glory glory it’s friday!
it’s friday- escobar season has returned; make sure to pay all your thugs that are on salary before leaving for the weekend.
i was still on a high from the ween reunion shows when i got back from broomfield last week and started poking around for some real old school brownness when i came across this youtube link.
according to the reddit and browntracker posts i’ve read, ween’s long beach island tapes were stolen from deaner’s car sometime after they were recorded during the white pepper sessions between 1999 and 2000.
a different tracklist from the wp bootlegs that have been around, there is a lot of great music on here that i’ve never heard before. “wash me down” is easily my favorite, but the whole collection sounds like a warm, hazy summer afternoon at the beach.
these are demos and don’t sound impeccable, but i used an mp3 converter to get the youtube link downloaded, then spliced each song individually (@ 256 kbps) and added some artwork from a google image i found of deaner.
1. bananas and blow
2. put your boobs on
3. long beach island
4. wash me down
5. back to basom
6. the grobe
7. baroque jam
8. the belvedine
9. be my wife
10. for so long
it’s friday- swing low and get the hell out of this week; enjoy the weekend everyone.
and because i love this song, here are a few more great versions:
it’s friday and everybody’s gonna jump for joy.
i still remember getting the hampton box set for my birthday in 9th grade, hearing the opening gary glitter song, the quick tube and then quinn. i’ve listened to this song hundreds of times and it never gets old, and it’s still one of the songs i listen to while i get ready for work.
since phish announced their summer tour dates last week, i figured this was the right time to break the phish-less posting streak and help everyone start getting pumped to see them again.
enjoy the weekend friends.
this is in no way a definitive list of spafford’s best songs, jams or shows, just a place for you to send spaffirgins when they ask for a recommendation on where to start so they don’t feel overwhelmed.
the list is made up of three shorter, radio-friendly songs, three originals with the extended jam treatment plus one badass phish cover for anyone who wants or needs a comparison, and four improvisational jams of varying length. all of these songs can be found on the band’s soundcloud page (there are obviously tons of other jams that could or even should be on here, but i wanted to keep it exclusive to their sc page for efficiency’s sake).
for the real go-getters in your life who want to hear these songs in the context of a set and show, i’ve included a few stellar must-hear complete shows at the bottom, all of which are on the archive.
post anything you think i missed in the comments section- i kept it just to these in the post because i’m into the whole brevity thing.
salamander song (6/29/13) – a joyous singalong chorus always closes out this song when it’s played live. fits anywhere in the setlist and always welcomed by the fans. closest thing to what i’d call their “harry hood.” this version is also the song’s debut.
diana (7/27/13) – really catchy song that i think is a true bustout at this point, performed only when a certain lady is in the building. i’m not much of a lyrical interpreter so i won’t say anything other than this is also a fan favorite and one that the band seems to really enjoy playing.
hollywood (2/9/15) – perhaps their best-written and overall beginner-friendly song. definitely a fan favorite. this is objectively an excellent song that any band would be proud to say is their own. this version is also the song’s debut.
extended orginals (plus wolfman’s)
wolfman’s brother (8/24/13) – for the extreme phish lover who absolutely needs a song-by-song comparison. this version was played at the wedding of two of spafford’s biggest, longtime fans evan and erin (also known as the wedding wolfman’s).
ain’t that wrong > on fire (1/17/14) – “on fire” is a cover but spafford really makes it their own, and this version out of a raging “ain’t that wrong” needed to be included here. stellar group power jamming.
backdoor funk (3/27/15) – sweet aunt jemima.
7/5/12 soundcheck – five minutes of bliss. the gateway drug of spafford jams and my most listened to song of theirs according to itunes.
11/15/14 practice jam – when they released this last year i was floored. so much patience displayed by everyone for the twenty or so minutes of this one. the band-only setting can be difficult in keeping people’s attention, but this jam nails it. fans of phish’s “headphones jam” feel free to start here.
cabin jam(s) one & two (12/7/15) – the real nitty gritty. eighty-plus minutes of ocean-deep sonic exploration, all improvised and played without an audience at a remote cabin during their six show colorado mini tour in december ’15. they streamed both of these jams live and the reactions on their mixlr page were basically variations on “holy shit this band is ridiculous” and other vaguely sexual metaphors (not just me this time).
8/9/14 – low spirit’s, albuquerque, nm – gonna be hard for any show to top this one for me on a personal level. really cool “midnight rider” sandwich to follow the raging “funkadelic” opener, monster jammed-out versions of taco stand and ltlo, a “people” that closed and then opened sets one and two respectively, a sick “land down under” and a few more i won’t mention because that would basically list the whole show.
10/30/15 – last exit, phoenix, az – palindrome first set with “postman” the obvious highlight and a second set with the first-ever jammed out “hollywood,” a march-through-mordor “electric taco stand,” a thieves/dis g0/thieves sandwich and “leave the light on” that kept going and going and going. bravo.
1/1/16 – prankster’s too, scottsdale, az – the opening segment of america > red’s jam > walls may be the best “suite” of music i’ve seen them play live. absolutely incredible. halfway through red’s jam they go into a dark, deep dive down the rabbit hole reminiscent of a 1995 “stash.” plus dave hebert guests on the last four songs of the first set, including three covers and a backdoor funk to die for. hell of a way to start the new year. there’s a great set two in there somewhere as well.
“‘remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.”
spafford has no use for the phrase “remember when.” there are plenty of jams and shows i still listen to regularly, but the people i know are always talking about future shows and tours and looking forward, and that’s a direct result of the band and their constant pushing. with the music, the setlists, everything. and more importantly, each new show manages to somehow outdo the previous one.
with 2015 on its last legs and spafford finally -finally!- approaching their annual new year’s eve show on thursday, it’s pretty cool to think about what they accomplished this year (some of which feels like it was a decade ago, in a good way):
the collection of new songs that stretched the band’s creativity all over the place and satiated an extremely hungry fanbase… the gem & jam set that introduced us to “hollywood”… the cactus jack’s shows to kick off the year proper and the first shows with jordan and brian’s new guitars… the mini tour through new mexico & colorado in march a few weeks before the widespread panic after-shows in vegas, capped off with their first slot on the big stage at mcdowell mountain… the march and may single show throwdowns at the orpheum in flagstaff, and the press room show in front of a hometown crowd that would be the last live music they played until august…
summer was slow but signing with a promotional company that got them on their way to the next level was awesome news while we waited to see them play live again…
the incredible pranster’s too debut shows in the august heat less than a week after slaying their opening slot for graham lesh’s band in san diego… their first #phishdick’s after-shows in denver over labor day weekend that included leaving mid-weekend to hit a festival in taos before driving right back to denver for a monster sunday show… the september shows in northern california where they played through what sounds like extremely difficult festival circumstances and still made new fans.
the outdoor jungle rock at prescott’s brick & bones, their first true hometown shows in nearly 3 years… the taos show that was so hot it made locals set off fireworks in celebration, and a return to their second home in albuquerque the next night… the headlining slot at apache lake which will hopefully be a future site for their own festival…
the phantom menace they turned into at last exit on halloween weekend with perhaps the best single show i’ve seen them play, followed by one of the most goosebump-inducing singalongs i’ve ever been a part of… flagstaff to tucson the weekend after, vegas to san diego the weekend after that, all capped off by six december shows in spafforado during which the band was kind enough to stream and release the cabin jams in all their sonic glory.
which brings us to today.
there’s an old story about the comedian milton berle, who apparently was well-known for his massive genitalia. the story goes that he was in a steam room one time when a stranger approached him and challenged him to a measuring contest. someone else in the steam room -supposedly jackie gleason- told milton to “go ahead… just take out enough to win.” so he did.
if the previous five years was spafford’s version of pulling out just enough to win, then 2015 was them plopping their collective horse cock on the table for everyone to marvel at and saying “take a good look, nerds- we’re gonna be here for a while.” musically speaking, of course.
“but skyowner, music isn’t a competition” you might
whine say. i don’t want to sound like the hardo of the year, but everything is a competition. life is a competition. i understand the thinking, because music is about whatever you want it to be, but spafford is the best band you’re going to see on any given night and they’re out to prove it. to themselves, to the fans who’ve been spreading the gospel for the last 6 years, and to anyone who has never heard them.
there’s been more of an attitude and nastiness creeping out of the music this year that wasn’t prevalent before, and that comes from the band knowing how good they are but still sometimes playing for 100 people when they should be playing in front of 1,000-plus, or opening for bands that have no business being on the same bill as them, nevermind being the headlining act.
that comes back to us as fans. they’ve done the hard part with the music. most bands would kill to have 10% of spafford’s original material in their catalogue. if you love this band then you have a responsibility to help spread the word. if you know someone who loves edm, there’s a spafford song for them. if you know someone who loves progressive rock or metal, there’s a spafford song for them. if you know someone who loves improvisational music of any kind, there’s a spafford song for them. if you know someone who just wants to shake their ass for a few hours instead of sitting at home watching bob ross paint happy trees, they can celebrate spafford’s entire fucking catalogue. and if you know someone who just loves songwriting, then play “hollywood” in the car with the windows down for them.
the music does more than a million fanboy blogposts ever could, so just get someone to hear one jam, or better yet drag their ass out to one show to see that this band is for real. and maybe a few decades from now they’ll ask themselves “remember when spafford was just a local band that never had a shot at getting popular outside the southwest?”
neither do i.
happy new year.
somehow, i’ve forgotten to post this show over the last two years. along with watching bittersweet motel, this is another of my christmas eve traditions, as we usually listen to it throughout the day while drinking and cooking.
played on christmas eve 1999, i discovered this show after looking for a rumored steve kimock christmas-themed set. there aren’t any traditional christmas songs in this show, but it still feels like it’s jazz rock that’s meant to be played during the yuletide season.
Alan Hertz’ Marijuana Jazz Band:
Steve Kimock – guitar
Bobby Vega – bass
Alan Hertz – drums
Terry Haggerty – guitar
Chip Roland – organ
Kendrick Freeman – percussion
1 Bad Hair
4 Cissy Strut
6 What I Say
8 Porn Crash
9 My Favorite Things
10 In A Silent Way