Posts Tagged ‘ Mekons ’

Jon Langford, Jean Cook and Walter Salas-Humara: December 17, 2016 – Private Residence in Brooklyn

January 14, 2017

neild reports:
In a bookend to his February 2016 acoustic gig/art show at a private apartment in Brooklyn, Jon Langford closed out the year with another performance at the same venue. This time he brought along not just his guitar and violnist/vocalist extraordinaire Jean Cook (plus lots of his inimitable paintings and prints, which did a brisk business), but also Silos cofounder Walter Salas-Humara. The pair of country-punk pioneers swapped songs while adding guitar and improvised percussion to each other’s songs — on one track Langford started out drumming with brushes on his guitar back, before breaking for a drum solo played on his own butt — perfectly melding Langford’s sardonic tales of blasé drone operators and Irish fishing villages still reliving the decades-only filming of Moby Dick with Salas-Humara’s ballads of pot smuggling and doomed romance. It was as stripped down as punk rock, or music in general, can be, and further cemented Langford’s role as one of the world’s most seriously funny, and comically serious, artists, while providing a welcome reminder that really all that’s needed for great music are a couple of instruments and an appreciative crowd willing to join in on the choruses.

As with the February show, there was no amplification, so this was recorded with the same CA-14 cardioid mics (mounted on a stand this time instead of sitting on the floor, as the space was slightly less cheek to jowl); when it sounds like the performers have wandered off into another part of the room at one point, that’s exactly what’s happened. Thanks to Jon and Walter and Jean, and to Jon Raaen for hosting us all again at his apartment. Next time, with less snow on the ground for once!

Download the Complete Show in MP3 or FLAC format at [HERE]

Stream the Complete Show (via

Jon Langford and Jean Cook
Private Residence
Brooklyn, NY

CA-14 cardioid mics > Church Audio ugly battery box > Sony PCM-M10 > WAV (24/48) > Sound Studio (light dynamic compression to reduce loud claps and percussion) > FLAC (16/44.1) > Tag > FLAC

Recorded and mastered by neil d

Early Set:
01 Over the Cliff
02 Millionaire
03 The Country Is Young
04 Tubby Brothers
05 Counting on You
06 The Sunshine and the Moon
07 Shitload of Cash
08 The Sounds Next Door
09 Sentimental Marching Song
10 Hank Williams Must Die
11 Youghal
12 Streets of Your Town (Go-Betweens cover)

Late Set:
13 second set
14 Summer Stars
15 Drone Operator
16 Walking on Hell’s Roof
17 Satellite
18 Diner by the Train
19 Nashville Radio
20 Homburg
21 Commodore Peter

Check out more on Langford’s many forms of art at the terrific site maintained by Nobby Knape, or just wait around long enough, and he’ll probably show up in some guise or another.

Jon Langford: April 4, 2014 Bell House – Flac/MP3/Streaming

April 28, 2014


neild reports:

Jon Langford is a man of many bands. In addition to his long tenure as a founding member of the Mekons, the Three Johns, and the Waco Brothers, he’s had a busy solo career since his first album under his own name, 1998’s Skull Orchard, which was recorded with the aid of fellow Wacos Steve Goulding, Alan Doughty, and Mark Durante. He’s since performed regularly with his New York-based band the Ship & Pilot, consisting of Goulding, Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone, and violinist Jean Cook.

This show was part of a mini-tour in support of Langford’s new album Here Be Monsters, recorded as Jon Langford and the Skull Orchard, this time consisting of Cook, Doughty, vocalist Tawny Newsome, Zincs guitarist Jim Elkington, and part-time Wacos drummer Joe Caramillo. (For good measure, the album also includes reproductions of paintings that Langford did for each song; his day job is as a fine artist, painting mostly music-related works, prints of many of which are for sale at the merch table at his shows.) The band that showed up at Bell House, though, was yet another iteration: Langford, Cook (filling in more than capably on Newsome’s backing vocals), Camarillo, Meat Purveyors guitarist Bill Anderson, and occasional Langford touring bassist Ryan Hembrey.

Any Jon Langford show, regardless, is first and foremost a Jon Langford show: hard-rocking, political, as likely to drop a reference to Joe Strummer’s time spent as a grave digger in Wales as to take time out for a terrible joke. (This is a man who once worked the line “Zen buddhist hot dog man/Make me one with everything” into a Mekons song.) The hour-and-a-half set included a mix of songs from Here Be Monsters (including the standout “Drone Operator,” featured in a haunting new video with Moroccan filmmaker Hassan Amejal), his previous solo release Old Devils, Skull Orchard, and a handful of other tracks, culminating in the Mekons anthem “Memphis, Egypt,” for which Goulding emerged from the audience to play drums and Camarillo strapped on a guitar, which he later described as “the most fun I’ve ever had standing up.”

This was recorded with a mix of the Bell House soundboard feed and Church Audio CA-14 cardioid mics mounted on the wall behind the board. Enjoy!

Stream the Complete Show:

This Recording is Available to Download in FLAC and MP3 at [HERE]

Jon Langford
Bell House
Brooklyn, NY

Source: SBD > iRiver H320 + AUD > CA-14 cardioids > MM-EBM-1 battery box (bass rolloff off) > iRiver H320
Transfer: iRiver H320 > WAV > SoundStudio > FLAC
Recorded by neil d

01. intro
02. Summerstars
03. Drone Operator
04. Mars
05. 1234ever
06. Haunted
07. Tubby Brothers
08. Pill Sailor
09. Sugar On Your Tongue
10. Little Ray of Light
11. What Did You Do In The War?
12. Streets of Your Town (Go-Betweens)
13. I Am The Law
14. Are You An Entertainer?
15. X-Ray Style (Joe Strummer)
16. Deep Sea Diver
17. Sentimental Marching Song
18. Homburg
19. Luxury
20. Getting Used to Uselessness
21. Memphis, Egypt

If you download this recording, please support Jon Langford. You can buy Here Be Monsters at, and the rest of his many, many albums scattered across the Internet, though Bloodshot Records’ Langford page isn’t a bad place to start.

Jon Langford: July 9, 2013 Maxwell’s – Flac/MP3/Streaming

July 23, 2013

[iphone photo by neild]

Longtime NYCTaper correspondent neild made his last trip to Maxwells:
“The very first time I went to a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken was to see the Mekons, for a show in July 1991 when the Leeds-bred country-art-punk combo was touring in support of Curse of the Mekons, the album that got them kicked off A&M for being “commercially unsatisfactory.” This was at a time when the Mekons played in the New York area every few months (usually at Tramps or the Marquee), and I don’t remember much in particular about the show, except that Jon Langford and Sally Timms, then recently split as a couple, bickered both terribly and hilariously, and that the show ended with Jon and several other Mekons thrashing atop each other, and their guitars, on the floor. And that the whole thing was wonderful and anarchic and both so rock and roll and so anti-rock and roll in a way that only the Mekons have quite ever been able to pull off.

Almost 22 years later to the day, I made what will be my final visit to Maxwell’s to see Langford and his usual New York cohort (bassist Tony Maimone and drummer Steve Goulding, with only longtime violinist Jean Cook absent) play their farewell gig at the club, which as everyone reading this no doubt knows by now will close forever at the end of July. I was on vacation on the West Coast when I got an email about the show, which was due to take place just one day after I was to arrive back east on a red eye; of course, I immediately ordered tickets, because one more chance to see Jonboy at the greatest rock club in the world was something I couldn’t pass up, jet lag or no.

It didn’t disappoint. After taking the stage solo to play “Luxury” from his recent album Old Devils while waiting for Maimone and Goulding to make their way through the Maxwell’s crowd to the stage, Langford launched into full-band renditions of several songs from his 1998 solo debut Skull Orchard, a still-unparalleled masterpiece focused on his hometown of Newport, Wales (“Tubby Brothers” is about a real-life undertaking firm of that name); the rest of the set highlighted both Waco Brothers classics like “Walking on Hell’s Roof” and other solo material, including his recent, haunting Bloodshot single “Drone Operator.” After a break for drinks, the band returned to do a string of Mekons songs, more Jon solo material, and a set of covers before closing things out with the ur-Mekons track “Where Were You?”

It all amounted to both a eulogy for and a celebration of Maxwell’s, which was only fitting for an artist who’s spent the last several years selling paintings based on faded publicity photos of dead country music stars. For a fuller review, including a nice sampling of the jokes that peppered the evening (only some of which were about Sally Timms farting), see Will You Miss Me’s report on the evening.

This recording was made from two sources: a pair of cap-mounted Core Sound Binaural mics about ten feet from the stage, plus a soundboard feed. (Huge thanks for Maxwell’s soundman Mitch for his both his help in this area and his terrific mix for the night – NYC-area clubs, this man is a free agent come August 1, so get your dialing fingers working!) Despite some minor mishaps with a balky cable and some errant breezes from the Maxwell’s a/c system – one of the few things that’s changed there in the last 22 years – I was able to finesse it all in mixing into a recording I think you’ll all be happy with. Especially if you’re a fan of fart jokes.”

This recording is available for Download in FLAC and MP3 at [HERE].

Stream the Entire Show:

Jon Langford
Hoboken, NJ

Recorded and mastered by neil d

CoreSound Binaurals + soundboard > MM-EBM-1 battery box (with bass roll-off) > Line In > iRiver H320 (Rockboxed) > AIFF > Sound Studio > FLAC > XAct (for SBE and tags) > FLAC

First set:
01 Luxury
02 [banter – Billy Bragg]
03 Tubby Brothers
04 Youghal
05 Butter Song
06 Trapdoor
07 Death of Country Music
08 [banter – did the Waco Brothers ever play here]
09 Walking on Hell’s Roof
10 Drone Operator
11 [banter – some of my friends’ fathers]
12 Pill Sailor
13 [banter – I went to the doctor]
14 X-Ray Style (Joe Strummer)
15 [banter – the Three Johns broke up in this room]
16 Death of the European
17 Deep Sea Diver

Second set:
18 Memphis, Egypt
19 Lonely and Wet
20 [banter – Rico’s accordion is dead]
21 Slightly South of the Border
22 Dickie, Chalkie and Nobby
23 [banter – smells and tastes]
24 Millionaire
25 [banter – ooh, doggie]
26 Are You an Entertainer
27 Good Year for the Roses (George Jones)
28 Before I Grow Too Old (Fats Domino)
29 Sentimental Marching Song
30 [banter – a funny joke in Chicago]
31 Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You (Dolly Parton)
32 It’s Not Enough
33 [banter – guitar solo]
34 Big River (Johnny Cash)
35 Nashville Radio
36 Big Spender (Shirley Bassey)
37 Wild and Blue (John Anderson)
38 Wreck on the Highway (Dorsey Dixon)
39 Where Were You

If you download this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Jon Langford, visit his website, and purchase his official releases from the Bloodshot Records Website [HERE].

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