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  1. Marking the thread as this is literally something we started experimenting with this week. We're currently toying with the idea of using VST instruments in Ableton and an Akai Mini or MPK 225. Ableton won't play nice with my favourite plugins so the current set up is a bit of a lash up: crappy old Roland controller keys triggering vst sounds in Reaper. It was great fun - guitarist and me had already swapped instruments and were jabbing at the keys whenever either of us had a hand free. Will be reading with interest to see how we can finesse things.
  2. I am stupidly tempted by this, despite the likelihood of having exactly the same issue as you. Is this at Chase, going off the tags?
  3. Some random thoughts occur: if it's a headline gig would want to play through someone else's gear? Would it be practical to have a complete teardown and set up between each set? Would you trust the promoter to hire in appropriate gear? Would a small charity gig be able to stretch to the hire costs? Is there enough room in the venue to store multiple drum kits and amps throughout the evening? I've never minded sharing gear but the stuff I take to gigs is deliberately bulletproof. I've also got to play through equipment I otherwise wouldn't have done and have subsequently added to my ever-growing shopping list. It's a double-edged sword. To be honest I'm that jealous of the gigging opportunity, I'm not sure my judgement is to be trusted.
  4. I know there is a big chunk of mid period stuff that I'm unfamiliar with but the ones I tend to listen to are Nebraska, Tom Joad and Magic. I particularly enjoy the latter as a Magnetic Fields fan - was quite a jolt to hear Springsteen apparently channeling Stephin Merritt. But my absolute favourite is the Brixton Night bootleg - if you've not heard it yet, beg borrow or steal it: it's all great but the version of Darkness on the Edge of town is heart-stoppingly brilliant. I'll try to upload that particular track somewhere later today.
  5. It sounded more like being in a tent that someone was whipping increasingly quickly and forcefully... I think I've got a recording of it that I'll try to post. But you're right - if it isn't as obvious as a visibly disconnected component, I'll be out of my depth.
  6. The electrics *should* be sound - it's a small room in a domestic property that was recently refitted and rewired by the owner's (professional) electrician friend - although stranger things have happened, I I suppose. The cables are ok in as much as the speaker misbehaved even with different xlrs and kettle leads. I'll have to figure out how much a replacement will cost vs my time poking at it with a screwdriver. Thank you for the pointers!
  7. The rehearsal room is being readied for action again... We've got a couple of Mackie (or possibly Tapco) Thumps that haven't been used in anger for some considerable time - active speakers fed from a Behringer XR18. When I was giving everything a test run last week one of them gave a little crackle which very quickly built up to a quite terrifying loud static sort of noise - pulled the plug but exactly the same thing happened a few minutes after plugging in again. It's a very electrical sounding noise, if that makes sense. Any thoughts on how to bottom this out? I was wondering about possible condensation inside or maybe a a dodgy solder joint that starts playing up as things get warmer?
  8. Another massive Fall fan here, although I didn't bother seeing them live for the last 10 years of the band's existence. The sad thing was that I could stand it when it could be either awesome or awful but that final era of being consistently sort of OK did nothing for me at all. Plus the gigs were increasingly short, late and expensive... And the fans ever more obnoxious - the slightly cerebral working class types of old being outnumbered by people actively reveling in Mark Smith's drunken antics. So sad. I'd put a top drawer Fall performance head and shoulders over almost anything else I've ever heard: an alchemy achieved by unstable line-ups - and MES was quite right to point out that none of the musicians could ever do anything a fraction as compelling once outside of his influence. I shall dismount from my hobbyhorse. I was also deeply disappointed by the sort-of-reformed Afghan Whigs (essentially the Twilight Singers moonlighting) and the Only Ones' brief reunion - although the rehabilitated Peter Perrett is now marvelous live.
  9. In keeping with this thread's spirit of presenting absolutely opposing opinions... In my last band, we found IEMs had exactly the opposite effect: the singer could boost their in-ear vocal level way higher than they were used to, sang much more softly and so needed to be boosted in the mix - masses of feedback and loads of cymbal spill into her mic. Hardly insurmountable but you need someone on board with the idea that the sound man can't magically fix everything at the desk. Bassists seem good at this, other band members' mileage may vary.
  10. I love TV Eye - one of the few live albums that actually sounds like a gig.
  11. I wasn't aware that the original Love had toured internationally - must have been fantastic to catch them during that era. I think I've only left one gig early for anything other than travel reasons: Plan B at the Manchester Academy 3 - somehow we caught him in between his initial gritty acoustic rap phase and the majesty of the Strickland Banks album. Boiling hot small venue, songs that sounded like a dodgy boyband and the sort of audience I've never since come across at gigs. As we walked out the doormen seemed to approve "yeah, he's only got one good song". I do sort of wish I'd held out though - he was clearly in some sort of transitional phase, would have been fascinating to look back on it properly.
  12. I do sometimes wonder if this sort of thing is a potential negative though. As a kid, if I'd bought a record (or tape, usually) it meant that I'd invested serious money in it and if I didn't enjoy it straight away I'd keep bashing away at it until I liked it or was sure I didn't. Still do that nowadays, to be fair. With a generation or two now reliant on streamed music, I do fear that the stuff that isn't instantly gripping can fall by the wayside. I suppose CDs made an early start on this by making it easy to skip tracks rather than having to play the whole album through to hear favoured tracks... A slight aside - does anyone else here use the Logitech Squeezebox/Media Server systems for their listening?
  13. I heard an interesting (and possibly apocryphal) statistic about how many new LPs are being bought as ornaments and collectors items, never to be played. And the quality of some recent pressings is shocking. Anyway, I'm very fond of vinyl - as a teenager in the mid 90s it allowed me to scoop up loads of essential stuff without breaking the bank. Black Sabbath first 6 for £2 - £4 a piece, the Ramones' classic stuff for not much more, endless boot sale bargains (Layla on seemingly unplayed double vinyl and Bringing It All Back Home for 60p each being particularly memorable)... Latterly I've been able to pick up Van Morrison's OOP stuff for much less than the scarce CD versions but this is very much an exception. I still love the process and ceremony of putting a record on, the big sleeves and the magic of how the sound is actually extracted from the disc - something that seems far more fascinating than digital encoding. But they are an indulgence for me and I'd always want a digital copy too. Anyway, I've been plugged the gaps in my collection via ultra cheap Amazon, Ebay and pound shop secondhand CDs for the last few years. This wonderful song by Jeffrey Lewis could be the story of my life:
  14. Jesus, that Facebook page... I do hope somebody is already onto this.
  15. Yeah but most artists' live albums aren't back catalogue re-defining like old Neil's. Crime in the City on Weld, Transformer Man on Unplugged, When Your Lonely Heart Breaks on YOTH - all completely vitalize tracks that don't quite work on their original LPs. For me anyway... whenever I'm trying to get someone into Neil Young it's always the live albums I point them to.
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