Sunday, March 29, 2009

µ-Ziq - Tango N' Vectif (1993) (mp3, 160kbps)

µ-Ziq is one of the performing and recording names associated with electronic musician Mike Paradinas. I can not believe that this record is now sixteen years old. When this album was released, Frank Zappa was still alive. When this album was released, Bob Dylan's Time Out Of Mind did not yet exist. In 1993 Bill Clinton was president Lenny Kravitz was asking "Are You Gonna Go My Way". The technology needed to make this record is probably a fraction of what is to be found in a current-day cell phone. It is a testament as to what a very determined young man can do at home with a computer, a strong knowledge of music production technology and a simple and, at times, sublime sense of melody.

I came to this record several years after it was recorded, but well before it was repackaged and released as a double CD in 2001. That's porbably worth having, but this is the old one. µ-Ziq got quickly associated with his label boss Aphex Twin, but this music uses the technology to elevate the themes and melodies. That makes the sound pallette at work underneath, so much less conspicuous. Whereas Squarepusher would, in his early works, rabidly draw attention to his considerable ability with instrument and software alike, µ-Ziq does not really care what you think of his ability. The percussion, instrumentation, theme and melody all add up to a sum that is greater than its parts.

It is, at times ambient, at times obnoxious, but the arpeggiator on "µ-Ziq Theme", the soaring melodies of the title track, and the mix of the twitchy with slow drama on "Amenida" are all perfect moments. Go on and enjoy those fat analog synths at the dawn of an electronic age in music that would take others to the top of the charts (The Prodigy '97) and, temporarily at least, take over the styles of hall of famers like Madonna, David Bowie and U2. These DJ's changed everything! µ-Ziq, there from the very beginning, is one fo the very best. This is his first record.
  1. "Tango N' Vectif" – 4:03
  2. "Swan Vesta" – 6:09
  3. "Burnt Sienna" – 8:06
  4. "Iesope" – 5:56
  5. "Auqeam" – 3:58
  6. "Vibes" – 3:54
  7. "µ-Ziq Theme" – 4:36
  8. "The Sonic Fox" – 5:33
  9. "Amenida" – 5:54
  10. "Whale Soup" – 3:22
  11. "Xenith Filigree Anus (edit)" – 5:01
  12. "Die Zweite Heimat" – 5:31
  13. "Phragmal Synthesis, Pt. 3" – 4:49
  14. "Phi*1700(U/V)" – 5:56
  15. "Beatnik No. 2" – 5:36
The link is in the comments.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Genesis - AV01 Empire Pool 4/15/75 (1975) (mp3, 160kbps)

An incomplete live rendering of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album, but the quality and performance are so good that the date has become legendary. This is late in the tour, and the band has elevated the intensity. perhaps in anticipation of Peter's departure. The Waiting Room gives you the rare chance to hear these exceptionally disciplined musicians cast off the chains of composition and improvise a bit.

The various versions of this show have been remastered again and again over the years. this version is the latest and the best.

1.1 Watcher Of The Skies 07:43
1.2 Cuckoo Cocoon 02:22
1.3 In The Cage 06:43
1.4 The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging 02:52
1.5 The Story Of Rael Part 1 01:39
1.6 Back In NYC 06:00
1.7 Hairless Heart 02:36
1.8 Counting Out Time 03:50
1.9 The Carpet Crawlers 05:43
1.10 Lilywhite Lilith 02:36
1.11 The Waiting Room 09:35
1.12 Anyway 03:30
1.13 Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats 01:13
1.14 The Colony Of Slippermen 01:53
1.15 Ravine 01:27
1.16 The Light Dies Down On Broadway 03:30
1.17 Riding The Scree 04:41
1.18 Back In NYC (Censored Version) 06:03

Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett and Rutherford - all sounds and compositions

The link is in the comments.

Crowded House - Stage Time (FM Broadcast) (1991) (mp3. 256 kbps)

UPDATE: this link should be working now. Thanks for pointing out that there was a problem!

This is a great sounding concert from a band at its peak. Thanks to The Lovely Emily (TLE), I have learned the genius of this band. With hits like 'Something So Strong' and 'Weather With You', one might expect this to be more of a pop outfit, but after playing second fiddle to his big brother Tim in Split Enz, Neil Finn was ready to really spread his wings. His guitar playing has always been tremendous and visceral, but in Crowded House, he got to, pretty much, run the show, while working with fantastic musicians and friends at the same time. The result is pure joy and creativity.

Of the varied incarnations of Crowded House, this was my favorite. Tim joined the band to help write and promote the record 'Woodface' and this is the first FM blast from that tour I've heard. The next studio record (Together Alone) is arguably better, but the fun quotient here is higher because of Tim's strong contribution. The brothers always had a great quality for harmonizing.

Then you get Nick Seymour on rock solid bass and visuals, the late Paul Hester on drums and vocals, and Mark Hart - the unassuming Yank who could pretty much do it all (vocals, guitar, keys) really well.

As a guy who grew up listening to Neil Young and Bob Dylan, I'd like to think I have a pretty high standrad for the singer-songwriter routine. It has go to be personal. It has got to be 100% sincere. It has got bring a tear to your eye. And it has got to rock. This band, and this recording, does it all!

October 28, 1991

The Albani Music Club
Winterthur, Switzerland

FM Broadcast

"Stage Time" Silver CDs> EAC> flac

Disc 1:

1. Tall Trees
2. Something So Strong
3. Weather With You
4. Into Temptation
5. There Goes God
6. World Where You Live
7. It's Only Natural
8. All I Ask
9. Don't Dream It's Over
10. Mean To Me

Disc 2:

1. When You Come
2. Chocolate Cake
3. Fall At Your Feet
4. The Same Language As Me
5. Sister Madly
6. How'm I Gonna Sleep
7. I See Red
8. The Weeping Song
9. Better Be Home Soon
10. Throw Your Arms Around Me
11. Four Seasons In One Day

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Frank Zappa - The Armadillo (1975) (mp3, 256kbps)

This just came to me from one of the Genesis sites. Apparently this is Chester Thompson's first gig with Zappa. No Jean-Luc Ponty, but it's still a good set and it's a GREAT recording, lovingly retouched and cleaned and tracked by 'ketcha' - whoever that person is, he or she knows good music!

26-Oct 1973, Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX
2nd Generation (?) soundboard
c. 80 min
Sound quality = A
  1. tuning
  2. Cosmik Debris
  3. Inca Roads
  4. Pygmy Twylyte
  5. The Idiot Bastard Son
  6. Cheepnis
  7. Big Swifty
  8. Dickie's Such An Asshole
  9. Father Oblivion
  10. The Mr. Green Genes Medley
The link is in the comments.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mike Oldfield - Exposed (1979) (mp3, 160kbps)

I recently got 'Echoes' by the California Guitar Trio. They have a beautiful version of Oldfield's classic (and defining) composition 'Tubular Bells'. It's a loving rendition and it got me thinking of the original. The music was written in 1973 and shot to popularity as part of the Exorcist original motion picture soundtrack. Oldfield may have a love/hate relationship with that theme, because it has so overshadowed everything else he's done. At the same time, it must be nice to be successful. Hopefully he had a decent licensing agreement because, to date, the movie has grossed over $400 million.

I'm not claiming to be an Oldfield fanatic, but at some point in the past, I became curious and picked up this live album. At the time, I was much more interested in bootlegs and live recordings, so I never even got the actual Tubular Bells, or any of the three alternate versions he recorded (not including this one) after the original. That theme must be like an ATM for this guy.

This recording comes from the 1978 tour and it's pretty nice. There is a standard rock band with thirty-some additional musicians to fill out the orchestra and choir. The result is a BIG sound that feels almost like classical music, but dumbed down a bit. The compositions are long and mostly instrumental, and there is a smoothness to this music that is not completely to my liking. The artist is not taking chances and doesn't want to alienate or offend his audience. But, if you can over the fact that he's trying to play it safe, then you will find a very enjoyable 90 plus minutes of music here. I especially like the Longfellow interpretation (the poem is 'Hiawatha') during the first track of Incantations.

So, yes, this is more New Age than Prog, but both large pieces of music are actually quite good and the record does an excellent job of capturing a large ensemble. It's not balls-to-the-wall, but it's very nice and we can't listen to Zappa all the time.

  1. Incantations (parts 1 & 2) (26:30)
  2. Incantations (parts 3 & 4) (20:50)
  3. Tubular Bells (part 1) (28:36)
  4. Tubular Bells (part 2) (11:09)
  5. Guilty (6:22)
The link is in the comments.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Liam Finn - Sound Relief, Melbourne 3-14-09 (2009) (mp3, 256kbps)

If you love great Pop music and stellar instrumental and vocal ability, go get Liam Finn's record 'I'll Be Lightening'. He's the son of a music legend, performs with E.J. on backing vocals, throws down loops and samples like a true MC and then thrashes his poor drum kit. The live show is intense. This is a flavor of what it sounds like.

  1. Second Chance
  2. Lead Balloon
The link is in the comments.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cannonball Adderly Quintet - Country Preacher (1969) (mp3, 320kbps)

I picked this up on vinyl several years ago, not knowing what to expect. I think this was even before I got into Weather Report and Zawinul, who is all over this record. Listening to this again after a little while, I realize how good the whole thing is. Zawinul, of course, is huge and taking up a lot of space with that Fender Rhodes. But the horns come through with an inspired strength of their own. This music sounds like it is being played about 3-5 years before the rest of the world is ready for it.
  1. Introduction by The Reverend Jesse Jackson - Walk Tall (5:30)
  2. Country Preacher (4:30)
  3. Hummin' (6:32)
  4. Oh Babe (4:50)
  5. Afro-Spanish Omlet (15:40)
  6. The Scene (2:01)
Cannonball Adderly (alto sax)
Nat Adderly (coronet)
Joe Zawinul (piano)
Walter Booker (bass)
Roy MacCurdy (drums)

The link is in the comments.

Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969) (mp3 320kbps)

I'm having a bit of a Neil Young thing happening. I can't help it. This happens with some frequency. I consider myself a lucky man.

How good is this record? I've been listening to it for over twenty years and I love it more than ever. This is just Shakey's second record as a solo artist and the first of a legendary collaboration with Crazy Horse. The guitar solo for Down By The River is a transformative experience. The production and mastering of this record are so much more confident and unified compared to the previous year's 'Neil Young', which, at times becomes almost experimental. On 'Everybody Knows' Neil is solidfying a lifetime membership in the annals of hard rock with the opening chords of 'Cinnamon Girl'.

This record made me fall in love with great music.

1. "Cinnamon Girl – 2:58
2. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – 2:26
3. Round & Round (It Won't Be Long) – 5:49
4. Down by the River – 9:13
5. The Losing End (When You're On) – 4:03
6. Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets) – 5:30
7. Cowgirl in the Sand – 10:06

Should be working now. Sorry about the bad link.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Neil Young - Winterlong (Cincinatti, 1970) (mp3 160kbps)

Great soundboard recording from 1970, back before the death of Danny Whitten. I actually purchased this at collector show, or maybe even a shop with a flexible view of copyright law. The point is, it was a LONG time ago. It sounds great and the list of songs is everything you could hope for from this era, including a primordial version of Don't Let It Bring You Down. There must have been a reissue at some point, because there's much snazzier art available now, but I've supplied the picture that was on the cover of the Swingin' Pig release that I purchased so many years ago.

Feb 25th 1970 @ The Music Hall Cincinnati
The Swinging Pig TSP-CD-042-2

Disc 1
01 On The Way Home
02 Broken Arrow
03 I Am A Child
04 Helpless
05 Dance Dance Dance
06 Sugar Mountain
07 Don't Let It Bring You Down
08 The Old Laughing Lady
09 The Loner
10 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Disc 2
01 Winterlong
02 Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown
03 Wonderin'
04 It Might Have Been
05 Down By The River
06 Cinnamon Girl

Update - link is now working. Sorry about that!

Bob Dylan - Bleeding Shadows (2004) (mp3, 160kbps)

I have been so delighted with Bob Dylan's live performances between the late 90's and the early 00's. This show is more toward the end of that era, with Stu Kimball being swapped into the role that Charlie Sexton had occupied. Rumor is that Charlie had kind of a big mouth and he and Dylan eventually clashed - over something. Kimball had recently joined the band, just a few weeks before this recording. He was tentative and a bit reluctant to do too much. The other guitar continued to be multi-instrumental, jam band guru Larry Campbell, lately tearing it up with Phil Lesh & Friends. Campbell had genuine rapport with Dylan and had remained the last man standing during the turbulence at the end of the Sexton-era. Campbell was established and knew how to do everything just the way Dylan wanted it.

Kimball brought a Texas-Blues style of Strat through Fender Deluxe, no effects, amp all cranked. When I saw it in Wilmington a few weeks before this show, I forgot about not getting to see Charlie Sexton right away. Dylan had them sounding like a blues band!

We're also getting to hear a more relaxed Bob, who has just given up his struggle with the guitar during live shows. It makes me a bit sad, because the image of Dylan with his guitar is so iconic, but the story is that his fingers just couldn't take anymore, whether it be from arthritis, tendonitis or something else. He has now reinvented himself - starting as the old man playing in physical pain, to the child-like trickster, pounding away on his electric piano while twisting, dancing and crouching as he belts it out with what's left of his voice.

So, enjoy the band, the stunning recording, the pile of extras (see below) and some of the greatest rock music ever composed, sung by the man who wrote it.

Estadio Municipal Escribano Castilla
Motril, Spain July 10, 2004

Disc one:
Maggie's Farm
Tell Me That It Isn't True
Cry A While
Girl Of The North Country (acoustic)
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Positively 4th Street
Highway 61 Revisited
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
If Dogs Run Free
Honest With Me

Disc two:
Not Dark Yet
Summer Days
Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower
It Ain't Me Babe (acoustic) (1)
Get Out Of Denver (2)
Ball And Biscuit (3)
Hazel (4)
God Knows (5)
Joey (6)
Unbelievable (7)
Heartland (w/Willie Nelson and sons) (8)

(1) Riviera Theater, Chicago, Illinois March 6, 2004
(2) State Theater, Detroit, Michigan March 16, 2004
(3) State Theater, Detroit, Michigan March 17, 2004
(4) 9:30 Club, Washington D.C. April 2, 2004
(5) Warner Theater, Washington D.C. April 4, 2004
(6) Holmes Center - ASU Boone, NC April 7, 2004
(7) The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC April 9, 2004
(8) Warner Park, Madison, Wisconsin August 27, 2004

Bob Dylan - piano, harmonica, vocal
Stu kimball - guitar
Larry Campbell - stringed instruments of every type and more
Tany Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums

The link is in the comments.

Update: link should be working now. Let me know if there is a problem. Thanks.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Joe Zawinul - Brown Street (2006) (mp3, 320kbps)

I generally try not to post something so recent, but Zawinul is way special. This is with a 15-piece big-band and it really enhances the immense power that is a part of every Zawinul performance, even the softest ballad. the version of Boogie Woogie Waltz on here is about the best I've heard, and I've heard a lot.

Go get the latest posthumous release. It's called '75' and I just downloaded it from Amazon and it's another stunner!

Here's the info:

  1. Brown Street (10:59)
  2. In A Silent Way (5:16)
  3. Fast City (9:05)
  4. Badia / Boogie Woogie Waltz (11:46)
  5. Black Market (7:31)
  6. March Of The Lost Children (5:51)
  7. A Remark You Made (8:07)
  8. Nightpassage (6:27)
  9. Procession (9:03)
  10. Carnavalito (10:42)
The link is in the comments.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sunday All Over The World - Kneeling At The Shrine (1991) (mp3, 160kbps)

Another Fripp collaboration, this time with his wife, pop/avant garde vocalist Toyah Wilcox. This was a nice fix while I was waiting for a new Crimson record to come out. It would still be a few more years until the Crim got back together, but this was a decent album and features some of the Krimson King's signature licks in a more restrained setting. He didn't want to take away from the songs and vocals, which are supposed to be center stage. It's an odd little records, but I've always liked it.

Track Listings
1. Sunday All over the World (4:06)
2. Blood Bruise Tattoo (2:54)
3. Kneeling at the Shrine (5:00)
4. Don't Take It Away (2:30)
5. Transient Joy (4:18)
6. Open Air (3:36)
7. Strange Girls (3:12)
8. If I Were a Man (3:11)
9. Answered with a Smile (3:08)
10. Storm Angel (3:29)
11. Freedom (7:57)

Total Time: 42:21

- Toyah Willcox / vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Trey Gunn / stick, vocals
- Paul Beavis / drums, percussion

The link is in the comments.

Cheika Rimitti - The Sidi Monsour Remixes (1995) (mp3, 160kbps)

Featuring Robert Fripp and Flea, this is an album by the grandmother of Raï, a form of Algerian folk music. There is some indication that Cheikha did not know that her music was being subject to 'remix' treatment, but that doesn't take away from the vibe and groove. Is this another "east-meets-west" fusion collaboration? Yes, but it's also very good and somewhat rare.

  1. Mendirch el Haseb (9:46)
  2. Rah Yahki (street mix) (11:10)
  3. Rah Yahki (dune mix) (11:06)
  4. Lillette el Ouihda (19:39)
I believe Fripp and Flea are only on the first and last tracks, but the whole ep is worth checking out. The link is in the comments.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bob Dylan - Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973) (mp3, 128 kbps)

If you said to me that you thought this was the best Bob Dylan record out of ALL of the Bob Dylan records ever released, well, I couldn't really argue with what you were saying. Great instrumental work, great vocals, Knockin' on Heaven's Door - this is an all time, must-have.

  1. Main Title Theme (Billy)
  2. Cantina Theme (Workin' for the Law)
  3. Billy 1
  4. Bunkhouse Theme
  5. River Theme
  6. Turkey Chase
  7. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
  8. Final theme
  9. Billy 4
  10. Billy 7
The link is in the comments.