XTC – It would not be the 80s without them.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – XTC In Concert At Hammersmith Palais – February 7, 1981 – BBC In Concert Series – BBC Radio 1
You can’t have a week of 80s music without including a concert by XTC. They pretty much defined the decade (at least the first half) for me. One of the most instantly identifiable and influential bands to come out of that period. XTC were labelled all kinds of things – but they insisted on being considered a Pop band.
They embodied the craft of tight, well-executed song-making. From brilliant lyrics to instrumental lines, XTC were one of the most competent and successful bands of the period.
Listening to this concert, recorded on February 7, 1981 at the Hammersmith Palais in London, every song carries with it an indelible mark. And it’s amazing how many memorable hits they had during their tenure, and the energy level borders on Mach One. This goes under the heading of “Classic Concert”.
So as a reminder of how great this band was, here is XTC in concert as recorded by the ever-present BBC for their In Concert series for Radio 1.
I don’t think I need to tell you to crank this one up very loud.
Provocative and Notorious with a hefty dollop of high energy.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – The Afghan Whigs – Live in Milan – January 30, 1994 – RAI Radio 2
I just couldn’t end up this impromptu week of looking at the 90s in concert without getting a few notes in from The Afghan Whigs. Certainly one of the more influential bands in the American Indie/Alternative scene, The Afghan Whigs were one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the 90s who went on to pioneer the transition of many formerly underground bands into the world of major labels and crossover success.
Tonight it’s a concert from Milan, recorded by the legendary RAI Radio 2 on January 30, 1994 as part of the Gentlemen Tour.
The band, which broke up in 2001, has resurfaced and reunited for a series of gigs. And from reports, they appear to have lost nothing in the intervening years and are currently selling out shows at a rapid rate (check their website for details and tickets).
But it’s back to 1994 tonight and another good excuse to crank this one up . . . .again.
Here comes the weekend.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Elastica live at Bristol Sound City Festival – April 18, 1995 – RAI Radio 2
Staying with the 90s again this week and one of the less-celebrated bands of the Brit-Pop Invasion, Elastica. Fronted by the charismatic (and somewhat toothsome) Justine Frischmann, Elastica created a stir early-on both here and in the UK. Their debut album did very well everywhere and they were voted one of the bands-to-watch in 1995. But things got a little wobbly, and there was a lawsuit over plagiarism that didn’t go down too well. Band members left, citing exhaustion from non-stop touring. And their follow-up album in 2000 was greeted with underwhelming sales and mixed reviews. And by 2001 everyone called it a day.
But for a time they were the next big thing. And this concert, recorded at the 1995 Bristol Sound City Festival on April 18th finds them in peak form. The concert was broadcast over RAI Radio 2, which explains the excited announcements in Italian here and there.
Elastica were one of those bands that made the 90s interesting, and in retrospect, quite a lot of fun to listen to.
This one really does need to be cranked up for.
A little bit of Austin dropped in on Cambridge.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Nanci Griffith – live at the 1992 Cambridge Folk Festival – BBC 6 Music
A change of pace tonight. No reason, but I don’t recall running any Nanci Griffith on Past Daily ever – so tonight’s a make-good on that.
Here is the Texas (now Nashville) singer-songwriter in concert from the 1992 Cambridge Folk Festival (and an obviously thrilled audience), recorded by the ever-present and always reliable BBC.
Nanci Griffith has been a staple in the diet of most folk enthusiasts here in the U.S. since the late 1970s – but it’s always gratifying to hear how well she is received overseas. Further evidence when music is good – everyone enjoys it, everywhere.
Crank it up where you are and enjoy.
And in 1980 they looked like this . . . .
Click on the link here for Audio Player – U2 – Live In Session at The BBC – 1980 – BBC 6 Music
Something familiar tonight, but early. U2 in 1980 as they were hitting the charts with I Will Follow (and the rest is history). It’s interesting to consider this band has been hugely successful for over 30 years now. I don’t recall at the time, that anyone really thought U2 were all that unique, except Bono had a compelling stage presence and the band had the ability to cross over to a larger mainstream audience.
They were also at the right place, at the right time.
But in 1980 it was still up in the air and U2 hadn’t been dubbed The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band In The World yet.
How times change.
From Criminally neglected to one of the 100 Greatest Psychedelic bands.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Blossom Toes – In Session at Bouton Rouge – February 10, 1968
We have that small, dedicated, somewhat loopy society of individuals known as The Record Collectors to thank for rescuing what has been, up to now, one of the most criminally underrated and overlooked bands of the 1960s. Blossom Toes were originally known as The Ingoes before teaming up with notorious impresario Giorgio Gomelsky and landing in the prestigious spot on his newly founded label Marmalade. Gomelsky may or may not have had something to do with the band’s lack of commercial success, but in any event, Blossom Toes released two critically acclaimed albums and a handful of singles, all to very little in the way of audience reaction and nothing released in the U.S. for all the trouble. Having only been together from 1967 to 1969, there really wasn’t that much time to make a dent in public perception. But even then, the albums were strong enough they should have done otherwise. So the group broke up and splintered off, with some of the members becoming part of another underrated and overlooked band B.B. Blunder (a session from them coming up), while others went off to other established groups such as Family.
Fortunately, they were rediscovered several years ago and they have, at least partially, gotten some of the recognition they richly deserved. A wonderful band with a serious attack of talent – they give further evidence to the theory that Popular Music makes no sense.
During their heyday, or at least during the big push for commercial recognition, they did a live performance for the French TV program Bouton Rouge on February 10, 1968. It’s one of the rare live performances preserved (although there is a live album floating around which sounds, well . . . .interesting), and offers another glimpse into a band who made good records but got lost in the shuffle.
Kicking off Lowlands 2013
Click on the link here for Audio Player – The Joy Formidable – Live At Lowlands 2013 – recorded August 16, 2013 – by 3voor12/VPRO
Another festival starting up this weekend. This one, the Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands started on Friday and goes until Sunday.
One of the opening acts for the first day was The Joy Formidable, who have been getting massive amounts of attention and good press this year and they’ve kicked off the festival in grand fashion.
Recorded by the venerable VPRO, I suspect this is an extended excerpt of a longer concert, but since it happened literally hours ago, this is all that’s available right now.
So if you don’t have the opportunity to head over to The Netherlands and dive into Lowlands 2013 this weekend, here’s the next best thing. So far, there are first-day concerts from Villagers, Staves, Deep Sea Arcade, Biffy Clyro and Alunageorge – and that’s just a sampling. It should be a happening affair this year and there’s two more days to go.
The legendary Marvin Gaye this weekend.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Marvin Gaye Live at Montreux – July 17, 1980
Doing some classic concerts this weekend, starting off with the legendary Marvin Gaye in concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 17, 1980 via Swiss Radio.
There really isn’t much to add that hasn’t been written in volumes about the music and career of Marvin Gaye. Without question, one of the cornerstones of Motown and the Soul genre. His popularity and the beauty of his music haven’t diminished one bit over the years. Yes, there’s that element of nostalgia for those of a certain age who remember when his many hits were released. But more than that, his music has stood the test of time, his message has never been lost.
And that, I think is the true test of an artist who achieves Legend status.
This concert, not part of the treasure trove issued by Arte over the past few weeks (which, for some reason we are unable to get hold of here in the States . . . .the specter of contractual hassles, no doubt), has been issued as a DVD version. I’m not sure if it’s still available. But if you want to see the artist as well as hear him, seek it out.
But for now, 90 minutes of Marvin Gaye. And all is right with the world . . . for 90 minutes, anyway.
Damon and some of those other guys in the band.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Blur – In Session at The BBC – Simon Mayo Program BBC 2 – 1990-1995
I thought I would take a break from Festival Season tonight and run something familiar . . .more or less.
Blur were (and sill are) one of the great bands of the 90s. They helped put Britpop on the map and they were an added breath of fresh air during a time when the 80s and Hair bands were slowly falling out of favor.
Tonight it’s a sampling of four tracks recorded for the Simon Mayo program at BBC 2 between 1990 and 1995:
Blur In Session – BBC Radio 2 – Simon Mayo
1. Mr. Robinson’s Quango
2. Colin Zeal
3. Trouble In The Message Centre
Play loud – we’ll resume festivals tomorrow.
So nice, I had to dig him twice.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Ray Charles, live at Palais des Sport, Paris – October 22, 1961 – Radio France
Since I’m a firm believer that you can’t really have too much of a good thing, as a sort of encore to the 1997 Montreux performance, I just turned up this 1961 Paris performance by the legendary Ray Charles.
If you’re like me, the earlier performances have a bite to them that the later ones understandably don’t. For one thing, Ray Charles voice is wonderful in 1961 and the audience is anything but blasè.
So to give you another taste of The Genius of Ray Charles this weekend, here is that concert – recorded live at Palais des Sport in Paris by the venerable ORTF on October 22, 1961.
Let the good times roll.