To Dance
20. Chainsaw
21. Today Your Love, Tommorrow The World
22. Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy
23. Suzy Is A Headbanger
24. Let's Dance
25. Oh, Oh, I Love You So
26. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
27. We're A Happy Family


Monday, August 22, 2011

13 Floor Elevators - WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX - 1966

The 13th Floor Elevators are the original psychedelic rock band from Austin Texas. They formed in 1965. In January of 1966 they released their first single "You're Gonna Miss Me." The 45 was an immediate success and gained the band instant notoriety. However The Elevators rapid ascension to fame brought along some unwanted attention.

The local Texas authorities saw Rocky Erickson as a figure head for the emerging drug culture, and they wanted to make an example of him. The police did not know of any specific crimes that the Elevators had committed but they put a surveillance team on the band because they were sure that Rocky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators must be up to no good.

At the time The Elevators electric jug player, Tommy Hall, happened to be trafficking large amounts of marijuana from Mexico into Texas on a regular basis.

On January 27th, 1966 Roky Erikson, Stacy Sutherland, Tommy Hall, Clementine Hall, and John Ike Walton of the 13th Floor Elevators were arrested on felony charges for possession of Marijuana. The police seized the Elevators van and as a cruel and ironic punishment the authorities used their van as an undercover surveillance vehicle.

In March of '66 The Elvators relocated to Dallas. They were in a new city, paranoid, reclusive and, alienated. They were still shaken up from their bust. Because of their legal problems they coudln't smoke much grass and they were having trouble finding Acid which they liked to drop before every live performance. They began heavily abusing pharmecuitacals such a Amphetamine and Quaaludes to compensate for the illegal drugs they could no longer use. They were seen chugging Listerine before shows and a few members even missed a gig because they were too fucked up on glue to perform. It was during this turbulent period of the their career that The 13th Floor Elevators made their first live television appearance.

This bootleg was recorded on the Sump'n Else television show. Which was a live teen dance show on Dallas' WFAA Channel 11. They made two appearances: The first in March of '66 shortly after moving to Dallas and the second two months later in May.

The recording quality is excellent especially for a bootleg from the mid sixties. The performances are extremely high energy and very psychotic. They also do some interesting tripped out covers of "You Really Got Me", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Have Mercy" and "Gloria". This bootleg sounds more weird, raw, and freaked out than their debut album The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators which had yet to been released when these shows were recorded.

But what makes these recordings really great is the enthusiastic television host who introduces the band and also tries to interview a very spaced out Tommy Hall about the electric jug. He sounds like a typical 1960's television personality. His chipper, wholesome, all american attitude stands in stark contrast to The Elevators who were standing at the forefront of a national cultural and psychedelic revolution which was set to explode in less than a year.

The 13th Floor Elevators
Sump'n Else - WFAA-TV, Dallas, Texas

Recorded: 3.25.1966 & 5.9.1966
Source: Television Broadcast
Duration: 37min
Size: 46.4mb

Set List:
Sump'n Else TV Show, WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX, 3/25/66
1. You're Gonna Miss Me
2. Fire Engine
3. You Really Got Me
4. Roll Over Beethoven

Sump'n Else TV Show, WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX, 5/9/66
1. Mercy, Mercy
2. Tried To Hide
3. Gloria
4. Fire Engine
5. You're Gonna Miss Me
6. Roller Coaster

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Black Angels - Seattle, WA - 6.11.2008

The Black Angels are a rock and roll band from Austin, Texas. They formed in 2004 taking their name from "The Black Angel Death Song" by the Velvet Underground.

The term "Psychdelic Rock" is extremely vague by nature and it does not actually mean anything. It does not refer to a specefic musical style or technique.It is a general term that can refer to any band that would sound better if you were high on Acid. That said The Black Angels are the definitive Neo-Psychedelic Rock Band of my generation. They have been the backing band for Rocky Erickson. They sound more droney than the Velvet Underground, more minimal than spaceman 3, and more strung out than The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

This show is a recording of the Black Angel's first set at Neumo's in Seattle on June 11, 2008. The best way to listen to this recording is alone in a dark room with your eyes closed. It sounds like three hits of acid, two balloons, and a fat line of Ketamine. These songs are deeply meditative but dark and sinister at the same time. Each song evokes vivid images of distant and haunting landscape full unspeakable beauty and strange, dark shadows.

This is an excellent show. All the songs came from their debut album Passover and their follow up Directions to See a Ghost. This was recorded in June of 2008 less than one month after Directions to See a Ghost had been released.

It is an audience capture. Normally I only post shows from the soundboard, but in this case the dissident echoey sound of an audience recording compliments the sound of The Black Angels in a very good way.

The Black Angel's
Location: Live at Neumo's - Seattle, WA
Recorded: 6.11.2008
Source: Audience
Duration: 80min
Size: 112.7mb

Set List:

01. [Intro]
02. Manipulation
03. You On The Run
04. Sniper At The Gates Of Heaven
05. Mission District
06. Black Grease
07. Deer-Ree-Shee
08. Science Killer
09. Young Men Dead
10. Empire
11. Surf City Revisited
12. Never Ever
13. [Intermission]
14. Better Off Alone
15. You In Color

For more Black Angels shows visit The Black Angels Collection at

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sonic Youth: Live at Brixton Academy-(SBD)-12.14.1991

Sonic Youth formed in New York City in the year 1981. They started out as part of the short lived but highly influential New York No-Wave scene. They later found a wider audience and new relevance as leaders in the burgeoning "alternative rock" scene of the late eighties and early nineties.

In 1990 Sonic Youth released Goo their first album with Geffen Records. This move to a major label was controversial at first, but with the release of Goo and it's follow up album Dirty Sonic Youth proved that it was possible to retain complete creative control while on a major label. Their work for Geffen was slightly more polished and Pop oriented than their earlier releases but only slightly. They still made heavily distorted, experimental noise rock, rich with feedback and non-sequiturs.

Most of the tracks from Sonic Youth: Live at Brixton Academy are renditions of songs off of Goo and Dirty. It was recorded live in London December 14, 1992. It captures them at the height of their commercial success and only a few years after the peak of their artistic career. This is a Radio Quality Recording and it is captured from the soundboard.

With most bootlegs you must tolerate a low-fidelity recording to enjoy a glimpse of an artist at their most raw and un-polished. But with this recording of Sonic Youth it is the exact opposite. This show is not particularly unique or special. There are no notable fuck ups or interesting stage banter, but the performance is first rate and as a recording all the songs sound as good if not better than they do in the studio.

The guitars are a little muddled, there is a lot of extra distortion and feedback, and the vocals are not nearly as clear or upfront as they are on Goo or Dirty. Normally these acoustic imperfections would detract from the listening experience, but with Sonic Youth it only makes the songs sound more full and rich. I feel that this live bootleg is probably a better representation of the band and their sound than anything they recorded for Geffen.

Sonic Youth - Live at Brixton Academy, London
Recorded: 12.14.1991
Duration: 54min
Size: 101mb
Source: Soundboard

Set List
01. 100% [3:24]
02. Dirty Boots [4:50]
03. Kool Thing [4:37]
04. Swimsuit Issue [3:03]
05. Genetic [4:04]
06. Theresa's Sound-World [6:11]
07. Tom Violence [3:31]
08. Sugar Kane [8:54]
09. Schizophrenia [5:13]
10. Drunken Butterfly [3:02]
11. Youth Against Fascism [3:29]
12. JC [4:18]

Monday, July 18, 2011

Neil Young: Amsterdam 12.10.1989

Neil Young is a Canadian singer songwriter. He first discovered fame in 1966 as one of the founding members of Buffalo Springfield. He is still actively touring and recording to this day. He has released over 50 albums in the last 45 years.

I'm choosing Neil Young Live in Amsterdam recorded December 10th, 1989 for todays post because it represents a key turning point in Young's long and turbulent career.

The eighties had not been an easy decade for Neil Young. Like many of his contemporaries such as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones he had alienated much of his audience by delving into an experimental phase of electronic synthesizers and rock and roll excess.

But in October of 1989 Neil Young released the album Freedom which was a huge artistic and commercial comeback. The album mixed acoustic numbers reminiscent of Young's early career with heavier electric tracks which sounded more up to date and contemporary.

This show is an acoustic set. About half the songs are taken from Freedom and the other tracks are mostly renditions of his older hits from the 1970's.

The first track "Hey, Hey, My, My(Into the Black)" is a very fitting opener for this transitional period of Neil Young's career. He wrote the song in the late seventies. It is about the future of Rock and Roll as Young saw it in 1979. It self-consciously eludes to Young's fears about the growing irrelevance of himself and his generation in the era of disco and punk rock. It was partially inspired by his interaction with Devo while making the Bernard Shakey film Human Highway.

Ironically "Hey Hey My My" became a huge hit and brought Neil Young back to prominence for a few years before returning to obscurity through most of the eighties. The famous line "It's better to burn out than to fade away" was later lifted by Kurt Cobain for use in his infamous 1994 suicide note. Young's inclusion in this most holy of rock & roll documents combined with his influence on Dinosaur Jr, his association with Sonic Youth, and collaboration with Pearl Jam made him the unofficial "Godfather of Grunge".

The second track "Rockin' in The Free World" was the big hit single from Freedom. It reached #2 on Billboards mainstream rock chart. It addresses homelessness and crack addiction in the first verse, and the second verse is a scathing criticism of American policy. A month after the release of Freedom the Berlin Wall fell. Newscasts played the song over the footage of the wall being torn down. Because of it's easily misinterpreted chorus "Rockin' in the Free World" became the unofficial theme song for the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Like the album Freedom the Amsterdam '89 bootleg is bookended by two versions of "Rockin' in the Free World". It starts with a softer version early on in the set and ends with a heavier faster version as the final track.

One of the highlights of this bootleg is an acoustic rendition of "This Notes For You" which had just won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year for 1989. The Video is extremely hilarious and truly bizarre. The songs contains harsh criticism of the growing commercialism, corporate sponsorship, and product placement found in pop music. The original song was a heavy electric number so it is very interesting to hear this song played soft and acoustically without a backing band.

There is some excellent stage banter right before "Heart of Gold". Neil Young sarcastically announces, "This is a song Bob Dylan wrote...Now there's a friend. I ripped off his song. I ripped off his whole sound."

I assume Young is referring to a 1985 Bob Dylan interview in Spin Magazine where Dylan said: "I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to 'Heart of Gold.' I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I'd say, 'Shit, that's me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me.'"

This performance was captured from the Soundboard. Both the audio quality and the performance are excellent.

Track Listing
1. My My, Hey Hey (Into The Black) 5:07
2. Rockin' In The Free World 5:41
3. The Old Laughing Lady 5:19
4. Don't Let It Bring You Down 4:05
5. Someday 6:19
6. Crime In The City 8:14
7. Eldorado 7:16
8. Too Far Gone 3:22
9. This Note's For You 3:55
10. The Needle & The Damage Done 2:49
11. After The Goldrush 4:37
12. Hangin' On A Limb 4:48
13. Heart Of Gold 4:27
14. Ohio 2:58
15. Rockin' In The Free World 3:59

Neil Young: Amsterdam
Recorded: 12.10.1989
Duration: 80min
Size: 183mb
Source: Soundboard
Bitrate: 320 kbit/s Mp3