Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello again, and re: repost requests

I'm glad people are still finding their way to the blog. Sorry for the links that are dead. Unfortunately, I've lost the compressed files and deleted the mp3s since posting, since I have the original CDs. So my delay in reposting those files is because I have to rip the discs, compress the files etc. all over again rather than just click and reup. Sorry, I know it's frustrating, especially since, as I designed, this is stuff you can't easily find elsewhere. I'll try to get 'em done over the next several weeks. And hopefully find time to post some new stuff, too.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

R.E.M. - A Joyful Noise: In Time with R.E.M. [Radio Special and Exclusive Live Tracks]

Now that the hype is gearing up for REM's new album (they turned in their punctuation marks a little while ago), I figured I should finally share this great promo item I promised a few months back. What we have here is an extensive and wide-ranging interview with Messrs. Buck, Mills and Stipe on the subject of their Warners years, released to promote the compilation In Time. It also features a bonus disc with six exclusive live-in-studio recordings. In the interest of avoiding piracy, I deleted six music tracks from the interview disc, however I left in a live version of "Drive" thinking it was exclusive to this disc; now I believe it's the same "Live at Greenpeace" version from the In Time Special Edition bonus disc. Don't tell.

I hope this is a good psycher-upper for the new disc, which is really supposed to be great -- and which, after all, marks the end of the band's Warner period, the last album under their contract with the major label they've been with since 1989. Enjoy -- link is in comments.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wanna 'Mericana? Four from Marah, Three from Grant Lee Buffalo

Just a quickie post today. Here are four great, rare tracks by Philadelphia's favorite sons, Marah, from a CD single and a promo EP from their awesome Kids in Philly album. If you don't know these guys, they are rock 'n' roll poets and true believers. The stompin' cover of Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" is fun, the song about indie record shops brings a smile, and the two live versions of Kids tracks are smokin'. 

Meanwhile, here are three live tracks from the Blue Plate Special EP released around the time of the first Grant Lee Buffalo album, Fuzzy. The version of Elvis' "Burning Love" is a hoot! The two album tracks on the EP are not included here. For that matter, neither is the "A" side of the "Point Breeze" Marah single.

A short, sharp shock of American rock, courtesy of Philly and Silverlake! Link in comments.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Radio Alert: Tim Buckley special today feat. his friend/lyricist, Larry Beckett

Today (Friday, 2/11), from 1:30-3 PM Pacific time, I'll be hosting a special edition of my KBOO-FM Portland radio show, The Songcircle, paying tribute to Tim Buckley, who would have turned 64 this Valentine's day. I'm very excited to be joined by Tim's longtime friend and frequent lyrical collaborator, Larry Beckett. We'll count down his and Tim's ten favorite songs from their repertoire, with Larry sharing stories as well as an original poem about Tim.

Here's the link to the station if you want to listen live; I'll see about archiving the show online after it's done and let you know about that. Hope ya dig it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Martha Wainwright: Factory EP (plus bonus track)

Speaking of offspring of great singer-songwriters:

Weirdest thing just happened -- I put my copy of Martha Wainwright's self-released debut EP in the computer to import into iTunes, only to discover that rather than that EP -- the tracks of which are even listed on the disc itself -- it's actually a copy of her later, Factory EP. Which is still hard to find, so here it is, but I'll have to find myself a copy of the self-titled disc now. Damn, I've even passed one or two up in the store thinking I already owned it. I've had this disc for a while now. Guess I should've bothered to listen to it sooner! (That EP was preceded by a cassette release, Ground Floor. If anyone has digital copies of either, or one to sell, please get in touch.)

So, on to what we have here: a four-song EP from 2002, featuring a different, longer version of the title track than the one that eventually appeared on her (also self-titled) debut full-length three years later. The other tracks are "The Car Song", a version of "Bye Bye Blackbird", and "New York, New York, New York". I've also added Martha's great version of the latter-day Warren Zevon tune, "I Was in the House when the House Burned Down", which was released on her UK single for "When the Day is Short"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jeff Buckley: Grace Around The World - One-Hour Radio Special

Sorry that the frequency of posts here means that this blog has been living up to its title, which was never my intention. So in the interest of getting this out to you, let's keep it short and sweet today. Buckley. Grace. Radio. Rare. What more do you need to know? Except that the link is in the comments, and that you should leave one when you get it -- how about a reminiscence of the first time you encountered the music of Jeff Buckley? Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Henrys (with Mary Margaret O'Hara) - Chasing Grace (1996)

This is the album that got me through the winter of '97. 

In the summer of 1996, I took a trip from my native D.C. to the West Coast, to decide where I wanted to live. L.A. was too much like D.C., just with more sunshine -- everyone rushing around in mindless obeisance to a fame-money-power-based dominant industry, and no real local character to the place. San Francisco was just too damn expensive for my economic situation at the time (OK, and, uh, today too). Seattle was too bloated, having exploded in size over the previous decade with no clue as to how to manage little things like traffic, development, environment, etc.; besides, it reminded me of a sprawling East Coast city, just with more trees. But when I got to Portland, I always describe it as my "Goldilocks experience" -- it felt juuust right.

And along with the good friend I visited there, that weekend I went up to the lovely Vancouver, B.C. (also a sprawling metropolis, but reminiscent, rather, of a European city) to attend the sublime Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which was a real eye-opener as far as what can be achieved through music and community. My one life-changing discovery there (besides all the great Portland people I met, which sealed the deal of my moving there the following year!) was the amazing singer-songwriter Dan Bern. More on him another time, perhaps. But another favorite act I caught there was The Henrys, a quartet performing oblique and wittily-titled instrumentals centered around Don Rooke's Hawaiian guitar. 

That winter, I was back in D.C., feeling very far away from my newfound Portland friends and the magic and fellowship I'd experienced there. So I was surprised and delighted to come across The Henrys' CD in my local secondhand shop -- it was like a secret message from the summer before. Especially when, a week or so later, I came down with the flu, and was in bed with a high fever for a few days. Something about that loopy Hawaiian guitar and the weirdness of Mary Margaret O'Hara's wordless vocal contributions made Chasing Grace the perfect soundtrack for my fever dreams. It reminded me of my friends and the festival, and of the fact that I'd be returning to Portland to live that coming summer. I've been here ever since.

I hope this unique band helps you, friends, get through the winter of '11 -- but hopefully not the flu, too!


P.S. Gotta love that cover photo!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bob Dylan: Live at the Newport Folk Festival - One Hour Radio Documentary

Hi everyone, happy new year, and welcome back to The Rare Stuff. Sorry to followers of the blog for the long delay since my last post. 

Here's a long-promised radio special released to promote the Dylan DVD The Other Side of the Mirror, documenting his legendary appearances at the Newport Folk Festival. Despite my use of the DVD's cover art above, this file is NOT an audio rip of the DVD. Rather, it is indeed a stand-alone radio show with exclusive interviews not part of the actual documentary.

The link is in the comments. Thanks to those of you who have continued to discover the blog and leave comments during its "down time". I'll try to gear up to a more regular posting schedule -- there is certainly much that I'd like to share!

Enjoy Radio Bob.