It’s easy, sometimes, to think of radio as a dead medium. The sort of thing that can get you through a visit to the dentist, or an elevator ride, but not much else. In a post-Buggles world, what good can radio really bring us? Well, of course, there’s rather a lot of good to be had out there. I’ve looked at, and featured, NPR’s excellent All Songs Consideredon this site before. But there’s so much more to be found in local stations across America (and the globe) – perhaps none so striking as Seattle’s KEXP. The site features an enormous amount of live, in-studio recordings and interviews, as well as news and video (they’ve even got a nifty iPhone app). As someone who lost faith in radio during the ClearChannel consolidation years, I find it very reassuring to know that stations like this have managed to survive.
You really should take some time to rummage around their site. After the cut, I’ll highlight some of my favorite live recordings, and give you a few tips from their upcoming performances list. Hint: Jónsi tomorrow!
Readers of this site might notice that I mention Au Revoir Simonenow and again (and again). They might also notice that I love me some Daytrotter. Imagine, therefore, my immense pleasure at bringing you the news that Au Revoir Simone stopped by Daytrotter for a second session (the first one’s here), and that it’s ready for your listening pleasure. This time, the tracks are all from their most recent album: Still Night, Still Light. The performances feature the band’s playful vivacity, and capture the off-the-cuff feel they bring to their concert performances. Just the thing to get your Spring moving in the right direction…
So, head on over and have a listen. You can also download the tracks for free. I’ve put one after the cut – along with some other treats – to get you started. Enjoy!
I’ve never forgotten my first experience with buying music for myself. There was something magical about being able to pick anything I wanted, and then bring it home to enjoy over and over again. But after a while, as it does for many, my obsession with a number of bands had begun to run out of things to feed it. The radio gave no new songs, and the record store had long since been cleaned out. Dark days, indeed.
Enter bootlegs. For those of us who had a great local record store with a side section, a well-connected friend, or even knew an avid enthusiast of tape-trading websites, nothing was more special than your first listen to something that only a select few could ever hear again. Want to hear that 1978 Winterland Ballroom gig where the Sex Pistols broke up? (You shouldn’t, it’s awful, but let’s just say…) You’d better know someone. Bootlegs revealed a world of mystery and splendor, and showed a band as it really is/was… not just how the studio wanted you to think of them.
Nowadays, this is old hat. We have any number of online video/audio services, and the ability to record something is in almost every pocket. Heck, I’ve even done it myself. The experience has definitely changed for new bands and today’s fans. But if you want that good, old stuff, then you still have to be able to find it.
This is where Wolfgang’s Concert Vault comes in. The site has thousands of performances from the ’50s to today. There are interviews with artists, the ability to make customized playlists (and save them), and even some nifty background information about shows and artists. I first found the site through its iPhone app, and I’ve loved spending time digging through the archives. You do have to sign up for a free account (make sure to set those communication preferences), but it’s well worth a look.
After the jump, you can find some great free samples:
One day, this site may run out of Au Revoir Simone photos and stories. It could happen. But that day will not be today, my friends! From Central Music Portugal comes the following twelve-track Au Revoir Simone concert. It’s the perfect way to fight off the Winter gloom… so, grab a mug of cocoa, and enjoy!