Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why bootlegs are the best thing since the first album was etched on vinyl...

Ok, if you know me, you might be aware that I LOVE bootlegs... Not just any bootlegs, I prefer soundboard recordings, of course, but there's just so much out there it's ridiculous! So I figure I'd go ahead and share some of the places I go to when looking for legal downloads... As you might be aware, the penalties for downloading copyrighted material is just nuts, but if you listen to some of the live recordings available on the net by just about anyone you can think of... well, there's a lot and it's good. Some of my favorites to get are Radiohead, Nirvana, Pearl Jam (recently took a TON of their official bootlegs off the market, which I guess made a lot of bootleg collectors happy), Eric Clapton (heard the Madison Square Garden concerts last year as an audience recording and I was in love), Paul Weller, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Sigur Ros (hard to find soundboard, but amazing stuff), Paul McCartney (still amazing live after all these years), Chris Cornell (plays Soundgarden, Audioslave, and solo)... well, I could keep going...

Now, as for why these are just the best thing in the world... In a lot of cases, you get to hear not only the "popular" songs, but the songs they really like playing live. I mean, if you go to a Rolling Stones concert at a stadium, most of the songs you hear will be ones you know... I can recall, though, a handful of years ago going to the Wiltern in Los Angeles to see the Stones (200). The tickets weren't super expensive if you got them when they went on sale (we did thanks to my wife's mad ticketmaster skills), but people in line were getting offers for $1000-$2000 per ticket?!?!?!? Nuts! We were offered, too, but they had wrist bands and id checks and besides that, we drove to Los Angeles so I could see the Stones for the first time, I wasn't going to sell them! Point, though, is that the concert was a Stones fan's dream... Honestly, I've always been more of a 60's Stones fan, but after the concert I started getting into some of their stuff after the time, so I wasn't super familiar with a lot of material from the show. Great show, but not as much for me as it would have been for a die hard fan (still glad I didn't sell the tickets, though). Neighbours, Live with Me, That's How Strong My Love Is, Thru and Thru, Tumbling Dice, etc etc etc... So, how the heck can you hear this great concert? Well, someone did record it! If I've been to a show by anyone other than an obscure indie band, someone has always been there with some sort of recording device. If you want it, it is on the net to be found...

Here are some of the places I go... Keep in mind some of these sites will have albums, which you probably should download at your own risk! Some material is long out of print by obscure bands, but I err on the side of caution and go for the boots!

Anyway, that's just a few.... TUBE (theultimate...) is by far the best I've found, so check that out first and I haven't found anything yet that looked to be worthy of shutting the site down, you know?

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