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These basement tapes...

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Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Rennes, France

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:43 am    Post subject: These basement tapes... Reply with quote

I always love finding old lo-fi recording of the artists i love around the intrnet, like the Dylan's basement tapes.
I am never aware of their existence until i pop onto one when browsing around aimlessly.

I found two cool Jonathan Richman's that i listen to a lot lately

The Laura Palmer Tapes :

efore I got it through a trade a while back, I thought that it was just going to be a novelty. Something to listen to a time or two and then be satisfied. But no, this tape has something special.

This tape is Jonathan Richman at his most "Jonathan Richmany."He's playing music for someone that he cares about, and you can hear it in his voice.

I've heard that this tape was recorded in 1974. That means(let me know if my history is a little off here) that this was the period directly after the original Modern Lovers broke up, and before the next version of Modern Lovers would be formed. He was at a true transition state, and this must have been the time where he felt most alone.

When you hear old shows of his, and you hear people shouting "Roadrunner", and "She Cracked", they think that he is still a 19 year old kid with attitude. This must have been the time in his life though, where he was really starting to leave that old person behind and really mature.

The pauses is in his voice, especially on songs like "The heavens love me", and "My Honest Dear", to me at least, suggest someone who is an expert on Rock n' Roll voice phrasings, and is experimenting on the fly. He is letting his emotion carry his voice completely, trusting that it will come out correct.

These songs are classics! Thunderbolts of Joy is uplifting, My Honest Dear is sentimental, So Much Respect For You is a true mature song, The Heaven's Love Me is beautiful, Hi Fred will stay in your mind, and Wonderful girl is the perfect conclusion. Not to leave out the other songs either, to me they are the perfect compliments to the material on this tape that wouldn't be heard on any studio album.

I have a live version of "My Honest Dear", and "Wonderful Girl". Does anyone know of any live versions of "Hi Fred", or "Thunderbolts of Joy", or "So Much Respect For You", or "The Heaven's Love Me"? Also, does anyone have any more information about this period of his work, the tape itself, it's origins etc? If you have info on this please post below

you can get it there :

The second one is called "living room demos" and is pretty cool also :

Not quite IN your living room, but pretty darn close. If you close your eyes while listening to this, you'd swear it was Jojo performing at your house, a strange, but unique concept. This recording surfaced as an acetate which are generally produced in very low quantity and often had hand written labels. It may have been made possibly for a promo or Jonathan was using this format much like recording to a cassette tape recorder. The intimacy of this recording makes it very charming and his loose performance is reminiscent to a practice in a bedroom or living room, hence these recordings became known as the Living Room Demos (aka: 74 Acetates). The music fills the gap between Richman's break-up from the Modern Lovers and post-76, the new version of the Modern Lovers. While some of the songs are fragments and some are repeated, this recording has some great songs still on it and offers an early look at Jonathan's unaffected child-like approach to performing that he started to embrace at this time and continued with throughout his career.

Do you have any of these sort of recording to share?
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Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never really any band I love releasing this kinda thing, maybe when I loved Bright Eyes, finding their early releases was cool. Finding older Mountain Goats records are really nice too
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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard some of those Richman recordings, on the Trash Flow Radio program where they had a Jonathan Richman special program and played a ton of obscure rare recordings, and cool interview snippets...
But I've never seen a place to get the complete "album", or I guess it's "albums" if there's actually more than one collection of these recordings?
It would seem that this sort of thing should be a famous and easy-to-find bootleg in circulation, on LP or CD... but I've never seen it anywhere. I don't even know how to download thing on the internet anymore, now that those old services like Mega-Upload or whatever are no longer existing... every time I'm about to download a rare 60s/70s psychedelic album from a website there are all these sketchy steps about registering with the site and giving information, and it scares me away! I don't want to download a virus from an evil fake site, and I don't want to give any information about myself to these sites either!
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Ian Cockburn

Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the place to go for rare Jonathan Richman recordings
including the "Laura Palmer" tape but it isn't necessarily one of the best JR bootlegs, I rarely play it and I feel like I'm eavesdropping on a very private thing when I do. The title is an anachronistic Twin Peaks reference of course, the Laura he's singing the songs for isn't really surnamed Palmer.

On the subject of Jonathan Richman, on the jojo blog the other day, someone posted this link to a stream of his forthcoming new album. . Very interesting new direction. Though maybe we're not meant to be hearing this yet as it's labelled "private."
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