Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Public Image Ltd. - First Issue

 I have always preferred the first record from John Lydon's Public Image Ltd. much more than anything that the Sex Pistols ever recorded.  Its not so much that I have something against the Sex Pistols, I own Nevermind the Bollocks.. but I think its just that I really like Public Image Ltd.'s early records.  The Sex Pistols were one of the first punk bands I had ever heard of when I was a kid and in the nineties John Lydon was completely irrelevant in terms of music so I didn't have that high of expectations for whatever he did in between.  I guess as a kid I also felt that when "punk" musicians tried to experiment too far, in the case of Public Image Ltd. including reggae and kraut rock influences, they sometimes loose what made them great in the first place.  Obviously I was wrong, at least in this case because First Issue is probably one of the best "punk" albums ever recorded and still stands the test of time like a lot of their contemporaries didn't.  Although the music on First Issue probably sounds less like the cliche that "punk" has come to represent at this point in time it really is a much better representation of what it should mean.  First Issue was never originally released in 1979 due to Warner Brothers feelings that it wouldn't move enough units because it sounded weird.  It is still not available for purchase in the United States which is a shame.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

forgetters/Thorns of Life

So ex-Jawbreaker and Jets To Brazil frontman Blake Schwarzenbach announced recently that he had a new band called Thorns of Life with Aaron Cometbus on drums. I was as stoked as any sane person would be. But, today I heard some good news and some bad news. Bad news first: Thorns of Life already broke up. Good news: Schwarzenbach already started a new band called "forgetters" with ex-Against Me! drummer Kevin Mahon and Caroline Paquita on bass. Here's what Schwarzenbach posted on his facebook: “the name of this band is forgetters. (no “the,” no capital “f.”) we played our first show on August 22nd in Crown Heights. members are: blake (guitar/vocal); caroline (bass/seaweed); kevin (drums)." I'm excited to hear it. They're playing some shows on the east coast starting this weekend. With that said, I'm going to post a bootleg I found of Thorns of Life playing in Berkeley on January 31, 2009. More good news: Thorns of Life sounds a lot like Jawbreaker. Let's hope forgetters sounds like Jawbreaker too. If you've read this far, and on a completely different note, you'll be happy to hear that Pavement is reuniting. No joke.

forgetters blog

Thorns of Life - Berkeley, CA 1/31/09

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grateful Dead - Boston Garden, Boston, MA 5/7/77

When approached about the growing trend of Grateful Dead soundboard tape trading Jerry Garcia said something to the tune of: "After we play a show, it doesn't belong to us anymore, it belongs to the fans." After this, the band decided to give away soundboard recordings of all of their concerts for free (before the internet of course). When Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir decided to take soundboard recordings of Dead shows off the internet in 2005 (his excuse being: "I have to put my kids through college", this coming from a man who was in a band that pulled in $50 million in concert ticket sales alone IN THE LATE 80'S), he did Dead fans across the world a great disservice. Phil Lesh, the Dead bassist and advocate of keeping the shows online, was angry at Weir for a good year or two. When I started getting into the Dead 7 or 8 years ago I realized that there was a never-ending world of Dead music and shows waiting to be discovered. Within a year or so I had hundreds of CD's worth of soundboard Dead shows. (As a sidenote: soundboard versions of Dead shows were recorded directly from the amps and microphones through a "soundboard". As a result, these shows are of the greatest quality possible at the time these shows were recorded and were far superior to the other source of recorded shows which were through audience tapings.) Now that the soundboard recorded shows have been taken off the internet, Deadheads have had to either go underground or start paying for officially released concert recordings.

With that said, in defiance of Bob Weir, I have decided to start posting full soundboard Dead shows every now and then. Because, like Lesh and Garcia, I feel that fans should have the right to own these concerts and acquire them freely. Because these concerts really do "belong to the fans".

The first concert I'm posting is one of my favorite Dead recordings: May 7, 1977 at the Boston Garden. 1977 was an awesome year from the Dead and May of '77 was arguably the best month the Dead ever had. I have a recording of every show the Dead played in May '77 and they are all amazing. They are on target every night and it is the best era song wise as well. This concert has my favorite version of Cassidy, an awesome Terrapin Station that segues (which I'll indicate with ">") into Samson and Delilah, and an unreal jam to close out the concert: Eyes of the World > Drumz > The Wheel > Wharf Rat > Around and Around with U.S. Blues as the encore. If this is your first Dead show, you're in for a real treat. Put on your headphones, lay back, and enjoy this amazing experience. If this isn't your first Dead show, you'll see why I chose this show as my first Dead post.

Jack Straw
New Minglewood Blues
Mississippi Half Step >
Big River
Tennessee Jed
The Music Never Stopped

Terrapin Station >
Samson and Delilah
Friend of the Devil
Estimated Prophet
Eyes of the World >
Drumz >
The Wheel >
Wharf Rat >
Around and Around
E: U.S. Blues

Note: the picture of the band above is not from the Boston Garden show but from 5/28/77 in Hartford, CT

Grateful Dead - Boston, MA 5/7/77 Disc 1
Grateful Dead - Boston, MA 5/7/77 Disc 2
Grateful Dead - Boston, MA 5/7/77 Disc 3