MP3 Monday: September 11, 2006

The rushed theme of this week’s MP3 Monday: live ’90s power-pop. As always, the MP3s will be up for one week, so be quick with your downloading.
Remember the Lightning” (live) by Velvet Crush. Recorded March 1995 at the Cabaret Metro, Chicago. From the album Rock Concert (2001). Studio version released as a B-side sometime in the early ’90s (?) and compiled on A Single Odessey (2001).
The Velvet Crush — ah, what a promising start! Their first two albums, In the Presence of Greatness and Teenage Symphonies to God, were amazing — chunky, tuneful pop with (by Album No. 2) an occasional bit of country breading. After those, they got all “mature” and a little boring for these ears. (Thus confirming Benton’s Law: Power-pop bands rarely age well.)
This is from a live album issued six years after its recording, which was during the glory days, when they played everything fast and loud. (As all power pop should be, yes?) The song is a cover, originally by Austin/L.A. band 20/20.
The Ugly Truth” (live) by Matthew Sweet. Recorded live in Grant Park, Chicago, July 4, 1993. Originally from the album Altered Beast (1993).
Matthew Sweet is the Crush’s musical older brother, having produced their first album, written the rave-up “Something’s Gotta Give” on their second one, and regularly used Crush drumming genius Ric Menck on his records and tours. (Velvet Crush opened for the only Matthew Sweet show I ever went to, which would have been around 1995.)
In fact, Menck is probably drumming on this track, recorded around Sweet’s artistic and commercial peak. His band cooked on this tour, as the rest of this bootleg proves.
Sweet would later fall in line with Benton’s Law and become less essential with each passing moon.
Emma Blowgun’s Last Stand” (live) by Beulah. From the DVD A Good Band Is Easy To Kill (2005); original on When Your Heartstrings Break (1999).
Beulah is the great exception to Benton’s Law, having gotten better with each album. (They’re also not purist power-pop, having mixed in other indie flavorings.) The original release date makes this technically a ’90s song, even though this recording is from a 2003 show. I really recommend checking out the Good Band Is Easy To Kill DVD, which is only $13 at Amazon — lots of great songs and amusing scenes from Beulah’s final tour. “Emma Blowgun” features a famously slow-burn three-minute open before Bill Swan’s trumpet hook kicks in. (Here’s a video for the song, skipping the intro.)
Man, Beulah were great. I miss ’em.

One thought on “MP3 Monday: September 11, 2006”

  1. Sometimes, I come to your site looking for new music, and am saddened (and also, strangely gladdened) to see that you’re into almost exactly the same music I love. I probably shouldn’t even bother giving youa copy of my next SXSW compilation. You probably already own all the songs…
    p.s. Sloan has a new album coming out. Apparently it has 30 songs!

Comments are closed.