Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Well, here it is, the first full set I'm sharing from my seems-like-a-dream trip to the inaugural All Tomorrow's Parties NY in the Catkills last month, and I'm starting at the end with My Bloody Valentine's grand festival finale. I've been debating not posting this one -- how could my tiny clip-on stereo mic possibly funnel what MBV delivers? These Mp3s can't reproduce the full-body experience of being inside the Stardust Ballroom at the kitschy Kutsher's Country Club for that aural assault. If you know MBV, you know this was their first stateside appearance in 16 years, and it was the only way to cap off 3 days and 35 opening bands. Hell, there was no logistical way they could have headlined any other day -- I'm sure there was a risk that the speakers on that special-ordered sound system (and some attendees ears) wouldn't survive it. Better to get every other band out of the way just in case.
I've written before about my favorite-ever live shows here on the 'Nac, but for new visitors, I count MBV's 1992 appearance at Axis in Boston (with openers Buffalo Tom and Mercury Rev) in my all-time top five. I went in expecting greatness, and came out transformed. The 16-minute intentional-catastrophe during "You Made Me Realise" (long-since dubbed 'the holocaust') was easily the most intense in-concert experience I'd had in my life to that point, made moreso by the fact that it was entirely unexpected. With the internet still in its infancy, I'd not read much about that tour on Usenet groups, and it was only another rabid fan in the front row beside me who said "You will not believe what they do at the end." as we waited for them to take the stage. He'd seen them the night before and was still reeling (and he's also the reason I know exactly how long our jet-engine breakdown was, since he was prepared to time it). When the wave started, rose up, and washed over us, I was simply lost -- eyes closed, entranced, with no concept of time or place. As their revelatory set ended and the lights came up, more than half the crowd had disappeared. With no way to prepare themselves (and no free earplugs like ATP), most at Axis were literally pushed outside, some of my friends (MBV loyalists all) included.
That quick drive down memory lane is to explain why I was slightly, only very slightly, let down by MBV's ATP NY set -- it couldn't possibly have lived up to that first time. I knew they were doing the "YMMR" breakdown again, so it could only feel a bit gimmicky in its repetition. That's not to say I wasn't into it, but this time my mind and eyes wandered a bit (my ears? impossible). I turned around to see hundreds of fingers in hundreds of ears; I watched as many bailed out, either too worn out or too pained to take any more; I noticed the massive hanging speaker system swaying from soundwaves; Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a small piece of the ceiling fall; I watched as my camera slowly vibrated off its resting place on the railing in front of me. In 1992, I was too engulfed to notice anything of the sort. In distraction and expectation lies the difference. Had I not had previous experience to lessen it, it may have been my favorite performance of the fest, but it wasn't. That, I'll share later.
Here's MBV's ATP set, which will be posted here for a very short time. Like I said, I'm hesitant to share it at all, but once I started seeing other live recordings (linked below) from MBV's reunion tour show up online, along with all the ubiquitous (and sonically sub-par) YouTube clips, I figured this was worth adding to the archives, so I spent some serious time EQ-tweaking my source files to make them sound better. I also encoded them at 256kbps rather than my usual 192kbps. Enjoy...
My Bloody Valentine
Live at All Tomorrow's Parties NY
in Monticello, NY at Kutsher's Country Club
on Sunday, September 21st, 2008
00. Walrus intro
01. I Only Said
02. When You Sleep
03. You Never Should
04. (When You Wake) You're Still In A Dream
05. Cigarette In Your Bed
06. Come In Alone
07. Only Shallow
09. Nothing Much To Lose
10. To Here Knows When
13. Feed Me With Your Kiss
14. You Made Me Realise
Some MBV online resources...
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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