Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hot Link: Vintage concerts online, all for free

The Wolfgang's Vault site is a collection of free vintage concerts from the 1960s through the 1980s, with some stray recent items. The collection began as the archive of recordings (soundboard recordings, the stuff of pure bootleg wet dreams) from the collection of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. The site has now made a deal with the folks who produced the classic radio concert series "The King Biscuit Flower Hour" and some other group that was holding performances by some major country artists. So what you end up having, for the time being (I'm wondering how long this can continue at its current diluted strength) is a site that offers free concerts from psychedelia to punk. I have partaken of several of the recordings in the vault (all available for free — i.d. and password required, but they're gratis — as steaming audio; downloads are available, I don't know how that was worked out...). Immediate faves are of course Martin Mull (from his "Fabulous Furniture" period), the Ramones at the Palladium, Van Morrison at the Bottom Line, Laura Nyro (christ, Laura Nyro!), X from a Brooklyn show, and the singer-songwriter gents when they were newer and less prone to professionalism: Randy Newman in 1972 persists in being a wise-ass because his audience isn't seemingly familiar with what he does, and Warren Zevon is 1978 is audibly drunk and playing off-key. Hey man, that was rock 'n' roll, and more importantly live rock 'n' roll. If you want polished, go check out that arena crap.

Well worth your time:
Wolfgang's Vault

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