Truth in titling for this smoking 1982 show.
By Fred Mills
Okay, paisley underground fans, this one’s for you. On the heels of that recent news that a pair of concerts are taking place tonight and tomorrow night, Dec. 5 and 6, featuring reunions of scene torchbearers The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade, now comes word that a classic, long out of print Dream Syndicate title will be seeing a reissue early next year. Titled The Day Before Wine and Roses, it’s been unavailable for about 15 years but now gets the full-court press on Feb. 4 courtesy the ace archivists at Omnivore.
It’s long been a fave among Dream Syndicate aficionados as, per the title, it documents the band in concert immediately prior to going into the studio to record its classic LP The Days of Wine and Roses. At the time the DS (Steve Wynn; guitar and vocals; Karl Precoda, guitar; Kendra Smith, bass; and Dennis Duck, drums) had already stormed the critical radar and was by all reports a powerful live entity; The Days Before, upon its long-after-the-fact release, was tangible historical evidence.
Okay, cue up the above music, and read some of the info provided by the label on the reissue….
“A few weeks before The Dream Syndicate entered the studio to record their seminal album The Days of Wine and Roses, they set up in Studio ZZZZ in left-leaning non-com station KPFK-FM in Los Angeles, on September 5, 1982, for a live on-air set. In attendance were members of R.E.M., The Bangles and Green on Red, as well as many friends of the band.
“The group began its set at 2 a.m., according to Steve Wynn’s liner notes. And that could not have been a more perfect hour for the ethereal sounds of this highly influential band. Comprising originals that appeared on their first EP and others that would later appear on their 1983 debut, as well as covers of classics by Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Donovan, The Day Before Wine and Roses not only presents an important time in alternative music, but also defines it. Packaged with a full-color booklet, the set also features the original 1994 liner notes and a postscript from original and current reissue producer Pat Thomas.
“In addition, Steve Wynn offers additional notes with recollections of the evening including a malt liquor run, the forced removal of an ex-girlfriend, and presence of R.E.M.’s Peter Buck — later his band mate in the Baseball Project — of which he was not aware until years later. He even reveals that the live wee-hours version of ‘Days of Wine and Roses,’ included in this collection, might have been might have been superior to the studio version.”
1 Some Kinda Itch
2 Mr. Soul
3 Sure Thing
4 That’s What You Always Say
5 Outlaw Blues
6 Open Hour
7 When You Smile
8 Season of the Witch
9 The Days of Wine and Roses