Tag Archives: Live Music Archive

Five From the Archive: Elliott Smith’s Best Covers

Elliott Smith always picked interesting songs to cover. Some that were well known, some that were more obscure. But they were all good. They certainly hit my musical sweet spot. These five selections are just a sampling — he was a serial covererist — and you can find more just browsing through the shows available on the Internet Music Archive.

1. Elliott Smith – “Harvest Moon”. I’ll be honest. I’m a huge Neil fan, but not that big a fan of this song. Or the album it comes from. But this is a really tender cover of the song, and I think Elliott brings out the best in the song. I think I prefer this version over Neil’s. Full show:  April 5, 1999 – Ludlow’s, Columbus, OH

2. Elliott Smith – “Jealous Guy”. He played this a lot in 1998. His whistling is a little weak in this version — which is why he usually asked the audience to whistle with him — but the sound quality is outstanding. Soundboard recording. Full show: April 17, 1998 – Black Cat, Washington, DC

3. Elliott Smith – “Ballad of a Thin Man”. “Something is happening, but you don’t know what it is… do you, Mr. Jones?” When it starts, just Elliott playing his guitar, you can hear the telltale rustle of the snare as he strums. It’s about to get loud in there. Full show: October 11, 1998 – 400 Club, Minneapolis, MN

4. Elliott Smith – “Isn’t It a Pity”. “Isn’t it a pity? Isn’t it a shame? How we break each other’s hearts, and cause each other pain?” Lyrically, it’s a perfect cover choice for Elliott. Heartbreaking vocals accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. A soundboard recording. Full show: August 12, 1998 – Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ

5. Elliott Smith – “Out on the Weekend”. This is the poorest quality recording of the bunch. It’s still going to blow your mind. It wraps up with about two minutes of mumbling into the microphone, but I can’t understand what he’s saying… From: December 21, 2001 – Showbox, Seattle, WA

Woke up here at Hoxeyville: A sampler

Hoxeyville 2010Hoxeyville Music Festival

August 20 – 22, 2010

GloNo correspondents Jeff Sabatini and Mike Vasquez spent three days in Northern Michigan at the Hoxeyville Music Festival in late August. It was full of pleasant musical surprises. And a torrential rain storm Friday night. But our new REI Basecamp 4 tent kept us dry, and it was a great three days of music. Here are some highlights. Look for a full review of the festival from Jeff soon.

1. Paul Hoffman vs. Seth Bernard – “Cortez the Killer” (Hoxeyville stage, Saturday morning, Aug 21, 2010)

The set by these two guys was one of the highlights of the festival for me. First, they start off with a cover of “Cortez,” just the two of them. Great mandolin solo by Paul Hoffman, who plays with Greensky Bluegrass. Seth Bernard was new to me – another Michigander – and I was mightily impressed by his playing, his songcraft, and his stage presence.

Follow the jump for more live mp3s from Hoxeyville 2010. Check out the GloNo Hoxeyville 2010 photo vault, too.

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Five from the Archive: Warren Zevon solo in 2000

Warren Zevon Warren Zevon turned 53 early in 2000. He was doing a lot of touring that year to support Life’ll Kill Ya, which was released towards the end of 1999. He didn’t yet know he had lung cancer. That would come a little bit later.

Along with his acoustic guitar and an electronic keyboard, Zevon traveled the country in a camper, hitting a well-honed list of friendly towns, and all the faithful would show up. Zevon’s audience had dwindled over the years, but in 2000 he was in the early stages of a creative resurgence. And his playing was generally energetic and creative. He was on an upswing.

Thanks to the generosity and forethought of his son Jordan, much of Zevon’s available recorded live performances are available for free on the Live Music Archive. We’ve looked at some Zevon recordings from 1978 before. Today we’ll take a look at a few solo performances from 2000, starting with “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” from the Moore Theater in Seattle on April 22, 2000. A great recording and a vocally playful delivery of the song.

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Five from the Archive: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace PotterI first saw Grace Potter & The Nocturnals at Rothbury last year. Before that, I only knew them from this cover of Neil Young‘s “Cortez the Killer”, which Grace did with, among others, Steve Kimock and Joe Satriani (who I loved in this). The video was from the Jammy’s, where they apparently get people from different bands to get together and, well, jam. On different songs.

So I hadn’t seen her with the Nocturnals before Rothbury, where I was right up front. It was in the afternoon, on a hot summer day, and it was non-stop rocking the entire set. Grace is an awesome presence on stage, either behind her organ or out in front with the band. I had a great time watching them play. Until the suntan lotion started dripping into my eyes. And temporarily blinded me. So I had to stumble off into a shady place and flush my eyes out until the pain stopped. But that’s another story…

This band is a touring machine, and finely honed because of it. Follow the jump for a sampling of covers they’ve played while touring across the country this past year, hitting seemingly every nook and cranny of the continental U.S. along the way.

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It’s all good: The All Good Festival

All Good FestivalWhen I began thinking about putting this preview together, I thought I’d feature two or three bands I was looking forward to seeing at the All Good Festival this summer. But I couldn’t limit it to three. There are truly too many bands I’m really excited about seeing this year.

This is good news, because GLONO will be making the trek to West Virginia for four days of music, fun, and sun, July 8 – 11. Headlining the All Good Festival is Furthur, with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. I’ve seen them twice already this year – read about it here and here – and couldn’t be more excited to see them a third time at All Good. Follow the jump for some more bands we’re looking forward to seeing.

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Two days at the shore: RatDog Does Hampton Beach

RatDog Live in New HampshireBob Weir and RatDog at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

New Hampshire, July 23 and 24, 2009

While I was driving up to Hampton Beach from Logan airport, I was thinking that I’ve done crazier things than fly halfway across the country by myself for a weekend to see two concerts, but it had been a while. Still, it’s a precedent I’m glad I set.

RatDog was playing two shows over the weekend at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, one of a handful of two day runs on their Summer 2009 tour. Tickets in hand, beachside reservations booked, I rolled into town on a cool, foggy morning.

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They say it’s your birthday: Phil Lesh still rockin’ at 70

Furthur Live in San FranciscoFurthur & Friends at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

San Francisco, March 12, 2010

It was mostly mayhem outside the theater. My brother and I were trying to meet up with our compatriot, and it was taking longer than it should. There were tons of people hunting for tickets – looking for a miracle, as they say. I’ve never seen so many heads looking for tickets. For good reason.

The marquee read Happy Birthday Phil. It was Friday, March 12, and a big birthday party for Phil Lesh was about to get under way at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Phil Lesh was turning 70. 70! And believe it or not, he and his bandmates played over six hours of music that night.

Continue reading They say it’s your birthday: Phil Lesh still rockin’ at 70

Taking it further: Furthur in Chicago

Furthur Furthur at the Auditorium Theatre

Chicago, March 2, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, a buddy of mine emailed me: “This is it. This is the one.” The subject line was “Furthur.” He had just seen them play. Like me, he’s a little obsessed with this stuff. He goes to see the post Grateful Dead bands when he can, like I do, and goes to see the new kids on the block, too – Umphrey’s McGee, moe., etc. Since that email I’ve read similar comments in forums where like minded people congregate. On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, I got to see Furthur for the first of a two night run at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago – a theater steeped in Grateful Dead history. It was everything that I’d hoped it would be. Just a tremendous show. If you get the opportunity, go see a Furthur show this year. You won’t be disappointed.

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Channeling the Dead: Dark Star Orchestra in DC

Dark Star Orchestra in DC

Dark Star Orchestra at the 9:30 Club

Washington, D.C., November 13-14, 2009

Dark Star Orchestra played two outstanding shows at the 9:30 Club in D.C. in November. Friday’s show (Friday the 13th! Spooky!) replicated a Grateful Dead show from 1976, and Saturday was a “roll your own” show, with the band putting together their own set lists. Both shows were good, and the first night was great. The crowd was inspired both nights, singing along with all the songs, and the band played like it was a special occasion. Someone I spoke to on the second night – a guy who had seen 30 Dark Star Orchestra shows – said Friday night was the best Dark Star Orchestra show he’s seen.

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Five from the Archive: Weir Does Dylan

WeirBob Dylan is arguably the greatest modern songwriter, and certainly the most influential. People all over the musical spectrum cover his songs. But there a special few who specialize in covering Dylan. For me, Jerry Garcia has always been the premiere Dylan interpreter. If you don’t believe me – or if you do – you should check out the Garcia Plays Dylan collection. Particularly the “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

But now I have to say that Jerry’s old partner in crime, Bob Weir, is giving Jerry a run for his money these days. Bobby has always been adept with the occasional Dylan cover, but he and RatDog have really embraced it. They play a Dylan cover at well over half their shows.

Below are five of the best from the 2009 RatDog shows available in the Live Music Archive.

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