Thursday, September 28, 2006

live is life

Our friend and occasional commenter Frankie Machine has started up his own mp3 blog, Frankosonic. Well worth checking out (this Frank Sinatra post is particularly good), I'm also enjoying his series of posts about the best gigs he's ever seen.

It made me think, why are there so few Live Rock albums that bear up to repeated listening? Case in point: Wilco are responsible for two of the very best gigs I've ever seen - so why do I NEVER listen to "Kicking Television"?

Looking at my collection there really aren't that many that I would listen to regularly. However, some have already featured on The Rally and here are some more favourites - see you at the back, all the better to watch the band with minimum disruption! (TRUE FACT: the closest I've ever got to being in a mosh was at a Galaxie 500 gig...)

Talking Heads - The Great Curve (live 1982)

Most people of taste have got "Stop Making Sense" in one form or other, but "The Name Of This Band Is..." is also worth getting hold of. It features live recordings from 1977 to 1981, following the band from whey-faced New York art-school aesthetes to the expanded, 10-piece minimalist-voodoo-funk band of the "Remain In Light" tour, where this cut is from. For a start, this band is super-super-tight, playing their intricately intertwining lines with real precision to make a great big rhythmic mesh. I find the bass playing on this track totally hypnotic. This is the kind of live-band I want Johnny Domino to be... with a little bit of...

Meat Puppets - Automatic Mojo (live 1988)

Meat Puppets - Cotton Candy Land (live 1988)

In an earlier post I said that the Meat Puppets stopped being of interest to me after "Up On The Sun" in 1985... well, this album is bloody great, so never mind.

I love the looseness but you can tell they're still fantastic musicians. There are some great examples of the turn-on-a-halfpence hardcore chops that they'd built-up on their first album (especially on "Automatic Mojo" - what a great guitar solo!). There are also some real head-scratching bits of banter... Love the fact that they can do gigs with songs like that as well as "Cotton Candy Land" - again, say I, what a great guitar solo! Marvellous stuff.

Well worth getting this album for the version of "Maiden's Milk" (which is taken at double-speed) and the truly disturbing sound of Cris Kirkwood telling you to "pull your panties down" so he can stick his "uh-uh-uh" in you (from "S.W.A.T. (Get Down)")... *shivers*

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Master & Everyone (live)

Bonnie "Prince" Billy is one of those artists who I sometimes get the feeling is taking the piss out of his audience... I'm thinking in particular of the bloody awful "BPB sings Greatest Palace Music" album, which I took as a PERSONAL INSULT. Especially the dreadful version of "I Send My Love To You" and the hidden extra track... of silence. Cheers, Will.

But "Summer In the Southeast", which came out last year is fantastic - It sounds like he's actually having a laugh, as opposed to laughing at his followers. At it's best it sounds like Crazy Horse or Bob Dylan. With a bit of Krautrock thrown in for good measure. It's heavy and loose and psychedelic and good fun!

Buy - 'The Name of This Band is Talking Heads'
Buy - Meat Puppets - 'Live in Montana'
Buy - Bonnie "Prince" Billy - 'Summer In The Southeast'

Visit - Talking Heads
Visit - Meat Puppets
Visit - Royal Stable

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