Friday, June 12, 2015

Golden Smog - 1998-12-12 - First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Golden Smog
December 12th, 1998
First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Soundboard recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320kbps) versions

This band was something of a revelation for me. Although it has been around (on and off) for over 20 years, and is comprised of well-established musicians from some well-known other bands (Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Wilco, etc.), all of which I also like, I was completely unaware that this band existed until a couple months ago. Then after I got a chance to hear some of their music, I was even more surprised that I had never heard them before, because they are right up my alley, and I really enjoy their stuff. This band may just be something of a low-key side project for these guys, but they make some very entertaining, thoroughly enjoyable music. OK then, for others out there who also may not be aware of these guys, Golden Smog started way back around 1989 when a fluid assortment of musicians from various Minneapolis-area bands got together to hang out, jam, and have fun performing cover songs at area clubs. By 1992, the lineup had settled to include Dan Murphy and Dave Pimer (of Soul Asylum), Gary Louris and Marc Perlman (of The Jayhawks), Kraig Johnson (of Run Westy Run), and drummer Chris Mars (of The Replacements), with the band playing primarily alternative country-rock covers of a wide variety of songs, with a loose and ragged style. They even released an EP , entitled On Golden Smog (with band members using various pseudonyms) of some of their covers. As they went on, they started adding in some original songs as well. By 1995, Mars left, replaced by Noah Levy (of the Honeydogs), and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) also joined in, and they began work on their first-length album consisting of mostly original material, which was released in 1996 and titled Down by the Old Mainstream. Also around this time, they also started some touring outside of the Minneapolis area. After changing drummers again, now adding Jody Stephens (of Big Star), they released their 2nd full-length original album, Weird Tales, in 1998, and by now they really seemed like a full-fledged band, and what a fine album this is. After some years of inactivity, they got back together in 2005, releasing 2 more albums, Another Fine Day (2006) and Blood on the Slacks (2007). Although all of the members were full-time members of other (more famous) bands, the albums don't seem to be in any way second-rate or afterthoughts, but rather just have a different feel and style from their primary bands. I don't know of any plans for further Golden Smog albums, but I wouldn't be surprised to see or hear of some form of Golden Smog performing and recording again. This is a great-sounding recording from 1998, after Weird Tales was released, from one of the Minneapoils clubs where they started, First Avenue, with a wonderfully eclectic set featuring original songs from their albums and some entertaining and diverse covers (from Elvin Bishop to Neil Young to Split Enz). So great to hear a band like this, with its mix of well-known musicians, but no egos, very low-key, and just playing what they want, for the enjoyment of it.  I hope others find out about and enjoy these guys like I did.

01 Looking Forward To Seeing You
02 Ill Fated
03 Won't Be Coming Home
04 Lost Love
05 Making Waves
06 White Shell Road
07 To Call My Own
08 Glad and Sorry
09 V
10 He's a Dick
11 Walk Where He Walked
12 Keys
13 I Can't Keep From Talking
14 Jennifer Save Me
15 Pecan Pie
16 Fooled Around and Fell in Love
17 All The Same To Me
18 If I Only Had a Car
19 Until You Came Along
- Encores
20 Radio King
21 Please Tell My Brother
22 Hurricane
23 Revolution Blues
24 Reflections on Me
25 I Got You
26 Spooky

Gary Louris - vocals/guitar
Dan Murphy - vocals/guitar
Jeff Tweedy - vocals/guitar
Kraig Johnson - vocals/guitar
Marc Perlman - bass/guitar
Jessy Greene - violin
Jody Stephens - drums

mp3 - Golden Smog_1998-12-12_Minneapolis_mp3.part1.rar
Golden Smog_1998-12-12_Minneapolis_mp3.part2.rar
links updated 05/16/2019

FLAC - Golden Smog_1998-12-12_Minneapolis_FLAC.rar

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