Friday, August 20, 2010

Liner Notes #2: Rock n Roll Pilgrimage

Liner Notes is my ongoing music column with Electric City Creative. Each month, I post supplementary material to the column’s topic on this site. In Issue #2, I talked about Great Falls' need to draw in out-of-town bands, and also to cultivate a more robust live scene in general.

Five Live Version of Songs I Love

While I certainly could point to examples of live songs that were performed here in Great Falls, apart from the very last video I will share, the internet is going to be a little less than forthcoming. The majority of my live music memories from this city are from local bands that no longer exist, or happened in the age before ubiquitous cameraphones/easy video. Though believe me, if I could share that basement show I saw with Slackjaw, I would.

Here, then, are five live songs that capture the magic of the moment:

1. "Whatever" by Noel Gallagher (Royal Albert Hall 2010)

I could have used just about any song from Noel Gallagher's 2007 and 2010 Teenage Cancer Trust sets. (He also does an excellent cover of The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" in 2007.) With strings and a full-on choir, this version of "Whatever" is just massively beautiful. I hope they release the audio for purchase, especially since TCT is such a great cause. Noel's face at the end of this video just kills me. Coming fresh from Oasis' breakup, it's quite bittersweet.

2. "River" by Travis (Joni Mitchell cover, Storytellers 2001)

I've mention this cover before (also in reference to Robert Downey Jr.'s version), and no offence to Joni, but I almost like this version the best. Maybe I like it sung in a lower register because it makes it easier for me to sing along, but in whatever the form, this is an excellent song.

3. "Tonight" by Elton John (Live in Sydney 1986)

Okay, I think what we've deduced here is that I really like it when strings and choirs are added to songs. I can't help it; For all my rock n roll leanings, I'm a sucker for big symphonic productions. Back when I attended Kathy's Dance Studio, we always wanted to choreograph something to the opening instrumental part, but we never quite got around to it.

4. "The Banjo Song" by Seasick Steve (Live on Later... with Jools Holland)

Really, you should do yourself a favor and look up all of Seasick Steve's performances on Jools Holland. 3-string guitars, homemade-looking guitars, banjos, box as percussion... He's bluesy perfection.

5. "High Enough" by Styx (covering Damn Yankees, Great Falls Aug. 3, 2010)

I took this video when I saw Styx this year at the fair. I've always held a bit of a soft spot for this song, and an up-until-now latent soft spot for Tommy Shaw, so this was great to hear. I only have a mediocre Sony pro-sumer camera that's several years old, so apologies for the strange autofocus. The audio turned out quite nice though, I thought.

There's also video of "Come Sail Away" and "Renegade," should you be interested.

(Also, fighting grocery store robots in a video entitled "Suck it, Bruckheimer!" You're welcome.)

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