Ryan Adams and The Cardinals : My Winding Wheel : London Symphony Orchestra’s St. Lukes, London, England, August 3, 2007

Posted in 2007 Archive on June 23, 2010 by The Editors

A bit late to the ball game, we discovered this song in the Fall of 1999, thanks very much to our well-versed fellow archivist Leo Carmody, Esq., who hails from Sharpsburg, North Carolina, not far from Ryan Adams’ native Jacksonville, North Carolina.  We were immediately hooked.  North Carolina is, and, unfortunately, it seems, is destined no longer to be, a textile state.  This art is rapidly disappearing.  The threads that once were woven from raw material are now cut, spent.  Elsewhere, our tales are being woven by foreign hands.  What’s more precious than a tale spun from our own lives, our stories, our Now?  Adams presents us with the raw material for one such thread; working girl and working guy head out for a night on the mill town, a blessed respite from the constant murmur of the millworks, their shuttles, their looms.  Standing for hours on end.  The guy, having given all he’s got during his shift, wants to impress the girl.  He thinks he has what it takes.  He’s not sure.  She’s pretty in her dress.  She’s interested, but not obviously so–she’s aloof.  He scuffs his boot, takes a swig from the bottle.  He decides that stepping back is the best approach.  Go on ahead.  Sash-ay yourself around.  You ain’t gonna find anyone better’n me.  He thinks this, and he hopes, but he is not entirely confident.  From this, the song emerges.

We think he gets the girl.  Otherwise, we’ve nothing left over which to fantasize.  Ryan’s a damn good storyteller and an even better songwriter.  We’d like a reprise of this song with an ending, but we realize that tales, once woven, might not necessarily be finished as they were started.  Someone, somewhere–someone somewhere you may not know–has to pick up the thread and finish it.

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The Rolling Stones : Fool to Cry : Live at Pavilion de Paris (Les Abbattoirs), Paris, France, June 4, 1976

Posted in 1976 Archive on June 19, 2010 by The Editors

Mesdames et Messieurs, Les Rolling Stones.

Released originally as part of the Les Rolling Stones Aux Abbattoirs film, this footage captures elegantly a watershed moment during the Stones 1976 tour of Europe.  Mick Taylor’s just left the band, just as the they were hitting their mid-70’s stride that propelled them to the arena-rocker status they’ve enjoyed since then.  Some say that the soul left the band with Mick, perhaps presciently, as subsequent releases from the Stones became increasingly accessible, increasingly mainstream, more glimmer-boy Mick-centric, rather than infused with the rich legacy of blues and early rock and roll.  See, e.g., the progression of Some Girls, Emotional Rescue, and Tattoo You.

This song bleeds emotion, and is probably the best on Black and Blue, certainly the most successful hit from the album.  A slow, soulful ballad, it’s mined from the same rich vein of balladry for which the Stones are revered and which yielded such gems as “Wild Horses,” “Angie,” “Let it Loose,” and “I Got the Blues.”  Interesting tidbit: Keith Richards fell asleep on stage during this song later in the tour in Germany.

Je suis un imbécile à pleurer.

Jeff Buckley : Lover, You Should’ve Come Over : Live at Cabaret Metro, Chicago, Illinois, May 13, 1995

Posted in 1995 Archive on June 16, 2010 by The Editors

Jeff Buckley’s demise was Byronic.  A young man, in the throes of a romantic notion, decides to swim the length of an irresistible tide.  Byron, the Bosphorus; Buckley, the Mississippi.  Byron by the skin of his teeth.  Buckley, neither the first, nor the last, to be claimed by the nefarious currents of the Mississippi.  Still, the pair share many characteristics, including the ability to convey via their respective media the yearning instinct of youth to attain and realize the absolute perfection of love–which at that age = physical expression, primarily–but also the idealistic love of the dreamer and the dream, the seeker and the sought, the idealist and the ideal.  We love this because it represents the purest of expressions of frustrated lust and longing, much of which we experienced at a point when we had neither the maturity nor the wherewithal to appreciate or act upon the impulses to our benefit.  Now that we do, we’re left simply to watch, linger, and fantasize about what we’d have done in their boots.  Ah, youth; it’s wasted on the young.

Stevie Ray Vaughan : Little Wing : Loreley St. Goarshausen, Germany, August 25, 1984

Posted in 1984 Archive on June 12, 2010 by The Editors

SRV.  When Hendrix’s soul left the body, it, or at least a part of it, entered that of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Nothing else can explain the uncanny way in which Vaughan can summon the selfsame tones and pain from a Stratocaster as Hendrix.  Channeling, some would say.  Haunted, more likely.  This boy was meant to carry Hendrix’s torch.  Oh, and by the way, he was one of the greatest blues guitarists to ever slide a longneck along the strings.  Originally broadcast via the German television program Rockpalast.

Radiohead : Weird Fishes/Arpeggi : Live at Hospital Studio, London, England, April, 2008

Posted in 2008 Archive on June 12, 2010 by The Editors

“In the deepest ocean. The bottom of the sea. Your eyes, they turn me…”

This song is just gorgeous, and this performance captures the precision and beauty of Radiohead’s music.  The harmonic complexity and texture.  The weight.

This footage is from the band’s recording sessions for the live disc included in the deluxe edition of In Rainbows.  Shot at Hospital Studio, Covent Garden, London, in April, 2008, the footage aired originally on the British television program From the Basement and was produced by Radiohead’s longtime producer and collaborator, Nigel Godrich.

Brad Mehldau Trio : Knives Out : Festival de Jazz de Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, July 8, 2006

Posted in 2006 Archive on June 11, 2010 by The Editors

Brad Mehldau – piano, Larry Grenadier – bass, Jeff Ballard – drums.  Mehldau, America’s preeminent contemporary jazz pianist, amidst his own compositions and reinterpreting jazz standards, embarked upon an interpretation of certain of the Radiohead catalogue as, loosely, jazz poems.  In this rendition, Mehldau takes material that its author, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, described as being about “cannibalism,” or about the walking death that is our contemporary urban plight.  We work, we go home, we self-medicate, we die.  From this sonic pile of ashes Mehldau conjures something vibrant, mellifluous, incandescent.  This shit is hot.  Watch his fingerwork and be amazed.  Close your eyes and be transported, leaving the bleak world below as  you soar.  And by the way, Ballard’s drumming is absolutely ridiculous–if we had 1/8 of his talent, we’d be on tour somewhere.

Wilco : Radio Cure: Chicago, 2002

Posted in 2002 Archive on June 11, 2010 by The Editors

Wilco, amidst a sea change, in the seminal moment at which they begin their ascendency to the greatest American rock band alive.  Or, so we’ve been led to believe.  Tweedy, recently sober, obviously jonesing and more pissed-off than usual, channels his frustration into the monotonous dirge of this song.  And yet there are green shoots!  Toy piano notes accent the most depressing lyrics of the song, leading us to question whether Tweedy really is sad.  Whatever.  Wunderbar.  The black and white grainy footage of Leroy Bach’s mohawk is cool, which is why we’ve kept it.  In all seriousness, though, we love this song.