Saturday, December 31, 2016

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

Congratulations! You are reading this, so you made it to the end of the very worst year of our lifetimes and you're still alive! This is more awesome that you can possibly imagine, as exquisite, unprecedented tortures await in 2017 that will make what just transpired in 2016 seem like the halcyon days of Atlantis! Luckily there is this page, to keep you a-crypt of all the goings and goings.
Gosh, would you look at those Greek God cheekbones? He looks like he's posing for Mount Rushmore. Which would make him the first Brit ever put on the monument. He'd look good next to Teddy Roosevelt though. He might hit on Jefferson. Gosh, we can hope, can't we?
In this one he's making the face he made when the record suits told him all the gender references in his songs had to be unequivocally heteronormative. It should be the meme picture used for each time the rights of LGBTQ people are threatened or rolled back under the incoming Mussolini Administration.
In this one he's grabbing the axe by the neck, hopefully to stab the wretched record suits in their throats as soon as they turn their CIA-funded backs. Either that or he's fretting a D Major chord in like 12th position or something, I can't tell.
Look at him onstage... the suits haven't a clue he just came from the Folsom Street Fair, do they? It's all right, they traded it all in for a corner office at Langley long, longer ago than a galaxy far, far away. In 100 years, no one will karaoke their songs.
A few days ago they finally hounded him off the Earth, at the ripe old age of.... 53. That's only three years older than me. I don't look near as good in leather fringe though. Nor did I write and perform many of the most revered popular songs of the last 35 years.
Those of you who regularly read this page -- yes, all two of you -- know that this is not the typical fare here. I own precisely none of this person's albums, and have never seen him perform live. But as a nimble symbol of the grim thimble of tears that was 2016 -- OK, it was less a thimble than a full tub or six -- he seems perfect to lay 2016 to a much-needed rest.
I polled on my FB page and folks said do it, so do it I did. People said they'd get it so here it is, possibly "the" George Michael bootleg, made not from pre-FM LPs as earlier shares have suggested, but from an off-air recording on which you really hear the crackle of the records of the show the radio station is playing, back when it was captured. I went through it (I knew it was post-FM because it only gets up to about 14Khz in the spectral analysis) and (using Sound Forge 9 cuz I ride old school) beefed it up in the mids. You can really hear dude now, and honestly this might not be my favorite artist of all time but the guy sings his ass off in this performance.
George Michael
Palais Omnisports de Bercy
Paris, France
5.31.1988

01 Hard Day
02 Everything She Wants
03 I'm Your Man
04 A Different Corner
05 Love's In Need of Love Today
06 Father Figure
07 One More Try 
08 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
09 Careless Whisper
10 Lady Marmalade
11 I Want Your Sex pts. I, II & III

Total time: 1:12:06

George Michael - vocals
Deon Estus - bass, vocals
Andy Hamilton - saxophone, keyboards, vocals
Chris Cameron - keyboards, vocals, musical director
Carlos Rios - guitar, vocals
Moyes Lucas - drums
Tony Patler - keyboards, guitar, vocals
Lynn Mabry - vocals

1st gen FM capture of a Westwood One broadcast from 1988, remastered by EN
427 MB FLAC here
Anyway I removed a good deal of the crackles and pops and FM noise burstlets I talked about. It drifted a bit sibilant in the middle of the show, but never irritatingly enough to alter it, which when you do that stuff can really eat up certain high frequencies in awkward ways. Beyond my sad pay grade anyways; I did, however, get "Careless Whisper" up to volume par with the rest of the set.... I have no idea why it was 3db shy of a load.
And speaking of sad, what about the saddest year since whatever, huh? This guy, whom I read up on as I prepared this with a devastating 102 degree fever, was more compassionate and giving in his little gay finger than all the hypocrites and sexual Purityrants will ever be in every body they'll ever inhabit, colonizers of consciousness as they are. He was only 53 years old when he died on Christmas Day -- I repeat!!! all of 3 years older than I! -- kind of placing the shit cherry atop the crap cake that was 2016 on so many social and cultural fronts.
Anyway maybe 2017 will be better, or maybe it will make the Billy Joel song of future Floridas seem like "Mary Poppins"... I cannot say as I am not Joshtradamus by any means. But I decided to close the year with this, because this person was as beloved an artist as any of the many (millions? tens of millions? I can't keep up) that have passed since Mr. Kilmister kicked it off 12/28/15, just past his 70th, and it has a sort of celebratory, pre-hangoverly intoxicated vibe appropriate, IMO, for New Year's Eve.
So here you are, titled & tagged as usual so the audioboffins can audioboff and the iTunes people don't feel left out, even though as Apple customers that's pretty much their way of life long about now. Until someone shares the pre-FMs of this one (HINT HINT) this can do for the definitive edition of this classic boot, so to say. See you soon at the New Moon, have a Happy New Year, and everyone be safe out there and love each other as George Michael would insist you do. --J.
6.25.1963 - 12.25.2016

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