ISO berkfest 2001



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Re: ISO berkfest 2001

Postby johnhk4 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:39 pm

I've been up writing a lot for work, and felt like I needed to write a little something for fun, so for whatever it's worth, here goes.

I recently delved back into this show (8-11-2001). Farther up in the thread (years ago now) I mention it was my first show. So all pretty magical in hindsight. But over the years, what's stuck with me from this show in particular is the Moral Decay, back half of Spice Groove, and Dogs on Bikes. Absolute perfection. Moral Decay has a slight Honey Melon tease early on. In a recent podcast featuring Marc, he mentions how Paul Simon was a big influence on all three of them when they started out in The Slip. There is a certain Graceland feel to Marc's playing on this one, and certain Paul Simon flavor to Honey Melon, which I always associate with summer and the outdoors anyway, and this being a humid hot night in the woods at Berkfest, everything just gels. Androo is playing some higher sounding drums adding to the African vibe of it at first. Brad's volume swell work gives some extra flavor early on as well. There's so much happening during the outro section of Moral Decay, Brad and Marc are extra close, mimicking each other, harmonizing on intricate little licks. They then almost play Honey Melon again. I didn't know the band at all seeing them for the first time at this show, so I had no clue what I was hearing at the time. It just sounded like a song I'd already heard in the ether, in the womb, in space. I don't know. The jam at the end of Spice Groove is essentially the solo section of You Might Say, but a little darker in tone. Brad's lines and Marc's interplay have got to be some of the tightest of any show I've ever heard since then or recorded from before then. I would almost assume that they were covering an old standard or R+B tune. The way they bring the jam down, and then come back into it, Androo hitting us over the head with a cymbal, Brad's runs climbing incrementally higher each time... just pure genius. At this last finale of the jam, Marc lays some extra funk into the bass, and then for a few bars, alters the chords to rise upwards, then into a slap-funk-punk feel, before returning to form hitting the chords of the jam as two notes on the off-beat for a measure. I was listening to this jam on a CD-R once, on a discman device, hooked up to my stereo through a tape-deck adapter back in '03 or '04, and realized I had pushed my poor beater of a car to a near fatal 85mph on the highway. This jam is high-energy, folks. Someday, I plan to transcribe that whole guitar solo. They build up a little tension again for fun at the end, then crash into a silly cover of Chuck Berry's Maybellene, because why not right? It's a 1,4,5 light at the end of the tunnel. And now for the show's finale, Dogs on Bikes. They start this one off segueing from Nashua Rose. Brad kicks on an octave pedal, and does some straight pentatonic riffing while Androo provides some support. Marc blasts in with a hilarious bass hit before Brad goes all Zeppelin on us. Then they hit the head of Dogs on Bikes. Marc kicks on the fuzz and uses his fretless bass's silky capabilities unashamedly, proudly, profanely even. Then they do this uniquely Slip-thing, where both Marc and Brad are tapping little staccato notes on the fretboard while pulling off notes, and creating a soundscape that almost sounds like a nintendo game and just when you wrap your head around it, they crash in with a blues-rock wailing guitar solo and then into a soul drenched scat solo. How does Marc keep up with Brad? How is it that Androo knows where they are going, too? Then comes one of my favorite Slip moments ever. Marc is doing fast walking bass lines, as Brad plays drippy licks and they tease some standards. Brad is so clean on this section, not perfectly hitting every note, but so confident in the pocket it hardly matters. Then it gets quiet before a big finish with a sped up tempo... it's frantic, it's chaos and then that chord that signals the end is near, which shouldn't feel like a grand piano being banged on, because it's on a guitar, but does anway. Brad takes some pull-off lick heroics and then it's over, it's all over.

The recording quality on this show is unsurpassed in my mind. This particular show and recording encompasses everything I love about their sound and talents. A special shout out as well to the Yellow Medicine jam where they are able to emulate a CD skipping. I would've assumed the recording was damaged had I not seen and heard it myself. Who recorded this anway? Cleantone probably... the mp3s I have give no indication. Way back when I was able to grab this off of an FTP server a few days later or something. I miss those days and seeing this band. I'm happy for them now and nostalgia isn't always so healthy, but damn damn damn. Nothing even comes close.
John from CT / wheaton college, MA
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Re: ISO berkfest 2001

Postby Cleantone » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:01 am

The recording quality on this show is unsurpassed in my mind. This particular show and recording encompasses everything I love about their sound and talents. A special shout out as well to the Yellow Medicine jam where they are able to emulate a CD skipping. I would've assumed the recording was damaged had I not seen and heard it myself. Who recorded this anway? Cleantone probably...


I was down in Florida at this time. I returned in November of 01. The reason you like the quality is it's a board tape. This was the era when letting out board tapes got tighter. A certain someone knew this should be heard so it was let out with vague source info. "FOB Schoeps in hat". http://db.etree.org/shn/5378 I don't have time to make sure this doesn't have the skipping problem you mention but I don't think it does. Here is a FLAC16 version for you.

The Slip
8/11/01
Showcase Stage, Berkshire Mountain Music Festival, Great Barrington, MA

Source: FOB Schoeps in Hat

Disc 1
1. Munf
2. unknown (sounds a bit like Clementine, also played 7/7/01)
3. Trane-ing
4. Don't Foil the Mohel
5. Lemonade *
6. Moral Decay

Disc 2
1. Yellow Medicine
2. Spice Groove >
3. Maybelline
4. Cumulus (with "Yesterday" intro)

Disc 3
1. Nashua Rose # >
2. Dogs on Bikes %

* w/ Brian Thomas and Alex Toth (Trombone players from John Brown's Body)
# broke string and switched to the Alsoa guitar
% w/ Smoke on the Water and Just a Closer Walk With Thee teases

Notes:
Tagged transcode of verified SHN files from source 5378. Cleaned up clicks in Munf as well as some gaps and long silences between tracks.
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Re: ISO berkfest 2001

Postby johnhk4 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:06 pm

Ah! Well whatever the sound coming out of this is, is just so crisp and nice. FOB in hat... I now understand!

There is no skipping problem actually. I was only saying that the recording captured the "CD Skipping" effect that BAM performed live so well. It's like 2/3 of the way through Yellow Med. It sounds exactly like you've popped a scratched CD into a stereo... but they played just like this that night. What a night.

Two other shows that come to mind have a different but valid flavor to me are 5-1-2003 URI, and 3-27-2003 Narrows. Whatever mic that is has a fantastic charm. Cleantone I've also enjoyed your recording of an SMMD show 3-6-2004. I still can't always say for sure, "that show is clearly a ____ mic" though. I can usually tell a soundboard.

Thanks for the 16bit!
John from CT / wheaton college, MA
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