Tuesday, December 6, 2011


1988, bootleg

This here is a live recording from what was the last date of Rapeman's 1988 European tour.
Over the years I've found three different copies of this show; one was mediocre in sound quality and only really useful in an archival sense. Then, there was a second-generation copy of an audience cassette that sounded absolutely great and popped up in a couple of different places. That is what I originally had.

When my wife and I moved across the country, I burnt a small stack of audio cd's to take with us before putting my hard drive and computer into storage; when we moved back again the following year, my computer was el fucko, my hard drive was dead, and I still had my little stack of cd's which by now were pretty messed up and scratched from our travels. That's when I rebuilt my computer and pain-stakingly extracted the audio from those discs; I took my best results from extracting my busted-ass CDr copy of this show and ended up posting it in the SGM/CGB forum a couple of years ago. I even got to see it reposted elsewhere on thee innernuts on a blog where someone who explained the messed up sound during the first couple minutes of the recording as being result of the "technical difficulties" during the show itself as opposed to the leftover glitchy digital damage I was left with.
Right. As though PA issues at a live gig would've translated onto an audience recorded analog tape as the digital gobbledeegook that was actually left on the recording from the physical damage to the disc I'd burnt the original .flac files to. Thing is, the band did have sound issues during the set, but it doesn't affect the sound of the recording whatsoever aside from the actual pause the band takes while they get their shit together.

Eventually, I did get a copy of those original .flacs from the second-gen tape again, and shortly after that I acquired the third copy of the show as a set of .flacs from the actual master recording. This download is a fresh set of mp3's encoded from the lossless copy of the first generation cassette of this show, and while I do kinda think the second-gen copy sounds a little better (there's something in the compression there), what we get here is a copy of the original tape. And it's fucking amazing.

The set list follows

Steak and Black Onions
Hated Chinee
Dutch Courage
Radar Love Lizard
Trouser Minnow
Wheelchair Epidemic (Dicks)
Super Pussy
Up Beat (no vocals)
Kim Gordons Panties
Coition Ignition Mission
Just Got Paid (ZZ Top)
Log Bass

The sound is truly impressive. Not only can you hear everything the band does but you can hear the space of the room they're in; just wait for the bass on Monobrow (a song purportedly about Rifle Sport, Brick Layer Cake & Shellac drummer Todd Trainer) to lurch through you. Two Nuns and a Pack Mule and the singles have a distinct atmosphere and mood, but what we get here is Rapeman at the height of their cohesiveness as well as delivering an amazing performace to what was apparently sparse audience; I think I remember reading something, somewhere, saying that a few of those European shows suffered from sort of promotional snafu, but that could very well be horseshit.

The band seems to be in good spirits here and jokes back and forth with the crowd in a couple places; Albini excuses himself from singing Up Beat, saying he's not coordinated enough to do so live and the instrumental rendition that follows doesn't suffer a bit for lack of vocals. The band is incredibly tight and the clarity of Washam's drumming here is fantastic with his intricate and solid and heavy beats, and again, wait 'til the bass on Monobrow lurches through you; this is even more evidence of David Wm. Sims and Rey Washam amounting to one of the greatest if not the best rhythm section in punk rock. Now, what I'd really like is a chance to listen to both sides of Prohibition's Flophouse record.

As far as live recordings go, this is the definitive Rapeman bootleg, if such a term can really be applied to these sorts of things. And so you know, the mp3's are already bagged and tagged, so that's done for you as well. And luh, I even made ya a precious wallpaper for yer pooter.

Enjoy, and listen to loudly.

Rapeman - Live at Barbue, Copenhagen DK, November 10th, 1988


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you (I am a different Anonymous)

Anonymous said...

I do have that Prohibition record. Not sure how to record it to a PC and my soundcard isn't the best too.

miki kikiriki said...

cant wait to hear it!!!

abbottoirez said...

To Anonymous Number 3, if you're out there still - would you be willing to share the tracklisting? I fully appreciate the technical barrier but I'd love to know what the song titles actually are.

abbottoirez said...

S'okay, I don't mind doing my own research.

The record is listed on Discogs here.

Track list follows

A1 Digga Digga Doo
Written-By – Fields & McCue*

A2 Primitive Man
Written-By – C. Porter*

A3 Salt In My Tears
Written-By – Fisher*

A4 I Don't Know Why
Written-By – Ahlert*, Turk*

B1 Moaning Low
Written-By – Dietz*, Rainger*

B2 Black Market
Written-By – F. Hollander*

B3 Why Don't You Do Right?
Written-By – McCoy*, Melrose*

B4 Night Too Long
Written-By – L. Armstrong*

and Credits:

Vocals – Sally Norvell
Bass – David Wm. Sims
Drums – Scott Marcus
Engineer – Tim Stroh
Guitar, Vocals – Jamie Panzer
Keyboards, Vocals – Stella Weir
Producer – Brian Curley, Prohibition

And in the notes: "Prohibition was formed to play songs written between 1920 and 1949. This is their record"

That sounds pretty friggin' cool, actually. Late '80's Austin, TX rockers doing a set of rag-time tunes?

abbottoirez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This is Anon.3 :-) sorry I saw your post only now. I actually want to sell that record :-) It reminded me a lot of the Birthday Party, I wasn't sure if that info of it being old songs was true?

Anonymous said...

will try to rip to pc next week and will let you know when I do. or is it available somewhere?

abbottoirez said...

Nope, not available online that I've found so far, though I've got my tendrils out in a couple of places checking for me.
If you could rip a copy to share it'd be fantastic; also, if you're able to do that then I'll be more than happy to share a copy of the first Rapeman show if you'd like.

Btw, the info is correct; to be honest the idea of a punk/post-punk band doing renditions of ragtime songs sounds great to me.

Michael said...

i love you, now.

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