Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away"

Born in 1954, Peter Case left Buffalo, NY at 15 years old to head west for a music career, ending up in San Francisco in 1973 as part of a band called The Nerves. Their biggest success came with the song "Hanging on the Telephone," which was recorded in 1980 in Blondie. Shortly after that, Case fronted a new band, The Plimsouls, with Eddie Munoz (guitar), David Pahoa (bass), and Lou Ramirez (drums). The band recorded an EP called Zero Hour in 1980 and a self titled debut album in 1981, before creating one of the greatest rock songs of all time, "A Million Miles Away." Here's a rare video of the band performing this timeless classic for a television show in 1983.

"A Million Miles Away" is a really cool song that has stayed with so many over the years. This was mainly due to it's inclusion in the 1983 Nicolas Cage movie "Valley Girl," a film that seemed to run in perpituity on HBO throughout the 1980's along with Footloose, The Best of the Best, and Police Academy 1-27. In this scene from "Valley Girl," the Plimsouls play parts of two other songs, "Everywhere at Once" and "The Oldest Story in the World," as Nic Cage heroically overcomes the perils of the piss poor wingman and the super annoying tagalong girlfriend to make his big move.

The Plimsouls - Everywhere at Once
The Plimsouls - The Oldest Story in the World

The Plimsouls quickly recorded an excellent power pop album where all these songs were included, Everywhere at Once, but the band had already broken up by the time the movie "Valley Girl" was released. Still, the continued quality of Peter Case's solo work and the Plimsouls' small but great body of work, promoted so well through this movie, led to many Plimsouls reunion tours over the years, albeit with some lineup changes. In the interim, Peter Case has continued producing quality work in his solo career, which often involves him leading songwriting workshops for other musicians. A few years ago, he underwent heart surgery and many legends worked together to record his songs for the tribute album A Case for Case to help him deal with his recovery.

Look for future posts on The Nerves and Peter Case's solo career later on. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy or download The Plimsouls' Everywhere at Once for $6.98 at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

U2's Tributes to the Victims of the 1998 Omagh Bombing

On August 15, 1998, a car bomb in the Irish town of Omagh killed 29 people and injured 220 more. It was the worst terrorist attack in the history of the Troubles. It is a terrible story that has only gotten more difficult with the numerous setbacks in the long struggle for justice for the victims' families. If you'd like to learn more, there is a well written, comprehensive account of this atrocity here.

On November 20, 1998, U2 was part of a tribute to the Omagh victims on an episode of The Late, Late Show. The audience included many family members of the victims. The band opened the show with a reworked version of "North and South of the River," a song that they originally recorded as a 1997 B-Side with Irish singer Christy Moore. This version is much better, though every time I see this, I can't help but wonder just where the hell that piano and the horns are coming from.

U2 - North and South of the River (Live - 11/20/98)

After artists including Bob Geldof and The Corrs performed, U2 closed the show with "All I Want is You."

On their 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 included the song "Peace on Earth" about the incident, which referenced some of the victims' names.

U2 - Peace on Earth

At the end of the summer of 2001, U2 played two nights at Slane Castle in Ireland, which were filmed and released as the DVD U2 Go Home. At the end of "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Bono emotionally recited the names of all 29 people who lost their lives before playing the song "Wake Up Dead Man." This was U2 at their very best.

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live - Slane Castle - 2001)

U2 - Wake Up Dead Man (Live - Slane Castle - 2001)

Thanks for checking this out.

Buy the DVD U2 Go Home: Live at Slane Castle from

Monday, May 9, 2011

Radiohead & R.E.M. at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert

On June 14, 1998, over 120,00 people attended the third annual Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Many great bands played the weekend festival, including Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and A Tribe Called Quest. The Dave Matthews Band also performed.

Radiohead and R.E.M decided to collaborate a bit during their sets. First, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe sang lead for Radiohead on this incredible version of "Lucky."

Radiohead with Michael Stipe - "Lucky"

Second, Radiohead's Thom Yorke provided backing vocals for REM on their song "E-Bow the Letter."

R.E.M. with Thom Yorke - "E-Bow the Letter"

Both of these mp3s came from Radiohead's ridiculous and tremendous 24 disc bootleg compilation made by their fans called "Towering Above the Rest," all of which can be torrented here.

If you haven't done so already, check out the excellent records by both bands that came out recently, REM's "Collapse Into Now," and Radiohead's "The King of Limbs."

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Beastie Boys' Rare 1985 single "Rock Hard"

In the beginning, the Beastie Boys didn't rap, instead they played in a punk band with Kate Schellenbach, who would go on to be the drummer in the band Luscious Jackson. Here is an interesting three song set they played for the Scott & Gary Show on a public access cable in New York.

The Beastie Boys changed direction, much to the chagrin of these two guys below, and in 1985 with producer Rick Rubin, they put out a 45 locally for the song "Rock Hard." The Beasties rapped over a sample of AC/DC's "Back in Black" riff, leading to this single becoming very rare. This is quite the awesome video by Anna Hrnjak, it needs to be said.

Here's an mp3 of the full song:

The Beastie Boys - Rock Hard (1985 single)

The band tried their best to include this song on their 1999 compilation "The Sound of Science" but AC/DC wouldn't allow it. This is summed up in an article from the 11/11/99 issue of New Musical Express:

“We originally had ‘Rock Hard’ on there because it was never widely available,” Mike D told NME. “So we had to go back to AC/DC for sample clearance. Their lawyer said no, so I decided to call them myself.“

“So I tracked AC/DC down in the studio in Vancouver and talked to Malcolm (Young, brother of Angus). And they were just not having it. He goes, ‘I’d love to do it for you guys, but it’s ‘Back In Black’ - one of the top three songs we’ve ever written!’ Whatever. AC/DC could not get with the sample concept. They were just like, ‘Nothing against you guys, but we just don’t endorse sampling.’”

Adrock: “So we told them that we don’t endorse people playing guitars.”

‘Rock Hard’ has been replaced by ‘She’s On It’ which the Beasties describe as “not one of our top three songs.”

The Beastie Boys returned this week after a hiatus while Adam Yauch underwent successful cancer treatment with the tremendous album "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two." Even better is the 30 minute video for "Fight For Your Right Revisited" which was written, produced, and directed by Yauch and features a ton of great actors. It's a lot of fun to watch this and the original video from 25 years ago back to back, since the one leads right into the other.

Buy "Hot Sauce Commitee Part Two" by the Beastie Boys at

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Marah - 10/18/06 - Bonn, Germany - Rockpalast Crossroads Festival

Some of my favorite shows that I will remember forever involved going to see this version of Marah. The band was fantastic, the venues were intimate, and the fans there were some of the best people I've ever met. This lineup toured for the excellent album "If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry." It featured founding members David and Serge Bielanko on vocals and guitar, Kirk Henderson on bass and keyboards, Adam Garbinski on guitar, and Dave Petersen on drums. These five guys together were incredible and this full show is great evidence of that. Check it out and if you like what you see, order the live dvd "Sooner or Later in Spain" below to see a longer show. The original YouTube videos were deleted but you can see the full concert by following this link here. There are mp3s of a soundboard recording of a full show in Ferrara, Italy on 5/01/06 at the great blog Captain's Dead here.

Order Marah's live DVD/CD "Sooner or Later in Spain" from

A Message From Your Blogger

I decided to take a little time off from this blog... and somehow that became a lot of time off. I kept all the links working, unless a record company or an artist wanted the post or the mp3s deleted, and was pleasantly surprised to check today and see that this blog has had over 53,000 visitors. That's a lot of music collections that are just a little bit better and it feels good to have been a part of that.

I missed updating this blog a little too much. I've got a million ideas for what I want to put on here. I have a ton of music to share that isn't really out there on the internet, is pretty hard to find, or just deserves to be heard by a lot more people. So thanks for stopping by and except to see a new post here every few days or so. It's all happening... again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert Revisited

On October 16, 1992 at Madison Square Garden, Sony Music put on a pay per view all star concert to celebrate Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary on Columbia Records. Dubbed "Bobfest" by Neil Young from the stage, the four hour show featured a wide variety of artists performing Dylan songs. It was too bloated, but there were many highlights. Here are some videos (with some mp3s) of the best performances.

Eddie Vedder was joined by Pearl Jam bandmate Mike McCready and Saturday Night Live bandleader G.E. Smith for this seering version of "Masters of War."

Eddie Vedder - Masters of War

The night allowed for a variety of musical styles, usually to great effect. The best example of this was the O'Jay's reprising their classic cover of "Emotionally Yours."

The O'Jays - Emotionally Yours

There were also some fun collaborations. Here are Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Rosanne Cash taking turns on "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere."

Booker T & the MG's backed up most of the artists on this night. Here they really got to show their stuff with Neil Young on a fantastic "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."

Neil Young - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

Another great moment was when George Harrison played what I believe is his only live performance of a song he covered early on in his solo career, "If Not For You."

The highlight of the show was when Neil and George joined Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, and the guest of honor, Bob Dylan, among others on "My Back Pages."

Of course, no all star concert would be complete without an even more gigantic singalong, this time on "Knocking on Heaven's Door."

After all of that, Bob came back to the stage alone for one last encore, singing "Girl from the North Country," before exiting to a huge standing ovation.

Hopefully, this concert will be available on DVD at some point, but in the meantime, you can order the live album below. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration from