Thursday, February 28, 2013

Aimee Mann (w/Jon Brion) - 1996-08-24 - Largo, L.A., CA

Aimee Mann
(with Jon Brion and Dan McCarroll)
Largo, Los Angeles, CA
"A Blonde and Two Grays"

Audience recording, average sound quality
mps @ 256 kbps

OK, so now we've heard what became of Jason Falkner after his brief stints with Jellyfish and The Grays, but what about Jon Brion, another very talented singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist who also was a part of both Jellyfish and The Grays? Well, after The Grays, Jon returned to doing some session work, and also started producing other artists, starting with his good friend Aimee Mann (whom he'd known since their 'Til Tuesday days, producing her first 3 albums, Whatever, I'm with Stupid, and Bachelor No.2), and then an ever-expanding list of artists (including Rufus Wainwright, Robyn Hitchcock, Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple, Rhett Miller, The Crystal Method, and in recent years, Spoon, Keane, Dido, Of Montreal, and even Kanye West). In the late '90's, he also began doing film scores and soundtracks, first for Paul Thomas Anderson (Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love), and then many others (including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I Heart Huckabees), and most recently ParaNorman and Judd Apatow's This is 40 (2012). As for performing, in 1996, he started a sort of residency at Largo, a club in L.A., performing every Friday night. His shows soon became legendary and sold-out every week, as he performed a mix of his own songs and a remarkable array of covers, usually from audience requests. He displays an encyclopedic knowledge of pop tunes (and standards and TV themes, etc.) and an uncanny ability to play and sing virtually any song called out. But more about Jon and his amazing solo shows and career later. As part of his regular shows at Largo, he began bringing by his musical friends and contacts as surprise guests, and also several of his friends began playing their own shows there. And that is what I have here today, A show from Aimee Mann at the Largo, in which she is ably backed-up by Jon Brion (on bass, guitar, piano, and backing vocals, as needed) and Dan McCarroll (also from The Grays) on drums. Thus, this show has been dubbed, A Blonde and Two Grays. Jon starts the show with one of his own songs, then Aimee takes over from there, featuring selections from her early albums, and even a preview of a couple that would not be released for a few more years ('Deathly', 'How Am I Different', on Bachelor). As I mentioned, I will have some more from Jon's solo shows coming up, but for now, here is Aimee Mann with a substantial portion of The Grays. The recording is not that great, but certainly listenable and worth checking out.    

1. You Can Still Ruin My Day (Jon Brion)
2. Banter
3. Time For You To Go
4. The Other End (of the Telescope)
5. Amateur
6. You’re With Stupid Now
7. Deathly
8. Jon’s Ragtime Bit
9. It’s Not Safe
10. Fourth of July
11. I Don’t Even Know You
12. You Could Make A Killing
13. I’ve Had It
14. Old Guys (Mr. Harris)
15. That’s Just What You Are
16. Choice In The Matter
17. How Am I Different

Link updated 05/26/2020

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jason Falkner - 2002-12-04 -Troubadour, Hollywood, CA

Jason Falkner (w/ full band)
December 4, 2002
Troubadour, Hollywood, CA

Soundboard recording, good quality
mp3 @ 256 kbps

Here's some more Jason Falkner, from a few years later, and this time with a full back-up band, which is relatively rare for him. This show featured several songs that were brand new at the time, as well as a good selection of songs from his first 2 albums and a song each from his Jellyfish and The Grays days. A really nice show. 

1. Put Her in the Movies
2. My Lucky Day
3. Intro
4. Untitled
5. Run Away
6. She’s Not the Enemy
7. You Am I
8. Princessa
9. Intro (I Can See For Miles exerpt)
10. Feelin’ Much Better
11. Miracle Medicine
12. I Live
13. Revelation
Encore (solo electric):
14. She Goes To Bed
15. The Man I Used To Be
16. Miss Understanding
Final Encore (with band):
17. Honey
18. Goodnight

Link updated 03/21/17

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jason Falkner - Live Solo Acoustic (1997-98?)

Jason Falkner
Solo Acoustic set
Unknown date and location (1997-98?)

Audience recording, good quality
vbr mp3 (224-256 kbps)

Here's Jason Falkner in a solo acoustic set, from sometime after his first solo album, Jason Falkner Presents Author Unknown (1996). Actual date and location are unknown, as no info came with the files I received for this, but since the set consists predominantly of songs from his first album, with only one song ('Eloquence') from his second album, Can You Still Feel? (1999), I'm assuming the set was probably sometime after his first album, but a ways before his second, so I would guess somewhere around around 1997 or early 1998. If anyone else his any info on this set, let me know. Anyway, as we learned from the previous posts, Jason, a talented singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist, was briefly a member of Jellyfish (1990-91) and The Grays (1993-1994), but then went out on his own, as he never seemed to like being part of a band. And he really took being on his own seriously, as he plays all the instruments on all the songs for both of his first 2 solo releases. His first album was highly acclaimed, but received little public recognition, and even skimpier sales. And a similar story for his second album. Yet, he has continued to carry on, to make and release quality albums and musical projects over the years since that time. He has a strong core group of fans that have followed his every move and consider him something of a power pop genius. So, here's Jason Falkner in an earlier, solo acoustic setting. After This, I'll post some more Jason from a few years later, and more electric even, with a band.
1. I Live
2. Hectified
3. Miss Understanding
4. Eloquence
5. Both Belong (The Grays)
6. Afraid Himself to Be
7. Johnsberg, Illinois
8. Don't Show Me Heaven
9. I Go Astray
10. Become Anita Trapped
11. A Lot to Learn


Friday, February 15, 2013

Jellyfish - 1993-07-07 - San Francisco

Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Audience recording, good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

OK, here's one more taste of Jellyfish before we move on, this time catching them in their triumphant return to San Francisco (and the Warfield Theatre) after months of touring abroad in support of their 2nd and final album, Spilt Milk. And this time we get get the full-length concert show (rather than a shortened opening set) from this tour, so it includes several additional songs that were not included on the previous 1993 show I featured here last week. So, here's another chance to hear and enjoy the great power pop of Jellyfish.  

01 All Is Forgiven
02 Sebrina, Paste & Plato
03 That Is Why
04 New Mistake
05 Now She Knows She's Wrong
06 Joining A Fan Club
07 I Wanna Stay Home
08 He's My Best Friend
09 The Ghost At Number One
10 The Man I Used To Be
11 Baby's Coming Back
12 The King Is Half Undressed
13 No Matter What
14 The Glutton Of Sympathy
15 Calling Sarah
16 I Can Hear The Grass Grow
17 She Still Loves Him
18 All I Want Is Everything

Link updated 9/14/18

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jellyfish - 1991-08-02 - Santa Cruz, CA

The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA

Audience recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Glad to see that we do have some fans of Jellyfish here. So, here's some more from the wonderful Jellyfish for all of you, this time from their earlier tour, in support of their first album, Bellybutton (1990). So, Jason Falkner is included in the band here. This earlier set features some interesting covers (Badfinger, McCartney, etc.) in addition to their entire first album and some additional tracks. This appears to be a very good-sounding audience recording, and the band is in fine form and in great spirits. So, here is a bit earlier taste of Jellyfish and their Power Pop extraordnaire in concert. I have more Jellyfish if there is enough interest in it. Let me know.

01.Hello Hello
02.Calling Sarah
03.The King Is Half Undressed
04.Baby's Coming Back
05.I Wanna Stay Home
06.Mr Late
07.Little Bit Of Love
08.Bye Bye Bye
09.She Still Loves Him
10.Will You Marry Me?
11.Now She Knows She's Wrong
13.All I Want is Everything
14.The Man I Used To Be
15.That Is Why
16.No Matter What


Friday, February 8, 2013

Jellyfish - 1993-05-16 - Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany
'True Believer'

Radio broadcast?, very good quality recording
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Despite the lackluster response to the previous posts, I will continue on, undaunted, with more of the best of Power Pop, and present now some live Jellyfish. Jellyfish has become a somewhat legendary band in the Power Pop realm, being discovered and loved by more people, and probably having greater popularity now than they ever had during their short-lived career. Jellyfish was formed by the San Francisco-based songwriting team of Roger Manning and Andy Sturmer (formerly of Beatnik Beatch), along with guitarist Jason Falkner, and they recorded their first album, Bellybutton, in 1990. The album showed their range of musical style and influences including artists such as the Beatles, Beach Boys, Queen, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, XTC, etc. Although the album was highly acclaimed, and some singles, including 'Baby's Coming Back', That is Why', and 'The King is Half-Undressed' were released and received some airplay, they never quite became successful. After the first album and tour, Jason Falkner became frustrated at just being the guitarist, as it was clear that Manning and Sturmer were only interested in playing their own songs, so he left, to eventually form The Grays (another transient, but very good pop band, previously featured). Bassist Chris Manning (Roger's brother) also left, so Manning and Sturmer carried on by adding bassist Tim Smith, and several session musicians (including future The Grays member, Jon Brion) to complete their even more ambitious and elaborate 2nd album, Spilt Milk (1993). The album produced a couple singles ('Ghost at Number One' and 'New Mistake') that did fairly well, and charted OK (at least in UK and Japan, not in the US), but again, just never quite made it at the time. They toured in support of the album, but by 1994, creative differences between Manning and Sturmer lead to the break-up of the group after just 2 albums. Since then, however, as I mentioned previously, their popularity as a band has been growing steadily as more people discover their music. In 2002, their Fan Club issued a 4-CD compilation of demos, rarities, and live tracks. I, myself had never heard of them until a couple years ago, when I discovered them through another blog. In recent years, in addition to bonus track CD reissues of the 2 albums, there have been official releases of a 20-track 'Best of' collection (2006), A live album (2012), and even what is called 'Stack-a-Tracks' (2012), which is a release of just the instrumental backing tracks from both their albums.
The show I am presenting here comes from the Spilt Milk Tour, a radio broadcast (or very good audience) recording, with nice sound quality, and a few bonus tracks taken from a record store appearance in 1994. So, if you haven't yet heard this band, here is your chance to hear why this relatively unknown, short-lived, defunct band have become big favorites for a lot of people interested in pop and power pop music.

01 All Is Forgiven
02 Sabrina, Paste And Plato
03 That Is Why
04 Joining A Fan Club
05 I Wanna Stay Home
06 My Best Friend
07 Ghost At Number One
08 Man I Used To Be
09 Baby's Coming Back
10 The King Is Half Undressed
11 No Matter What
12 All I Want Is Everything
Bonus tracks (1994 - Philadelphia - Tower Records)
13 That Is Why
14 Joining A Fan Club
15 King Is Half Undressed
16 Baby's Coming Back

Link Updated 09/14/18