Wednesday, 31 December 2014

War on Drugs - The HiFi, 11 December 2014


Final post of 2014 had to be the War on Drugs. This was the first show announced, so it was at a smaller venue than the others and seemed to have more of the hardcore fans in attendance. The performance of the band was a lot better than the first show, as was the sound. Granduciel seemed to be enjoying himself a lot as well, even throwing in a Bill Fay cover that wasn't on the setlist (nitpicking: I would have preferred to hear one of the Bob Dylan covers they played at a couple of other shows on the tour).

Unfortunately, things went a little down hill for the encore. Quite a few people in the crowd started to leave, so the audience was a bit thinner by the time the band returned. Granduciel asked for requests and people yelled various things, presumably he didn't hear anything he wanted to play so suggested Comin' Through which was on the setlist, but someone booed, which annoyed him and they didn't play it. I think the boo was just because it wasn't the song the person had yelled for, but it didn't go down well. They played a few songs, but after Brothers (which was the last song on the setlist), Granduciel said thanks, threw his guitar down on the amp and walked off.

It was a bit of a disappointing end to a great show, but the set is still very worth listening to, and the sound quality is really good.

In Reverse
An Ocean in Between the Waves
Arms Like Boulders
Under the Pressure
Baby Missiles
Disappearing
Burning
I Hear You Calling
Buenos Aires Beach
Red Eyes
Eyes to the Wind
Lost in the Dream

The Animator
Come to the City
Black Water Falls
Brothers

https://mega.co.nz/#F!dUdAwAga!N0oHA6908yZnEBiG0vOv8w

Friday, 26 December 2014

War on Drugs - 170 Russell, 8 December 2014


So happy to see these guys return (as they noted, for the third year in a row), and that their new album has seen their popularity go through the roof. Although there were clearly quite a few newer fans, they were all into the music (unlike lots of other shows where people seem more interested in talking through the show). The setlist obviously leant pretty heavily on Lost in the Dream material, but their first two albums (both of which are great) were represented.

As usual the band was incredibly loud, but the new recorder does a good job of adjusting, so the sound is pretty good. There are a couple of guys nearby that talk a bit, and some girls that really really want to hear suffering, but they aren't so loud or obnoxious that it undermines the recording. Of the two shows I went to, I'd say the show at the HiFi was the better, but this is still a really good show from a great band.

Burning
Arms Like Boulders
Under the Pressure
In Reverse
An Ocean In Between the Waves
Disappearing
The Animator
Come to the City
Buenos Aires Beach
Red Eyes
Eyes to the Wind

Baby Missiles
Lost in the Dream
Suffering
Your Love is Calling My Name
Black Water Falls

https://mega.co.nz/#F!8ANSBQRC!XD6cTaMD6nzlNq7t6iChCA

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Kevin Devine - Corner Hotel, 13 November 2014


I said that Kevin Devine didn't really appeal to me, but listening back to this he's starting to grow on me. Too late to go back and see him on night two, but I'm getting too old to stand for that long anyway.

This was the very first thing I recorded with my new unit and the volume is a little low. It isn't anywhere near as bad as if I made the same mistake with my old unit, but it could have been a tiny bit better. As you can see from the photo, he sometimes tends to sing while standing away from the mic, this sounds kind of cool and comes across relatively well on the recording, but if you're wondering why he sometimes sounds a bit faint, that's why.

Anyway, this is obviously a pretty short set since he was first up on a three-band bill, but he does a good job of playing a bunch of songs and being engaging, without assuming people are there to see him (although some clearly were).

Bubblegum
Just Stay
Now: Navigate!
Little Bulldozer
Private First Class
Cotton Crush
Brother's Blood

https://mega.co.nz/#F!JF10GbCR!IAznodVdafmEx1A4JqOe7Q

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Manchester Orchestra - Corner Hotel, 14 November 2014


Night two of Manchester Orchestra didn't quite reach the heights of night one. They seemed to have got the message from night one (or maybe just wanted to mix things up) and dropped the long quiet encore with Kevin Devine. But the crowd were pretty obnoxious, constantly yelling out song requests or general stupid comments, which clearly didn't go down well. I didn't see the written setlist, so I don't know if this was planned, but the show only ended up being an hour and a quarter, and I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped some songs so they could get out of there.

Having said all that, they barrel through quite a few songs, and the set isn't bad so much as not as good as night one.

Pride
Shake It Out
Pensacola
Pale Black Eye
Every Stone
The Mansion
I Can Barely Breathe
I've Got Friends
Everything to Nothing
Cope
Simple Math
I Can Feel a Hot One
42 (w/ Kevin Devine)
Sleeper 1972

Top Notch

https://mega.co.nz/#F!NMVyzRbZ!uaVc5vY-hPTIDr4uOgHpZw

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Apes - Corner Hotel, 14 November 2014


Second night I skipped Kevin Devine since he didn't really grab me, but made sure to catch Apes again. These guys are a really great new band, sounding a little bit like the Stooges.

They played an identical set, but when you haven't even released an album, you can't really blame them for not mixing things up. All the songs are really good, but the single Pull the Trigger sounds like something that could generate some radio play and grow their fan base (but I say that about lots of bands so what do I know). These guys are definitely worth checking out.

Seven
Bones
Black Lung
Got Some
Strange Tastes
Goin On
Pull the Trigger
Helluva Time

https://mega.co.nz/#F!1F8gnJbS!7JXTo9yE7682cOQLrTVciQ

Monday, 1 December 2014

Manchester Orchestra - Corner Hotel, 13 November 2014


Unfortunately my old recorder has been havingsome problems, so I've had to replace it. This was the first show with the new unit, and although it's not quite as convenient as the last one, the sound quality is better and it has some features that should prevent some of the bad recordings I got in the past.

Manchester Orchestra put on a pretty good triple bill with Kevin Devine and local band Apes (I'll put those sets up soon). The show itself was slightly odd. The set was amazing and the band seemed to be enjoying it. But they totally lost the crowd for the encore. It probably hurt that they didn't really play any 'hits' and the songs with Kevin Devine were pretty slow. People ended up just leaving, and those that stayed started talking a lot, which comes through in the recording. This is still a good set, but the encore stops me from recommending it more strongly.

Top Notch
Shake It Out
Pensacola
Every Stone
The Ocean
100 Dollars
I Can Barely Breathe
I've Got Friends
Colly Strings
Everything to Nothing
Cope
Simple Math
I Can Feel a Hot One

Wolves at Night
42
You're a Mirror I Cannot Avoid
Pyotr (aborted)
Where Have You Been?
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

https://mega.co.nz/#F!JQNyXYDY!_4WjicRmMV4bkAIpPO0pAA

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Soundgarden - Live on Letterman 2012



No news on whether Soundgarden will play sideshows while they're here for Soundwave (and if they do hopefully they avoid Sidney Myer Music Bowl). For those going, here's a promotional show on Letterman from the release of the new album.

Worse Dreams
By Crooked Steps
Incessant Mace
Beyond the Wheel
Taree
A Thousand Days Before
Eyelid's Mouth
Non-State Actor
Fell on Black Days
Rowing


https://mega.co.nz/#F!dMEUUQhJ!Cs9zBog2G5wItm26iayCuw

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Waterboys - Live at the BBC



So occassionally life it gets in the way and this blog goes dead for a while. But I'm back now. I've added the promised FLAC links to the Bob Dylan post, and by way of apology I now present one of the best things you'll hear all  year.

The Waterboys are an amazing band, with a sound that has changed quite a lot over the years. This pulls together their various sessions for the BBC, all in fantastic sound quality. The set mixes some of their well known hits, with lesser known tracks, some well chosen covers. For hardcore fans it's interesting to hear early versions of some tracks that went on to have quite different lyrics (check out This is the Sea). More casual fans should listen to some of their 'Big Music' - Don't Bang the Drum, Medicine Bow, Be My Enemy and This is the Sea.

They've just announced a new album and world tour. Last time they came their Hamer Hall show didn't sell that well, but hopefully that doesn't put them off from coming back and playing a slightly smaller venue.

The Three Day Man
I Will Not Follow
A Girl Called Johnny
All the Things She Gave Me
Savage Earth Heart
A Pagan Place
License to Kill
Red Army Blues
Passenger
Ways of Men
Trumpets
Old England
Sweet Thing
Medicine Bow
Born to be Together
Higher in Time
Spirit/When the Ship Comes In
Don't Bang the Drum
Medicine Bow
A Pagan Place
In Search of a Rose
Sharon's Tune
When Will We Be Married
And a Bang on the Ear
Something That is Gone
Glastonbury Song
When Ye Go Away
Open
Figherman's Blues
Vampire Man
Bring 'Em All In
Lonesome Old Wind

https://mega.co.nz/#F!QJF2AJxR!HvTUiFfPlnpJpBQvLhtxPQ

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Bob Dylan - Palais Theatre 20 & 21 August 2014


I guess this was a while ago now and there are probably a couple of alternative recordings, but in case not, here are my recordings of two of Dylan's four shows in Melbourne. These were Dylan shows eight and nine. Lots of people seemed to love them, but my view was a bit more mixed. His voice is certainly a lot better than it has been in the past and playing a piano is a lot nicer than the organ he's used in recent tours (plus he played well). On the other hand, having the same setlist every single night was a bit dull and the band seemed to be a bit flat (I think because there were few fast paced numbers).

Both the recordings are really good quality. There's a few artifacts from bumping up the volume, but these won't be noticable for most people in most situations. I've also put up link to both shows as MP3s and as FLAC for anyone that prefers uncompressed audio.

20 August 2014 (MP3)

20 August 2014 (FLAC)

21 August 2014 (MP3)

21 August 2014 (FLAC)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Chills - Recent RNZ Recordings


I put up a link to an old Chills recording a while back. Here's some more recent stuff. There's the portion of a 2009 show that was broadcast on Radio New Zealand, plus a discussion on Hone Tuwhare with Martin Phillips and David Kilgour (including a song from each), and finally an interview and solo performance from earlier this year.

https://mega.co.nz/#F!5INTmCrT!BpObvSxXGy1Mcx1qSAX2Xw

Friday, 26 September 2014

Free Albums (or EPs) - Brass Tactics


I quite liked my idea of putting up free albums and was surprised by how many good ones there were. But like lots of things it kinda fell of the radar a bit. Here's an EP that David Byrne and St Vincent put out after their tour together. 

It's got an outtake from the album, two remixes and two live tracks. Worth the download just for the recording of Road to Nowhere.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Counting Crows - Sydney Opera House, 10 April 2013


The Sydney Opera House has been recording some shows and streaming them via youtube. This is a bit old, but it's a good show. I only really know the hits, but the other songs they play are really good. I missed their Melbourne show because I was touring round following Wilco. Based on this show, if they make a return visit I'll definitely be attending.

https://mega.co.nz/#F!tJ9DQCxC!dh96DhrLr1Uc50_8EoBpZg

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Hives - Les Vieilles Charrues, 18 July 2013


I was going to put this up in advance of the Big Day Out, but I never got round to it. Given how often they tour here they might well make a return visit before the end of the year (which wouldn't be a bad thing).

Come On!
Main Offender
Go Right Ahead
These Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgics
Try It Again
Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones
Take Back the Toys
Die, All Right!
Won't Be Long
Walk Idiot Walk
My Time is Coming
Try It Again
Hate To Say I Told You So
Tick Tick Boom
Patrolling Days

https://mega.co.nz/#F!8Uci0BgS!HkZldmAOVJBcb7u_XYFL-A

Friday, 5 September 2014

Adam McGrath



Here are two solo shows by the lead singer of a band you've never heard of. I don't even really know why I put this up, since I suspect I'm the only person that will enjoy these (actually, lots of people should enjoy Adam McGrath/The Eastern, but they just don't seem to get the exposure - these were free shows, and by the end of it, people that had just come for a drink were fans, I really really don't know why he/they aren't bigger).

These shows featured a bunch of covers, plus some Eastern songs. I don't know what they all were, so a couple of these are marked as unknown. Leave a comment if you can help.

Post Office Hotel, 5 June 2014

Gasometer, 2 June 2014

If you like these, he mentioned there would be a full band tour 'in spring'. They're currently doing a big European tour, so maybe on their way back?

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) - Washington DC, 10 May 2007

I really enjoyed the Death Cab for Cutie show I saw, and since then I've got a lot more of the band's music. This is a solo show from the lead singer, covering his work with Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service, plus a couple of covers. I think some of these songs sound better with a band, but there aren't any duds (although I think I like Ben Gibbard more the less he talks).

To Sing for You/Brand New Colony
Title and Registration
Crooked Teeth
We Will Become Silhouettes
Photobooth
Why You'd Want to Live Here
Passenger Seat
Soul Meets Body
Recycled Air
Farmer Chords
Couches in Alleys
A Lack of Color
The Sound of Settling
Such Great Heights

Blacking Out the Friction
All Apologies
I Will Follow You Into the Dark

https://mega.co.nz/#F!YYNhRQTC!VpADW1Pb8bNR94hjcwRsPA

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Stuff I've been listening to...


Ok, so I know things have been quiet round here, but this is probably about the pace I can keep up - once every week or two. In the meantime though, I've been listening to a bunch of great stuff from other sites. Here are some recommendations:

Bob Dylan - Amsterdam 2013

I've been listening to this in advance of his show next week. The setlist is pretty much identical to what he is doing at present (this show has What Good Am I?, he tends to put Workingman's Blues #2 in that spot mostly, but still ocassionally plays What Good Am I?). The fact he's not varying the setlists takes a bit of the excitement out, but on the other hand, reports are that he's really nailing the songs. As usual, some of these versions are significantly different to the originals (or the version he played on his last tour here). The sound is very good audience recording quality.

Bob Dylan - Outfidel Intakes

More Dylan, just because I love him lots. This one pulls together material from the various sessions for Infidels. As any fan will know, a lot of Dylan's best stuff never made it on to the album they were recorded for (Blind Willie McTell is on this set, Foot of Pride was also recorded for this session but released on the Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 [so not here], but there's also Lay Down Your Weary Tune, Series of Dreams, Cross the Green Mountains, Postively 4th St, etc etc). Likewise, the versions that are eventually released aren't always the best ones - apparently the musicians who recorded the Infidels album were stunned by what was eventually released.

This set has two parts, the first is the best of the material that Mark Knopfler played on [when he finished he took recordings of the material, which eventually made it's way to the public]. The second is a collection of outtakes and alternate versions. Fans argue that this set is much better than the official album, for fans of his 80's work [and I know it isn't his most popular period] this is a must have.

Pearl Jam - Friends at High Tide

I mentioned this a while back, it's a compilation pulling together 'the best' of their 2003 Australian tour into a something that sounds a bit like an album. I say 'the best' because a) this was a bit of a low point in their career, and (more importantly) b) I don't think this does a good job of grabbing the best stuff from the tour. It's interesting nonetheless, but I think it could have been better.

The Chills - Melkweg, 20 February 1987

A great New Zealand band, who have recently returned to touring (and apparently have a new album in the bag). No word of an Australian tour yet, but their European shows are getting rave reviews. This is a soundboard recording of a great show of a band that doesn't get recorded too often [Note: a friend gave me a recording of this, so if the website I've linked to doesn't work, I can put up my own version].

The Mutton Birds - B-Sides & Rarities

Don McGlashan is one of my favourite NZ musicians, and incredibly underrated. This website has a lot of great stuff, but the two b-sides and rarities collections are both fantastic and a good place to start.

Warren Zevon - Los Angeles, 24 April 1978

Speaking of incredibly talented and underrated, this is the broadcast portion of a Warren Zevon show from 1978. It's from the tour for Excitable Boy, so it features lots of his biggest songs. Also a good introduction for the uninitiated.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Sharon Van Etten - Seattle, 26 March 2012



Another Sharon Van Etten show. I really love her last album, and she puts on a great show. I haven't had a chance to listern to her new one, but she's touring pretty heavily so hopefully she'll make it back here soon.

Warsaw
Magic Chords
Give Out
Leonard
Serpents
All I Can

https://mega.co.nz/#F!UFsQRDQJ!DnEuvRuNRCEZ68ZRRgZQJQ

Friday, 25 July 2014

Jenny Lewis - Washington DC, 15 October 2006



I put up a Rilo Kiley show a while back, and here's one from Jenny Lewis on the tour for her debut solo album (although she plays two tracks off her second album). Unfortunately, there isn't any chance of a Rilo Kiley reunion anytime soon, but at least Jenny Lewis is back touring. Laneway maybe?

Run, Devil, Run
The Big Guns
You Are What YouLove
Melt Your Heart
The Charging Sky
Happy
Fernando
Rise Up with Fists!!
Carpetbaggers
I Met Him on a Sunday
Jack Killed Mon

Rabbit Fur Coat
Acid Tongue
Handle With Care

https://mega.co.nz/#F!xcc3mYDR!Z3gg2EcHCVYBPrmqSUBfhQ

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Wolf Parade - Sasquatch Festival!, 28 May 2011


Tracking down Handsome Furs recordings is a bit tough, but fortunately I've found this great Wolf Parade show from just before they split (for Dan Boeckner fans it's worth checking out the various Divine Fits recordings I've put up as well). No word on what he's up to now that Spoon are back doing their thing, but from his success so far, it'll be interesting and great.

Language City
What Did My Lover Say?
Ghost Pressure
You Are a Runner And I Am My Father's Son
Fancy Claps
Palm Road
I'll Believe Anything
Shine a Light
California Dreamer

https://mega.co.nz/#F!RRtknB4B!NHCnPHtW6qw67qyQauzXGg

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The War on Drugs - Slave Deviant Vol. 2


Any regular visitors will know that I'm a big fan of the War on Drugs and might remember that I put up something I put together called Slave Deviant Vol. 1 (pulling together the best of their radio and TV performances). I was pretty pleased with that set, and play it a fair bit. But the place the War on Drugs really come into their own is on stage. So Slave Deviant Vol. 2 pulls together the best live recordings I could find into something that I've tried to make sound like the best live show they've ever played.

My original intention was to only use soundboard recordings, but the best version of Needle in Your Eye #16 (which had to be included) was my recording of their Harvest sideshow. Soundwise there were some slightly better options, but performance wise this one was a long way ahead.

I'm really really pleased with how this turned out, although it required a lot of time and effort. So please, if you're at all interested in this band, check it out, I think it's a really good introduction (although it obviously doesn't cover any of their shows for the new album).

Lastly, I wanted to thank the famous NYC Taper, who is responsible for a lot of the material that this is based on.

Arms Like Boulders
I Was There
Best Night
Pushing Corn
Talking 1 [to make it sound like a show I've some of the more interesting/amusing/odd things Granduciel has said]
Taking the Farm
Your Love is Calling My Name
Come to the City
Talking 2
Buenos Aires Beach
Comin' Through
Talking 3
A Barrel of Batteries (w/ Josh Newman and Kurt Vile)
A Pile of Tires
Baby Missiles
Talking 4
Show Me the Coast
Brothers
Talking 5
A Pagan Place
A History of Plastic
Encore Break
Arms Like Boulders
Black Water Falls
Talking 6
A Touch of Grey
A Needle in Your Eye #16

https://mega.co.nz/#F!FdciEDJb!W6d6AUNlOBM0eEcgIFFAsw

Friday, 13 June 2014

Yo La Tengo - Corner Hotel, 9 March 2014


Another show I thought I'd posted, but apparently not. Yo La Tengo returned after their Melbourne Festival exclusive for a full tour, again playing their acoustic/electric set. Being old, I wasn't super excited about standing for that long. But they played a good set, although it was pretty late by the time they were done.The recording quality is decent, but not outstanding.

Ohm
From Black to Blue
Is That Enough
Fog Over Frisco
I'm On My Way
The Point of It
Cornelia and Jane
I'll Be Around
Tom Courtney

Stupid Things
We're an American Band
Double Dare
Paddle Forward
Autumn Sweater
Before We Run
Nothing to Hide
Decora
Ohm
I Heard You Looking

What'cha Gonna Do About It
You Tore Me Down
Sugarcube

https://mega.co.nz/#F!1N1kQYxZ!NH1QdXH2uXU8Wfo4JhSQEg

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Melody Pool - Melbourne Folk Club, 30 April 2014


Another Melody Pool show. This recording is a bit better than the other one, but the show is shorter so the choice is yours (or you could get both). Unfortunately, Melody was a bit under the weather (she said she'd driven down from the Hunter Valley the day before). Her voice is generally great, but it cracks once or twice.

This was a show at the Melbourne Folk Club, anyone that hasn't been there yet should check it out. Free to become a member, and members get $18 tickets and a free beer. Plus some pretty great shows at a time of year there isn't much else on.

Also, Melody Pool has just announced a co-headlining tour with Marlon Williams. It's pretty big, so whereever you are there's probably a show near you. Check em out!

Open Book
Xavier
On the Morrow
All the Love
Royal Queen (Mary)
Richard
Spellbound Ties
Henry
Old Enough
Mariachi Wind

How Much?

https://mega.co.nz/#F!lZ0AgbaT!cNN2HEWfhW1IgApgYFUpiQ

Monday, 26 May 2014

Jason Isbell - Northcote Social Club, 17 April 2014


This is a pretty good recording of Jason Isbell's second night at the Northcote Social Club. I wasn't necessarilly expecting him to mix things up too much, but he played a few things that didn't make it into the setlist on the first night.

This recording is pretty good, if a little low at times, particularly when he's talking. I've tried to boost it as much as I could, but there comes a point where it adds so much static it sounds worse than leaving it. I should emphasise that this doesn't mean its a bad recording, and some people won't even notice it.

Streetlights
Stockholm
Flying Over Water
Danko/Manuel
Tour of Duty
Go it Alone
Dress Blues
Heart on a String
Decoration Day
Different Days
Songs That She Sang in the Shower
Cover Me Up
Relatively Easy
Live Oak
Alabama Pines
Travelling Alone
Codeine
Elephant
Outfit
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Super 8

https://mega.co.nz/#F!0RVW1TAS!RAyQQmac5px2oWviZR0ang

Friday, 16 May 2014

Melody Pool - The Spotted Mallard, 30 March 2014


If you're looking for an incredibly talented local musician to look out for before they become big, you should probably check out this recording. Melody Pool sounds a lot like Joni Mitchell at times, but I think her songs, particularly the new ones, have a touch of grit that Mitchell's don't (for me at least, that's a good thing). The only reason I didn't give this a Highly Recommended is that I've got another show to put up that has much better sound quality, although this one is longer and includes some great covers, so it's really just a matter of which you prefer.

She doesn't have any shows coming up in Melbourne, but it's worthwhile keeping an eye on her website (http://www.melodypool.com.au/) because she plays here pretty regularly.

Xavier
Open Book
On the Morrow
All of the Love
Royal Queen (Mary)
Dancing in the Dark
Whipping Post
Substitute
Pretty Little End
River
Henry
Somebody You've Never Met Before
Lion on the Loose

Richard
Spellbound Ties
Carey's Song
Old Enough
Big Yellow Taxi
Mariachi Wind
How Much?

Rhiannon

https://mega.co.nz/#F!NYUWWJJJ!Q1y86mWsH580m-_jVK1DkQ

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Queens of the Stone Age - Rod Laver Arena, 15 March 2014


The final show from the double double-header. QOTSA played past curfew, so this is pretty long. But there's a fair bit of noise during some songs, and overall I didn't find QOTSA to be as gripping as NIN.

https://mega.co.nz/#F!Qcc0gKCQ!Bo56zCuQ7HgzqgSuY4TKbg

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Nine Inch Nails - Rod Laver Arena, 15 March 2014


Like I said earlier, the opening band for these double headers seemed to suffer from a bit of crowd apathy. On top of that, my seats were right at the back (although, unlike night one, they'd pulled the curtain across to the very back of the arena) which always results in being around talkers.

So overall, there are a lot of things that lead to this being a worse show/recording than night one. Having said that, it isn't awful, and the band mixes the setlist up a bit.

https://mega.co.nz/#F!pV0SXSYJ!U_VqhW9-Irh3vAtjWboeZA

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Neil Finn - Hamer Hall, 12 March 2014



I've used the recent holidays to process quite a few recordings, which should mean I can ensure a steady flow of things to check out. This is Neil Finn's first Melbourne show promoting his new album (first under his name since 2001!). I didn't really enjoy most of the Dizzy Heights material, although like all of his solo albums, they seem to be growers. The older material was fun, and as always Neil was very engaging. The women next to me were fairly enthusiastic, which you can hear in the recording. Overall, it sounds pretty decent, but not outstanding. If you weren't there but want to check out his recent work I'm in the process of pulling together some of his promotional work for this album, so you might want to wait for that.

https://mega.co.nz/#F!pV0SXSYJ!U_VqhW9-Irh3vAtjWboeZA

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Where to start...

When I started doing this I wanted some way of rating shows to give people an idea of whether they were worth downloading. I ended up giving everything a rating from 0 to 10. But really that's a pretty crap system - nothing gets a rating of less than 7, the ratings change over time (some of the early shows were rated particularly harshly), and it probably doesn't mean a hell of a lot to people. So from now on I won't be rating things. If I think it's a really good recording I'll give it a 'Highly Recommended' label (basically this will mean I think it's worth listening to if you weren't there/aren't a crazy fan that will listen to anything). I've already gone back and done this for all the old shows.

That will also help anyone that turns up here and doesn't know where to start. They might also want to check out the soundboard recordings, so I've added links to both of those in a new box up on the right.

Queens of the Stone Age - Rod Laver Arena, 14 March 2014


Not quite sure why, but QOTSA didn't grab me as much as NIN. They've got a bunch of great, enjoyable songs, but seemed to just lack a spark. They were better on night two, where the crowd were more enthusiastic and they could play past the curfew, but NIN were the highlight of the tour for me.

You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar...
No One Knows
My God is the Sun
Burn the Witch
Smooth Sailing
Misfit Love
...Like Clockwork
In My Head
If I Had a Tail
Little Sister
The Vampyre of Time and Memory
I Sat By the Ocean
Make It Wit Chu
Better Living Through Chemistry
Go With the Flow
A Song for the Dead

https://mega.co.nz/#F!9VlhmYiS!Yk8gSjH22ZJ6S7vLFsNbYQ

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nine Inch Nails - Rod Laver Arena, 14 March 2014


I think a different recording of this is already circulating, but I'm pretty happy with the sound of this one. For me, NIN were the most impressive of the two bands, although whoever played last (NIN this night) seemed to get a much better response from the crowd.

If anyone wants any of the other sets, the QOTSA one will be up later this week and the second night sets hopefully won't be too much further behind.

Copy of A
Survivalism
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
Piggy
The Frail
The Wretched
The Warning
Come Back Haunted
All Time Low
The Big Come Down
Gave Up
Ice Age
BBB
Wish
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole
Hurt

https://mega.co.nz/#F!cBVXCLKA!F2qTj36ycwY6xxB4eD7zpg

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Talking Heads - Rome, 18 December 1980


For some reason I had a burning desire to listen to some Talking Heads a while ago. They've got some great live albums (most people go to Stop Making Sense, but I think The Name of this Band is..., is a better bet, particularly if you get the deluxe edition), but if you've got those this is a nice addition.


Psycho Killer
Stay Hungry
Cities
I Zimbra
Drugs
Take Me to the River
Crosseyed and Painless
Life During Wartime
Houses in Motion
Born Under Punches
The Great Curve

https://mega.co.nz/#F!kBMDHSjD!bZueFVPzMT9qdLdvIzFDwQ

Monday, 7 April 2014

Wavves - Washington DC, 31 January 2011


This is a show I was going to put up a long time ago, but then found the soundboard recording of their Corner show from 2012. Like all their shows it's pretty short and sharp, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Idiot
Friends Were Gone
King of the Beach
To the Dregs
In the Sand
WAVVES
Take on the World
Beach Demon
Linus Spacehead
No Hope Kids
Bug
Super Soaker
So Bored
Nervous Breakdown
Green Eyes
Post Acid

https://mega.co.nz/#F!ZQ0zHbbI!DhovY0X1F15Bh4RfZZaxUA

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Slowing down...

Regular visitors will have noticed that things have slowed down a lot round here lately. I'm finding it hard to find the time to put things up as regularly as I'd like. I thought about stopping altogether, but instead I'm going to slow down a bit. Instead of something being put up every few days it'll be once every week or two (hopefully more like weekly, but no promises). That means recordings will probably show up a reasonable while after the actual show, so if there's anything you really want and suspect I might have recorded feel free to email me.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Spoon - SXSW, 17 March 2010


Spoon's last tour was before I arrived in Melbourne and since then Divine Fits has somewhat taken over. But they've now announced a few shows and an album is on the way (they have a show in Kentucky a week before Splendour in the Grass, so maybe...).

This is a great club show from their last tour. The band put on a hell of a show and it sounds like everyone is enjoying themselves. Definitely worth checking out.

Written in Reverse
Someone Something
Don't Make Me a Target
The Ghost of You Lingers
Trouble Comes Running
Nobody Gets Me But You
Don't You Evah
Love Song
Out Go the Lights
The Underdog
Vittorio E
Got Nuffin'
I Turn My Camera On
My Mathematical Mind
I Summon You
Black Like Me

Is Love Forever?
Rhythm & Soul
Finer Feelings

https://mega.co.nz/#F!YRcBDbyZ!FX1boXxKPkpE6y49D1Vphg

Monday, 24 March 2014

Cosmic Psychos - Big Day Out 2014 - Melbourne & Sydney


I know I've been pretty slack and sad to say things are probably going to be a bit slower around here (it doesn't help that I've got a bunch of Eddie Vedder solo shows that I recorded, but he doesn't like them being circulated). Here's two good sets from Cosmic Psychos though to help make up for it. Didn't know them before this, but they're a great band. As you can see from the photo, Eddie Vedder and the family are fans too. These guys would be up there as one of the loudest bands I've heard, so there is a tiny bit of distortion, but I knew what I was getting in for, so the sound is generally really good.

Melbourne

Pub
Nice Day to Go to the Pub
Mortician
Lead Me Astray
I'm Up You're Out
Dead in a Ditch
Quarter to Three
Thank Your Mother for the Rabbits
Rip 'n' Dig
Lost Cause
David Lee Roth

Sydney

Pub
Nice Day to Go to the Pub
Lead Me Astray
I'm Up You're Out
Dead in a Ditch
Quarter to Three
Thank Your Mother for the Rabbits
Rip 'n' Dig
Custom Credit
Lost Cause
David Lee Roth

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Belle & Sebastian - Washington DC, 6 March 2006


I really got into Belle & Sebastian after their last tour, and the fantastic show they put on in Melbourne (before I had got a recorder unfortunately). It's fairly hard to track down soundboard recordings of them, but this one from 2006 is wonderful. I've tacked on two performances on KEXP at the end, so there's a lot of material here.

Expectations
Another Sunny Day
Women's Realm
Sukie in the Graveyard
Electronic Renaissance
The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner
To Be Myself Completely
The Blues Are Still Blue
Piazza, New York Catcher
Belle & Sebastian
Funny Little Frog
She's Losing It
Your Cover's Blown
Dog on Wheels
I'm a Cuckoo
The Wrong Girl
If You Find Yourself Caught in Love
Judy and the Dream of Horses

White Collar Boy
Me and the Major

If She Wants Me [KEXP, 5 May 2004]
Step Into My Office, Baby [KEXP, 5 May 2004]
Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying [KEXP, 5 May 2004]

A Century of Fakers [KEXP, 25 March 2006]
She's Losing It [KEXP, 25 March 2006]
To Be Myself Completely [KEXP, 25 March 2006]
No Matter What [KEXP, 25 March 2006]

https://mega.co.nz/#F!JUECjY4B!dX2Teg-jdakeHuNuYs5tQQ

Friday, 14 March 2014

Various Artists - The Best of Bonaroo


This is a free compilation that was put out to promote voting for the 2008 US presidential election. It doesn't seems to be available anymore, so I've uploaded it, rather than post a link like I normally do.
Anyway, this compilation pulls together the best live performances from Bonnaroo. There's a bit of an emphasis on jam bands, which really isn't my thing, but this is made up for by the quality of the rest of the songs. Worth particular mention is My Morning Jacket's cover of the Velvet Underground's Oh! Sweet Nuthin', which they recently reprised following Lou Reed's death.

Bull Black Nova [Wilco]
Animal [Pearl Jam]
Inaudible Melodies [Jack Johnson]
Rapunzel [Dave Matthews Band]
Cath... [Death Cab for Cutie]
Fuel [Ani DiFranco]
Kill Devil Falls [Phish]
Banks of the Deep End [Gov't Mule]
Delicate Few [O.A.R.]
Not Coming Down [moe.]
100 Yard Dash [Raphael Saadiq]
Throwing Stones [Bob Weir & Rat Dog]
And the Ladies Were the Rest of the Night [The Disco Biscuits]
The Wanting Comes in Waves [The Decemberists]
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' [My Morning Jacket]
Happier [Guster]
Box of Rain [Phil Lesh]

https://mega.co.nz/#F!9J8yUACL!tu4fJKFl4mZ9eU2i-92XBw

Monday, 10 March 2014

Noel Gallagher - Melkweg, 30 November 2011


Amid all the talk of an Oasis reunion, it's worth remembering that Noel Gallagher's solo album was incredibly good, as were the live shows on the tour to promote it. My recording of his Melbourne show is worth a listen if you were there, but if you're after a soundboard recording, this show from the Netherlands should do the trick. It's interesting to hear him say that he sophmore album will be released the following year. Still waiting, but hopefully it'll show up just two years late.

It's Good to Be Free
Mucky Fingers
Everybody's on the Run
Dream On
If I Had a Gun...
The Good Rebel
The Death of You and Me
Freaky Teeth
Wonderwall
Supersonic
(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
AHA... What a Life!
Talk Tonight
Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
AHA... Broken Arrow
Half the World Away
Stranded on the Wrong Beach

Little By Little
The Importance of Being Idle
Don't Look Back in Anger

https://mega.co.nz/#F!4FcGgYaQ!ronl7bQJUtIYG7Jatz9XEA

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Hanni El Khatib and White Denim - Corner Hotel, 5 January 2014


This is an old show that I haven't got round to putting up. I'm not really sure why I ended up going to this show - I'd vaguely heard of White Denim and didn't have any idea about Hanni El Khatib. In the end I was glad I went. White Denim were pretty disappointing - the sound mix seemed a little off, but even without they I suspect they just aren't really my thing. They sound a bit like Vampire Weekend, which probably works for lots of people, but I'm not really a fan.

Hanni El Khatib, on the other hand, was fantastic. As soon as he stepped on stage it was clear that this was a step up from the opener. As well as having stage presence and a hell of a lot of energy, he's got a great voice, great songs and a great band. If he makes a return visit I'll definitely be attending again.

White Denim

Pretty Green
River to Consider
Come Back
Say What You Want
A Place to Start
I'd Have It Just the Way We Were
Bass St
Shake, Shake, Shake
Limited to Stature
Cheer Up/Blues Ending
At Night in Dreams

Hanni El Khatib

Head in the Dirt
Nobody Move
Build. Destory. Rebuild
Can't Win 'Em All
Dead Wrong
Human Fly
You Rascal You
Sinking in the Sand
Penny
Skinny Little Girl
Loved One
Pay No Mind
Spit It Out
Fuck It. You Win

House on Fire
Family

White Denim Download
Hanni El Khatib Download

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Jason Isbell - Newport Folk Festival, 27 July 2013


I need to organise putting up some of the stuff I've recorded, since there's a lot and some is very good. In the meantime, here's something to get you ready for Jason Isbell's April tour. This is a show from last year at the Newport Folk Festival. I didn't love the new stuff initially but it's grown on me. As an added bonus, I've added a solo acoustic set from, the wonderfully named, Garden and Gun magazine.

Live Oak
Stockholm
Cover Me Up
Codeine
Flying Over Water
Decoration Day
Outfit
Alabama Pines
Elephant
Super 8
Danko/Manuel
Can't You Hear Me Knocking

Different Days [Garden and Gun]
Traveling Along [Garden and Gun]
Live Oak [Garden and Gun]
Stockholm [Garden and Gun]

https://mega.co.nz/#F!pQMTBTCT!oo52rt29wduFoHpFfrZ_5g

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Milk Carton Kids - Newport Folk Festival, 26 July 2013


Milk Carton Kids' show at the St Kilda Memo was a highlight of last year. Love Police put up a post about them a few months back that made me think they might be getting ready for a return visit, but there hasn't been any news since then so maybe not.

This show is from the famous Newport Folk Festival just a couple of months after their Australian shows. As usual for these guys, the between song banter is at least as good as the music (although anyone that saw the Australian shows will notice that there are some standard jokes that regularly make an appearance). As a bonus I've also tacked on the portion of their set at the Thornbury Theatre that was broadcast by ABC, as well as their Tiny Desk Concert set (where you get an explanation of the Kenneth's handkerchief).

Hope of a Lifetime
The Ash & Clay
Honey, Honey
Charlie
Michigan
Girls, Gather 'Round
New York
I Still Want a Little More
Memphis

Hope of a Lifetime [Thornbury Theatre]
The Ash & Clay [Thornbury Theatre]
Memphis [Thornbury Theatre]

Michigan [Tiny Desk Concert]
Stealing Romance [Tiny Desk Concert]
I Still Want a Little More [Tiny Desk Concert]

https://mega.co.nz/#F!kBMDHSjD!bZueFVPzMT9qdLdvIzFDwQ

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Friday, 21 February 2014

Queens of the Stone Age - KCRW, 3 June 2013


I thought I'd put this up already, but apparently not. So here, to go with the Nine Inch Nails set, is a Queens of the Stone Age promotional set from the middle of last year. As a promotional set the focus is very much on the new album, but there are a couple of older songs at the end.

If I Had a Tail
My God is the Sun
Like Clockwork
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Interview
The Vampyre of Time and Memory
I Sat By the Ocean
Smooth Sailing
I Appear Missing
Little Sister
Make It Wit Chu

https://mega.co.nz/#F!UFsQRDQJ!DnEuvRuNRCEZ68ZRRgZQJQ

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Nine Inch Nails - Rock 'n' Heim Festival (Hockenheim), 18 August 2013


Another show from just a few months back  from a band that will be doing an Australian tour soon. Trent Reznor has said that the band are reworking their sets for each leg of the tour, so this probably won't be much of an indicator of what to expect on their tour, but it does feature material from the new album and some classics that are certain to be played.

Copy of A
Disappointed
Come Back Haunted
1,000,000
March of the Pigs
Piggy
Reptile
Terrible Lie
Burn
Closer
Gave Up
Help Me I Am in Hell/Me I'm Not
Find My Way
The Way Out is Through
Wish
Survivalism
Only
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Hurt

https://mega.co.nz/#F!MY0zWDxb!YumPA3Sfle4PS6sbY7FFKw

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Best of 2013 - Albums (Part 2)

 

So very many great albums this year. If you missed out on part one (and care) follow this link. Otherwise, check these out for a few ideas of what might be good to soundtrack your Melbourne heatwave sweatfest.

My Morning Jacket - Circuital

I've seen My Morning Jacket twice, but still only managed to really get into them recently (if you're interested, their 2012 show in Melbourne was great and the recording is really good too). It's hard to say that anyone one track is a standout, but for some reason I find myself listening to (Holdin' On To) Black Metal over and over. This album is solid gold, although Z or It Still Moves are usually recommended as the best entry points to their catalogue.

Wilson Pickett - The Very Best of...

Wilson Pickett isn't as well known as some of his soul contemporaries, but he recorded some really great songs. His voice has the same grit as Otis Redding's, but he didn't have the same big hits, which may explain why he isn't as well known.

Dandy Warhols - Capitol Years

I got into both the Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre through the movie Dig! It's pretty surprising how much of their music made it into the zeitgeist of the 90's (probably partly achieved through the number of ads that featured their songs). And unlike some of the music of that decade, this still holds up really well.

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...

As well as winning the Fiona Apple prize for longest album title, Neko Case has produced an album that manages to be an account of the depression she went through, without actually being horribly depressing (although Nearly Midnight, Honlulu is is pretty bleak). She's playing a couple of shows in Melbourne next month, and I'm looking forward to how these songs translate into the live setting.

The Men - Immaculada

I only put this up a couple of days ago, but I listened to this album a lot last year. It's probably best described as noise rock, but as is often the case with these things, the label probably does more to scare people off rather than encourage them to check it out. Anyway, unlike everything else on this list, this one is free, so you don't have any excuse for not having a listen. 

Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

Tim Harrington's antics at Les Savy Fav shows are pretty funny, but they can detract from just how good their songs are. I know that I for one didn't realise how good their Laneway set was until I listend to the recording (not one of mine, it was from the guys at Fan Made Recordings, it doesn't seem to be up anymore, but I'm sure they'll make it available if anybody wants it). I've only got their last two albums, and while Root for Ruin is very good, Let's Stay Friends is great. I particularly like Comes & Goes, I think because it sounds so much like a Flying Nun tune, but every track here is great.

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

Finally got to cross Bruce Springsteen off my musical bucket list last year (and will be adding some reinforcing lines in a couple of weeks). I haven't listened to the new album yet, but this one was a real return to form after what I thought was a pretty mediocre album.

Josh Ritter - The Beast In It's Tracks

Neko Case's album took a while to grab me because it was a bit of a departure from her previous work, and this Josh Ritter album did the same thing (and possibly for the same reason, given that this is, in a way, a lot darker than this earlier work). Still waiting for him to venture down this way, but at least he is still touring this album, so at least there's some hope.
 
Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math

These guys apparently have a new album that will come out in a couple of months, and have promised an Australian tour this year. Until then, this is their most recent album. Although it's (at least notionally) a concept album, like all good concept albums it can stand independently of the story.

Phoenix Foundation - Happy Ending

In writing this I just found out that the Phoenix Foundation is the organisation that employs MacGyver. That should be enough reason to check this band out, but if not this album of dreamy pop (sometimes described as psychedelic, but that always grates with me) is a great way to soundtrack what's left of summer.

Spiral Stairs - The Real Feel

And last but not least, Spiral Stairs' (of Pavement fame) solo album. Malkmus gets a lot of the credit for Pavement, but Spiral Stairs' songs, although fewer, are all incredible. And while he hasn't produced an album to match Stephen Malkmus' self-titled debut, his solo career has probably produced at least as many great songs as Malkmus has, despite only having recorded three albums, including this one, the first under his own name (the others being released as Preston School of Industry).

Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder


I'm not planning on putting up the whole Springsteen show since every show on the tour is going to be sold through his website, but I figure a few people are going to be keen to hear this. So here are the first two songs of the set, which happen to feature Eddie Vedder. Make sure to download the full show when it becomes available in a week or so.

Highway to Hell (with Eddie Vedder)
Darkness of the Edge of Town (with Eddie Vedder)

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/49cfag5zagmi5/Springsteen_%26_Vedder_-_15_Feb

A soundboard recording of this show is now available for paid download from Bruce Springsteen's website. I've downloaded it and it sounds great. On the other hand, it's looking increasingly like night 2 isn't going to be released. Given the length of that show, my recorder ran out part way through the show (despite changing cards part way through), but I'll process and make available what I got if this isn't released in the next week or two).

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Men - Immaculada LP

So, obviously there was supposed to be text and a link and stuff. Rather than a blank post. My bad. Anyway, this is noise rock, it's really good, not like their later stuff (in that their later stuff sounds different, rather than that it sounds bad). Here's the link:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Men/Immaculada_LP/

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Best of 2013 - Books

Like the best albums of 2013 list, this is a list of the best books I read in 2013, rather than the best to be released in 2013. The list is (I like to think) pretty varied, so hopefully it'll give you a chance to stumble upon something that sounds interesting.

All the President's Men

A lot of the books on this list can be described as imperfect in some ways. This one can be a bit confusing in parts (maybe it's just me that struggles with books with lots of names) and ends at a strange point. But it is a key chronicle of the episode that gave us the -gate suffix for even the most minor of incidents. It's interesting to speculate whether, with the current surveillance available, it would be possible for the media to discover and then reveal something like this, or to consider the key role played by leakers (not just Deepthroat) in light of the fact that the Obama administration has pursued whisteblowers more aggressively than any president in American history.

How to Make Gravy 

I finally got round to reading Paul Kelly's How to Make Gravy. It was interesting to hear at the Toff in Town gig how he found it hard to write, because it comes across as being written by someone who finds these things easy (I guess that's part of the genius). The book has a story for each of the songs, although the stories are sometimes only very loosely related to the songs. The format is unusual, but works really well, making it an interesting read, even for those who aren't big Paul Kelly fans.

Dune

 
During the year I found a really good list of the best books of the last hundred years (I'd post a link but I can't seem to find it). Unlike most of these lists the books are pretty accessible, rather than all being a billion pages long and really hard to read. Although Dune is a science fiction classic, it is just as much about politics and ecology. I haven't read the (many) sequels, but the first novel works well as a stand-alone story.

The Underdog

 
Marcus Zusak's Book Thief was my favourite book of last year, and hopefully lots of people will be reading that now that it's been made into a movie (albeit one being met with mediocre reviews). Prior to the Book Thief Zusak had written children's books, The Underdog being the first of them. The novel focuses on Cameron Wolfe, a slightly rough 15-year-old; his family; and the girl he falls for. It's a very sweet novel that gives a fairly accurate portrayal of the awkwardness of being a teenager.

Bad Science/Bad Pharma

 
Ben Goldacre's two novels provide a fairly damning indictment of his subjects, particularly the pharmaceutical industry. I particularly liked these two because he does an excellent job of systematically demonstrating the problem and (unlike most similar books) providing some realistic proposals about how to address the problems he has identified.

Tokyo Vice

 
A lot of the books I read I stumble upon through fairly random paths. Jake Adelstein was mentioned as being one of the best english speaking authorities on Japan's Yakuza in relation to the discretions of a New Zealand rugby player in Japan. Anyway, the book describes his time as the first non-Japanese reporter working for one of Japan's largest newspapers, in particular, his time as the police reporter. In addition to providing lots of insights into crime in Japan, the book is an interesting account of the experience of a Westerner living and working in Japan.

The Signal and the Noise


Nate Silver's (the US election picking guy) book is about how to make predictions and how they go wrong. He uses some really interesting examples of failures (like the Fukashima disaster), but also of areas where our predictive powers have substantially improved (like weather forecasting). It's a really interesting book, even if you aren't a 'numbers person'.

The Racket

Gideon Haigh's account of the legalisation of abortion in Australia is disturbing and revealing in equal parts. The level of corruption amid the police, medical profession, judiciary and politicians is shocking, particularly given the horrific impact it had on women.

The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog is another imperfect novel - it's too long, but for most of the time this fictional (but well-researched) account of the numerous failures of the War on Drugs (not that War on Drugs) is an interesting read. It's particularly interesting to see the tale told (mostly) from the Mexican side of the border, unlike most novels and movies that only have an interest in things north of the border.

Bonk

Only one pop-science book made the list, which is a bit of a surprise. This one is a must read for anyone intrigued by the recent Masters of Sex series. It outlines the research and researchers working on figuring out exactly what the hell sex is about (with some interesting diversions, such as a visit to a Danish pig farm to interview people whose job is to give pigs orgasms). In addition to all the research described, it's interesting to see how much the field has been held back by the view (held by insitutions, colleagues and funders) that research on sex is somehow 'improper'.

The Given Day

One of the reasons that The Wire was such a great TV series was that they used established novellists as writers. One of these was Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island, which have both been made into movies (short version: Gone Baby Gone = good, but not as much as book; Shutter Island = average, hard book to turn into a movie). This one is a departure from his previous crime fiction novels, instead this is an epic leading up to the Boston police strike in 1919. The tone of this and the fact there are some important historical figures as characters reminds me of Boardwalk Empire. This book deserves to be described as an Important American Novel, but that kind of talk usually makes me think a book will be really hard to read and quite dull and this book is neither of those things.  
 

The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer

I actually got this out because I thought it was a different book called the Difference Engine. This book covers the torturous path to build, what is now regarded as, the first computer. The tale of an obssessive scientist who believes in the value of their work, despite the opinions of virtually everyone else, isn't particularly original, but that doesn't stop this from being an interesting story.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The War on Drugs - Northcote Social Club, 28 December 2013





SHUT UP! How hard is it to go to a show and watch it? Rather than talk about random crap through it ruining it for everyone else. And why would you think that's a good idea? If you want to go out and have a few drinks and talk to a friend, that's great, but why waste money on going to see a band that you're going to treat as extremely loud background music?

I haven't put this one up because there was a stupid girl and her stupid friend talking stupidly loudly right next to me. I'm pretty sure you're allowed to taser people who talk at concerts right? Anyway, this was an exciting show because it was the first time they had played songs from the new album live. On one hand a new album is a little bit sad because it means they drop a bunch of great songs off their regular set, but the new material sounded really good (the only song I didn't like straightaway has grown on me with a few more listens). Lastly, as the new album hasn't been released yet I've had to guess what the new songs are simply based on the released tracklist, so it's possible I'm wrong about some.

Under the Pressure
Baby Missiles
I Was There
Red Eyes
Brothers
Best Night
Eyes to the Wind
Burning
The Animator
Come to the City
Comin' Through
Arms Like Boulders
Suffering

Your Love Is Calling My Name

https://mega.co.nz/#F!ZNMwgISb!9znVDu70m-O9eB0T6VcXNg

Friday, 7 February 2014

Mudhoney - Big Day Out (Melbourne), 24 January 2014


One of the good things about festivals is the chance to check out bands you wouldn't normally go to see. Although I've listened to a bit of their stuff, I've never actually particularly enjoyed Mudhoney, but I wanted to make sure to check them out at at least one Big Day Out show to see whether that converted me into a fan. It didn't. But they put on a pretty decent show, and the recordings away from the main stages seem to be much better, so this doesn't sound too rough.

Slipping Away
Suck You Dry
You Got It
1995
In 'n' Out of Grace
I Like It Small
Flat Out Fucked
Judgement, Rage, Retribution and Thyme
Touch Me, I'm Sick
What To Do With the Neutral
The Final Course
The Only Son of the Widow of Nain

https://mega.co.nz/#F!lUEGgbJZ!WcAxy1hAdMypl4cLzzy9ZQ

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Arcade Fire - Big Day Out (Sydney), 26 January 2014


All three of the Arcade Fire sets I saw were great, but in terms of recording quality this one is probably the best, although it isn't perfect by any means. There's still a bit of chatter and bumping of the mic, and the sound isn't perfect, but I'd actually give this one a listen for the enjoyment, unlike the first two recordings. Anyway, enjoy this, these guys put on a hell of a show.

Normal Person
Rebellion (Lies)
Wake Up
Keep the Car Running
The Suburbs/The Suburbs Continued
Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)
It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
Porno/Afterlife
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Ready to Start
Reflektor
No Cars Go
Joan of Arc
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Here Comes the Night Time

https://mega.co.nz/#F!MYUBnIwb!afvGq7peh3GIIuqvpqEiEw

Monday, 3 February 2014

Arcade Fire - Big Day Out (Melbourne), 24 January 2014


The second of my three Arcade Fire shows for the tour, and while the recording is an improvement on Auckland, it still isn't great. There is a bit of mic noise early on, plus a fair bit of crowd chatter. Both die down late in the set, resulting in the tail end of this being pretty good, but unless you were there the best option is the promotional set I put up before the tour started.

Reflektor
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Joan of Arc
Rococo
The Suburbs/The Suburbs Continued
Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)
Ready to Start
It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
My Body is a Cage/Afterlife
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
No Cars Go
Keep the Car Running
Normal Person
Here Comes the Night Time
Rebellion (Lies)
Wake Up

https://mega.co.nz/#F!8NMQSThZ!cyp6l6oRVXx2Or2fanvIEA

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Kurt Vile - KEXP, 28 September 2011 and 12 May 2013


In advance of his two shows next week, here are two Kurt Vile KEXP sets. The first one is from 2011 for Smoke Ring for My Halo and the second is promoting the current album. The new songs didn't strike me as instantly as the Smoke Ring for My Halo songs, but with a few listens I like them at least as much.

Runner Ups
Jesus Fever
On Tour
Ghost Town

Wakin' On a Pretty Daze
KV Crimes
Girl Called Alex

https://mega.co.nz/#F!BZMDAaiC!SJgEryJXz5cC6P4IFVMw_g

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Concerts

Looking back it's been a pretty great year for concerts. The particular highlight for me has been bands either making their debut tour of the country or returning after a long absence. Probably the only semi-regular visitors that made the list are Yo La Tengo and Paul Kelly/Neil Finn. One final point, I've included links to the recordings (if I did them) but this is a list of the best concerts, regardless of the quality of the recording.

Weezer  - Palais 17 January

Weezer's Blue album show at Sidney Myer was pretty bad - as usual the sound was awful and the crowd were mediocre. The Pinkerton show at the Palais, on the other hand, was fantastic, and this is coming from a casual fan attending a show clearly aimed at the fans. Rather than kicking off with a hits set, they mixed in a bunch of rarities, all of them well played and getting a raptuous response. The Pinkerton set was also good and the sound at the Palais (as normal) was pristine.

Childish Gambino - HiFi 23 January


Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) proved to anyone who thought that this was going to be a comedy rap act that, not only was he deadly serious, but he has more energy and performing chops than acts that don't have to juggle an incredibly successful television writing and acting career. There are starting to be rumours that he may be making a return visit soon. This show sold out in minutes, so if the rumours turn to reality, make sure to get in quick.

Waterboys - Hamer Hall 30 January
 

Low expectations always help to make a good show and, even though I knew there was more to the Waterboys than The Whole of the Moon, I didn't realise just how deep their catalogue is or suspect that, unlike many of their peers, they retain the ability to put on a hell of a show. Obviously the cover of Purple Rain was great (and unexpected), but I particularly liked hearing all the originals that I'd somehow missed, despite their greatness. Plus it didn't hurt that Mike Scott seemed to have a genuine soft spot for Melbourne that went beyond 'It's great to be in [insert name of city]".

Divine Fits - Corner 4 February
 

Divine Fits' album A Thing Called Divine Fits made my best albums of 2012 list, and their Laneway sideshow demonstrated that they could easily transfer that to the stage (as if anyone could doubt this of a band featuring both the vocalist from Spoon and Handsome Furs). My only disappointment was that Japandroids were side stage but never made an appearance.

Paul Kelly & Neil Finn - Palais 4 March
 

At the time I said that this would be one of those tours that people would find hard to believe had happened. Back in the day we would have had to let our imaginations run wild about what they actually sounded like, but now we can listen to bootlegs (and, of course, the official CD/DVD from Sydney) to know that these shows were magical. These shows were great from start to finish, but it's hard not to single out their solo performance of each others songs (as Neil Finn said, Paul Kelly really owns Into Temptation now).

Bruce Springsteen - Rod Laver 24 &26 March
 

These were both phenomenal shows and it's great to see him returning in 2014 (with Tom Morello and Steve Van Zandt in tow). These are both very good recordings of outstanding shows with very varied sets. It'll be hard for him to top these, but if he even makes it in the ballpark they'll be great shows.

Matthew E White - Northcote Social Club 3 June
 

This was a show I only reluctantly went to, but it turned out to be great. Matthew E White is probably best described as a soul singer, but that doesn't really do justice to where he fits in the musical world. Probably best to just download this and hear for yourself.

Milk Carton Kids - St Kilda MeMo 8 June
 

The Milk Carton Kids are an amazing bluegrass band that bring to the table the extra bonus of being incredibly funny at their live shows. Unfortunately this isn't a great recording, but I'll be putting up a soundboard recording from around the same time in a few weeks.

Yo La Tengo - Hamer 18 October
 

I saw Yo La Tengo on their last tour and wasn't particularly impressed, but this set was really great, even if Hamer Hall was probably an optimistically large venue. The quiet set/loud set format was a good way of letting them showcase their diverse back catalogue, which they did with great success. Anyone that missed out will get another chance to see them when they do a full Australian tour in a few months.

Neutral Milk Hotel - Forum 15 & 16 November

Lastly, Neutral Milk Hotel. I never thought there would be even the faintest chance of seeing this band. But not only did they turn up in Australia, they out on some great shows. With only two albums (and some b-sides and outtakes) to choose from, there isn't a lot of variety in the sets, but the songs are all great. The next big challenge is whether they choose to release any new material.