More reasons to be cheerful: The archivists over at Sundazed Records are unleashing the first ever over-the-counter official collection of live recordings by the incredibly great Moby Grape. The album drops, as the kids say, on April 20th.
Hardcore fans will have heard some of this before, mostly on inferior bootlegs, but the Sundazed upgrades -- including the Grape's complete (at last) set from Monterey Pop (in significantly improved sound), and the astounding, improvised on the spot 17-minute acid rock masterpiece "Dark Magic," recorded at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom on December 31, 1966 -- are genuinely overwhelming. I have insisted on numerous occasions here that the Grape were not only by far the best of the Bay Area bands back then, but one of the greatest American bands period, and I think there are moments on Moby Grape Live when those judgements are inarguable.
You can -- and definitely should -- pre-order the album here.
Normally I would post an mp3 from the album at this point, but I think in this case it might be a little tacky. (In any event, you can listen to samples from all 19 tracks at the Amazon link above.)
In lieu of that, however, here's a little tribute to the genius of the Grape's great Skip Spence. From 1985, enjoy downtown supergroup The Golden Palmoninos -- featuring Michael Stipe on lead vocals -- with their, for want of a better word, interesting re-imagining of Skippy's Grape classic "Omaha."
I haven't listened to that in ages, actually; is it just me or is that 80s drum sound really obnoxious?