Yo La Tengo are one of our greatest bands — but they’re particularly great on the radio. Who else would be able to expertly accompany Daniel Johnston via a telephone call-in? Or take off-the-cuff requests from listeners every year during WFMU’s pledge drive? This vintage WNEW broadcast is terrific, too, coming at the end of 1997, when YLT were winning hearts worldwide with I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One.
As a followup to the Time Fades Away (Again) collection we shared earlier this year, break out the Jose Cuervo and get into one of the best audience tapes from Neil Young’s somewhat ill-fated early 1973 North American tour.
“Neil was pretty strange on his big tour,” former road manager Leo Makota told Rolling Stone. “[He] was trying to get a certain sound out of the band that he apparently could never find. The band would jam at soundchecks in the afternoon and sound great. Then they’d come in and do the show at night and never make it.”
The mighty John Cale has re-emerged — he’s touring Europe as we speak and has a new LP coming out early next year (You can check out the Weyes Blood-assisted “Story of Blood” now). In the meantime, let’s go back to the mid-1970s when John was just getting going as a touring act. He’d obviously played live plenty before, but following the release of 1975’s Slow Dazzle, he really leaned into being a traveling musician.
Dig into a homemade comp of choice Velvet Underground performances at the Boston Tea Party, the club that served as the band’s home away from home in the late 1960s. These so-called “Professor Tapes” have circulated for years, but the master reels were made available a while back, and – though they’re still far from an audiophile experience – they’re much more listenable now. And the music here more than makes up for the 50+ year old tape hiss.
RIP to Jon Hassell, “Fourth World” composer, who passed away a few days ago. Hassell’s music always sounds so fresh and imaginative, as he explores the endless dreamscape of our collective consciousness.
Jon is gone, but the Fourth World lives on.
We’re rapidly approaching the 40th anniversary of R.E.M.’s debut single, the epochal “Radio Free Europe,” released on July 8, 1981. The band has a few things in the works to celebrate, but in the meantime, let’s dip into the band’s live archive.
Drive west on Sunset to the sea . . . Those familiar with the psychic topography of Los Angeles are keenly aware of the undercurrent Donald Fagen’s vocal inflects as […]
Ancient AD. We originally featured the following 1978 live recording (captured at the Montreux Jazz Festival) back in October of 2005. We’ve collected a number of live documents from this New Orleans piano master — Live at Montreux is by far the most spirited. Pearls on black velvet, the set is essential listening for Booker acolytes and New Orleans piano disciples alike. Ten tracks, all very raw arrangements with Booker backed by a loose, electric pick-up band that full-on swings.
From the same dusty Case Logic binder that recently brought you Bob Marley & The Wailers @ The Record Plant, here are two shows of curve-flattening funk from 1977.
As last year’s astonishing Iowa Dream showed, the posthumous Arthur Russell well is far from dry. The man lived and breathed music for his short time on the planet, and we’re extremely fortunate to be able to explore his beautiful/beguiling imagination. Compared to his studio work, there are relatively few documents of Russell as a live performer — which is why this 35-year-old tape is so precious.
The first half of this smokin’ mid-60s radio broadcast features the Wynton Kelly Trio breezing through some bop standards. Not particularly adventurous or boundary-breaking stuff, but that’s no diss – these guys could swing like no one else…
Breeze along to one of the earliest live recordings of JJ Cale out there. This Pacific High Recorders gig (broadcast on the Bay Area’s KSAN-FM) features JJ and band playing a deliciously laid back set a few months prior to the release of the singer-songwriter-guitarist’s classic debut LP, Naturally.
Most of what you read concerning the Velvet Underground will inevitably note how woefully under-appreciated the group were during its brief lifespan. But the VU were superstars — and not […]
If there were justice in this world, there would be at least three albums full of Linda Thompson / Sandy Denny duets (under the Crazy Ladies moniker, perhaps?). But no! […]
Tradition runs rampant around Thanksgiving: generations of old recipes, football, Alice’s Restaurant , The Last Waltz, and, of course, a parade of balloons shutting down NYC. What else do you need? If […]