Friday, August 13, 2010

del Amitri Family Album, 1984/5 (.pdf)

This one's long overdue, as I originally planned to post this hot on the heels of the conclusion of our Definitive Del Amitri Rarities Series. But here it is now!  

This is a great artifact from the early days of dels fandom, when men were men (well, as is apparent from the photos within, boys, actually.) and initial d's were lowercase. Once again caps must be doffed to the then-dels tireless then-manager, Barbara Shores, whose determination put the dels on the map in the U.K. and even made inroads in the U.S.A., which certainly set the stage for their eventual success -- such as it was, Justin Currie might well add. I'm sure Barbara was behind this little artifact. I'm not sure of its origins; I was a card-carrying member of the dels fan club, and received loads of memorabilia (more on that to come) but never saw this until I found it tucked in the sleeve of a used copy of their first LP several years later at good old Yesterday and Today Records on Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland (Respect!). But I can't say for a fact that the photo album originally came with that record album, in some limited edition release, or was just stored there by the previous owner. I suspect the latter, but if any other del-heads can shed any light, please do!

Meanwhile, here is the whole book, all 16 pages scanned as one .pdf file. They're not the cleanest scans in the world, no, some a bit crooked or with staples showing etc., but that'll just add to the authenticity of the experience of really thumbing through it, right?  :^)  Enjoy this trip down memory lane, to a more innocent time... when Justin's cynicism was still mostly feigned. 

Oh, and as for that trove of other early dels memorabilia... that's for another post. Soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Elvis Costello Trainspotter Gap-Plugger Bonanza: Volume 3.1: Two Memories

Here is a pair of tracks that fell through the cracks of our popular EC series, both from compilations of TV shows:

Just a Memory: VH1 Storytellers
Painted from Memory (EC and Burt Bacharach): The Best of Sessions at West 54th

Please click on the Elvis Costello tag below to find your way to our previous EC posts.

PS See comments for a list of other gap-pluggers available on iTunes, and one more download, too (Let's Misbehave - DeLovely Soundtrack).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Jayhawks - B-Side the Green Grass

Minnesota's Jayhawks are one of the best things to come out of the '90s. The harmonies of Mark Olson and Gary Louris are the closest thing contemporary music has to the Everly Brothers. Their songwriting blends melodies that are instantly indelible with lyrics that reveal their mysteries only after many listens and time to reflect. Their ensemble playing pairs a muscular crunch with a nimble, light touch, sometimes in the same song.

What we have here are 11 tracks culled from cd singles and a promotional EP released in conjunction with their two classic albums, Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass -- except "Sleepyhead", an outtake from their tepid, Olson-less Grass follow-up, Sound of Lies. My favorites are covers, "Last Cigarette" (by that great songwriter, Anonymous), sung by the band's keyboard player Karen Grotberg, and a romp through gospel standard "Up Above My Head". For those who love the band's elliptical songwriting, though, "Keith and Quentin" and "Leave No Gold" are up there with any originals on Hollywood -- though perhaps not those on the near-flawless Green Grass. Speaking of which, also here is an example of one of my favorite rock phenomena, a non-album title song, to go with that very album. The live tracks give a taste of the band's onstage power.

A flyer included with The Jayhawks' new reissue of their previously very rare, self-titled debut disc touts forthcoming "deluxe" reissues of those two great albums, HTH and TTGG, and most if not all of these tracks will likely appear there. Meanwhile, though, here they are on The Rare Stuff!

Last Cigarette Bad Time (Single)
Get The Load Out Bad Time (Single)
Sing Me Back Home Bad Time (Single)
Sleepyhead Big Star (Single)
Tomorrow The Green Grass Blue (Single)
Darling Today Blue (Single)
Leave No Gold Scrapple [EP]
Keith And Quentin Scrapple [EP]
Up Above My Head Scrapple [EP]
Sister Cry (Live) Settled Down Like Rain (Single)
Martin's Song / Settled Down Like Rain (Live) Settled Down Like Rain (Single)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

R.E.M. - Just a Touch (4 live tracks)

Here's a quick-'n'-dirty post of live b-sides from a couple of R.E.M. singles. (Yes, I know the band has officially removed the "dots" from its name, but these are from back when they were there!)  I don't believe these tracks have been collected elsewhere, but if they're not as rare as all that, please forgive their presence here.

From the single for the sublime "The Great Beyond" from the Man on the Moon soundtrack come three blistering tracks from the band's appearance at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, especially a "The One I Love" that nobody's gonna mistake for a love song, and a "Man on the Moon" with a nice bite to it as well. I had a look 'round online to see if the whole '99 Glasto set is available but didn't find it. If anyone has it to upload, please leave word -- sounds like it was a hot one!

Also included is a medley called "Time After Time Etc." containing that song, Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain", and another song from Reckoning, "So. Central Rain". They are credited as "recorded live by VARA Radio Utrecht, Holland 14.9.87", and it comes from a CD single for "It's the End of the World as We Know It" released with the 1991 Best of R.E.M. UK compilation. The single says its "another in a series of collectable cd's" each with rare/live material, but its the only one I have. Again, if anybody has the other rare tracks from these and wants to post them somewhere, let us know!

The One I Love (Live at Glastonbury)
Everybody Hurts (Live at Glastonbury)
Man On The Moon (Live at Glastonbury)

Time After Time Etc. (Live)