Monthly Archives: October 2010

But Love Grows Old & Waxes Cold

Yesterday I purchased the new Witmark Demos number nine in Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series. Among the many gems found on The Witmark Demos are 15 Bob Dylan songs that were recorded by the artist only for these sessions, and which have never been officially released to the public until now. These include the plaintive“Ballad For A Friend,” the civil rights era-inspired “Long Ago, Far Away” and “The Death Of Emmett Till,” and the poignant “Guess I’m Doing Fine.” It really is remarkable. It’s basically Dylan in a studio with his guitar. Much like his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan it rings true to the essence of what Dylan sought out to be in the beginning.

On this Bootleg Friday, however, I’m sharing the Satisfied Mind Bootleg of Bob Dylan’s Nov. 11, 1975 concert at the Palace in Waterbury, Connecticut. Nothing like a little Bob for the weekend.

 

Bob Dylan – Satisfied Mind


A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall

Romance in Durango

Isis

Blowin’ In the Wind

The Water is Wide

I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine

Never Let Me Go

I Shall Be Released

Simple Twist of Fate

Oh Sister

Hurricane

One More Cup of Coffee

Sara

Just Like a Woman

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

This Land is Your Land

 

 

 

 

 

All Five Horizons Revolved Around Her Soul – Pearl Jam 20 Years Later

It’s raining today, not buckets like it will on Sunday I hear, but raining nonetheless. it seems that time of year is upon us. The time when the sun comfortably rests & the rains shower us with the moisture of the heavens. It’s only fitting that a band from the Seattle grunge scene played their first show ever today in 1990. Under the name Mookie Blaylock soon to be Pearl Jam they played a gig at the Off Ramp in Seattle & made rock history. Pearl Jam is one of those enigmatic bands that seems to shun the limelight* & genuinely care about the fans that support them. It seems like such a short time ago that I was listening to this new wave of music called grunge that would come to change my life.

*except when they’re fighting Ticketmaster.

20 years together is a feat for any kind of relationship, but especially a band with all the egos & celebrity that go along with being in a band that has sold out Soldier Field in Chicago among other places. Nirvana was together for less than a decade when Kurt killed himself, Alice in Chains lost Layne Staley to drugs & Chris Cornell did a pop album that was hideous before he decided to reunite with Soundgarden. Through all of that Pearl Jam has stayed together. It hasn’t all been pretty. They’ve made some pretty bad albums, but also some of Rock’s greatest albums including Ten. An album they think was overproduced. So in staying true to their vision I’ve recently gotten hold of the first week rehearsal demos (10/23/90) from a friend & I will now share them with on this the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam.

Also, because it is raining & I do love it so, here is a poem (not something I would normally condone – poetry that is) by Sara Teasdale that I first saw in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. One of my favorite books of all-time & really less about Martians & more about life in the Nuclear Era.

There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

There are some that have asked for zip files & others that want to pick & choose what they download. Unfortunately, right now the company that I store my files with does not do zip files yet & I really don’t want to move to another site. So for now this will have to do, sorry.

Pearl Jam First Week Demos – 10/23/90

Even Flow

Once

Breath

Release

Girl

Goat

Alive

Alone

Oceans

Black

Improv (Early Yellow Ledbetter)

Weird A

Daddy Could Swear I Do Declare

We Have A Way Of Saving In Our Own Lives

As far as super groups go there hasn’t been a truly great one since the Traveling Wilbury’s in my opinion. Monsters of Folk are more like Monsters of mediocrity & the Dead Weather again are just ok, but Fistful of Mercy is one supergroup that may be bucking the trend of average super groups. With Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper & Dhani Harrison this “Super group” has some heavy hitters backing it. Dhani Harrison is  the son of George Harrison & looks/sounds so much like his father it’s eerie. I don’t have much info on Joseph Arthur & truthfully I’ve never heard of him, but his voice is pretty great & melds well with Harrison’s & Harper’s. The Traveling Wilbury’s comparison is an easy one to make considering George was in that band & his son is in this one.

I’ll let you draw the correlation between the two yourself, but suffice it to say i am impressed & can’t wait to see them live when they come up to SF.

Anything You Want – Traveling Wilbury’s

Fistful of Mercy – Fistful of Mercy

Handle Me With Care - Traveling Wilbury’s

Things Go Round – Fistful of Mercy

Last Night – Traveling Wilbury’s

One Day I’ll…Someday I’ll Come Home

I went on Saturday to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival & it was fantastic, but Sunday was the day that I will remember for all my days. My sister & I arrived early in the morning to make sure we had a good seat at the stage where the Avett Brothers would play later that evening. They were the ones we wished to see most of all, but we were eager to see everything that the festival had to offer.

When the Felice Brothers came on, expectations were low. I’d heard of the band from New York in passing, but was not sure of what they had to offer. What they had to offer was a brilliant collection of songs that came across as a hybrid of Bob Dylan, The Band & Tom Waits.  We marveled at their presence & we enjoyed them without reservation.

Then came on Moon Alice & we were less enthusiastic about their performance. They were from a bygone generation of Dead Heads that didn’t appeal to my or her generation*. They spoke of doing hallucinogenic drugs & of playing with the Grateful Dead throughout the world. I must put this out there that I have a strong distaste towards the Grateful Dead & Jam bands in particular. It’s great if you’re on acid, but if stoned or drunk it does nothing but wear on one’s patience. Since I’ve never tried any psychedelic drugs (unless you consider pot as such) I couldn’t relate.

*My sister & I are 15 years apart, but oftentimes, if not at all times, she is the voice of reason.

Boodge (what my sister will be heretofore referred to as) & I decided to eat lunch. The sun came out for a spell & we basked in its glory, however short lived & we were asked by a young hippie what we were eating & where we could get it. Whole Foods, that corporate conglomerate that brilliantly markets itself to nonconformists was the answer & she brimmed with near luminescence at the suggestion that we didn’t propagate one of the other corporate establishments such as: Safeway, Raley’s or Lucky’s. As if this corporation was better than the others because it had a better global strategy to make more money by being the organic food headquarters, by being morally just to  follow laws about fair trade & by not being afraid to hire those, nay encourage their employees (male or female) to have dreadlocks & beards. A brilliant corporate strategy & one not lost on those that have the power of literacy.

I, however, could care less about any of that. While being a concerned global citizen, my main objective is selfish to be true. I want the best price I can find for my buck. Sure I can get a cup of coffee for a buck & Winchell’s**, but Starbuck’s offers the facilities to sit & write this diatribe for $1.95 so I’m getting more for my money. That, my friends, is economics.

**That is assuming I’m not dating myself & Winchell’s is still around.

After we consumed our hummus & flatbread thing with Spinach we left our blanket & ice chest at our little spot & headed off to wander to the various booths of food & merch before going to see Randy Newman. Randy Newman was uproariously funny. Cracking jokes in-between songs & we laughed as if seated in a comedy club. It was half way through the set that I became distracted by a curious Groundhog, named Gunther by Boodge. He would come up eat a little grass, peer out over the crowd & scurry back into his hole. Shy, but not overly so it didn’t take him to long to become comfortable with me & eat leaves right from my hand.

After Randy Newman’s set, which included scattered boos for playing “I Love L.A.” we headed off to see Elvis Costello, one of the larger draws of the show. We got a spot on  a hill about a mile away, which was great for about five minutes until the sheer masses of people began to crowd around us & the young Boodge’s claustrophobia got the better of her. Five songs & we headed off to the Avett Brothers stage. Declan MacMannus would have to wait for another day.

As we walked over, Boodge felt a desire to apologize for her ailments. How heartless must one be to want to subject someone they care about to such deplorable a condition as thousands of people pushing against you & making you terribly uncomfortable. Apologies weren’t necessary as I was none to happy to subject her or myself to something thoroughly unenjoyable.

We caught the Yonder Mountain String Band & they made us dance with a joy that is usually reserved for weddings, funerals & bar mitzvahs. Banjos, fiddles & an accordion ruled the hour as we lost all inhibition to what others may think. We had never heard their music before, but it didn’t stop us from enjoying them as if they were our hometown band making a trip through one last time.

After they finished we anxiously awaited the band we wanted to see most of all. Boodge wanted them to play “Colorshow” more than anything & wouldn’t you know they came out & led with it. The tempo was set & we lost ourselves in the music. They played songs from their newest album, their older albums & a cover of Doc Watson’s “Blue Ridge Mountains”. The throngs of people made it even better as we belted out the lyrics as though we’d written them ourselves. We sang with reckless abandon as well all peered out over the haze of fog & marijuana smoke that permeated the festival atmosphere.

As if on cue when “Salina” came on we danced like Native Americans dancing for rain & when the lyric “The rain it fell, the story went on. The rain it fell & we got gone” came we all screamed it as a steady drizzle fell in the valley of trees where the stage was situated. Epic is a word that I throw around, sometimes too often, but that is what the scene was in a word. The energy put into that set left us speechless. After an hour & a half of singing & playing their hearts out the boys from North Carolina left the stage to pure love & affection.

In that moment, where we all sang “I & Love & You” & the Avetts left the stage we genuinely felt it. It was nothing but admiration, thankfulness & love for giving us an experience. There are things that have stuck with me in my life, the births of my sisters, niece & nephew, my father’s passing, the first time I saw Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney & Bad Religion. This was one of those moments where time stood still & 100, 000 voices on the ground, in the trees, on hills sang in unison to the heavens. No violence, no strife as the free festival carried through three days of peace due to the benevolence & generosity of Warren Hellman.

As we left the excitement was palpable & life was good. We were throughly exhausted, but it was the good kind. The kind that makes you know that the thing you just witnessed was magical & will be a story that never grows old. We were there, like it was Monterey ’67 or Woodstock ’69. We watched these artists give us joy & in turn we gave them love & admiration. Our lives were forever changed by music & why shouldn’t it be music that changes lives. Why must life always be changed by negative things? Why can’t that those moments of joy stay locked in our cranial cavities like money in a safe only coming out when we feel the need to share. It was a glorious day!