Monday, July 27, 2009

Ween - Live 1990-02-02 Trenton, NJ + 1994-10-23 Boston, MA

What I have here is yet another awesome God Ween Satan-era live recording of a show that was played at the City Gardens, in Trenton, NJ. It's fairly short, but a great recording nonetheless, and with a setlist comprised of only tracks from the mighty God Ween Satan. The sound is also fantastic for a 19-year old live tape, and it captures the early Ween experience very well.

The second offering of this post is a live 1994 recording from a show in Boston, and let me tell you it's quite the gem. This show documents Ween at the start of their post- live duo days and playing as quartet, with the phenomenal Claude Coleman on drumsand Dave Deiwitz on bass. This show in particular was a fantastic performance. This addition to the band really went a long way for their live performances, allowing them much more time to venture off into awesome improvisational sections. It was not uncommon for them to drag at least one or two songs a set to twenty+ minutes. Now, generally I like it when bands get creative and improvise in an on-the-spot manner for extended periods of time, but there are some bands who just approach this in a very dull and bland manner. Ween do not have this problem, and this can be seen multiple times throughout the set, particularly on "Don't Sweat It", "Take Me Away", "Raggaejunkiejew", "Vallejo", and of course the ultimate live classic that has managed to appear on a every other setlistt for the past twnety years, "LYLMP", stretched out for only 12 minutes this time, but what great fucking 12 minutes it is.

The recording quality on this puppy isn't exactly the greatest, but I actually like the grainy sound the tape gave the recording. And despite its rawness, the leveling makes it perfectly listenable in my opinion. After all, this is Ween we're talking about. Not to mention it's from 1994, shortly after the incarnation of the what would become 4/5 of the future live line-up, and at this point they were already skilled in the field of improvisation, as well as just sounding very tight as a band altogether.

More rare and live Ween to come...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ween - Live 1991-03-21 New Brunswick, NJ + 1992 WTSR Radio Show

What I have here are two more rare live Ween recordings, back from their duo-performance early-90s days. The first to go is a live show back from 1991 in Brunswick, NJ and much like the 1989 Trenton show, is absolutely essential for all Ween fans to hear.

The setlist on the 1991 show really couldn't be better. It's got a good selection of tracks from The Pod, which was released that same year, as well as ones from God Ween Satan. It also has four unreleased songs that were played frequently during live shows back then but never made it to any of the albums, such as "The Wind", "Seconds", "Weed Whore", and "Cover it With Gas and Set it on Fire", plus one of the first recordings of the song "Tastes Good on the Bun", which wasn't officially released until 2005's Shinola came out. The sound quality itself is also pretty damn good considering it's an eighteen-year old soundboard tape. The show also shows them experimenting more with vocal effects during a live setting rather then just on the albums, making the brownasphere that much stronger.

The second present I have for my fellow worshippers of Boognish is a 1992 radio show for a station in New Jersey, WTSR, and it is by far one of Ween's brownest moments to date. For pretty much the whole show, both Gener and Deaner's vocals have been put through an Electro-Harmonix distortion pedal, giving everything else a very druggy tinge to it. It's also just awesome to hear Gene go falsetto-crazy and taking advantage of the manipulation distortion can do to a voice. But both Deaner and Gener seemed to be in freak-out mode that night, and most of songs feature some sort of erratic freakout from one of the two, or sometimes even both.

The setlist is great, consisting mostly of songs from Pure Guava, but with some nice unreleased songs as well, such as "Shalom Absalom" and "Mountain Dew", both of which have some note-worthy soloing and improvising from Deaner, and a funny cover of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way". The recording quality itself is very clear, and the DAT, guitar, and vocals can all be heard clearly. All together, I'd say this is one of the finest ancient Ween relics I have ever come across.

More rare and live Ween to come...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ween - 1989 Live In Trenton, NJ

I don't think I've mentioned this on Lizards & Beans, as it has just never really come up, but I am a huge Ween fan, and have been for quite some time.Although La Cucaracha and White Pepper had some questionable moments, I'd say Ween are pretty much a perfect band, and I worship almost everything they've done throughout their 25-year existence. Everything from their freewheeling 80's tapes back from when they were no older then sixteen, to the 1990-1993 4-track brown-era, to their later, more heavily produced post-mid-90's material is just awesome. Leave all your preconcieved notions that Ween are nothing but a joke band behind, as they have proven throughout the years that just because a band can incorporate humour into their music doesn't necessarily make them nothing but a novelty group.

What I have here is an awesome, brown-as-shit live recording circa 1989, one year before their official debut release, the mighty God Ween Satan, released on Twin/Tone. Aside from "Seconds" and "Gladiola Heartbreaker", the whole set is made up entirely of songs from the aforementioned debut masterpiece, so this is pretty much essential for all Ween fans to hear at least one.

The tape itself doesn't sound half-bad either, especially considering it was sitting in a dusty box for about 20 years. Now expectantly, there is some tape hiss, but not enough to bring down the recording, and other then that it's completely fine. Papa Gener's vocals are right up there but without becoming overbearing, and Deaner's dirty, fuzzed-out guitar is also right where it should be and actually sounds pretty great. As all Ween fans know, they played as a duo up until around 1994, meaning the live line up consisted of Gener on vocals, Deaner on guitar, and a DAT tape deck, playing pre-recorded drum and bass tracks for the respective song being played.

To all of those unfamiliar with the music of Ween, outside of maybe "Push Th' Little Daisies", then I suggest starting out on any the following recordings:
God Ween Satan: The Oneness (1990)
The Pod (1991)
Pure Guava (1992)
The Mollusk (1997)
Quebec (2003)
Shinola (2005)

After you check out at least one of those albums, God Ween Satan or The Mollusk in particular, then give this show a download. But if you're already familiar with the Brown world of Ween, then by all means download this immediately.


More rare and live Ween to come...

NME - Unholy Death LP (1986) + Machine of War (1985 Demo)

N.M.E. are by far one of the most underrated black metal pioneers of the 80's. Although they are pretty well known to a lot of people who seek out obscure stuff of the 80's, they still are more then deserving of a much bigger level of recognition for their contribution to the sound that became what black metal would turn into around 1986.

N.M.E.'s sound was an awesome, sludgy-as-shit form of black metal that took more influence from Hellhammer and Venom then their more thrash-oriented black metal brethren of the time, such as Obsessed-era Sodom, Bulldozer, and Tormentor (Hun). The production on the Unholy Death LP captures this perfectly, with it's chunky, meaty bass, reverb-drenched guitar, pummeling drums, and Brian Llapitan's snarly, Cronos-meets-Tom Warrior-like vocals, all coming together as one devastatingly sluggish black metal monstrosity with enough force to demolish the Great Wall of China with nothing but a flick of the wrist. The Machine of War demo captures the band in a slightly muddier fashion, but the muddiness actually suits band's ugly way of playing adequately enough to make it perfectly listenable, especially considering it's a demo tape from 1985, of which I assume wasn't recorded with the biggest of budgets.

Enjoy these two fantastic recordings from one of black metal's finest pioneering bands of the 80's, the mighty N.M.E.!

Machine of War Demo
Unholy Death LP

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vötaag - 2009 - The Golden Pileus

Vötaag is the newest addition to the Avant Brown Collective (Residual Cod, Saturated Goat Trumpet, Tim Allen, Lactation, etc). I guess I'd consider it my "solo" project, but there are a couple songs that feature contributions from other Collective members. It is kind of a continuation of past projects (Birdsloth, Tujjuuuuujujjuufet) mixed with the freeform, improvised nature of the Avant Brown Collective's recordings. It's a combination of sound collages, rhythmic freak outs, brain-boiling psychedelia, Brötzmann-esque brass and woodwind squeals and honks, noisy mindfucks, and other forms of Brown. If you enjoyed my fake Beherit leak, or the Residual Cod and Saturated Goat Trumpet recordings, you'll probably like this. If you're not familiar with any of those, then imagine a mixture of Borbetomagus, Zappa's Lumpy Gravy, Albert Ayler, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and the Nihilist Spasm Band.

Seven songs, 44-minute running time.
1. Oryx Labiosus (Goat with Larger Lips)
2. Mustachioed
3. The Golden Pileus
4. Alexander Baxter
5. Avocado (or Lack Thereof)
6. Toad Merchant
7. Those Brown Things are Moving

Artwork by Alex Shenkan
Recorded and mixed at Brown Sound Studios, between 12/08 and 6/09
Vocals, mandolin and keyboard on "Mustachioed" by Karissa Lawrence, Mark Dingman, and Steve Axberg.
Additional percussion on "Those Brown Things..." by Richie DiGorgio and Mark Dingman