It's (A)live! Live Music Month comes to a close...
If you've been wondering why things have been so quiet, it's because the guy in my building whom I've been jacking my internet connectivity from didn't pay his bill. I've been cock-blocked off the web for almost a week now, but tonight I had a eureka moment and discovered again an open window.
Look, we don't have much time. I don't know how long it will last, so I'm getting in now and I'm getting in fast. This will probably be my last post about "live" music for the month of July. August will see me returning to my regular format... which is really not much of a format at all.
For now, here are a half dozen cool live performances:
"Silver Street" by MERCURY REV: Great live cover of a Nikki Sudden (ex-singer for Swell Maps) song. Anyone got opinions on the most recent Mercury Rev album? I haven't had a chance to buy it, but I've heard 3 really good songs. Any FLAMING LIPS nuts out there should check out Rev's "DESERTER'S SONGS" album (this track is a b-side from that album's "Opus 40" single).
"Box Elder" by PAVEMENT: This comes from the deluxe re-release of the band's debut, "SLANTED AND ENCHANTED."
"Here" by RICHARD BUCKNER: Sticking with Pavement and the "S&E" record, here's Richard Buckner doing a cover of "Here." I love his groaning, desperate vocals and the off-beat way he strums his guitar. Like the Andrew Bird song posted earlier on this blog, this track was performed at Schuba's.
"Let Down" by PEDRO THE LION: Comes from the widely circulated "LIVE IN OMAHA" bootleg. Pedro's David Bazan has great taste, because "Let Down" is probably my favorite RADIOHEAD song. They do a pretty faithful recreation here, but slow it down just a tad more. The lyrics are pretty crushing. I found this quote online from Radiohead singer Thom Yorke about the song: ""I was pissed in a club, and I suddenly had the funniest thought I'd had for ages - what if all the people who were drinking were hanging from the bottles... if the bottles were hung from the ceiling with string, and the floor caved in, and the only thing that kept everyone up was the bottles?" Mmmm'kay.
"On a Plain" by ROGUE WAVE: A decent audience recording of Rogue Wave's interesting cover of the Nirvana hit. I love the (I think) keyboard touches, and the gentle approach the band takes to a song that normally screams and stomps.
"Breed" by STEVE EARLE: A surprising live cover of another "NEVERMIND"-era Nirvana cover from a guy who has always walked the lines between country, punk and classic rock. It's odd... it seems to me the older and more politically outspoken Steve Earle gets, the less controversial and radical he seems to me. "Copperhead Road" is punk fucking rock, and so is this.
"Chinese Rocks" by JOHNNY THUNDERS AND THE HEARTBREAKERS: Live music from a dead guy is closing out my month of live music. Thunders was a druggy rock star of the KEITH RICHARDS variety, who got his start in the NEW YORK DOLLS and eventually died the inevitable but tragic death by overdose way too common in the world of punk rock. The Hearbreakers also featured TELEVISION's Richard Hell on bass. This is from a pretty outstanding compilation called "UNITED STATES OF PUNK," which features live tracks and demos from BAD BRAINS, THE RAMONES, THE MISFITS, SUICIDE and more.
For more on tonight's post:
- Mercury Rev have all kinds of song samples on their home page. You should definitely check out "Holes" and "Something for Joey."
- Check out Matador Records' Pavement page for some more downloads.
- Richard Buckner's site kinda sucks.
- The Pedro the Lionhome page. Follow this link to hear a few demos from their upcoming album.
- Rogue Wave's cool official site. The band says they're on the soundtrack to the upcoming video game Stubbs the Zombie, which features indie acts doing covers of 50s songs. Rogue Wave cover Buddy Holly's "Everyday."
- Steve Earle's rarely updated blog
- The Johnny Thunders cyber lounge