Doom & Gloom from the Tomb: “Astral Weeks,” Van Morrison, Aquarius Theater, Boston, Massachusetts, May 19, 1972. With the impending release of Ryan Walsh’s Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, finding a live performance of any of the songs by Van in Boston is an unexpected treat, even if it’s a few years after the event. But this performance is doubly a treat: peak Saint Dominic’s Preview-era Van Morrison, with much of the hazy adventure of the original performance supplemented by a forthrightness and confidence (and horn section) characteristic of the latter record. A fun listen.
I’ve been slowly working my way through digitizing a bunch of records and finally finished one I picked up last year when I was visiting my parents in Asheville. (Thanks to the awesome Harvest Records.)
There’s a lot to be said for finding bootleg releases of bands you love — they can be great documents of moments in the band’s history that don’t appear in official releases. There’s also a lot to be said for getting records instead of digital downloads, between the tangible artifact and the often warmer sound. But I’m not sure there’s much to be said for getting vinyl of bootleg recordings from the late 1960s.
The Velvet Underground boot pictured above is a two record set recorded in 1968, between The Velvet Underground and Loaded. The Doug Yule version of the band is in full effect here, with John Cale’s drones replaced with the choogling multiple guitar work that characterizes both the official releases from this period (“What Goes On”) and some of the often-anthologized but never-on-official-LP release songs (“I Can’t Stand It”). The band is in good shape here. But the recording isn’t. Our bootlegger was standing too close to some of the speakers for some songs, or Lou’s vocals weren’t high enough in the mix, or something, and it’s hard to listen to the performance from start to finish as a result. I should have just looked for a download of the thing instead.
An assortment of selections from Doom and Gloom from the Tomb that I’ve been meaning to check out for a while. In reverse chronological order (of posting, not of recording).
Sonic Youth, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, North Carolina, August 5, 2000 – falling neatly in between the first show I saw of theirs and the next two, squarely in the middle of their NYC Ghosts and Flowers period. Be ready for beat poetry.
Pharoah Sanders – Festival de Jazz de Nice, Nice, France, July 18, 1971 – Live Pharoah? Yes please.
Bill Evans Trio – Pescara Festival, Italy, July 18, 1969 / Vara Studio, Hilversum, Holland; March 26, 1969 – two live Bill Evans dates that sound worth checking out.
Yo La Tengo Does Dylan – of course they do. Curious about the cover of “I’ll Keep It With Mine,” which is on the short list of Dylan songs that I’d consider singing in public.
Doom and Gloom from the Tomb: Duke Ellington Orchestra – Festival Mondial d’Arts Nègres, Théâtre National Daniel Sorano, Dakar, Senegal, April 9, 1966. I’m so ambivalent about this. I mean, on the one hand, yes, every bootleg or live broadcast recording of a long-dead jazz artist makes it that much harder for live, working jazz artists to sell albums and earn coin. On the other: DUKE ELLINGTON. WITH PAUL GONSALVEZ, HARRY CARNEY, and JOHNNY FREAKIN’ HODGES. LIVE IN DAKAR.
We were out of town for a week doing family things, during which time I managed to refrain from posting (much) on social media, but still collected a handful of interesting links. Here we go:
Aquarium Drunkard: James Booker, Montreux Jazz Festival, July 1978. Looking forward to checking this out; I’ve heard of Booker but never heard his music.
Doom and Gloom from the Tomb: Funkadelic – Rocky Mountain Shakedown. A farewell to the giant Bernie Worrell (DY16).
Boing Boing: Legendary Betty Davis and Miles Davis funk/fusion/psych session released. The vinyl bundles are all sold out, but the single vinyl LP and CD offerings are still available.
Doom and Gloom from the Tomb: Miles Davis – Paul’s Mall, Boston Massachusetts September 14, 1972. Live On The Corner era Miles.