Live.Music.Curator

The trio of Tasha Dorji, Marshall Trammell, and Aaron Turner marked my first return to 2220 Arts + Archives (formerly the Bootleg) in several years. It was a night of experimental guitar and drums with a massive ending and look of relief as the trio finished their tour in LA. The front stage sounded every bit as good as I remembered it from before the pandemic. Patrick Shiroishi opened and was also recorded, but my levels were a bit on the low side since I was dialed in for the main set.

Both another prolific taper and I managed to get to excellent, yet very different spots for Björk's Cornucopia at the Shrine Auditorium on 2022-01-26. It turned into a 3-person effort when an experienced editor stepped up to mix our sources. What our recording can't reflect is the mind-blowing stage setup and visuals of the show.

My recording of a surprise acoustic Smashing Pumpkins (Billy and Jeff) set at Zia Records in Las Vegas made it to LMA: https://archive.org/details/tsp2014-12-14.1am Again, my levels for the quieter set were dialed in too low since I was setup for the preceding electric set at Brooklyn Bowl also appears at https://archive.org/details/tsp2014-12-13 I also recorded the opener, Fever Red, that night. Gina Gleason of Fever Red would go on to join SP on stage the following year at The Joint, and join Baroness in 2017.

All aforementioned recordings are at: http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/ You'll need Tor to access .onion URLs, or OnionBrowser if you're on iOS.

Warning, very long and rambly post lies ahead...

So it's been a month since I started hosting recordings on my Tor .onion and this blog. The most notable recording is the one off BREATHEWATCHLISTENTOUCH: The Work and Music of Yoko Ono from 2019-03-22 featuring musical performances by Shirley Manson, Francisca Valenzuela, and many others. While Yoko's own music isn't for everyone, I found the musical performances that night surprisingly accessible and enjoyable, so you owe it to yourself to give it a chance.

The rest of my Shirley Manson recordings are with Garbage, and I've got plenty of those recordings in the queue (some or most of which may've been covered and released by other tapers).

My most recent recording is Shiner at Zebulon on January, a few nights ago on 2022-01-24. I'd only heard of Shiner a few months ago at the recommendation of a friend, but they're right up the alley for fans of Hum, Failure, and other heavy shoegaze.

My oldest (published) is Fountains of Wayne at the Troubadour from 2011-10-13. It's not a unique recording at all and I wasn't alone in taping that night; I generally prefer recordings made with omnidirectional mics. I've got at least one other FoW show in my queue. Song title help for the Mike Viola opening set would be appreciated.

Also from the Troubadour, Devin Townsend's performance on 2011-10-24 was my first time seeing him headline. There's numerous more Devin concerts in my queue, so expect more.

Possibly my most popular recording will be Billy Corgan at the Lodge Room on 2019-11-05; and it doesn't require Tor to download! https://archive.org/details/wpc2019-11-05.4063 I don't have any more Corgan solo shows, but do expect some from the Smashing Pumpkins and side projects of their members.

That Corgan recording and BREATHEWATCHLISTENTOUCH were my most challenging editing processes in terms of dynamics and audience noise, while Shiner and Spirit in the Room where some of the easiest.

I'll likely upload Local H @ the Roxy on 2016-06-02 to archive.org, soon but there might some small level tweaks for the quieter songs of the set before I upload. My last show of 2020 featured Local H at the Teragram and I intend to publish that sometime, too; along with several other Local H recordings I've made over the years.

I've also published my penultimate 2020 show with Cult of Luna, Emma Ruth Rundle, and Intronaut at the Fonda on 2020-03-10. What a blast that was. Older recordings from each of those artists are also in my queue, and hopefully we'll see future ones, soon.

While I'm sure another copy exists and was likely published, my recording of Nina and Louise (of Veruca Salt) at Amoeba Music on 2015-07-13. Most notably for me, this acoustic version of “Come Clean, Dark Thing” is far preferable to the brickwalled album version.

I also published my recording for Mazzy Star in Ventura on 2018-11-01. This isn't the only complete recording of that show, and while I'm usually not completely happy with recordings I make with high-quality microphones; they are miles better than what phones can do. I've also got a Hope Sandoval show in the queue which isn't half bad, but this is my only Mazzy Star recording.

Riverside in Whittier on 2015-09-27 was probably my most anticipated show of 2015, and one of the rare ones where I used X-Y cardioids to record. I've got at least one other Riverside show in the queue, and hopefully more in the future.

Since Riverside and The Pineapple Thief have overlapping fanbases, and I've made some EQ tweaks to my only Pineapple Thief recording so far on 2019-12-09.

My favourite recording of all time remains Morcheeba at Pappy and Harriet's on 2019-10-12. I published both those Morcheeba and Pineapple Thief recordings shortly on a semi-private tapers forum shortly after the pandemic started, but hopefully this gives it wider exposure. Expect a Skye+Ross recording at some point, too.

My second favourite recording of all time is currently Steven Wilson from The Belly Up! on 2016-11-06. Unfortunately, Steven banned his recordings from DIME and The Traders' Den, so I will likely honor his wishes beyond those torrent sites and not share it, here. Friends who know me personally already have a recording of the second set :) That night in November 2016 was a few days before the US election; making the “Sign O' the Times” Prince cover was especially fitting. The live performance was far more intense than his “Cover Version” release, and got me interested enough to explore the music of Prince.

While I don't feel comfortable publishing Steven's recording from the Belly Up!, I have several other recordings from that great venue I can publish, starting with Chelsea Wolfe from 2017-10-02. Though I still prefer my recording of them from Substance 2021 on 2021-11-26. I've got several more Chelsea Wolfe recordings, both with a full band and without; and some of those definitely deserve more focus.

There's also a Jesus and Mary Chain recording from when they opened for NIN on 2018-12-11 at the Hollywood Palladium. Of course I recorded NIN that night, too, and I'm now revealing myself as the anonymous taper who contributed the DPA 4063 source on https://NINlive.com/shows/2018/20181211.html I'm not at all happy with the way my recording was EQ-ed (or not at all) on NINlive.com. Omni recordings typically need significant EQ to sound good on full-range playback systems and I plan on re-EQ-ing and sending that to NINlive.com once I'm done and their site is back up. That wasn't even the only show I recorded on December 11, 2018 :)

For reference, all my recordings will be available at: http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/ indefinitely. You'll need Tor to access .onion URLs, or OnionBrowser if you're on iOS.

tor2web.io (and other tor2web nodes) may work, but there's more reliability problems and whoever runs it could shut off access at any moment (or even alter downloads): https://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.tor2web.io/

PS. I'm using the term “taper” because the term seems to have stuck despite everything being digital, nowadays.

As someone who frequently goes to concerts and tries to record the loudest sounds, earplugs are critical to my enjoyment of nearly every show I attend.

For moderately loud sets, I currently use silicone Etymotic ER20XS earplugs, and had the non-XS version before. For the louder rock and metal acts from the front of the venue, I use shiny, closed-cell foam plugs (such as Howard Leight Max). I will switch between different earplugs at the same show depending on the set and my position.

The trick to getting earplugs to sound good is to insert them deeply and expose as much of the outer ear as possible for the highest frequencies. Nobody should be able to see the plugs when standing anywhere in front of you, and they're barely visible even if someone is standing next to you.

While foam plugs seem crude to some, I've enjoyed the loudest sets far more nowadays than back when I only had silicone plugs. I roll foam plugs up, insert them deeply, and hold them in while they expand. I even try to insert plugs several minutes before the start of a set so they can warm to body temperature and stabilize while my brain adjusts.

One of my ears has a shallow canal, so I've cut the first (of three) flanges on my ER20XS and cut roughly 1/8” off the foam plugs to get the required insertion depth without causing pain. Be very careful trying this, though, as you don't want to get an earplug stuck!

In my experience, open cell (dull) foam plugs don't sound good because the openings absorb too much of the high frequencies. Those are great for sleeping, but not concerts. I'm also unlikely to try custom ear plugs since:

  1. they're expensive and I tend to lose or break things
  2. ear canals change over time and they need to be re-molded

I buy foam plugs in bulk, and ER20XS only cost $20 USD.

While the Sunset Strip was a ghost town on a Friday night, El Ten Eleven played an excellent show to a small crowd at The Roxy to kick off the new year. They started late due to problems with the light show, which they abandoned in favor of the house lights. While we missed out on the elaborate light show, it did not compromise the sound in any way and I was able to feel the music all the same.

With only two musicians and a clean stage, the soundsystem at The Roxy provided much of the sound and the mix was done well accounting for the combination of electronic and acoustic drums from Tim Fogarty's kit.

Thanks to several friends of mine who told me about the show, helped me with positioning, and tracking out El Ten Eleven's set:

http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/El_Ten_Eleven.2022-01-07.zip/

You'll also find a recording of Sego's opening set there, but it's untracked at the moment. I've only been publishing recordings on my own site for two weeks, now, I have a hard time with song titles, and still have hundreds of shows to go through. So it could be a while before I can track it myself. There's also a feedback form on my .onion site which you can use to contact me about the setlist in case you have no other means.

You'll need to get Tor @ https://www.torproject.org/ or Onion Browser @ https://onionbrowser.com/ to access .onion sites

Emma's band started the evening in front of a hometown crowd. The sound and acoustics at the Masonic Lodge worked out wonderfully compared to some rooms she's played in the past, especially with a full band behind her.

I'll maintain the only way to properly enjoy MONO is live. Neither their studio nor live recordings can ever do them justice. That said, I captured something special that night and hope it translates well to your stereo equipment as well it did on mine!

Both sets were recorded and available on my site at: * http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Mono.2019-06-03.zip/ * http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Emma_Ruth_Rundle.2019-06-03.zip/

You'll need Tor Browser @ https://www.torproject.org/ to access .onion sites

Note: Mono is on the Live Music Archive @ https://archive.org/details/Mono, but I have connectivity problems uploading to archive.org, likely due to my use of a disposable email provider to protect my privacy. Feel free to upload my recording of Mono for me. Perhaps Emma can be convinced to approve recordings for LMA, too, since both Red Sparowes (her former band) and Thou (recent collaborators) are already on LMA.

A perfect April night in Vegas under the stars at The Beauty Bar with the Chicago trio at their finest. With no vocalist, I knew I could focus on the stage amps and not worry about getting a good feed from the PA as with most other shows.

The sound was perfect on the outdoor stage without room modes or way made for excellent recording conditions.

Cult Leader opened, they were also recorded but I can't recall what happened during that set.

A recording I made of Russian Circles is available here:

http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Russian_Circles.2017-04-22.zip/ You'll need to get Tor Browser @ https://www.torproject.org/ to access .onion sites

The Icelandic cowboys' first US tour and performance in Los Angeles. It was also the only time I caught them with Gummi, who left the band shortly after.

The best shows are the ones where I forget I'm recording and just go with the music, and this was one of them. Being a metal show, I got bumped a few times so there was a small amount of audible phasing but still completely enjoyable.

I wasn't really caring about recording by the time Goddess of the Ages rolled around, but my microphones did their job anyways.

Anyways, my recording of that set is available, here:

http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Solstafir.2014-12-05.zip/ You'll need to get Tor Browser @ https://www.torproject.org/ to access .onion sites

Enjoy!

Decisions, decisions, decisions... I just decided to publish louder edits of Agalloch's 2012-04-03 and Chelsea Wolfe's 2021-11-26 shows:

http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Agalloch.2012-04-03.v2.zip/ http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Chelsea_Wolfe.2021-11-26.v3.zip/

Why? Because they WEREN'T LOUD ENOUGH! At least not for normal listening.

A few years ago, I decided I would master live recordings louder to be “competitive” with official releases.

I reasoned this because amplified live concerts are mixed to volume levels which often require the use of earplugs. Hardly anybody listens to music at home at such high volume levels, at least not for long. Thus some careful use of dynamic compression and limiters can be used to make recordings sound more pleasant in normal situations; but not to the point where they sound flattened and brick walled.

Those of you who've known me a while may find this strange and ironic, given I've often complained (and still do) about the lack of dynamic range in official releases. The challenge is (as in everything) about finding a good middle ground; something the likes of Billy Anderson and Ben Chisholm (in my opinion) do very well in the studio for Agalloch and Chelsea Wolfe, respectively.

Chelsea's set was especially challenging, due to the high dynamic range of her material. My original edit (only shared amongst a few friends of mine) had audible clipping during “Scrape” from Jess' drum parts, but no other tracks.

2022-01-01 update: v3 edit of the recording is now up, I wasn't completely happy with my previous edits.

My favorite set of 2021, and likely my best recording of Chelsea Wolfe. She headlined a the first night of Substance LA festival. I wasn't sure if the Belasco acoustics would be good, but her band sounded far better than any of the preceding bands.

Ben performed harsh vocals for Vex, no guest vocalist was present.

They had a technical problem after Carrion Flowers, which prompted Jess to start a mini solo.

Anhedonia was on the setlist but not played due to Emma Ruth Rundle cancelling at the last minute :(

The show actually started around 12:15 AM on 2021-11-27.

Despite being the headliner for the night, Chelsea's band was roughly 4dB quieter than the preceding bands. Also, the stage layout was unconventional for them:

  • Jess stage left (audience right)
  • Brian (+amps) stage right
  • Ben (+amps) upstage right/center (behind and left of Brian, right of Chelsea)
  • Chelsea was downstage center.

Jess brought her own drum kit and acoustic mat; every other band on the main stage shared another kit on the same platform. Jess sounded every bit as great as I remember from 2016-2018 performances in venues with good acoustics.

The combination of the lower volume and stage layout worked well for my live enjoyment and recording. It sounded great with only a crude bass EQ in my car immediately after the show.

Tracklist:

  1. (intro)
  2. Carrion Flowers
  3. 16 Psyche
  4. Dragged Out
  5. After The Fall
  6. Diana
  7. Deranged For Rock & Roll
  8. Tracks (Tall Bodies)
  9. We Hit A Wall
  10. Feral Love
  11. Vex
  12. Survive
  13. Scrape
  14. (encore break)
  15. Be All Things

Personnel:

  • Ben Chisholm – bass, keyboards
  • Brian Tulao – guitars
  • Chelsea Wolfe – vocals, guitars
  • Jess Gowrie – drums

Links:

A recording and setlist photo of this show is available at: http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/Chelsea_Wolfe.2021-11-26.v3.zip/

Get Tor Browser @ https://www.torproject.org/ to access .onion sites

Enjoy!

Published 2021, December 26 (yes, nearly a decade later)

I got the chance to attend a rare acoustic performance by that dog. back in 2012. They played two sets that night with a full string section, but I only attended the late one. It was a seated show and I managed to luck into a good seat.

As Anna mentions, there's several tracks here that are rarely played live so it's a fairly special recording to me.

Unfortunately, my recorder was configured for recording loud rock and metal shows the weeks before, so I set my levels too low but managed to walk away with a good recording nevertheless.

As common with that dog. shows, there was about a minute of banter in between each song so I ended up with 38 tracks.

Tracklist:

  1. [intro]
  2. I'm Gonna See You
  3. [string section intro]
  4. Jump
  5. [banter]
  6. She Doesn't Know How
  7. [banter]
  8. Every Time I Try
  9. [banter]
  10. Anymore [abandoned]
  11. [banter]
  12. Anymore
  13. [banter]
  14. Paid Programming
  15. [banter]
  16. Hawthorne
  17. [banter]
  18. Punk Rock Girl
  19. [banter]
  20. Side Part
  21. [banter]
  22. Holidays
  23. [banter]
  24. She
  25. [banter]
  26. Silently
  27. [banter]
  28. Family Functions
  29. [introducing string section]
  30. Retreat From The Sun [abandoned]
  31. Retreat From The Sun
  32. [banter]
  33. Cowboy Hat
  34. [banter]
  35. Until The Day I Die
  36. [encore break]
  37. Rockstar
  38. [thank you]

Personnel:

  • Anna Waronker
  • Petra Haden
  • Rachel Haden
  • Tony Maxwell
  • Clint Walsh – additional guitar
  • string section (featuring Tanya Haden)
  • ...

https://thatdogofficial.bandcamp.com/

I made a recording, edited, and cut it here:

http://s35tjjsibx24bjtgbbhfyf2d3hx2b7hxxfpalrdd5wbweorqkqfyh4yd.onion/That_Dog.2012-04-13b.zip/ You'll need to get Tor Browser @ https://www.torproject.org/ to access .onion sites

Enjoy!