Flamin' Oh's | The Flamin' Oh's Live At Moby Dick's 1983

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Punk Moods: Featuring Drums
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The Flamin' Oh's Live At Moby Dick's 1983

by Flamin' Oh's

Were and still are the "bad boys" of the Minneapolis music scene, contemporaries of such bands as the Suicide Commandoes, The Suburbs, Soul Asylum and Curtis A; All at once, they are hard-driving, melodic and original with hooks like the Cars
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Happy And Want To Dance
2:08 album only
2. That's Just Fine With Me
3:37 album only
3. I Won't (She Don't)
3:21 album only
4. Private Eyes
2:46 album only
5. Magic
3:11 album only
6. Movin' On
3:12 album only
7. Bite Your Lip
2:16 album only
8. You And Me, So Terribly
3:26 album only
9. (I'm In With) Fashion
2:46 album only
10. Through Your Window
4:18 album only
11. Everybody's Darling
3:18 album only
12. Blue Memories
4:07 album only
13. Dream Talk
4:52 album only
14. I Want To Talk To You
4:43 album only
15. Got'cher Head
2:45 album only
16. Drugs Are Better
2:01 album only
17. Always It's Too Late For Us
3:04 album only
18. Paradise Avenue
4:41 album only
19. I'm The Gun
4:26 album only
20. I'm On My Own
4:02 album only
21. Heaven Holds You
4:56 album only
22. The Immortals
4:23 album only
23. Having Fun
4:15 album only
24. Shake It Down
4:14 album only
25. Children Of The Night
4:58 album only
26. She Belongs To Me
3:12 album only
27. New Boyfriend
2:20 album only
28. New Life
3:49 album only
29. (I'm A) Medical Mess
1:59 album only
30. We Do What We Like
3:05 album only
31. I Remember Romance
3:26 album only
32. Gimme Some Lovin'
3:17 album only
33. Smart Girl
2:53 album only
34. Everyday [featuring Curtiss A]
3:55 album only
35. Heartaches
3:48 album only
36. Stop
3:51 album only
37. Talk Like That
4:58 album only
38. Little By Little
5:13 album only


Album Notes

The Flamin' Oh's Live at Moby Dick's 1983
By the Beck

If you are old enough to remember when Block E was still standing and the Minneapolis Rock Scene was still in its infancy and still felt kind of dangerous, you probably remember your first Flamin' Oh's gig. You might have been backed up against one of the pillars at Duffy's, bobbing your head and tapping your foot as "Medical Mess" was bouncing off the dome. Perhaps it was at the Cabooze, stacked like cordwood aroundthe central bar as the backbeat of "New Life" got you shimmying, shaking and sweating on what passed for a dance floor (remember when people actually danced at rock shows?). Maybe you were standing with friends near the pool tables at the old, non-Christian Union Bar when "Always It's Too Late For Us" snapped your head around, made you lose the thread of conversation, and got your feet moving toward the big door
into the music room.

If it was October 1983 and you were downtown near the infamous soon-to-be-named Block E, you might have been lamenting those halcyon days of yore at the legendary Longhorn and the rent parties at the Olympia Arts Ensemble. You usually stayed away from the home of "A Whale Of A Drink" but this particular weekend the Oh's were playing at Moby Dick's and it somehow seemed worth risking life and limb to be part of the scene. For those two nights on the baddest street in Minneapolis the Flamin' Oh's would play three sets to a bar packed with loyal fans, first-timers, freaks and probably a few vice cops. You knew that you would stay until closing, when, tired from dancing, drunk from drinking, dizzy from the non-stop onslaught of great songs, you'd be praying you'd make it safely back to your car.

As you walked in through the front door the band was playing their "national anthem" "Everyday". This was the quintessential Flamin' Ohs-the lineup that appeared on their first two albums ("The Flamin' Oh's" and "Oh!"). Robert Wilkinson on Vocals & Guitar, Jody Ray on Bass, Joseph Behrend on Keyboards and Bobby Meide on Drums. The songs flowed one after the other, usually called by Robert with the rest of the band picking up their parts automatically. There was a small amount of between-song banter and tuning, but no lengthy breaks that let the attention span wander; these guys were here to work. The energy level was consistently high, and you felt yourself modifying your criteria for determining what defined a local "A" list band from the rest of the pack. Everything served the song, with no flashy (but ultimately boring) solos; everyone had a place to stand out exactly where they were supposed to. Robert's riffs definitely led the songs, but Jody's bass was played as a counterpoint, so there were actually two leads, one based on the other. Joseph's keyboards played off both of them, never resorting to a simple rhythm line as so many others would. After a while, you began to feel pity for those drums in front of Bobby, because he couldn't have hit them any harder if he had been armed with ball peen hammers. Pieces of drumstick would fly from time to time, and you'd catch an image of the implacable sea pounding the shore, throwing up a spray of shattered ships and sailors.

The songs were brave, fine things to hear, full of hope and longing and vinegar. Each had a memorable phrase or riff, a clever mind-sticking hook, all played in a way that seemed so natural and obvious. These weren't songs about revolution or politics, these were songs about meeting girls, breaking up with girls and the trouble with girls; songs about hanging out with friends, partying and making the scene. Where you once wished that a new band you might hear would please, please play a cover as a reference point so that you could figure out whether they could play their instruments at all or just rehearsed by phone, with the Oh's you found yourself wondering how much better they could play a cover than the original artist: their version just seemed like the definitive one, more right somehow, played balls to the wall.

There were other bands playing around Minneapolis in 1983-The Replacements had just released "Hootenanny", Husker Du, "Metal Circus", the Suburbs made their major label debut with "Love Is the Law", and Soul Asylum was in the middle of recording "Say What You Will". But they were part of another scene-to Oh's fans, the Replacements were sloppy and unprofessional, Husker Du too loud, fast and brainy, the Suburbs just rich kids from art school and Soul Asylum, who cared? The Oh's scene was more working class bar band and their fans were more likely to be seen at Johnny Rey, Curtiss A or Phones gigs. At Flamin'Oh's gigs no one was too cool to dance. On certain nights, when the magic flowed, there was no doubt in your mind that the Flamin' Oh's were the best band in the world.

In a few years, Minneapolis would tear down the whole block to get rid of places like Moby Dick's. Jody would leave the band and Joseph would die in an "Unsolved Mysteries"-type murder; others would replace them, and the band would carry on, but they would never have the verve of this particular group. The Flamin' Oh's Live at Moby Dicks 1983 stands as a tribute to a time and a place and two nights that are best not forgotten.

The Flamin' Oh's Live at Moby Dick's 1983 features 38 songs taken from the three full sets performed each night, filling two CDs. At this point, they had released two critically-acclaimed albums and had just finished recording a third. Four microphones were used directly into a four-channel tape deck, with no effects added to the original takes. Many of these songs are unreleased to date, and all of them are live, the way the Flamin'Oh's sound best.

The Flamin' Oh's Live at Moby Dick's 1983 is released through Art Records and can be found at selected record stores and on-line music sources. Information for ordering this double CD set by mail or e-mail can be found on the website at www.flaminohs.com.



to write a review

Don in Dallas

Live at Moby Dick's - a jewel of a live CD!
This CD is a joy...chock full of nuggets by a great, underrated songwriter and a great band. Having seen the Oh's a couple hundred times in the late 70's and early 80's, this CD gave me a chance to relive evenings spent dancing the night away to such classic Oh's tunes as Bite Your Lip, I Remember Romance, Private Eyes, and We Do What We Like. Newer material, such as Little By Little and Dream Talk, was just as engaging as early Oh's material. I haven't stopped listening to this CD since it arrived in the mail. Buy it. Share with your friends one of the great pop secrets of the late 70's and early 80's.