Leave the rest at arm’s length

Photography by Uci

I’m not always keen on live albums, if you aren’t there, they tend to come off like “ah man, you shoulda been there”, making the whole thing sound second hand, and therefore hollow and weak. There are a few notable exceptions, such as REM’s first live album last year, thought that one came out pretty nice, and the live album I tried to do a vinyl rip off of for Canadian maw-maw (my mother-in-law) & you from her old collection of LPs, Neil Diamond’s double LP Hot August Night… Unfortunately, it was a bit too warp and used to rip. It’s such a good album & recording, I’ll definitely have to find another copy of that gem.

Then there are those intimate setting performances that are captured, creating a special moment that yeah, you wish you were there, but in the end, you are just so thankful it was recorded, well, and now you have a copy. MTV did a great job back in the 90’s with their unplugged series generating that kinda feeling. Two huge standouts for me being the Nirvana (of course) and Paul McCartney’s episodes. I still think Paul McCartney’s Unplugged is the best thing he’s done since The Beatles.

Well, along that line came a little live gem that fell into my inbox, Frightened Rabbit’s Liver! Lung! FR! An acoustic-dominated set up, and sounding like it was recorded in a bar in Scotland, but a bar of patrons there to see them, is basically a re-recording / live-recording / stripped-down-recording of their last album The Midnight Organ Fight and it’s wonderful. The intimate setting fits the songs and arrangements perfectly, you forget it’s a live recording until the song ends, a handful of people clap, and Hutchinson says “Cheers”. The whole show sounds raw & imperfect making a great soundtrack for a dreary grey cold Monday morning. Oh, and I kinda like how his voice sounds nearly identical to the guy from Counting Crows. Well, at least until he speaks, then he sounds like a Scot. Ha!


Frightened Rabbit – 01 The Modern Leper
Frightened Rabbit – 02 I Feel Better
Frightened Rabbit – 03 Good Arms vs Bad Arms

Leave the rest at arm’s length
Keep your naked flesh under your favorite dress
Leave the rest at arm’s length
When they reach out, don’t touch them, don’t touch them…

Frightened Rabbit – 04 Fast Blood

Go show this poor scared little Scottish hare all your love here, here, and here now!

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