Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joe Jackson - 1983-04-16 - Rockpalast

Joe Jackson
Grugahalle, Essen, Germany
SBD - Radio Broadcast, Very Good Quality
mp3 @ 192 kbps
Artwork Included

First up on our under-appreciated piano-rock hit parade is Joe Jackson, a consummate musician who has dabbled in various different musical periods and styles (pop, rock, new wave, jazz, swing, classical, etc), and has always produced quality stuff. He first came on the scene in 1979, and made a big splash with his post-punk new-wave style debut album Look Sharp!, when he was grouped with the likes of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker as the voices of change. His best period was undoubtedly the 1980’s, when he released one great album after another (including Jumpin’ Jive, Night and Day, Body and Soul, Big World, Live, and Blaze of Glory (Big World was my pick for top album of 1986 and high on the album of the decade list). Although his popularity has steadily waned since the early ‘80’s as he has ventured into more eclectic musical styles, he has remained a force to be reckoned with, and one of my favorite artists. Here is a fine show with very good sound quality from the Night and Day Tour in 1983, probably his most successful album and tour, from a German radio broadcast.

1. On Your Radio
2. Another World
3. Sunday Papers
4. Look Sharp!
5. Breaking Us In Two
6. Is She Really Going Out With Him? (a cappella version)
7. Target - T.V. Age
8. Tuxedo Junction
9. Steppin' Out
10. Beat Crazy
11. One More Time
12. A Slow Song
13. Band Intros
14. Motown Medley:
(a) Uptight (Everything's Alright)
(b) Tears Of A Clown
(c) I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
(d) How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
(e) Heat Wave
(f) Uptight (Everything's Alright) (reprise)
15. I'm The Man

The Band:
Joe Jackson - voc/sax/vibraphone/piano
Graham Maby - bass/voc
Larry Tolfree - drums
Joy Askew - keyb/voc
Sue Hadjopoulos - perc
Ed Rynesdal - keyb/violin/voc

New Link! (Updated 01/05/14)

More Piano Rock!

Judging by the distinct lack of response I got to my Ben Folds shows and posts, it seems that I was right on target in thinking that Folds is still largely unknown and vastly underappreciated by the masses. A shame, for that is some great music there, and I hope that more people will give it a listen. Nonetheless, moving on here at the Chronicles, and being inspired by Folds’ piano-based pop-rock, over the next couple weeks we will be featuring other largely underappreciated artists that deal primarily with, yes, piano-based rock music. I have always loved good piano and keyboard work, and some of my favorite bands feature keyboards prominently. Now, of course, when piano and pop-rock music are mentioned together, the big names that come to mind are Elton John and Billy Joel. Well, we won’t feature them here, there are plenty of their shows available elsewhere, and they are hardly underappreciated. No, we will be featuring some of my favorites that SHOULD be or have been as big as John and Joel, but, alas, were or are not. So, stay tuned for more piano-based rock!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ben Folds Five - 1997-11-11 - Carrboro, NC

Ben Folds Five
Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Good Audience Recording
mp3 @ 320 kbps
No artwork

For our final featured show in this Ben Folds tribute, Here's a good (but not great) audience recording of a rockin' complete show from Ben Folds Five in 1997, close to home in Carrboro, NC, featuring songs from their first two albums.

01 – Theme From Dr. Pyser
02 – Battle of Who Could Care Less
03 – Philosophy
04 – Missing The War
05 – Selfless, Cold, and Composed
06 – The Last Polka
07 – Steven's last Night in Town
08 – Fair
09 – Brick
10 – Kate
11 – Jackson Cannery
12 – One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces
13 – Uncle Walter
14 – Smoke
15 – Julianne
16 – (segue)
17 – Underground
18 – She Don't Use Jelly
19 – Song For The Dumped

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ben Folds Five - 1999-11-18 - Stockholm

Ben Folds Five
Stockholm, Sweden
Soundboard - Excellent Quality
mp3 @ 160 kbps

To wrap up my Featured Artist Tribute to Ben Folds, here are a couple of shows from his original Band, the Ben Folds Five, which was together from around 1995-2000. Now, many of his fans still think that he made his best music as part of this group, and they are superb, but you can be the judge. First up, is an excellent soundboard recording from 1999, although a somewhat short set (undoubtedly a partial show) from Stockholm, Sweden. Features a nice, but all too short, mix of songs from all three of their albums.

01 – Army
02 – Don't Change Your Plans
03 – Your Redneck Past
04 – Mess
05 – Brick
06 – Philosophy
07 – Fair
08 – One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces
09 – Sledge on Power Animals and Oranges
10 – Underground
11 – Song For The Dumped

BF5 Reunion concert Video:
As fans of BF5 know, The group did recently (9-18-2008) get together for a much-anticipated one-time reunion concert in Chapel Hill, NC, which was webcast Live on My Space. Streaming video of the concert event, where they played their entire final album (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner) from start to finish, is still available for viewing (free) at My Space here: http://www.myspace.com/fronttoback . A very Cool event for all Ben Folds fans. Check it Out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ben Folds (solo) - 2002-03-15 - Denver

Ben Folds (solo performance)
The Gothic, Denver, CO
Audience - Very Good Quality
mp3 @ 192 kbps
No artwork

Here's a solo piano show (from his first solo tour) from earlier in his career (2002). It is a fun, rollicking full-length show, with Ben talkative and playful, featuring songs from his first solo album and Ben Folds Five days, as well as several oddities and rarities, including some of his early contract songs, some covers (Beatles, Hendrix), and various improvs. A great, more informal set that shows another of the many sides of his songs and performances. Very Good Audience recording.

1-01 – Eddie Walker
1-02 – Zak And Sara
1-03 – Emaline
1-04 – Selfless, Cold, and Composed
1-05 – Army
1-06 – Annie Waits
Early songwriting days (story and songs)
-1-07 – Fayetteville
-1-08 – Purple Haze excerpt
-1-09 – Shit Day
-1-10 – The Secret Life of Morgan Davis
-1-11 – Girl
-1-12 – One Down
1-13 – Still Fighting It
1-14 – Don't Change Your Plans
2-01 – Battle of Who Could Care Less
2-02 – The Ascent of Stan
2-03 – Philosphy and Theme From Dr. Pyser
2-04 – Fred Jones Part 2
2-05 – Kate
2-06 – I Wanna Have Your Baby - Them That Got - Rock Star
2-07 – One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces
2-08 – Golden Slumbers
2-09 – The Luckiest
2-10 – Rockin’ The Suburbs
2-11 – Song For The Dumped (Minor)

Link Updated (02/27/19)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ben Folds - 2005-06-04 - Berlin

Ben Folds
Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
Radio Broadcast - Very Good Quality
mp3 @ 256 kbps
No artwork

Here's an excellent, almost complete (second song 'Gone' was not included in broadcast, and thus not included here) 2005 full show (w/Band) with great sound from a radio broadcast. Features numerous songs from the then-new album Songs for Silverman as well as a great assortment of songs from Rockin the Suburbs, his EP's, and Ben Folds Five faves. As always with Ben's shows, Explicit language warning. Thanks to Honest Abe at the Mystic Chords of Memory (now defunct) for this show.

01 – In Between Days
03 – There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You
04 – Jesusland
05 – Bastard
06 – Still Fighting It
07 – All U Can Eat
08 – You To Thank
09 – Landed
10 – Prison Food
11 – Bitches Ain’t Shit
12 – Zak And Sara
13 – Brick
14 – Fred Jones Part 2
15 – One Down
16 – The Luckiest
17 – Army
18 – Trusted
19 – Carrying Cathy
20 – Rockin’ The Suburbs
21 – Late
22 – Philosophy
23 – Emaline
24 – Not The Same
25 – One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces

Link Updated (02/27/2019)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ben Folds (Solo) - 2005-12-29 - Loft Sessions Radio Show

Ben Folds (Solo Performance)
Loft Sessions - XM Radio
Satelite Radio Broadcast - Excellent Quality
MP3 @ 192 kbps
No Artwork

It's just Ben and his piano in a solo show for the Loft Sessions on XM Radio. The smaller, more intimate setting provides the perfect showcase for some of Ben's softer, more personal songs (Such as 'Fred Jones', 'Gracie', 'Lullabye', etc). Excellent sound quality. This shows a different side to Ben's music and provides a nice contrast to the more raucous shows with his band and those at the big outdoor venues and festivals (like the Bonnaroo show I recently posted).

01. Intro
02. Fred Jones Pt 2
03. Sentimental Guy
04. 'The Loft' Jingle
05. Late
06. Gracie
07. Still Fighting It
08. Zak and Sara
09. Don't Change Your Plans
10. Brick
11. Jesusland
12. Lullaby
13. Kate
14. Outro

New Link! (Updated 01/15/14)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ben Folds - Bonnaroo Music Fest - 2008-06-14

Ben Folds
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
June 14, 2008
Manchester, TN
Very Good Webcast recording
MP3 @ 256 kbps
Artwork Included

Excellent, rousing Ben Folds performance from Bonnaroo 2008. Introduces some new songs from the then yet-to-be released album Way to Normal, as well as a great assortment of Folds classics. He also tried to retire performing his profane pop cover of Dr. Dre's 'Bitches Ain't Shit' (saying it would be the last time he performs it) at this show. However, in subsequent performances for his most recent tour (Way To Normal), audiences just wouldn't let it die, often requesting it, so that Folds does still perform it when coerced. Note: explicit lyric warning and some general cursing throughout.

01. Errant Dog
02. Crowd Noise
03. Gone
04. Improv
05. You To Thank
06. Coffee Intro
07. Free Coffee
08. All You Can Eat
09. Hiroshima Intro
10. Hiroshima
11. Annie Waits
12. Landed
13. Broken String Improv
14. Bastard
15. Bitches Intro
16. Bitches Ain't Shit
17. Narcolepsy
18. Army
19. Rockin' The Suburbs
20. Kate
21. Not The Same
22. Zak and Sara
23. Encore Break
24. One Angry Dwarf

Keyboards: Ben Folds
Bass: Jared Reynolds
Drums: Sam Smith

Ben Folds Convert

About a month or so ago I saw Ben Folds in concert, and I was mightily impressed. The songs were great, the performance was great, just a great experience. I have to admit that I had not followed him or his music over the last several years, and was only vaguely familiar with just a few of his songs. I had seen him years ago, in the early days of the Ben Folds Five (they opened for Neil Young back in 1996), and at that time, I thought they were interesting, but I apparently wasn't interested enough to buy their albums or follow their music. In the years after BFF broke up, I knew that Folds had made a couple solo albums, but never heard much from or about them. I did see just a part of the Austin City Limits he did a few years ago and liked what I heard, but again, did not follow that up by looking closer into his music. Anyway, when I had the chance to see him in concert recently, I took it, and am thrilled that I did. And since that time, I have immersed myself in the music of Ben Folds, buying the CD's, getting whatever concerts and recordings were available from the internet, etc. I guess my point here is that I can't believe that I went all those years without knowing about the genius of Ben Folds, that he made all this great music that I was not even aware of. Folds may just be the best craftsman of pop-rock melodies of this generation. His songwriting and performing skills are extraordinary. Now, I know that many of the biggest fans of BFF are not as keen on his solo albums, but I have to disagree, and, as good as the BFF albums are, I much prefer the solo years. His songwriting has grown and developed (matured?) over the years, as has the production of the songs and albums. In fact, I think that his 2001 album Rockin the Suburbs is a bonafide pop-rock masterpiece, with virtually every song on it a veritable gem, and the album itself a model of great songwriting, musicianship, and impeccable pop production. His next album, Songs For Silverman (2005), is equally great, and contains some of his very best songs. His subsequent albums, while not as consistently brilliant, have been very good, each containing a half dozen or so great, killer songs. Even his song contributions to such side projects as the 2006 animated film 'Over The Hedge' were superb (In fact, I first heard the song 'Rockin the Suburbs' from this film, and thought that it was written for the movie - BTW, the film version has completely different lyrics, and I must say, I actually prefer the film version lyrics, with it's witty put-downs of suburban life, although the William Shatner spoken rant gets a bit annoying after a few listens). Anyway, I have become an ardent fan of Ben Folds now. And, although I know he has many dedicated fans, there are also probably alot more that were like me, and not fully aware of just how good he and his music are. So, over the next couple weeks I will be featuring a number of Ben Folds concerts from all throughout his musical career here, in the hope that people will listen to and discover what a great talent he is. One minor complaint about Folds, however, and one that people should be aware of before they listen to him, and that is that he does have a penchant for cursing, both in his song lyrics, and even more so at his live shows. and the cursing can come up suddenly and unexpectedly in some cases (there are some songs that I listened to many times - and played for my kids - before I realized they contained some really inappropriate and unnecessary profanity). Now, although not a big deal, to some degree this is unfortunate, because he is far too creative to have to rely on profanity to make his points, and I know that there are many that would just be turned off by it and not want to listen to him because of it. Anyway, just be warned that if you are especially sensitive to foul language, there may be some offensive language used sporadically throughout his shows. But aside from that, the music and performances are marvelous. Hope you enjoy these.