Cass McCombs: May 12, 2011 Bowery Ballroom – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

May 15, 2011

[photos by John Ruscher for Eardrum NYC]

Cass McCombs has created and performed superb music for nearly a decade. As he has recorded in locations from Baltimore to Southern California to Michigan to Chicago absorbing all of the musical influences that inform his songcraft, Cass remains an enigmatic and solitary performer whose music is as compelling as it is dark. The release of the brilliant Wit’s End (Domino Records) last month has gathered the standard critical praise for McCombs’ work. But Wit’s End is perhaps the album that will ultimately expose him to the wider audience that he has eluded over the last ten years. At a sold out Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night, the good and bad of that fate was obvious from the outset. A talkative and insufficiently attentive audience missed large portions of what was undoubtedly one of the best shows we’ll see all year. This is music that does not jump out at you, as the songs require concentration and close listening to appreciate the musical and lyrical subtleties. Cass requested that the lights be turned all the way down after the first song, and the stage illuminated the band only by the odd wall-of-lightbulbs backdrop thereafter. The band opened the set with the first three songs from Wit’s End — the Laurel Canyon-esque “County Line” is streaming below — and then performed a democratic selection of material from all of Cass’s releases, highlighted by “Don’t Vote”, “Equinox”, and reaching as far back as the title track from his debut EP “Not The Way”. The band matched the mood of the material perfectly and while there were abundant solos and extended jams (“Harmonia” extended past ten minutes), there were no flourishes or inauthentic stage theatrics. After a brief thanks to the crowd, Cass closed the set with a powerful eight-minute version of “Bobby, King of Boy’s Town” before the lights quickly came up. As the crowd filtered out, I couldn’t help but think that half of them had missed a truly great show.

I recorded this set from the balcony rail with the four-microphone rig and the sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Thanks to Cass and Domino Records for their courtesy and permission to record this show.

Stream “County Line”:

Direct download of complete show in MP3 files (HERE)

Download the Complete show in FLAC [HERE].

Cass McCombs
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

Four-Track Digital Master Recording
Recorded at the Balcony Railing

Neumann KM-150s + DPA 4021’s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries) > flac

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:28:04]
01 Buried Alive
02 The Lonely Doll
03 County Line
04 Meet Me Here At Dawn
05 Prima Donna
06 Pregnant Pause
07 Harmonia
08 Meet Me At the Mannequin Gallery [new song]
09 Equinox
10 Don’t Vote
11 Not the Way
12 Aids in Africa
13 When the Bible Was Wrote
14 Bobby, King of Boy’s Town

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Cass McCombs, visit his website, and purchase Wit’s End from the Domino website [HERE].

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7 Responses to Cass McCombs: May 12, 2011 Bowery Ballroom – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

  1. sumbodhi
    May 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    track 8 is “Meet Me At the Mannequin Gallery” awesome show. Thanks!!

  2. May 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks, I could only find one reference to this song online after your comment, that he debuted the song last summer at Pitchfork Fest. It seems to be unreleased and not often performed.

  3. Kip
    May 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I was at their show in Boston. Amazing show but strange crowd / band vibe as well. The very dimmed lights was also asked by the band only they didn’t quite head Cass’ requests at first which caused some awkward tension. But the show was held at the tiny Berklee school of music cafe called Cafe 939 (redroom) and it was only half full. Given it was a Tuesday night and not much promotion took place (it wasn’t listed on the bands official tour schedule).

    Highlight for me was king of boys town bit they also played Dream Come True Girl that had some extended parts, especially in the piano department. Loved the piano players chops in general let alone the collective talent.

    Caught dream girl with my phone. Bit dark but sound isn’t too bad:

  4. Luke
    May 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Yeah Mannequin Galley, he played it last year at the bowery show – there were so many good new songs in that set last july… i was thinkin wow his new record’s going to be amazing… and none of them are on wit’s end! great great man. Cheers for the zip dude, will enjoy this today from the other side o the world.

  5. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
    May 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

    wow, thanks for doing this. very special.

  6. May 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

    This recording is lovely. I enjoyed the show for exactly what it was. The light sculpture set pieces made the mood and are beautiful.

    Did you happen to record JANA HUNTER’S set as well?
    She would be very interested to obtain such a recording.

    Thank you for your work,
    Ross ∆

  7. paul r
    November 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

    this is awesome, thank you. whoa. do you have any idea who’s backing him up? the bass solo on harmonia–splooge!

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