Monday, July 11, 2011

Seam: 23 February 1994 Freidrichshafen, Germany SOUNDBOARD

Another nice Sooyoung Park-related treat for my followers today.

The same kind fellow who provided me the recent Bitch Magnet recording also supplied me with a Seam master, this time with a bit more lineage known.  My source himself taped this 23 February 1994 gig at The Bunker at Jugendhaus Molke, Freidrichshafen, Germany via soundboard patch - and it's terrific.

Now I'm not hip with the Seam trading circles (heh! Is there even one?) so I have no idea if this gig saw circulation or not.  If it did, I certainly never had it.  Well, I only have two other Seam live sets, one of which I recorded myself and eventually we will get to it here.

This is a great set from a transitional period for this band.  The sound is stellar, the track selection also fantastic.  The playing... well, my source - who was there, as he recorded it - says this was a gig where Seam filled in for Bedhead at the last minute, as Matt "Biznono" Kadane had fallen ill and Bedhead had to cancel.  So, on this snowy, cold February night, only 5 or so attended this gig.  The playing shows: while the guitars and drums are in top form, the bass - perhaps a sign of Lexi being on the way out? - isn't.  Perhaps I'm being too harsh... mostly the bass is fine, but when it's not, it's clearly not.

The sound mix is a bit wonky, but again, I'm sure it sounded great to the five who were there.

One thing that I love about this set is the dynamic it brings out from the Headsparks LP tracks ("Atari"/"Grain"/"Decatur"/"Sky City"), in the live setting.  Headsparks is my least favorite Seam LP, because I think the recording itself is too murky/poor to appreciate; here, the songs really come to life and explode out of the players, greatly increasing my appreciation of these tracks.

Another thing that gets my geek out about this set is that it features a track that wasn't recorded until the following year, with a completely new lineup, "Two Is Enough" (which also happens to be near the top of my "Favorite Seam Songs" listing, not that I actually have one compiled but...).  They have it pretty well sorted out here, gun to my head I probably would be able to tell it wasn't the same players as on the recorded version (the bass (again!) gives it away), nevertheless it's wonderful.

The lineup here, as far as we can tell:

Sooyoung Park - guitars, vocals
Craig White - guitars
Lexi Mitchell - bass
Bob Rising - drums

At some point after this gig - the Internets are woefully unclear on the timing - Sooyoung completely rebuilt the band, replacing his entire surrounding cast.

But wait... in researching the photographs to use for this post I came across an odd picture at Seam's myspace page, the below:

Here, we see Sooyoung and Lexi (she is 2nd from right), surrounded by the "new" Reg Schrader (left, guitar) and Chris Manfrin (right, drums).  Which implies that the band itself was in a transitional state at one point, being a mixture of the old and the new.

Here's something else...

This photo shows someone playing guitar to Sooyoung's right, that is not Craig White and looks like Reg instead, and also features Lexi on bass.  This is allegedly from 1993. 

Which lineup, then, played here?  I have no fucking clue.  Do I ultimately care, really?  No, because the music's stellar.

So enjoy! Lossless FLAC, of course.

23 February 1994
The Bunker at Jugendhaus Molke
Freidrichshafen, Germany

Soundboard master (at least I presume master...), recorded by Uwe
Tarted up by the Analog Loyalist July 2011


01 Kernel
02 Atari
03 Grain
04 Decatur
05 Sweet Pea
06 Bunch
07 Sky City
08 Two Is Enough
09 Rafael
10 Something's Burning
11 Dust and Turpentine

Grab it here.

Any other readers have any Seam or Bitch Magnet recordings to share?  The Internets need more! Lots more!


  1. That bottom live photo is one that I took at the 40 Watt in '95. I've got like 8 masters of recordings of them if'n you wanna set up a trade.

    henry (at) chunklet (dot) com

  2. fantastic! really looking for more live Seam stuff. thanks so much for this.

  3. Dunno if you're aware, but the hosting site you're linking to is gone, probably taken down. :-( Noticed its disappearance a few days ago.

  4. Yeah, sorry, false alarm! My ISP's routing has been screwy the last few days and is unable to find even common sites. Link is good!

  5. This was likely the Reg/Chris version of the band on tour. I don't think the Craig/Bob version toured Europe.

    1. Yes, Reg/Chris version with Lexi. IIRC this was the night that Bedhead arrived in country for their tour, someone in the band had fallen ill on the flight over, so we (Seam) played alone that night.