Magnolia Electric Co.
Baton Rouge, LA
Apologies for the long post.
The terrible news yesterday was of Jason Molina’s passing. Jason was the force behind the Songs: Ohia moniker (largely for his own solo work) and Magnolia Electric Co (which saw him working with a regular band). He collaborated with a wide variety of artists from indie, country, and bluegrass backgrounds, including Arab Strap, Jim Krewson and Jennie Bedford (of Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops), Lawrence Peters, Scout Niblett, and Sarah Jaffe. He also released solo work under his own name and under the name Pyramid Electric Co.
The first public sign that things were wrong came in 2009, when the tour to support Jason’s album with Will Johnson was cancelled due to Jason’s health problems. These problems were not explained at the time, and Jason seemed to have fallen off the face of the planet. Then in May 2010, an interview emerged suggesting that he simply decided to move because of a new job his wife took in London.
But notes on Magnolia Electric Co.’s website seemed to tell a different story: he was sick, he moved to West Virginia and was working on a farm. A Kickstarter project was started to help him pay his medical bills…and now, finally, suddenly, the news that he had died, at age 39, of natural causes…but natural causes related to “severe alcoholism.” I wasn’t aware until now of this prophetic piece in Chunklet.
I first heard Jason when I was living in Athens, Greece, of all places, in 2003. I went to the biggest music store in the city, Metropolis (now vanished). Up on the third floor, some hipper-than-thou employees had put on The Lioness. I thought maybe it was Will Oldham, but they were all too happy to correct me. I bought the album, and that was it – I had discovered my new favorite artist.
I saw Jason perform three times, in 2004 (Charlottesville), 2006 (Baton Rouge), and 2007 (New Orleans). I spoke with him on two of those occasions. We only said hi the second time, but when I talked to him in Baton Rouge, we had a great conversation, talking about the fact that I’m an archaeologist, and that he was always finding Indian artifacts on his family property in Indiana. I suggested that he contact the local historical society or university and let them do a dig. He seemed interested in the prospect. We also talked about the baffling phenomenon of low attendance at the band’s shows in the South, and how hard it was for them to justify coming to Louisiana, even though they loved it (Florida had long been ignored for this very reason).
I made two recordings of Magnolia Electric Co.’s shows, both from the soundboard. I already posted a song from one of them, a cover of Waylon Jennings’ “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” that now seems eerily prescient. He made a habit of not playing old songs live. I had long considered posting the show you find here, even though the quality isn’t that great – the levels are too high and overloaded, especially when the keyboard is going. But whatever – the man deserves a tribute, this is what I’ve got, so here it is. This recording includes a brief mention of the origin of the song “Spanish Moon Rise and Fall” from the box set.
I’m just going to leave a section from the interview linked above to close:
JM: I think covers are important; I’ve seen it in its maximum power during the Johnny Cash American Recording sessions. You might notice that my songs did not get covered by Cash, or maybe one did but it’s not been released.
JT: Do you know which song he was thinking of, or if there was one in particular?
JM: Yeah, but I think that Willie [Nelson] took it. Then I did that “Song for Willie”… One of my band mates, Daniel McAdams, did the cover art for the new Willie Nelson record. He’s a brilliant silkscreen artist, he did the first Songs:Ohia record, he played bass with me for years, we shared a place together, so I said, “well, look I did this ‘Song for Willie,’ can you give him this fucking record?” and he did, so at least Willie has that in his hands. “Song for Willie” is, I think, the best song I ever wrote. Ever. And whether or not he ever hears it, it doesn’t matter.
JT: I’ll have to go back and listen to that song again. I was listening to it this morning. I mean I like that song a lot, but—well, I don’t want to sit here and have a fight with you about which of your own songs is the best, but I guess if I was putting a list together, “Farewell Transmission” would be a really strong contender for me. Also “It’s Made Me Cry”, with that one riff. I can’t even tell you how many hundreds of times I’ve listened to that song, which is actually hard to “get lost” in in the way I was describing before, because it’s so short. You have to just put it on again and—
JM: (hums riff)
JT: – Yeah, exactly.
JM: Well, when it comes to that song, and some others like the “The Lioness” and “The Black Crow,” I get a feeling that those are longtime fans hits. But I don’t like playing them. I already lived those moments.
“Farewell Transmission” must be one of the most heroic recording moments of all time, because I called in people that were not already scheduled to be in the band and I was like, “Oh, now we’re going to have a violin player, and we’re going to have an extra singer.” I called out all of these things, much like a conductor does – and trust me, I’m not a conductor. I’m the break man. I will not fuck you up if I am the break man, I just don’t want to move anymore.
We put, I think, about 12 people in a room and recorded that song live, completely live, and unrehearsed. I showed ‘em the chord progression, they had no idea when it would end, and we just cut it.
Steve [Albini] did a beautiful job. I noticed that at one point when it was a little too loud or a little too soft he came and opened a door to make it work, because it was just an ambient recording. When you hear that song kick off everybody knows it, and what’s so disturbing to me is the way that I ended it is I was dictating to the band and Steve—I go “Listen. Listen. Listen.” And then at one point they all stop. It’s great.
JT: I can’t even believe that was done live and improvised. That is absolutely stunning.
JM: I got all my favorite friends from Chicago, and my favorite, good musicians and we just did this record, and it has lasted. It’s got weight, I’m talking 500 pound weight; something you ain’t going to be able to lift too easy. You have to understand we’re working on a string, and Steve is throwing us a bone, giving us the studio and everything, and we are terrified about how expensive it is and he just went the extra mile. That’s the way it works and that’s where I come from. You get the job fucking done.
1. Talk to Me, Devil, Again
2. What Comes after the Blues?
3. No Moon on the Water
4. Just Be Simple
5. Leave the City
6. Montgomery Bound
7. Lonesome Valley
8. Memphis Moon
9. Marsh Fire
11. I’ve Been Riding with the Ghost
12. Spanish Moon story
14. Hammer Down
Download: Magnolia Electric Co. – Baton Rouge – 9/27/2006 – 101 MB
Sample: I’ve Been Riding with the Ghost (Live)
In March of 2012 Stephen Merritt released the best Magnetic Fields album since 2004′s i largely because it benefits with vast improvements in production over recent releases. Love at the Bottom of the Sea, song-writing wise is nothing but aces, but it could have been a whole lot better. Unfortunately for Love at the Bottom of the Sea, Merritt farmed-out half of the vocal duties to Claudia Gonson and Shirly Simms. I certainly appreciate most of the guest vocal contributions to 69 Love Songs, but most subsequent post 69 Love Songs MF songs would have benefited substantially if Merritt had provided his vocals instead.
Nearly the exact same complaint can be levied to the the April 4, 2012 MF set-list at Beacon Theater – too many songs with Claudia/Shirley on vocals. (L.D. and Dudley have been notably absent from the recent MF albums/tours. Pourquoi?!?)
I suspect Stephen Merritt, the lovable curmudgeon, generally finds touring bothersome and, therefore, the less he does on-stage, the better – hence heavy helpings of songs with Shirley or Claudia on vocals.
Here is a live take of the stand-out track on Love at the Bottom of the Sea, “Andrew in Drag”.
Beacon Theater April 4, 2012 set-list:
A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off
Your Girlfriend’s Face
Come Back From San Francisco
No One Will Ever Love You
I’ve Run Away to Join The Fairies
Plant White Roses
Drive on, Driver
My Husband’s Pied-A-Terre
Time Enough for Rocking When We’re Old
The Horrible Party
Smoke and Mirrors
Goin’ Back to the Country
Andrew in Drag
Busby Berkeley Dreams
The Book of Love
Fear of Trains
You Must Be Out of Your Mind
It’s Only Time
Smile! No One Cares How You Feel (The Gothic Archies)
Forever and a Day
Download: Magnetic Fields – Andrew In Drag (Live)
I have been generally pleased with the recently instituted concept of established acts touring behind a “classic” album has taken hold. (Somewhere The Strokes are de-tuning their guitars for their This is It tour). Many such feature-album type shows caught over the years include notable TSOI favs such as Echo and the Bunnymen, Wedding Present, The Cure, Joy Division (via Peter Hook).
Brian Wilson started this phenomenon when he trotted out the fabled Smile album in 2004, some 30+ years after he shelved the most infamous album never released. I suspect that you will find that the recent rash of “classic” album tours can be traced to Wilson’s Smile tour and his follow-up Pet Sounds tour.
Here is a notable track from the ever-cool Robyn Hitchcock‘s generally most revered album, Eye which he played in its entirety to an enraptured crowd in Gowanus Brooklyn in 2011. A sampling of Robyn’s inimitable banter included, natch.
11/19/11 Bell House Setlist
Chinese Water Python
Sweet Ghost Of Light
Raining Twilight Coast
Agony Of Pleasure
One Long Pair Of Eyes
Madonna Of The Wasps
Download: Robyn Hitchcock – The Executioner (Live)
El Rey Theater
Los Angeles, CA
We saw Danish group The Raveonettes in what was our second show at The El Rey Theater in about a ten-day span. This was another band I had been wanting to see for a very long time — readers who have seen my “Best of” lists will know that their records consistently make it into consideration, and often appear on the lists themselves. But they never came to my neck of the woods (i.e., central Virginia or Louisiana) — so now that I’m in a city where one of the two members (Sharin Foo) now lives, I was more than a little enthusiastic for the show.
If you don’t know The Raveonettes sound, it’s 50′s-60′s song structures overloaded with fuzzy distortion (especially on guitars and vocals), guy-girl harmonies, and lyrics that push the grittier end of the spectrum. Fans of The Jesus and Mary Chain should find a lot to like here. The band member responsible for writing the songs, Sune Rose Wagner, has mentioned Twin Peaks as a kind of inspiration for the atmosphere in the band’s songs. On their early records, they added the gimmick of only playing in one key (B-flat minor for the 2002 EP Whip It On; B-flat major for their first full-length album, 2003′s Chain Gang of Love). Thankfully, they soon gave up that trick. While those early releases were good, I personally thought the band hit its stride with Lust Lust Lust and really started kicking ass with the follow-up In and Out of Control (which if I were redoing my annual list for 2009, would be in the top 3, up from #10).
In any event, what I was expecting from the show was not exactly what we got. Now first of all, I have to admit that in my heart of hearts, I was hoping that since the show was in Los Angeles, Ronnie Spector might show up to reprise her part in the song she recorded with The Raveonettes for their album Pretty in Black, “Ode to L.A.” That was pure fantasy, I know, and of course it didn’t happen. But I also thought that given the rich instrumentation on their songs, the band would show up with several touring members (like Menomena did). Instead, they only brought a drummer, and relied on quite a bit of canned audio to fill out their songs. This wasn’t an enormous problem — I still really enjoyed the show — but there were certain moments where things just didn’t work. The trouble was clearest during the song “Observations,” off the brand-new album Observator. The band themselves have talked about the importance of adding piano parts to the new record, and this song is probably where that addition is most prominent — but there was no keyboard on stage. Again, it’s not typically a big issue (for me, at least) to have some canned piano, but there is a part of this particular song where there is no other instrumentation or vocals, so the band just stood there while the piano played on. It just seemed awkward to me, at least more so than when Wagner and Foo were playing different guitar parts while one could also hear a very prominent bass line — they had something to do, anyway!
One other note: some of the least between-song banter I’ve ever heard from a band, and in fact they seemed to be a little down. I have no idea whether this is normal. Foo said that the band was being “very Danish tonight” — perhaps fatigue from being near the end of the tour? Again, a great show, really delighted to have seen them…just maybe not exactly what I was expecting.
2. She Owns the Streets
3. Dead Sound
5. Curse the Night
6. The Enemy
7. Gone Forever
10. Young and Cold
11. Love in a Trashcan
12. Medley: Attack of the Ghost Riders/My Tornado/Bowels of the Beast/Aly, Walk with Me
14. Sinking with the Sun
15. Cops on Our Tail
Download: The Raveonettes – Los Angeles – 10/8/2012 – 322 MB
Sample: Gone Forever (Live)
El Rey Theater
Los Angeles, CA
It’s been another long hiatus since the last post here, but hopefully this one will make it worth your while. Menomena kicked off their latest tour here in LA last week. It was a tough night to pick what to see, since Savoir Adore was opening a show for Kisses at the The Echo (which TSOI’s Kevin attended) and Dum Dum Girls were playing at Los Globos.
I had never seen Menomena, though, and I was curious to see just how their complex arrangements would translate into live performance — especially since they’re no longer a trio (Brett Knopf left the group at the end of 2010, following the release of Mines). They showed up with three touring band members and put on a hell of a show. Relentless rhythms are such an important part of Menomena’s music, and those were definitely in evidence here, maybe at the expense of the lush textures found on their albums.
Probably the most fun was the introduction of local dancer/actress Charlene deGuzman, who performed a tap dance routine alongside a song from the new album, Moms, “Don’t Mess with Latexas.” It was silly, but it actually worked. It’s not clear whether they’ll try this in other shows on the tour, but it did lighten the mood for a band whose music, beautiful as it is, can be ponderous at times.
1. Muscle ‘n’ Flo
6. Five Little Rooms
8. Strongest Man in the World
9. Queen Black Acid
11. Tap dance banter
12. Don’t Mess with Latexas (with Charlene deGuzman)
13. Rotten Hell
14. Heavy Is as Heavy Does
16. One Horse
17. The Pelican
Download: Menomena – Los Angeles – 9/27/2012 – 397 MB
Sample: Don’t Mess with Latexas (Live)
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Los Angeles, CA
28 January 2012
It has been far, far too long since I last posted on TSOI. The brief explanation is a change of venue, combined with a fair bit of sloth. Carlie and I left Louisiana back in August for a new life in southern California, and it bears mentioning that TSOI’s Kevin has been one of the reasons our transition has been as smooth as it has. Even so, new places take time for adjustment, and so it wasn’t until last month that we actually got our shit together enough to go out to a show. But what a show for our intro to the LA rock scene!
Contemporary art aficionados are likely aware of Pacific Standard Time, the current retrospective of southern California’s contributions to the art world from the end of the Second World War to the end of the twentieth century. This event is sponsored by the Getty Trust, but is actually happening at dozens of venues from LA to Orange County and beyond. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s location in Little Tokyo hosted (until today! go if you have time!) the show concerning art produced in Los Angeles between 1974 and 1981, which they called Under the Big Black Sun. Punk-rock fans will recognize that this title was lifted from the third album by LA’s own pioneers, X. To celebrate the exhibition, MOCA organized a concert in the plaza outside the Geffen Contemporary featuring X together with their contemporaries from northern California, The Avengers and the now-Jello Biafra-less Dead Kennedys.
We had seen Exene Cervenka playing a solo acoustic set only a year ago in New Orleans, but had never had a chance to see X live. It’s fair to say I was blown away — not only having this classic LA experience be my first live show in this new hometown, but also seeing how tight these guys are. Billy Zoom is a ridiculously talented guitarist, with a beatific grin on his face the whole time, never once looking down to the instrument to see what he’s doing. And DJ Bonebrake‘s drumming set (and sets) a standard for any punk drummer. I don’t need to say anything, probably, about Exene or John Doe and their chemistry, since their reputation precedes them. A dynamite show from top to bottom.
1. Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not
2. In this House That I Call Home
3. We’re Desperate
4. Blue Spark
5. Beyond and Back
6. Barricade interstitial
7. It’s Who You Know
8. Year 1
9. Los Angeles
10. The Hungry Wolf
11. The World’s a Mess, It’s in My Kiss
13. True Love
15. Back to the Base
17. Johnny Hit and Run Paulene
18. Because I Do
19. Motel Room in My Bed
20. Devil Doll
Download: X – Los Angeles – 1/28/2012 – 263 MB
Sample: Los Angeles (Live)
I’ve been sitting on these Holy Ghost! shows for a while, but I figured it was time for me to get off my ass and post them. Since both of these sets are not full length I decided to bundle them into a single post. It’s an interesting juxtaposition in venues. Mercury Lounge is a small room that bands play when they’re on the way up, and Terminal 5 is the big place they play when they’ve made it.
The Mercury Lounge show was an early show which started at 8 for some reason. I got the feeling that it was simply a warm up show for the tour the band was about to embark on. It’s funny to listen to how mellow this crowd is and the band sounds considering that now they are bona fide rock stars and have sold out every headlining show they played in NYC after this one (3 to date). I’m glad I got to see these guys in such an intimate environment before they blew the fuck up.
The Terminal 5 show took place during the bands’ tour with Cut Copy on April 1st (see previous TSOI post). This week was a busy concert week at Terminal 5, full of DFA-related bands. LCD Soundsystem had just finished up their 4 night T5 run leading up to their farewell gig (see previous TSOI post), followed by this tour rolling into town for 2 nights. This LCD overload may account for the fact that the place was half empty when Holy Ghost! took the stage.
Mercury Lounge 02/02/11
1. Static on the Wire
2. It’s Not Over
3. Hold On
4. Say My Name
5. Hold My Breath
6. Wait and See
7. Slow Motion
8. Do It Again
9. I Will Come Back
10. Jam for Jerry
Download: Holy Ghost! – New York City – 2/2/11 – 324 MB
Sample: Hold On (Live)
Terminal 5 04/01/11
1. Wait and See
2. Hold On
3. It’s Not Over
4. Slow Motion
5. Do It Again
6. I Will Come Back
7. Jam for Jerry
Download: Holy Ghost! – New York City – 4/1/11 – 208 MB
Sample: Do It Again (Live)
Top 10 Shows of 2011
Since I grow my music library by bouncing back and forth between decades and music styles, playing catch up on the music I’ve missed, I don’t really have a “Top 10 Albums of 2011″. I could do a list of “10 Albums That Were Released in 2011 That I Have” but that would make me look stupid since I’m pretty sure Duran Duran’s newest album is not one to the best 10 albums released this year. I could also do a “Top 10 Albums That I Discovered This Year” list, but then people would see how out of touch I am with what’s cool in music (see the LCD Soundsystem entry below). So here’s my “Top 10 Shows of 2011″ list:
1.OMD – Terminal 5 March 8
This was the culmination of years of anticipation. OMD has been one of my favorites for many years, and I had been following their tour plans closely since they announced their reunion. After seeing them announce one tour after another in Europe, they finally made the announcement that they were coming to the US. Originally booked at Webster Hall, the show sold out quickly and was moved to the much more spacious Terminal 5. I got to attend the soundcheck and meet the band before the show, the whole day was a trip, and possibly one of the best days of my life. It’s all been downhill since then.
2.The Cure – Beacon Theater Nov 27
I was fortunate to score a ticket to the final night of The Cure’s “Reflections” series of shows which came to the Beacon Theater for 3 nights. The set was simply mind blowing: The first three albums in their entirety followed by a series of encores which added up to 3+ hours of music and 48 songs, all of which dated from the early phase of the bands’ career. If I was a bigger Cure fan, I’m pretty sure my head would’ve exploded.
3.LCD Soundsystem – Terminal 5 March 28
I didn’t even like LCD Soundsystem until I went to this show. I just bought a ticket figuring I’d get into them at some point in the future and I’d be kicking myself for not seeing them during their original run when I had the chance. It turned out to be a wise decision. Much like my #2 show, this one clocked in at over 3 hours. It was an awesome show, though the crowd was a bit too rambunctious for my taste, perhaps because they really thought the band was breaking up forever (I still think they’ll be back in 2017).
4.Royksopp – Music Hall of Williamsburg March 21
I had a ticket for this sold-out show, but wasn’t really feeling up to going out the day of. I debated whether or not to sell my ticket but in the end sucked it up and went in with the expectation that it was going to be a crappy DJ type show with 2 guys standing behind gear the whole time. Holy shit I was wrong, the guys brought in band members to spice up their tracks and the visuals were really cool. I’d definitely recommend seeing them even if you’ve never heard them.
5.The Damned – Irving Plaza Oct 22
It sucks that the Damned are so freakin’ old. This show celebrated their 35th anniversary by playing their first album (::yawn::) and the Black Album (::boner::) in their entirety. The Damned is my favorite band of all time, and the show should be higher up on the list, but this was a stupid Live Nation show at Irving Plaza. There were a million different sections on the balcony, and I had “VIP” tickets but was escorted to the wrong section at first then got moved to this horrible area with this horrible shrieking banshee of a woman behind me, who absolutely wrecked my attempt at recording the show. The day after the show, I fired off an angry email to Live Nation about how they’re an evil corporation and their customer service is lacking and ended it with the phrase “OCCUPY LIVE NATION!”. I’m still waiting for a response.
6.Cold Cave – Knitting Factory July 12
I’m glad I caught these guys at the intimate Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. I was unsure how good the band was going to sound, and I had heard they intentionally played more obscure tracks in lieu of their more well known songs. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised how much fun this show was despite Cold Cave playing only 10 songs. I’m looking forward to seeing them again, hopefully in 2012.
7.Soundgarden – Prudential Center July 08
This one wins the award for the best show with the worst sound. Soundgarden played their first NYC area show in 15 years at the cavernous Prudential Center. The set was awesome, the song selection was great, and the sound was awful. But it was still a good show. Plus, it could have been a lot worse: the band played the alcohol-free Jones Beach Theater on Long Island the next night. It has really, really, REALLY bad sound…trust me. And there’s a serial killer on the loose who’s been killing prostitutes and dumping their bodies in the marshes up the road from the place. So that can’t be good.
8.Duran Duran – Madison Square Garden Oct 25
I finally popped my “Floor Tickets to an arena show” cherry with Duran Duran playing to a definitely not sold out Madison Square Garden. Seeing a show from the floor at the Garden is an awesome experience, as the sound is way better than my usual tickets in the upper reaches of the arena. The downside is that there’s only one bar and it’s occupied by the 1%, who choose to order mixed drink after mixed drink in their continued effort to stop the 99% from getting a beer in a reasonable amount of time.
9.Deicide – Gramercy Theater Feb 21 My first death metal show in a couple years was a good one. Deicide brought the brutality and Satan was definitely in the house this night. I naively stood in the middle of the floor when the band took the stage, completely forgetting that mosh pits happen at metal shows. I was gently reminded and immediately got pushed to the outskirts of the floor, where the long haired dude in front of me kept whipping his hair around blocking my view. It was stereotypically metal.
10.Penguin Prison – Music Hall of Williamsburg Dec 30
My last show of 2011 managed to sneak into my Top 10 at the last minute. Though this shows’ appearance on this list could be chalked up to the fact that I only recently started listening to the band, I decided that I really liked the show and it was worthy of being named. You’re welcome, Penguin Prison.
Bottom 3 Worst Shows of the Year
Chameleons Vox – Home Sweet Home Nov 23
Believe it or not, I went to a show this year that was actually worse than Guns N Roses. Chameleons Vox is two original members of The Chameleons and two other guys playing Chameleons songs. They were playing the classic Chameleons’ album “Script of the Bridge” in its entirety, so I was really looking forward to the show despite the fact that it wasn’t the original band. I figured at least they had the original singer/bassist in the band, so how bad can it be? The answer? Really bad. The show was held at a bar on the Lower East Side during a goth night, there was no bathroom, and it was super crowded around the stage so I couldn’t see anything. As far as the sound, the drums weren’t miked so it was basically like going to a local band showcase. And the guitars, which were miked, sounded like they were underwater. It was produced by some NYC – based post-punk record label. They are dumb and do not know how to put on concerts and should not be allowed to book bands that I like. I was chanting “refund! refund! refund!” during the set (I was pretty intoxicated) but no one else in the place shared my sentiment. If the show was held at a real venue, it probably would’ve kicked ass because the band sounded fairly competent.
Guns N Roses – Izod Center Nov 18
Yeah, I know, it’s not really Guns N Roses. I knew going into this show that it was going to be bad. I heard that Axl had gained a lot of weight and that his voice was shot and that he had fallen on stage a couple times during this tour, so I was kind of hoping for a train wreck. Unfortunately what I got was more like a train fender bender. Axl sucked, but not enough that it was funny. He managed to stay upright the whole time, despite the fact that he constantly dashed on and off stage, leaving his band to fend for themselves through countless guitar solos and boring classic rock covers. By the time they went on stage at 11PM, beer sales had stopped and the buzz from my tailgating was wearing off. Though I did make myself laugh several times that night by referring to the arena as the “Kneel Before Zod Center”.
Chris Isaak – Jones Beach June 18
The only reason I had the misfortune of seeing this douchebag was because he was the opening act for Hall and Oates (don’t judge!) at the aforementioned Jones Beach Theater. Don’t get the wrong idea, I know he sucks and would never pay money or travel to see him. I just got to the show way too early. He played nothing but obvious covers (Pretty Woman, Ring of Fire, etc.) while undergoing multiple costume changes in the process. He didn’t even play his one hit, Wicked Game, which is actually not awful. My girlfriend and I tried to wait out his set in the concession area by slowly eating overpriced chicken fingers for about 40 minutes, and still got stuck witnessing his last 2 songs because he would not get off the stage.
Rammstein – Izod Center May 5
These guys’ December 11th Madison Square Garden appearance made my top 10 show list for 2010. Then they came back to the NYC area a couple months later in May and played the EXACT SAME SHOW. Fuck that shit.
1.PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Polly Jean Harvey has been my favorite artist for almost 20 years (!), but I haven’t felt this strongly about one of her albums in at least a decade — maybe even since 1995 and To Bring You My Love. Casting herself as an English patriot just to knock those ideals off their pedestal, Harvey uses discordant sounds, off-kilter rhythms, skewed stereotypes…and her tremendous vocal range to create a haunting, hypnotic record. Just a stunning achievement.
2.Peter Bjorn and John – Gimme Some
Probably the record that spent the most time in my car stereo this year, this is pop gold that resuscitates the reputation won by Writer’s Block back in 2006. I could have done without the album cover, one of the least appealing I’ve seen in a long time (it features a cartoon amputated hand with three thumbs up, viewed from the viscera end), and the pseudo-punk “Black Book,” which reeked of trying too hard, though.
3.The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
POBPAH have moved into the big time, getting production on this album from the likes of Flood and Alan Moulder. You can still hear some of the Cure-influence left over from their debut, but the songs are considerably cleaned-up. Now they sound more like early-’90′s shoegaze, which certainly works for the themes of teenage love and loss that dominate Belong. Fun show, too, when we caught them in New Orleans in March.
4.TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
On first listen, Nine Types of Light isn’t much of an evolution from 2008′s Dear Science. But the slowed-down tempos on many of the songs may signify that the band has reached a comfort zone. I would suggest that lyrics such as those in the first single, “Will Do” (which repeats cliches, co-opting them to create heartfelt meaning), imply a willingness to show a sense of humor, too.
5.Cults – Cults
I see Cults as producing a New York version of the vintage ’60′s instrumentation that Generationals has been perfecting over the last few years in Louisiana. (I have to admit, by the way, I have no excuse for not having heard the Generationals album Actor-Caster yet, except that it came out in the summer while I was abroad and then moving halfway across the country. Probably it’s insanely good and deserves to be on this list, too.) There’s more of the synth stuff with Cults, and of course the front-and-center female vocals that call back to Phil Spector.
6.The Feelies – Here Before
New Jersey’s Real Estate won all the plaudits from journalists this year for Days, but if you ask me, that album was small beer (boring, even) compared to Here Before, which was released by The Feelies, a legendary band from the same region (and one that obviously influenced Real Estate). The Feelies take up where they left off twenty-some-odd years ago, with sweet songs that are somehow both casual and precise at the same time. As with (now-departed?) Sonic Youth, I think the feeling of precision comes from the drumming; Stanley Demeski is rock-solid against the loose guitars. The slowed-down “Morning Comes” is a real stand-out.
7.Beirut – The Rip Tide
Like Nine Types of Light, The Rip Tide is not a radical change from what came before it. The traditional European instrumentation creates an appealing contrast to so much indie rock, and Beirut seals the deal by avoiding the too-clever literary lyrics of The Decemberists. There isn’t much that I listen to that really transports me to another place on the planet, but Beirut does it.
8.St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
Annie Clark is a weirdo — in the best way: madly creative and a virtuosic musician. It’s one thing to listen to tiresome weirdness like Animal Collective, Panda Bear, or The Fiery Furnaces and say, “OK, these guys are just being weird for weird’s sake, or because they’re high, or because they’re messing around with their equipment to no real end, or all-of-the-above, and it’s just annoying and I don’t care.” Annie Clark’s music is, in many ways, equally weird — to the extent that I usually spend half my time listening just trying to understand how she came up with these ideas — but it’s also beautiful and moving and challenging…and clearly not weird merely for the sake of being weird.
9.Yuck – Yuck
Dumb band name, great record. I said in my post on a show they opened in Baton Rouge for The Smith Westerns back in February that they reminded me of old Superchunk (especially on songs like “Operation”), and I still think that comment fits — brash, charming power-pop from young folks.
10.Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi is totally derivative — it just so happens that she’s derivative of probably my favorite album of all time, the aforementioned To Bring You My Love. The same twangy, Morricone reverb on the guitar; sultry, blues-style, low female vocals — this is a formula that never needs updating.
Dum Dum Girls – Only in Dreams
It happens every year in the last spot: an album I listened to over and over, even if I can spot its deficiencies straight away. In the case of Only in Dreams, the real problem is a lack of imagination — phrases like “I need your bedroom eyes” or “I think I’m coming down” are repeated ad nauseam rather than livening them up with even minor variations. Otherwise, the songs are terrific, with a moody atmosphere like Mazzy Star and Wall-of-Sound-style production.
Once again, the great releases of this year are roundly ignored by other ‘best-of’ music compilers. I am again mystified how some of the releases included here got such short shrift, particularly, when there was not much by way of competition. 2011, overall, was largely dominated by folkie southern-rock sounding bands, which is a direction that is easy for me to ignore except for the insanely good The Wooden Birds record, which, against all reason has shown up on no best-of lists that I have seen. Low put out another great record, which, has long been expected out of Low. I am convinced that Low and The Wooden Birds are the two current active pillars of great American rock music, without which, the whole shaky edifice would crumble. Once again, these two great bands release another great record and because they are expected to do just that, they get passed-over by critics for the latest pan flash.
Otherwise, based on prominence of keyboard based bands last year, I figured we would get much more of the same in 2011. We did get a new Cut Copy release and similarly styled debut by Holy Ghost! but there wasn’t near the output of synth driven bands as I expected.
Anyway, the following are the top-ten very worthy cds that kept my laser occupied.
1.Acid House Kings – Music Sounds Better With You
AHK put out the best pure pop album of the year by a country mile. Music Sounds Better With You is pure and effortless and along with The Wooden Birds release nearly monopolized my cd laser for the whole year. The track “Windshields” is so good I can barely stand it – even after hundreds of listens.
2.The Wooden Birds – Two Matchsticks
As noted, 2011 is full of Southern-Rock and Folk-Rock tinged albums. The Wooden Birds, the post American Analog Set project of Andrew Kenney, mine some of the same influences but do it with subtle brilliance and without being retreads. The cool burn of Two Matchsticks and its delicate, yet assertive guitar and male/female vocal interplay make The Wooden Birds the best thing going right now. How this band has gotten so little attention is criminal. I just don’t get it. Pure. Simple. Brilliant.
3.Low – C’mon
Low have been quietly releasing the best catalog of the past 20 years, and this is another nice addition to their epic high standards of quality. Unlike their also great release of a few years ago, Drums and Guns, C’mon has pretty fuss-free production, which I think is how the religious experience that is a Low release is best served.
4.Cut Copy – Zonoscope
The Cutters self-produced 2011 release, Zonoscope, starts out with a face-melting gem in “Need You Now”. The rest of the album doesn’t reach that high again, but is a consistently good stream of interwoven synth excursions.
5.Anything Goes Original Cast Recording – Broadway Original Cast Recording
What can I say, I bought my first ‘show tunes’ album (I don’t think buying Laibach‘s Jesus Christ Superstar really counts). I would generally not be too proud of that fact, but this Sutten Foster led production of the Cole Porter classic was too irresistible to one who swore he was immune to the saccharine charms of musicals. This Cole Porter and P.G. Wodehouse collaboration has to be among the best examples of ‘all killer, no filler’ ever, like the Purple Rain of the 1930s!
6.The Pains of Being Pure of Heart – Belong
The Pains went big with this album as far as production goes, but their charms remain subtle. I hope they are hard at work on a follow up.
7.Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
Based on a few tracks of Holy Ghost! 2010 ep, I was really hoping for a band that was going to re-inhabit Shriekback as a bit more sophisticated and bit more aggressively vocaled synth band, but that hope is dashed pretty much after the second track of this, their self-titled debut. Nonetheless, this is a great synth pop record.
8.Peter Murphy – Nine
This record pretty follows along the buzz guitar rock of Cascade, which is, in my opinion, Murphy’s best. Nine is a shockingly good and fresh record coming from a true unabashed living legend.
9.Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Lykke Li has dropped some of her quirks that acted as a kind of hook for her in her debut and put out a little more straight forward release that digs more in ’50s girl group soul rather than in asymmetric indie affectations, which got her initial notice. I like.
10.Chain Gang of 1974 – Wayward Fire
This is the only new band, for me, to make the list. Chain Gang tread in the ’80s and ’90s New Wave New Romantics territory that several others are into these days. The vocals and other intangibles makes this effort by Chain Gang of 1974 my favorite of the lot.
Here is a list of releases that are honorable mentions but were eeked out of the top 10 slots.
Peter, Bjorn, and John – Gimme Some
Foster the People pretty much lifted the template that PBandJ set with “Writer’s Block” and I hope are paying PBandJ their due royalties. PBandJ, to their credit are moving on.
Jane’s Addiction – Great Escape Artist
This might not be a great Jane’s Addiction album, but god-knows, there is no where to get killer top-shelf hard rock vocals like Perry Ferrel’s anywhere else. I am glad they are providing me a new fix.
Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
This probably would have made the list but I totally forgot about it. This was the best M/F with Synth record of the year.
Top 10 Concerts of 2011
As in 2009 and in 2010, the best of 2011 is once again filled with veteran bands. If you are a new band, for the love of god, go see some of the bands on this list and see how it is done. Actually, the top slot belongs to the sublime The Wooden Birds (see above for best album pick) for their 2011 performance, who also was my pick for tops performance for 2010 too!
1. The Wooden Birds – Rock Shop (see Sept 28, 2010 TSOI post)
2. Savoir Adore/French Horn Rebellion – Glasslands (see French Horn Rebellion Jan 4 2011 TSOI post and see Savoir Adore Dec 8 2010 TSOI post)
3. The Cure (first three albums) – Beacon Theater
I was not particularly looking forward to hearing The Cure perform three of their least accessible albums back-to-back, but wow, this was a great way to see why The Cure are so good and why they have been able to fill stadiums for decades. This short tour was a nice display of the gestation of the weird genius that is Robert Smith.
4. Bad Religion – 3 Decade Shows – Irving Plaza (’80s, ’90s and ’00s)
5. Controlled Bleeding – Death by Audio
6. Advance Base – Mercury Lounge
This is the first NY showing of Owen’s first Casiotone for the Painfully Alone project. I look forward seeing more of this bigger-and-badder enterprise.
7. OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark) – Terminal 5 (see March 29 TSOI post)
8. Universal Order of Armageddon – Death by Audio
9. D Generation – Irving Plaza
D Generation are to be praised for bringing Rock and Roll back to New York City, where it belongs. I am sure The Strokes tip them a hat when they cross.
10.Jane’s Addiction – Irving Plaza
Truth be told, the most notable part of this show was an enterprising gentleman that took it upon himself to raise his phone video recorder among the sea of other raised arms getting crappy YouTube fodder, but instead of recording footage, played porn on his screen. The affect was like he was recording something much more interesting than the rest of his neighbors. Super funny. I hope it catches on.
New York City, NY
I recently discovered Austra when I came across the song “Lose It” and was immediately hooked. It’s one of those handful of songs that hit me right in my musical G-spot. When I listen to it, my body tingles and I feel like a real woman. The whole song is perfectly written and I listened to it like 30 times in a row the day I first heard it. What I’m trying to say is that I like the song. The rest of the album is pretty good too. It falls in line with what I call the “indie-goth” scene that has been emerging on my iPod lately, along with bands such as Cold Cave and Zola Jesus.
Austra is, for the most part, singer/keyboardist Katie Stelmanis’ project. A drummer and bassist, Maya Postepski and Dorian Wolf respectively, are credited as band members, but I’m pretty sure Katie’s running the show. The focal point of Austra’s music is the vocals. Voices are used as instruments to create layered harmonies. To pull it off live, the band is augmented by two singers to sing the parts rather than relying on samples. The result is excellent. Check out the bridge in “The Beat and the Pulse” to see what I’m talking about.
Several songs included in the set the were not on the “Feel It Break” LP. After the show, I discovered that two of the songs I didn’t know were B-sides from “The Beat and the Pulse” single. I’m completely making this up, but no band has released a single with B-sides since 1996. Back in the day, I used to love tracking down singles of bands I listened to to see what non-album tracks were being included. For some reason, a disproportionate amount of those B-sides were better than the singles they were backing. I thought it was very cool to see of Austra release some album leftovers as part of an under the radar release and sell it at the show.
In addition to the aforementioned B-sides, there was a new song “Habitat” performed as well as most of the “Feel It Break” album. I really can’t complain with the content of the setlist, although I didn’t like hearing “Lose It” so early in the setlist. That song is just simply too awesome to be played fourth.
1. The Beast
2. Young and Gay
3. Hate Crime
4. Lose It
5. The Choke
6. The Villain
8. Darken Her Horse
9. The Beat and the Pulse
11. The Future
Download: Austra – New York City – 10/5/11 – 420 MB
Sample: Lose It (Live)
Sample: The Beast and the Pulse (Live)
I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in America who is actually a fan of Men Without Hats. Other than the enduring “Safety Dance” most people don’t know any of their other songs, which is a shame, because they wrote some really good synth pop in the 80s before writing a grunge album (Sideways) and breaking up in the 90s. The 2011 version of the recently re-activated band consists of sole original member and chief songwriter Ivan Doroschuk backed by hired musicians, none of whom is a drummer unfortunately. I’ve read (by which I mean I looked at the Wikipedia page), that Doroschuk’s brother Stefan, in essence the other original member of MWH, disapproves of the current incarnation of the band in typical rock n roll fashion. I agree the lineup is a bit weak with only a single original member, but when you’re into a band that’s this old, you gotta take what you can get or get nothing at all. A live drummer would be nice, but apparently when Men Without Hats started out they didn’t have a drummer, so I guess this could be considered “keeping it real”.
This show took place at the Best Buy Theater in Time Sqaure. I hate this place. It used to be called the Nokia Theater, but now it’s Best Buy, and who knows what company it will be named after in 2 years. There is a lack of quality recording positions and I always get a lot of chatter whenever I record here, despite going to great lengths to minimize the damage. And not to mention the mobs of tourists that need to be navigated just to get to the place. This was the last stop of Human League’s headline tour with Men Without Hats in the opening slot, so MWH’s set was relatively short. For what it’s worth, the performance itself was a lot of fun. Ivan’s stage presence defied his age. He constantly ran back and forth across the stage dancing, his voice was strong, and he seemed to be having a genuinely good time up there.
The set opened with the surprisingly good new song “This War.” This song sounds like it was written in 1982, and fit in perfectly with MWH’s older material. After that, the band just kept hitting me with songs I wanted to hear, mostly off of their debut album (the one with “Safety Dance”). Here I’ve included the last 3 songs from the set:
“Living in China” is one of my favorite Men Without Hats songs. When I hear it, it makes me want to stand in place and pump my fists back and forth in a motion akin to power walking, but with my fists moving in time with the music and without all the legwork. I also like to change the lyrics to this song as “Living Vagina” when I sing it to myself because it makes me giggle. People on the subway think I’m crazy when I do this.
I included “Safety Dance” here just because everyone knows it, and who wouldn’t be curious to hear the 2011 live version of it for free? I knew before I went into this show that recording of the actual song was fucked. Once the intro started, the entire crowd took the opportunity to break out of their relative indifference to relentlessly “woooo!” for the duration of the song. Can’t say I blame them, if I wasn’t trying to make a decent recording out of the show, I would’ve been pretty hammered and “woo-ing” like a motherfucker too. Just think of this version as the “Safety Dance (Now with 110% More Woo-ing Remix)”. Also, if you listen carefully, there’s also a group of people in the crowd chanting “what! what! what!” in time to the music around the 2:45 mark. I thought that was pretty funny.
Corporate Sponsored Theater (currently Best Buy) in Times Square 09/24/11
I Got the Message
Ideas for Walls
Pop Goes the World
Living in China
Where Do the Boys Go?
Download: Men Without Hats – Safety Dance (Live)
Los Angeles, CA
Earlier this year I caught Peter Murphy at the Mayan here in Los Angeles. It was the first time I had ever been to that venue. It was also the first time I had ever caught Peter Murphy solo. As a long time fan of Bauhaus et al., it was never in the cards for me to see Peter Murphy solo before. Despite the self deprecating jokes throughout the set, he still puts on a great show. I would have to say I actually enjoyed it more than any of the Bauhaus reunion shows I’ve attended. As a special treat for those in attendance, he honored a special request for a newly married couple and played a song you don’t hear any many (any?) other solo sets on this tour, Bauhaus’ All We Ever Wanted Was Everything. I’ve included that as the sample below.
2. Low Room
3. Velocity Bird
4. Peace To Each
5. Raw Power (Iggy & The Stooges)
7. Silent Hedges (Bauhaus)
8. Burning From the Inside (Bauhaus song)
9. I’ll Fall With Your Knife
11. Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)
12. Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem
13. The Prince & Old Lady Shade
14. Stigmata Martyr (Bauhaus)
15. Uneven & Brittle
16. A Strange Kind Of Love/Bela Lugosi’s Dead
17. She’s In Parties (Bauhaus)
18. Cuts You Up
19. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Bauhaus)
Missing: Too Much 21st Century
Download: Peter Murphy – Los Angeles – 3/14/11 – 549 MB
Sample: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Live)
In my younger metal days, I remember hearing about a hardcore band called American Nightmare who had a singer with one hand. Under normal circumstances, it would suck to be that guy, but if you’re the vocalist in a hardcore band, it could be used as a pretty unique gimmick to separate yourself from the pack in a crowded marketplace. Personally I would’ve gone with a hook attachment for maximum effect during live performances, but that’s just me, and I’m weird. Anyways, American Nightmare never really took off and they broke up sometime in the mid-00s. The singer, Wesley Eisold took that time to re-invent himself as a sort of goth indie hipster type and created the experimental synth pop band Cold Cave. They just released their second album Cherish the Light Years, and I this was the first date of what I believe was their maiden headlining tour.
The set was short and sweet, only 10 songs in 45 minutes. I’ve never seen a headliner do this, but considering that the show was only about $12 to get in, I wasn’t complaining too much. There were a lot of noticeable omissions from the set, especially “The Great Pan is Dead” which was the lead single from the new album. Considering that this is a new band, I expect there will be plenty of other opportunities to hear the songs they skipped.
To be honest, the show wasn’t very “live” at all other than the drums. It appeared that Wesley Eisold and his co-keyboard/sequencer operator were hitting “play” on a sequencer and tweaking the samples with filters. To drive this point home, the keyboard player at one point ran away from his setup in mid song to dance, and the song was not affected in any way. Conspicuously missing from this tour was the female member of the group. I’ve read a lot of interweb chatter that she is indie rock royalty and is in some super cool band I’ve never heard of, so I can only assume she was busy with that. The female vocals were sampled instead, which was kind of weak, but the show was still fantastic and Cold Cave sounded better than a lot of “live” bands I’ve seen.
As a recording note, I want to mention that this show was noisy. A lot of feedback and sounds that make you want to cover your ears. Not helping the situation was the fact that the singer would shake the mic over the monitors in front of the stage mid-song, creating a very shrill feedback loop that would make me regret forgetting my earplugs.
Included here is “Love Comes Close”, “The Laurels of Erotomania” and “Catacombs”.
Setlist: 07/12/11 Knitting Factory Brooklyn
1. Icons of Summer
2. Youth and Lust
4. Love Comes Close
5. Theme from Tomorrow’s World
6. Villians of the Moon
7. I’ve Seen the Future and It’s No Place for Me
8. Burning Sage
9. The Laurels of Erotomania
Download: Cold Cave – Love Comes Love (Live)
TV on the Radio was on tour this past spring in support of their soon to be released album “Nine Types of Light”. April 12, the albums’ release date was left conspicuously open on the band’s itinerary. About a week before, the band announced this special club show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in their hometown of Brooklyn. With the aide of my trusty mouse-clicking finger, my web browsers’ Refresh button, and my advanced captcha entering skills, I was able to snag tickets before they sold out in one minute.
After sitting through the comedy/hip hop stylings of Das Racist, TV on the Radio started things off with slow jams “Killer Crane” from the new album and classic “Young Liars”. By the third song, they had kicked in full intensity and sounded more like a punk band than the indie darlings that they are. This turned out to be the theme of the night. “Staring at the Sun” for instance, was played with much more zeal than the subdued versions found on two of their albums.
The next night, the band played the cavernous Radio City Music Hall, which is one of my least favorite venues. It’s all seats, the sound sucks, and drinks are overpriced. I’m glad I was fortunate enough to attend this show, as I can’t possibly see this set translating as well in that place. Sadly, a couple weeks after the show, this tour was cut short by the tragic death of longtime bass player Gerard Smith, who lost his battle with lung cancer.
Music Hall of Williamsburg 04/12/11
1. Killer Crane
2. Young Liars
3. The Wrong Way
4. Caffeinated Consciousness
5. Dancing Choose
7. Blues From Down Here
8. Keep Your Heart
10. Will Do
11. Staring at the Sun
13. Wolf Like Me
15. Red Dress
Download: TV On The Radio – Brooklyn – 4/12/11 – 110 MB
Sample: Satellite (Live)
The non-stop touring machine known as Reverend Horton Heat celebrated their 25th Anniversary, which occurred sometime last year. As many bands are doing nowadays, they decided to mark the occasion with a special tour. The setlist this time started in chronological order, leading up to their most recent album. After a brief intermission, the Reverend came back out and took requests for whatever songs were called out from the audience (though I have reason to believe the choices were from a small pre-determined pool due to the similarity between recent setlists). Once again, the Reverend broke out some tunes I haven’t heard live yet and mixed it up with the classics, closing out the show as usual by playing “Big Red Rocket of Love” broken up with “Folsom Prison Blues” in the middle, just to keep it real (country).
Included in this post are “Bales of Cocaine” and “Loaded Gun” from 1993′s Full Custom Gospel Sounds and “Psychobilly Freakout”, the video for which was on Beavis and Butthead back in the day.
Highline Ballroom 05-08-11
Baby, It’s You
Lonesome Train Whistle
Nurture My Pig
Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’
Now Right Now
Baby I’m Drunk
Party in Your Head
There Ain’t No Sagauro in Texas
Drinking and Smoking Cigarettes
Please Don’t Take the Baby to the Liquor Store
Death Metal Guys
Calling in Twisted
Loco Gringos Like a Party
Big Little Baby
Bales of Cocaine
It’s Martini Time
Big Red Rocket of Love
Folsom Prison Blues
Big Red Rocket of Love (Reprise)
Download: Reverend Horton Heat – Loaded Gun (Live)
This past April, Cut Copy made their triumphant return to NYC after playing Brooklyn last summer, which was a brief post-Lollapalooza stopover at the Williamsburg Waterfront (See previous TSOI post). This show was the 1st of a 3 night stand at NYC’s Terminal 5, where LCD Soundsystem had just wrapped up a 4-night stand the night before (see previous TSOI post).This time the band was touring in support of their 4th album Zonoscope, which had just been officially released. The set was heavy on new material as well as well as “In Ghost Colors”. Strangely, the band completely ignored “Bright Like Neon Love” save for a fantastic version of “Saturdays”. Also conspicuously absent from the set were the Zonoscope tracks “Alisa” and “Blink and You’ll Miss the Revolution”. Not that I mind, as I assume they’re just trying to keep those songs fresh for later tours in support of the album.
Terminal 5 04/01/11
2. Nobody Lost, Nobody Found
3. Where I’m Going
4. So Haunted
5. Corner of the Sky
6. Lights and Music
7. Take Me Over
8. Pharaohs and Pyramids
10. Hearts on Fire
11. Sun God
12. Need You Now
13. Out There on the Ice
14. Feel the Love
Download: Cut Copy – New York City – 4/1/11 – 110 MB
Sample: Feel The Love (Live)
Bear In Heaven
I was a day behind in getting this “Monday Set” posted, but hopefully it was worth the wait. Here’s a fantastic live Bear In Heaven recording that I traded for last year. It was the first date of their fall/winter tour which spanned nearly four months. They’ve played a handful of dates here and there since that tour, but none near Los Angeles. Here’s hoping the lack of tour dates is due to a forthcoming album.
1. Beast In Peace
2. Ultimate Satisfaction
3. Wholehearted Mess
4. Fake Out
5. Dust Cloud
6. Lovesick Teenagers
7. Deafening Love
8. Drug A Wheel
9. You Do You
10. Casual Goodbye
11. Lovesick (Lindstrom & Christabelle Cover)
Download: Bear In Heaven – Katowice – 8/8/10 – 297 MB
Sample: You Do You (Live)
For 30 plus (yeah 30!) years, Peter Murphy has been one of the most captivating front-men in show business. I recently took my wife to her first Peter Murphy concert and even though she knew next to nothing about his solo work short of “Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Poem” she walked away even more captivated by the performance than I did, a fan of over 20 years.
Peter Murphy’s new record “Ninth” comes out today in the UK and tomorrow in the US. The full record can be streamed right now from the fantastic Slicing Up Eyeballs and I can say, it’s a pretty fantastic record.
Now a little bit about this recording. Recorded in Germany in 1981, Bauhaus were wrapping up their “Mask” European tour. It’s an audience recording from the early ’80s, so there’s a ton of tape hiss, but you can still hear the brilliant live show the band must have put on for what was a small crowd judging by the amount of applause.
1. Intro/The Passion Of Lovers
2. In The Flat Field
3. Silent Hedges
4. In Fear Of Fear
5. Of Lillies And Remains
7. Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores
8. Terror Couple Kill Colonel (Cut)
9. Hair Of The Dog
11. The Man With X-Ray Eyes (Slow Version)
12. Kick In The Eye
13. Hollow Hills
14. Stigmata Matyr
15. Dark Entries
Download: Bauhaus – Weisbaden – 11/28/81 – 214 MB
Sample: The Man With X-Ray Eyes (Slow Version) (Live)
Burning Hearts put out one of my favorite records in 2009 and they are finally back with a brand new EP out on Shelflife Records. The 4 song EP is a little more mellow than their previous record, but the Finnish duo manage to squeeze in one rocker at the end. The track Into The Wilderness picks up with the same catchy sound that I was so fond of on their debut album and is a great taste of what to expect from their upcoming sophomore album.
Download: Burning Hearts – Into The Wilderness