Thursday, December 22, 2011

LOUD: the Jesus Lizard 27 Aug 1989 Chicago

01: Why is there blood on my clothes?
02: And then his oats from the night before came up with the sun.
03: Lies in a bath with no water, and a bath full of blood.
04: You can't expect too much from two braindead brickheads.
05: He lazy eye bagging but sorely, no morsel of spunk had he left, who was he drained.
06: Let them sing.
07: When you take off your stockings, flower blossoms and bird sings.
08: Some kind of bra-wearin' hairy fish droolin' into your dish.
09: I remember, but not very well, marinating in a pool, a puddle of blood and urine.
10: Fuckin' ass waxeatin' bastard, always mean and always plastered.
11: Your first mistake was to think that you could fuck with the ranch.
12: Helios Creed?.
13: Your blood flows by like a meandering stream, bubbling, gurgling, brook-like.
14: May we rest with the weight of your fresh steamin' shit on our backs.

There was no better live band on Earth than the Jesus Lizard.  Here's the proof - and it was only their third gig, an in-store performance at Chicago's Reckless Records on Broadway.  Having been to this store hundreds of times, and knowing the size of the "performance space" (ha!), the thought of seeing this band *there* just blows my mind.

This featured gig is an absolutely stunning soundboard, provided by Whitney their sound guy.  Here, given the mastering love of the Analog Loyalist, this document is easily the best (and I include Club and Show here) Lizard gig in existence, from an audio perspective.  It's as if they dialed in the settings used to record Head, and just played the songs.  Is Albini hiding behind the mixing desk?  Forget the version on Dime (which I used as my source), it blows compared to this.

Sims' bass is full of guttural wallops.  Mac's drums pillage your eardrums.  Duane's guitars bleed.  Yow's vocals terrify.

I was going to let you figure out the song titles from the lyric snippets leading the post, but decided to play nice...

27 August 1989
In-store performance
Reckless Records, 3126 N. Broadway, Chicago IL

01 Starlet
02 One Evening
03 Bloody Mary
04 Rabid Pigs
05 (None Other Than) Killer McHann
06 Metropolis (aka Tight 'N Shiny)
07 Good Things
08 S.D.B.J.
09 My Own Urine
10 Waxeater
11 Blockbuster
12 Chrome
13 Pastoral
14 7 vs. 8

Starts out a bit phasey in "Starlet" but quickly settles into sonic perfection.

Yer lossless FLACs are here.

Now go play this LOUD!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

the Jesus Lizard: Peel remastered (must hear!)

Some time back we brought to you a spectacular set of BBC Peel session recordings by the Jesus Lizard, lifted by a kind soul direct from BBC master reels.  As detailed in that original post, these recordings have never been released and are exactly as you would imagine in regards to quality direct from BBC masters.

Two sessions were recorded for John Peel, at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios: a set in the Goat timeframe on February 24, 1991 with BBC producer (and former Mott the Hoople drummer) Dale Griffin, and one in the era of Liar on September 27, 1992 with BBC producer Nick Gomm.

Mutual blog friend Chunklet posted the '91 session as MP3s some time back on Chunklet, which drew a companion blog response from none other than tJL bassist David Wm. Sims.  Among other tidbits and musings on the Queen, Sims offered a recollection of the moment when the band, after recording basic tracks, marched into the control room to have a first listen with producer Griffin.  Griffin's response?  “It’s certainly not music for pussies, is it?”

I laughed, at least (when I read it, that is; of course I wasn't there!).

The thing is, the final mixdown of both sessions (granted, as per custom most Peel sessions had the band track, mix and edit everything for that particular session over one grueling day, not slaving weeks over the mix etc.) didn't really force the point home that it certainly wasn't music for pussies.  When I listen to the Jesus Lizard, I like that it's the aural equivalent of thumbscrews to my head.  I hate the term "slamming" with regards to music, but really, that's what this band sounds like at its very best.  The Peel recordings almost sound neutered, perhaps so Granny won't run for the hills after walking into the kitchen, when she realized little (insert very English-sounding boy's name here) left the kitchen radio on playing Radio One's Peel program?  While excellent, the recordings just don't really compare to the albums recorded with Albini with regards to overall sonic impact.

So, I got to work.  Following mastering engineer Bob Weston's recipe for when he and Albini remastered the tJL Touch and Go records for the 2009 reissues, after a 10k bump and cranking the limiter, here we are.  Joke!  Joke!  (Weston, when asked on the Electrical Audio forums what he and Albini did (if anything) to the material when remastering it, replied as an inside mastering engineer joke "10k bump and crank the limiter" - a wry remark as to what often happens when your favorite record is remastered and trumpeted as the latest and greatest...)

Seriously, I did pull some tricks and magic dust and really worked on the overall sonic impact of these sessions.  They now very comfortably sit within the band's overall (Touch and Go) catalog, convincingly not being "music for pussies".

I am, as last time, posting this as FLAC.  This really needs official release and I do hope that if it ever comes to pass that this does get an official release, they don't use the raw material as-is but consider what the band is and present the record as such.  I would expect BBC engineers probably have better tools at their facility than I do with regards to mastering, but then again, I don't lose David Bowie one-of-a-kind broadcasts either...

mastered by Analog Loyalist 12/2011

Session One:  Recorded 24 Feb 1991, broadcast 17 March 1991
Producer: Dale Griffin
Engineers: Julia Carney & Mike Robinson
Studio - Maida Vale 3


01 Wheelchair Epidemic
02 Bloody Mary
03 Seasick
04 Monkey Trick

Session Two: Recorded 27 September 1992, broadcast 29 October 1992
Producer: Nick Gomm
Engineers: R. Jordan & N. Gomm
Studio - Maida Vale 3


05 Gladiator
06 Whirl
07 Puss
08 Boilermaker


Mac McNeilly (Drums)
David Wm. Sims (Bass)
Duane Denison (Guitar)
David Yow (Vocals)