Archive for the ‘bootleg’ Category

Album Review: The Move — Live at the Fillmore 1969

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Here’s another case of a long-circulating bootleg finding official release (see also: yesterday’s review of an Iron Butterfly live set). The Move were big in the UK, but went largely unknown in America. At least, that is, until they shifted personnel a bit and rebranded themselves as Electric Light Orchestra.

The band certainly knew all about America, though. Many years before its inclusion on Lenny Kaye‘s influential Nuggets compilation, The Nazz‘s “Open My Eyes” was a staple of The Move’s live set. Though the group had an impressive string of hit singles, on this night in 1969 at San Francisco’s Fillmore, they chose to open with a tune released two years earlier (to no great sales) by the Philadelphia group featuring a very young Todd Rundgren. The Move’s excellent live version does overextend the excellent tune just a bit, however.

On this recording – sourced from low-generation copies of that circulating tape* and/or subjected to some expert sound clean-up – The Move turns in exciting covers of Tom Paxton (“Last Thing on My Mind”) and relatively obscure art-prog group Ars Nova (“Fields of People,” included on The Move’s 1969 Shazam LP). The Carole King and Gerry Goffin tune “Goin’ Back” gets The Move treatment as well. The sound isn’t quite up to standard release quality on this 2CD set, but the music is good and important enough to give the audio quality a pass.

The band were big fans of American rock: their sets often included The Byrds‘ “So You Want to Be a Rock’n'Roll Star” and Moby Grape‘s “Hey Grandma,” though neither were performed on this Fillmore date. Rick Price‘s super-heavy bass lines and Bev Bevan‘s drums presage the approach used by Black Sabbath, but Carl Wayne‘s lead vocal plus Roy Wood‘s keen harmony vocals add a pop sensibility that leavens the heaviness. “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited” is perhaps the best example of all of the Move’s strengths in a single tune: gentle guitar parts, a capella vocal harmonies, and thunderous backbeat; the song’s suite-like character may remind some listeners of The Who‘s “A Quick One (While He’s Away).” They also manage a clever juxtaposition of a classical theme (you’ll recognize it) into the tune, before doing such things was (for a time) a de rigeuer part of rock performance. The Move manage to convey power and subtlety onstage without the use of keyboards or acoustic guitar.

The Move’s set closes as it began, with another Nazz cover: this time it’s “Under the Ice,” from Rundgren’s group’s then-current Nazz Nazz LP. The tapes as circulated among collectors purported to document a set from October 1969. As presented on this official set, the recording features additional performances of “Don’t Make My Baby Blue, “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited” and “The Last Thing on My Mind,” plus a contemporary recording – more than ten minutes in length – in which drummer Bevan recalls the ’69 tour.

Completists note: If you have the bootleg version of this tape, you might want to hold onto it: most copies include a live version of The Move’s Tchaikovsky-meets-psychpop classic, “Night of Fear” that’s not found on this new official set.

Live at the Fillmore 1969 is highly recommended to anyone who appreciates late 60s hard rock, British variant, done with a deft combination of panache and excessive volume.

* A quote in the liner notes suggests that vocalist Carl Wayne was in possession of the original tapes.

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Album Review: Iron Butterfly — Live at the Galaxy 1967

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

There’s been a spate of previously-unreleased live albums released of late; this week I’m focusing on five of them. The first, a 1975 set by Magma, offered way-out music and excellent sonic quality. The second, a 1980 Captain Beefheart set, showcased equally strange (but quite different) music in terrible audio quality. Today’s entry features much more accessible music, from psychedelic -era heroes Iron Butterfly, in sound quality that falls somewhere in between the previous two.

In 1967 Iron Butterfly were still several months away from recording and releasing their classic “In-a-gadda-da-vida,” so listeners who give Live at the Galaxy 1967 a spin won’t hear that tune. What they’ll find instead is a club gig heavy (ha) on tracks from the band’s debut LP Heavy which hadn’t even been recorded at the time of this set.

In addition to the hypnotic “Possession” (featuring Doug Ingle‘s husky vocalizations atop a lockstep riff that is equal parts his Vox organ and Danny Weis‘ fuzztone lead guitar), perennial closer “Iron Butterfly Theme” and “Gentle As it May Seem,” the set offers up a few standards along with some tracks that wouldn’t surface until the band’s third LP Ball (the excellent “Filled With Fear,” “Lonely Boy”). The lineup that is documented on this set wouldn’t remain together long enough to tour behind their debut album; buy that point in the band’s lifespan, Ingle had recruited new players to join him and drummer Ron Bushy.

Live at the Galaxy 1967 seems to be a soundboard recording (albeit an nth generation dub of one); between tracks, when Ingle addresses the crowd, his voice is clear and distinct. But when the band all launches in (this seems to have been an extremely loud performance at the band’s regular Hollywood hangout), Ingle’s vocals are largely obscured by the instruments. His Vox survives the onslaught, however: his simple but effective keyboard riffage rises above the thunder of the bass, guitars and cymbal-heavy drumming. The recording has circulated for years among bootleg collector circles; I’ve had a copy going all the way back to the days when we traded cassette dubs. It’s likely that this official release was sourced from one of those unknown-generation tapes.

Iron Butterfly’s music has often been described as riffs in search of songs: as exemplified on this recording, the band often hit its mark. While the vocals can’t easily be followed, the tunes never meander; built around solid and memorable riffs and allowing space for effective solos, tracks like “It’s Up to You” (a good tune they’d never release) make their point in rather economical fashion. Ingle introduces “Gloomy Day to Remember” (which is quite reminiscent of The Blues Magoos) as another of the band’s original tunes; it, too has gone unreleased in any form until now.

As a document of the band’s earliest incarnation, replete with songs you won’t hear anywhere else, Live at the Galaxy 1967 is recommended to fans of the band as well as to fans of that particular brand of 60s psych that bridges the gap between heavy and poppy.

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Album Review: Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band — Live From Harpo’s 1980

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The late Captain Beefheart is one of those rare creatures. The casual music fan is unfamiliar with his name; a subset of those who know of him have actually heard him; fewer still can make a reasonable claim to actually enjoying his music.

Appreciate it, yes: I know of quite a few of my friends (certainly not a cross section of American pop music fans) who own Beefheart’s classic Trout Mask Replica. I have an original vinyl copy myself. But neither they nor I play our copies all too often. Beefheart’s music is challenging at best, making few if any concessions to musical convention. Beefheart’s music can be described as a sort of wild, unhinged free jazz/blues hybrid, often featuring the man’s growling vocals (he reportedly had a five-octave range), along with his saxophone. While his band lineup (generally dubbed The Magic Band) followed the standard rock configuration, Beefheart’s music can’t be called rock, not by any reasonable understanding of the term. That said, Beefheart’s critical reputation is stratospheric.

By 1980, Beefheart (born Don Van Vliet) had entered the second of his most highly-regarded phases; the string of albums released between 1978 and 1982 rank among his best, and those three records – Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow actually sold in some quantities as well. Around the time of Doc at the Radar Station, Beefheart and band were the musical guests on Saturday Night Live. And it was days after that SNL performance – December 11, 1980, that Beefheart and The Magic Band appeared onstage at Detroit’s Harpo’s Concert Theatre. The good news is that someone recorded the show: very few legitimate Beefheart live albums exist, and none of those (up to now) date from this fertile period in his career.

The bad new is that the sound quality is awful. Bootleg enthusiasts – a group that includes myself – may not have such a tough time sitting through this boomy audience recording, but those whose ears are more attuned to studio albums and professional recording techniques might find Live From Harpo’s 1980 tough going. And there’s nothing here that approaches the accessibility of such Beefheart cuts as “Zig Zag Wanderer” (included on the Where the Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets compilation) or “Diddy Wah Diddy” (featured on the 4CD expanded version of the original Nuggets set).

Those who do endure or tolerate the dreadful audio quality will, however, find their reward: on this night, Beefheart and band (Eric Drew Feldman on bass and synthesizer, drummer Robert Williams, and three guitarists: Richard Snyder, Jeff Tapir/White and Jeff Moris Tepper) tear through a set that draws both from new and old material. Tunes from his first three albums are performed right along with newer material, including about half of the songs on Doc at the Radar Station. The night’s lineup is quite close to the personnel that recorded Doc six months earlier.

The brief liner notes offer a capsule history of Beefheart’s career, noting that the man retired from public performance in 1982, less than two years after this recording was made. The liners also assert that “this CD catches the Captain at his best.” That may well be true, but the capture itself is dodgy; owing to the execrable sound quality, Live From Harpo’s 1980 is best left to completists only; everyone else should stick with Beefeart’s, um, more accessible studio output.

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DVD Review: Happening ’68 Vols. 1-3 (Part Two)

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Continued from Part One

The aforementioned Aretha Franklin segment is of particular interest, as it shows the off-the-cuff nature of the program. As Lindsay is discussing the soul singer’s career with guest Jackie DeShannon, they note that Aretha was “on Columbia” (also Paul Revere and the Raiders‘ label) for five years, but “didn’t go anywhere.” The clear implication is that Columbia didn’t serve Franklin’s career well. An entire episode (aired March 15, 1969) is devoted to Wilson Pickett, who – unlike most musical guests – appears with his entire band. Pickett tears things up – even though he’s miming like everyone else (though some reports suggest the performance was live; you decide) — and gives a fun if brief interview.

A charming regular feature on Happening was the garage band contest. Local groups from around the country would mime to some or other cover version, and celebrity judges would pick the best. The list of prizes will boggle the minds of modern audiences (a Pontiac Firebird?! $2500 in Vox musical equipment?!) but the truly amazing part of all this is the tunes covered. One might hear a vocal version of Cannonball Adderley‘s 1966 hit “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” Spirit‘s “Got a Line on You,” a cover of Johnnie Taylor‘s “Who’s Makin’ Love,” and other left-field-for-daytime-TV tunes. Often the judges’ decisions are suspect, but it’s a hoot seeing these often pimply teenagers make their bids for the big time (grand prize included a “recording contract” with either ABC or A&M, but history does not record any great success visited upon whichever band won on Happening).

By 1968 an industry veteran, Mark Lindsay seems quite comfortable and natural in front of the camera. Lindsay comes off pretty well throughout, ad-libbing his way through brief, light interview segments with such stars of the days as Ross Martin (who surprises everyone by telling Lindsay that his show Wild Wild West is simultaneously “in great shape” and cancelled), Jay North (former Dennis the Menace, then star of the TV show Maya, with co-star – and Raider — Keith Allison), James Doohan (Star Trek‘s “Scotty”), Mission: Impossible‘s Greg Morris, and many others.

A “Happening News” segment featuring Teen magazine editor Sue Cameron offers up Hollywood gossip and so forth, presumably priming the teen audience for the adult versions to come in subsequent era in the form of Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and similar shows.

Paul Revere plays the irreverent fool throughout, mugging and offering up endearing slapstick. He often calls Lindsay “Bobo” (huh?) and “my pony-tailed nitwit” and engages in endless in-jokery. Happening seemingly went to production with the barest of scripts, instead preferring to riff on the undeniable chemistry between Revere, Lindsay and their guests.

A nice bonus on many of these episodes is the inclusion of the original commercials. These show – should there remain any doubt – that the program was aimed squarely at teenage girls. But some of the ABC-TV commercials promoting other programs such as The Mod Squad (“Cops: one black, one white, one blonde”) and The FBI are a time-capsule scream.

These DVDs are highly recommended, but be warned that since these transfers are sourced from various private collector caches, the video quality varies episode to episode. These are pretty rare; when I discussed Happening with Lindsay, he admitted that he had only a couple of the episodes in his own collection. (I dubbed copies of some that I had, including a few poorer-quality transfers not found here.) Until DCP sees fit to release legitimate archival copies (assuming they even exist), these DVDs from [redacted] are your only option.

Available HERE. Aha…I am told that it’s no longer available. Okay, now (August 2015) Happening ’68 DVD is available again.

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DVD Review: Happening ’68 Vols. 1-3 (Part One)

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Though it’s often forgotten today, in the mid 1960s, Paul Revere and the Raiders were just about the most prominent rock’n'roll band in popular culture. Sure, The Beatles had their records all over the charts, and had films like A Hard Day’s Night and Help! And yes, The Monkees had their own weekly television show. But Pacific Northwest-relocated-to-L.A. legends Paul Revere and the Raiders got more screen exposure than The Beatles and The Monkees put together, thanks to their TV show Where the Action Is, televised Every. Single. Weekday. Just after school, Monday through Friday on ABC-TV, the Raiders served as the “house band” for this Dick Clark production. Featuring mimed performances from all manner of musical guests, plus goofy, vaudeville-styled skits, the show was a fixture of teenage viewers’ TV diet.

The show ran its course after a few seasons, but thanks to Raiders manager Roger Hart‘s idea about a vehicle for lead singer Mark Lindsay and bandleader Paul Revereone that, as he put it, took a look at what was happening on the pop scene – the duo scored their own variety show. A pair of shows, actually: Happening ’68 (shortened to Happening for its 1969 following season) was broadcast weekly, and a summer show called It’s Happening was televised daily throughout the summer of 1968.

None of these programs has ever gotten official/sanctioned release on any format; though a stunning-quality copy of the Where the Action Is pilot circulates among collectors, and scattered episodes of WTAI, Happening ’68/Happening and It’s Happening have been preserved in varying quality by fans, Dick Clark Productions has never seen fit to preserve – much less release – these exemplars of 60s mainstream pop culture. As Mark Lindsay told me in a 2010 interview, apparently Clark viewed WTAI in particular as a “red-headed stepchild” and had no interest in it once the show ended its run.

But thanks to those previously-mentioned collectors – and one specific intrepid collector – twelve episodes of Happening ’68/Happening are available on (unauthorized) DVD. Those twelve episodes – spread across three discs – build on the format of Where the Action Is, but put Revere and Lindsay out front as hosts.

The earlier episodes lean more on the duo kitsching around onstage in front of a studio audience; modern-day viewers will likely find those awful-pun-filled bits either charming or dreadful (or somewhere in between). There’s an innocent charm about them, which is not exactly the quality one might expect from pop culture product of 1968. (This was aimed at kids, however.) And the Raiders (with a band name shortened to nudge their hip-quotient back up) only occasionally appeared, miming to their latest single. And in general, said Raiders – especially short-timer bassist Charlie Coe – seemed to pretty well phone it in, barely making an effort at the choreography that had long been a group trademark.

Still, even semi-live-action clips of the Raiders performing “Let Me,” “Cinderella Sunshine” and other late-period singles is always a treat. And in one episode (originally aired May 25, 1968) the band tackles “Free,” a non-single, deep album cut from the band’s Something’s Happening LP. In that same episode – featuring the inimitable Lee Hazlewood doing his “Rainbow Woman” – the Raiders turn in a Spanish-language version of “Mo’reen.” To date, that track hasn’t surfaced on any of the Paul Revere and the Raiders CD reissues.

Other episodes – in mostly good quality black-and-white – feature an assortment of musical guests, ranging from Etta James, Aretha Franklin (on tape), Peter Lawford(!) doing a cheesy MOR tune, and more pop/rock acts that would appeal to most viewers. That last category includes Tommy Roe, The Grass Roots, The Cowsills, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (in a youth voting-themed episode) and any others of note. The Friends of Distinction make their national television debut performing “Grazing in the Grass,” and a Peter Tork-less Monkees trio guests, taking part in an interview segment with Revere and Lindsay that ranks as the most revealing and intimate part of the entire series.

Available HERE. Aha…I am told that it’s no longer available. Okay, now (August 2015) Happening ’68 DVD is available again.

The review is continued here…

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Album Review: Alex Chilton – Electricity by Candlelight

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Bootlegs or ROIOs* or fan recordings: however one wishes to label them, they play an often important and unappreciated part in documenting musical history. As Clinton Heylin explains in his excellent 1994 book Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry, surreptitious and/or unauthorized fan recordings have been responsible for capturing otherwise unheard performances of great historical import. Sidestepping his discussion of William Shakespeare‘s folios and moving to his focus on music, we learn that one Lionel Mapelson (the “Father of Bootlegging”) had recorded snippets of many operas staged at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House in the years 1901-03. Without his (admittedly crude) efforts, today we’d have no idea at all – beyond written accounts – of what those now century-old performances sounded like.

Thank goodness that this surreptitious practice continues to present day. Without it we might not have all manner of important music preserved in any manner. While The Beatles will soon see a second volume of BBC recordings officially released (On Air is slated for holiday season 2013), many collectors (cough cough) have long had a 13CD set of all extant Beatles BBC recordings.

And so it is with a one-off performance by the mercurial Alex Chilton, late of The Box Tops and Big Star. In 1997 he was booked to play a gig with his band at New York City’s Knitting Factory; he and band showed up on the evening of February 13, set up and readied themselves to play the second of a two-night stand.

Then the power went out. Club owners issued refunds to disappointed fans, most of whom left once it was clear the power wasn’t coming back on anytime soon.

But a hardy coterie of fans remained behind. And to appease them (or more likely, considering the man’s personality, to amuse himself) Alex Chilton came out and took an acoustic guitar offered him by an attendee who just happened to have one handy. (No, really.) Figuring he’d run through a few tunes and call it a night, Chilton steadied himself in the nearly totally dark room and launched into songs that were deeply embedded in his memory and/or psyche. These weren’t hits – not most of ‘em, anyway – they were songs that Chilton had lived, loved. A fan request to do Tammy Wynette‘s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” was granted, a relatively obscure Johnny Cash tune (“Step Right This Way”) unearthed.

But then a funny thing happened: Chilton got into it. So rather than quit, he kept going. In all, he turned in seventeen songs, solo save for a bit of snare and brushwork by drummer Richard Dworkin. The lyrics of an even spookier than usual run-through of a Chilton favorite, Loudon Wainwright‘s “Motel Blues,” elicited surprised and/or nervous chuckles from a female audience member who clearly hadn’t heard the tune before. “My Baby Just Cares For Me” was a relatively obvious choice, having featured prominently on Chilton’s bet-you-didn’t-see-this-coming album of standards, 1995′s Cliches.

Less obvious were a reading of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and the Gershwins‘ “Someone to Watch Over Me.” And toward the end of this wholly impromptu set, Chilton reminded everyone of his abiding love of Brian Wilson (he’d covered Wilson’s tune for Jan and Dean, “The New Girl in School” on 1995′s A Man Called Destruction) with a three-song suite of Wilson originals: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Surfer Girl” and the left-field Beach Boys Love You oddity “Solar System.”

And it went on like that. Luckily a resourceful superfan named Jeff Vargon had thought to bring along a portable recording device; certainly he had no idea he’d be capturing for posterity one of the most singular concerts ever, something that couldn’t have come off nearly as well had it somehow been planned.

And while copies of unknown generation of this show have circulated among collectors for many years, it’s a delight to see official release of this set, perfectly titled Electricity by Candlelight, on Bar None Records. Sourced from Vargon’s master, this recording sounds as good as it possibly can. It’s certainly not studio quality, but then that sort of polish would have been anathema to the night’s vibe anyway. Listeners will likely settle quickly into the sonics of the recording; it’s not at all shrill or an unpleasant listening experience.

Now, if someone would engineer official release of that great one-off studio session Chilton did in 1992 with Teenage Fanclub, the world at large could thrill to hearing Alex take the lead vocal on the TFC arrangement of the Flying Burrito Brothers‘ “Older Guys,” and hear the Fannies back him up on a raucous reading of Bach’s Bottom‘s “Free Again.” But in the meantime, Electricity by Candlelight is a wonderful artifact of a once in a lifetime event that few had the honor of witnessing firsthand.

* Recordings of Indeterminate/Illegitimate Origin

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Bootleg Bin: Guided by Voices – 09-03-02 Case Western Reserve University

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Here’s a thick slab of irony. These kings of the lo-fi aesthetic have released a myriad collection of studio and live discs, and their general approach to recording betrays an interest in getting it down on tape and moving on. Oft-compared to The Who, GbV is one of those groups about whom it is said that it’s tough to pin down their sound on record; you gotta see them live (the Voices went silent with the dissolution of the band in December 2004, but in 2012 they’re baaaaack).

So how odd to spin a CDR of a bootleg soundboard from the group’s show at CWSU in 2002 and find excellent fidelity and thoughtful mixing! Lead singer/guitarist Bob Pollard rattles off the songs with the same on-to-the-next-one approach he’s brought to his whole career, but the songs hold up even under that assault. The set list is jam-packed full of songs from throughout the GbV canon. A few covers are even thrown in, including one from the aforementioned Who. Every song is played as if it were a hit. Which, in some fair and just alternate universe, it would be.

Difficulty to Locate: 6 out of 10
General Listenability: 9 out of 10

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Bootleg Bin: Kirsty MacColl – 06-28-92 Glastonbury

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Kirsty MacColl was famous for a few things. One, her dad was famed folksinger Ewan MacColl. Two, she wrote and recorded the original version of the girl-group pastiche “They Don’t Know”, later covered by Tracey Ullman. Three, she was a writer and vocalist of some stylistic range, having worked with Johnny Marr, Shane McGowan, Evan Dando and many others. Four, she died tragically in the Gulf of Mexico.

But despite her fame (especially in the UK) there aren’t a lot of Kirsty MacColl bootlegs out there to begin with, so finding this one is a real prize. It’s a soundboard from the Glastonbury Festival. The band is tight and Kirsty sings the hits (some of ‘em, anyway), plus some unexpected covers. A short disc (under 40 min.) but worth it no matter what if you’re a fan.

Difficulty to Locate: 8 out of 10
General Listenability: 10 out of 10

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Bootleg Bin: Love – 10-24-93 North Hampton MA

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Having paid his debt to society, convicted felon Arthur Lee surprised all interested parties by returning to the music scene in the 90s more musically focused than he’d ever been. Having led the critical darlings Love in mid 60s Los Angeles, Lee had established a mystique around the band. Their music ran the gamut from punky anthems to airy psychedelia. “7 and 7 Is” was an assault on the senses, yet the tracks on the legendary Forever Changes LP evoked the sound of Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass tour bus colliding with a Buffalo Springfield. Yet the mercurial Lee refused to tour, even to play outside of L.A. in the group’s heyday. His erratic personality, coupled with the unbending “three-strikes and you’re out” laws meant a prison sentence for him, and most onlookers figured that would be that.

But Lee discovered LA popsters Baby Lemonade, a group with two parallels to Love: the group was multiracial, and they played muscular hooky pop with an arty bent. The BL duo signed on as, essentially, the new Love, thus assuming a role quite similar to another 90s LA pop group backing another troubled 60s legend from LA (Wondermints, Brian Wilson respectively). This collaboration has endured into the 21st century: the reinvigorated Love has toured Europe and the USA, performing Forever Changes in its entirety (the parallels continue: Brian Wilson wheeled out the complete Pet Sounds LP, and more recently the great lost 60s masterwork, SMiLE). But this set, a good-to-very-good audience recording from 1993, shows what can only be called an embryonic version of the new Love, running through their material. There’s a good selection from the first four Love albums (the ones that matter) plus a bit of new material that fits in well. The band is in top form, albeit without the later embellishments of strings and horns; this North Hampton show is more of a “club date” sort of gig. Well worth checking out.

Difficulty to Locate: 7 out of 10
General Listenability: 8 out of 10

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Bootleg Bin: New Cars — Road Rage Tour, June 6 2006 – Wolf Trap, Vienna VA

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

By 2006, everything seemed to get recorded. From every single date of David Gilmour‘s solo tour, to a Peter Tork set with his blues group in a Dallas bar, tapers are there, and generally with ace equipment to capture the night for posterity.

So it was that an intrepid taper captured this set, days before the temporary suspension of the tour (due to guitarist Elliot Easton‘s broken clavicle). And while some true believers took issue with the Todd-Rundgren-fronted version of the New Cars (founder Ric Ocasek was not involved in the project) viewed on their own merits, the New Cars could deliver the goods, and help listeners relive the 80s for an hour or two.

The set list offers up most of the expected vintage material, along with a few surprises from Todd that work well recast in a Cars mold (especially Todd’s “Black Maria”). The new New Cars track “Not Tonight” blends in seamlessly, and is among Rundgren’s more memorable compositions of late.

Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes (the man arguably most responsible for the distinctive Cars sound) are joined by Rundgren and two of his pals, bassist/vocalist Kasim Sulton (Utopia) and drummer Prairie Prince (Tubes, several Todd projects). The players get their parts right, and seem to be having a great time to boot. Other shows on the tour — at least two others have been booted — sometimes included Nazz‘s minor hit “Open My Eyes,” but the Wolf Trap curfew kept the band from playing that encore number.

The audience recording is of average overall quality. The sound is clear, but guitars are bit distant, keyboards sometimes disappear in the mix, and vocals are a bit on the boomy side.

Difficulty to Locate: 3 out of 10
General Listenability: 7 out of 10

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