5.31.2009

MCM #1 - Live Songs That Don't Suck

We're back! Due to an overwhelming inability for me to cajole songs out of people and post them up weekly, we've switched to monthly. Click here to download all of MCM #1 or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

"Ágætis Byrjun [Live]" Sigur Rós

Allison writes: If there is one show I can recommend you ever attend in your life, it is one by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. The sheer epic beauty of it all will blow your mind.

This track in particular was part of their return home to perform a series of concerts across the island (i.e. at the base of mountains, on the street, next to waterfalls, inside an abandoned factory, etc).

I must also take this opportunity to plug one of the most lovely DVDs released last year: Heima. It's their documentary of their aforementioned live music adventure across the incomparably strange and wondrous country of Iceland. There is a strong likelihood that watching it will enhance your life in some way, however small. Or at the very least give you a new travel destination.

The trailer is here, and contains one of my favorite most explosive songs of theirs, Í Gær. (I would have included it here but the recording is technically is not live): http://www.heima.co.uk/video/

Watch and get some chills!

"Airtap" Eric Mongrain

Felix writes: While many folks have attempted a similar style before (most notably, I'm thinking of the blind guitarist Jeff Healey, from the late 1980's), Eric Mongrain is someone that caught my eyes and ears a year or so ago.

He plays guitar normally, but for this particular track has the guitar flat on its back, across his lap. He strums and plays with both hands, tapping frets as well as the body of the guitar, and makes a pretty great song out of everything combined.

I liked this track when I first came across it, so much so that I took great pains to figure out how to convert the track over to an mp3. I still play it on my iPod from time to time.

The quality of the audio isn't great, but the performance is a good one. And it's quite stunning to actually see him perform it via video.

"Comfortable" John Mayer

Margaret writes: I've always appreciated the sentiment of this song - it's very sweet and tender, and a bit heartbreaking. I'm especially fond of this lyric:

"I loved you...grey sweatpants...no makeup...so perfect"

"Lola" The Kinks

Walt writes: How could I not start off the Monthly Collective Mix Tape with a Kinks song? This live version of Lola is from The Kinks One for the Road album – the album that connected me to the Kinks. Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world except for Lola!

"Rid of Me (Live at the Vic Theatre)" P.J. Harvey

James writes: Great slow-burner of a song laid bare in front of a crowd of 1500 rabid Polly Jean followers in Chicago.

"Now I'm Here" Queen

Dan writes: I’ve been a Queen fan since the late ‘70s and quickly started enjoying some of their more obscure tunes. When I finally got my hands on Live Killers, their first live album, from a second-hand album store in Evanston sometime in the early ‘80s, I was pleasantly surprised by the live rendition of one of my all-time favorite Queen songs, “Now I’m Here”. I’ve never seen this performed live, but whenever I hear part of this song where Freddie is stating more than singing, “Now I’m Here” several times, I imagine that he is running from one spot on the stage to another. Who knows, could be true. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

"The End Is Begun" 3

Juicy writes: This band is chalk full of talent and it oozes out of every member. Of the 100+ bands I've seen live I have to say 3 is the best live performance I've ever seen. Each band member is very good at playing their instruments and that doth please the musician in me. The show stealer is most definitely their lead singer Joey Eppard who has a R&B type vocal style that is juxtaposed on top of his very unique and impressive guitar playing. He is probably the only person alive that rocks the shit out of a venue playing an acoustic guitar. (you get a taste of this in the song) I recommend picking up some of their albums and catching their next live show!

"Willie The Wimp" Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

James writes: Two-bit Chicago gangster Willie Stokes, Jr. was immortalized in this SRV live classic. While it's true that crime doesnt pay, it kinda kicks ass that Stokes was buried in a Cadillac coffin.

"Mystery of Iniquity" Lauryn Hill

Utopia writes: Live from MTV's Unplugged series, Lauryn Hill brings thoughts and verses of years of absence from the limelight. I am always amazed at the depth and craft of her lyrics-both raw and thought provoking, Lauryn proves to be a true MC. Many may know this song from the hook of Kanye West's song, "All Fall Down." Lauryn is the original songstress and here is where it all began.

"You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies" Simon & Garfunkel

Sarah writes: Thanks to my mother, I'm a big Simon and Garfunkel fan and this live album is my favorite by far. Just their voices, acoustic guitar, and the songs . . . this is the way they are supposed to be heard/played. After hearing this album, the other ones sound way over-produced. I picked this particular song for Paul Simon's stellar guitar playing. They were both 25 years old at this performance.

"Rosa Lee McFall" Grateful Dead

Mike writes: I voted for this category and yet found it incredibly hard to settle on a song. That said, my submission is by the Grateful Dead, a band that (arguably) owns the notion of “live performance.” The song is called “Rosa Lee McFall” and is from a two-disc set of live, acoustic material recorded in September and October 1980 (for a live album called “Reckoning”). I have nothing prophetic to say…I hope you enjoy this two minute and fifty-four second tune about love and love lost.

"Everybody's Talkin' (Live)" Fred Neil

Brian writes: I don't really have any proclivity towards the live version of this song, but it is a fine song that I happen to possess the live version of. You may or may not be familiar with Harry Nilsson's version of this song in the movie Midnight Cowboy. Fred Neil wrote the original version, and this is it.

But what would the first MCM be without a Dax Riggs reference?: I've had Neil's Bleecker and McDougal album for some time. There is a song on there called "Little Bit of Rain" that I highly recommend. Anyway, when I was in Baton Rouge and New Orleans on April 24 and 25 this year, Dax played "Everybody's Talkin'" and I could not get it out of my head. I sing/play music every night and every morning before work. Since April 26 I have sang this song in particular, every morning and every night.

"Coxcomb Red (Live)" Songs: Ohia

Ben writes: There was a period in time when I was infatuated with Jason Molina. During that time I saw him play as Songs: Ohia at the Empty Bottle. The crowd was unruly and nobody was listening. Near the end of the show, he attempted to play this song just as you year it but was almost drowned out by the chatter from the bar. He stopped playing mid-song and said goodnight. I always liked him for that. In this recording, he finishes it.

"Cortez the Killer" Built to Spill

Chris writes: I first heard Built to Spill's Live when I traveled up to New York with my girlfriend towards the end of college. Her brother was going to NYU for music composition and spent a lot of time sitting in his room, getting high and listening to records that would "take him to another place" in order to reveal some deep thread of musical importance he had yet to consider. This type of behavior is not at all uncommon amongst students of music (or college students in general, for that matter). Although I wasn't high at the time, listening to this epic (20+ minute) rendition of Neil Young's classic "Cortez the Killer" with the lights out and the volume cranked definitely "took me to another place." Close your eyes, climb aboard the soaring, aching guitar and hug its neck as it carries you back to the past to reveal heart-breaking Aztec atrocities.

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1 Comments:

Blogger ben said...

I will 2nd the recommendation for the Sigur Ros DVD. It's really nice. Also, THough i tend to get fatigued when a song runs past 7 minutes, i was pleasantly surprised by the Built to Spill (Neil Young) track.

6/03/2009  

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