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Concerted Efforts | Five New Live Albums To Tide You Over

Japandroids, Pere Ubu, Sonic Youth & more help with your live-music withdrawal.


I have a confession to make: I really don’t miss concerts all that much. Especially not the bits that involve waiting in long lines, getting ripped off and standing for hours in a giant teeming mass of sweaty, screaming drunks. But hey, that’s me. If you’re jonesing for some live music, here are five new arrivals to get you through another gigless week.


Massey Fucking Hall (Live)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver duo Japandroids are releasing their first-ever live album, reverently titled Massey Fucking Hall after the historic Toronto venue where it was recorded. “We’ve actually recorded a number of shows over the years, and for one reason or another, they just didn’t turn out,” drummer David Prowse explained. “We both like where this show catches us. We are at a bit of a crossroads in some ways between the band that put out Post-Nothing back in 2009 and where we are going. This setlist captures the first three albums really well and shows how much we’ve changed since those Post-Nothing days. We still have the energy but we have better command of our instruments and our voices. It feels a little less off the rails but still has a ton of momentum.”

Pere Ubu
By Order Of Mayor Pawlicki (Live In Jarocin)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On Friday, July 14th 2017, Pere Ubu musicians and crew undertook the journey to Jarocin, Poland, from their homes around the world …” And so begins the story of By Order Of Mayor Pawlicki. Broken mics, broken drums, broken itineraries and some espionage made this a stand-out gig for all involved, but from the moment they took to the stage the band’s performance blew all of those impediments, and more, aside. Performing material from the first seven years of the band’s career, Pere Ubu, led by the ever-engaging David Thomas, rejuvenate and reinvigorate their classic catalogue from this influential era. Interspersed with Thomas’ anecdotes, observations and inspired utterances, here we present eighteen cornerstone pieces of the Pere Ubu jigsaw, performed with dedicated brutality.”

Sonic Youth
Perspectives Musicales | Live at Cat’s Cradle 2000

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Mid-July, 2000, Chapel Hill, N.C. In and around town in all of the various places where Cat’s Cradle shows were promoted, some 8.5″x11″ fliers started popping up advertising an evening billed as SYR Records Presents: Perspectives Musicales. Huh? The questions started up — “Sonic Youth just played in Raleigh in late June. It couldn’t be them again could it? Is this some sort of showcase, albeit for a label that only releases Sonic Youth material? Aren’t they on tour with Pearl Jam or something?” All I knew was that for $12 and a Saturday show was that I was *in,* regardless of what the set turned out to be. Those two-ish weeks between the show’s announcement and the actual day were pretty suspenseful. Checking the Pearl Jam / Sonic Youth tour itinerary had revealed that the Perspectives Musicales night was actually an off night *and* in North Carolina. It seemed pretty likely that it was going to be a Sonic Youth set, leaving the mystery then as what kind? Similar to the June show? All improv? (Admittedly, my fantasy.) Something else entirely? The night arrived and, well, as you’ll quickly be able to tell from this recording, it was pretty special and fun. Freewheeling and loose, the first set was constantly rotating, each portion something that a dyed-in-the-wool Sonic Youth (and related) fan would want to see. The magic was that you were getting to see each of these portions all back-to-back-to-back in real time. Psychic Hearts? Sure! Mote solo? You’ve got it! Improvised film scores? Yes, please! A sneak peek at Kim’s not-yet-released SYR5? Got you covered. Thurston running through instrumental 12 string acoustic demo-style takes of tracks that would later appear on Murray Street? Jackpot! The crazy thing was that this special hour-ish went by quickly and then was followed by a full-on, ripping SY set. As the final notes of 100% closed out the night, everyone in the audience knew they had seen something special. I’m sitting here typing this, somewhat in disbelief that this show was right at 20 years ago. It is one of those things that formed memories so pleasant and vivid that it still kind of seems like it was yesterday. Relive it with me, won’t you?”

Depeche Mode
LiVE SPiRiTS Soundtrack

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following widespread tastemaker press, fan praise and global box office success, Depeche Mode released their boundary-breaking, feature-length documentary and concert film, Depeche Mode: SPiRiTS in the Forest. LiVE SPiRiTS is a full-length Depeche Mode concert performance filmed at the final two shows of the Global Spirit Tour at the Waldbühne in Berlin. This footage has never been previously released or broadcast in its entirety. In addition to the two video discs, the package includes two CDs containing the LiVE SPiRiTS soundtrack, the live audio recording from the performance. The music, including several of Depeche Mode’s biggest hits, and the Spirits’ stories entwine seamlessly, illuminating the enduring power of Depeche Mode and the power music has to cross boundaries and borders and ultimately unite us.”

Ice Nine Kills
Undead & Unplugged | Live From The Overlook Hotel

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Horror themed metalcore icons Ice Nine Kills released Undead & Unplugged Live From The Overlook Hotel, a five-track acoustic EP recorded at their very special fan event at The Stanley Hotel, more famously known as The Overlook Hotel from classic horror movie The Shining. For the very special fan event, the band transformed several songs into acoustic sing-a-longs including rock radio favorites A Grave Mistake & Savages and The Shining-inspired Enjoy Your Slay. Speaking on the release of Undead & Unplugged From The Overlook Hotel, frontman and creative force behind Ice Nine Kills, Spencer Charnas says: “We decided to release this EP now to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Shining, one of the most influential horror movies of all time. As a life-long horror fan, I was thrilled when we were able to enlist the help of Stanley Kubrick’s grandson Sam to provide guest vocals on the original version of our track Enjoy Your Slay, and we were equally thrilled when The Stanley Hotel invited us to play in their infamous ballroom for this special, intimate, sold-out fan event. The biggest highlight for me was getting to see the real Room 237 (217 in the book), the setting for one of the most terrifying scenes in The Shining. We got some intel from an employee who told us that whilst shooting Dumb and Dumber, which also features The Stanley Hotel, Jim Carey had insisted on staying in room 217 but got so freaked out on the first night, he had leave the room.”