Sunday 28 June 2020

#145 REM - Hollywood, CA. 2003 (Flac)

Avalon Hollywood Theatre
Hollywood, CA
October 29, 2003

This show was used to promote the 'In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003' album. It was the first time that the band's later work was featured on a compilation and was released by Warners to try and boost the band's sales profile.

This show as the original notes mention was pressed on CD and distributed to radio stations. It has never been available to buy and is now difficult to acquire.

The release of 'In Time' falls between the release of studio albums Reveal (2001) and Around The Sun (2004). This performance has quite an unusual set list. It doesn't indulge or gratify the most recent studio album or the tracks compiled on the new Best Of.

WB Promo 2CDR-set sent out to radiostations
Excellent soundboard recording
*This is NOT the widely spread FM sourced recording*

CD-R -> EAC -> CDWAVE -> FLAC Frontend 1.7.1 -> FLAC

Encoded by Matthijs

Disc 1:
01. Finest Worksong
02. These Days
03. The Wake-Up Bomb
04. So Fast, So Numb
05. Exhuming McCarthy
06. Animal
07. Sweetness Follows
08. Bad Day
09. World Leader Pretend
10. Strange Currencies
11. Losing My Religion

Disc 2:
01. At My Most Beautiful
02. She Just Wants To Be
03. Walk Unafraid
04. Man On The Moon
05. Life And How To Live It
06. Welcome To The Occupation
07. Nightswimming
08. Final Straw
09. Permanent Vacation
10. Imitation Of Life



Wednesday 17 June 2020

#144 THE LOW ANTHEM - Gebaude9, Cologne - 2009 (Flac)

The New Wave of Americana

If you are familiar with the music of their contemporaries, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver & the Felice Brothers then you should enjoy this spectacular sounding set by the Low Anthem recorded on tour in Germany during 2009. 

The 'Oh My God Charlie Darwin' album saw limited release in 2008 and was taken up by the Nonesuch label. After a remix by sound master Bob Ludwig it was re-released in 2009.

The show was reviewed in the German press with impressive headlines of endorsement.

Tragic that of all places I have to play the horn

The Low Anthem lamented the loss of silence with ever new instruments: a sublime concert in Cologne. You will tell your grandchildren about it.

"In Kolner Building 9 it is so quiet on Saturday evening that you can hear your own swallowing and the click of the cameras seems like a grotesquely loud noise, causing uncomprehending headshakes from those standing at the front of the stage.

Like a human installation of timidity, the musician Jocie Adams plays a rarely seen instrument called crotales, an arrangement of brass disks that are made to sound with a bow.

The two other musicians from Low Anthem, the singer and the all-rounder, look like scrapped supporting characters from a Freak Brothers comic, and show similar symptoms of immersion. There is collective astonishment down in the hall. After the piece, the cheer of the perhaps one hundred listeners sounds like there were several hundred more present. 

The Americana genre, is much loved in this country. Bands like Fleet Foxes, the Felice Brothers and Bon Iver; are musicians who manage to approach ancient American music varieties with a great sense of tradition without appearing as conservative purists.

The Low Anthem out of Providence, Rhodes Island are such a band too. Their second album "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin!" has just been released, a lesson in progressive maintenance of published tradition. But just when you're sure, the Low Anthem are more than pessimistic keepers of culture, Ben Knox Miller announces the next piece as a lament for days past when the world was still a quieter place. Maybe only American musicians can afford to make such announcements.

In addition, The Low Anthem are not humorless. Before the actual concert, the musicians were there, strengthened by their roadies, as their own opening act Snake Wagon - a rumbling parody of drunk folk rock varieties. "Sorry this is our first show in public", Prystowsky had apologized in between. 

The effect is great: in contrast to this moody pastiche, the Low Anthem pieces then look even more sublime and cathedral-like. The first lines that Ben Knox Miller sings in the concert ultimately explain the band perfectly: "To them ghosts who write history books, to them ghosts who write songs / Everyone asks: Would you write one about me?" The band reflects America, its (musical) history: continent and soul measurement in one.

The instruments are exchanged again and again, but never in the sense of displaying instrumental virtuosity: everything remains reduced, nothing steps forward, it is the interplay in the song that defines the almost sacred grandeur of the music. 

The Low Anthem are the kind of band where one suddenly has a horn, the other a clarinet in his hand and plays on it as if no one had ever done it before. But even their three-part harmony singing alone could carry these pieces.

The Low Anthem are as traditional and conservative as American organic apple cultivation. And as modern and now, as electronic music from Cologne: 

"It is something special for us to play our music in the hometown of minimalism," says Ben Knox Miller in between. 

As an encore they play the incredible "Don't Tremble" - which says: "If your clarinet should break / please don't cry a million lakes."

And again you hear yourself swallowing. Will the grandchildren still understand that? (Eric Pfeil)


The Low Anthem
Cologne, Germany
Gebäude 9
19 September, 2009

01. To The Ghosts That Write History Books
02. Charlie Darwin
03. Vines
04. Don´t Let Nobody Turn You ´Round
05. Sally Where´d You Get Your Liquer From
06. "Ben talks about Snake Wagon"
07. This God Damned House
08. Ticket Taker
09. To Ohio
10. Home I´ll Never Be (Tom Waits/ Jack Kerouac)
11. Cheatin´
12. band introduction
13. Smart Flesh
14. Cage The Songbird
15. Dreams
16. Cigarettes And Whiskey
17. encore break
18. Don´t Tremble
19. True Love Will Find You In The End (Daniel Johnston)

The Low Anthem:
Ben Knox Miller
Jeff Prystowsky
Jocie Adams
Dan Lefkowitz (Track 15 & 16)
Graham Smith (Track 16)

Sound Engineer: Nick Hannan
Soundboard>XLR>Tascam DP-1>Marantz DR-6000
CDR>EAC>Audacity 1.3.5 (normalize, levels)>nero
by pavemalk
special thanx to Olaf from the Gebäude 9