Sunday 22 November 2020

BBC Radio 2 FM Sessions 2017 - Fleet Foxes / Beck (Flac) *Special Post* #4

Two exclusives unavailable elsewhere for you, on this special post #4. Both artists presented here have released new albums since I recorded these sessions. The promotional radio performances were for their previous albums released in 2017, 'Crack Up' the third album by Fleet Foxes and 'Colors' by Beck.

Fleet Foxes BBC Radio 2 FM Session 2017

Jo Whiley show - Fleet Foxes session
BBC Radio 2 FM
Maida Vale, London.
Wednesday  12 July, 2017
8pm - 10pm

Jo has Fleet Foxes in session in the run up to their headline slot at Latitude Festival in Suffolk this Sunday. They bring us three live tracks from the legendary Maida Vale studios. 

01. Intro (2:23)
02. Fools Errand (3:19)
03. Interview pt. 1 (1:24)
04. Helplessness Blues (4:55)
05. Interview pt. 2 (4:20)
06. Your Protector (3:55)

Running time: 20:21

Master recording by thebasement67 on Wednesday 12 July, 2017
Lineage: Denon FM tuner > Audacity > WAV 16bit 44kHz > TLH > FLAC 8

This is the third recording I've made in the last two weeks. The first recordings in over 14 years - Minidiscs and CD recorders no more! The first two were made with an indoor FM aerial and after hearing them I decided I needed to upgrade to an outdoor FM aerial. The cable was run but unfortunately the aerial never arrived in time. There is a minor amount of hiss, only really noticeable between songs.


Beck BBC Radio 2 FM Session 2017

Jo Whiley show - Beck session
BBC Radio 2 FM
Maida Vale, London
Broadcast: Wednesday 11 October 2017
8pm -10pm

Jo has Beck in session from the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios. He'll be performing songs off his new album 'Colours' his first since Grammy 'Album of the Year' winning 'Morning Phase' in 2014. The American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has twelve albums under his belt and Jo will be talking to him as he prepares to release his thirteenth into the world.

01. Interview pt. 1 (4:45)
02. Up All Night (session) (2:58)
03. Interview pt. 2 (5:43)
04. Dreams (session) (4:42)
05. Interview pt. 3 (7:33)
06. Lost Cause (session) (3:15)
07. Interview pt. 4 (2:57)

Master recording by thebasement67 on Wednesday 11 October, 2017
Lineage: Denon FM tuner > Audacity > WAV 16bit 44kHz > TLH > FLAC 8

Outside FM Aerial this time!!!

These recordings were previously unavailable until this post -
November 2020 (thebasement67)


Thursday 19 November 2020

THE WAR ON DRUGS - In Session (2014) (Flac)


This one is a re-post, and will be of interest to those with the new War On Drugs live album, 'Live Drugs'. It features two sessions from 2014, promotional radio work for the now acclaimed 'Lost In The Dream' album.
The initial post was inspired by the 11-minute War On Drugs single 'Thinking Of A Place' (included on the live album) which led me to spend sometime re-listening to these radio sessions.

In 2003 vocalist, songwriter and guitarist, Adam Granduciel moved from Oakland to Philadelphia and met Kurt Vile - also a fellow multi-instrumentalist. Sharing the same musical interests particularly Bob Dylan they became firm friends and began working together as Kurt Vile and the Violators.

Adam's own project The War On Drugs officially began in 2005 but it would be sometime later, that the duo released their debut EP titled 'Barrel Of Batteries' in 2008. Later that year a full-length album 'Wagonwheel Blues' was released.Kurt Vile followed this up shortly after with his own debut, titled 'Constant Hitmaker' before focusing on his own solo work. He signed to Matador Records and over the following two year period released two albums and some EP's, all featuring his friend Adam Granduciel, who had continued to perform live as part of the Violators.

In 2011 the War On Drugs second album 'Slave Ambient’ was released to critical acclaim, appearing on the best albums of the year lists, side by side with Kurt Vile's own album 'Smoke Ring For Halo, on which Adam also appeared. 'Slave Ambient' broke the War On Drugs to a wider audience. Vile contributed guitar on two of the album's tracks. Much like the Hold Steady before them, they have assimilated these influences and synthesized their own fresh identifiable sound and perspective.

The third album 'Lost In The Dream' was released in March 2014 and built further on that success with positive and enthusiastic reviews. To promote the album, the group set out on a national US tour. Before playing at their next scheduled stop at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, earlier that day, they dropped in to KEXP and recorded the session and interview included here. It was broadcast in 16 bit lossless.

The group are:

Adam Granduciel: guitar, vocals
Dave Hartley: bass
Charlie Hall: drums
Robbie Bennett: keyboards
Anthony LaMarca: acoustic guitar (also keyboards, not this KEXP session)

The interview by DJ Cheryl Waters was particularly illuminating, and the most salient questions and answers with bandleader Adam Granduciel follow below.

Adam, I know that the new album was born out of a difficult period in your life and maybe you've put all of that emotion in the record, but do you feel that there is a difference between this and 'Slave Ambient'?

"Definitely I guess I just wanted to be more disciplined with writing and recording. I wanted to showcase what the live band had become over the years. 'Slave Ambient' made us, like it forced us to tour for a year and a half and become a band. We were learning how to play together but also re-interpreting these songs. They weren't solo recordings but they also weren't band recordings. I really liked the way that the band changed the way that those songs happened live. 

So for the record I wanted something that could do that again, and really play to everyone's strengths in the studio. Without really, maybe making a band record the same way, that you'd think, you want to make one. So it's still the same kind of recording approach but just with the idea in mind, that I wanted Robbie to play beautiful piano and Dave to play all the sweet bass. To bring Charlie in on songs that I thought were right up his alley, anytime that happened it always transformed the recording."

I heard that you had a long time, like a year, to make this record, writing and recording it. Is that true?

"Yeah, all the songs I started in my home studio between June and December of 2012. They were all kind of sketches or just sparse, pretty loose structures and then I spent for the most part of 2013, overdubbing and stripping away and re-doing stuff."

Was that a luxury? Did you ever have that much time to work on music?

"Well 'Slave Ambient' took a long time too but it wasn't the only thing I had to do. This time around, this was the only thing. It was a luxury, it was different, with 'Slave Ambient too I realized that I couldn't make a record the way I had made that one again and I don't think I could make one, like the way I made this one. I think personally the goal is to just try to get to a point, where you can sit in a room with your band and make a record in maybe a few months. Live as a band, like all the records we love so much but I think it's a process trying to get there."

I get the idea that song writing is maybe more of an intensive process for you?

"Sometimes it's just a matter of exhausting all the possibilities. I mean pretty much all of the songs on this record were built up from all the stuff I started at home. We'd build them up and take them to the studio, just kind of build them up as we go. There wasn't really a moment when we were all together in a room playing a song. Some of the songs were written fairly quickly, 'Eyes To The Wind' I wrote that in my kitchen in like a few minutes strangely enough, but the finished recording of that took about a year. When I first had the idea I knew what the song meant to me. I knew it had a feeling, like a magic about it. I guess the recording process is about trying to unlock that feeling and also make it sound huge but also try to hold on to whatever like little naiveties, when you first had that little idea."

Do you know when you hear that magic? That seems to be what's going on with people with this album; you've just really hit it on every song. Do you find yourself questioning over and over or changing things all the time?

"Yeah, I usually know when I start the song in my house and I listen to it for days and days in a row, it's like the only thing I can think of, it might be really sparse but I can hear what the mood is. Like in that first song we played 'An Ocean In Between The Waves' that was like, it started off super raw in my house, just an organ, some guitar, a drum machine but I just knew it had something important. We were trying to chase that for a long time. How do you keep this beautiful little sound but also make it full band arrangements, because that's what I want. I want songs that sound like what this band sounds like."

You've got a lot of shows and quite a tour ahead of you?

"We do actually, we just drove from Denver to Seattle (1,333 miles / 2,145 km), we did that yesterday, pretty much. We have all the West Coast; Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and over to Europe in May."

Later in the year, the band toured Europe for a second time, before flying off on their debut tour of Australia. The Studio 105 session in Paris was recorded in front of a small invited audience, as part of the promotional commitments on that second European tour. The live sound on this is different from the KEXP session, more like that of the tour where the keyboards have greater prominence.

The War On Drugs
Studio 105, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France
1st November 2014
Excellent FM

Broadcast by France Inter radio: November 1, 2014 on the "Coming up sessions" show.

01. Eyes To The Wind
02. Burning
03. An Ocean In Between The Waves
04. Under The Pressure
05. In Reverse
06. DJ and band introduction
07. Red Eyes
08. Suffering
09. Coming Through
10. I Hear You Calling (cover  Bill Fay 1971)

Lineage: Marantz tuner with a Zoom H4 > Sd card to PC, wav to Audacity (volume and tracks), FLAC (TLH)Original upload by letsgo - November 2014


The War On Drugs
In Studio Performance
Seattle, WA
March 28, 2014

01. intro
02. An Ocean In Between The Waves
03. chat
04. Eyes To The Wind
05. interview & band intros
06. Red Eyes
07. chat
08. Suffering
09. outro

Source:  KEXP-FM Windows Media stream @ 1.4Mbps > Sound Forge Pro 10.0a @ 24 bit/48 kHz
Recorded and transferred By:  Dennis Orr

Transfer: WAV > Sound Forge Pro 10.0a (fades & normalize) > CDWav (tracking) > iZotope MBIT+ (dithered and downsampled to 16 bit/44.1 kHz) > Trader's Little Helper (level 5) > FLAC > TagScanner 5.1 (tagging)


Tuesday 10 November 2020

THE BLUE NILE - In Search Of The Blue Nile (Documentary) *Special Post* #2

The second in a short series of special posts is unusually for the blog a radio documentary. This has been posted elsewhere but with the ongoing interest in the Blue Nile, it seems an ideal opportunity to post it here, especially as it's one I recorded myself some three years ago.

In Search Of The Blue Nile' Documentary
BBC Radio Scotland FM
Friday 18 August 2017

01. 'In Search Of The Blue Nile' Documentary

Much is made of the fact that the Blue Nile have only released four albums in their lifetime. A career that is a prime example of quality over quantity with two outright classics in “A Walk Across the Rooftops” and “Hats”. The final release 'High' sounds better as the years pass, although as you will hear, Paul Buchanan says the band should have finished years before its release.

Peter Gabriel, Elbow and Ryan Adams are among high profile fans of The Blue Nile and this labour of love documentary 'In Search of the Blue Nile' was made by journalist, documentary-maker and musician, Ken Sweeney. He travelled to Glasgow in 2016 to interview Paul Buchanan and PJ Moore and see the sights and sounds of Glasgow's landscape that are inextricably linked with their music. As the documentary progresses Sweeney discusses the decisions, good and bad that the group made during their long career.

The documentary was first aired on RTÉ Radio One (10pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2016) and received its first broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 4pm on Easter Monday 17 April, 2017 with Donal Dineen, Tom Dunne and Mark Cagney among the contributors. The documentary received a repeat broadcast by the same station on Friday 18 August, 2017 at 9pm.

This is my FM recording of that repeated show. There is some sibilance on the recording, a result of me being on the outer limits of the FM reception area. It shouldn't spoil your enjoyment too much. This is a superb documentary about a most unique group.

One final comment, on playing 'Tinseltown' recently my wife said, "Kate Bush" as the track began, and it does indeed sound like the rhythm Kate used on her single a year later, 'Running Up That Hill'.

Lineage: Denon Tuner TU-260L > Audacity 2.1.3 > 16bit 44kHz > WavLab 6 > (edit and fades) > TLH > Flac 8

thebasement (November 2017)

+ 3 demos

02. Young Club (demo recorded between 1985-86)
03. Broadway In The Snow (demo recorded between 1985-88)
04. Tinseltown In The Rain (demo recorded between 1985-88)

These were obtained in mp4a some years ago and are passed on the way I received them.



       Further Listening: The four albums the band have released since 1983, all essential purchases.

                             A Walk Across The Rooftops (Linn Records) 1983


                                         The Blue Nile ‎– Hats (Linn Records) 1989


                              The Blue Nile - Peace At Last (Warner Bros) 1996


                                                The Blue Nile - High (Sanctuary) 2004