American Music Club
Minneapolis, MN, USA
15 October 1991
1st-gen. mixed channel soundboard recording
Live Mix by Kim Bromm
Recorded by J.Free / Digitized in 2007
A lot of folks have been asking about this recording, so here it is. Most of my commentary on this one would fall under the technical notes (below). The band actually managed to cram quite a bit of material into their set, and a provided a relatively decent overview of their rapidly-increasing repertoire, as well as Mark’s own overview of the increasing amount of attention being focused on the band. It seemed like one of the longest nights ever, but it turns out it was only a little over an hour. Huh.
2007 digitizing / technical notes:
Originally this was a split-channel soundboard tape – vocals in one channel, instrument mix in the other channel. As the band were staying in town overnight, I attempted to mix a copy for myself on the fly, so they could take the original with them when they left town in the morning. Listening back to it, I kind of wish I had kept the original and given them the mixed version, as I could have definitely improved on this mix. But… I thought at the time it was the decent thing to do, to give the band the original, you know, and now it seems that one may have gotten buried or misplaced somewhere. This version, on the other hand, is what it is, and I guess it could be a lot worse, all things considered. Unless the original tape turns up, this is as close to a master tape as any of us are going to get.
002: there were some weird patch issues at the board; the fastest way to fix them was to lose part of this track. There seemed to be some kind of crackle in the system all night, which we never did completely resolve, but it ended up sounding much better in the room, anyway.
011: an unfortunate tape flip occurred when watching the board instead of the deck. Nothing to but take a deep breath.
012: segued into 013 on the original tape – apparently I got creative and separated the tracks with fades when I made my on-the-fly copy that night; for this transfer I tried to re-create the original segue as gracefully as possible. (Note to self: don’t try doing on-the-fly mixes of irreplaceable soundboard tapes at 3 a.m., after you’ve been at the bar for six hours.)
1st-gen mixed-channel copy from original split-channel soundboard recording >
analog transfer to HD via CDWav (tracking) >
SoundForge (DC offset, occasional channel balancing) >
.flac transfer via Traders Little Helper
The band was spending the night with Peter Jesperson and Maggie McPherson, and I promised to be over in the morning to give them the master tape, if I could bring it home first and make a copy for myself. In retrospect, the best decision would have been to give the band the copy, as they later told me it had gotten misplaced. The next best decision then, would have been to simply copy the tape as was originally recorded, with vocals in one channel and instruments in the other, so I could spend some time evening out the mix, at my leisure. So of course, I went with Plan C, and decided I could mix the channels in one pass, after spending all night at the bar, assisting with the mix and otherwise imbibing in copious amounts of beer and local weed. And that’s what’s this 16/44.1 fileset is, made from that tape in 2007.
The good news is that the dubiously mixed 1st-gen cassette still exists, so I can still make a new transfer in 24/48, which might help improve things a bit.
RE: Looking back at the original notes I wrote for this recording in 2007, it hadn’t occurred to me at the time that my comment : “It seemed like one of the longest nights ever…” could possibly be perceived as some kind of disparaging reflection on the band or their set that night – definitely not the case. I just meant to say that compared to some earlier shows of theirs, it was apparent that the band as a whole were becoming much more prolific, and it felt like they were outgrowing the small club scene in so many ways. Okay, I just wanted to set the record straight on that.
dropouts occurring in track 2
00:51 – 01:01
01:11 – 01:18
dropout in track 11
06:04 – 06:06
 opening comments (00:14)
 Why Won’t You Stay [dropouts at start as on original tape] (3:32)
 Firefly (2:47)
 What Godzilla Said To God When His Name Wasn’t Found In The Book Of Life (4:14)
 Mom’s TV (5:09)
 Outside This Bar (3:19)
 Royal Cafe (3:41)
 Room Above The Club (4:00)
 Gratitude Walks (4:22)
 Crabwalk (3:15)
 Last Harbour (6:25) [cut near end as on original tape]
[ – – original master tape flip – – ]
 Highway 5 (4:59) >
[ – – 1st gen. copy tape flip – – ]
 Bad Liquor (2:27)
 The Dead Part Of You (2:31)
 Sick Of Food (4:05)
 Take Courage (3:38)
 Jesus’ Hands (3:11)
 Apology For An Accident (5:02)
 Hula Maidens (6:17)