Various Artists #4 : CBC Radio 3 Sessions Vol. 1 (2004)

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Thanks to Bruce from Vinyl Connection for welcoming me along on the Various Artist blog collaboration.

This compilation is from CBC Radio 3 up here in Canadaland, and features performances by Canadian bands live in studio.

Sloan : Losing California – We’ve all heard Sloan, and we all think they’re awesome, except for one dude across the pond who shall  remain nameless. NHMO as it were.

The New Pornographers : The Fake Headlines – Neko Case. Enough said.

Hot Hot Heat : Le Le Low – They recorded this while still an unknown Victoria band. Shortly after this they were signed by Sub Pop, then scooped up by Warner.

The Hidden Cameras : Music is My Boyfriend – This was one of Studio 3’s most popular sessions. 12 band members and a few go-go dancers lit it up. Again, they were signed shortly after this recording to a record deal.

The Dears : Expect The Worst – The guitar work and keys are completely awesome.

Kid Koala : Drunk Trumpet – It kind of sounds like this dj is doing an electronic manipulation, but in fact he is doing it with 3 turntables spinning at once. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I respect the level of difficulty involved.

Manitoba : Leila – Too dance floor for me.

Brassmunk : Push Up – Kind of like the Canadian version of NWA. They sound pretty cool.

The Organ : A Sudden Death – Shortly after this band began to practice, they were in the CBC studio. It has kind of a cool post punk feel to it. Katie Sketch sounds like a female Robert Smith

Tricky Woo : Hot Kitty – Whoa. This song is cool. A hard edged garage rock song with wicked guitar, and a wild man belting out the vocals. Me likey.

The Constantines : Blind Luck – Recorded in a hotel conference room at the 2003 NXNE Music Conference in Toronto. You might assume that in such a sterile environment, the recording will not sound great. You would assume wrong.

Rheostatics : Harmelodia (Easy To Be With You) – Easy to assume this would be awesome. You would assume right. (Of note on the liner notes is the mention of the band recording a Brave New Waves session in 1988. CBC just released this session and I picked up a copy on coloured vinyl.)

The Sadies : I Tried Not To – This song would make an awesome soundtrack song. I could see Quentin Tarentino loving these guys. Wicked guitar work, and oh man, what a voice.

Buck 65 : The Anthem – Giddy wordplay is how this one is described.

John K Samson : Utilities – Better known as the lead singer of The Weakerthans, John K Samson does a solo set here. He definitely can sing the phone book and doesn’t need anyone to back him up. “I guess our wishes don’t do dishes, or brake repairs. Make them something somebody can use.”

Oh Susanna : Kings Road – Suzie Ungerleider is a wandering soul. Born in USA, raised in Vancouver, schooled in Montreal, and at the time of this recording living in Toronto. A really cool song with some sweet fiddle playing, and a really cool voice.

 

8.5/10

 

Various Album #3. Q107 Concerts In The Sky – The Campfire Versions (a limited edition collector cd in support of The Starlight Foundation 1996)

Q107 is a Toronto rock radio station that has been going since 1977. In the 80’s and 90’s the station had bands come in and perform intimate, and often impromptu numbers in the radio studios during the 6 O’clock Rock Report. This cd is made up of some of those performances, and supports the Starlight Foundation in helping to make a wish come true for a ill or injured child.

Tom Cochrane : Good Times – His music has been played far too often on Canadian radio, but I always welcome a fresh, live version. This version was recorded in the summer of 1992.

Our Lady Peace : Naveed – Ditto from above, but recorded December 1995.

Rusty : Wake Me – A lesser known Canadian band that had a bit of success up here in the 90’s. Steve Warden from Q107 recalls the first time he met the band at the studio “First I saw the gear, then I heard them play. I thought for sure they were going to cause structural damage to the building.” The band recorded this song in December 1995, shortly before the below Youtube clip was filmed.

Victoria Williams : Crazy Mary – This was recorded in October 1993, a few months after the Sweet Relief : A Benefit For Victoria Williams album relief was released. Victoria was going through financial hardship due to her recent MS diagnosis and no health insurance. You wouldn’t know she had a debilitating disease here though. This song was the favourite “concert in the sky” performance of both dj’s Steve Warden and Joey Vendetta. I have heard Eddie Vedder since this song many times, and he does a really good job. This version is 1 million times better though. I can actually visualize the characters in this song as she sings. So, so good. 4 words describe it: Chills. Touching. Poignant. Wow!!! (The Youtube clip was filmed the same month from a different performance. I much prefer the Q107 version, but this one is pretty good too.)

Nick Lowe : What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love an Understanding – Steve warden remembers Elvis Costello playing this song for him in a dumpy hotel room in 1978 (that would have ruled). “It was a thrill to have the song’s author play his own, very different version in our control room 17 years later.”

Blue Rodeo : Is It You – Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy from the band were in studio in March ’93. It reminds me of a wonderfully simple but beautiful song along the lines of Simon & Garfunkel.

Burton Cummins : Sour Suite – The former Guess Who singer did one of his signature songs played on the piano in the lobby of the radio station in September 1994. “Whatever happened to homes as opposed to houses?” Such a cool lyric.

Matthew Sweet : Sick of Myself – Performed in May ’95 when Matthew was in Toronto for a concert at The Opera House. Rock Report anchor Steve Warden believes Mathew to be one of the best songwriters around. “This tune is all the proof you need. It was a real treat to have Matthew walk into the control room and play a solo version of the big hit from his 100% Fun album.

The Jayhawks : Waiting For The Sun – Recorded in May ’93. The dj’s called them “a criminally under-rated band, which has now, unfortunately broken up.” (Of note is the fact that original member Mark Olsen left the band shortly after this performance to look after his wife, the aforementioned Victoria Williams).

Sheryl Crow : Run Baby Run – Recorded in April 1994, just as her first hit song “All I Wanna Do ” was hitting the charts, and not long before her career exploded across North America, including her opening for the Eagles a few months later in Toronto.

John Hiatt : Perfectly Good Guitar – When this song was played on the Rock Report the phone lines were flooded with callers that had never heard it, and wanting to hear it again.

Pete Droge : If You Don’t Love Me – Recorded in March ’95 prior to Pete opening that night for Tom Petty. Steve Warden predicted stardom for this talented young performer “He’s a brilliant songwriter.” Pete’s original version of the song appears on the Dumb And Dumber soundtrack.

Charlie Sexton : Ugly All Day – This was recorded in March ’95 just after the amazing Arc Angels had broken up, and Charlie had set off on his own again. Charlie has a cool voice that sounds like the best parts of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen together.

Joan Osborne : Spider Web – Performed in June ’95 just after Rolling Stone called her “the next explosion waiting to happen”. Steve Warden agreed “She’s a talented performer and the rest of the world is now starting to discover her. Joan is on her way to becoming a very successful recording artist.” The recording industry must have agreed as she was nominated for 3 Grammys later that year.

Collective Soul : When The Water Falls – Ed Roland from the band did a solo visit to the station and performed this song in March ’95. His voice is so great here.

The Watchmen : In My Mind – This Winnipeg band were at the height of their career when they visited the station and recorded this song back in June ’94.

Lawrence Gowan : Dancing On My Own Ground – This version of the song was recorded back in November 1995, and his voice has a real growl to it(The Q107 version is better than the below Youtube clip). I really like it. Just like John Cougar, he will always be Gowan to me. Just don’t call him Larry.

David Wilcox : O Freedom – David was in the studio in Toronto recording a new album(Thirteen Songs), and one day he stopped by the station and played a special version of this unreleased song. The guys were happy since David has been known to be reclusive. This is a really different side of David we hear on this song.

Hidden bonus track – This last one is a compilation of studio audio clips from a bunch of musicians during interviews on the Rock report over the years.

9.75/10

 

 

 

 

Various Album #2. The Solid 7 Vol. 1 UK Stoner Rock (Ltd. edition of 50 cassette, 2015)

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Bruce from Vinyl Connection has invited fellow bloggers on a group of posts about various artists. Here is my second installment. Thanks Bruce.

I am always on the lookout for new cassettes. Since I gather most of you have long since stopped buying cassettes, that leaves all the more for me. When I saw this on Bandcamp, I snatched it up. I had never heard any of these songs or knew anything about any of the bands. All I knew was it was limited and the fact that I love stoner rock made it that much easier to buy.

There are 7 bands here. Each band has 2 songs. 1 on side A, and 1 on side B.

Jukebox Monkey : Wolves – A band from Gravesend. The drums really do it for me here, and the guitar is ace too. The vocals are truly unique for a stoner song.

https://jukeboxmonkey.bandcamp.com/

Lacertilia : Crashing Into The Future – This band is from Cardiff. This song is fuzzy. That is expected in this genre, but it seems the production is a little fuzzy and lo-fi sounding. I’m not sure if that is done on purpose though. I’ll have to check out the song on side B to compare. A great sounding tune though, very fast to begin, and then slows down to near molasses level.

https://lacertilia-uk.bandcamp.com/

Vimana : Ride – Not the death metal band from Denver, this is a band from Leeds. A faster pace with some pretty wicked guitar work. I especially like the wah pedal work.

Sump : Dr Sniff – Not the black metal band from Gomersal with the same name (so confusing), this band is from Swansea.  A female fronted stoner band is unique, and this band is pretty awesome.

https://sump.bandcamp.com/

The Cortege : Bewitched Betwixt – This 3 piece from London unfortunately has just gone on indefinite hiatus. This song is a cool mix of funk and stoner. The funky, chunky Les Claypool like bass is the star for me.

https://thecortege.bandcamp.com/album/triangle

Suns Of Thunder : Whalian – Another band that hails from Swansea. A hard, driving song that goes back and forth between a chugger and a full throttle assault. It keeps your head bobbin’ (and mine boppin’).

https://sunsofthunder.bandcamp.com/

Resurrection Men : Make It Home – The band calls Coventry home. This song wastes no time getting to redline. it has kind of a punk rock meets stoner feel that I really like.

https://resurrectionmencoventry.bandcamp.com/album/resurrection-men-must-die

Time to flip over the cassette. You know you want to buy a cassette player now don’t you.

Jukebox Monkey : Dead Wait – Has an amazing tone to the guitar and the vocal tone is almost an 70’s/80’s post punk. A good tune.

Lacertilia : Do Something – Again with the muddy production. Too bad. This band deserves to be heard properly.

Vimana : Interstellar – Unique guitar tone, often higher pitched the most stoner songs. The vocals sound a bit like Ozzy speaking, but do not detract from the song at all. I think one of the lines is “…the sofa, the sofa, the sofa rock you mumsy.” I bet mumsy would approve.

Sump : Fuck Elite – Oh man does this baby have a cool beat to it. A really, really cool song. I love her voice. Kind of a 60’s era folk singer doing a stoner rock song.

The Cortege : Homo Empathicus – Welcome back Les Jr. You’re funky beat was missed. This one has a hard driving beat and is really infectious.

Suns Of Thunder : Hey! I’m Walking Here – The title reminds me of myself at the record store bins. Hey! I’m crate digging here (so please stop crowding me and looking at the records in my pile). Oh yeah, the song. It rocks. It has a real 70’s feel to it. A real throwback that sounds current at the same time.

Resurrection Man : Tears Of Wizards Funeral – With a title like that how could it not be completely awesome. Thankfully it is.

This is a really cool comp. I’m sure none of you out there will seek it out, but hopefully you will check out the bands involved.

9.75/10

 

 

Various Album # 1 Singles-OST (1992,2017 25th Anniversary Edition 2LP, 1CD)

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Thanks to Bruce at Vinyl Connection, a number of bloggers are on a 10 day, various artists musical journey.

In all honesty, I may be the only person who has never seen the movie Singles, so I can’t comment on that, but I know a good soundtrack when I see one.

Would (Alice In Chains) – This is a great song, but you know that already.

Breath(Pearl Jam) – I’m not a huge PJ fan, but this isn’t the 10 kajillionth time you’ve heard Jeremy. It’s a song Stone Gossard brought over from his Mother Love Bone Days. It’s one of the lesser played songs in the PJ catalogue and maybe that makes me like it more.

Seasons(Chris Cornell) – This song just makes me miss him so much more. What a voice.

Dyslexic Heart(Paul Westerbeg) – The lead singer of The Replacements gives us a bit of a break from the ‘Seattle Scene’ bands. This song, and the other on the album were his first solo ventures. Perhaps it gave him the courage to do his first solo album.  A really cool song.

Battle of Evermore(The Love Mongers) – Who you ask? I think a better band name would have been The Aortic Valves since they make up very important parts of a Heart. A really amazing cover.

Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns(Mother Love Bone) – A short lived but amazing band that never got to see the musical explosion in Seattle.

Birth Ritual(Soundgarden) – I can imagine later bands such as SOAD, Spider Bait and a few others used Kim Thayil`s wicked guitar work in this one as an influence. Amazing is not good enough to describe it. Of course Chris’ vocals are ace, and the drumming is damn good too. A really cool song.

State Of Love And Trust(Pearl Jam) – It has kind of a faster pop punk feel to it. Another lesser played song on the PJ set. The bass in the middle, and the faster, high pitched guitar work are the stars for me.

Overblown(Mudhoney) – Another great Seattle band that did better than some, but did not reach the glorious heights of others. They`re still kicking around so good on them. Weirdly for a band from Seattle, this one has kind of a late 70`s feel. Kind of like the bands that were formed when punk died and new wave was taking over. I like it. “Show `em Stevie”

Waiting For Somebody(Paul Westerberg) – I would think this would be a cool sing-a-long in a live setting. The guitar work is the star for me.

May This Be Love(Jimi Hendrix) – A more toned down version of Jimi Hendrix with drumming just as cool as the awesomely sedate guitar work. His music may not have fit in with the whole early 90`s thing, but being a Seattle native helped.

Nearly Lost You(Screaming Trees) – I love this Washington State band. Another of those bands that had success, but did not quite reach the peak. in my opinion, they are better than many of them put together.

Drown(Smashing Pumpkins) – A mellow song. This longer version with the feedback and EBow solo on this soundtrack is the one to search for, not the 4 minute version the band put out on the Rotten Apples greatest hits album.

That is the end of the double vinyl, original version of the album. Next is the included cd of rare and previously unreleased bonus songs.

Touch Me, I`m Dick(Citizen Dick) – No Thanks dude. I`m good. This was the name of the ficticious band in the movie fronted by Matt Dillon, and this song was not released until a vinyl version was issued a few years ago on RSD. Pearl Jam is the backing this band, but this isn’t their modus operandi. This song has a welcomed punk attitude, and is a really cool song. I would have loved if they had done an album. Depending on my mood, I would prefer to hear Matt Dillon sing over Eddie Vedder (I have taken appropriate cover).

Nowhere But You, Spoon Man, Flutter Girl, Missing(Chris Cornell) – Four awesome songs off of the relatively rare Poncier 12″ and cassette only release from Chris Cornell. The first has a haunting feel, the second my be my favourite version of that song (the cowbells, bells and spoons are just awesome). Chris’ voice and the acoustic guitar are stars of the third song, the fourth song has sort of 80’s post punk feel to it.

Would?, It Ain’t Like That(Alice In Chains) – 2 amazing performances from the band. Cameron Crowe filmed them during a live performance at Seattle’s Desoto Club in 1991. This footage is available on the 2015 blu-ray edition of the film. Now I must find the film and finally watch it.  I must also delve deeper into my new(er) Live Facelift LP. The guitar work on It Ain’t Like That is killer.

Birth Ritual (Soundgarden) – I mentioned the awesome, influential guitar above. It sounds just as awesome on this live version. No studio trickery here. Also Chris’ voice was in peak form here.

Dyslexic Heart, Waiting For Somebody(Paul Westerberg) – Acoustic versions of the above 2 songs are really nice bonus tracks. This is the first time this version of Waiting For Somebody was released.

Overblown(Mudhoney) – This demo track is previously unreleased.

Heart And Lungs(Truly) – Truly is a lesser known band formed by original members of Soundgarden and Screaming Trees. While not commercially successful, the great music needs to be heard. It has a Jane’s Addiction feel to it.

Six Foot Under(Blood Circus) – A short-lived band that has the distinction of having being headliners and having both Nirvana and Mudhoney open up for them in the late 80’s. Kind of a harder version of Doors with a pissed off Jim Morrison and no keyboards to be found. Sub Pop released an album back in the early 90’s. I want to seek it out.

Single Blues(Mike McCready) – A cool early 70’s funk meets delta blues instrumental track.

Blue Heart, Lost In Emily’s Woods(Paul Westerberg) – 2 previously unreleased tracks. Nice Sunday morning tracks.

Ferry Boat #3, Score Piece #4(Chris Cornell) – 2 previously unreleased tracks. His passing earlier this year has made the finding of any and all of his bonus songs my mission. I miss you Chris.

I say seek this one out. Grunge is a dirty word for many of you out there. Trust me though, this is NOT a grunge album. It is a f*cking awesome album. That’s it, that’s all man.

10/10