Friday, March 29, 2013

Marshall Crenshaw - 2000-06-10 - Philadelphia

Marshall Crenshaw
Tin Angel, Philadelphia, PA

Audience recording, good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps.

Here's one more look at the music of master power popster Marshall Crenshaw, from his more recent years. Following the lackluster response (once again) to his wonderful 1991 album, Life's Too Short, Marshall was again left without a recording contract (Life's Too Short would be his last major label release), but after a couple years signed with the small independent label, Razor & Tie. With them Marshall released a series of albums, including Miracle of Science (1996) and #447 (1999), as well as a couple Live albums (1994 & 2001), none of which received much media attention or public interest. I have to admit that, although I had bought all of Marshall's albums up through Life's Too Short, that I never even heard of or knew about these releases at the time. But Marshall kept on going making quality music throughout his career. Here is a show from 2000, where we can hear a definitely older, somewhat mellower, and probably wiser version of Marshall Crenshaw, but he still had the goods, and delivers a high quality show that features new songs from the #447 album as well as a mix of songs (and covers) from throughout his career. 

01. Little Wild One
02. Journey to the Center of the Mind
03. Cynical Girl
04. Anthemic Instrumental
05. Wanda & Dwayne (Dave Alvin cover)
06. Fantastic Planet of Love
07. Better Back Off
08. Television Light
09. Glad Goodbye
10. Dime a Dozen Guy
11. (You’re My) Favorite Waste Of Time
12. Love's Theme
13. Someday, Someway
14. TMD
15. Starlit Summer Sky

Link updated 04/02/21


Monday, March 25, 2013

Marshall Crenshaw - 1992-08-21 - Philadelphia

Marshall Crenshaw
Chestnut Cabaret, Philadelphia, PA

Soundboard recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 192 kbps.

Here's more from the great, vastly under-appreciated Marshall Crenshaw, from a few years later. In the late 'eighties, Marshall released two more very fine albums (Mary Jean and 9 Others, 1987; Good Evening, 1989) to increasingly disappointing responses by the public. By the time of Good Evening, Marshall was being pressured by his record company, Warner Brothers, to be more 'commercial', resulting in some changes in the production and style, and the inclusion of more covers. Nonetheless the album was still very good due to his superior songwriting skills and cover interpretations. However, after lackluster sales of Good Evening, he was dropped by Warners.  But Marshall came back in 1991 with Life's Too Short, on the fledgeling label, Paradox Records (a short-lived MCA subsidiary). Now, freed somewhat from the pressures of a major label, he was just able to make the record he wanted to make, and not have to fit into any pre-conceived style or role. The result was one of his very best albums, with many memorable songs moving seamlessly from different styles and influences, mixing in more elements of jazz, blues, rockabilly, etc., as he matured as a songwriter and a seasoned music veteran, yet still all retaining the characteristic Crenshaw magic, and still quite rockin'. The strength of the new material is evident in this Philly show from 1992, where he features 5 songs from his latest album, as well as a great mix of songs from previous albums and his unique takes on a variety of pop classic covers (including songs from The Ramones, Dave Alvin, Gene Vincent, Richard Thompson, Dylan, and The Beatles). A great show, and evidence that Marshall Crenshaw was not just an early 'eighties flash in the pan, as he continued to make great music and albums throughout the 'eighties, nineties, and beyond. 

101. Fantastic Planet of Love*
102. Wanda & Dwayne (Dave Alvin cover)
103. Whenever You’re On My Mind
104. This Is Easy
105. Better Back Off*
106. The KKK Took My Baby Away (The Ramones cover)
107. Rockin’ Around In NYC
108. Somewhere Down The Line*
109. Right Now (Gene Vincent cover)
110. You Should’ve Been There
201. Everything’s The Truth*
202. Stop Doing That*
203. Monday Morning Rock
204. Calling Out For Love (At Crying Time)
205. Cynical Girl
206. Valerie (Richard Thompson cover)
207. Just Like A Woman (Bob Dylan cover)
208. Ask Me Why (The Beatles cover)
209. Someday, Someway
210. (You’re My) Favorite Waste Of Time

* songs from his current album (at that time), Life's Too Short (1991)

Updated 04/02/21

These files were originally obtained from Big O Worldwide so thanks to him for making this available.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Marshall Crenshaw - 1985-03-02 - Utica, NY

Marshall Crenshaw
Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, NY

Audience Recording, good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Continuing with the sensational power pop, rockabilly, retro-rocker, tune-smith Marshall Crenshaw, after disappointing sales for his second album, the wonderful Field Day (1983), Marshall took his time before releasing his third album, Downtown, in 1985. The songs on Downtown were a bit more introspective, and perhaps even a bit melancholy compared to the brightness of his debut, but nonetheless featured his great songwriting, and exhibited great melodic pop mastery. Fans consider it among his very best. However, sales were dismal, and no songs received even marginal radio play. Here is a show (audience recording, but not bad) from his 1985 tour. Here he only played 2 songs from the new album, featuring many more from the first 2 albums, as well as a number of masterful pop oldies (from The Hollies, Jackie Wilson, Buddy Holly, and Elvis). Have a listen.

01.  For Her Love (cuts in)
02.  Our Town
03.  Little Sister
04.  There She Goes Again
05.  Shake Up Their Minds
06.  Soldier of Love
07.  One More Reason
08.  I'm Alive
09.  Reet Petite
10.  Mary Anne
11.  Monday Morning Rock
12.  Whenever You're On My Mind
13.  Big Hunk of Love
14.  Little Wild One (1 drop out on master)
15.  Cynical Girl
16.  She Can't Dance
17.  Someday Someway (cuts)
18.  Girls
19.  Endless Sleep
20.  Brown Eyed Handsome Man

Link updated 04/02/21


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Marshall Crenshaw - Radio Shows 1982-1983

Marshall Crenshaw
1982-83 Radio shows
King Biscuit Flour Hour & BBC Rock Hour

FM Broadcast recordings, excellent quality
mp3 @ 256 kbps

Marshall Crenshaw burst onto the music scene in 1982, with his bright, bouncy, throwback pop sound and the release of his fantastic, amazingly perfect, debut album, the eponymously-titled Marshall Crenshaw. 'Someday, Someway' was a top 40 hit, numerous songs received radio airplay, including 'Cynical Girl', 'Rockin Aroound in NYC', 'There She Goes Again', and 'Mary Anne' among others, and every track was an instant classic, just great from start to finish. Critics were beside themselves with superlatives, whereas the general public was a bit less enthusiastic ('Someday, Someway' was his only top 40 hit on an album that was loaded with potential hits). His follow-up album, Field Day (1983), was just as strong, but featured a bit heavier sound and production, and wasn't as well-received, but continued with great, catchy, pop melodies and brilliant songwriting (such as 'Whever You're On My Mind'). Playing on his retro style and love for old pop songs, Marshall played Buddy Holly in the 1987 film La Bamba, as well as recording some of Holly's songs. Marshall continued making quality albums through the eighties and beyond, but fewer and fewer folks seemed to be listening. After awhile, Marshall stopped trying to find a particular sound or style that audiences would like and just wrote and played what he wanted to, making the best music he could, regardless of what style, which has lead to excursions into jazz and country, and more serious songs, as well as pop. Although certainly having changed over the years, Crenshaw's music has always been of high quality, good stuff, worth checking out. In recent years, he has been hosting a weekly radio show where he shares some of his extensive and encyclopedic knowledge of pop music and pop history. He also has succesfully completed music projects through Kickstarter and subscription campaigns, with support of devoted fans. The two classic radio shows presented here catch Marshall at the height of his early days, following the release of his first two albums, respectively. They are both of excellent quality and really show just how great, fun and memorable Marshall's music is.    

[1] KBFH
1982-05-15 - Capitol Theatre, Passaic NJ
01. I'll Do Anything
02. There She Goes Again
03. Move It
04. Mary Anne
05. Rockin' Around In NYC
06. Something's Gonna Happen
07. Someday, Someway
08. Gotta Lotta Lovin'
09. Brand New Lover
10. Soldier Of Love
11. She Can't Dance

[2] BBC Rock Hour
1983-06-27 - New Haven Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, New Haven CT
01. Monday Morning Rock
02. Brand New Lover
03. Presentation
04. I'll Do Anything
05. Here I Am
06. Whenever You're On My Mind 
07. Band Intro
08. I've Been Good To You
09. One Day With You
10. Mary Anne
11. Rockin' Around In NYC
12. Try
13. Move It
14. Cynical Girl
15. Someday, Someway
16. The Usual Thing


Monday, March 11, 2013

Jellyfish - 1991 - Germany - Bubbles & Pixie Stix

1991 (unknown date)
Munich, Germany
'Bubbles & Pixie Stix'

Broadcast recording, good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

By request, here's one more show from Jellyfish. This is from the Bellybutton Tour (1991), in Germany, but don't know much else about the recording, although it is of fine quality. The setlist is pretty much the same as for the other 1991 show previously posted (Santa Cruz, CA - link here), although this one adds a few different dynamite cover songs to their own stellar compositions, including the opener, 'Hold Your Head Up' (Argent), 'Let 'em In' (McCartney), used as an Intro to 'That is Why', and their closer Fleetwood Mac's 'Go Your Own Way'. Enjoy! 

01 Hold Your Head Up
02 Hello Hello
03 Calling Sarah
04 The King is Half Undressed
05 I Wanna Stay Home
06 Mr. Late
07 Bye Bye Bye
08 She Still Loves Him
09 Will You Marry Me?
10 Now She Knows She's Wrong
11 Baby's Coming Back
12 Jet
13 No Matter What
14 All I Want is Everything
15 The Man I Used To Be
16 Let 'em In - That Is Why
17 Go Your Own Way

Link updated 9/14/18

Friday, March 8, 2013

Jon Brion - 2005-04-27 - Tonic, New York City (Both Sets)

Jon Brion
Live at Tonic (both sets, 8PM and 11PM shows)
Tonic, New York, NY

Audience recording, good quality
mp3 @ 192 kbps

Here's more live Jon Brion, from a few year's later, in 2005, and by this time he has perfected his 'one man band' shtick of laying down multiple instrumental tracks using live 'looping' technology to build full band arrangements in which he plays all the instruments, creating a fantastic full sound from a single musician. Admittedly, this is far less impressive when listening on a recording than when seeing it done live. The problem with it as a recording is that it takes around 3-4 minutes just to 'build' the tracks before the song really even begins, which results in each song taking 8-10 minutes to complete, and while it is fascinating to watch as he constructs these tracks live, on a recording, it can be a bit tedious (at least until he gets it fully loaded and rockin', then it is quite impressive, as he really cuts loose). In this special show, for which I have presented both of his extended sets, he has traveled away from his home base club of Largo in L.A., to New York. He was in town for the TriBeca Film Festival that year, and performed these sets at Tonic, a club in NYC. And here we are treated to his typically eclectic mix of original songs and offbeat covers, spurred by audience requests. The late set is particularly intriguing, as he OPENS with a nearly 12 minute rendition of 'Stairway to Heaven' (which starts with a piano instrumental played in various styles from classical to honky-tonk, then he 'builds' a rockin' finish complete with blazing guitar solos, and that's just his opener!). After running through some of his own tracks, he goes to even stranger sets of covers, that includes everything from George Gershwin to the the Velvet Underground, with Prince melding into Eurythmics, then David Bowie, Brian Eno, and more. So, check this out. Afterwards, if you want to actually SEE Brion's multi-tracking wizardry in action, there are several videos available on youtube you can check out. Also available and worth checking out is some video of a pilot for "The Jon Brion Show" made for VH1 in 1999. VH-1 passed on the show, but Brion's filmmaking friend Paul Thomas Anderson liked the idea and made a few episodes of the show on his own, done in the way they wanted it to be made. One of these episodes has recently been made available by Anderson (who claims to have only recently found the tape) and posted to youtube. Of special interest is that the episode posted features Elliot Smith as the special guest, and there are numerous great moments of Brion and Smith performing together, so check that out, too.      

8PM set
1. You Don’t Know What Love Is (8:56)
2. Love Of My Life So Far (4:08)
3. I Was Happy With You (12:29)
4. Ruin My Day (5:38)
5. Same Thing (8:52)
6. Why Do You Do This To Yourself (3:29)
7. (requests) (1:12)
8. And Your Bird Can Sing (5:03)
9. I’m Further On (8:41)
10. Trouble (8:40)
11. Waterloo Sunset (9:58)
12. Controversy (7:21)
13. Punch-Drunk Love / Here We Go (6:23)
14. Just Fooling Myself / So I Fell In Love With You (10:12)


11PM set
1. Stairway to Heaven
2. You're Someone Else's Problem Now
3. I Believe She's Lying
4. Trial and Error
5. The Girl I Knew (Would Make Fun of You)
6. Knock Yourself Out
7. Requests - Theme
8. I'm On a Roll With You
9. Someone to Watch Over Me
10. When Doves Cry - Sweet Dreams
11. Baby's On Fire
12. Life On Mars
13. Walking Through Walls
14. Her Ghost
15. Femme Fatale - Ashes to Ashes
16. I'm Gonna Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key

Links updated 04/02/21

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jon Brion - 2000 - Largo, Los Angeles, CA

Jon Brion
(plus tracks from 2000-03-31)
Live at Largo
Largo, Los Angeles, CA

Audience recording, average sound quality
mp3 @ 160-192 kbps

As previously mentioned, Jon Brion began performing every Friday night at Largo, a supper club in Los Angeles, in 1996, where his remarkably eclectic and entertaining shows, in which he presents a very unique mix of his own songs and unbelievably diverse covers played in mostly unusual ways, developed an enthusiastic following. His shows are entirely spontaneous and unscripted, meaning no setlist, with Jon himself not knowing what he will play at any show, and the musical direction often shaped by the audience. He has become known for being able to play virtually anything at a moment's notice with audiences determinedly trying to 'stump' him, but rarely succeeding. He might start out just with just some noodling on the guitar or piano, playing riffs or licks from 3 or 4 different songs before settling in and deciding just where to go and what to play, but once he locks into a song, he nails it, although he often throws some kind of curve into it. No two shows are even remotely similar, and you just never know quite what will happen. In addition to his own multi-instrumental versatility and original approach, the shows also became known for the semi-regular appearance of surprise guests that tended to show up, which started with Jon's friends like Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, or Rufus Wainwright, but then grew to an increasing list of musical celebrities of whoever happened to be in town, that would drop by (one week might be Jackson Browne, next Michael Stipe, Neil Finn, Ian Hunter, or who knows).  Thus, very soon, his shows always sold out. Based on the strength of his live shows, he signed a recording contract with Lava/Atlantic in 1997 and began work on a solo album. However, when he finally finished recording his album, Meaningless (after completely recording the whole thing twice due to record company conflicts), the record company didn't think it was commercial enough and refused to release it. Eventually, Jon had to buy back the Master, and he released it himself in 2001 (on his own 'Straight to Cut-out' record label). Not surprisingly, the album was a little-heard pop gem, and it still remains as Jon's only solo album (but as mentioned previously Jon pays the bills by producing other artists and scoring films, which he has been quite successful at, so he's doing OK). Anyway, he continued doing his shows at Largo, and he still performs there to this day (although not every Friday anymore, but still regularly), which has been for an almost unbelievable 16 years now.  Another feature of his live shows that he has become known for over the years, is his live 'one man band' song construction, where through the use of live 'looping' technology he is able to 'build' a multi-layered, mutli-instrumental performance in which he plays all the parts. For example, he starts by laying down a drum beat for several measures, then 'loops' it, moves over to the bass, and adds a bass line, then moves to piano, adds the piano chords, then goes to guitar and adds a live guitar lead and vocals to create a stunning musical concoction. But again, more about that later. For the Largo show(s) I am presenting today, we go back to some earlier days, before most of the 'looping' type sets, but where we can hear his versatility at full bloom. Here is a show from 2000, where he starts off with a meandering jazz piano number, then features an unusually large string of his own songs from the Meaningless album, followed by a dizzying array of off the cuff covers (who else but Brion would feature a selection of Beatles songs that includes 'Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite', 'You Know My Name', 'The Inner Light', and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'). Unfortunately, this recording cuts abruptly at the end of each song, so we can't hear what goes on between songs, and most likely there has been some editing of tracks (as this is shorter than most of his shows), but this is how I received these files. So, to fill this out, I have added some selections from another 2000 Largo show, which also features a few Brion (unreleased) originals and a strannge mix of cover renditions (ranging from the Themes from 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Mister Roger's Neighborhood' to pop classics from The Beatles & Elvis Presley all the way to The Go-Go's and Jimi Hendrix). It's not that great of a recording, but it is worth checking out to hear Brion's eclectic show and style.

1. Out of My Mind ('Round Midnight)
2. I Believe She was Lying
3. Meaningless
4. I'll Take You Any Day
5. Walking Through Walls
6. Ruin My Day
7. Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House)
8. Time of the Season (Zombies)
9. Mr Kite - You Know My Name (Beatles)
10. The Inner Light (Beatles)
11. Sex Pistols Medley
12. Same Thing (The Grays)
13. Tomorrow Never Knows (Beatles)
Bonus Tracks (2000-03-31 - Largo)
14. Citgo Sign
15. Stop the World
16. keyboard noodling/Mister Rogers
17. Gone with the Wind/Trial and Error
18. MTV Medley (Joe Jackson, Naked Eyes, others)
19. Between song weirdness
20. The Wind Cries Mary (Hendrix)
21. Hello Goodbye/My Baby Left Me (Beatles/Presley)
22. Our Lips Are Sealed (Go-Gos)
23. Into the Atlantic

Link Updated 02/15/2019