Monthly Archives: August 2011

Honeyboy Edwards 1915-2011 R.I.P.

 

Bluesman was a peer of
Robert Johnson and a celebrated performer in his own right.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Chicago-based Delta bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards passed
away yesterday, Aug. 29, at the age of 96, from congestive heart failure. Media
reports
indicate that he had a weak heart and he’d recently suffered a series
of health issues that, in May, led him to cancel all his concerts for the
remainder of the year.

 

Edwards was born in 1915 I Mississippi and by the age of 14
was living the life of a traveling musician, performing with Big Joe Williams,
Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, Johnny Shines – and Robert Johnson. He’s said to
have been on hand when Johnson died from drinking poisoned whiskey, and he told
some of his stories about Johnson in the ’91 documentary The Search for Robert Johnson.

 

He recorded a number of albums over the years, including
tracks for Alan Lomax’s Library of Congress collection, was inducted into the
Blues Hall of Fame in ’96, and he also wrote a memoir in 1997 titled You Don’t Owe Me Nothing. His label,
Earwig Music, issued an album of the same name, and the book and CD helped
raise Edwards’ profile once again, leading him to be profiled in numerous music
publications and notch a series of music awards over the course of the next
decade. In 2007, he also appeared in the music mockumentary Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

 

[Photo from 2008 by Bengt Nyman, via Wikimedia Commons]

 

Del-Lords Do Surprise Show Tonight

 

Make that, the
quintessential American bar band…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The legendary Del-Lords will be playing a surprise show at
the Lakeside Lounge (162 Ave B, in NYC) tonight, Aug.
30, under the name “Elvis Club”. The show will be a warm-up for their
Turbo-Rock Festival gig in Spain
this weekend.

It’s a rare US
performance for the band, who formed in ’82 and lasted for about a decade for
splitting up and going on to their own projects. But then, out of the blue, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, Scott Kempner, and Frank Funaro
reunited last year to record and release a limited edition ep, Under
Construction
, which was produced by Ambel.

 

Under Construction can be heard here: http://del-lords.com/music/

 

They will be in the studio next week finishing up recording
their first full-length in two decades. As pretty much any fan can tell you,
the Lords were – and still are – one of the greatest American groups, period,
classy avatars of roots music and proto-Americana. Most of their albums have
been reissued over the years, and the 1999 compilation Get Tough remains essential listening for mix tape fiends and iPod
hounds alike.

 

Classic Live ’78 Springsteen LP Reissued

 

Three disc
set arrives next month.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Among Bruce Springsteen fans, the ’78 Darkness On the Edge Of Town tour has
earned genuine godhead status, and there are plenty of live bootleg albums,
both audience-sourced and taken from FM broadcasts, to back that up. On Sept.
30 of that year the E Street Band rolled into Atlanta’s Fox Theatre and
proceeded to blow the roof off, starting with an opening salvo of “Good Rocking
Tonight”/”Badlands”/”Spirit In The Night” and proceeding through the bulk of Darkness plus selected other goodies, including
the only known performance of the old R&B instrumental “Night Train.”

 

The show has long been prized by collectors because it
was originally broadcast live over 20 FM stations throughout the Southeast and
subsequently was bootlegged a number of times over the years. Those bootlegs,
however, such as Same Old Played Out
Scenes,
Here’s To Ya and Fox Theatre Presents The Boss, typically
bore significant flaws in the audio, and as a result a number of other ’78 broadcasts,
also booted, wound up being more desirable and of course better known,
including concerts recorded in San Francisco, Cleveland and Passaic. (As the
story, possibly apocryphal goes, there was bad weather in the region at the
time of the Atlanta
show, which affected the quality of the radio broadcast, and it’s also been
reported that a lot of potential tapers that night simply failed to switch
their decks on.)

 

(No video appears to exist from the Atlanta show, but here’s a clip from Passaic, featuring so-so vidoe but stunning audio, a version of “Prove It All Night” that typifies the ’78 tour. Watch for Clarence Clemons to come in at about the 5 1/2 minute mark. RIP.)

 

 

 

Recently, though, a new version of the Fox tape
surface, reportedly sourced directly from a first generation recording, and it
quickly began making the rounds of the torrent download sites. According to
SpringsteenCorner.com:

 

“Earlier this year [the JEMS Archive] acquired
several tapes from a kind and generous soul who, while not a collector, had a
number of interesting recordings land in his lap back in the day. The tapes had
not been played in more than three decades. In the box were two cassettes of
the Atlanta
show. As luck would have it, they weren’t merely an upgrade of the broadcast
but a pre-FM recording of the show dubbed from 15 IPS reels. The sound quality
of the pre-FM source is truly first rate, lacking the heavy compression of the
over-the-air broadcast and boasting much wider stereo separation than any
extant FM source. The pre-FM also corrects most of the speed issues with the
previous bootlegs. And we do pick up some previously missing audio bits. These
includes a few sentences spoken by Bruce before “Santa Claus” and,
more significantly, the 40 or so seconds that were missing from the start of
“Backstreets” plus some band member intros after that song. That
being said, the cassettes were in less-than-ideal condition and required
re-shelling and baking for playback. Experienced ears might pick up on very
minor fluctuations (e.g. on the tape flips) that couldn’t be corrected.


“In short, what we do have sounds awesome. However, because it is Atlanta, we’re still
snake bit. The pre-FM source is missing the entire encore (presumably a lost
third cassette, and yes, we’ve asked if it might be hiding behind dresser or
something), needs a long patch (6+ minutes) from halfway through “Prove It
All Night” through the start of “Racing in the Street” (we had
hoped tape baking would fix this damaged part but it didn’t), plus a tiny patch
at the very end of “Because the Night.” But even that bad news has a
silver lining, as JEMS also found–gathering dust in its own archive–a 7-1/2
IPS reel to reel of the full broadcast from WINZ-FM Miami that we feel is superior to what’s
found on Same Old Played Out Scenes, having a more natural, less processed and
compressed sound. This new reel was used to patch the longer missing bits (e.g.
the “Prove It” to “Racing” chunk noted above) in the pre-FM
and provide the encore.

 

“The only material flaw in the WINZ source are a few short (one second or less)
dropouts in “Raise Your Hand” that, while unfortunate, aren’t
particularly annoying, they’re just there. After experimenting with using SOPOS
to patch the dropouts, we decided that the “repaired” version sounded
worse than the original as the gaps are so short, the change in sources is
jarring. So we’ve left “Raise Your Hand” from the WINZ tape intact,
with dropouts, but also included an extra file of “Raise Your Hand”
with no dropouts from Same Old Played Out Scenes. The end result is not
perfect, but it is 100% complete, for the first time ever, and it is the
best-sounding Fox Theater recording by a wide margin, especially the 85% of the
show that’s now pre-FM.”

 

Now stepping into the mix is venerable Italian label
Anubis with another one of its custom-designed, limited edition CDR releases.
Titled Night Train, appropriately
enough, it’s taken from this newly discovered master. Our source at Anubis
confirms that they used that pre-FM version and that the results are “incredible
– one of the best Bruce boots from the best Bruce era.”

 

Anubis, per tradition, did its own audio tweaking of
the tape but didn’t find it necessary to do a wholesale overhauled. Says our
source, “We cleaned the tape, made a very light equalization and a final master
to extract the full potential of the tape, but without saturating it.”

 

Night Train will be available as a three-disc set next month. It
will come with full artwork and an extensive booklet. See the track listing,
below:

 

 

1
Good Rockin’ Tonight
2 Badlands
3 Spirit in the Night
4 Darkness on the Edge of Town
5 Independence Day
6 The Promised Land
7 Prove It All Night
8 Racing in the Street
9 Thunder Road
10 Jungleland
11 Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
12 Night Train
13 Fire
14 Candy’s Room
15 Because the Night
16 Point Blank
17 Not Fade Away > Gloria > She’s the One
18 Backstreets > Sad Eyes
19 Rosalita
20 Born to Run
21 Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
22 Detroit Medley
23 Raise Your Hand

 

 

 

MTV VMAs Underwhelm Yet Again

 

 That shark – wearing a Britney Spears mask, no
doubt – has done been jumped, y’all. Can you spell
“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”?

 

By Fred Mills

 

It’s really something when you can say with a straight face
that the Grammys have become far more relevant that the annual MTV Video Music
Awards. The former, remember, was once the repository of the ossified remains
of all the Paul Simons, James Taylors and Elton Johns of the world, not to
mention having the singular distinction of once awarding prog-folk legends
Jethro Tull “Best Heavy Metal Album” honors. No more, as this year’s big win by
Arcade Fire
and several other indie-centric heroes at the Grammys testified.

 

Meanwhile, last night over at the VMAs, it was clear that
with precious few exceptions, the MTV monolith has redefined “musician” as
“multi-platform entertainer.” Which means that if you can hoof it like a
motherfucker, sing (term used loosely) using a headset and without ever having
to physically grip a microphone, get your record label to pony up for the best
videographer and director money can buy, and work with a battery of equally
overpaid song doctors and dubiously-christened “producers,” you are destined to
be, as Katy Perry might put it, a music industry firework regardless of any
extant talent in manipulating a “D,” “G” or “A minor” chord on a guitar, piano
or sousaphone.

 

The main winners’ names (see list below) tell the story:
Perry, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj (who,
admittedly, had a full reserve of credibility at the outset of her ascent but
quickly drained it dry with a succession of red-carpet appearances and silly
pink wigs apparently on loan from Perry). As best as we can tell, the only
artists who could remotely be termed “musicians” in the classic sense of the
term would be rockers the Foo Fighters and hip-hop vocalist Tyler, the Creator
(who himself seems destined to follow the usual badboy/superstar arc of
rappers, so watch for him making the TMZ and OK! Rounds before too long, and… waitaminnit, are we talking about
that avowedly homophobic Tyler?…
but he’s Pitchfork-approved, so he
MUST be cool at the moment, right).

 

Worth noting, of course, is that the B-list awards (also
known as “the ones that don’t translate all that well to on-stage choreography
for TV”) included deserving folks like Adele and the Beastie Boys. And if you
scan through the whole list of nominees, you’ll come across some serious
artists, among them Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Cee Lo, Rise Against and
Taylor Swift. (Foster the People was also in there, but jeez, those clowns –
without a doubt the worst band I saw at this year’s SXSW in Austin – are just
plain awful.) But they all got shut out, blinded by the fireworks-bright lights
of the multiplatinum-selling superstars, foregone conclusions, all.

 

And sure, you can flap your gums all day long about the
televised event’s sundry “WTF? Moment” performance surprises, left-field cameos
and gender-bending antics. (On my personal list of terms to be banned when 2012
dawns: “WTF Moments,” “gender-bending.”) Everybody loves seeing some top-shelf
rappers dancing with a posse of over-the-hill white comedians (that would be,
respectively, Odd Future and Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and Jack Black), not to
mention Lady Gaga performing, shockingly, dressed not as a sirloin steak but as
– gasp! – a man in a “bold move” to affirm… something, no matter that it’s a bold
move that kd lang perfected nearly a quarter-century ago. But let’s face it,
any show that is still handing out awards to Britney Spears in this day and age
can’t reasonably call itself “cutting edge” any longer. That’s the equivalent
of another generation giving Paul Simon or James Taylor awards. And the bottom
line is, if it don’t rock, you can stuff
it in a sock
. Big production values notwithstanding, the VMAs haven’t
rocked in a long, long time, with spectacle having firmly replaced serendipity.

 

That’s not even an opinion; it’s what they have shot for all
along. So one supposes you can’t blame anyone for being true unto themselves.
It’s still bizarre, though, that a stodgy, arthritic institution like the
Grammys was able to pick up that serendipity baton and run with it this year
while the VMAs’ current trajectory seems to be in the direction of the
blue-hairs and slot machines of Vegas. Don’t take my word for any of this, of
course; head over to the MTV website for all the details, clips, original
videos and more.

 

Meanwhile, give me the Country Music Association Awards or any number of Nashville-centric ceremonies that
crop up during the year. At least on those you can see some real music being
performed by real people instead of processed cheese being sliced and diced by cartoon characters.

 

Main Awards:

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Katy Perry, “Firework” 

BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Lady Gaga, “Born This Way” 

BEST NEW ARTIST
Tyler, the Creator 

VIDEO VANGUARD
Britney Spears

BEST MALE VIDEO
Justin Bieber, “U Smile” 

BEST COLLABORATION
Katy Perry/Kanye West, “E.T.”

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
Nicki Minaj, “Super Bass” 

BEST ROCK VIDEO
Foo Fighters, “Walk” 

BEST POP VIDEO
Britney Spears, “Till the World Ends” 

BEST VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE
Lady Gaga, “Born This Way” 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Beyonce, “Run the World (Girls)”

 

 

Watch Taylor Swift Do Eminem, Beach Boys

 

No, we’re not pulling
your leg.

 

By Fred Mills

 

There are tons of Taylor Swift hates out there, but we’re
not among them. While we don’t wake up in the morning and put her on the stereo
first thing, over the past few years we’ve come to respect the gal and what she
represents – genuine original songcraft and apparent sincerity while working
within the confines of the oftentimes plastic country music industry.

 

On her current tour she’s been pulling some musical
surprises out of her hat, typically during her midconcert sit-down solo
acoustic interlude, in which she serves up choice covers, Taylor-style. Earlier
this month she was doing Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” if you can believe that (it
segues into Uncle Kracker’s “Smile”), while more recently, Aug. 23 at the
Staples Center, it was the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” (which was followed by
Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape.” Say what you will about her versions, not to
mention the fact that her adoring audience apparently has a need to scream
throughout even the softest portions of her performances; anybody that can work
both Eminem and Brian Wilson into their repertoire deserves some kind of props.

 

Below you can check out a couple of audience-shot clips; the
songs are all over YouTube, so you may be able to find slightly different or
better ones. It’s pretty entertaining to read the viewer comments – pro AND con
–  below the videos at YouTube, by the
way.

 


Report: Brian Wilson Live in Saratoga

 

Fifty years into an amazing career, Brian
Wilson and his crack backing band dig deep into the head Beach Boy’s back
catalog, come up with nothing but fun, fun, fun at the Mountain Winery on
August 24.

 

By Jud Cost

 

Brian Wilson
never looks really comfortable when he plops down in front of a keyboard placed
at center-stage and makes sure the teleprompter with all his lyrics loaded-in
is functioning. You would think tonight would be duck soup for the man who’s
survived 50 years in the music biz and is now looked upon as a musical deity,
someone to take the kids to see as the Bach or Beethoven of his day.

 

Wilson toured his beloved Beach Boys albums Pet Sounds and Smile “for the last time” a few years ago. That now
leaves the parameters of a Brian Wilson show fully open to deep excavation of
his huge back catalog. The crack nine-man outfit that surrounds Wilson, led by guitarist
Jeff Foskett and Darian Sahanaja on keyboards and vibraphone, exudes nothing
but confidence-and they’re ready to dig.

 

In the awkward
fashion of most of his between-songs patter, Brian tells the three-fourths full
house at Saratoga’s
Mountain Winery to “sit back and relax while we play some music for
you.” Wilson must have run through “California Girls” thousands
of times by now, but surrounded by what he calls “the best band in the
country” it sounds as fresh as the day it appeared on the Beach Boys’ 1965
album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!).
As always with this backing band, the vintage arrangements are recreated so
faithfully it’s almost as though you’re eavesdropping on the original recording
sessions. From tubular bells to glockenspiel to exotic rhythm instruments, it’s
all about attention to detail. “Are you glad you came?” asks Wilson.

 

Brian dedicates
“Wendy” to one of his kids, “the little girl with the Dutch
haircut.” He describes touching ballad “Surfer Girl” as
“the first song I ever wrote” and follows it up with its musical
twin, “In My Room.” The gorgeous harmonies and lush melody of
“Please Let Me Wonder” from the Beach
Boys Today
album speak for themselves. When Wilson comes to the part where he sings
“I’ve built all my dreams around you/That some day my love would surround
you,” he extends his arms in a bear-like embrace.

 

One memorable
teenage anthem follows another. “Drive In” which urges kids to see
enough of the movie “so you’re prepared to tell” and “Salt Lake
City” whose girls are extolled as “the cutest of the western
states” are followed by the harpsichord-laced beauty of “When I Grow
Up (To Be A Man)”: (“Will my kids be proud or think their old man’s
really a square?”)

 

A surprising
choice by Wilson
as “one of my favorites from the 400 songs I’ve written” is
“You’re So Good To Me,” again from Summer Days. The old Bobby Freeman chestnut “Do You Wanna
Dance” sounds just as exciting as Wilson’s
stomping original “Dance, Dance, Dance.” Wild Honey album standout “Darlin’,” sounds every bit the
soulful offering to Stevie Wonder it may have once been. The opening hour-long
segment ends with “Do It Again,” a late-’60s paean to the formative
days of the Beach Boys: (“Well I’ve been thinking ’bout/All the places
we’ve surfed and danced/And all the faces we’ve missed/So let’s get back
together and do it again”).

 

The second hour
kicks off with a five-song medley of George Gershwin songs from Brian’s recent
tribute to the famed composer Brian
Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
(Disney Pearl). “Summertime” and
“They Can’t Take That Away From Me, as well as a smattering of
“Rhapsody In Blue” are effortlessly reworked into the Wilson instrumental
scheme.”It took the band a month to learn this stuff,” says Brian.

 

“Add Some
Music” is a perfect little slice from the overlooked Beach Boys’ Warner
Bros. debut album, Sunflower.
(“You’re sitting in the dentist’s chair/And they’ve got music for you
there/There must be nine million ways/To add some music to your day”).
“Let’s Go Away For Awhile,” an instrumental gem from Pet Sounds, is extended by the band to
epic proportions, employing every Tiki-bar nuance imaginable, and ends with a
fine Charles Lloyd-like tenor sax solo by the wonderfully versatile Paul
Mertens who doubles on baritone sax, flute and clarinet. “

 

The one-two
knockout blow from Pet Sounds,
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” followed by “God Only Knows”
(“Paul McCartney’s favorite song,” says Brian) can only mean the
dazzling fireworks of the finale are fast approaching. The Van Dyke Parks era
as Brian’s lyricist flashes by in a purple haze with “Heroes And
Villains” and “Good Vibrations.” The glorious refrain from
“Help Me Rhonda” has the entire crowd jumping up and down in place.

 

The sublime
“She’s Not The Little Girl I Once Knew” was one of the few
Wilson-penned flop singles for the Beach Boys in the winter of ’65. The reason
was obvious to AM radio programmers terrified of dead air. It has a charming
two-bar air-hole right before the bridge. Capitol pulled the single from
distribution and rush-released “Barbara Ann” off the Beach Boys’ Party! album, yet another
chart-topper.

 

The obvious
closer is “Fun, Fun, Fun” (“Well, she got her daddy’s car and
she cruise to the hamburger stand now/Seems she forgot all about the library
like she told her old man now/And with the radio blastin’ goes cruisin’ just as
fast as she can now/And she’ll have fun, fun, fun til her daddy takes the
T-Bird away”). But who could argue with what comes next, the real finale,
“All Summer Long. (“Sittin’ in my car outside your house/Remember
when you spilled Coke all over your blouse/Miniature golf and Hondas in the
hills/When we road on horse we got some thrills”). It was the perfect
music for the credits to American
Graffiti
, and it works just as well tonight, encapsulating what Brian
Wilson’s music has always been about: having fun.

 

As Foskett
introduces each member of this fine band for an individual curtain call, he
slyly refers to Brian as “the man who wrote every one of these great songs
you’ve heard tonight, even the ones by Gershwin.”  With Brian Wilson’s brilliant trunkful of
original material, he takes a back seat these days to no one. Not even George
Gershwin.

 

 

[Photo via Wilson’s Facebook page]

 

 

Calexico Issues The Guard Soundtrack

 

Also readying 8-LP
vinyl box set
for release this fall.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Tucson’s
Calexico continues its foray into the world of cinema with a new soundtrack
it’s for indie film The Guard. The 23-track
album comes on the heels’ of last year’s acclaimed soundtrack to Circo and is currently available in digital format at iTunes. Love those songtitles: “Bourbon in the Jar,” “Boot
Full of Guns,” “Beautiful Fucking Day,” etc. View the official trailer, which
features some of the band’s music, below.

 

The Guard – which
hit selected cinemas late last month – was directed by John Michael McDonagh
and stars Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle and is described thusly:

 

Sergeant Gerry Boyle
is a small-town Irish cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive
sense of humour, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes and absolutely no
interest whatsoever in the international drug-smuggling ring that has brought
FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door. Boyle drifts through life, not much
concerned about anything, not even the mysterious murder of a man in one of the
town’s holiday cottages. But when Everett
shows Boyle the mugshots of four drug traffickers, he recognises one of them as
the dead man. And so the two cases converge, with a bemused Everett finding himself adrift in the
decidedly original and sometimes surreal world of Sergeant Gerry Boyle, the
last of the independents!

 

 

 

 

Tracklisting:

 

1: Boyle Gets Dressed
2: Boyle and McBride Discuss Motives
3: Eugene Wheels Past
4: Bourbon In the Jar
5: Black Car, Black Night
6: Tap At Cornell’s Window
7: Into the West
8: Boyle Swims Ashore
9: All In a Day’s Work
10: McBride’s Car Abandoned

11: Malice Aforethought
12: Hanley’s Bar
13: Meeting By the Sea
14: From Beyond
15: I Like Sharks
16: Boot Full of Guns
17: Good to Go
18: Everett’s
Goodbye
19: Boyle Ready for Action
20: Leaving Gabriela
21: Down to Two
22: Firestorm of Impossible Odds
23: Beautiful Fucking Day

 

 

 

Classic Live '78 Springsteen LP Reissued

 

Three disc
set arrives next month.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Among Bruce Springsteen fans, the ’78 Darkness On the Edge Of Town tour has
earned genuine godhead status, and there are plenty of live bootleg albums,
both audience-sourced and taken from FM broadcasts, to back that up. On Sept.
30 of that year the E Street Band rolled into Atlanta’s Fox Theatre and
proceeded to blow the roof off, starting with an opening salvo of “Good Rocking
Tonight”/”Badlands”/”Spirit In The Night” and proceeding through the bulk of Darkness plus selected other goodies, including
the only known performance of the old R&B instrumental “Night Train.”

 

The show has long been prized by collectors because it
was originally broadcast live over 20 FM stations throughout the Southeast and
subsequently was bootlegged a number of times over the years. Those bootlegs,
however, such as Same Old Played Out
Scenes,
Here’s To Ya and Fox Theatre Presents The Boss, typically
bore significant flaws in the audio, and as a result a number of other ’78 broadcasts,
also booted, wound up being more desirable and of course better known,
including concerts recorded in San Francisco, Cleveland and Passaic. (As the
story, possibly apocryphal goes, there was bad weather in the region at the
time of the Atlanta
show, which affected the quality of the radio broadcast, and it’s also been
reported that a lot of potential tapers that night simply failed to switch
their decks on.)

 

(No video appears to exist from the Atlanta show, but here’s a clip from Passaic, featuring so-so vidoe but stunning audio, a version of “Prove It All Night” that typifies the ’78 tour. Watch for Clarence Clemons to come in at about the 5 1/2 minute mark. RIP.)

 

 

 

Recently, though, a new version of the Fox tape
surface, reportedly sourced directly from a first generation recording, and it
quickly began making the rounds of the torrent download sites. According to
SpringsteenCorner.com:

 

“Earlier this year [the JEMS Archive] acquired
several tapes from a kind and generous soul who, while not a collector, had a
number of interesting recordings land in his lap back in the day. The tapes had
not been played in more than three decades. In the box were two cassettes of
the Atlanta
show. As luck would have it, they weren’t merely an upgrade of the broadcast
but a pre-FM recording of the show dubbed from 15 IPS reels. The sound quality
of the pre-FM source is truly first rate, lacking the heavy compression of the
over-the-air broadcast and boasting much wider stereo separation than any
extant FM source. The pre-FM also corrects most of the speed issues with the
previous bootlegs. And we do pick up some previously missing audio bits. These
includes a few sentences spoken by Bruce before “Santa Claus” and,
more significantly, the 40 or so seconds that were missing from the start of
“Backstreets” plus some band member intros after that song. That
being said, the cassettes were in less-than-ideal condition and required
re-shelling and baking for playback. Experienced ears might pick up on very
minor fluctuations (e.g. on the tape flips) that couldn’t be corrected.


“In short, what we do have sounds awesome. However, because it is Atlanta, we’re still
snake bit. The pre-FM source is missing the entire encore (presumably a lost
third cassette, and yes, we’ve asked if it might be hiding behind dresser or
something), needs a long patch (6+ minutes) from halfway through “Prove It
All Night” through the start of “Racing in the Street” (we had
hoped tape baking would fix this damaged part but it didn’t), plus a tiny patch
at the very end of “Because the Night.” But even that bad news has a
silver lining, as JEMS also found–gathering dust in its own archive–a 7-1/2
IPS reel to reel of the full broadcast from WINZ-FM Miami that we feel is superior to what’s
found on Same Old Played Out Scenes, having a more natural, less processed and
compressed sound. This new reel was used to patch the longer missing bits (e.g.
the “Prove It” to “Racing” chunk noted above) in the pre-FM
and provide the encore.

 

“The only material flaw in the WINZ source are a few short (one second or less)
dropouts in “Raise Your Hand” that, while unfortunate, aren’t
particularly annoying, they’re just there. After experimenting with using SOPOS
to patch the dropouts, we decided that the “repaired” version sounded
worse than the original as the gaps are so short, the change in sources is
jarring. So we’ve left “Raise Your Hand” from the WINZ tape intact,
with dropouts, but also included an extra file of “Raise Your Hand”
with no dropouts from Same Old Played Out Scenes. The end result is not
perfect, but it is 100% complete, for the first time ever, and it is the
best-sounding Fox Theater recording by a wide margin, especially the 85% of the
show that’s now pre-FM.”

 

Now stepping into the mix is venerable Italian label
Anubis with another one of its custom-designed, limited edition CDR releases.
Titled Night Train, appropriately
enough, it’s taken from this newly discovered master. Our source at Anubis
confirms that they used that pre-FM version and that the results are “incredible
– one of the best Bruce boots from the best Bruce era.”

 

Anubis, per tradition, did its own audio tweaking of
the tape but didn’t find it necessary to do a wholesale overhauled. Says our
source, “We cleaned the tape, made a very light equalization and a final master
to extract the full potential of the tape, but without saturating it.”

 

Night Train will be available as a three-disc set next month. It
will come with full artwork and an extensive booklet. See the track listing,
below:

 

 

1
Good Rockin’ Tonight
2 Badlands
3 Spirit in the Night
4 Darkness on the Edge of Town
5 Independence Day
6 The Promised Land
7 Prove It All Night
8 Racing in the Street
9 Thunder Road
10 Jungleland
11 Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
12 Night Train
13 Fire
14 Candy’s Room
15 Because the Night
16 Point Blank
17 Not Fade Away > Gloria > She’s the One
18 Backstreets > Sad Eyes
19 Rosalita
20 Born to Run
21 Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
22 Detroit Medley
23 Raise Your Hand

 

 

 

Neutral Milk Hotel Gets Box Set

 

Fans are in the Mangum
and over the moon!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Fancy some unreleased Neutral Milk Hotel, fanboys? You’ve
gotten your wish: head over to band mainman Jeff Mangum’s NMH website,
WalkingWallOfWords.com, and in addition to assorted ephemera, Mangum solo tour
dates
, etc., there’s “Oh Sister” and “Ferris Wheel,” from 1995 and 1993,
respectively, posted for your listening pleasure. And it’s not an exercise in
randomness, either. On Nov. 22 Mangum plans to issue a vinyl box (it will also
be available digitally) featuring all of the band’s albums plus a brace of 15 unreleased
cuts:

 

*1996’s On Avery
Island
LP

*1998’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea LP

*Everything Is EP 10″

 *unreleased Ferris
Wheel on Fire
EP 10″

*”Holland,
1945″ 7-inch pic disc

*”Little Birds” 7-inch

*”You’ve Passed” 7-inch

*two 24″ by 24″ posters.

 

A portion of the proceeds of the box sales will go to the
Children of the Blue Sky chaity, as will portions of ticket sales for to Mangum’s upcoming tour.

 

 

 

Hurricane Irene Forces Music Closings

 

Some events postponed
until later, others cancelled outright.

 

By Fred Mills

 

From as far south as Wilmington, NC, to as far north (and
possibly farther) as Cohasset, MA, outdoor music concerts, festivals and
related events have been dropping like flies in the anticipated wake of
Hurricane Irene, which as of this writing (Sat. 10 am) continues to track up
the east coast and prompt millions of people to evacuate. Some of the
cancellations were due to concert promoters’ preemptive decisions, due in no
small part to the recent spate of outdoor concert tragedies. Others were
dictated from on high: on Friday New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revoked
all outdoor-event permits in the city for the weekend.

 

Among the cancellations:

 

*Gillian Welch was to play the Winoca Festival in Wilmington tonight; with
that event cancelled, she moved her show a couple hundred miles inland to
Saxapahaw, also tonight. (One imagines most ticketholders were already on the
move westward from the NC coast so it might not be such a burden after all.)

 

*Mary Chapin
Carpenter
postponed her show at the Sandler
Center in Virginia Beach until Oct. 6.

 

*The Afro-Punk
Festival
in Brooklyn this weekend – possibly one of the most hotly
anticipated shows as it featured Cee-Lo Green, Santigold, Janelle Monáe, Das
Racist, Toro Y Moi, Ninjasonik, Gordon Voidwell, Reggie Watts and others – is cancelled.
No replacement date has been set. Scores of other NYC area shows, including
indoor club events, have also been cancelled or postponed.

 

*The Silopanna Music
Festival
in Crownsville, MD, is cancelled and has not been rescheduled.
Slated to appear were Matt & Kim, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fitz
& the Tantrums and more.

 

*Styx (yep, Styx…)
had a show at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA,
that is cancelled.

 

Here are some links that will list more cancellations and
postponements. While we are also advised that much of Brooklyn, in particular
the music mecca enclave of Williamsburg,
is being evacuated, there is no truth to the rumors that hipster-aspiring
squatters have been descending upon the area en masse…

 

Billboard.com

 

RollingStone.com

 

Pitchfork