Matt Nathanson – ‘At the Point’ – Album Review

For the regulars of my site, they already know I am a huge Matt Nathanson fan.  For those non-regulars, I will let you know I am a huge Matt Nathanson fan.  I have been re-exploring his earlier catalog lately and I want to point out a great live set he has available called ‘At the Point’.

‘At the Point’ was recorded, well, at The Point.  The Point is an intimate club in Philadelphia, PA.  It was recorded in the Summer of 2005 and released in 2006.  It is only Matt and his acoustic guitar.  Nothing or no one else.

What I love about this album is it is a lot of his old songs from before my discovery of Matt which was around 2007 or so.  The album showcases his live performance, his ability to own a crowd, his comedic stylings (he is one funny SOB), his voice and most importantly his songwriting and musicianship.

From such classics as “Church Clothes”, “Answering Machine”, “Curve of the Earth” and “I Saw” to his cover of Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” and Drivin’ N Cryin’s “Straight to Hell”, you get lost in his performances as they are delivered so flawlessly and seem so personal.  You get laughs as he tells stories that will have you laughing your ass off and you just get an hour and seven minutes of pure enjoyment.  This is what a live album should be.  Something you can feel and connect with.

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Generation X – The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978 – (The Billy Idol Series – Bonus Edition)

Before I get to the next studio album in the Billy Idol series, I thought I would throw in a bonus Generation X Bootleg album out of Italy.  This 2LP Set is called the BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 – 1978.  It is live show from December 8th, 1978 out of Sheffield, England.  It is an unofficial release so therefore, a bootleg.  And it is fantastic.

I was in New York at this great little record store in Greenwich Village and came across this disc.  I was talking with the clerk asking about any Generation X on vinyl and he told me I needed this one and man he was right.

Generation X was criticized on their studio albums for trying to be more commercial than Punk.  Well, the live album shows they were a real Punk band.  I find this live show to really show off what this band was all about.  You can hear the attitude in the guitar playing and the drumming.  And of course, Billy’s snarling and attitude is pure punk with a big FU to everyone.

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John 5 & the Creatures – ‘It’s Alive’ – Album Review

John 5 & the Creatures bring us a new album to start the year off and this time we get their first live album.  ‘It’s Alive’ was recorded live off the Season of the Witch Tour in 2017 at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pennsylvania in April 2017.  The band consists of John 5 on lead guitar, Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles Nix on drums.  The amount of music that comes out of these there guys for this album is incredible.

In listening to an interview with John 5 on Talking Metal with Emily Strigl, I learned that album was recorded rather spontaneously.  They arrived at the theater the day of the show and someone from the theater asked them if they wanted to record the show as they had a recording booth upstairs.  The band joyfully said yes.  And a little less than a year later, we have a live album released.

John 5 also stated in the interview that there are no overdubs or any re-recordings.  What you hear is what you get.  And what you hear is a live album that is near perfection which is also a little of the drawback.  The album at times doesn’t sound live as the musicianship is absolutely incredible.  There are probably errors, but they are not noticeable (at least to my untrained ears).

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