Sunday, July 28, 2019

Fastball - 2009-05-09 - City Winery, New York, NY

City Winery,
New York, NY, USA

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

Here's more from Fastball, a great Austin band that just kept on rockin' long after their brief brush with fame in the '90's. Here is the band in an extended show (2 sets) in 2009, more than a decade and multiple albums after their radio heyday, still going strong. This show was featuring their current album at the time, Little White Lies (2009), but the show covers songs from throughout their career, including all of the 'hits' and near-misses along the way, as well as some choice covers. A very good audience recording from the City Winery. So, check out Fastball, a bit later in their career, but still having fun in this energetic show.

Set 1
01. All I Was Looking For Was You
02. Little White Lies
03. Fire Escape
04. The Malcontent (The Modern World)
05. You're An Ocean
06. Vampires
07. Soul Radio
08. Angelie
09. She's Got The Rain
10. Sunny Afternoon
11. Mono To Stereo
12. 'Til I Get It Right
Set 2
13. The Way
14. Falling Upstairs
15. Whatever Gets You On
16. White Noise
17. Slow Drag
18. We'll Always Have Paris
19. Sweetwater, Texas > Tracks Of MY Tears
20. Are You Ready For The Fallout?
21. Out Of My Head
22. Seattle
23. Always Never
24. Encore Break
25. Sooner Or Later
26. Alright
27. Encore Break
28. All I Have To Do Is Dream

Miles Zuniga - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Tony Scalzo - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards
Cory Glaser - Bass, Vocals
Joey Shuffield - Drums

FLAC - Fastball_2009-05-09_New York_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Fastball_2009-05-09_New York_mp3.rar

Note: For any fans interested in more music from Fastball, Dozens of additional shows (audience recordings) are available (in both FLAC and mp3) at The Live Music Archive (That's where both of the shows I featured came from).

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fastball - 1998-08-21 - House of Blues, New Orleans, LA

August 21, 1998
The House Of Blues,
New Orleans, LA

Webcast recording, very good quality
Available in both lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (@320 kbps) versions

While we are covering under-rated/under-appreciated bands of the '90', coming at you now is Fastball, a great and versatile guitar-rock band from Austin, TX that plays a variety of rock styles, from high-energy, hard-driving rock 'n roll to power pop and quirky, catchy pop songs. Formed by Tony Scalzo (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, songwriting), Miles Zuniga (vocals, guitar, songwriting), and Joey Shuffield (drums) in 1995, the band quickly built a strong following in and around the Austin area, and soon signed a record deal with Hollywood records. However, their first album, Make Your Mama Proud (1996) quickly died without much notice, putting the future of the band in doubt. But their second album, All the Pain Money Can Buy (1998) hit the big time, with their lead single 'The Way' becoming a major hit, and follow-up singles 'Fire Escape' and 'Out of My Head' also generating substantial buzz and radioplay, propelling the album to platinum status. Alas, their subsequent album The Harsh Light of Day (2000), despite being a very solid follow-up, failed to generate much enthusiasm (or hits), leaving the band without a record label. Part of the problem seemed to be that the music the band plays is hard to classify, as it doesn't fit into any one category, and those looking for something similar to the 'The Way' (which was a sort of mix of Tex-Mex meets Hotel California strangeness) might have been disappointed that nothing else they did sounded quite like that. But the band persevered, and continued to do their own diverse kinds and styles of music. Although sometimes branded as a 'one-hit wonder', Fastball has continued to make high-quality albums and music through the years, and are still together making music today. Their subsequent albums include Keep Your Wig On (2004), Little White Lies (2009), and Step Into Light (2017). The band is reportedly working on a new album that may be released later in 2019. But here they are back in 1998, enjoying the success of their breakout single and album. This is a very good webcast recording of the band at The House of Blues in New Orleans performing songs from their first 2 albums (as well as a few covers). Check 'em out.

01 Sweetwater,Texas
02 She Comes 'Round
03 Warm Fuzzy Feeling
04 Damaged Goods
05 Nowhere Road
06 Out of my head
07 The Way
08 Like Wow-Wipeout (Hoodoo Gurus cover)
09 Emily
10 Fire Escape
11 Human Torch
12 Which Way to the Top
13 Thunderbird (ZZ Top)
14 Are You Ready for the Fallout
15 G.O.D. (Good Old Days)
16 Sooner or Later
17 Slow Drag
18 Connection (Rolling Stones)

Tony Scalzo - Vocals, bass
Miles Zuniga - Vocals, guitar
Joey Shuffield - Drums
Andy Blunda - Keyboards, vocals

FLAC - Fastball_1998-08-21_New Orleans_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Fastball_1998-08-21_New Orleans_mp3.rar

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Connells - 1995-03-20 - Alabamahalle, Munich, Germany

The Connells
Alabamahalle, Munich, Germany

FM Broadcast recording (WDR), excellent quality
MP3 @ 320 kbps

Following up on the previous The Connells post, here is a show from 1995, after the release and European success of Ring and their breakout hit there, '74-75', as they toured through Europe. This is a short but very sweet broadcast radio show (from Germany's WDR) in excellent quality. Although short (43 min), it contains several additional songs from Ring ('Running Mary',  'Disappointed', 'Burden', 'New Boy', and '74-75') that were not in the previously featured show, as well as a full performance of 'Choose A Side' (in the previous show song was cut due to tape flip). So, great stuff here, and the boys were enjoying their newfound (but unfortunately short-lived) rock star success in Europe. Alas, they never found the same level of success in the U.S. Very underrated band.

01 Try
02 Running Mary
03 Doin' You
04 Disappointed
05 Burden
06 New Boy
07 Choose A Side
08 74-75
09 Something to Say
10 Motel

Mike Connell - guitar, vocals
David Connell - bass
Doug MacMillan - vocals, tambourine
George Huntley - guitar, vocals
Peele Wimberley - drums
Steve Potak - keyboards


Monday, July 1, 2019

The Connells - 1992-05-08 - Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA

The Connells
Washington & Lee University,
Lexington, VA 

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

While we're talking about great underrated 80's-90's bands, here's The Connells. From Raleigh, North Carolina, originally formed by brothers Mike and David Connell (guitar and bass, respectively) and Doug MacMillan (vocals) in 1984, and a little later joined by George Huntley (guitar, keyboards) and Peele Wimberley (drums). Their first album, Darker Days (1985) was produced by fellow North Carolinian, the legendary Don Dixon (R.E.M., The Smithereens, Chris Stamey, Marti Jones, Marshall Crenshaw). But the band really came together on their 2nd album, Boylan Heights (1987), which was produced by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Game Theory, Let's Active, Loud Family), and established the reputation of the band in the 'jangle pop' style of those two notable producers, but also kept them in the shadow of and fighting comparisons with the better-known bands R.E.M. and Let's Active. But the band scored on college campuses and college radio, with multiple tracks gaining momentum and airplay.  The band continued to grow beyond their jangle pop label with more expansive styles (alt-rock, power pop) over their next couple albums, Fun & Games (1989) and One Simple Word (1990), and although they continued to have success on college campuses, they couldn't quite break through to more commercial success. But then in 1993, they released Ring, their most accomplished and appealing album, which seemed destined to bring greater success and acclaim for the band. I happened to be living in Raleigh NC for a couple years in the mid-90's, and I was there at that time, and The Connells were huge there, and Ring was just what they needed to become big everywhere else. But although the first single from the album, 'Slackjawed' was again a hit on college radio, album sales were flat, much to the disappointment of the band. But then, the follow-up single, '74-75', started to take off in europe, where it became a huge hit, reaching #1 in Norway and Sweden, and the top ten in several other countries (including U.K. and Germany), but surprisingly, went nowhere in the U.S., where the album barely cracked the charts (at #199).  But this started major touring throughout Europe, where they were received as stars. Their next album, Weird Food and Devastation (1996) featured a starker and heavier production than the more melodic Ring, and failed to build on its momentum. Two more albums, Still Life (1998) and Old School Dropouts (2001) were released in subsequent years, still strong, but never garnered much attention. After that, some members left (Huntley, Wimberley), but the band never really broke up. They continued to get together to perform occasional concerts or brief tours, just more sporadically, and are still performing today. This show comes from the period just before they recorded Ring, in mid-1992, thus primarily featuring songs from their first 4 albums, plus a preview of a few new songs that would be on Ring ('Slackjawed', 'Hey You', 'Doin' You' and an early version of 'Carry My Picture' with quite different lyrics from the final version). There is a notable cut (tape flip) that eviscerates one song ('Choose a Side', but overall, this serves as a good introduction to the band.    

01 Stone Cold Yesterday
02 Sal
03 Slackjawed
04 Upside Down
05 Speak to Me
06 Set the Stage
07 Doin' You
08 banter
09 Get a Gun
10 Carry My Picture (early version)
11 Over There
12 1934
13 Eyes On the Ground
14 Choose a Side (cut-partial)
15 Hey Wow
16 Take a Bow
17 Inside My Head
18 Motel
19 Fun & Games
20 Something to Say
21 (encore break)
22 Hey You
23 Photograph (Ringo Starr cover)
24 Try

TT: 80:13 mins.

The Connells:
Mike Connell - guitar, vocals
David Connell - bass
Doug MacMillan - vocals, tambourine
George Huntley - guitar, vocals
Peele Wimberley - drums
Steve Potak - keyboards

FLAC - The Connells_1992-05-08_LexingtonVA_FLAC.rar

mp3 - The Connells_1992-05-08_LexingtonVA_mp3.rar

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Mutton Birds - 1997-04-25, Preston & 1998-04-17, Birmingham, UK

The Mutton Birds
25th April 1997, Guild Hall, Preston, UK,
17th April 1998, Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham, UK

Audience recordings, good to very good quality
Mp3 @ 128-320 kbps

Here's a great '90's band from New Zealand, who was a big success in their native New Zealand, a moderate success in the U.K., but virtually unknown just about everywhere else. Lead by Don McGlashan (primary songwriter, guitar, euphonium, vocals), and with David Long (guitar) and Ross Burge (Drums), the band was formed in 1991. With Alan Gregg (bass, vocals) added in 1992, they recorded their first album, The Mutton Birds (1992), which garnered multiple hit singles and much acclaim within New Zealand, and remained on the charts there for over a year. Their 2nd album, Salty (1994), again received much success and acclaim around New Zealand and Australia, but little attention elsewhere. In 1995 they moved their base of operation to the UK, got a record deal with Virgin Atlantic, recorded their third album, Envy of Angels (1996) (with, for the first time, a worldwide release), and began performing extensively in the UK throughout 1997 and 1998. However, although the album again received raves, breakthrough success was still just out of reach, and they were dropped by Virgin. Guitarist David Long left in 1997, replaced by Chris Sheehan, as the band pursued another record deal, with 2 self-released albums (live and rarities) being sold at shows. Later, in 1999, Alan Gregg also left, replaced by Tony Fisher, and the band regrouped to record and release their fourth (and last) official studio album, Rain, Steam, and Speed (1999). An independently released Live album followed in 2000 amid continued touring, but that was about it for the band, with only a greatest hits collection coming out in 2002 to mark the end. Although they never quite made it outside of New Zealand, it is a curiosity as to why, because the music is very accomplished and appealing. McGlashan's poetic lyrics and poignant vocals (with a voice very reminiscent of Michael Stipe) of his achingly melodic story-songs are at the heart of the band, but the music drives the sound, ranging from jangly guitar-pop to moody alt-rock (and with the sometime addition of euphonium). They have been described as something along the lines of R.E.M. meets Crowded House, with stylistic influences from The Byrds and The Beatles mixed in, but still with a quite unique sound and style of their own. After The Mutton Birds, Don McGlashan went on to release multiple solo albums (primarily in New Zealand). In 2012, The Mutton Birds (original lineup) reunited for a series of shows around New Zealand. So, here's another quality band that deserved to be heard and appreciated by a much wider audience than they got. Check em out. Most of the available unofficial recordings are audience recordings of varying quality. What I have offered here is a couple of the better audience recordings. The Preston Guild Hall show (1997) is a nice audience recording, but is short and unfortunately only available in low fidelity (low bit rate mp3). So, I have paired this with additional songs from another show (Birmingham, 1998) to round out the set, and lastly included just a couple more songs from a 1996 show that was not a great recording (lots of audience noise), but was available at higher fidelity. Not the best quality, but more than adequate to evaluate (and appreciate) the band and their music. (For the record, I had never heard of this band either, until about a month ago, and thanks to Rob-in Brevard for posting some shows by them. But now I am a fan and will seek out more of their music.    

01 Envy Of Angels
02 Straight To Your Head
03 April
04 She's Been Talking
05 A Thing Well Made
06 Trouble With You
07 Come Around
08 Anchor Me
09 The Heater
10 Dominion Road
11 Like This Train
12 Esther
13 Along The Boundary
14 Small Mercies
15 Nature
16 Wellington
17 While You Sleep
Bonus Tracks:
1996-07-12, Mean Fiddler, London (Audience)
18 Ten Feet Tall
19 In My Room

Tracks 1-9, 1997-04-25, Guild Hall, Preston, UK
Tracks 10-17, 1998-04-17, Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham, UK
Tracks 18-19, 1996-07-12, Mean Fiddler, London

The Mutton Birds_1997-1998_UK.rar

If you like these, you can find more live Mutton Birds shows and info at dbs-repercussion blog and a religion of a kind fan website

Monday, June 17, 2019

Timbuk3 - 1990-02-27 - Le Caméléon, Villeurbenne, France

Le Caméléon,
Villeurbenne, France

Soundboard recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's more from Timbuk3! This time, from 1990, and featuring songs from their third album, Edge of Allegiance (1989). This is another excellent-sounding soundboard recording and a show that covers songs from the full prime period for the band (first three albums). This is another fine show that came courtesy of Rob-in-Brevard (Thanks Rob) to add to the high-quality available shows from this under-rated group.

01. B-Side of Life
02. National Holiday
03. Waves of Grain
04. Rev. Jack and His Roamin' Cadillac Church
05. Count to Ten
06. Facts About Cats
07. Dance Fever
08. Standard White Jesus
09. Lookin' for Work
10. Dirty Dirty Rice
11. 3rd Rail
12. You Are My Government
13. Easy
14. Life is Hard
15. The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
16. Grand Old Party
17. Eden Alley
18. Dis***land (Was Made for You and Me)
19. WWIII Blues
20. Not Fade Away > Eden Alley//   [cut]

The band:
Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals)
Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals)
Wally Ingram  (percussion)

FLAC - Timbuk3_1990-02-27_Villeurbenne,France(sbd)_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Timbuk3_1990-02-27_Villeurbenne,France(sbd)_mp3.rar

Friday, June 7, 2019

Timbuk3 - 1987-04-24 - Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL

Cabaret Metro,
Chicago, IL

FM Broadcast recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (32 kbps) versions

After I posted that very fine 1988 Timbuk3 show a couple weeks ago and lamented that there were so few good recordings of them available, fellow music blogger Rob-in-Brevard (who runs the excellent dbs-repercussion blog, your stop for all things dB's and related music) let me know that he had some additional high-quality shows from Timbuk3 that I had not heard, which he graciously sent over to me. And they did not disappoint. Here is one of those, from 1987, on tour to support their first album, Greetings From Timbuk3 (1986). This is an excellent FM Broadcast recording of Pat and Barbara, still in the early days of Timbuk3, where they basically play the whole first album plus a few extras. I've added a couple of additional songs (only songs different) from another similar show from around that same time. 

01. - intro
02. I Just Want To Make Love To You
03. Don't Stop Now
04. Just Another Movie
05. Cheap Black And White
06. Friction
07. Facts About Cats
08. Dancer Fever
09. - intro 2
10. Reverend Jack & His Roamin' Cadillac Church
11. Life Is Hard
12. Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
13. - band intro
14. I Need You
15. - crowd
16. Hairstyles And Attitudes
17. In My Jam Box
18. Why Don't We Try To Get Along
Bonus Tracks (1987-04-20 - Toronto, FM Broadcast):
19. Assholes on Parade
20. I Love You in the Strangest Ways

FLAC - Timbuk3_1987-04-24_Chicago(FM)_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Timbuk3_1987-04-24_Chicago(FM)_mp3.rar