Tasty Live Recordings

OK — so now that you have a better-than-totally-tedious workflow for downloading and integrating live music into iTunes, how about some decent shows to download?

What follows are a random set of show I have found most enjoyable. For me, it isn’t just the band, but the recording quality has to be really good, too. I only grab soundboards or really high rated audience recordings unless the show is just so stunningly unique that I have to have it.

First, start at the Live Music Archive. Amazing resource.

Grateful Dead

The dead deserve to be broken out simply because they have forever supported taping and the taper community. There are hundreds and hundreds of shows available, many of which are soundboards. Even if you don’t think you like the dead, it is quite likely that there will be at least one show that you like as the band played many styles and had tons and tons of guests on stage (still do).

These are just some of the shows I have grabbed that have remained in the library.

Garcia also had a prolific career performing in various side projects. I picked up Jerry Garcia and David Grisman 12-08-1991. It is an amazing show (and a digital soundboard, at that). If you like bluegrass, find this recording!


I’m a huge fan of funk and funky jazz.

Some highlights:

Afroskull is an amazing NYC area, mostly instrumental, funk band. Very tight, high energy stuff. Both of the shows listed on that page are excellent. Recording quality is good for non-soundboard.

Bomb Squad is just plain awesome. It is led by Jen Durkin, who was one of the founders of Deep Banana Blackout. The energy that Jen conveys on stage is just plain stunning and the band is every bit as talented and energetic as Jen. I saw DBB many times in the NYC area and caught a couple of Squad shows very early on. Definitely some of the best shows I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I grabbed 2002-02-16 and 2004-07-17 to juxtapose early Bomb Squad with later — to see how the band has evolved.

I also have some Parliament, Parliament-Funkadelic, and George Clinton shows that are all quite amazing. It is really hard to find decent recordings and, frankly, some of their shows can wander off into the weeds a bit.

Jiggle The Handle and Tea Leaf Green are both awesome bands that lean much more to jazz than funk, but still have a considerable funky vein. If I had to choose between the two, I would lean to Jiggle The Handle as they tend to focus much more on instrumental jams, which I prefer.

OtherSoul Coughing is kind of like a cross between Jazz, Pop, and Poetry. Odd poetry. Great band and highly entertaining shows.

I really enjoy Phish recordings from the early 1990s. I liked the band better when it was playing to smaller audiences. Also, String Cheese Incident has put forth some amazing performances.

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3 Responses to “Tasty Live Recordings”

  1. Jeffrey J. Hoover says:

    Thank you Bill! I was just wondering the other day where i could find some really good board tapes that were already digital. I looked up my favorite show and now I get to relive it!

    Grateful Dead New Years 1981 an awesome show!

    Remind me to buy you a beer/wine/soda. 🙂

  2. Evan Jones says:

    Wow, you are right, this is a great resource.

    Since you like funk, you might want to give The Jimmy Swift Band a try. They are a Canadian jam band from Halifax that have a pretty funky sound. I’ve grabbed this show and it is pretty good. I recommend listening to 80’s Runway Mode to get a feel for their sound.

    I saw Contact live once as well. They have a similar sound so they might be worth a listen, but I haven’t downloaded any of their shows yet.

  3. The Real Adam 2.0 » Blog Archive » says:

    […] Tasty Live Recordings – I’m listening to Afroskull right now and really enjoying it. If you enjoy things like WE-FUNK, you should be hopping over to the Internet Archive right now. I didn’t know they’d taken etree under their wing, but it seems to be a transglorious resource. […]

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