Los Angeles, CA
October 11, 1991
RG First Generation Cassette via JEMS
*Uncle Tupelo Upgrade Series, Vol. 21*
New Wave LA Series Vol. 46
Recording equipment: unknown stereo microphone and unknown cassette deck
JEMS 2021 Transfer: RG First Generation Cassette > Nakamichi RX-505 (azimuth adjustment) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > CD Wave > ffmpeg > FLAC
01- I Wanna Destroy You [Soft Boys cover] (very beginning cut)
04- True to Life
05- D. Boon
06- Fall Down Easy
07- Looking For A Way Out
08- Streets of Bakersfield [Buck Owens cover]
09- Gimme, Gimme, Gimme [Black Flag cover]
10- No Depression
11- That Year
12- Punch Drunk
14- Graveyard Shift
15- Whiskey Bottle (has a cut)
16- Factory Belt
17- Hello There [Cheap Trick cover]
18- Do Re Mi [Woody Guthrie cover]
19- Baby, Please Don't Go [traditional]
Total time: 58:24
Jay Farrar: guitar, vocals
Jeff Tweedy: bass, vocals
Mike Heidorn: drums
The purpose of the Uncle Tupelo Upgrade Series is to circulate live recordings of Uncle Tupelo and related bands with known lineages, focusing on recordings taken directly from masters or from the cleanest, lowest generation copies available. Some are shows that have circulated online for years with unknown or incorrect lineages and others are shows that have not been widely circulated in the file-sharing era. I will share any information I have regarding the recordings, as well as any features of the shows themselves that make them special to me.
This is a special release suggested by my old friend BK that is a collaboration of the Uncle Tupelo series with JEMS' New Wave LA series of shows recorded by their longtime friend and diehard music collector RG. He was on the scene in LA as a teenager, began recording shows in 1977 and continued on well into the 2000s.
NOTES ON THE RECORDING
RG's recording has been in limited circulation since the late-1990s, and was posted on DIME back in 2005, but it has not previously circulated directly from RG's tape. It's a solid capture, with a wide stereo field, helped by the use of modern software to increase the vocals which were quite distant on the original recording.
NOTES ON THE SHOW
This is from a brief run of shows that Uncle Tupelo did opening for The Walkabouts that were almost certainly their first shows on the West Coast. As a fellow midwestern boy around the same age who first visited California a few years after this, I think I know something about what they were feeling. Especially in Southern California, every highway exit is a song or band! San Pedro! Redondo Beach! Sunset Boulevard! California just seemed so foreign and exotic to a young man from the midwest, and so much of the music that influenced Uncle Tupelo came from there. You can tell they were feeling it with their inclusion of Jeff's song memorializing D. Boon from The Minutemen, Buck Owens "Streets of Bakersfield" (they say that then-roadie Brian Henneman was really disappointed they didn't get to visit), Black Flag's "Gimme Gimme Gimme," and Woody Guthrie's ode to the Dust Bowl refugees "Do-Re-Mi." A dozen years later it was clear Jay Farrar was still feeling the fascination when on his solo record TERROIR BLUES he released his love letter to the state with the chorus, "No one could ever dream a place like California."
As for the performance, it started off more than a little bit rough with equipment problems and multiple false starts, but they find their groove about halfway through and just destroy from that point on. This was during a period of about 9-10 months when they were touring for their STILL FEEL GONE record when I think they were at their absolute peak as a live band. I wasn't hanging out in LA at the time, but I bet that not many of the attendees had ever seen a band segue from Cheap Trick to Woody Guthrie and then to the Amboy Dukes' version of a traditional blues tune.
The very last thing you hear on this recording is RG (I assume it is him) saying "that bass player rips." It would seem that after decades of seeing up and coming bands, he felt that maybe 24-year old Jeff Tweedy might have a future in the music industry.
We are grateful to RG for letting JEMS dig through his tape boxes and pull out the assets for this series. He witnessed amazing LA music history. Tip of the hat as well to cpscps, who gets the week off, but remains the superb steward of our series which still has many more volumes to go. BK thanks mrpember and vice versa. Happy to be joining forces again.
BK for JEMS and mrpember, April 2021