Friday, May 30, 2014

Evan Dando- West End Cultural Centre 2014

It's seems crazy this is the first concert I've been to in about a year and a half (Kathleen Edwards- September 29, 2012), which means in 2013 I didn't see any live music. No music festivals, no free stages downtown, no bar shows, no theatre/arena concerts, nothing! 2014 so far, looks like a promising year with upcoming shows by Jonathan Richman, Heart (seriously!), The Replacements and last week's concert, Evan Dando of the Lemonheads.

The Evan Dando show at the West End Cultural Centre was a nice low-key, casual acoustic show with a smallish intimate crowd who's "enthusiasm" seemed to match the energy of the performers. This is NOT a review of the concert, but here's small random thoughts about the show.
  • Opening the show was Sara Johnston from the band, Bran Van 3000. I must admit I'm not familiar with her music, but I do remember Bran Van 3000 received a fair bit of attention in the 90's, but I never actually listened to them because I'm not a fan of electronica and dance-type music. Johnston's solo set was short and sweet. She obviously is very talented as her voice is the centrepiece of her songs, but it wasn't enough to have me run to the lobby to buy her CD. To be fair I'll explore her studio records at a later time to get a better idea of her sound, but her solo performance was a nice sampling of her abilities.
  • When Evan Dando entered the stage with his guitar (strapped on) carrying a music stand, I suspected Dando wouldn't be engaging the audience with witty and spirited banter. From the start to the end of the last encore, he was all business. Plowing through song after song rarely acknowledging the audience paying more attention to the sheets on his music stand. He is a man of few words and I knew that coming in, so I wasn't surprised about his lack of stage presence. To be fair, Dando had the sniffles later in the set and wiped his nose on his sleeve several times. He could have been suffering a minor cold, and if so, kudos for carrying on with the show.
  • I was predicting Dando would wear a outdoor jacket or hoodie and sure enough it was a hoodie. That's one thing I do admire about Dando, despite the press he received about his good looks in the 90's, he downplays it by often looking scruffy and unpreoccupied about his appearance. Casual and comfortable, I always say!
  • Despite his stage presence, Dando still has the voice and his songs are so good! It's a pleasure to hear them played live in any format, acoustic or electric with the Lemonheads. His setlist altered between his best known Lemonheads and solo material with plenty of covers by Hank, John, Gram, Victoria, Emmylou, Lucinda and the Misfits. With the re-release of the earlier Lemonheads records and the It's A Shame About Ray tour last year, it's great to see there's an increased  interest in his music and I'm happy Dando continues to tour constantly.
  • More photos from the show are posted on the TDIT Facebook page.
  • In typical Winnipeg hospitality, the West End Cultural Centre posted an alert that Dando's tour van was broken into while in Winnipeg and an acoustic guitar and cello was stolen. Not cool!
Update (as of May 28): Good news! Apparently Winnipeg does have some considerate people. A good Samaritan bought Dando's guitar from Kijii, saw posts online about the thief and returned the guitar. Local music store, Long & McQuade covered the shipping to have his guitar returned to him safely. Unfortunately the cello is still at large.


West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB
May 18, 2014
AUD Master

Sony ECM-DS70P> Tascam DR-07> USB> 16 bit Wav>
Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC> rar file

01. My Idea
02. Tenderfoot
03. Being Around
04. All My Life
05. Hard Drive
06. Won't You Sometimes Think Of Me
07. Outdoor Type
08. Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness
09. Confetti
10. Ride With Me
11. Why Do You Do This To Yourself?
12. My Drug Buddy
13. How Much I Lied
14. The Turnpike Down
15. Bit Part
16. Rudderless
17. Hannah And Gabi
18. It's A Shame About Ray
19. Frying Pan
20. Down About It
21. Long Black Limousine
22. Into Your Arms
23. Big Gay Heart
24. Frank Mills/ crowd
encore 2
25. We'll Sweep Out The Ashes (aborted)/ Abandoned
26. Skulls

EVAN DANDO- 2014-05-18 West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, MB FLAC Master. rar

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lemonheads- Starfish Room 1996

Here's another Lemonheads live recording this time from 1996 when they were touring for the Car Button Cloth album. Though that album wasn't considered one of their stronger efforts, it is somewhat underrated and contained some fine performances. Car Button Cloth was recently reissued with a double deluxe version that featured fourteen b-sides with many choice covers. Also recently, a live WXRT broadcast from Chicago's Petrillo Music Shell in 1994 was released as, Rockin' The Shell that captured the band at the height of their popularity. I have a full version of this same recording, but the official release is edited and omits, Luka, probably due to copyright. Worth checking out if you're a fan.

I recorded the Starfish Room show off CBC radio back in the day. Around this time, on Saturday nights CBC featured a live concert (or in-session in studio) broadcast which was
a tapers dream because the sound quality is excellent.

Starfish Room
Vancouver, BC
November 13, 1996

FM Broadcast

FM> cassette> Teac standalone CD recorder> CDR>
FreeRip> WAV> Direct WAV splitter> FLAC > rar

01. It's All True
02. If I Could Talk I'd Tell You
03. It's A Shame About Ray
04. Hospital
05. My Drug Buddy
06. Break Me
07. C'mon Daddy
08. Outdoor Type
09. Losing Your Mind
10. Something's Missing
11. Confetti
12. Secular Rockulidge
13. Rudderless
14. -encore crowd-
15. Hannah And Gabi
16. Bit Part
17. Luka
18. It's About Time
19. Into Your Arms

LEMONHEADS- 1996-11-13 Starfish Room, Vancouver, BC FLAC. rar

Lemonheads- Wireless in Australia 1991

With tickets in hand for the Replacements concert in St. Paul in September, I can cross off yet another personal "bucket list" band off my imaginary must-see list. I have to admit there aren't many more other bands I haven't seen yet except for classic-rock long-shots like the Kinks or the Stones, but of course my aging mind can't think straight much nowadays.

The Lemonheads are a band I have followed fairly faithfully through their career from the mid-eighties to present day and if you've read this blog you're well aware I'm a fan despite they're uneven recorded output. They're definitely a band on my "would-like to see" list as they've never come to my hometown, except Evan did come a few years back, but I was out of town at the time. In reality, the Lemonheads since the early 90's have been more of a Evan Dando vehicle with a revolving door of band members and extended hiatuses. It's been a while since their heyday and the height of the career in the 90's with mainstream breakthrough albums, It's A Shame About Ray, Come On Feel The Lemonheads and Car Button Cloth. More interesting for me is their earlier albums on the Taang! record label (Hate Your Friends, Creator, Lick) that featured more of a ragged, kinda punk, indie rock sound, I guess in those days they called it alternative rock. If you're interested in those earlier releases, check out Fire Records who recently reissued the first three albums with lots of excellent bonus material of rare and live-in studio radio broadcast recordings.

Tonight, I'm going to see Evan Dando perform a solo concert at the West End Cultural Centre and though it's not officially a Lemonheads show, seeing Dando might be as close as I'll come. I'm looking forward to the show and though Dando doesn't attract the huge crowds and screaming girl popularity of the 90's, he still demands attention for his strong songwriting and catchy songs. He's kind of an uneven performer and I'm not sure if it's an acoustic or electric show, but whatever it is I'll do my best to post some documentation of the concert, hopefully a recording and some photos.

Here's a live-in studio performance on Triple J in Australia about a year before the It's A Shame About Ray album. A good clean sounding recording I received in a tape trade about 20 years ago that I recently transferred to digital. I can see this being used as bonus tracks for Lovey if it ever gets the reissue treatment. Get it while you can!

Live On The Wireless
July 22, 1991

FM Broadcast

Trade> Maxell XLII-90 Cassette> Aiwa tape deck> ADS Instant music>
usb> Nero SoundTrax> WAV> Direct WAV splitter> FLAC> rar

01. Clang Bang Clang
02. Came Back DA
03. Stove
04. A Song For You
05. Come Downstairs
06. Nighttime
07. Year Of The Cat
08. Ride With Me
09. Die Right Now
10. Outro

LEMONHEADS- 1991-07-22 Wireless, Sydney, AUST, FLAC. rar

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