Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On the Might of Princes "Live at The Spot 9/9/99" (soundboard recording)

Oh boy to say this is a rarity is an understatement. And I am really excited to share this with everyone. How I came into possession of this is nothing short of a miracle. As the story goes when I was compiling material for the CD reissues of The Making of a Conversation and Where You Are and Where You Want to Be that I released with my buddy Wells a few years back I started doing some detective work to track down recordings and such to make the reissues really special. I distinctly remember seeing On the Might of Princes play a show at The Spot on Stony Brook University Campus and I was aware that they did happen to record the shows through the soundboard from time to time. And what made me recall this and try to track down the possibility of the recording was that I definitely remembered them playing a song that was never formally recorded, "Poison of Youth". I remembered this so vividly because Pauly from Splurge showed up mid way through them playing that song and tried to coerce the band into playing it a second time. This was stuck in my memory banks when the search for a possible recording commenced. Through a string of various different people who I knew at the time and hadn't seen/spoke to in years I was able to find the guy who was manning the sound board that night. I did and he revealed to me that he if his memory served him correct he did indeed record the entire set that night however,  if he did indeed have the recording he wasn't sure if it still existed as he explained that hundreds of recordings he did over the years were lost in a fire in his home a couple years prior. Mike searched through what recordings remained and low and behold one day the cd-r of the entire show in my PO box. So we were able to include a recording of a song that most On the Might of Princes fans never heard and would've never heard if it wasn't for a lot of luck and for all the folks who used to be involved with The Spot that took time out of their days to assist in locating the recording. And now I am stoked to share the entire set with the world.

About the music enclosed on the soundboard recording captured here, it is all songs that were from time period of the band's first album The Making of a Conversation came out. In fact the album was formally released almost a month prior to the date of this show. And this recording is the only known live recording outside of a video that surfaced of "Poison of Youth" (different show from the one here) that features the original On the Might of Princes line up with Nicole Keiper on drums. The performance is rough and sloppy at times which was a trademark of On the Might of Princes live shows from the beginning all the way to the end. People loved On the Might of Princes for their sincere, heart on the sleeve song writing and performances that were the most visceral thing anyone had ever seen-not whether or not they missed a note or lyric or whatever. I am happy that this recording exists not only for giving people a chance to hear the song "Poison of Youth" but to hear that early On the Might of Princes had a edge as well which in some ways I do believe got lost in the recording of The Making of a Conversation. There is a misconception from fans of the band who came on board with their later albums that OTMOP's early material was "safe" and that they weren't as powerful live-clearly those are thoughts from people who weren't there at during this era of the band to witness it first hand. People who were there know better and will tell you otherwise. I think that this recording proves that there was a raw power to OTMOP's early material in a live construct that maybe didn't translate as well to the studio.

I have a few more On the Might of Princes live sets that I will be uploading in the near future. As far as more OTMOP rarities I do know that there was a unreleased demo recorded on a reel to reel in Lou Fontana's basement where at least two maybe three songs that were never re-recorded appear. I heard it only a couple of times but it ruled, I was wish those guys would release that in some manner just as a document in the evolution of the band. I know fans would love it. Even if they just release for free digitally or something. Additionally, there is another track that was written in the period after The Making of the Conversation was recorded and before Keiper was replaced by Chris Enriquez and the band started putting Where You Are and Where You Want to Be together; the song is called "History of Churches". I can't find a recording anywhere of it. I know the band played it in Spring of 1999 when they played with Promise Ring and American Football at NYU. I tried seeing if there was a soundboard recording of that show but no luck. Who knows maybe something will turn up some day...

Also I want to credit the photo above the Maria Ciafonne who took this photo at a show with On the Might of Princes and In Transit at here apartment in late 1998/early 1999. I didn't have a live photo from the show at The Spot so I felt this photo would be the most appropriate.

On the Might of Princes Live at The Spot 9/9/99 track listing
1. Absentee Ballot (partial)
2. The Snow Watchers
3. At Half Mast
4. Poison of Youth
5. Juliana (Taking the Long Way Home)
6. Astoria
7. Water Wings
8. A Shadow Taller Than You
9. A Thousand Words

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