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Live: Omaha to Osaka

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(8 Reviews)

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  • For all potential buyers who may be wondering about some of the criticism concerning this record, let me fill you in. After HUNGRY FOR STINK and THE BEAUTY PROCESS failed to generate the sales of BRICKS ARE HEAVY, L7 was quickly dropped by their label, Slash Records. This led to a period of uncertainity for the band, who were wondering about what label they would end up signing with, or if the band would even survive at all.
    While they were considering their options, the band came across two bootleg shows from Omaha and Osaka and decided to release them on CD to keep the band’s name alive until their future was certain. This explains the inferior sound. Once you get past that, this is an enjoyable record. The ladies were a hard-rocking outfit and this comes through despite the poor quality.
    Since the band was using bootleg tapes, there’s no overdubbing or removing any mistakes, such as the out-of-tune guitar parts on “Bitter Wine”, which makes this one of the most genuine and realistic live albums ever released.
    Aside from being loud, furious,and energetic, L7 was a lot of fun. Part of the fun of any L7 show was the banter between the band members and the crowd, and, occasionally, each other. Midway through the album, Donita Sparks and new bassist Gail Greenwood turn the concert into a comedy act, tossing jokes and wisecracks back and forth until Sparks says “We’re a rock band, not a Vegas act. I guess we have to play some songs now.”
    The album features such classics as “Deathwish”, “S—list”, several tracks from THE BEAUTY PROCESS(their newest album at the time), including “Drama” and “Off The Wagon”, and three new songs, “Pattylean”, a swing version of “Non-Existent Patricia”, “El Whatusi”, a surf-inspired number, and the cowpunk/polka tune “Little One”, which also appeared on L7’s next studio record, SLAP HAPPY.
    As another poster commented, “Pretend We’re Dead”, the band’s hit single and a concert staple, doesn’t appear on the record. Ordinarily, it would be unthinkable to put out a live album without your biggest hit, but I’ve always thought that one possible reason had to do with comments Donita Sparks has made about how it’s not their strongest song live and how difficult it is to sing live. No reason was ever given in any interview that I ever read.
    I was always hoping that L7 would release a proper live album someday, but that will never happen because they broke up in 2001. It’s unfortunate that one of rock’s best live acts will never have a proper showcase for what they did best.

    Posted on January 19, 2010