New Music Tuesday: Week Of The Live Albums - Steve Miller Band, King Crimson, And More

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I've talked on numerous pages on this website about how I adore live music, and that I collect recordings of concerts to a ridiculous degree.  It borders on insanity actually.  I have thousands of hours of recordings from bands as diverse as the Grateful Dead to Miles Davis and Bob Dylan to Bill Monroe.  If I sat down right now and started listening to them and didn't stop until they were done I wouldn't be able to stand for months on end.  Yet I am always on the look out for more.  My desire is insatiable.

The thing that I love about live recordings (well one of the many things) is that anything can happen.  In the studio artists, musicians, producers and engineers spend countless hours recording, re-recording and doing everything they possible can to make sure the songs sound as exactly perfect as they can be.  But live and on the stage anything goes.  Even bands that play their songs just like they are on record can sound just a little different or can have things happen that add just that little bit of reckless energy to the sound to make it interesting.  The best bands rearrange their sound and experiment, and improvise so that their performance is electric.  And when its good, its magic.  

That's why I've just got to have everything my favorite artists have ever played.  Because the next recording just might be the one where everything came together and they created lightning in a bottle.  Magic on the stage.

While I'm very much a fan of amateur recordings, of unofficially released product, I'm even more of a fan when bands realize the potential of officially releasing their concerts.  The sound is inevitably better and its a real treat to read the liner notes and get a back stage pass to these monumental moments in a band's development on stage.

More and more I'm seeing official live albums and this week we've got six of them.  And because I just can't choose one, all six of them are this week's pick.  Here they are:

Live at the Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco April 28, 1968 - Steve Miller Band   
Fillmore Auditorium - November 5, 1966 - Quicksilver Messenger Service
Live in Philadelphia (August 26, 1996) - King Crimson
Live in Munich - King Crimson
Live at the Pier - New York (August 2, 1982) - King Crimson
Live in Milan (June 20, 2003) - King Crimson

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Great Big World - Tony Trischka:  One of the premier banjo pickers in the world Trischka's stuff is always good.  Always.

Four Foot Shack - Les Claypool's Duo De Twang:  Claypool and Marc Haggard mix Claypool originals with interesting covers like Alice in Chains "Man in the Box" and the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive."

From His Head to His Heart to His Hands - Michael Bloomfield:  Legendary blues guitarist who never quite made it big in the way he deserved gets a 3 CD/1 DVD boxed set.

Kin (<-->) - Pat Metheny Unity Group:  Metheny is always interesting if not always easy to listen to.

After the Disco - Broken Bells:  The sophomore album from the musical partnership of Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and James Mercer (The Shins.)  The first record was better than anything I've heard from their primary bands.