Thursday, March 17, 2011

My own bootleg revolution

Bootlegs. They used to be valuable. Kids would record shows, copy them on tapes and pass them on. Some more advanced kids would even press them on vinyl and sell them in shabby record stores. Later on they got copied on CD and spread/sold amng fans and sometimes you'd find them in second hand record stores. Pearl Jam would release every show they did on CD and sell them all over the world in record stores. If you were lucky the sound would have been good, filtered so you wouldn't only get the 'yeah yeah woohoo yeah' from the person who stood next to the person who recorded the show. Along came the internet and the MP3, file sharing sites and youtube. No longer we'd pass on cassettes of a show. We go on youtube, ask in forums if people had recorded the show and mock if no one wants to upload it. We're spoiled aren't we?

I'm not really a big fan of listening to live recordings, it's met with a lot of misunderstanding but it doesn't really appeal to me. I rather be at the show myself or listen to the studio recording. I don't mind the recordings itself, but I don't really like listening to it, that's more like it. I get iritated when the radio isn't tuned properly and you'll hear a minor rustle or other disturbances. This might seem like I'm overreacting but it makes me turn off the radio and rather sit in silence. Knowing this you might understand why I'm not the biggest fan of listening to live recordings, whether you agree or not.

I own live recordings. I have a few Kent bootlegs at home, but I never listened to them. I have the Kaizers Orchestra live album. Listened to it once. I have a live CD of the Cribs that came with the Roses Edition of their latest album. Never listened to it. I own the live CD that came with a special edition of the New Fellas. No, never. I'm a record collecting nerd though. So these are albums that have a place in my collection. I wouldn't necessarily download them from the internet if that would have been the only place I could get these. Unless I was at that show. In that case I'd consider.

However. I do own two bootleg recording of the Bangles on cassette. These shows are from 1983 and 1986. I love them, the 1983 show more than the 1986 show, which mostly is becuase the 1983 is more garage than 1986. In 1983 there were no walking Egyptians and manic Mondays. I've played these tapes a lot and I still occasionally do. I love some old school Bangles and these are live recordings I can listen to. The mysteries of life.

So, with my history of letting digital bootlegs pass me by, why am I being so excited about the few Wild Flag bootlegs I found? I haven't been in the position to listen to them yet but I intend to. Heck, I even intend to copy them on a disc! Could it be, considering that the Bangles bootlegs are the only ones I listen to on a relatively frequent basis, that I only like women's bootlegs? That's nonsense. I think with Wild Flag it's a totally different story and it might relate to the tape sharing from the early punk days.

Chances are that you don't understand why I'm so much into Wild Flag in the way that I am. I'm at the wrong side of the ocean for one to really participate in this start of the young punk/garage/nugget band. But there's sincerely a revolution going on. Think Riot Grrrl. Think Nirvana. (think that this was all around the same time and these girls were musically active themselves around that time). Something's going on. And despite living on the wrong side of the ocean, it's possible thanks to the band being relatively active on both twitter and facebook, to be part of it anyway. It's because of Wild Flag I got myself a facebook in the first place, I was highly anti-facebook. Even if you'd think Wild Flag are nothing less than a bunch of middle-aged women who are living a midlife crisis (shame on you!) then so be it. Maybe that's exactly what I am then. I know of course that this is not the case. Wild Flag is a little music revolution. They're loving it. A bunch of other people are loving it. I'm loving it. And if that means consuming bootlegs before the first album hits the stores, it's all part of the game. I love this game.