John Cale :: Rond Point, Marseilles, France, April 12, 1975

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.

Move Right In: The Velvet Underground At The Boston Tea Party, 1968-1969

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.

James Booker :: Montreux Jazz Festival, July 1978

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.

Arthur Russell :: Roulette, Brooklyn, New York, March 2, 1985

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.