Chris Blackburn dot com


My Music
Other Projects
The Mixes
Who Am I?

Contact Me

YouTube: Hum

January 7 2006 06:38 PM ET (Permalink) (Comment)

"I'd Like Your
Hair Long" (Live)
from 120 Minutes

Download: Hum - "I'd Like Your Hair Long" (120 Minutes)

Seriously, this may be my favorite tv performance of all time. So much so that I'm including an MP3 of it above.

Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon for 120 Minutes to announce that a band would be performing a song live on the show, only to have it not be the song you'd expect. When this show aired in July of 1995, I was bummed that the song wasn't "Stars", then Hum's big single.

When I arrived back at school the next month, I kept popping that videotape in, and eventually fell in love with this song. And, watching the tape ten-plus years later, it's kinda obvious: some of the tape before and after this performance shows some damage from overuse. (I actually struggled a good bit to get a decent capture off the tape, as several takes showed weird tracking problems.)

I started listening to the album version of "I'd Like Your Hair Long", and it just didn't have the same effect. The album version is a victim of the typical studio problem of being more tempered and with a slower tempo. The raging speed of this live version is what makes the song for me.

When I saw Hum in February of 1996, they went their entire set without playing this song, and I could feel myself getting more and more annoyed. To my great relief, they played this song last, and it was clearly a highlight of the evening.

"Stars" (Live)
from 120 Minutes

I also uploaded a version of "Stars" that Hum performed for 120 Minutes, which aired on the year-end live performance special in January of 1996. As with "I'd Like Your Hair Long", I think this version trumps the studio version.

It's getting so common to have bands perform with taped accompaniment that it's nice to be reminded that four people can play unique parts of a song as a band and have it sound this good. When playing live on 120 Minutes, bands were basically stripped clean of everything save whatever talent they had, and, sometimes, it got ugly. (The mixes were very simple, unlike, say, Saturday Night Live.) For example, when Therapy? played "Screamager" in 1993 (a song I love), the performance demonstrated that their drummer couldn't actually keep a straight tempo.

I can't say that I loved all of Hum's music (some of it seemed just totally off-the-wall to me), but here's where they were at their best.

Discuss this on the Comment Board
Previous Blog
YouTube: Sunny Day Real Estate
Next Blog
New Year's Resolution: Blogging