Sunday, June 18, 2017

Big Star - 2008-08-28 - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, UK

Big  Star
August 28, 2008
Shepherd’s Bush Empire,
London, England

Audience recording, very good quality (Pike 1957 recording)
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

When Big Star re-formed in 1993 (18 years after breaking up previously) for a series of shows, few thought the reunion would last, but here they were, 15 years later, with the same group still performing as Big Star, although somewhat as a part-time activity (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow continued to record and tour with The Posies, and Alex Chilton continued various solo and other projects). They even recorded an album of all new songs in 2005, In Space (the only new Big Star songs since Third/Sister Lovers. So, here is a Big Star show from 2008, which, although consisting mostly of the same songs as earlier shows, this one also features some of the new songs from In Space, as well as a couple different covers. Unfortunately, Chilton's Big Star days were coming to an end, as Alex died of a heart attack in 2010, just on the verge of a major Big Star show at the SXSW festival. But not even Alex's death could end Big Star, as the SXSW show was staged as a tribute to Alex and the band, featuring his closest musician friends and colleagues, and many other tributes have continued in the days since, with the formation of Big Star's Third Live, a continuing tribute show featuring rotating all-star casts performing the full Third album with orchestral accompaniment (featuring original arrangements and charts), as well as numerous other Big Star songs, but more on that next time. For now, enjoy Alex Chilton and Big Star, continuing on in the 2000's. Once again, thanks to dbs-repercussion blog for making this available.

Tracklist:
01 - intro
02 - In the Street
03 - Don't Lie To Me
04 - When My Baby's Beside Me
05 - I Am the Cosmos
06 - Ballad of El Goodo
07 - Back of a Car
08 - Way Out West
09 - Till the End of the Day (Kinks cover)
10 - Pomp & Circumstance #4 (from Elgar's 'Enigma Variations')
11 - Daisy Glaze
12 - Thirteen
13 - Baby Strange
14 - For You
15 - Feel
16 - September Girls
17 - Thank You Friends
18 - Slut (Todd Rundgren cover)
19 - Hung Up With Summer*
20 - February's Quiet*
21 - Lady Sweet*
22 - Patti Girl
23 - band intros
24 - Mine Exclusively*
25 - Wouldn't It Be Nice (Beach Boys cover)

* From Big Star's 2005 album, In Space

Big  Star:
Jody Stephens – drums, vocals
LX Chilton – vocals, rhythm guitar
Jon Auer – lead guitar, vocals
Ken Stringfellow – bass, vocals

Big Star_2008-08-28_London.part1.rar
Big Star_2008-08-28_London.part2.rar



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Big Star - 1995-11-08 - Tramp's, New York, NY

Big  Star
1995-11-08
Tramp’s, New York, NY

Audience recording, good quality (transfer from master tape)
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Continuing with the legendary, but originally unsuccessful,  power pop band Big Star (I've been on kind of a Big Star kick lately), as mentioned previously, there are few live recordings of the original incarnation of the band in the early '70's. But long after their early lack of success and demise, and following reissues of their previous albums, and a new live collection, renewed interest and popularity for the band lead Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, along with new members recruited from The Posies, John Auer and Ken Stringfellow (original bassist Andy Hummel was apparently not interested), to accept a reunion gig at The University of Missouri in 1993 (which was subsequently released as a live album). Following that success, this version of Big Star continued to tour and play together on and off for the next several years. This show is from that period, from 1995, and Big Star's first show in New York since 1973, at Tramp's. They give an impressive, spirited performance, with Big Star classics peppered with several unique covers. The recording itself is pretty good, but not great, and gives a good representation of the band at that time. Thanks to Rob of the dbs-repercussion blog for making this available, and Rob has lots of other Big Star and Alex Chilton shows available here for those wanting to pursue Big Star further So, enjoy this reincarnation of Big Star in the '90s.

Tracklist:
01 In the Street
02 Patti Girl*
03 Don't Lie to Me
04 When My Baby's Beside Me
05 Way Out West
06 Till the End of the Day (Kinks cover)
07 banter
08 The Ballad of El Goodo
09 Back of a Car
10 Big Black Car (cuts in)
11 My Baby Just Cares For Me**
12 Feel
13 September Gurls
14 Daisy Glaze
15 For You
16 Baby Strange
17 Thank You Friends
18 band intros, more banter
19 Slut (Todd Rundgren cover)
20 encore applause, tuning
21 Kansas City (Lieber and Stoller)
22 Pennsylvania 6-5000 (Glenn Miller cover)

*Dick Campbell tune; Gary & The Hornets cover (Alex Chilton and Teenage Fanclub released a studio recording of this song on a 45-inch single in 1995)
**Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn tune

Alex Chilton – lead vocals, guitar
Jody Stephens – drums, vocals
Ken Stringfellow – bass, vocals
Jon Auer - guitar, vocals

Big Star_1995-11-08_Tramps_NYC_mp3.rar



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Willard's Wormholes 2007-2017 R.I.P.

A Few Words About Willard and his Wonderful Wormholes


As many (probably most) who regularly read this blog know by now, the great music-oriented blog Willard's Wormholes is no more. And for those wondering just what may have happened to it, let me reassure you that it was not closed or shut down by any outside forces. No, 'Willard' just decided on his own that 10 years was long enough, and that he wanted to move on. And not wanting to attract undue attention or hoopla to the closure, he just quickly and quietly closed down the site. So, it is gone now, and as far as anyone knows, not coming back anytime soon. So, let me join the chorus of voices in saying a hearty "Thank you Willard", for all you did through your Willard's Wormholes blog, and its predecessor, Never Get Out of The Boat, and best of luck to you in whatever endeavors you go into next. You've earned a big break.
I was one of those that followed his blog from its very beginning, and it had a big influence on me starting this little endeavor here a short while later. As all who frequented the site know, Willard's Wormholes was most certainly one of the very best ever, if not THE best ever music blog of its type. Not only did it provide downloads of a wide variety of music types, popular and obscure, from classic blues and jazz to mainstream pop and rock to eclectic under-appreciated artists to obscure soundtracks, demos, and experimental sounds and sessions, but Willard always provided insightful commentary, information, and opinions on the music and artists. In addition, the musical community that developed around the Wormholes was the best on the internet, providing useful, helpful, and worthwhile comments and background, and the thorough and abundant reader links that developed provided an additional treasure trove of musical goodies for all to enjoy. And even that was not all, as it also featured weekly streaming movies of classic (and not-so-classic) sci-fi/horror films, special music archives, and the ubiquitous 'wormholes' with special features not to be missed. I downloaded much from the site, and learned even more, expanding the depth and breadth of the artists I listened to (most of the Miles Davis and John Coltrane and other jazz artists I have came from Willard, and I first learned about artists like Big Star, Jellyfish, The Grays, and Golden Smog, who are now among my very favorites, from Willard's blog). So, yes, I owe Willard's blog and the resulting community quite a lot, as does countless other music fans. Willard's Wormholes is gone, but certainly not forgotten, and it will stand as a model for how truly great a music blog and its community can be. It will surely be missed and likely never replaced, but those of us involved in finding, enjoying, sharing, and spreading music to all interested parties, will continue to do what we can ensure that the music lives on. Here's to you, Willard, Thank You!

For those that want to add their own comments regarding Willard's Wormholes, a couple of blogs of close friends of Willards have established something of tribute pages that you can read and add your comments to, such as Jakartass' Music here and  PowerPop blog here

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Big Star - 1974-03-31 - Performance Center, Cambridge, MA (early show)

Big Star
March 31, 1974
Performance Center, Cambridge, MA

Early show (opening for Badfinger)
Audience recording (mono), good quality
recorded and transferred by Steve Hopkins

OK, here's a show from probably the most legendary obscure band of all-time, Big Star.  Little-known in their day, and quite short-lived in their original incarnation, they have nonetheless risen in stature to be recognized as one of the greatest of all power pop bands and influenced countless other alternative rock and pop bands that followed. Formed in Memphis, TN in 1971 by Alex Chilton & Chris Bell (guitars & vocals), Andy Hummel (bass), and Jody Stephens (drums), and starting when Chilton, hot off his vocalist success with The Box Tops, joined up with Bell and his previous band, Icewater, to form Big Star. Although their first album, #1 Record (1972), received rave reviews (and is now considered one of the great rock records), poor promotion and distribution, and other record company issues (released on Ardent Studios own label, Ardent Records, in conjunction with Stax Records, which was undergoing serious issues at the time), resulted in dismal sales and popularity. Featuring a mix of musical styles, from folksy acoustic numbers to driving rockers, a sharp-edged guitar sound and wonderful melodies, harmonies, and arrangements, they had a unique sound and style. However, failure of that first album lead to group infighting during attempts at a second album, and Bell quit by the end of 1972.  The rest of the band continued as a trio work on the 2nd album, which became Radio City, released in early 1974. But Hummel also quit the band before the album was even released. Radio City also received excellent reviews, and was expected to catapult the band to fame, but suffered the same poor marketing and distribution issues of its predecessor and promptly sank. Even those that wanted and searched for the album found it unattainable. The band toured briefly in 1974 (with John Lightman replacing Hummel), most notably opening for Badfinger in a series of US shows (which is represented in the opening set presented here). Then they started work on a third album near the end of 1974, with Chilton bringing in an assortment of other musicians to help out, and having a much different sound and style, and finishing in early 1975. However, they could not find a record label interested in the album, as it was not considered commercial enough, so the album was indefinitely shelved, and that was essentially the end of the original Big Star. However, in 1978, the first 2 Big Star albums were released together as a double album in the UK, receiving enthusiastic reviews and interest from fans. With this new support, the lost third album, ultimately titled Third/Sister Lovers, was finally released, both in the US and UK. However, by this time, Chilton had moved on to other things, various solo albums, punk bands, etc., and had virtually renounced his Big Star days. Also, around this time, original member Chris Bell tragically died in a car accident. But the Big Star legend was just beginning to grow, and several 80's and 90's bands emerged citing the excellence and influence of Big Star on their music, including REM, The Replacements, The dB's, The Posies, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, and countless others. In 1992, Rykodisc reissued their previous albums as well as a new live set from 1974. With the revived interest, Chilton and Stephens decided to re-form the band in 1993, adding Posies members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, to do a series of live shows as Big Star. They continued on and off as Big Star over the next several years, even releasing an album of new material (In Space-2005).  Various other live shows, compilations of demos and studio sessions, box sets, and virtually anything the original band ever recorded have been subsequently released over the years, and new generations of Big Star fans continue to find and enjoy the band. Chilton, however, died of a heart attack in 2010. But the band has still lived on in various tributes, all-star assemblages (sometimes billed as Big Star's Third shows), and cover versions.
As stated, this show is their opening set for Badfinger in Cambridge, MA in 1974. It is a good mono audience recording (not great, but overall pretty good) - There are very few decent live Big Star recordings in general, and particularly ones that have not already been commercially released. And this one also illustrates the hard times this band endured in those days. Not only were their records not selling, but as the MC points out at the beginning of the show, Big Star had all their equipment (and their van) stolen shortly before this show, and had to scrounge together some instruments to play for the gig. It's also interesting that Badfinger and Big Star are together on the same bill here. Two of the greatest all-time power pop bands, but also two of the most tragic and hard-luck stories in all of rock and roll (see previous posts for Badfinger's story). But they both made great music. (BTW, I also have posted the full set - for both early and late shows - from Badfinger for this date, available here). So, it's great to now have the full show from both these great bands. Check it out.     

Tracklist:
01. In The Street
02. Baby Strange
03. Mod Lang
04. Candy Says (Velvet Underground cover)
05. ‘Til the End of the Day (Kinks cover)
06. O My Soul
07. Motel Blues
08. Thirteen
09. Way Out West
10. September Gurls
11. Come On Now (Kinks cover)

Alex Chilton - guitar & vocals
John Lightman - bass & vocals
Jody Stephens - drums & vocals

Big Star - 1974-03-31 - Cambrdge,MA(early).rar

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Lossless (FLAC) upgrades for Guess Who shows


More Guess Who-related news. For those that prefer their music files to be Lossless, I've recently upgraded a couple of previously available Guess Who shows with Lossless (FLAC ) versions to provide enhanced sound quality. The previously available mp3 (320 kbps) versions will also continue to be available. Here are the shows that have recently added Lossless files:

guess-who-1974-05-06-st-louis-mo-fm.html

guess-who-1970-10-10-kansas-state.html 

So, although you should already have these shows (if you don't, get them right away), here they are in full Lossless glory, for those that demand such things.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman - 1978 (unknown date) - PBS Soundstage TV Show, Chicago, IL

Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman
1978 - (Unknown Date)
Soundstage (PBS TV Show), WTTW Studios, Chicago, IL, USA

FM Broadcast Recording (WXRT-93 FM Simulcast), very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Following on the heels of the recent Guess Who post, here's a broadcast recording from the legendary PBS Soundstage concert TV show from 1978 featuring Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman, together again for the first time since they both left The Guess Who. Of course, Randy infamously left The Guess Who in 1970, shortly after the band scored their biggest success with 'American Woman', whereas Burton stayed to guide the band into the rollicking hitmakers and great Rock 'n Roll Band they were throughout the early '70's. By 1975, after several personnel changes and declining record sales, Burton left and folded up the band, to start a solo career. And Burton's solo career was also very successful (and as with the band itself, especially in Canada), releasing the platinum-selling albums, Burton Cummings (1976), My Own Way to Rock (1977), and Dream of a Child (1978) in rapid succession, as well as hit singles such as, 'Stand Tall', 'I'm Scared', and 'Break it to Them Gently'. This show followed the release of Dream of a Child, which became his biggest-selling album. Thus, at this show, he is at the height of his solo career, and it is clear that he is looking forward and not back to his Guess Who days. In fact, the only Guess Who songs included here are shoehorned into an extended medley of early hits combined with interview segments about the early days of the band. So, it's a very interesting show, especially if you are not that familiar with Burton's solo work. As for Randy, after leaving The Guess Who, he formed Brave Belt, which evolved into Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and a slew of hits of his own through the mid-'70'. But Randy left BTO in 1977, thus at this time, both Burton and Randy were solo, and got together for this combined show (at a time when the other remnants of The Guess Who were also re-forming, but without Cummings and Bachman, who were not interested at the time). But this did not lead directly to further reunion shows, as each went back to their solo careers, but several years later they did get back together for brief Guess Who reunions (most notably, 1983, 1999-2003), as well as further teamings together as The Bachman-Cummings Band and/or Bachman & Cummings (2006-2009). Beyond these get-togethers, Burton has also continued to perform as a solo act, and Bachman has been involved in various BTO reunions. But here check out the combined talents of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, still in their prime, in the late '70's.

Tracklist:
01. Your Back Yard
02. Never Had A Lady Before
03. Guess Who medley (Laughing - These Eyes - Undun - American Woman - No Time)
04. Bachman medley (Let It Ride - Lookin' Out For #1 - Hey You)
05. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
06. dialogue
07. My Own Way To Rock
08. Framed
09. Stand Tall
10. Charlemagne
11. Takin' Care Of Business

mp3 - Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman_1978_PBS Soundstage_Chicago_mp3.rar

FLAC - Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman_1978_PBS Soundstage_Chicago_mp3.rar

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Guess Who - 1973-11-10 - Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, CA

The Guess Who
1973-11-10
Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, CA

Audience recording, good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's another great old Guess Who show that I've only recently acquired in good quality. This was from still in their prime, 1973, while guitarists Kurt Winter and Donnie MacDougall were still with the band, on the tour supporting their 1973 albums (Artificial Paradise and #10), but also featuring a couple new songs that would appear on their subsequent (Road Food-1974) album. By this time, the band was no longer churning out hit singles, but still had solid albums, and their live shows were consistently great, with songs from throughout their career, and featuring the greatest rock vocalist of all time, Burton Cummings, in all his glory.
As I've said before, any decent quality recording of this great band (and there aren't very many) is worth having, sharing, and celebrating, and this one includes a couple songs not heard in many other shows.  Although certainly not a great recording, it's actually pretty good for an audience recording of that time, and certainly very listenable, and the band's performance is a joy. 

Tracklist:
01 - Just Let Me Sing
02 - Bus Rider
03 - Albert Flasher
04 - Undun
05 - Bye Bye Babe
06 - Glamour Boy
07 - Straighten Out
08 - Orly
09 - These Eyes
10 - Star Baby
11 - American Woman
12 - Truckin' Off Across The Sky I
13 - No Sugar Tonight
14 - Truckin' Off Across The Sky II

Burton Cummings - vocals, piano
Kurt Winter - lead guitar
Bill Wallace - bass guitar, vocals
Garry Peterson - drums
Donnie McDougall - guitar, vocals

FLAC - The Guess Who_1973-11-10_Ontario CA_FLAC.rar

mp3 - The Guess Who_1973-11-10_Ontario CA_mp3.rar