John Prine, Sleater-Kinney and more live videos to watch at home


Basically no show is taking place due to the coronavirus outbreak (although some artists are doing live streams instead), but if you’re already looking forward to a show, or just need a brief distraction from the craziness of the world right now, luckily there There’s YouTube which has an incredible range of live footage from throughout pop music history, from movie clips of concerts, TV performances and other professionally shot footage, to tons of videos shot by fans from broadcasts. If you’re looking for a place to start, we’ve selected some of our favorites. Here are five more:

John Prine @ Strawberry Music Festival 1986
John Prine’s manner with rhyme and melody, his good humor, empathy and laid-back charm made for the kind of songs where you remember the lines the first time you hear them. This made it ideal for festivals where it could quickly gain a crowd. John had Yosemite’s Strawberry Festival in the palm of his hand in 1986, with a set that includes classics like “Sam Stone”, “Illegal Smile”, “Hello in There”, “Spanish Pipe Dream” and “Paradise”. We miss you John. [Bill Pearis]

Cardiacs @ Salisbury Arts Center – 30/06/1990

In this daily live video digest, we recently turned your attention to Napalm Death’s performance at the Salisbury Arts Center on June 30, 1990, which has been made into a live album/film Corruption Liveand here is the video of the band Napalm Death sharing the bill with that evening, the prog/art punk freaks Cardiacs, whose set has been transformed into a live album/movie All that glitters is a mare’s nest. Cardiacs, one of the craziest bands of all time and an influence on Radiohead, Blur, Faith No More, Tool, Porcupine Tree, and many more, were in typically manic form all night, with an appearance and sound totally strange and totally unbelievable. As crazy as this band was already in the studio, they could have been even crazier on stage. [Andrew Sacher]

Teenagers in Santa Barbara – 03/05/1982

There’s not a lot of legendary teenage punk footage from the early ’80s, as gritty as this video is (and, according to a few reviewers, it was shot when Curtis “Sparky” McCracken briefly replaced Tony Cadena on vocals. ), it’s always a treat to have this taste of what teenagers were like at the time. This appears to have been shot in Santa Barbara on March 5, 1982 (the day John Belushi died, as the band mentions onstage) at a show that also included Black Flag, Ch3 and Overkill, and it was roughly around the time the classical line-up disbanded (they played “Yur 2 Late”, which became a solo song by guitarist Rikk Agnew after he left). They also played a handful of songs from their now classic 1981 self-titled debut album, and they ripped the entire set. [Andrew Sacher]

Yellow Magic Orchestra @ Greek Theatre, Los Angeles – 04/08/1979

This video features one of the first American performances by the Yellow Magic Orchestra in support of San Franciscan band The Tubes. But the opening act doesn’t quite capture the apparent skill and vision of the revolutionary group here. The sequence itself is skillfully put together, with plenty of close-ups that make a band mostly attached to towering keyboards seem dynamic beyond their snappy synth lines. (Hardware fans should appreciate the kind of vintage synthesizers the band uses.) While Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Yukihiro Takahashi are legendary themselves, this incarnation of their live band showcased the talent of other pop artists. burgeoning electronics at the time, including pianist Akiko Yano and Hideki Matsutake on the Modular Platform, who programmed synths on the band’s albums and created solo works under the name Logic System. The group’s label at the time, Alfa Records, produced the video, and is now regarded with its subsidiary Yen Records as one of the most important Japanese technopop labels of the 70s and 80s. In 1979, this ensemble and its performers offered American audiences an invigorating glimpse of the innovation that occurs in Japanese popular music, catching them off guard in the best possible way. [Andrew Marinaccio]

Sleater-Kinney @ CBGB, May 15, 1997

A little over a month after the release of their third LP, Dig me, the Sleater-Kinney tour supporting the album hit NYC for a show at CBGB. They’ve long been an exciting live band and they sound incredibly vital and urgent here, ripping through tracks from their debut albums and playing an early version of “One Song for You” before The hot rock came out in 1999. [Amanda Hatfield]

For more of our favorite live videos, head here.


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