Friday, March 31, 2017

Just So You Know......

I love Ricky's blog, Madchester Rave On.  I try and visit everyday, but I am there at least 5-7 times a week.  It's a GREAT SITE!

Well, yesterday he posted Railway Children's Native Place album from 1990.  I have had that album in my que and ready to post for about 2 weeks now, as I always like to stay a couple weeks ahead of myself as a buffer.  Same album, and I had already scheduled it to post on April 4th.  SAME ALBUM.  If you don't believe me, when I post it, check the date stamps on the zip file or Mp3s and you will see...

What causes this to happen?  Ricky - what were your thoughts when you decided to post this?  I've got to know, as you and I have doubled up like this on several occasions.  It's uncanny, almost scary.

If I can, I will try and rotate out a couple others that I already have done further down the road.  But, I wanted you all to know that I am in no way trying to copy or rob the ideas or posts of Ricky.  We just seem to be on the same wavelength sometimesssss.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Daniel Amos - Alarma! Chronicles Vol 1 - 1981

After yesterday's bleh review of a good album that I didn't really think was stupendous, simply because I didn't have a personal connection to it, I'm going to swing out into the other direction.  Now I've got a great review of a mediocre album that I absolutely love, simply because I did have a strong personal connection to it.

This album is Part One of the four part Alarma! series by Daniel Amos.  Daniel Amos is the name of the band, and there's no one in the band named either Daniel or Amos.  Weird, huh?  I've already posted Part Two and Part Three, previously.  Here are the links to them...

I have yet to post the fourth part, called  Fearful Symmetry, but that will come later this summer.

As a whole, listening to the albums in chronological order, the breadth of Terry Taylor's writing is admirable.  He plays across all musical genres, with an obvious Christian slant.  But, it's not overpowering or a turn-off.  The style mesh well, and the melodies are always catchy.

This first album in the series still smacks of late 70s Classic Rock/Pop Rock.  The band wouldn't head into their awesome 80s New Wave sound until the next album.  But, after a touchy start, the album picks up momentum and comes out on top.  Although I love this album, it is not as good as the other two.  I prefer Vox Humana, followed by a close second with Doppelganger.  Part One falls shortly behind that.  Part Four, on the other hand, is a little jilty to me.  But, by then I had moved back into secular Rock, and mostly forgot about Christian Rock altogether.

I do have a personal connection to this album, though, as it's one of the albums that I listened to repeatedly during my exile from mainstream Rock and Roll.  I still had (have) music in my soul, so I had to listen to a lot of Christian artists that I quickly learned to love.  Artists like Steve Taylor, Petra, Crumbacher, Rez Band, Farrell & Farrell, DeGarmo & Key, Stryper and Daniel Amos.  I often think that it was wrong for my parents to do force me into that exile, but then I sometimes am happy that it happened, as it exposed me to some more great music out there that I wouldn't have normally listened to.

Notice I went through my entire Christian Rock post without using one vulgar word?  Weird how that subconsciously happens...

Give the series a shot, and I'm sure you'll at the very least find it amusing....

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ultravox - Quartet - 1982

Admittedly, this isn't one of my favorites by Ultravox.  Admittedly, I'm only posting this as I continue to offer the full discography of their work (as I am doing with a lot of other artists, too.)  Admittedly, you will see this happen more and more often, as I am beginning to see the bottom of the well of my musical exposure from the last four decades.  So it is,,,,

It's not so much that the album's a bad album.  It's pretty good.  It just never really grabbed me.  It's difficult to make it all the way through the album without changing the disc/mp3. But, maybe it's just me.  I never knew of them when I was younger, and never heard of them until Youtube and Discogs.  So, with no real memories from when it was released, I didn't get any sort of imprint from it. Also, I think their keyboard player wasn't very inventive.  The tones sound redundant and somewhat annoying.  And their sound typifies the stereotypical 80s New Wave sound that everyone hates to love, or loves to hate.  I don't know, it's good, but it's not that good.  Am I making myself clear?  Can anyone else out there articulate what I'm trying to say?

This does have the rare and hard to find b-side called Break Your Back.  I had to rip it from Youtube to get it, though.  Always a fan of their cover art, it was hard to find flawless material to use for this.  The back frame still doesn't look too good, and you can see jpeg artifacts all over it.  I tried my best.

I guess I like Reap the Wild Wind.  But, We Came To Dance is dumb.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Romeo Void - Benefactor - 1982

I've really got nothing to say about this album.  It's another 80s album that I feel deserves it's place in my collection.  I remember the neighbor kid who lived next to me when I was a boy had it.  It was his mom's tape, really, not his.  But, I remember her playing it once in the summertime in a boombox while she washed her car.  She was a divorcee, and fairly young.  Her son was a punk.  Not a real punk but a little fucking prick, to be more precise.  I also remember seeing the video of Never Say Never on MTV in the early 80s, and liking the melody. 

But, that's about all the experience I have with it.

I've since listened to it, and like it, and think it's a fine example of New Wave.  I'm also impressed with their lead singer.  She's really got it together.  For the most part, the songs are good, not spectacular, but you definitely won't be wasting your time listening to it.  It's just....  good.

As for the cover, I remember the tape when I was a kid, so I specifically stuck with the cassette cover, which looks sorta cool for a CD.  And, all the mixes as always....

Monday, March 27, 2017

Elastica - Self-titled - 1995

Here's a little rocker from the mid-90s during the peak of Brit-Rock influence across America.  Oasis and Blur were at their prime, becoming legendary before our eyes.  With them, there were a host of bands that were picked up by labels from all over as almost a clarion call to the horror that was American Grunge.  Blech!  Grunge unfortunately shifted to American Alternative, but the Brit Rock scene really put out some awesome stuff, and Elastica was in that mix.

Admittedly, the album sorta wanes toward the end, but for the most part you have some solid numbers with some catchy hooks.  And Car Song, of course, is really sexy, too.  It's unfortunate that their follow-up albums didn't share the same magic as their debut, but it was to be expected.  They had a lifetime to write their first album, and only a year or two to write their second.  That is where the talent and skill really shines through.  I'm satisfied to see them as a one-hit-wonder, not a problem. Just another CD to add to my huge collection of awesome crunchy guitars with that thick Brit accent.

I received my Hall & Oates tracks today from Neil, so we are on pace to get a big H&O deluxe edition that will one up the official deluxe, on April 24th.  I am so stoked!  I'm half-tempted to try and push out the cover some time this week and post early, but we'll see how my week goes, first.

On a side note, my wife still has not found a job, and her unemployment compensation has run out.  So, we've got about a month before things get really scary, and we're out of cash.  We will see what happens, I guess.  For any of you who believe in a higher power, drop a line for our family, and maybe a miracle will occur.  We definitely need it....

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Billy Idol - Whiplash Smile - 1985

So, I'm in a quandary on how to describe this one.  Is this the last of his good albums?  Or is this the first of his bad albums?  I will say this, it was a pivotal album in his career, and once this one was released, it was all downhill.

By the time this came out, the mainstream Pop radio record labels were trying to capture what they considered "New Wave" and putting a more radio friendly twist on it.  All while sacrificing the true intent and meaning behind it.  Imagine, only 6 or 7 years before this album, Billy was a true punk in Generation X, making some great stuff.   Then....

I think we all remember when this one came out, or at least when we started hearing it on the radio.  Regardless of what I said in the above two paragraphs, I was only 14 and it was still Billy Idol to me.  He had the killer attitude with the pretty boy looks.  Being a young shy geek with pimples and a big nose, I was very jealous of him.  The best I could do was emulate the fine lad.  As well, this was the time when my parents took my "secular" music away, so all I had was a dubbed tape from a friend.  I was still always very impressed with him, even through his next release in 1990.  I think the cyberpunk album is where he completely lost it...

But, now, I think the fanbase and respect is still out there.  I mean, it's fucking Billy Idol.  I'd be happy to meet the guy or see a show.  I guess the best I can do now, is wear an Idol t-shirt.  Good enough for me.

As always, I've got it all on this one...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Peter Gabriel - Self-Titled - 1980

So, we still have house guests, and we are making plans for tonight, so I will get today's post out a little early, so I don't miss it.

Still working through PG's awesome self-titled albums, trying to name them so you can differentiate between the three.  I love his covers for his singles, which is why I continue to use them as the actual covers for the albums.  On this one in particular, I tried to leave the wear rings from the vinyl on the sleeves, so it looks more authentic and retro.  I think they are pretty cool this way, they look like records.

I was able to find three more tracks to add to this particular set. But, still no remixes of the singles.  I think a Dreamtime remix or McDoC remix of I Don't Remember or Games Without Frontiers would be spectacular.  But, just wishful thinking.

Tonight we are going to go roller skating with the kids.  I haven't been roller skating in ten years at least, which will be exciting for everyone else but me.  Imagine a middle-aged fat man trying to roll his fat ass around on eight little wheels.  Can anyone say busted hip?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oasis - Be Here Now - the Mustique Demos - 1997

These recordings were released with the 20th Anniversary Edition of Be Here Now.  I thought they deserved their own disc.  Although Noel has a pretty good voice for some of the tracks, I still prefer Liam's vocals over his any day.  Yes, Noel was (is?) a great song writer, Liam had the voice and swagger that made Oasis the monster that it was. 

These tracks are still great.

Mother-In-Law is in town this weekend, so I may or may not be posting.  We will see how much time I get to fuck around.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dali's Car - The Waking Hour - 1984

When it comes to my own discovery of music, I am so glad that I have the internet to help me.  I felt that I had been blind (and deaf) my entire life once I began exploring the diverse and expansive landscape of Rock & Roll from it's inception through today.  EVERY DAY I learn something new about OLD music that I didn't know before, and I feel like an archeologist or pirate or explorer on a quest for the hidden treasure that has yet to be uncovered.

So was the case of Dali's Car

Until I did some in-depth research on Discogs of Peter Murphy and all of his musical dealings, I had never heard of Dali's Car.  Never knew it existed at all.  It took me a while to find the nine songs that they recorded in 1984, barely a whole album.  I listened once or twice, then put it away.  A couple months later, I tried it out again.   This time while I was surfing the net late at night, all alone.  Better.  And better again.  It sounds like Experimental/Synth-pop/New Wave with a touch of late 70s Bowie and some of that late 70s Prog.  I'm not ready to say that I'm in love with it or anything, but it's enjoyable and very interesting.

I'm sure when it was released, people were surprised because it is a far cry from what Murphy had done previously.  As for Karn, it seemed like an extension of his work with Sylvian in Japan.  I can only imagine what the fans of Bauhaus were thinking, though...

The great thing about it, is when I finally discovered it in 2009, a full 25 years after it's release, it didn't really sound that dated.  Partially due to the fact that Murphy has that universal and classical vocal style that never goes out of style.

I never heard their 2012 follow-up, after Karn's death.  It would be interesting to hunt it down and see how it holds up with this set.  I'm sure it's a cherry.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stereolab - Dots & Loops - 1997

Dots & Loops came out when I was working for a restaurant chain as a troubleshooter traveling across the midwest working in various locations.  I think I've already discussed this before, so I won't go over it again.  The albums that came out that I listened to non-stop during that time were Medazzeland, OK Computer, Monaco's Music For Pleasure, Urban Hymns and this one, Dots & Loops by Stereolab. 

This was the second album I ever purchased of theirs.  The first one was Mars Audiac Quintet because of the song Pong (saw the video for Pong on 120 Minutes and had to get the album.) I've never been a huge fan of their music, but I love the covers of their albums.  They are always extremely unique, creative and attractive.  When this one came out, I was driving a lot, and purchased it on cassette as I didn't have a CD player in my car at the time (don't get me started.)  I listened to this puppy A LOT.  As I said, I'm not a huge fan of their music, but this is my favorite album by them.

As you can see, this is just the b-sides, mixes and guest tracks that they either mixed or Lætitia Sadier was guest vocals from the same year as the album.  It makes for not just a complete set of their work from the album sessions, but also their direct influence with other artists and bands.  And, it all sounds good, all together.

I have still purchased every Stereolab release, as they've come out, and I am still not a huge fan.  It's because they are good to listen to for a couple tracks at a time before you get sick of them.  Large doses are impossible for me.  But, I get everything.  I like all the covers, and I've liked everything that they've released.  They are an acquired taste and a respect for their longevity and style.  It's unfortunate that they called it quits in 2009, though.  They claimed to have gone on hiatus, and promised to update their website, but nothing has been done to their site since that date.  People still post in their forum, but the band themselves are kaput.  Lætitia Sadier has released solo material, and the "current" members are either working on other projects or aren't doing anything at all....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Presence - Inside - 1992

I never knew that Lol Tolhurst had been literally "fired" from the Cure for drugs and alcohol.  How do you get "fired" from a band?  Does Fat Bob exercise that much control over the comings and goings of the group?  Must be so...

Once Lol left the band, then, he formed this new group called Presence.  Listening to it, I am reminded of Kiss Me and Disintegration with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds on vocals. And, as I said, I am just REMINDED of this, not that it sounds exactly like any of that. Just very familiar.  The songs are all well written and well performed, and it's a quite enjoyable piece to listen to.  But, it's not revolutionary, it's not even risky.  It's very safe and conservative.  And, for a 1992 release, it sounds really dated.  It's a sound and style that would have worked in 1986 or 1987, but by 1992 everything had changed.  It's too bad,really, as this could have been Lol's time to really show Robert that the Cure wasn't all about him.  But, I guess it was.  It's still a pretty good album, I don't mind listening to it.  And, as a link to the Cure, I'll always have it.

This is one of the two covers that they released for the album.  This was the good cover.  The other one was ugly and amateurish.    In 2011 they released an "expanded" version, but they were missing a track, and I didn't like their arrangement.  So, this is mine....

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tones On Tail - Pop - 1984

Me and the family are getting ready to go on a picnic, so I need to make it short tonight.  I first heard this band on a car commercial in the mid-aughts.  I had heard OF them, but never heard them until they had been "commercialized."  Sad.

But, straight from Wikipedia, if you don't already know...

Tones on Tail was a musical side project of Daniel Ash of the gothic rock group Bauhaus started in 1982, along with art school friend, flatmate and Bauhaus "roadie" Glenn Campling. The band's name is a reference to the way calibration tones were recorded on the "tail" of reel-to-reel tape. After the breakup of Bauhaus in 1983, they were joined by drummer Kevin Haskins, and became a full-time concern for all three members. Their music was described by one critic as "doom-and-dance-pop." The band disbanded in 1984, and Ash and Haskins went on to form Love and Rockets with former Bauhaus bassist David J.

I know that they released a collection in 1998 called "Everything" that would be the ultimate in expanded editions.  But, I have a problem with that.  When I want an expanded edition, I want it to gather all of the relevant material from that particular era/session/year.  Not EVERYTHING.  So, I've broken this one down and back to the original release with the remix and just a couple extras.  Dull, I know, but this is how I would prefer it.

Anyway, off to the park with a knapsack full of ham & swiss sandwiches and potato salad.  83 degrees out, and the sky is clear as a bell and deep blue.  We should have some fun!

Chuck Berry - 1926-2017

RIP 1926-2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spider & the Flies - Something Clockwork This Way Comes - 2009

So, how do you describe Spider & the Flies?  Well, honestly it's only two guys.  Two members from the Goth group The Horrors from Southend-On-Sea named Tomethy Furse and Rhys "Spider" Webb.  Having been a huge fan of the Horrors and learning that these two were making music using a variety of analog synths and records from the BBC Sound Library.

The music is cold, alien, sci-fi and strange.  It borders on being Drone, but there's enough variety in it to keep it from totally going off the deep end.  Regardless, it's a tough listen to get all the way through.  I mean, I like it as a side project to the Horrors.  As it stands by itself, meh.  I really am drawn to it, though, as these guys are just so strange.  And I like it.

Try if you like, just be careful.

Friday, March 17, 2017

AIR - Moon Safari - 1998

My first exposure to Air, probably most people's first.  A great album that's better as a whole, then individual tracks.  I can see why they shifted their style for 10,000 Hertz Legend, though.  You couldn't really get away with making music that sounds like this for very long before people would get sick of it.  I still think 10000HL is a fucking classic, too.

Not too happy with the cover, though.  The font I used for AIR was a font I created back in the late 90s when I was making them a lot.  It was fun for a while and I created about two dozen.  If you go to, and look up Kid Chaos, you will probably find them.  ANYWAY, not too happy with the cover, should have done something different.

Not a whole lot to say tonight, as we are getting ready to watch Pete's Dragon.  Boy, will I be happy when we get to a point where we're not stuck watching a Disney or animated movie all the time.  I'd rather watch a grown-up movie.

Have a great night, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Heart Throbs - Jubilee Twist - 1992

When I purchased their first album, I got it on cassette.  I thought it was pretty good, and worth getting on CD.  But that was about it...  When THIS album came out, I said "what the heck" and bought it on CD.  One listen, and that is when I truly became a solid Heart Throbs fan. 

The first five tracks of the album are solid and perfect.  My personal favorite is Hooligan.  What a wonderful song.  It's got a super Madchester beat, with a surf guitar strum throughout.  But, Tiny Feet, Winter, Outside and Stairs are all favorites.  The second half of the album wanes a bit, but overall the album is a definite winner.

They released an EP called Total Abandon between their first album and this one, so technically I should have started the album off with that, if we were to remain strictly chronological.  But, they may have killed the momentum, so I tagged them on the end.

Finally, the cover is another beautiful Me Company cover, I love their work.

I got to tell you, it's difficult to type with Cheeto dust on your fingers.  I'm about to fuck up the keyboard with crud.  Maybe I should quit eating them long enough to finish this.  Hell no.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Skinny Puppy - Rabies - 1989

Whenever I feel dark and moody and angry...  I always drift back to the Puppies (and Ministry) so I can marinate in my misery.  This music makes my skin crawl and gives me the creeps.  I don't know how the guys can make music like this, without having some sort of mental instability.  I know it's intentionally created to be dark like this, but sometimes, you just have to wonder.

As I've posted previously, I discovered SP when they released Vivisect VI and I heard it in the record store.  I was instantly drawn to it.  When they released this one, I didn't even bother to buy it on cassette, first.  I went straight for CD.  I knew it was worth it.  Plus, the CD had two extra bonus tracks, nice.  And the cover was (and still is) a masterpiece.

When you listen to this album, please PLEASE don't make any judgement calls on it before you finish it.  I say this because, if you are like me, you won't make it beyond the first two tracks.  They suck (IMO).  But, once you hit Two Time Grime, it creeps up on you and kicks you right in the ass.  Fascist Jock Itch pounds and pounds and pounds away.  Literally.  And. it. is. awesome!  The singles Warlock and Tin Omen are stellar, but all of the rest of the tracks are equally spectacular. The actual closing of the original album is Choralone, and it's like a living nightmare.

oh what fun

Nivek Ogre (Kevin Ogilvie) has often said that his favorite SP song is Warlock.  I will agree that it is the best one on the album, and probably in my top 10 SP songs...  I don't know about it being the best.  But, it really has a lot of heart in it and it's very cathartic.  Surprising, considering it's a SP song.  I also prefer the alternate version of Tin Omen to the original.  But, you be the judge.

I think what makes this album so especially good is that with Al Jourgenson as a guest artist/writer/producer/mixer/engineer, we had something of a blending of the Ministry flavors into the Puppy mix.  Double Darkness, as it would be.

Unfortunately, this is the last SP with a Steven R Gilmore cover.  I still think he was essential Puppy, but, things move on.

As for my version, I pulled Spahn Dirge off the original album and added the only actual b-side that wasn't on the original disc, Brak Talk.  Then, I threw the three remixes on the end.

I then took all of the additional Puppy material (mostly Ogre/Ogilvie) and added it on as a bonus disc, along with the track I "amputated" ;) from the original disc, Spahn Dirge.  This bonus disc is very experimental, and can be difficult to listen to if you are not in the right mood.  It takes a special kind of person, usually one covered in slime from under a rock or rotted log, to listen to and enjoy the material on this disc.  That happens to be me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

They Might Be Giants - Flood - 1990

I still hold this album as their pièce de résistance of their entire career.  Every song is a masterpiece.  Every song can be sung out loud at the top of your voice.  Every song can be critically analyzed down to it's finite detail, and not a blemish can be found.

I got this one my senior year in high school, and I thought it was pretty good.  But, I didn't really fall in love with it until I drove to Mexico with my cousins a year later.  We drove for about 23 hours straight, and listened to this baby about 4 times.  We all sang it, we all laughed, we played it from the very first note to the last reverb.  We listened to other music on the way to and from, but for some reason, this was the only one I remember in detail.

I played it a couple years later when I was with my wife, who at the time was still my girlfriend.  Her mother seemed a little disturbed by We Want A Rock talking about a "prosthetic forehead on my real head."  She thought it was talking about something sexual.  My wife was like "No, Mom.  It's PROSTHETIC forehead, not PROPHYLACTIC."  Needless to say, I can only imagine what sort of images were going through her head when she thought otherwise.

They released a somewhat deluxe set along with Apollo 19, but I found a few extra tracks and the remixes.  Even with all of that and 27 tracks, it still comes in at just over an hour long.  Amazing.  It's because they packed so much goodness into every song, it didn't take long at all...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prince & the Revolution - Parade - 1986

Have to admit, although this was really fun compiling, it was also extremely difficult.  As most of you know, Prince's work during the 80s was voluminous, and a lot of it was unreleased, or released on different collections throughout the decades.  It wasn't so much of finding the music as it was identifying the proper era/session that it belonged to.  Of all of his releases, this one is probably the toughest.  Probably because you had to contend with the bootleg Black Album as well as all of the material for Sign O the Times (which is almost as bad.)  That being said, does the Black Album belong on it's own, or should the material be absorbed into the releases around it?  I still haven't figured that one out, yet.

After my love of Around the World In A Day, I had to get this album, and also see the accompanying film Under the Cherry Moon.  Well, yes, the movie sucked IMO, but the music was some of his best.  Along with the obvious singles, which were all some of his best, we also have Venus De Milo and Sometimes It Snows In April and Anotherloverholeinyohead and the list goes on.  At this time in my life, my love for this brand of Pop music was a secret hidden love (as my skater punk friends of the time wouldn't have approved) so I listened to this one mostly in my room, doing homework or reading comic books.  So, it is still an album that I listen to when I'm alone, or want some solace or during quiet times around our house.  To me, that's how it's meant to be, that's how I remember it.

So, there are two discs worth of material for this one, plus a "bonus" disc of demos (of differing quality) that were mixed differently than the other tracks so they didn't sound right being on the album proper.  So, three discs total from what I think is the majority of the Parade recording sessions.  PLEASE, if there are any additional tracks for these sessions that I may have missed... tell me!  And, if you feel some of the tracks belong on other albums, then we can make adjustments that way, too.  But, I think I got them right.  We'll see....


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Duran Duran - Madison Square Garden, New York - 1984

 And for the final show of "Live in Concert!" Week, I give you Duran Duran Live at Madison Square Garden, 1984!

I've tried to compare this show to Arena to see if it's the same show or not, but I can't tell.  It sounds like it is.  But, it's so much more than Arena was.  The song selection is so much better, including more of their early hits, and a lot more of S&tRT songs, as well.  You also get the illustrious Shadow Stevens, a definite blast from the past.  Makes me feel like I'm 13 all over again.

I find it surprising that they start the show off with Tiger Tiger, and tuning their instruments.  I thought they would take care of that during the soundcheck or something, so they could run out blasting from the get go.  Regardless, it helps to build that anticipation, and when Simon asks that one question, you can't help but shout out YES!  (Once you listen to the show, you'll know what the hell I'm talking about.)

Although it's a soundboard recording, it's still an FM Broadcast, so the clarity is lacking and the treble sounds a little muffled.  But, it's still the boys at their peak, at their best, and at their most-loved moments of their career.

Long Live Duran Duran.


Duran Duran - Praetoria South Africa - 1993

Tonight's first show is a fun one.  I say that as it's not one of their best, but it's an interesting look at their evolution, and the definitive interpretations of their songs.  Duran2 had just reinvented themselves for the 90s and with great success.  The Wedding Album was like a breath of fresh air and it seemed at the time that the band had "promised" to deliver a decade of new superstardom and outstanding music.  I had great hopes!

We all know how history played out on that one.....

My best friend and I thought seriously about seeing this show when it came to Kansas City.  Wow!  Duran Duran in KC!  And, I had never seen them before!  BUT, the tickets were 26.00.  Holy smokes, I didn't know if I could part with 26.00, that was a lot of money!  Now, looking back, I kick myself for missing it.  26 bucks is nothing compared to a lifetime of memories.  I was stupid for not laying down my hard-earned and going to see them.....

I chose this show for a number of reasons.  Primarily, it's one of the only soundboard recordings that actually came out sounding good.  Most of the shows were either very shitty soundboard or audience recordings.  I also chose this one because their interpretations of their classics were genius, especially Hungry Like the Wolf.  I love this version.  I wish they still performed it like this, now.  Third, and final, in this leg of the tour we are starting to see the cover versions for Thank You pop up.  They still seem somewhat proto-primitive, but the essence of what they wanted to do for Thank You is there.  One of the only things I hated about this show (and all the shows I have from this tour) is that Warren seemed to play most of the songs acoustically, hardly any hard electric guitar at all.  I also hated the fact that Nick used the same synth settings for every song.  It sounds like that "orchestra hit" setting so it sounds like he's playing a lot of strings.  Good on some, a few, but not all of them.  It's like both Warren and Nick were stuck on that Ordinary World setting for the entire show.  And, Simon's vocal cords had been damaged prior to this, so he is really straining in a lot of places, but he doesn't sound too bad.

For the most part, though, this show really excites me.  I was just coming into my own in college.  My parents had moved away and I was alone to become my own person outside of them.  This was one of those albums that brought me through a lot, and I'll never forget it!

Duran Duran - Youtube Unstaged - 2011

As you may have guessed, for my final night of live shows, I've chosen to do a set of Duran Duran shows.  Big surprise, right?

I'm starting with the "bonus" show (I've decided to do 3 instead of 2) because it's a fabulous show, and I didn't even have to make a fabulous cover to match.  It's already been made!

When D2 started touring for AYNIN, there were these wonderful soundboard shows that started popping up that were absolutely amazing.  An unknown fan (RomanDuran?) like myself started making these beautiful covers that matched the album like no other.  In fact, they look better than the actual album art.  I implore you to seek these shows out, and find these great covers, as they are a worthy addition to any D2 collection.  I collected all of them (about 12 shows, I think) and burned them all off and printed the covers to match.  Now, when I start flipping through the Duran section in my CD library, I'm greeted by a host of discs just waiting to be played.  Problem is, it's really tough to choose a favorite, because they're all so good.

This is one of my favorites.  It's great because the show is crystal clear and professionally engineered for broadcast.  The production is very tight, and I'd put it as a better show than the Diamond In the Mind concert that they released commercially.  The instrumentation is balanced and Simon's vocals are solid and on key from start to finish.

So, this is the bonus...  On to tonight's other two shows!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

OMD - Live In Glasgow - 1983

I think given the opportunity to see an early New Order, Depeche Mode, Cure, Smiths or OMD, I would have to say that more than likely, OMD would be my top choice.  I think that in the early 80s when all of these groups were still growing, OMD was showing the most potential, and writing some extraordinary songs.  Plus, I would rather see those other groups later in their careers, anyway.

A great soundboard recording, I think it might be an FM broadcast, but I could be wrong.  The show is an awesome set, with one exception.  The guys cannot single Souvenir properly, live.  It's really freekin' bad on this one.  I think that it's definitely a studio track only sort of thing.  It sounds like shit.

As for the cover, I did a little research on the title of the album, the artist, his inspiration and work produced by other artists also inspired.  I highly suggest you find out what a "dazzle ship" is, if you don't already know.  It's very interesting.  And this cover is also the work of one artist inspired by the "dazzle ships".  Check it out....

One fabulous night of shows left.  Don't miss it!

Smiths - Live in Irvine California - 1986

I've talked previously about seeing Morrissey live in Lawrence, KS during his Maladjusted tour.  A small little venue where you could feel the heat of the stage lights and see the sweat on Morrissey's brow and wonder if you could just reach out and maybe you could touch him...  Great, great show.  I'd love to have seen the group together, back in the day, during their Shoplifters tour (if they had one called that...)

Not a show that's easily found, this is a great soundboard recording that really brings the band to life.  Moz is at the top of his game, and the track selection is impeccable.  I often feel sorry for Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, and wonder if maybe they should have hooked up with Stephen and Gillian from New Order and created their own foursome called "Star-crossed and Forelorn" or something like that.  Andy and Mike were their own little "other two" and neither did much after the split...

Found that swell picture one day, and knew I had to use it for a Smiths album....  Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Erasure - Welcome To the Glitterdome - 1992

I've never actually seen an Erasure concert.  And not just live, for realz, in the flesh and blood.  I've seen maybe 20-30 seconds of a single song, on a documentary or something, and that's it.  Don't know why...  I also have only heard the concert from the video they did for the Wild! Tour, and this one.  That's it.  (Same goes for PSB)

I find it hard to get a full, live translation of their songs, as they are all pre-programmed studio recordings anyway.  I mean, yes, it would be cool to see Vince and Andy, but you hear this whirlwind of music, and it's just Vince up there 2-fingering a keyboard (that sounded naughty.)  It's not as if all of the sound is being constructed right there in front of you, as it is with guitars and drums and maybe some piano and strings.  That being said, if that's the case, I'd rather just listen to the album.  Better than listening to Andy sing along to an accompaniment track.

Regardless, those two Erasure shows I mentioned are great to listen to.  To me, these shows were Erasure at their best, when I loved them most.  I like every song they play, and Andy is really magnetic as a stage performer.  The sound on this is great, and the covers were fun to make.  I'd slide this double disc set inbetween Chorus and Abbaesque. 

Depeche Mode - Ludwigshafen, Germany - 1984

Not much to say on this one.  I only saw DM once during the Violator Tour in 1990 in Pensacola Florida.  Hearing them when they are 6 years younger, post MFtM (a turning point, I feel) and it's amazing that the deep dark voice of Dave is coming out of that scrawny little body.  It would have been fun to see them before they became the legends they are now.

This is a great soundboard recording, but I only have it at 128kbps.  That being said, it probably sounds more like a cassette tape than anything.  But, it's still a great show, and every song is an absolute classic.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

INXS - Live In San Diego - 1988

And then there was this....

For my thoughts on INXS and KICK and this tour, please read THIS and THIS.  Especially that second one.  That's about the night I went to see the show.

As for this particular recording, it's pretty good.  It's from an FM Broadcast, so you have the limitations of the recording, there.  A tad muffled and it honestly doesn't sound like a soundboard, but it probably is.  It's the best live recording I can find from this fantastic tour....

The cover was nigh impossible.  This graphic was from the concert poster and T-shirt.  I could not find one good solid quality high def pic of it.  I had to cut and paste, retrace, recolor, re-everything.  But, the finished product is absolutely perfect.  I love this cover.


U2 - Live in Mexico City - 2011

I know that there was a commercial release of this tour.  It's a great release, and has a lot of awesome shots, and the video for it kicks ass.  Yes, yes, I know.  But, there is so much more.  From what I understood of the tour, nearly every show was recorded through the soundboard.  Why?  I don't know.  I'll leave that for others to explain.  All I know, is that you can find over a dozen perfect soundboard recordings from this tour, and choosing just one is hard to do.  This one kicks ass....

I prefer actual bootleg recordings of concerts over commercial releases in a lot of cases.  The commercial releases edit out a lot of banter, false starts, etc.  They also tend to re-engineer into a studio session.  When you get these raw live performances, and leave in all the flaws and "extras", it helps, I think, to bring to the Live experience.  That's what I like.

As for U2

I honestly thought that the 360 Tour was mediocre.  Not really one of my favorites.  Mind you, I think seeing that stage would have been larger than life, but that's it.  I think my favorite Tour of theirs would still have to be the original ZooTV Tour, followed by the Elevation Tour, then the Joshua Tree Tour, and the Unforgettable Fire Tour.  I think that 360 really comes out just after that, maybe.  Hard to tell.  I will say that their latest tour, the Innocence one, from what I've seen and heard so far, comes in dead last.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Police - Park West, Chicago - 1979

Tonight's second show is 9 years older than my last post, and the oldest concert this week.  It's a spectacular ball of energy catching the boys at their best and most creative.  This is a show I would've loved to have seen.  This one would've been fantastic.  Of course, I was only 8 years old at the time, so I didn't know any better, but it would have been the best.

It's got a nice selection of their best, but also some lesser known favorites that are awesome to hear live.  Bouncing, full of energy and hard rocking.  Hard to believe this happened about 20 miles from where I lived, and I had no idea.......

I built this cover from scratch, only using the two pics.  I love how it turned out.  It looks like something straight from their catalog.  A nice little addition to a remarkable history...  ( I have more awesome soundboard Police shows, but I'll wait to post them later.)

Short and sweet, tonight.  I'm fucking tired....

Sting - Live In Italy - 1987

So, this one takes place about 9 years after my next post.  You've all probably already heard this show, as it was commercially released as the "Sting & Gil Evans" live performance.  But, it's still one of my favorites.  The diversity of the songs on here, coupled with their unifying elements make it a wonderful performance in an almost intimate setting.  Great stuff, and time well spent....

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tears For Fears - Live In Manchester - 1985

Tonight's second fabulous show spotlights two gentlemen that I never was able to see live.  In their heyday, it would have been great.  I've seen some video of shows they've done within the past five to ten years, and I have to say they seemed sort of scary.  Some of our heroes have been able to continue their greatness into old age.  Some have not.  Curt doesn't look so bad, now, but poor Roland is starting to look like a scrotum.  Sorry, just a fact.

This show was filled with a lot of energy and a lot of heart and soul.  Just like their music, they weren't just performers up on stage putting on a show, they were opening themselves up and making a personal connection with their audience.  Their young, wild and creative days were captured and their refining and finesse was starting to really shine.  They translate wonderfully from studio to stage.  I would have LOVED IT.  But, alas....


Thompson Twins - Live In Dallas - 1987

Tonight's first show is by the illustrious Twins.  By this time, they were in their unavoidable slide down in popularity.  That's not really a bad thing, though.  By this time, if you went to see their show, you saw ALL of their great hits in one setting.  Yes, seeing them during their Gap Tour or Future Days Tour would've been spectacular, but this was seeing the best of all of it at once.

Soundboard recording sounds great.  I obviously used the cover to their Close To The Bone album.  Looking at it now, I'm not a fan of the colors I chose, though.  Doesn't matter, the show is wonderful and that's what counts.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Cure - Live in Brussels - 1987

Tonight's second show is a grand one that I would've given my left gonad to see.  When this tour hit, and they came through Chicago, I was living there at the time and remember a bunch of kids at school going to see them.  I remember the girls coming back the next day with their concert Ts on, and their hair all ratted up and the dark eyeliner practically dripping from their eyes.  I wasn't the HUGE fan of them like I am now, and chose to see other shows that year, based on what my friends wanted to see, really.  Now, I look back and kick myself.

This is a great recording of a great show.  There's enough concert hall echo in the soundboard recording to make it feel like you're really there.  They all play in excellent form, and Robert is chipper and talkative.

I know the cover of Kiss Me3 is of Robert's lips and eye, but I found these pics in HD and had to use them, they looked so good.  Of course, I had to do a lot of adjusting of colors and whatnot, but I think I got it to match up with the album pretty good.

Also, you will note this recording is 1 1/2 hours long, more than will fit on one disc, but I only made one cover.  I did it like this, as it's tough to decide where to split the track listing, and also a lot of you have said that you simply encode the jpg graphic to the Mp3 file.  If you feel the need to burn it off and make a case, just split the album wherever you desire and squeeze the two discs into one case.  Simple enough.


New Order - Live in California - 1989

Tonight's first show comes from California in 1989.  Shortly after the release of Technique (NO's best album), this would have been the tour to see.  At the time, the closest city that they came to from me would have been more than 600 miles.  Being a teen, I had no way to make that trek.

The recording is a soundboard recording, but is spotty in a couple of places.  Barney's voice misses it a couple times, but he holds it together rather well.  You can tell during the show that there are obvious strains on the relationships within the band, as both Barney and Hooky try to be frontman.  There's a constant one-up-manship going on, it seems, and sometimes repeating of what the other has said.  To be honest, I really think that Hooky needed to step back.  He's a good musician, but Barney will always be the "voice" of New Order in my book.

This was NO's last great tour, before they split into their sub-groups.  Every other tour after this one pales in comparison.  They were never the same again, in my eyes...


Hall & Oates Tracks?

Before I start tonight's posts, I am issuing a plea for help.  I am currently TRYING to get all of the tracks gathered from Hall & Oates 1984 album Out Of Touch.  I am missing 3 tracks and would like your help in locating them, so I can finish this new double disc set.  Here are the following tracks that I am missing....

- Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid (New Special Mix?)
- Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid (Instrumental)
- Dance On Your Knees (B-Side Version (4:38?) NOT the extended version (6:something))

If anyone can assist me on this, it would be greatly appreciated.  I have it scheduled for April 24th, so we have about 5 or 6 weeks to get them collected.  

Thank you very much!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Live Concert Week Starts Tomorrow!

Starting TOMORROW.  Seven Days.  Fourteen Shows.  Spanning 32 years.  Some of your favorite bands, caught live on stage!