Archive for the ‘live’ tag
Anna Calvi showed up on Daytrotter with some cool live tracks. The rendition of her “Love Won’t Be Leaving” is my favorite here, what with the almost schizo shifts from sweet vocals and guitarwork to power distorted versions. The TV on the Radio cover, “Wolf Like Me,” is good but a little too tame for my tastes since the original’s so rocking.
The original just isn’t the same. Besides having the expected downtempo studio sheen, Stevie doesn’t go crazy on that one. What you realize when you see him live is that there’s two Stevie Wonders: the one that helped fuse R&B and soul music with funk on hit LP after hit LP, and the one that does all that live, twice as captivating as he was in the studio. Natural Wonder is the best compilation of his live hits, and the standout on that album is the recording of “Ribbon in the Sky.”
The first six minutes are about what you’d expect – a relatively faithful, soulful rendition of the classic, followed by an extended harmonica solo. It’s what happens at the 5:45 mark that makes the song stand out. Stevie pauses, and performs an extended series of riffs on the title words, lingering again and again on the final note of “sky” until, at the climax (6:30), he explodes into one of the most joyous series of notes I’ve ever encountered. ”There’s a riiiibbon in the sky, there’s a ribbon in the sky,” over and over again, up and down, completely unhinged. It’s a thunderous, ecstatic paroxysm that transcends the entire Stevie Wonder discography. Few channel joy into song as effectively as Stevie does, and he does it best here.
And he still has it. I saw him two years ago near Boston; he did all the expected favorites, only three times as virtuosic as they are on the albums. At this point in time, frankly, he isn’t producing original studio tracks of the same caliber as his earlier years, so I was relieved that he gave the audience what they wanted. “Ribbon In The Sky” came up, and he dawdled for two minutes or so, trying to bait the audience into full participation. We didn’t give him enough. Instead of that magnificent cascade he ended on a piano chord. I guess you had to earn it.
Radiohead studiomate Nigel Godrich has been publishing a webcast series, From The Basement, and this week it features the band performing their new song (!) “Staircase.” Regarding the extra percussion and keyboard, drummer Phil Selway added:
“And no, you’re not seeing double. The doppelganger drummers are myself and [Portishead's] Clive Dreamer. Clive has long been one of my favourite drummers and so I was really excited when he agreed to perform with us. Hope you all like what we’ve done.”
As if a new Radiohead track weren’t enough, the video has already gotten me excited about From The Basement‘s upcoming release in full. Just as they did with their New Year’s Eve webcast, when they played the full version of In Rainbows, From the Basement will be broadcast on the BBC on July 1, when the band will perform The King Of Limbs in its entirety. To me, it’s yet another example of Radiohead’s generosity to their fans matching their originality and talent. Can’t wait.
Here’s the video:
And here’s the clip in mp3 format:
Even if you don’t factor in his time as a member of CSNY and Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young has been a prolific generator of live albums – our current scientific estimate stands at nineteen so far. This shouldn’t come as a surprise – he’s been recording music for more than fifty years. We can now add another one to the mix: Mr. Young is releasing A Treasure, a collection of live songs, all from 1984 and 1985. The most delicious aspect of this LP is of course the inclusion of five previously unreleased tracks, “Amber Jean,” “Let Your Fingers Do The Walking,” “Soul Of A Woman,” “Nothing Is Perfect,” and “Grey Riders.” I’ve always been amazed at the acoustic difference between Young’s more low-key classic studio albums and what he produces in concert – A Treasure definitely showcases his more sweeping, explosive side.
Here’s one of the new ones:
Amber Jean (from ‘A Treasure’) – Neil Young – Rock N’ Roll Cowboy (A Life On The Road 1982-1985)
And one of the re-releases:
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