bradley's almanac - a boston-based music blog
navigate the 'nac
almanac mp3 archives almanac shared mp3 archive
live show photo archive boston-area live shots on flickr
'my life or some dream'
original mp3 compilation

free mp3 compilation on club fub
bands i've been in bands i've played drums in
the 'nac faq & contact info
contact info and more
the 'nac on the 'net
the almanac rss feed
subscribe to my rss feed
follow me on twitter the almanac twitter account
become a fan on facebook the 'nac on facebook
the almanac tumblr page bradley's tumblanac
hype machine 'nac page the almanac hype machine page
the almanac soundcloud page the almanac shuffler page
the 'nac songkick gig page the almanac songkick gig page
almanac events on sponty the almanac sponty events page
the almanac page the almanac page
listen to 'nac mp3s on shuffler the almanac shuffler page

the almanac archives

search the 'nac

recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Live Mp3s: Celebrating Sub Pop's 20th

If I didn't have these soundboard recordings, ticket stubs, and an old disintegrating t-shirt as proof, I'd have a hard time believing that Sub Pop's 1992 Vermonstress Festival actually took place. As an indie-rock-lovin', college radio DJin', drum-learnin', band-startin', early-20-something kid living in the relatively isolated Burlington, Vermont, imagine how stunned I was to hear that one of my favorite record labels was planning a music fest pretty much on my doorstep. No travel necessary. Fifteen bands over two autumn days, some on the Sub Pop roster and others that the label just loved, and for no discernible reason. All I'd heard was they dug our little college town (pop: around 40,000), and who knows... maybe this was just a fun way to blow some cash from the post-"Nevermind" explosion.

Whatever the reason, the SP team and all the invitees descended upon the Champlain Valley and blessedly rescued me and my friends from cheesy cover bands and Phish for a weekend (and inspiring a friend and I to start up our own yearly fest, but that's another post). With Pond crashing at our band house for a few days beforehand (they were on their way back to home from their first UK tour, opening for Throwing Muses), and with us hosting a big party in the middle of the madness, the whole thing felt like one long celebration, and as a local, it was easy to tell that most of the sell-out crowds had traveled down from Montreal or up from Boston and NYC.

the Vermonstress tee (click to enlarge)

It was a surreal couple days, to say the least, with the Metronome stage hosting current faves and newfound revelations -- so many bands I'd have driven a great distance to see (Codeine, Velocity Girl, Come, Drop Nineteens, Beat Happening, Buffalo Tom), and others I'd consider myself lucky to hear so early on (Six Finger Satellite, Eric's Trip, Barbara Manning, Giant Sand, Sloan, Green Magnet School). Hell, brand new Sub Pop signees Pond hadn't even released their first album yet, and getting to see them then was a true gift. Their set was frenetic, intense, and totally inspiring... maybe the best of the weekend, and given the amazing lineup, that's saying a hell of a lot.

the Vermonstress press release (click to enlarge)

A few years back, in the relatively early days of the Almanac's current incarnation, I finished converting, editing, and sharing up all of my Vermonstress soundboard cassette recordings. 130 songs by 15 bands, adding up to almost 9 hours of digital goodness. And so, in honor of this week's celebration of Sub Pop's 20th Anniversary, I was inspired to remaster all the songs (I've learned a bit about that in the years since) and share them as higher quality Mp3s (from original .wavs as 192kbps vs. the former 128kbps).

A few things of note...
  • Included are some excellent covers: Chris Harford doing Prince's "Pop Life", Pond with the late Bo Diddley's "Pretty Thing", GMS's take on Neil Young's "Don't Cry", Barbara Manning covering The Bats, and yes, two different Madonna covers.

  • Unfortunately my original cassette of the Buffalo Tom and Gravel sets disappeared years ago (the victim of a band-house party, I think), so their sets are sadly missing. Also missing are a few song titles below, especially from the HP Zinker set, so if you know any of them, kindly let me know in the comments.

  • As is often the case with multi-band festivals, soundchecks were a rarity, so the mix can be wonky at the beginning of each set. They improve greatly as they go, though, so hang in there.

  • I'll have these up for a fairly limited time (a couple weeks, max), as it eats up most of my server space and will no doubt do the same with my monthly bandwidth. And if you're dreading clicking on 130 links, you'd do well to grab Firefox and the DownThemAll add-on. If you don't already use it, you'll thank me later. If streaming is more your style, don't forget to hit up the Almanac page at the Hype Machine.
  • Enjoy the wealth of greatness below, as if I had to tell you that...

    Vermonstress - Day 1
    Saturday, October 10th, 1992

    01. Realize
    02. Jr.
    03. Barely Real
    04. Cave-In
    05. Hard to Find
    06. D
    07. Broken-Hearted Wine

    01. Dead Molly
    02. William
    03. Submerge
    04. Last Mistake
    05. Fast Piss Blues
    06. Bell
    07. Car
    08. S.V.K.

    Drop Nineteens
    01. Delaware
    02. Mayfield
    03. Winona
    04. Astral
    05. Happen
    06. My Aquarium
    07. Reberrymemberer
    08. Angel (Madonna cover)

    Velocity Girl
    01. Doesn't Matter
    02. 57 Waltz
    03. Copacetic
    04. Pretty Sister
    05. Stupid Thing
    06. Warm/Crawl
    07. My Forgotten Favorite
    08. Creepy
    09. Crazy Town

    01. Eyes are Bruised
    02. Railhead
    03. Light
    04. Prisoner
    05. The Charley Horses
    06. God-Fearing Shareholders of the World
    07. EJ

    01. Grinned
    02. Young Splendor
    03. Perfect Four
    04. Wheel
    05. Pretty Thing (Bo Diddley cover)
    06. Spots
    07. Agatha / Filler

    Beat Happening
    01. Tiger Trap
    02. Teenage Caveman
    03. Sleepyhead
    04. Dreamy
    05. banter
    06. Red Head Walkin'
    07. Other Side
    08. Revolution Come and Gone
    09. Nancy Sin
    10. Noise
    11. Godsend
    12. Cry For A Shadow
    13. Me Untamed
    14. You Turn Me On
    15. Crashing Through

    Vermonstress - Day 2
    Sunday, October 11th, 1992

    Six Finger Satellite
    01. Sex Transistor
    02. Niponese National Anthem
    03. Laughing Larry
    04. Polish the Shine (Satchmo)
    05. Home for the Holy Day
    06. Crippled Monster Bearing Malice

    Green Magnet School
    01. Sonic Exterminator
    02. Noxin
    03. Barmecide Room
    04. Don't Cry (Neil Young)
    05. Singed
    06. 12 Guage
    07. Penance

    01. Sleepover
    02. Lucky For Me
    03. Shame Shame
    04. Ill-Placed Trust
    05. Underwhelmed
    06. Take It In
    07. Marcus Said
    08. Pretty Voice

    Giant Sand
    01. Neon Filler
    02. Song 02
    03. Sage Advice
    04. Wearing the Robes of Bible Black
    05. Solomon's Ride / Stuck
    06. Unwed and Well Sped

    Barbara Manning
    01. Never Park
    02. Breathe Lies
    03. Someone Wants You Dead
    04. Don't Rewind
    05. Winter Song
    06. On On and One
    07. Smoking Her Wings (Bats cover)
    08. Lock Yer Room (up tight)
    09. Scissors

    Eric's Trip
    01. Kiss Me Baby / Smother
    02. Listen
    03. Haze
    04. Belong
    05. Happens All The Time
    06. Float
    07. Belly
    08. My Chest Is Empty (part 2)
    09. Blinded
    10. Bring Down the Rain
    11. Easier Last Time
    12. Open Your Heart (Madonna cover)

    Chris Harford
    and the First Rays of the New Rising Sun

    01. Swinging Bridge
    02. Raise the Roof
    03. Looking For Light
    04. Road With You
    05. If You Forget Me
    06. Pop Life (Prince cover)
    07. You Brains
    08. The Living End
    09. Gather Round / Sing, Breathe, and Be Merry

    HP Zinker
    01. Song 1
    02. Song 2
    03. Song 3
    04. Trapped
    05. Song 5
    06. Song 6
    07. Song 7
    08. Song 8
    09. Song 9
    10. Warzone City
    11. Song 11

    There's been some cool coverage leading up to Sub Pop's 20th Anniversary shindig this coming weekend, including a lengthy interview with SP founders Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt over at Pitchfork, as well as an audio interview with Poneman courtesy of NPR's World Cafe.

    During that NPR chat, Poneman tackles the difficult task of naming his five fave SP-released songs. For the curious, they are: Pernice Bros.' "Monkey Suit", Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal", Iron & Wine's "Lion's Mane", Vaselines' "Dying For It", and Zumpano's "Here's the Plan". Don't think I could ever force myself to pick just five from their catalog... hell, I'd probably have trouble just naming five faves from the discographies of certain Sub Pop bands. The label has been helping to make my life better for so many years, and it's an understatement to say I'm grateful. If you're fortunate enough to be attending SP20, my jealousy is directed your way. Wish I could be there.

    (and if Pond had reunited to play, I probably would be!)


    featured mp3 download
    neil halstead
    live in cambridge, ma
    on november 14th, 2008
    previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

    recent posts on the 'nac...

    on the nightstand

    boston-area music bloggers

    boston music media

    I Buy Music

    This page is powered by Blogger Pro.