Archive for the 'Live/rare recordings' Category


Blur: Parklife Demos

Fans of mid 90′s guitar driven Brit rock are dancing in the streets with last week’s news of the original Blur lineup reuniting (for a one-off at press time) in Hyde Park next summer. Yes, Graham Coxon comes in from the cold to join Alex James, Dave Rowntree and Damon Albarn onstage for this first time since their Royal Festival Hall performance in 2000. If you plan on being in London Friday July 3rd (or flying in for the occasion) you can buy tickets right here (as if there are any left).

Can’t think of a better excuse to share these unreleased demos from their 1993 sessions for Parklife.  An interesting work-in-progress view of what I consider their high water mark (many thanks to Mike @ Dead Flowers for originally posting these):

To The End (w/ Justine Frischmann)
Clover Over Dover
Peter Panic
Tracy Jacks
One Born Every Minute
Girls & Boys
Trouble In The Message Centre
Far Out
The Debt Collector/Anniversary Waltz
Parklife (w/ Damon narrating)
Bank Holiday
Never Clever
Seven Days

Get the whole shebang (with cheesy artwork) here: Parklife demos zipped

I’m pretty sure “The Debt Collector/Anniversary Waltz”, “Parklife”, and “Bank Holiday” are from a Mark Goodier session live on the Beeb


NHT’s Best of 2008

Every blogger’s gotta have one so here’s my list for the best of a pretty strong year. Click on the album covers for band websites.

#1 Blitzen Trapper – Furr (Sub Pop)

The finest 6 piece band in Portland delivers an adventurous stunner on their fourth record. There’s so much going in every song I feel like I’ve heard a whole record’s worth of ideas after two or three tracks. Where do I start? It’s the Kinks meets Of Montreal, early Dylan meets Wilco, After The Gold Rush era Neil Young meets Beck.  And I’m diggin’ the 80’s hair metal logo!  Suffice to say that if my boys sing along to every tune then it’s been in pretty heavy rotation around the NHT house.  I do skip “Black River Killer” when the kids are around; hard to explain that one to a nine year old…

God + Suicide

Black River Killer

That last one is downright chilling live.

#2 Crooked Fingers – Forfeit/Fortune (CAI/Red Pig)

CF’s latest sheds the freak folky Americana leanings of their past efforts in favor of a Blitzen Trapper type rock infused with Arcade Fire’s sense of drama (without their tiresome aura of self-importance) and tasteful doses of Latin and Eastern European flavor. Guests include Brian Kotzur (Silver Jews), Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa) and Neko Case. This may be Eric Bachmann and his shifting brood’s best yet. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to include the cover art (hey, we’re kid friendly ’round here)

¡No Me Lo Des!

Luisas Bones

The Crooked Fingers released this one all by their lonesome. Buy it here:

The Golden Hour

#3 Firewater – The Golden Hour (Bloodshot)

Original review here.  Tod A can still bring it after 10+ years out of Cop Shoot Cop. A brilliant travelogue about Tod’s 3 year sojourn through India, Pakistan, Israel & Turkey, bringing a solid rock foundation to showcase music from halfway around the world.

Some Kind Of Kindness

Weird To Be Back

Leeds me to believe Tod’s happier living out of a suitcase…

#4 Buena Vista Social Club – At Carnegie Hall (World Circuit)

Original review here. Finally a magical night of Cuban music sees the light of day. Music that was a revelation in 1998 on the studio record is nothing short of incendiary in this live setting. The sheer joy and exuberance of these incredible musicians, many playing the US for the first time, pours out of the speakers.

Chan Chan

El Cuarto de Tula

#5 Paul Weller – 22 Dreams (Yep Roc)

The Modfather takes a bold, audacious step outside the comfort zone that dulled his last couple of albums and succeeds in spades. Solo record #9 is his most varied yet, touching on Brit folk, blue eyed soul, jazz, crunching rock, driving psychedelia, Middle Earstern grooves and piano ballads. So inspiring to see an artist still able challenge himself after 30+ years. Guests include Robert Wyatt, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon (on drums, only Weller could bring together the Hatfield & McCoy of Brit rock), Gem Archer and Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock is all over this (he also gets a production credit).

All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)

Push It Along

#6 The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement (Domino)

Review of “Standing Next to Me” single here. A collaboration between Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and Miles Kane (Little Flames, Rascals). It’s early Bowie’s 60’s symphonic-pop meets Love meets The Yardbirds with Enio Morricone and John Barry flourishes. Delicious.

My Mistakes Were Made For You

Separate And Ever Deadly

#7 The Dodos – Visiter (FrenchKiss)

One of my favorite local bands I haven’t seen live yet. ‘Course I don’t get out much… Their second album is smile inducing from start to finish. Another guitar-drums duo (I was hoping bands without bass players was a passing fad) fills so much space with so little. Here’s a couple tracks from Visiter live from The Doug Fir Lounge, Portland recorded in October of last year:

It’s That Time Again > Paint The Rust

And my fave tune from Visiter: Fools

#8 David Byrne/Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (Todomundo)

Original review here.  If Nonesuch hadn’t reissued their first collaboration My LIfe In The Bush Of Ghosts this new record may never have happened. Getting back in touch for the reissue, Eno mentioned he had a large cache of tracks and Byrnne offered to compose lyrics. Sheer beauty ensued.

Life Is Long

One Fine Day

Available only on their website it here.

#9 Foals – Antidotes (Trasgressive)

This post-new wave Oxford, UK 5 piece sounds like Gang Of Four for a post Arctic Monkeys world. So catchy, so much fun. Here’s a live version of one of my favorite tracks of their full length debut:

Red Socks Pugie

Thanks to Indie Boy for the recording. Ther’s more live and rare Foals than you can shake a stick at here. Here’s another fave of NHT:


#10 Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely (Warner Bros.)

One of the best shows I saw all year. Jack White is a straight up rock star, Brendon Benson is an underrated genius, great songwriting,  driving guitars, killer hooks, what’s not to like?.

Carolina Drama

Salute Your Solution

When they played “Carolina Drama” at Slim’s White stepped to the front of the stage to deliver the last couple of versus without the aid of amplification. You could have heard a pin drop as his voice reached every corner of that room. Gave me the chicken skin…

And the best of the rest, hopefully to be fleshed out in the near future:

#11 Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch)
#12 The Botticellis – Old Home Movies (Antenna Farm)
#13 Los Campesinos – Hold On Now, Youngster (Arts & Crafts)
#14 Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)
#15 Antony and the Johnsons – Another World (Secretly Canadian)
#16 The Zydepunks – Finisterre (Nine Mile)
#17 Jesca Hoop – Kismet (Columbia)
#18 Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers (Super Ego)
#19 Calexico – Carried to Dust (Quarterstick)
#20 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey (Lost Highway)


M. Ward tickets on sale today/duets with Beth Orton

Tickets for M. Ward’s show at the Palace Of Fine Arts on March 5 went on sale today. They should go fast considering they had to put a stop to the pre-sale a day and a half early. Click here to get ‘em. I’m dying to hear tracks from Hold Time, due out in mid February. Guests include Jason Lytle (ex Grandaddy), Lucinda Williams, Tom Hagerman (DeVotchka) and She & Him partner in crime Zooey Deschanel.

To get get you in an M mood here’s a bunch of songs from his tour opening for Beth Orton. See, Mr. Ward was making with the lady duet thing a good two years before he ever met Zooey. Many thanks to Aquarium Drunkard for originally posting these…

Beth Orton w/ M. Ward live @ the Seymore Centre, Sydney 2/11/04

Sad, Sad Song
Buckets Of Rain (sweet Dylan cover)
Stolen Car
Feel To Believe
Comfort Of Strangers
Concrete Sky
She Cries Your Name

Or get ‘em all at once: Beth Orton w/ M. Ward zipped

The rest of M. Ward’s tour dates:
2/18 BOSTON – Somerville Theater
2/19 NEW YORK – The Apollo Theatre
2/20 PHILADELPHIA – Trocadero Theatre
2/21 WASHINGTON, DC – Sixth and I Synagogue
2/25 LONDON – Borderline
2/26 PARIS – Café de la Danse
2/27 AMSTERDAM – Paradiso
3/04 LOS ANGELES – Music Box at Fonda
3/05 SAN FRANCISCO – Palace of Fine Arts
3/06 SEATTLE – Showbox At The Market
3/07 PORTLAND – Aladdin Theater

Hold Time track listings
1. For Beginners (AKA Mt. Zion)
2. Never Had Anybody Like You*
3. Jailbird
4. Hold Time
5. Rave On*
6. To Save Me**
7. One Hundred Million Years
8. Stars of Leo
9. Fisher of Men
10. Oh, Lonesome Me***
11. Epistemology
12. Blake’s View
13. Shangri-la
14. Outro (AKA I’m A Fool To Want You)


These demos kill fascists

Finally got around to seeing “Man In The Sand” and was riveted throughout. Billy Bragg did a marvelous job creating music to a handful of the thousands of unrecorded songs Woody Guthrie left behind after his death. Seeing Bragg’s journey from Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma to the shore off Coney Island, the last place Woody called home, added a whole new perspective to what was already one of my all time favorite albums. Rumors of tension between Jeff Tweedy and Bragg about song selection among other things have long circulated but the only allusion to it in the film that I could see was this less than thinly veiled quote from Tweedy: “In the conversations that we’ve had that have not been arguments, but just discussions, Billy starts talking about the big picture. And these are things that I haven’t thought about at all. My only response to him is, ‘You know what, I bet Woody would just pick the songs that didn’t suck.’”

If you don’t own Mermaid Avenue go out and buy it this instant. If you do and love it like everyone who owns it does than “Man In The Sand” is revelatory. Here are some unreleased demos, outtakes and alternate versions to get you started:

Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue Demos

She Came Along To Me
All You Fascists
Agin’st The Law
Agin’st The Law
When The Roses Bloom Again
California Stars
Hesitating Beauty
Greenback Dollar
My Flying Saucer
Hoodoo Voodoo
Ain’t Gonna Grieve My Lord No More
Give Me A Nail
Birds & Ships
She Came Along To Me
I Guess I Planted
Eisler On The Go
The Unwelcome Guest

Zip them demos: Mermaid Avenue Demos zipped


RIP: Mitch Mitchell – Voodoo Chile Sessions

Damn, they’re dropping like flies people. The last surviving member of The Jimi Hendrix Experience passed away Wednesday at the age of 61. The man sat behind Jimi at both the Monterey Pop Festival (of burning guitar fame) and Woodstock. Mitchell’s blending of jazz and rock elements into a lead drumming style was unprecedented in the mid to late sixties with Ginger Baker and Keith Moon on a very short list of peers.

In memory of Mitch here are some rehearsal sessions for Electric Ladyland where he’s playing like his hair’s on fire.

The Record Plant, NYC 5/2/68

Jimi Hendrix – Guitar & vocals, Mitch Mitchell – Drums, Jack Casady – Bass, Steve Winwood – Organ

Voodoo Chile (take 1)

Voodoo Chile (take 2)

Voodoo Chile (take 3)

Voodoo Chile (take 4)

The Record Plant, NYC 5/3/68

Jimi Hendrix – Guitar & vocals, Mitch Mitchell – Drums, Noel Redding – Bass

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 1)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 2)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 3)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 4)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 5)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 6)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 7)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 8)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 9)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 10)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 11)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 12)

It all fits on a single CD. Here’s some art work: Voodoo Session Art


RIP: Studs Terkel

During momentous occasions I’m sometimes struck by the thought of those no longer here to share them, like my mother who sadly will miss so many signposts in her grand-children’s lives. There are many people I’m sorry didn’t get the chance to see the election of our new president, particularly Barak Obama’s grandmother who only needed another twenty four hours to see the man she helped raise make history but I can’t think of many people who would have been more proud to see the first black president of the United States than Studs.

So in celebration of a life spent making the case for social justice and racial equality here’s an interview with Bob Dylan recorded on May 3rd, 1963, a mere three weeks shy of his 22nd birthday. Included is the earliest known recording of ‘Boots Of Spanish Leather,’ the as yet unreleased ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ and ‘Who Killed Davey Moore?,’ a song that wouldn’t be released until 1991 on the first installment of the Bootleg Series. There’s also a song called ‘Farewell’ that doesn’t appear on any of Bob’s records (although the lyrics appear on his website with a 1963 copyright) that sounds curiously like the Irish standard ‘Leaving Of Liverpool.’

Studs Terkel with Bob Dylan on WFMT, Chicago, IL

WFMT introduction



A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall


Bob Dylan’s Dream


Boots Of Spanish Leather


John Brown


Who Killed Davey Moore?


Blowin’ In The Wind

Here’s the whole deal in a zip file (smaller mp3′s): Dylan And Studs

Catch me on KALX in Berkeley

I host the Cuppa Joe show on KALX in Berkeley every other Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM. You can tune at 90.7 or online by clicking HERE ------------------------------------------- NEXT SHOW: October 28 FUNDRAISER SHOW!! ------------------------------------------- Check out past playlists HERE
Got something I HAVE TO HEAR? Wanna send me free stuff? Email me at


Quick note about the tunes

The mp3s on this blog are to give folks a little taste. Imagine they're those little pouches on the bag your Sunday paper comes in. You know, the one's with a packet containing just enough toothpaste to brush your teeth once or twice. They are left up for a limited time. If you find something you like support the artists by dragging your friends to their shows and/or buying their CDs/records/schwag. If you are the artist (or their label/representative) and don't want an mp3 on here, please email me ( and I'll remove it posthaste.
View Michael Lubenow's profile on LinkedIn