Friday, July 13, 2012
"The Smell Of The Crowd" : THE WEEKEND MIX
30 years ago this August. I saw Rickie Lee Jones at Pier 82 in N.Y.C. reduce thousands of people to mush with her heartbreaking version of "My Funny Valentine." That moment became my favorite live moment for a long time. Then, it was Elvis Costello for 5 nights on Broadway in 1986 which to this day, might still be the greatest live experiences of my concert-going life. I won't ever forget the Black Crowes just 10 days after 9/11, where a packed house at the Beacon Theatre just didn't know if it was alright to be there. (It was.) Or Wilco, just a few days after that at Town Hall, with Jeff Tweedy fighting back tears but still delivering a powerhouse show. But what about Bruce's performance of "The River" in its entirety just a few years ago? Holy moly!
Nothing will take the place of being there, but I thought I'd put together a baker's dozen of my favorite live performances anyway. Three have been featured before and one has been featured a few times. (I spared all of you the live version of "Celebration Day" from a 1971 concert by Led Zeppelin. I think I've posted that a Burning Wood record of 7 times. I do love it.)
SOME QUICK NOTES:
Yeah, the Steely Dan kicks ass, but it's all about the intro, courtesy of the band's completely blotto tour bus driver.
The Beatles track from Stockholm, 1964, usually shuts up the annoying snobs who think Ringo wasn't a good drummer.
Bag Of Soup was a one-off, or possibly a three or four-off, that featured Jules Shear, Marshall Crenshaw, and Graham Maby. This cover is from the Victoria Williams Benefit that took place at Tramps in N.Y.C., 1997.
Clapton's track is from MSG, 2007. I have a vivid memory of some friends giving me the asshole because I was excited about seeing Eric live. They had been bored by this point. I was too, but with his records, not his concerts and especially not his guitar playing. I played this for them, and they shut up for a little bit.
The Jeff Buckley cover of one of Elton John's best ballads, might be from a WFMU broadcast. I don't remember.
Bowie is from the BBC, with the great Earl Slick.
"Kitty's Back" is from the historic ESB performance on Conan O'Brien.
Booker is from Montreux. (Truly, my favorite thing ever.)
"Just One Victory" closed out every Todd/Utopia concert from 1973 through 1982 or 1983. It's an anthem and it's big.
Sound quality varies. Sorry. Call Eddie Offord if you can't deal.
At press time, I realized I left out one very important song, "Cumberland Blues" by the Grateful Dead, recorded at Harpur College on 5/2/70. For years I resisted the Dead, partly due to the FM radio onslaught of studio songs like "Casey Jones," "Truckin'," and "Shakedown Street," which even the truest Dead fans will admit, do not represent what this band can do. It also wasn't helpful to be force fed 30 minute long versions of "Dark Star" on cassette tapes that needed to be rewound with a pencil by some of the most obnoxious music fans I have ever come across in my lifetime. It was only after I heard the acoustic, bluegrass showdown of "Cumberland Blues" that I understood the genius of Garcia's playing. That one song was enough to turn me around. And now I can say, I am a fan. Here it is. I know most won't even bother to listen, and that's okay. But I feel better that it is here.
You have a fave live moment?
Bodhisattva- Steely Dan
Roll Over Beethoven- The Beatles
She May Call You Up Tonight- Richard Thompson
Carrie Anne- The Hollies
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore- Bag Of Soup
I Shot The Sheriff- Eric Clapton
We All Fall In Love Sometimes- Jeff Buckley
Poor Elijah/Tribute To Robert Johnson- The Black Crowes
You've Got A Friend- Donny Hathaway
Stay- David Bowie
Kitty's Back- Bruce & The ESB
True- James Booker
Just One Victory- Todd Rundgren's Utopia