Concrete Blonde – live at Central Club, Richmond – Melbourne Australia – March 2, 1988 – Band Soundboard –
Concrete Blonde in concert tonight. Recorded at the Central Club in Richmond – Melbourne Australia on March 2, 1988, and preserved flawlessly by the sound mixer (I wish all soundboard recordings sounded half as good).
For a bit of background on the band, AllMusic’s Steve Huey did a bang-up job:
Concrete Blonde grew out of the Los Angeles post-punk club circuit that produced bands like X, Wall of Voodoo, and the Go-Go’s, but it wasn’t until 1987 that the band even recorded its first album. The group was founded by singer/songwriter/bassist Johnette Napolitano and guitarist Jim Mankey, who initially called themselves Dream 6 and released an EP. Their insistence on complete artistic control was off-putting to the major labels who took notice, however, and it wasn’t until 1987 that the group signed to I.R.S. and changed its name to Concrete Blonde at the suggestion of labelmate Michael Stipe. Concrete Blonde’s self-titled debut album betrayed the influence of the Pretenders, while 1989’s Free was a tighter showcase for Napolitano’s developing songwriting and produced a college radio hit with “God Is a Bullet.” The morose, textured Bloodletting, a more accomplished record than both of its predecessors, broke the band to a wider audience with the left-field Top 20 hit “Joey,” the tale of a love affair ended by alcoholism. Mexican Moon reflected Napolitano’s interest in Hispanic music and culture, but Concrete Blonde’s commercial fortunes had declined since Bloodletting, and Napolitano broke up the band. They reunited between 2001 and 2004, however, releasing two albums during that period, 2002’s Group Therapy and 2004’s Mojave, the latter featuring new drummer Gabriel Ramirez-Quezada. Napolitano announced the second and apparently final breakup of Concrete Blonde in June of 2006.
One of L.A.’s own, highlighted by Johnette Napolitano’s “take-no-prisoner” vocals – they left a mark on the L.A. scene of the late 80s and early 90s. One which hasn’t aged a minute since this Melbourne gig.
It’s Friday night – crank it up and ponder going out in the world this weekend.