Live! In the manner of, or somewhat similar to, a suicide!
This afternoon I finsihed the part of my CNA class that requires me to work at an assisted living facility. In the past week, I've seen some of the craziest, most raw things I've ever witnessed at a job. I sat with an elderly man and calmed him down after one of those "This is it, I'm dying" panic attacks. I fed a 105 year old woman her breakfast. I used mechanical lifts to put a man with no legs into his bed and a 350 lb. man onto the toilet. AND(!) I got to wipe his ass!
So you'll excuse the brevity as I go right into posting a handful of my favorite live recordings. I really wish I had a concert to go to this weekend, because the idea of it... of all that sweating, breathing humanity, just sounds really healthy right now.
"Can't Keep" by PEARL JAM: Talk about mortality. I'm having this song played at my funeral, just so I can say to everyone in that crowd "Pearl Jam were great, so eat a dick!" one last time. "I wanna race with the sundown / I want a last breath that I don't let out / Forgive every being / the bad feelings, it's just me." And then that great closing, "I've lived all these lives / It's been wonderful tonight / I will live forever / You can't keep me here." There's another great version of this song from the "LIVE AT BENAROYA HALL" album, with just Ed and his ukelele.
"A Quick One While He's Away" by THE WHO: From the absolutely essential "LIVE AT LEEDS," whether you buy the old version, the remastered extended version or the double disc remastered extended version. It may be the best live album of all time, and I'm definitely not alone in thinking so. If this version of "A Quick One While He's Away" doesn't sell you, I'm at a loss. I believe this is the version that appears in Wes Anderson's masterpiece, "RUSHMORE." Just look at all the great moments in this song:
- 24 seconds in, where Keith Moon's rolling drums and John "The Ox" Entwistle's massive bass enter the song just as Pete Townshend's foot hits the fuzz pedal. Take special note of all the insane guitar sounds and keep in mind that they're all coming from one gangly looking, big nosed gay dude.
- The falsetto vocals, especially during the "Cello cello cello" portion of the song. They even sing "Cello" on the album, originally as a marker as to where they were going to later add actual cello. They never did.
- Moon's drums during the opening of the Engine Driver section. Have you ever seen Keith Moon playing the drums? He looks like a muppet with a couple of busted joints.
- The "You are forgiven" coda. Forget about it, you can't beat that. "We're all forgiven."
"Lull" by ANDREW BIRD: I finally feel like I'm coming out of the lull I was in, so it's nice to revisit a song that was my soundtrack 6 months ago. A one-man-band performance from Schuba's in Chicago, a club just a few blocks away from where I lived. Site of my greatest performance of "Helter Skelter" at Live Band Karaoke.
"Waiting for the Sun" by THE JAYHAWKS: I was a fairly casual fan of The Jayhawks until I heard this live performance on the bonus material for their last album, "RAINY DAY MUSIC." Gary Louris's vocals are soaring and effortless here. A nice closer for the weekend.
For more on tonight's post:
- A ghetto lookin' Who site. Here's their photo archive, where I snagged tonight's pic.
- Andrew Bird's site, featuring a new link to a live concert.
- The Pearl Jam page, which for some reason is playing the "ROCKY" theme.
- The official Jayhawks homepage.