Guinness Fleadh
Downing Stadium
Randall’s Island, NYC
June 14, 1998

Stonecutter Archive #14

AUD > ? > cassette > Tascam 424 Mk II > Sony PCM-M10 (Line In, 24/48) > WAV > SoundStudio > FLAC (16/44)
Recorder unknown (but possibly Rob Gronotte), cassette copy provided by Rich B.
Transferred and digitally mastered by neil d

01 Big Day Coming
02 Suspect Device (Stiff Little Fingers)
03 Stockholm Syndrome
04 Sugarcube
05 Did I Tell You
06 Nowhere Near
07 Autumn Sweater
08 Deeper Into Movies
09 Tom Courtenay
10 Blue Line Swinger

Rich B., aka Stonecutter, recorded hundreds of shows in New York in the '80s and '90s, and traded for hundreds more. Until recently, many of these have been stacked up in trays and trays of DATs and cassettes in his basement, never shared beyond a relative handful of tape trades back in the day. Through his generosity, a few of us are helping to digitize and share these hidden gems. No one can say how many of these there will be, as we haven't hit bottom yet.

I never made it to any of the Fleadhs that were held in NYC in the late '90s, but from what I've heard they were pretty weird — allegedly a celebration of Irish music, but punctuated by decidedly non-Irish acts like Wilco and the Neville Brothers. Yo La Tengo here embraces the moment, ignoring the presumed theme (aside from a single Stiff Little Fingers cover) and sticking to a greatest-hits setlist, such that they had greatest hits at the time.

Downing Stadium is now gone, but was a big concrete bowl adjacent to the Triborough Bridge that was used for occasional track meets and even more occasional concerts. (Lollapalooza was held there for a couple of years earlier in the '90s.) The sound, as I recall, was pretty mediocre, so props to the taper of this show for a great capture, with especially clear vocals for a big outdoor show.

As for the taper’s identity, Rob Gronotte says he was at the show and recorded it to DAT, and it certainly matches with some of his other high-quality recordings of that era. However, Rob’s DATs are in storage and Rich isn’t sure where he got the cassette, so for now this recording’s provenance must remain unconfirmed.