Saturday, May 30, 2015

AntiCurrent Archives Vol 12- William Elliott Whitmore: Radium Live in Los Angeles

This is the twelfth edition of the " Archives", a collection of rare bootleg-albums I'm releasing through this blog. Click here to view all past Archive Albums.

William Elliott Whitmore at
The Mint
Not enough musicians in the world treat their fans as well as William Elliott Whitmore. There's something special to the rarity of a person willing to hang out with their fans before and after shows. Matter of fact, I've only witnessed with four performers... Jello Biafra, Penn & Teller, and Whitmore. Got a question for him? Want to purchase an album off him? Want to just shake his damn hand? Hang around a while and he'll pop up and be more than willing to spend some time with you. Pretty goddamn admirable I gotta say.

Thursday's show at The Mint was the same. I got in line as the doors opened and there he was, talking
to a fan and just hanging in line. I generally avoid talking to performers I admire, there's something frightening to me about demystifying a talent you truly dig. Plus there's something really weird about seeing how fans interact with someone they really, really look up to. People act differently, they stare at you through the corner of their eye and then approach you with overly-prepared words and most of the time it's a horribly awkward fuck of an experience.

Horribly framed
cell-phone pic
With all that said, I've had a few encounters with WEW just from the fact he's always around and so damn ingratiating. Mistakes, all of them. In Orange County I drunkenly told him I loved him, at the Knitting Factory in LA (RIP) the girl I was with almost puked on him (and did puke next to him), in Sydney the girl I went with cried through his entire set and I had to reassure him that she was OK, and at a bar my best friend in the world also balled his eyes out through the entire show (weirdly reoccurring theme huh?).

See? Take it from me people, don't meet your idols. More than often you do dumb shit.

To get back on track, The Mint is a great little bar with great sound and is incredibly intimate. Also they lack asshole security guards so I decided to bring a Zoom H6 recorder in and bootleg the performance. Recording performances you go to I feel is a lost art. In old bluegrass bands most people in the crowd did it. Bands like The Grateful Dead encouraged it and today Hank Williams III allows you to record any show you'd like and even has a "Respect to the bootleggers" speech. Is Whitmore cool with it? He seems like a pretty cool guy and I was going to ask him, but he seemed busy so I didn't wanna bother him. I'm just going to assume he's cool with it until I hear otherwise. As a wise man once said, its smarter to beg for forgiveness than to ask permission.

Front Cover
The set was amazing as always. Staples such as "Diggin' My Grave" and "On the Chin" were played and even more exciting for me, I got to see him play electric for the first time. Hearing him strum that Bilt Zaftig semi-hollowbody and scream with a death-rattle yell on "Healin' To Do" was other-fucking-worldly. Plus his acoustic broke a string towards the end so he played the electric on "Old Devils" and it was sick as shit.

It's always cool seeing his new set and I've heard damn-near every song I've ever wanted from him... except for the one I've always truly wanted to: "Trespassers Will Be Eaten" (off the bootleg "Legalize Freedom", available here). My buddy requested it at a gig once and Will said he forgot that he even recorded the song, let alone how to play it. Fair enough, a strange song off of an old demo is a bit more than a "deep cut" as they say.

Back Cover
For not having a board feed (I nearly tried to bribe the soundtech but opted against it) and just leaving the H6 in my pocket, I'm pretty damn pleased with the results. I recorded it at 24bit/96khz, de-noised/EQ'd/normalized it with Adobe Audition and output it as 16bit FLAC files and 320kbps MP3's. I edited a little bit of the downtime out of the performance just to keep the album at under 80 minutes (max CD length). Past that, this is the show how it happened, and it's pretty goddamn great considering the recorder was just nested in my pocket with the XY mic pointed toward the speaker next to me.

Before you listen to this, I should apologize to both you and Whitmore, I'm the asshole guy yelling in grunts and the one that says "don't be a pussy" when it came do doing shots. What can I say, you can take the boy out of Ohio, but you can't take the Ohio out of the boy.

There used to be an inherent evil in bootlegs that seemed unavoidable, someone selling someone else's hard work for profit. Thanks to the internet, that can now be avoided. As always, I'm releasing this for free and without any ad-revenue generated from my blog or website (take note lawyers, I'm do this for the love of it and when my AntiCurrent server is factored in I'm making a sizable loss). If you dig this, please go and buy an album or even a beer-coozy off of Whitmore, he's more than deserving.

Without further ado, here is William Elliott Whitmore, "Radium Live in Los Angeles" on 5/28/15.

Download The Entire Album and Cover Art Here:
FLAC Version:
MP3 Version:

The tracklist is:
1:  Lift My Jug
2:  Civilizations
3:  Old Bill Jones
4:  Hell or High Water
5:  Johnny Law
6:  Can't go back
7:  Healin' To Do
8:  Don't Need It
9:  Hard Times
10: Don't Pray On Me
11: Diggin' My Grave
12: Do Something Impossible
13: South Lee County Brew
14: Sally Bangs
15: Ain't Gone Yet
16: On The Chin
17: Does Me No Good
18: Old Devils
19: Mutiny

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AntiCurrent Video Archives Vol 3: Social Distortion- 1983 Practice Session

This is the third edition of the " Video Archives" a collection of rare, out of print, or unreleased videos that I've chose to release through my blog. Click here to view a list of all past releases.

Orange County: Early 80's
Classic OC Bands Playing
in Los Angeles
The Orange County music-scene in the early 1980's is without a doubt, my favorite era of punk rock. To be young and witness bands like The Adolescents, TSOL, and The Vandals playing in backyards, living rooms, and small shitty clubs is something I will eternally be jealous of not experiencing. It would have been amazing to have actually been a kid of The Black Hole and witness all of this, but at least we have documentation of these days. The scene eventually moved on. Some of the bands broke up and some became enormous successes, but the scene eventually morphed into something different and left behind only memories and precious little visual documentation.

This video is one of those precious documents.

Social Distortion:
Early Years Practice Video
Mommy's Little Monster
At this time this was shot, the band consisted of Mike Ness, Dennis Danell, Derek O'Brien (also played with D.I. & Adolescents), and Brent Liles (also played with Agent Orange and unfortunately was struck dead by a car in '07). 

This is the Social Distortion lineup that recorded the classic album "Mommy's Little Monster" for 13th Floor Records. The group changed members only months after this at the New Years Eve show when O'Brien and Liles left the band after Ness reportedly accepted Heroin as payment from the concert promoter.

Bootleg History:
Social Distortion Early Years Practice Video
Flipside Vol 1
The legend behind this video is that it was shot by Peter Landswick, Al Kowalewski, and Holly Duval Cornell of Flipside Video Fanzine at Pulsar Sound Studio in Fullerton, CA in March of 1983. It opens with their manager Monk (who can be seen throughout the classic documentary "Another State of Mind") as he introduces the band. The video was shot for "Flipside Video Fanzine Vol 1" but only a few of the songs were released on it. This is the complete video that I got off of Ebay in the mid-2000's from Monk himself (or at least someone on it claiming to be him).

*EDIT 7/9/16: According to a YouTube user, it was Dave Brooks of Charged Video that shot this.

This Release:
Social Distortion Early Years Practice Video
Cover that came W/Original
Bootleg DVD
Pieces of this performance has surfaced on YouTube throughout the years, however this is the first to showcase the entire performance. The person that sold this to me via Ebay claimed to have captured it directly from the original VHS tape itself and due to its extremely high quality (in regards to early 1980's VHS video) I have no reason to doubt that.

I brought the original DVD rip into Premiere, upconverted it to 1080p, corrected the color, slightly sharpened it, removed many of the unwanted VHS tracking effects seen on the sides of the screen, and deinterlaced the footage. The result is pretty damn spectacular considering the age of the tape.

Final Word:
VHS quality deteriorates quickly in comparison to film and digital media, but in the 80's film was expensive and digital wasn't even a word thought to be associated with video. It's quite remarkable that we have VHS bootlegs in such amazing quality as this and we should be making every effort to capture them to digital before they deteriorate further. This bootleg series is my little contribution to that. I hope you enjoy this truly unique performance.