Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman - The Warfield, San Francisco, CA 12/8/91

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman had been performing together since the early 70's (Old and In The Way) but they played their first show as a duet in 1990. They would play 19 shows together and this may be the best show I've heard. They played three shows at the Warfield in San Francisco in 1991 (12/7-12/9). Because Jerry's health was on a steady decline throughout the late 80's and early 90's (he had gone into a diabetic coma in 1986 for 5 days. He produced one of my favorite quotes when he woke up: "Well, I had some very weird experiences. My main experience was one of furious activity and tremendous struggle in a sort of futuristic, space-ship vehicle with insectoid presences. After I came out of my coma, I had this image of myself as these little hunks of protoplasm that were stuck together kind of like stamps with perforations between them that you could snap off") and because of his death in 1995, you could consider these shows with Grisman to be his last great shows outside of the Dead. Even though Jerry was in a rough patch in his life, when you see videos and hear shows of him with Grisman, you can see that he is extremely happy and it definitely shows in this recording. Their cover of Miles Davis' "So What" is brilliant. Enjoy.

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman - The Warfield, San Francisco, CA 12/8/91 (Disc 1)
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman - The Warfield, San Francisco, CA 12/8/91 (Disc 2)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Culture - Two Sevens Clash

Culture released their debut album in 1977 when "the two sevens clashed". Marcus Garvey, the leader of the "back to Africa" movement had predicted that there would be chaos on July 7, 1977 when the "sevens" met. When the title track was released, people in Jamaica were so convinced of its message that on 7/7/77 businesses and schools closed, people shuttered themselves in, and the military was on edge. This should give you all a little lesson on how important this record was and is to the island of Jamaica. The singer and brains behind Culture, Joseph Hill, was looking to write a record that would be a testament to his devout Rastafarian beliefs. Many reggae bands get the short end of the stick because people tend to have a hard time looking beyond Bob Marley. Although Marley and the Wailers are great, people will be smart to look beyond; Culture is a great place to start. The 30th Anniversary Edition was just released in 2007. I'll post the entire original record. If you want some bonus tracks, you'll have to buy the Anniversary Edition. Here's a quote from the liner notes:
"One day Joseph Hill had a vision, while riding a bus, of 1977 as a year of judgment -- when two sevens clash -- when past injustices would be avenged. Lyrics and melodies came into his head as he rode and thus was born the song "Two Sevens Clash" which became a massive hit in reggae circles both in Jamaica and abroad. The prophecies noted by the lyrics so profoundly captured the imagination of the people that on July 7, 1977 - the day when sevens fully clashed (seventh day, seventh month, seventy-seventh year) a hush descended on Kingston; many people did not go outdoors, shops closed, an air of foreboding and expectation filled the city."

Culture - Two Sevens Clash

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Knight School-The Poor and Needy Need To Party

Sorry for the lack of action over here at Pacific Radio Fire,  we were bumming out pretty hard about swine flu and sealed ourselves in my grandparents fallout shelter for the past week.  Although we were deprived of sunshine in the shelter thank god my Grandparents were wise enough back in the sixties to think about entertainment down there and installed a turntable and stereo.  So you can imagine how much it sucked being down there for a week but we totally got to listen to a ton of records!  One of my favorite records during the week was  "The Poor and Needy Need To Party" by Knight School.  Out of all the bands doing the lo-fi jingle jangle sound this is probably my favorite.  Although there are a bunch of bands with this sound right now I have noticed that this genre lacks good full lengths.  Even though "The Poor and Needy Need To Party" is only twenty-four minutes long it sounds and feels like a proper full length record.  I doubt it is in Knight School's plan at this point but if they needed them the record would be chock full of singles.  They also have pretty amazing song titles such as "Gardeninginging" and "Pregnant Again".  If you like short, super catchy songs that don't take themselves too seriously and stay stuck in your head for weeks than I would recommend ordering a copy from this website "Lost Music".  If this is Knight School's debut I am excited to see where they go from here.  On a side note I just realized this band reminds me of Beat Happening for three reasons: Sloppily drawn kitties on the front of the record, two dudes and one girl and sometimes the drums sound like childrens blocks being smacked together.  I am going to post the record because in all honesty I love the whole thing.  If anyone want's me to get rid of the link ask.  JK on the swine flu. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nerve City-Catholic School

As far as I know Nerve City is the alias of one dude named Jason Boyer from Richmond Virgina.  Nerve City plays lo-fi garage rock with a definite influence from blues and sixties surf music.  I know this probably sounds like fifty other records you have read about this week but I think Nerve City brings enough to this genre to stand out.  One thing I specifically dig about "Catholic School" is although it is only one guy there seems to be a lot of different instruments being played in a lot of different ways.  It seems like a lot of bands misuse the title "lo-fi" or "garage" as an excuse to sound shitty or boring.  The use of less polished recording equipment and technique should be to communicate some of the urgency that the band has live not as a crutch to hide badly written songs.  With that said, Nerve City has plenty of well written songs and no matter what type of recording they are using at the moment they shine through.  On "Catholic School" Boyer fills each song with organ, slide guitar, handclaps and just enough reverb to tie it all together.  Another reason Nerve City stands out is that they haven't released any type of long playing record yet their songs are varied from jangly folk(Dogs) to creepy garage rock(Junkyard).  I will post the now out of print "Catholic School Demo" in its entirety because it is out of print and its the record that got me into them.  Nerve City has plans to release a bunch of stuff in 09 like an LP on Sweet Rot and a few EPs on different labels so keep your eyes open.