Top-notch local bootlegs to download now

Top-notch local bootlegs to download now

Between cavorting with wannabe Playboy bunnies and catching up with local hip-hop crew Stack Boyz last week, Feedback didn’t have time to hobnob with the locals. So how did he get his kicks? By hitting the live music bootlegs in the Internet Archive ( and searching through the healthy pile of Charlottesville gigs. The local shows in the Internet Archive range from the semi-recent (most of the marquee shows from the Charlottesville Pavilion’s 2008 season, including Smashing Pumpkins and My Morning Jacket) to a few old gems (Tim Reynolds at Sigma Nu frat house, a 2000 set by Elliott Smith at Trax). Here are a few favorites:

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
The Paramount Theater, September 14, 2007

Steal this rock show! Download Ryan Adams’ 2007 live gig at The Paramount Theater at the Internet Archive.

Recording quality: If you’ve seen a show in The Paramount, you know that the room could make a micro-cassette recording sound like gold. This show is no exception. A-.
Highlights: A take on “Goodnight, Rose” that stretches for nearly 10 minutes, and a version of “Damn, Sam,” from Adams’ classic album Heartbreaker, that combines young Adams’ knack for articulation with old Adams’ barroom Dead-head sound.

Camper Van Beethoven
Starr Hill Music Hall, March 29, 2005

Recording quality: On one hand, CVB is a fairly low-maintenance act. On the other hand, it is Starr Hill Music Hall… One thumb up.
Highlight: While introducing “Might Makes Right,” David Lowery is interrupted by a slurring heckler that repeatedly shouts “Hey!” before adding, thoughtfully, “It’s time to fucking go!” With a little coercion, Lowery gets the audience clapping and chanting along with his shouts of “Hey!” and makes the song’s intro a convincing klezmer chant.

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
Starr Hill Music Hall, August 1, 2003

Recording quality: Listening to live funk flattens the impact of the sound, honestly. But if you can appreciate Antibalas’ technical skills, you’ll enjoy it. Also, see previous Starr Hill comment. Six out of 10 doctors approve.
Highlights: The baritone sax and trumpet breaks in the middle of a 13-minute “Open and Close.” Most of the songs in this set are nine minutes or longer, yet “Open” and “Big Man” stay punchy all the way to their final flourishes.

Animal Collective
Satellite Ballroom, May 30, 2007

Recording quality: If you’re an Animal Collective fan, you’re listening for textures rather than intelligibility. Given that, this bootleg manages to capture the whole sonic circus, if not every single word from singers Avey Tare and Panda Bear. Blue ribbon.
Highlight: The melding of “Chores,” which opens like a puréed Paul Simon track, then rides a manic chant and Stooges drums into “We Tigers.” You can hear the Satellite crowd chanting between nasty cymbal crashes as the band brings its set to a close before re-emerging for a gorgeous version of “Leaf House.”

What’s your favorite local bootleg? Write to, or to 308 E. Main St., 22902, or go online to and post a comment now!

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