Sunday, October 7, 2007

Of bootlegs and such

Reading Ned's series of posts on listening to Radiohead over the years, it occurred to me: I own very few bootleg recordings. He discusses owning scads of Boo Radleys stuff; meanwhile, in a good friend's car last night, I marveled at the sheer volume of Pearl Jam live shit he owned -- I mean, stuff beyond the 642 "official" bootlegs they released a few years ago. while I can't think of more than one CD-R worth of let's say extra-commercial material I own by my favorite bands. Geography gets some of the blame: Miami's a big city, but we have only two-count'em-two indie record stores. But I gotta admit to a certain disinterest in trolling fan sites and file sharing programs looking for, say, late '95 Bjork club shows (of which I own a couple of performances, actually). There's only so many hours in the day, I have too many other interests, not enough storage capacity at home, and, as anyone who knows me will confirm, the number of songs stored on my hard drive runs into the low double digits (I still burn lots of CD-R's, which returns us to the space question). Thank the gods for YouTube, which has helped me finds lots of archival footage without my ever having to own it.

What say you? If you own lots of bootleg stuff, what motivates you -- completism? fandom? neurosis?


kiss out the jams said...

Here's a sane person's list.

-No non-album Sleater-Kinney or Sonic Youth is worth owning except for the former's "Angry Inch" cover with Fred Schnieder and the latter's "Superstar" cover (all the uneartheds on the Daydream Nation deluxe are great)

-Every non-album track the Shins have made before 2007 is worth finding, including old EPs and the lone album as Flake Music

-Pavement have some great b-sides and ephemera but not as much as their compilers think

-Most of Jurassic 5's and Smashing Pumpkins' best material are in fact on rare singles and EPs

-Every PJ Harvey b-side I've heard is better than White Chalk

-I own Liz Phair's Girlysounds and she has a lot of worthwhile rare crap

-R.E.M.'s b-sides suck

-Pearl Jam should just release a fucking covers comp already. Most are great, even Neil Finn's "I Got You."

-I have a fantastic They Might Be Giants live show somewhere

-Rilo Kiley's hardly-printed debut Initial Friend is arguably their best record

-The Dismemberment Plan have a handful of rare material I'm really glad to own and the rest is neither here nor there

I'm not interested in bootlegs so much as novelties and fan tidbits here and there. I also like to hear covers of favorite songs when I'm made aware of them, even if I'm sure they'll suck.

Thomas said...

Prince. Live shows. Vault material. Lots of it essential. 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I just have stuff lying around. (The Boos material was actually just a compilation I ripped and made myself from all the CD singles I owned -- which in itself might be a sign of problems.)