In between the albums Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding, Bob Dylan holed up in Garth Hudson’s Woodstock home with his band (that would be The Band), where the group tore through multiple recordings a day for the summer of 1967. Those recordings would not only provide the seeds of hit songs for other artists, they would go on to spawn The Band’s Music From Big Pink. Though a collection of these recordings was released in 1975, the entirety of this legendary fertile period had never been released until now. Vol. 11 of The Bootleg Series gives Dylan fans what they’ve dreamed of having. Running in chronological order, we start with the sweet “Edge of the Ocean,” a simple, rough-and-tumble recording that of a never-before-released song that represents the seedlings of Dylan and The Band’s momentous summer. We get early versions of “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere” with cool, scattershot lyrics about feeding cats. There’s an early take of The Band’s “I Shall Be Released” that is stunning in its shambolic simplicity. You can almost feel the room around which “Quinn the Eskimo” was recorded as the band casually rolls through the future Manfred Mann song. Some of the recordings can be a bit rough, sure. But listening through these recordings and finding your favorites is the next best thing to having been there yourself during these epic recording sessions. And the prime cuts from Vol. 11 taken together still represent the great lost Dylan album. For fans of Dylan and The Band—really, for all fans of music history—Basement Tapes Vol. 11 is an essential listen. Hear "Odds and Ends" via Rollingstone.
L.A. new romantics Roses hit the Bootleg HiFi for their November Sunday residency, presented by The Fold. The band plays every Sunday in November, with a new slate of supporting bands each night. Nov. 23 is Amoeba Music Night, featuring Hair Perfect, Crystales and Basement Babies. We’ll be on hand with coupons, buttons and more.
Roses formed last year, following the dissolution of guitarist Juan Velasquez’s old band, Abe Vigoda. Since then, the band has played live extensively, with bands such as A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Diiv, as well as at Amoeba's Red Bull Sound Select show back in August with Tanlines, and they released the Dreamlover EP this year on Group Tightener. Velasquez, a veteran of Amoeba, and singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg sat down to talk with us a bit about his new band and what they have going on into the new year.
Cherry Glazerr – “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”
Here’s a good one for Halloween. L.A.’s Cherry Glazerr turn in an eerie version of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” a traditional pop song made popular in cartoons and by Tiny Tim. The band recorded it for the trailer to Insidious: Chapter 3, as the song reoccurs throughout the films. Hear the band go from quietly creepy to roaring in the track below:
Hear it in the Insidious: Chapter 3 trailer below:
Jack Name – “Running After Ganymede”
L.A. lo-fi pop wunderkind Jack Name released an excellent, underrated album in January called Light Show, and he’s already got a new one planned called Weird Moons, due Jan. 20 on Castle Face. This is another great one for Halloween, an eerie space-groover with faint howls in the background and vocals like a vampire in love. Check it out via Death and Taxes. He’s on tour right now with Thee Oh Sees and comes to S.F. Dec. 4-5 at The Chapel.
Too much has been written about Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album. Its songs have so permeated every pore of popular culture that it’s nearly impossible to think of it with a clear head. But its ubiquity should not count against it.
Led Zeppelin IV is as wonderful and album to revisit on its new reissues as it is to discover for the first time. It is the sound of four of the greatest rock musicians of all time at the height of their powers. People who don’t listen to this are depriving themselves of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest thrill ride.
I remember hearing it for the first time when I was 12. My dad bought us the tape to listen to in the car on the way to guitar lessons with my brothers. (Yes, my dad was very cool for getting me and my brothers guitar lessons, but it was his way of making peace with us after he made us move from Southern California to Florida—FLORIDA.)
My older brother was 15 or 16 at the time and immediately fell in love. I didn’t. He was at the right age to appreciate. I liked it all right, but I kind of shrugged. Led Zeppelin sounded so old to me, and too boyish. It was 1994, and I was too busy listening to Green Day, The Cranberries, Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots, my taste leaning toward punk-influenced grunge and female-fronted bands. My brother played that tape incessantly in the car, and we didn’t get along too well at the time, as teenage brothers often don’t, so I kind of hated it sometimes, to be honest. And there Led Zeppelin remained for me, a relic to be vaguely appreciated but not loved.
The Twilight Sad are masters of misery, plying heartbreak directly into their guitars on their stunning fourth album. “There’s a Girl in the Corner” is an epic breakup song, with James Graham’s repeating “she’s not coming back,” his Scottish brogue piercing through sheets of minor key noise. “Last January” is propulsive with a perfect layering of synths, displaying at how well The Twilight Sad have folded their recent new-wave leanings into their core noise-pop sound. The band also continue to show an uncanny ability to repurpose familiar influences like R.E.M., Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine and still come out with something fresh and enjoyable on tracks like “It Was Never the Same,” touching on these influences without being beholden to them, or letting Graham’s voice soar over a Suicide-style drum machine on the title track. The band has often been noted more for its atmospherics than hooks, but “Drown So I Can Watch” is one of their catchiest songs yet, with a relatively light, lilting melody that eases some of the downer mood. And they allow for more space on Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave than on previous albums, ending on a pair of spare, beautiful tracks. It’s the best thing they’ve done since their electrifying debut.