Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Never particularly personally interested in Jackson at any point of his career. Yet, the subject/object of this line of effort is fame itself, how it is created...or was created- as the power of making someone publicly memorable at the global scale is diffusing away. Links in a global brain...traffic on the impulse of the left click..The thought at the words: "Michael Jackson" something that is memorable- scale invariant: a dilation that characterizes a transition in phase. From solid into air. A thought that my own consciousness attempts to parasite on: "Michael Jackson"...Perhaps these ridiculous musings are right now flashing across the eyes of some distant stranger in their pursuit of their obsession with those words: "What is all this nonsense?", they will say "I only came here looking for the image of my idol: Michael Joseph Jackson"
Prince or Madonna or Bruce Springsteen or Sting or u2...corporations that owe the inconceivably vast magnitude of their fame to the dawn of cable television - the zenith of USA pop cultural lingua franca all across the globalization of reality. The respective merits of one of these Persona (TM) versus another. Eclipsed in any way that you might relate to them as a person in the room- some occasion for whom expression is a conflict with the moment. Like some brand or fashion of clothing that, in its novel early days, was evocative of something you could be identify with, and then, finally...it reaches such a breadth of ubiquity that it becomes the definition of banality to mention it in conversation or pretend that you can possess a relation to it. ("I was there first...I was there in the old days...") Even objecting to it is the recognition that you are subject to its power- It's better to remain silent, wait for a moment in which you can be present...Hope that it might soon just fade away.
The sound on this bootleg recording is very, very thin...as if it was recorded on a cheap plastic microphone with no dynamic range. Sometimes, when the singers hit the mike, there is some distortion. But even with all that into account, it's not actually painful to listen to..
And the video is proshot and edited from 4 or so cameras. time coded and the images faint and blurry, ghostly somewhat. I could see someone who was really into dance moves and choreography really getting some interest out of examining this show.
...Now I was searching for the you tube footage of this show and I couldn't find the exact match. That is to say, people have posted versions of the footage that is distinct from what I myself downloaded from the internet. Some versions are unedited- show footage from all four cameras side by side in the frame for the entire duration of the concert. Some versions are edited, but the quality is superior to the copy that I managed to find. If you are interested in watching this, that's the kind of version you want. Good luck finding it. I am posting an excerpt from a text file that accompanied the download- so that if you wind up with it as well, you will know that a superior version of the video still awaits your discovery:
"PRO SHOT, mainly from the front stage pit camera, the video and audio quality is 2+/3-,but
the simply outstanding performance of the Jackson 5 captures your attention to make this
a very enjoyable show for MJ and J5 enthusiasts. Lots of great dance moves from the
23 year old Michael Jackson. Michael was wearing his vertical sequence shirt,
with white pants having sequence patches on the knees. This is just months
before Michael went into the studio to record Thriller.
No official material. **Let's hope that the Jacksons will release this show officially one day.**
enjoy! - Shafi, ChargerSRT
; Checksums generated by ExactFile 184.108.40.206
; 8/22/2009 10:47:12 AM
; 5 files hashed."
Trying to get closer to time and space with this one. Watching Hendrix a few days ago, it reminded me of the efforts of the space brothers, their promise of free energy, and the elusive rainbow bridge. Energy has not yet become free, but images have, or at least nearly so. In my computer struggle to become acquainted with the 21st century, I spent a few hours scrolling through a few of the innumerable torrent trackers that are devoted to recordings of live music. When I chanced across a fair amount of seeders sharing a Spiritualized gig, I felt the impulse to see what J. Spaceman was up to. Last thing I heard was a promo copy of Amazing Grace in a bargain bin about the time of its release, decided it just wasn't for me, and have gone ignorant of the group since then. My internet search of "Spiritualized" ten seconds ago reveals that "ladies and gentlemen" is being given the live performance treatment. There was an all tomorrows UK show just weeks ago and another one upcoming.
GSpot tells me this is MPEG2 AC3 25fps 8221 kbps and 720X576
It hardly seems right to apply the word "bootleg", with all of its romantic history, to this kind of computer file, as all it really amounts to is somebody capturing a broadcast with their home recorder, sorting it out with a menu and chapters and tossing a pointer to it up onto the internet. But that's the present and the future. There are a dozen or so European festivals that receive extensive TV coverage and many times they wind up broadcasting full sets by bands. In the future, I'd imagine they will keep this content online and allow people to grab it when the interest strikes them, perhaps it will work if they keep the cost low enough that the convenience beats getting it from other sources
Ah...the rock festival, I feel that they have seen a resurgence of popularity. Hard to say why, really. For one thing, they are run better, I suppose. Take the Behemoth called Live Nation: it promotes over 22,000 events with total attendance over 50 million. It owns Download Festival, o2 Wireless, and has 50.1 in the production of Glastonbury. For a serious machine like that, I also imagine people's attraction to festivals is assisted with some intelligently planned marketing.
Not to get too dour, though, it is still really just a shitton of people milling about in a cowpasture.
Last words on Glastonbury I'll leave to Pulp's Cocker, who let go an honest impression chatting during the director's commentary to Temple's DVD: "It seems like when it was first starting out, it was people looking for a whole new lifestyle...a whole new way to live...and there still are a few of those people left...But now it's like, people go there for a weekend...It's like a little holiday from normal life...but they know: "Yeah, I'm going to go back to normal life right after it"...It's not like they think: "Yeah, I'm going to live in a teepee or I'm going to live in a field for the rest of me life..."
So yeah, This Spirtualized stuff was a TV broadcast, baring HD, 5.1, or alternate angles, it's as good as any official live disc product that the band could have chosen to put out...Except for saying frankly, I don't expect that this was one of their best gigs. I wasn't able to keep enough interest to watch this whole show. Writing this, I found an OK arenagrande interview, which features moments of a performance in a room with decent acoustics, the superb gospel background singers, and a far more energetic Pierce. That's what I wouldn't mind watching, with, say, some stark lighting and intelligent strobes. Overall, a lot of the 2008 audience depicts a lot more engaging act then this glasto affair. The pitchfork2008 stuff went online in pretty fair quality, but, once again, it's a festival setting, and the music has far more of a concert hall vibe.
If you are interested in audio live show bootlegs from Spiritualized, http://spiritualizedlive.blogspot.com/ has pretty much got you covered with more than 100 shows available for download!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Spanish Castle Magic
Voodoo Child (slight return)
Sunshine Of Your Love
First off, some of the material on here has seen an official release: Sunshine Of Your Love and Red House were featured as part of: Experience: Jimi Hendrix (AKA "See My Music Talking" by Peter Neal)- a 2001 DVD/VHS release which I have not seen and believe is out of print.
This show was pro shot in a TV studio. The very first thing that strikes you is the vivid quality of the image. The analog videotape signal really had an electric looking contrast and has some strange overexposure effects. There's some compression noise in the blacks, unfortunately. I had a projector at one point and threw this up on the wall for a party. It was very striking, one of the best looking bootlegs that I own.
As for the performance itself, I've searched around a bit and all the reviews I've encountered say pretty much the same thing: Hendrix was not really feeling it for this occasion. He starts the show explaining that the band hadn't played together for six weeks and that they are going to play "oldies but baddies," suggesting his enthusiasm for his older material was on the wane. Mitchell and Redding often extend the verses by a few bars or just lay out to let Hendrix try to take the solos somewhere. But it never really comes.
As far as the greatest moments of Hendrix unreleased in his lifetime, both in terms of recording and performance, I have to say, sadly, I haven't had the time to really dig into it. Top 10 recommendations would be appreciated. I know a few things here and there. I was listening, for example, to "Spanish Castle Magic" at the Atlanta Pop Festival the other day. Its ride-the-feedback solo never fails to mesmerize. Overall, there are 1000s of hours of Hendrix audio recordings. I just had a online look inside of Black Gold and the second part's list of films and videos is a Hendrix Studies 101. Some guy at In from the Storm.com has done some meticulous years of research and gives you some idea of how big the continent really is. The estate, controlled now by his sister, I believe, is attempting to slowly present the material in a curated, well packaged way that keeps pace with casual demand. In contrast, other parties, some affiliated with Hendrix' deceased manager, persist in cranking out cds like hotcakes. I remember feeling overwhelmed just thinking about a recently released 22 cd set! I'm no slouch when it comes to obsessive compulsive disorder, but for Hendrix, at least, I'd really prefer to depart with someone else's reader's digest roadmap.
My intuition is that, of all of the recording artists of the twentieth century, Hendrix is one of the dozen most deserving for someone coming along and fashioning a high tech navigation database for every single recorded moment that remains. With dead authors, publishers eventually put out a collected works: with all of the ephemera, like mail correspondence and such, all of it annotated by the dates at which they were written. A certain nerdy, scholastic margin of society, whiling away their hours in the shadows of such monuments, attributes to them an almost supremely stunning beauty (guilty.) Now, the official Hendrix website has a history tab, with a daily diary of the last three years of his life in which there are links to the resulting recordings. It's nice, but it could certain use a little infusion of Web 2.0. A complete terabyte of the digital simulacrum of the Jimi Hendrix Experience may await us one day.
If you've been reading this blog for more than a page or so, you've gathered that I've been using these DVD acquisitions to comment on the achievements of Rock and Rollers on the whole, above whichever bootleg I happen to be talking about. It is very hard to find something about Jimi Hendrix that goes beyond what others have tried to say. I've discarded a number of drafts of this, finally deciding that I may have to wait to review one of my other Hendrix bootlegs before I can articulate something that approaches the subject.
The one thing that I always think of, in the context of Hendrix, has to do with the character of music itself: with music, talent consists of something more than ability. When the music of one celebrity creates more of a response in you than the music of another, why does that happen? It's more than mere technical know how. Music is more subtle than the Olympics- where a stopwatch or a number of pounds lifted can declare the world's greatest.
At the bottom of the day, I find myself thinking that it might merely be whoever is there to make the imprint at a critical time. Like Dr. Lorenz and the geese that followed his boots. Most people worship their childhood celebrities in some fixed image of a never changing ideal.
And of course, from thoughts of Hendrix, follow thoughts of "the summer of love", whatever that was, is, could have been, or never could have been. Of course if the task of meaningfully describing Hendrix seems to challenge our abilities, discussing revolutions..................capturing them in dead words on a page................I feel convinced that it would require an altogether total effort to get anywhere close to what is required. Although it is unlikely, perhaps some further images will force the occasion.