Hüsker Dü at Maxwell's (12-31-1984)

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On December 31st, 1984, Hüsker Dü played at Maxwell’s! The band had reason to celebrate on the New Year’s Eve, as they wrapped up quite the successful year. In July of that year, the trio from Minneapolis released what many consider to be their magnum opus, the epic Zen Arcade. The record is considered a concept album that tells the story of a young boy who runs away from an unfulfilling home life, only to find the world outside is even worse. The tape includes about 85% of the band’s set - it cuts off midway through their cover of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High.” Hoboken legends Gut Bank opened the show, but sadly their set is not included on the tape.

Set list

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  1. First Set

  2. Somewhere

  3. Target

  4. What Do I Want?

  5. From The Gut

  6. Wheels

  7. Everything Falls Apart

  8. What's Going On?

  9. Chartered Trips

  10. Data Control/Reoccurring Dreams/Helter Skelter/Jam

  11. Second Set

  12. Never Talking To You Again

  13. Hate Paper Doll

  14. Green Eyes

  15. Divide And Conquer

  16. Pink Turns To Blue

  17. Eight Miles High

Patti Smith at CBGB's (12-29-1979)

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On December 29th, 1979, Patti Smith played at CBGB’s! The legendary punk poet celebrated her 33rd birthday a day early with a raucous performance. In 1979, Smith released the Todd Rundgren produced “Wave” with the Patti Smith Group. The record is a standout in her discography and contains classics such as “Frederic,” “Dancing Barefoot,” and “"So You Want to Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star).” Happy Birthday, Patti Smith!

Bad Brains at The Ritz (12-27-1986)

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On December 26th, 1986, Bad Brains played at The Ritz! The band wrapped up a pretty successful year with this performance, as in 1986, they signed with SST Records and released their third studio album, I Against I. This record expanded on the band's hardcore punk and reggae sound by introducing a heavy metal/funk hybrid elements. Despite the group’s success, vocalist H.R. and his brother Earl quit Bad Brains in 1987.

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John Cale at Maxwell's (12-23-1988)

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On December 23rd, 1988, John Cale played at Maxwell’s! This show marks the beginning of a comeback for the former Velvet Underground member, as after releasing his 11th studio album, Artificial Intelligence, in 1985, Cale took a break from recording and performing. Shortly after this performance,  Cale released the Brian Eno-produced album, Words for the Dying,  in 1989.

This tape contains about 50 minutes of his set. Unfortunately, the tape recorder died mid-set. It's 50 high quality sounding minutes, though. Enjoy! 

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Otis Ball at Maxwell's (12-22-1990)

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On December 22nd, 1990, Otis Ball played at Maxwell’s! Originally based in the midwest, Otis relocated to Hoboken in 1988 after signing with Bar None Records. According to his biography on the Bar None website, the label originally discovered him through They Might Be Giants.

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The Giants had received a tape from him and sent it to our offices immediately, with a note asking, "what do you make of this?" We didn't know what to make of it but we were intrigued, so we asked for more. He sent us a video tape of an all-woman band that he was playing bass with at the time. We signed him soon afterward.

Otis played a 20 minute set opening for The Spin Doctors and Carnival Life. Dave Mckenzie took a few original photos of Otis performing, which I believe are from this performance.

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Living Colour at CBGB's (12-18-1989)

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On December 18th, 1989, Living Colour played at CBGB’s. A year prior, the band released their commercially successful debut album, Vivid, which scored a number of hits, including the well-known “Cult of Personality.” , This song won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Award.  After disbanding in 1995,vLiving Colour reunited in late 2000.

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Joey Ramone Interview on The Howard Stern Show (12-1985)

Here’s a fun clip that was tacked on to the end of a Die Kreuzen tape.  In December 1985, Joey Ramone appeared on The Howard Stern show.  The two look-a-likes talked about groupies, road stories, and of course, the Ramones. The exact date is not explicitly mentioned, but I was able to figure out that this interview occurred in 1985, as Joey mentions that the Ramones were scheduled to play at a venue called The World on New Year's Eve.  The internet tells me that said show occurred on December 31st, 1985!

Helmet at CBGB's (12-14-1990)

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On December 14th, 1990, Helmet played at CBGB’s! This show occurred early on in the band’s career, as the band had only formed a year prior and released their debut album, Strap It On, in March 1990 on Amphetamine Reptile Records. The band achieved some moderate commercial success with their 1992 major label debut with Interscope Records, Meantime. Once the group signed this deal, Interscope reissued Strap It On in November 1991. Critics considered the album innovative for its explosive, propulsive, and often staccato riff style which greatly exploited Drop D tuning.

Helmet actually opened for the Melvins on this night. You can find footage of the Melvins’ complete set on Youtube. So, you basically have everything you need to re-create the experience of attending this show! Do it!!!

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Alex Chilton at Irving Plaza (12-13-1985)

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On December 13th, 1985, Alex Chilton played at Irving Plaza. His set included a few songs that would appear on his 1987 solo album, High Priest, such as “Nobody’s Fool.” Bar None Records is about to release another Chilton record entitled Songs From Robin Hood Lane. It’s a collection of cover from the “Great American Songbook.” Chilton, who passed away in 2010, recorded a handful of these songs back in the ’90s. Songs From Robin Hood Lane will be available in February 2019!

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Blues Explosion at Tramps (12-10-1994)

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On December 10th, 1994, The Blues Explosion played at Tramps!  Led by Jon Spencer, the mid-1990s were a pivotal time for the group, as they first signed with Matador Records in 1993 to release their third album, Extra Width.  In 1994, the band released Orange, perhaps their most well-known and beloved record, again, on Matador Records. By 1996, the band began collaborating with legendary blues guitarist, R.L. Burnside.  Burnside recorded a collaborative record with the Blues Explosion entitled A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey in June 1996.

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Hole at Berkley Community Theater (12-09-1994)

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On December 9th, 1994, Hole played at Berkeley Community Theater! Earlier in the year, the band released their critically acclaimed second album, Live Through This. To commemorate the holiday season, the band covered “We Three Kings” early on in their set.  The performance was broadcast on Live 105 for an event called Green Christmas. Courtney Love also took the Christmas tree that was on the stage with her at the end of the group's set.

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Set list:

  1. Plump

  2. Sugar Coma

  3. Miss World

  4. We Three Kings

  5. Asking for It

  6. Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran Cover)

  7. He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss) (The Crystals Cover)

  8. Best Sunday Dress

  9. Doll Parts

  10. Violet

  11. Rock Star

  12. Bible Belt

  13. Sugar Coma

The Replacements at CBGB's (12-09-1984)

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On December 9th, 1984, The Replacements played at CBGB's! The Mats played an absolutely epic set that appears to include more covers than original songs. The band covered a wide range of bizarre songs, including the Gilligan's Island theme, If I Only Had A Brain, and KISS's "Black Diamond." All in all, it was another Replacements gig for the ages!

  1. Lovelines

  2. Hear You Been to College

  3. Easier Said Than Done (The Essex Cover)

  4. Color Me Impressed

  5. Music Is My Life

  6. Jolene (Dolly Parton Cover)

  7. Do the Clam (Elvis Presley Cover)

  8. Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed Cover)

  9. Hippy Hippy Shake (Chan Romero Cover)

  10. Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Bad Company Cover)

  11. My Generation (The Who Cover)

  12. Substitute (The Who Cover)

  13. Take Me Down to the Hospital

  14. Do It for the Money

  15. Iron Man (Black Sabbath Cover)

  16. G.T.O. (Ronny & The Daytonas Cover)

  17. The New World (X Cover)

  18. It's Alright (J.J. Jackson & The Jackals Cover)

  19. I Got You Babe (Sonny & Cher Cover)

  20. Kids Don't Follow

  21. Fuck School

  22. Takin a Ride

  23. Temptation Eyes (The Grass Roots Cover)

  24. I'm in Trouble

  25. September Gurls (Big Star Cover)

  26. My Best Friend's Girl (The Cars Cover)

  27. Layla (Derek & The Dominos Cover)

  28. One of the Boys (Mott The Hoople Cover)

  29. Take a Letter, Maria (Justin Greaves Cover)

  30. If I Could Slip Away

  31. Green Acres Theme (Vic Mizzy Cover)

  32. If I Only Had a Brain (Harold Arlen Cover)

  33. Ballad of Gilligan's Island (The Marvelettes Cover)

  34. Data Control (Husker Du Cover)

  35. Be My Lover (Alice Cooper Cover)

  36. Start Me Up (The Rolling Stones Cover)

  37. I'll Be There (The Jackson 5 Cover)

  38. Black Diamond (KISS Cover)

The Feelies at Maxwell's (11-22-1985)

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends! Here’s a Turkey Day treat for you!

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On November 22nd, 1985, the Feelies played at Maxwell’s! he show was the second of a two-night stand, and based on the Village Voice blurb included with the tape, it appears to be one of the first official gigs that the band played as the Feelies in five years. The band showcased some of their new material that would appear on their incredible 1986 album The Good Earth, including “Let’s Go,” “On The Roof,” and the holiday appropriate, “When Company Comes!” Happy Thanksgiving to all my Feelies loving friends! Also, this is labeled as the 1:00am “late show,” so I’m actually not sure if this is the 21st or 22nd. Either way, it rules! Enjoy!

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Sonic Youth at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center (11-21-1997)

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On November 21st, 1997, Sonic Youth played at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. For this swanky orchestra hall gig, the band played almost entirely instrumental songs. They also previewed several songs that would appear on the forthcoming 1998 album "A Thousand Leaves." 

Set list:  

Karen Koltrane

Ineffable Me

Anagrama

Wildflower Soul

Hoarfrost Stil

French Tickler

Hits Of Sunshine

Female Mechanic Now on Duty

Heather Angel -- 

Sunday

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Alex Chilton at Maxwell's (11-20-1987)

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Photo by  Ted Barron

Photo by Ted Barron

On November 20th, 1987, Alex Chilton played at Maxwell’s! This wasn’t just any Maxwell’s gig, though, as Chilton was by Paul Westerberg of The Replacements for part of his set! Replacements fans are well aware of Paul Westerberg’s affinity for Chilton, as The Replacements’ famous song “Alex Chilton” was the stand out track on their 1987 album, Pleased To Meet Me. I’m actually not sure of the logistics of this live collaboration because The Replacements had a show on the same night at The Beacon Theater in Manhattan. I’m guessing Paul hopped into a cab and rushed through the Lincoln Tunnel right after their set at the Beacon. If anyone has any information, please let me know!

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Photo by  Ted Barron

Photo by Ted Barron

Tiny Lights at Court Tavern (11-19-1989)

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On November 19th, 1989, Tiny Lights played at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick! Tiny Lights originally formed in Hoboken in 1985. According to the Painfully Obscure blog, the band was set to release their third album, Know it You Love, in 1989, but the release was pushed until 1990 because their label had dissolved. Despite this, the master recordings for the album were sent to the pressing plant before Gaia dissolved, and a number of advance tapes were printed up. Though Know It You Love was never officially released, the band released Hot Chocolate Massage in 1990.

From 1988 to 1994 Tiny Lights toured the United States extensively, performing with Michelle Shocked, 10,000 Maniacs, Henry Rollins, in addition to their Hoboken peers, The Feelies and The Bongos.

Iggy Pop at The Ritz (11-13-1986)

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On November 13th, 1986, Iggy Pop played at the Ritz as part of a two night concert series sponsored by St. Pauli Girl. In 1986, Iggy Pop released his seventh solo album Blah-Blah-Blah, his most commercially successful album.  The record included a cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s “Wild One”  and three original songs co-written with ex-Sex Pistols guitar player Steve Jones. The remaining tracks were co-written by Bowie, who also produced the album with David Richards.

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