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Showing posts from February, 2013

Bun E.'s Basement Bootlegs, Vol. 2: Soundchecks ‘82-‘97

Bun E.’s Basement Bootlegs were CD’s sold through Cheap Trick’s official website and fan club. They contained previously unreleased Cheap Trick recordings from the band’s archives, compiled by drummer Bun E. Carlos. There were four separate volumes issued between the years 2000 and 2002. Each one was limited to 1,000 copies. Each CD was packaged in a plain white cardboard sleeve with a stamped illustration of the drummer’s face and his hand-autographed initials. The discs were numbered using black marker. Each disc had a different theme to classify the types of tracks included on it.

The theme of the second volume, issued in the year 2000, was “Soundchecks”. That’s right: the CD contains recordings of sound checks, which are pre-concert preparations done for the purpose of making sure that sound systems and frequencies are working properly before the shows. It takes audacity for any artist to issue a CD containing 70 minutes worth of sound checks, even as (especially as?) a limited e…

Bun E.'s Basement Bootlegs, Volume 1: Gigs '79-'94

Bun E.’s Basement Bootlegs were CD’s sold through Cheap Trick’s official website and fan club. They contained previously unreleased Cheap Trick recordings from the band’s archives, compiled by drummer Bun E. Carlos. There were four separate volumes issued between the years 2000 and 2002. Each one was limited to 1,000 copies. Each CD was packaged in a plain white cardboard sleeve with a stamped illustration of the drummer’s face and his hand-autographed initials. The discs were numbered using black marker. Each disc had a different theme to classify the types of tracks included on it.

The theme of the first volume, issued in 2000, was “Gigs”, and it collected various live cuts recorded between 1979 and 1994. It contained Budokan-class performances from the years between the releases of Cheap Trick's live albums At Budokan and Music For Hangovers. These versions of “On Top of the World” and “Heaven Tonight” sound great in their raw form, and the “Stiff Competition” performance here…

My Bloody Valentine: the pre-1988 EP's

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In case you haven’t heard, the Irish alternative band My Bloody Valentine have self-released their long-awaited third album, titled m b v, earlier this month. They are selling it through their official site, using a Radiohead-like distribution model. This comes a full 22 years after their startlingly unique 1991 album Loveless, which is rightfully regarded as a classic of the alternative genre. The best way to describe that album is as baroque pop distorted through a Sonic Youth-like lens. It’s a creative and fascinating work. The new m b v is very similar in style, except that it usually sounds gentler, smoother, and less chaotic. One song, “New You”, is stylistically closer to the 1988 album Isn’t Anything. It’s great to actually, finally, have another My Bloody Valentine album to savor, especially one of respectable quality. However, it is slightly disappointing to hear this album covering the same basic territory as its 22-year-old predecessor, without breaking much new ground. Th…