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Posts tagged with "pittsburgh"

Pearl Jam in Baltimore: a report & a reminiscence

One aspect of a love of music that never ceases to surprise me is the way in which a song you hear at a certain place and time in your life can immediately drag you back there years, even decades, later. Pearl Jam played Baltimore for the first time ever last night on a day that was marred by the departure of Lou Reed from this world. 15 years had passed since I last saw them, and the show was everything I hoped for in a rock show. They delivered a stellar set and the songs from the new LP Lightning Bolt fit really well with the rest of their catalog. The show was quite moving in some ways I had not expected.

PJ paid tribute to their fallen hero a few times. First they riffed on Walk On The Wild Side during the tail end of Daughter. Then Eddie dedicated Man of the Hour to Lou, an elegy which was met with great joy by the crowd around us on the floor. Continuing on, Pearl Jam cranked out a pounding version of the classic Velvet Underground tune I’m Waiting For The Man which may have gone unrecognized by the Baltimore crowd: it just did not seem like the audience knew the song. That’s okay, though. It meant a lot to me and anyone familiar with the tune – we were ecstatic about hearing some VU music performed live.

Being longtime Who fans, their live cover of Love Reign O’er Me, did not surprise me at all. The closing prayer from their Quadrophenia LP, I was surprised at how choked up I got hearing this song performed live. Have seen the Who perform it 3 times and it was always a highlight, and the power of Eddie’s voice is quite similar to Daltrey’s. It occurred to me that the news we received over the weekend about The Who hanging it up (really?) after their next tour might have hit me a bit harder than I thought it did.

What really got me emotional was their performance of Black from the debut album. In particular the lines, “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star – in somebody else’s sky, but why can’t it be mine?” took me right back to a very solitary and lonely time in my 20s. The emotion and soul of the lyrics on that debut album connected deeply with me at the time. Even if the words were often hard to understand, there was no doubting the emotion in Vedder’s vocals. Their performance of this in the legendary MTV Unplugged set was a huge highlight of that show and of last night’s concert.

The night brought back a concert memory from those days in my 20s that is both funny and somewhat uncomfortable to admit. My good friend Dave and I saw Tori Amos in Pittsburgh in August 1992 on her first tour, circa Little Earthquakes. We sat about 10 feet away from her and she was a phenomenal performer – telling stories about sneaking Zeppelin records past her parents and playing them down in the basement, and so forth. Just her and the piano. There was, though, for the men in the crowd (or at least us) something really unsettling about being looked in the eye while she was singing some of her more personal material, such as Me And A Gun. After the show, we had to walk maybe a half mile back to downtown to catch a bus home. We had a slight buzz on and something macho took hold of us, almost as a reaction to her ultra-female material and set. I was days away from turning 22. We walked back towards downtown, a pair of dueling Vedder imitations disrupting the desolate landscape between where we had been and where we were going.

Oct 1

Jimmer Podrasky of the Rave-Ups has a new lp out called The Would-Be Plans. Sample it now via the player above, and you can order it now as a download, CD or glorious vinyl from the Shop at his website here.

You already know the Rave-Ups if you:

  • ever saw Pretty In Pink: they are in the bar performing Positively Lost Me and Rave-Up/Shut-UpMolly Ringwald was a fan
  • Enjoy the Clarks’ cover of their tune These Wishes
  • Remember THEAFFODABLEFLOORS’ live cover of Positively Lost Me
  • Spent any time living in Pittsburgh circa 1984-1990. Even though the band had decamped to L.A. by then, their legacy loomed large over the local scene. (See previous noted about the Floors & the Clarks)

I hope to hear some more of these tunes live sometime; the Floors and the Clarks have built me up an appetite for more of Jimmer’s music.

backwoodsnation:

Rare 78 spins into trade with Jerry’s Records for drawing by R. Crumb.

backwoodsnation:

Rare 78 spins into trade with Jerry’s Records for drawing by R. Crumb.

Is this Bob Dylan’s new album cover? It’s… coming out on September 11 and produced by “Jack Frost.”
It does, however, feature an opening track called Duquesne Whistle (shout-out to my Pittsburghers).

Is this Bob Dylan’s new album cover? It’s…
coming out on September 11 and produced by “Jack Frost.”

It does, however, feature an opening track called Duquesne Whistle (shout-out to my Pittsburghers).

Jun 7

THIS. IS. AWESOME.

pbsarts:

Mister Rogers Remixed by Symphony of Science

May 2

About 18 minutes of footage of THE BAND at Pittsburgh’s Syria Mosque in November 1970. Great stuff.

doomandgloomfromthetomb:

R.I.P. Levon Helm

The Band, performing live at The Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA, November 1st, 1970.

Quote:

We’re Not Dead Yet is the definitive live document of this underrated band, and if you’re looking for some old-school rock ‘n’ roll cheap thrills that will rattle the plaster off your walls and won’t make you cringe in embarrassment, look no further than Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers.  

Dear Blurt:I’m officially intrigued.
Regards,Playmixt

Quote:

We’re Not Dead Yet is the definitive live document of this underrated band, and if you’re looking for some old-school rock ‘n’ roll cheap thrills that will rattle the plaster off your walls and won’t make you cringe in embarrassment, look no further than Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers.  

Dear Blurt:
I’m officially intrigued.

Regards,
Playmixt

The Clarks ruminate on their 25th Anniversary with Jim Krenn of WDVE in Pittsburgh.

(Source: jimkrennraw.com)

There’s a rock band out of Pittsburgh that’s been slugging it out on the circuit for 25 years now.  You’ve probably not heard of them, although you might’ve seen them on Letterman or heard a tune of theirs in a movie or on TV.  They’re called The Clarks.  They’ve been delivering great rock music for decades in an industry where careers are measured in years.  This week they are celebrating their 2,000th show along with a declaration that today is Clarks Day in the city of Pittsburgh.  Additionally, they will be playing at the NHL Winter Classic this weekend, which will be at Heinz Field with the Penguins hosting the Capitals on New Year’s Day for an outdoor hockey game.
I’ve been a fan of theirs since arriving in the Burgh in 1988 for school, and it’s hard to imagine how to look back on such a career - one that is still moving forward.  Had the good pleasure of meeting guitarist Rob James through a mutual friend for lunch a few times right around the time in the mid-1990s when the band were about to all quit their day jobs and make a go of rock as a full-time proposition.  At the time I couldn’t imagine being more scared of that prospect, but they’ve persevered, and should be proud of the fact that they have indeed been able to do so.
If you have any illusions about what life in rock is like for a mid-level band that never really quite broke nationally, this quote from drummer Dave Minarik can put that time in perspective:

It is hard to pinpoint my most memorable experience. We have been so  many places, seen so many things and made some lifelong friends. I have  eaten some of the worst food along with the best I have ever tasted.  I’ve stayed in hotels that were fit for a king and some that were  crawling with bugs. I’ve slept on floors in cars and on road cases.  Music has no sick days or vacation time. There is no such thing as  overtime. The 90 minutes on stage that most people think is our work day  was, most days, a 24/7 job. 

That quote is from a nice article here on the Clarks.  Their latest release, Songs in G, features a cover of Whiskeytown’s "16 Days,"  which Rob & Scott used to play at their acoustic shows.  You can hear some tracks on the player on their official website, www.clarksonline.com - both "Tonight" and their cover of Bruce’s "The River" are recommended.  Go to the multimedia page to see some videos - including their Letterman appearance and a live cover of Badfinger’s "No Matter What". 

There’s a rock band out of Pittsburgh that’s been slugging it out on the circuit for 25 years now.  You’ve probably not heard of them, although you might’ve seen them on Letterman or heard a tune of theirs in a movie or on TV.  They’re called The Clarks.  They’ve been delivering great rock music for decades in an industry where careers are measured in years.  This week they are celebrating their 2,000th show along with a declaration that today is Clarks Day in the city of Pittsburgh.  Additionally, they will be playing at the NHL Winter Classic this weekend, which will be at Heinz Field with the Penguins hosting the Capitals on New Year’s Day for an outdoor hockey game.

I’ve been a fan of theirs since arriving in the Burgh in 1988 for school, and it’s hard to imagine how to look back on such a career - one that is still moving forward.  Had the good pleasure of meeting guitarist Rob James through a mutual friend for lunch a few times right around the time in the mid-1990s when the band were about to all quit their day jobs and make a go of rock as a full-time proposition.  At the time I couldn’t imagine being more scared of that prospect, but they’ve persevered, and should be proud of the fact that they have indeed been able to do so.

If you have any illusions about what life in rock is like for a mid-level band that never really quite broke nationally, this quote from drummer Dave Minarik can put that time in perspective:

It is hard to pinpoint my most memorable experience. We have been so many places, seen so many things and made some lifelong friends. I have eaten some of the worst food along with the best I have ever tasted. I’ve stayed in hotels that were fit for a king and some that were crawling with bugs. I’ve slept on floors in cars and on road cases. Music has no sick days or vacation time. There is no such thing as overtime. The 90 minutes on stage that most people think is our work day was, most days, a 24/7 job.

That quote is from a nice article here on the Clarks.  Their latest release, Songs in G, features a cover of Whiskeytown’s "16 Days,"  which Rob & Scott used to play at their acoustic shows.  You can hear some tracks on the player on their official website, www.clarksonline.com - both "Tonight" and their cover of Bruce’s "The River" are recommended.  Go to the multimedia page to see some videos - including their Letterman appearance and a live cover of Badfinger’s "No Matter What"

There’s a band outta Pittsburgh, been around… coming up on 25 years maybe?  They’re called The Clarks.  They put out a new EP yesterday which features their cover of “16 Days” by Whiskeytown.  Them boys used to cover this tune when playing acoustic, and I’m so glad that they’ve recorded it.
You can get the “Songs in G” EP over at iTunes, or you can just give a listen.

There’s a band outta Pittsburgh, been around… coming up on 25 years maybe?  They’re called The Clarks.  They put out a new EP yesterday which features their cover of “16 Days” by Whiskeytown.  Them boys used to cover this tune when playing acoustic, and I’m so glad that they’ve recorded it.

You can get the “Songs in G” EP over at iTunes, or you can just give a listen.

It just hit me that my beloved Pittsburgh band from the late ’80s through the early ’90s, The Affordable Floors, had that whole red, black and white color scheme down on their posters long before a certain twosome out of Detroit.
The Floors were the greatest band in Pittsburgh in their day. 

It just hit me that my beloved Pittsburgh band from the late ’80s through the early ’90s, The Affordable Floors, had that whole red, black and white color scheme down on their posters long before a certain twosome out of Detroit.

The Floors were the greatest band in Pittsburgh in their day. 

This one’s for my Pittsburghers - both present and ex-Burghers who remember like I do.  Right across the street from the Allegheny County Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial (which incidentally is where the “bird cage” scenes were filmed for The Silence of the Lambs) there used to be a mighty fine music venue called the Syria Mosque. Decorated in a pseudo-Middle East fashion, at least on the outside, the interior was a fine theater with columns and balconies that hosted many a prime concert in its day.
Some bits of Syria Mosque music history:
There’s a great 1976 Genesis bootleg from this venue on the “Trick of the Tail” tour, as broadcast by WDVE-FM.
One concert I went to here was in 1989, an odd pairing of Kansas and Night Ranger.  The weird thing was Night Ranger was opening, and only 4 years prior had sold out the Civic Arena where the Penguins play.  At the time I liked those bands just somewhat, and mainly went because it was difficult getting into club shows if you weren’t 21 due to the byzantine and more than inconvenient liquor laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Probably the best highlight - every October they’d host a weekend-long ROCKTOBERFEST FILM FESTIVAL.  Which consisted of, on the big screen with a VERY LOUD SOUND SYSTEM:PINK FLOYD THE WALL, Led Zeppelin’s THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, and JIMI HENDRIX AT MONTEREY, which typically was preceded by a clip of Otis Redding’s incredible set there too.  Typically this was sponsored by WDVE, Pittsburgh’s home of rock and roll, and the volume seemed to somehow increase with each successive film.
The sometimes dubious Wikipedia indicates Buddy Holly played there and that the building was put up in 1912.
Am pretty sure I fell asleep during The Song Remains The Same. It meanders more than a bit.  Sadly, this most peculiar venue was knocked down to make a way for a parking lot.  It wasn’t paradise, but it was pretty unusual architecturally speaking.
thepittsburghhistoryjournal:

Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh (via)
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: March 9, 1933 
At a rally of 2000 persons in Syria Mosque, plans were made to send a delegation to Harrisburg to fight for city-manager form of government for Pittsburgh. [Historic Pittsburgh]

This one’s for my Pittsburghers - both present and ex-Burghers who remember like I do.  Right across the street from the Allegheny County Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial (which incidentally is where the “bird cage” scenes were filmed for The Silence of the Lambs) there used to be a mighty fine music venue called the Syria Mosque. Decorated in a pseudo-Middle East fashion, at least on the outside, the interior was a fine theater with columns and balconies that hosted many a prime concert in its day.

Some bits of Syria Mosque music history:

  1. There’s a great 1976 Genesis bootleg from this venue on the “Trick of the Tail” tour, as broadcast by WDVE-FM.
  2. One concert I went to here was in 1989, an odd pairing of Kansas and Night Ranger.  The weird thing was Night Ranger was opening, and only 4 years prior had sold out the Civic Arena where the Penguins play.  At the time I liked those bands just somewhat, and mainly went because it was difficult getting into club shows if you weren’t 21 due to the byzantine and more than inconvenient liquor laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  3. Probably the best highlight - every October they’d host a weekend-long ROCKTOBERFEST FILM FESTIVAL.  Which consisted of, on the big screen with a VERY LOUD SOUND SYSTEM:
    PINK FLOYD THE WALL, Led Zeppelin’s THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, and JIMI HENDRIX AT MONTEREY, which typically was preceded by a clip of Otis Redding’s incredible set there too.  Typically this was sponsored by WDVE, Pittsburgh’s home of rock and roll, and the volume seemed to somehow increase with each successive film.
  4. The sometimes dubious Wikipedia indicates Buddy Holly played there and that the building was put up in 1912.

Am pretty sure I fell asleep during The Song Remains The Same. It meanders more than a bit.  Sadly, this most peculiar venue was knocked down to make a way for a parking lot.  It wasn’t paradise, but it was pretty unusual architecturally speaking.

thepittsburghhistoryjournal:

Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh (via)

On This Day in Pittsburgh History: March 9, 1933 

At a rally of 2000 persons in Syria Mosque, plans were made to send a delegation to Harrisburg to fight for city-manager form of government for Pittsburgh. [Historic Pittsburgh]