$2 at the thrift shop, I bought this on sight in case Mike needed it. He already had it, so here it lives.
A 1969 live show in Toronto, it lives up to its title: it’s a noisy, crashing freak out, alright (especially I’ve Written Home To Mother, and A C Instrumental). Actually, it sounds like a helluva party. It may sound a bit shitty on CD, but I’ll bet if you were in the room that night it would have been really something to see. It wavers between garage band’s first gig and barely controlled well-worn genius.
After 6 live tracks of Alice, we inexplicably get two Ronnie Hawkins studio tracks, Going To The River, and Ain’t That Just Like A Woman. Haha whut. Oh nevermind, I actually quite enjoyed them both.
This has got to be a bootleg. What a weird CD.
Mail From Jedi Master Lebrain
subtitle: The AAAA Welcomes New Residents!
Ages ago, and because he is super-amazing, Mike said he was gonna hook me up with the Blue Rodeo live album, Just Like A Vacation. Wahoo! I sure do like me some Blue Rodeo, but I never owned the live album. Go figure, I’ve never seen them live either (oversiiiiight!).
Anyway, it took a little while, but it came to pass that I had something to send to him, too (you’ll hear that story shortly, I’m sure), so we mailed to each other on the same day. The Canada Post race was on! I won that race, but only by one day, and only because the central mail depot is nearMike‘s house, so of course it was easier to get things to him quickly. The rutted wagon trail to my town means it takes a bit longer for the mail delivery to reach us… not to mention the constant threat of highway robbery by bandits hiding in the woods… Ha. Still, it was only the very next day after Mike got his thing that I got… well, it was more than the Blue Rodeo set. A LOT MORE.
I came home yesterday morning to this:
That does not look like a box that contains a single CD case of a Blue Rodeo concert, to me…
Did I miss a memo that said Christmas was being moved to May, this year? First, Geoff sent me awesomeness. And now Mike has overloaded my senses with more greatness?! The words ‘above and beyond,’ as regards recent events and this box (which named me Jedi Master Aaron) simply cannot do this justice. Check this out:
Let’s have a look at the contents, shall we…
1) Two CDs (well, technically 3):
a) Blue Rodeo – Just Like A Vacation (2CD). The reason for the mailing! That band always hits me just right. I cannot wait to dig into all of the goodness sure to be contained within this set! THANKS HEAPS, MIKE!
b) Alice Cooper – A Fistful Of Alice. It looks to be a Hits set (and will therefore be double awesome because 1) Alice, and 2) Alice’s Hits!). Excellent!! “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”
2) Two copied cassettes:
a) Samson – Head First / Shock Tactics. This is gonna be brilliant. I’ve never heard any Samson (I don’t think so, anyway). It even has a typed j-card with fancy fonts on the titles. Bring on the Bruce Bruce!
b) Hellacopters – Grande Rock. I’ve heard individual songs from these guys, here and there, but never owned an album. This’ll be great!!
3) Two books:
a) Robert Hilburn – Johnny Cash: The Life. How awesome is this? Oh my goodness. A pull-quote on the cover from Rolling Stone declares it “The ultimate Johnny Cash biography.” This is going to the top of the reading pile!
b) Brian Southall – The Beatles In 100 Objects: The Story Of The World’s Greatest Rock And Roll Band Through The Items They Used, Created And Inspired. Whoa. I didn’t even know this book existed. A quick flip through it reveals guitars, post cards, gig posters, a car… This is gonna be a huge, enlightening read! What a splendid idea for a book.
This is just incredible. Seriously. I am flabbergasted. The generosity that has been raining down on the KMA’s Ontario offices lately has been astounding. Mike. Mike Mike Mike. Thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!
Alice Cooper Boxed Set From Mike!
As I noted yesterday, it may seem that I have been slacking off on the KMA posts recently, no reviews. Well, I certainly haven’t been remiss – I was overdosing on the Metallica Live Shit: Binge And Purge set (as reviewed yesterday), one other album around which I need to wrap my head before even trying to apply the English language to it (review forthcoming shortly… hopefully…), as well as all of this…
There was only one problem – there was no track listing included. And none of the CDs included track info burnt in… so I had 3 CDs (58 songs total) and no track titles! I still played them, and will tell you about it all momentarily but, more recently, and since I was gonna do this post, I emailed Mike about it, but he had no record of the tracks he’d included. Also, unhelpfully, the CDs are merely labeled (in black Sharpie) as Alice 1, Alice 2, and Alice 3. He’s probably gonna read this and be as surprised as I was as to what was here.
It should also be noted that he also sent me a 5CD Judas Priest boxed set he’d made. My memory tells me these were sent around the same time, but I could be wrong about that… And same thing with those Priest discs, there was no track listing included (or on the tracks themselves) either, but in that case Mike was able to find the track list on his hard drive and send it to me, thus saving me a metric shit-ton of work in finding out what they all were. Sadly, it was not so with this Alice set. Mike had no record of it. So I had to type lyrics for all 58 songs into Google and make my own list! It wasn’t a hardship, really, I was sitting here listening (again) anyway.
Going forward, the only guess I had was that these discs were probably (knowing Mike) done chronologically, from earliest to most recent. By sound and style, it seems likely. But that was it. I hope I got it all listed correctly. There were a couple of tracks I couldn’t identify – Track 13 of CD1 is an instrumental with what seems like cats meowing in it?… Without lyrics, I have no idea what it is. And I seem to have two versions of Under My Wheels, on CD1 and CD3… was there a remake? I have no idea.
No matter. Overall, this was a brilliant listen. Except for the Hits, I’m an Alice noob, so this was a hell of an education. Alice is all over the map, of course. Some of it’s old Stones sound, some of it is pure Doors. Some of it cheesy 80’s synth hilarity, some of it’s just great metal shredding. And, of course, many of the big hits we all know and love are here.
It’s really hard to pick a direction, especially given how many years it’s been, but it’s Alice that’s truly the glue for it all. It must be very tiring to be an Alice Cooper fan, unless you just listen to one period at a time. Still, this boxed set is a cool overview, a gateway to many of the sounds (some periods of which, surely, Alice doesn’t even remember) .
I had a hard time with the Steven stuff. I mean, I get it, and it’s highly creative and interesting, but is it something I’d want to listen to it more than once? Nope. It’s great theater, but not something for repeat listens, for me. And as a father twice over, I did not like Dead Babies. That’s a disconnect I don’t get at all, even if he was being ironic.
But for a lot of this, I really liked it. Alice always sounds like he’s being sassy to me, pure showman. It was fun picturing him singing these songs as I listened along. I could probably make a 1-CD set out of these three CDs and call it fucking amazing.
Alice Cooper is truly one of a kind.
01 Hello Hooray
02 Hitch Hike
03 Nobody Likes Me
04 I’m Eighteen
05 Ballad Of Dwight Fry
06 Sun Arise
07 Under My Wheels
08 Be My Lover
09 Dead Babies
10 School’s Out
11 Luney Tune
12 Gutter Cats Vs. The Jets
13 *instrumental, bass, with cats meowing?*
14 Blue Turk
15 My Stars
16 Public Animal #9
17 Alma Mater
18 The Underture (?)
20 No More Mr. Nice Guy
01 Billion Dollar Babies
02 Big Apple Dreamin’
03 Teenage Lament ’74
04 Welcome To My Nightmare
05 Devil’s Food
06 The Black Widow
07 Some Folks
08 Only Women Bleed
09 Department Of Youth
10 Cold Ethyl
11 Years Ago
13 The Awakening
15 Go To Hell
17 From The Inside
18 Clones (We’re All)
20 Tag, You’re It
01 Prince Of Darkness
02 He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)
03 Roses On White Lace
04 Life And Death Of The Party
06 Under My Wheels (again?! a remake??)
07 I Got A Line On You
09 Hey Stoopid
10 Might As Well Be On Mars*
12 Stolen Prayer
13 Is Anyone Home
14 Brutal Planet
15 I Am The Spider
16 Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)
17 Keepin’ Halloween Alive
18 Wind-Up Toy
* Is this song supposed to have a weird sort-of flapping sound through the intro? I doubt it. Might just be a faulty copy.