November 6, 2012 – 4:27 am

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Birmingham, AL 1989 [no label, 2CD]

Live at Southern Danceworks, Birmingham, AL; June 17, 1989. Good to fairly good audience recording.

Thanks to the person who shared this show at Dime.

Uploader’s notes:

It sounds like the end of another song comes in before Astro Black starts. Track 9 has a tape flip.

The Arkestra: Personnel includes Eddie Gale-tp (Gale).

At some point in 1988 or early 1989 the Arkestra did a tour of the South, including a large outdoor jazz festival in Houston, Texas (where they played opposite Arnett Cobb; Lanny Steele was the impresario). Philip Watkins played bass on this tour, and Disney tunes were featured. The band also played Nightstage in Cambridge Mass. on 12/8/88.

The Arkestra played Sweet Basil in New York City during the first week of March 1989.

The Disney songs become a feature. The Arkestra played Slim’s in Oakland on 4/5/89 and Koncepts Cultural Gallery on 4/7 and 4/8. The 4/8 show included Noel Scott (wearing Mickey Mouse ears and doing backflips), Gilmore and Allen, and a dancer wearing a Dumbo costume; the repertory included Zippity Doo Dah, The Forest of No Return, Someday My Prince Will Come, When You Wish upon a Star, and Whistle While You Work. (Oakland Tribune, 4/10/89)

Meanwhile, Moudry posted the following note at Dime:

It looks like the tape that I supplied to Robert Campbell decades ago. My notes on the tape are as follows:

1. Astro Black [Sun Ra]
2. Enlightenment [SunRa]
3. Strange Mathematics, Rhythmic Equations [Sun Ra]
4. East Of The Sun [Bowman]
5. I Dream Too Much [Kern]
6. The Forest Of No Return [Bruns, Leven]
7. Prelude To A Kiss [Ellington]
8. Yeah, Man! [Sissle, Henderson]
9. Let’s Go Fly A Kite [Sherman, Sherman]
10. I’m Gonna Unmask The Batman [Gibson, Abraham]
11. Carefree (aka: Egyptian Fantasy) [Sun Ra]
12. Stardust From Tomorrow [Sun Ra]
13. Chloe [Kahn, Moret]
14. Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah [Gilbert, Wrubel]

Personnel: Jothan Callins-tp; Tyrone Hill-tb, voc; Marshall Allen-as, fl, pic, perc; John Gilmore-ts, cl, timb, voc; Eloe Omoe-as, bcl, cacl, perc, voc; Danny Ray Thompson-bs, fl; James Jacson-bsn, fl, Ancient Egyptian Infinity drum, voc; Sun Ra-p, syn, voc; Jorge Silva-repinique, perc, voc; Oscar Brown, Jr-vln; Philip Watkins-b; Buster Smith-d; Elson Nascimento-surdo grande, perc, voc; probably Lauremil Machado-cga, perc, dance; unidentified male-perc, gymnastics, dance; unidentified male-perc, dance; June Tyson-voc. Southern Danceworks Studio, Birmingham AL. 1989.06.17.

This was an after the festival concert that was funded by the ancient tradition of passing the hat. There are also two video tapes of this concert: one ca. 60 minutes and a more professionally shot 50 minute one.

If someone can confirm the tracklist…

Picture by Craig Legg, posted at - Thanks!

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Tracklist as torrented:

Disc 1
Track 101. Astro Black (3.8MB)
Track 102. Strange World? (17.9MB)
Track 103. East Of The Sun (4.6MB)
Track 104. I Dream Too Much (6.5MB)
Track 105. Forest Of No Return (6.2MB)
Track 106. untitled (6.6MB)
Track 107. untitled (5.2MB)
Track 108. Let’s Go Fly A Kite (from Mary Poppins) (7.4MB)
Track 109. I’m Gonna Unmask The Batman (12.1MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. untitled (18.0MB)
Track 202. Stardust From Tomorrow (5.9MB)
Track 203. Chloe (11.1MB)
Track 204. Someday My Prince Will Come (7.3MB)
Track 205. Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah (16.0MB)

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  1. 20 Responses to “SUN RA - ALABAMA 1989”

  2. hey bigo, this makes up for neil young. thanks!!!

    i am not sure what southern danceworks is. perhaps it’s the name of the stage he played on? i know that date would be city stages, though.

    city stages was an annual music festival in and around linn park downtown b’ham. i supported it from 1999-2006. i saw lots of great bands at city stages: the allman brothers band, the black crowes, dylan, jethro tull, rick james, los lobos, willie nelson, iggy pop, gov’t mule, etc… the last year they had it was 2009.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 6, 2012

  3. oh, ok. this was after city stages.

    thanks again!!!


    By Ed Saad on Nov 6, 2012

  4. hey bigo, i think, joe moudry’s tracklist is correct.

    track 2 is enlightenment / strange mathematics / rhythmic equations just like on praxis 1984.

    track 6 is prelude to a kiss
    track 7 is yeah, man!

    it should be i am gonna unmask the batman
    and the forest of no return.

    i just played the songs in my download folder and listened. i believe, he is write and what i typed above is too.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 6, 2012

  5. astral thanks for sun ra!


    By I-) on Nov 6, 2012

  6. Thanks for posting this. I saw this band in Atlanta within days of this performance and was deeply moved. At that performance Samurai Celestial was also playing drums; it was a Disney heavy set, but so groovy.

    By Jim Duckworth on Nov 7, 2012

  7. hey jim, i have a disc called b’ham improv 1996, and samurai celestial is on it. track 6, as i recall. it’s a nice compilation of the 1996 festival shows. gino robair is on track 12. i saw gino june 3rd in tuscaloosa at green bar. he was with john butcher and thomas lehn trio. great improv show. one of the best i’ve seen.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 7, 2012

  8. I didn’t see this special performance, but I saw their main festival set earlier in the day. CityStages was a great idea that eventually destroyed itself by getting too big and too expensive to be sustainable. When it started out, it only covered about an eight-city-block- square area in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Within ten years it had become an overgrown, overpopulated, fustercluck of a festival that you could barely walk through to get from one stage to another. However, in its first year—1989—it was a music lover’s dream. In addition to Sun Ra, I saw Alex Chilton, and Chuck Berry—all in the same day.

    At later CityStages festivals, I was able to see Bo Diddley, NRBQ, Jerry Lee Lewis, Allen Toussaint, Ray Charles, Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Little Richard, Richard Thompson, Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians, Randy Newman, Joe Ely, The Continental Drifters, Iggy Pop, and so many others I can’t remember them all.

    Ed, was the Iggy Pop set you saw the one in 1999? That’s the one I saw and it was truly awe-inspiring. I had seen Iggy “phoning it in” a couple of times in the early 80s, so nothing prepared me for the high-energy performance of the nearly all-Stooges set he did in ’99.

    If memory serves, Southern Danceworks was one of those festival offshoots that would be held either in existing venues that fell within the festival grounds or in tents set up especially for the events.

    When CityStages still worked, it made me proud to be from Alabama. My home state has been the site of some of American history’s truly ugly moments (hell, just yesterday they re-elected Roy Moore—the pinheaded “10 Commandments” judge—as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and if they’d gotten their way Mitt Romney would now be President-Elect), but I can never be ashamed of being born in the state that gave the world Sun Ra, Sam Phillips, Hank Williams, Hank Ballard, Eddie Kendricks, Dennis Edwards, Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter, Percy Sledge, Dinah Washington, Nat “King” Cole, Jerry “Boogie” McCain, Lionel Hampton, W. C. Handy, The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Emmylou Harris, Tallulah Bankhead, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Helen Keller, Rick Bragg, Fannie Flagg, Zelda Fitzgerald, Angela Davis, Howard Finster, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jake Hess, George Lindsey, Jim Nabors, Robert Gibbs, and Tammy Wynette.

    By Perry Amberson on Nov 7, 2012

  9. Perry, pretty impressive post .
    I`m a long time fan of NRBQ, that was my initial exposure to Sun Ra on their debut lp self titled NRBQwhere they did a very cool cover version of his Rocket Number Nine…man I love album and it has never been released on cd.
    Love to visit your state one day and just kinda soak up all the good music and food.

    By sluggo on Nov 8, 2012

  10. hey perry, yes, i saw iggy pop at city stages 1999 on the miller lite stage. he was good. i saw him again at the 5 points south music hall in oct. 01. he was good then too. he’s not been back since.

    well i would have gone to city stages in 2007 to see eric johnson play, but it was raining friday night. i heard all the headliners went on real late so we just didn’t go. i saw eric johnson in aug 2006 at workplay theatre so it’s ok. then in 2008 i couldn’t find a single act i wanted to see. then in 2009 i was all excited cause jane’s addition were supposed to play and then canceled. i did see them in may at the shaeffer eye center crawfish boil and the cult. both were good. i also saw megadeth sat night.

    2005 and 2006 were good years, perry. in 2005 i saw gov’t mule and the black crowes. then in 2006 i saw the allman brothers band and before they played derek trucks band played. the trucks set is a free download on would love to have the allman bros set. it was released officially and sold after the show. i sold my sat passes cause i just didn’t have much interest in snoop dogg, but i did go friday night and see north ms. allstars.

    if you listen at the end of sun ra, i swear that’s ladonna smith talking. i’ve seen her play a few times. we know each other.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 8, 2012

  11. Hi Ed,

    I missed the last half of CityStages’s history because I moved to Oklahoma in 2000. I’m back in the South now, not far from Atlanta, so there’s no lack of good shows to go to. I’m limited only by my budget and energy level. I’ve not seen many shows since moving back, but the ones I have seen have been great. I’ve only been to one show at WorkPlay but it was an exceptional one–I saw Tony Joe White there in 2008 during a trip to Alabama to visit my family. They get some great acts at The Bottletree in B’ham too. I saw the Alternative Rock supergroup Wild Flag there last fall and Kelley Deal’s Breeders side-project R. Ring there earlier this year.

    Anyway, nice chatting with a fellow CityStages audience member and Alabama native (I assume–I don’t know many people who have moved there from somewhere else) via a comment thread halfway around the world.

    And to sluggo and anyone else who’s interested in enjoying the coolness of the Mid-to-Deep South: next time you’ve got a couple of weeks to spare, you could spend your time in far worse ways than taking a trip that includes some of the great Southern cities like Birmingham, Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville. Athens, GA still has a very active music scene with some great bands but is best approached cautiously if there’s a football game going on. I didn’t even get around to Mississippi and Louisiana, but they’d probably require a trip of their own.

    By Perry Amberson on Nov 8, 2012

  12. hey perry, i was in atlanta on june 23 to see iron maiden and alice cooper at aaron’s amphitheatre at lakewood. alice was ok, maiden ruled.

    missed the kelley deal show. i do remember bottletree advertising the show on facebook only they put kim’s picture not kelley’s. i saw the breeders 3x in 93 and 94. one of my favorite shows still to this day is the breeders at the masquerade in atlanta on sept. 8, 1993. this was a wed, and last splash came out aug 31 so it was only 8 days old. i got to meet kim and jospehine, before the show. it was fun. they signed my last splash poster. it was cool seeing them before last splash went platinum, before lollapalooza in 94 and kelley’s drug problems…. i still like the breeders but i don’t keep up with them like i used to. i have lots of shows on tapes, and i listen to them on my ipod sometimes.

    i saw the pixies in oct 2004 at boutwell auditorium. a friend got the show somewhere and burned me a copy. be nice if bigo shared it cause one of the discs has gaps between the tracks and the other disc doesn’t. it’s annoying, perry.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 8, 2012

  13. Cool! Parallel concert-going lives. I never got to see the Pixies when they were originally together, but while I was living in Oklahoma I drove to Dallas to see them on the 2004 tour and to Chicago for the Doolittle 20th Anniversary tour and then to Dallas again for the second year of the Doolittle 20th Anniversary Tour in 2010. I love the Breeders even more than the Pixies, though they’re both among my all-time favorites. I got to see them the first time at 5 Points South Music Hall in April 1994 (the week after Kurt Cobain’s death), then saw Kim and Jim McPherson in the Amps at the Masquerade Music Park in Atlanta in 1996 opening for the Foo Fighters. (Saw Jim drumming for GbV at the Nick in early 2000 before I moved to Oklahoma.)

    I enjoyed the Amps and Kelley Deal 6000 albums, but found the Breeders reunion ‘Title TK’ a little disappointing after the long wait. I missed the classic ‘Last Splash’ lineup for a long time, but I was really turned around by ‘Mountain Battles’ and saw them in Dallas and Atlanta on the 2008 tour, then St. Louis and Lawrence, KS on the 2009 tour. Got to talk with all of them at one time or another, and they’re as nice and friendly as anyone you could hope to meet. (All five signed my ‘Fate to Fatal’ 12-Inch EP at the Kansas show.)

    You should check out ‘Mountain Battles’ if you never got around to it. I’ve come to appreciate the current lineup as much as I did the 93-94 version. Jose is a powerhouse of a drummer, Mando’s a great bass player, and “Fifth Breeder” third guitarist Cheryl adds an extra element to that wonderful mixture of guitar and vocal textures that Kim and Kelley create.

    I talked with Kelley a while after the Bottletree show, and she said that her and Kim’s mom’s Alzheimer’s disease is pretty far along now. Even though the Doolittle tour is finally over, I think they may be dealing with family issues for a while before the Breeders are active again. Kelley’s continuing to do some limited touring with R. Ring, and they just put out a new 45 a week or two ago.

    We sure managed to highjack this Sun Ra comment thread. Sorry, jazz fans.

    Have a great night, Ed. Drop me a note at [email protected] if you want to do some file swapping or CD trading sometime. (Hint: I fix gaps.)


    By Perry Amberson on Nov 8, 2012

  14. hey perry, i was at that breeders 5 points show!!! i was also at frank black and the ramones 4.9.94 at 5 points… yeah, i actually won free tix to the breeders show on the radio.

    i saw the breeders open for nirvana at boutwell auditorium dec 1, 1993. it was a wed night. i think the first is correct. i remember running into josephine, and she remembered talking to me on the steps of the masquerade. she smiled, when i mentioned the show. it came back to her.

    i do have mountain battles, but i haven’t played it in awhile. i’ll drop it on my ipod later.

    right now i’m listening to a rage against the machine boot i found years ago called fahrenheit 451. it’s a cool live and live rarities compilation. i saw them at sloss furnaces in july 1996. killer!!! i saw them at philips arena too in dec 99. i saw them on lollapalooza 93, but i really didn’t know their stuff or tool’s stuff yet. seen tool twice here in b’ham. me and my brother saw them on lateralus in oct 01 at oak mountain amphitheatre in the pouring rain, perry. good show, but the rain did suck. even maynard mentioned it at the a perfect circle boutwell show and at tool again in may 07 at verizon wireless formerly oak mountain and now oak mountain again.

    were you at nin, bauhaus and tv on the radio at verizon wireless here 6.6.06? i was there. i wish i could find the bauhaus set. i have nin and tv on the radio. bigo offered tv on the radio. it’s cool. i actually got there as they finished cause i had to buy a ticket and the line was long. nice to have, though.

    look me up on facebook, if you’re on, perry.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 8, 2012

  15. Hi Ed,

    You saw The Breeders and Nirvana in Alabama at the Boutwell in 1993 ! Could you give us some details about the Nirvana performance ? Remember some songs ? I saw the breeders in Montreal during the lollapalooza tour in 1994 and i have this rare 10″ head to toe vinyl Ep with the Sebadoh cover. Thanks in advanced !

    By Eric R. on Nov 9, 2012

  16. hey eric, yeah, if you’re familiar with the nirvana-roma show from 2.22.94, the b’ham show was similar to it in setlist: drain you, radio friendly unit shifter, serve the servants, etc… i’ve not seen the b’ham show out there for download, but i’ve seen miami, i think, which was a few days earlier. if you’re not familiar with the roma show, perhaps you’ve seen the mtv live and loud performance. it was like that show. the breeders and cypress hill were also on that show. i still have it in my video archives. i’m pretty sure there are youtube clips of it.

    as for the b’ham show, nirvana were good. they seemed to like b’ham especially kurt, and i think i remember him saying that nirvana would be back. pat smear was on additional guitar.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 9, 2012

  17. It is true that “Molly’s lips” song was played at the b’ham show? Do you have or know someone who taped the show ? Pictures, newspaper article about this show or Miami show ? Any further detais ? thanks

    By Eric R. on Nov 9, 2012

  18. hey eric, apparently nirvana did play molly’s lips, and i don’t remember it. it has been almost 19 years. here’s the list:

    i don’t have any newspaper articles just my ticket stub.

    maybe bigo can find this show on dime and share. i’d love to have it. the last complete nirvana show i remember them sharing was seattle. i got it, melbourne and tokyo. i passed on del mar, ca cause it’s missing tracks. i have it on tape, though.

    now i was mistaken on the city. it was st. petersburg, fl not mimai. i just did a search for it, and all the links are dead. it’s probably on dime a dozen, though. if bigo can’t find b’ham, it and roma are robably on dime. i’d probably rather have roma cause i don’t have my tape anymore.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 9, 2012

  19. Thanks Ed Saad for your help :-)
    Yes, BigO..Do you have some details about the tapers of Nirvana shows or souvenirs ? I saw Roger Daltrey show last year at Montreal and probably going to se the Who at Bell Centre in a few days !

    By Eric R. on Nov 9, 2012

  20. …and maybe Neil Young and crazy horse with Patti Smith at the same place..thanks in advances BigO !

    By Eric R. on Nov 9, 2012

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