MESSED UP HERE TONIGHT
Jesse Malin: Vocals, Guitar
Johnny T: Percussion
At last some official (or are they bootleg?!) live recordings from Jesse Malin. After the non appearances of either the promised live album from D Generation’s last show at Coney Island High, or the live spoken word album from Jesse, this official bootleg took me a bit by surprise! I certainly hadn’t seen any press regarding its release.
Messed Up Here Tonight is a collection of 9 live recordings, 8 of which were recorded in Liverpool UK earlier this year, and one recorded with Bruce Springsteen at Asbury Park last December. The last 4 tracks are studio recordings taken from compilation albums, a UK B-Side and a previously unreleased song called ‘Red Eye’.
The 13 track CD opens with ‘Basement Home’, which originally saw its official release on the Bellvue album To Be Somebody back in 2001 and has now been re-recorded for Jesse’s forthcoming album The Heat. This is followed by ‘ Brooklyn’, another old song that spans right back to Jesse’s PCP Highway days and which also saw its first official release on the Bellvue album. Both songs are recorded live and acoustic at Liverpool in January 2004 during Jesse’s support slot on the ill-fated Ryan Adams tour. The recordings are great quality and Jesse is on top form, but just to give this release a true sense of bootleg authenticity the conversations within the crowd have been left clearly audible. The third track ‘Wendy’ is recorded at Asbury Park with Bruce Springsteen and benefits from the full force of Bruce’s backing band as they thrash the song out at quite a pace. ‘Silver Manhattan’ is just wondrous! Beautifully recorded in all its acoustic glory… I’m convinced that this song could well be one that breaks Jesse through to a commercial audience with the right backing and promotion. The next four tracks are recorded with the Spyrock band which is basically Jesse performing with Ryan’s band, including Ryan himself on the drums. ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ (Theme from Midnight Cowboy) is taken from the sound check earlier in the day. The mood of the song really seems to benefit from the echoing acoustics of an empty hall and should Jesse’s version of this classic never find an official release then this album will soon become a must have for this recording alone.
The final four tracks are studio recordings starting with Jesse’s cover of the Ramones’ ‘Questioningly’ which was recorded for the Ramones tribute album The Song Ramones The Same. Jesse manages very cleverly to put his own stamp on a Ramones classic. Mind you, we shouldn’t expect anything less than the best reworking of a Ramones song you’ll ever hear when you consider that Jesse would regularly jam with the writer himself, Joey Ramone. ‘Red Eye’ is a great previously unreleased song making this CD essential for all Jesse Malin completists, while Jesse’s cover of ‘Hungry Heart’, originally recorded for the Uncut magazine’s Bruce Springsteen tribute CD Born To Run, makes this album ‘the almost complete essential best of the rest, live classics, covers and rarities!’ …Hey, you don’t get much more hard core bootleg than that, now, do you??!!