Saturday, June 20, 2009

Naked City - Live in Bremen, Germany 1989

An excellent sounding recording of Naked City performing live in Bremen, Germany on November 3, 1989. This is Naked City at their very best, as Zorn and his incredible group go from a haunting rendition of the theme from Rosemary's Baby, into an amazing version of the Hawaii 5-0 title track, straight into a short hardcore jazz number that Zorn describes as "Gang Green meets Ornette Coleman". From there it's a mash of movie scores, jazzy rock songs, and short grindcore and "thrash jazz" songs that at times sounds like an insane mix of Albert Ayler and Napalm Death. Only Naked City could pull this stuff off, and do it so precisely and effortlessly that it leaves you with your jaw hanging. My personal favorite track, Reanimator, amazes me every time. It starts out in usual Naked City fashion, but soon turns into doomy, morbid sounding madness, with what sounds like each instrument playing a different song. And it somehow works perfectly.

I've posted a set by Torture Garden a while back, which was Naked City's Japanese counterpart, but this is the real Naked City. Amazing musicians to say the least, and some of the best drumming you're likely to ever hear in a live setting. Joey Baron is flawless. If you're a Naked City fan, you need to hear this. If you're not, you will be after listening to this set. Thanks again to Ronald. Enjoy.

Naked City Live in Bremen, Germany 11/3/89

John Zorn - saxophone, composer
Bill Frisell - guitar
Fred Frith - bass
Wayne Horvitz - synthesizer, piano
Joey Baron - drums

No Yamatsuka Eye vocals on this one sadly.

Some notes on these recordings:
Back in the Earth originally recorded by Live Skull and released on the band's 1987 album, Dusted, on Homestead Records.
The score to Roman Polanski's cult classic Rosemary's Baby written by Krystof Komeda.
The title track of the hit TV series Hawaii 5-0 written by Morton Stevens.
The score of John Huston's 1963 film The List of Adrian Messenger written by Jerry Goldsmith.
Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang composed and conducted by John Barry for the 1965 film Thunderball.
The Yodel originally recorded by John Patton and released on the 1966 album Got A Good Thing Goin'.
The title track of the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. written by Jerry Goldsmith.
Original score to Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 film Body Heat composed by John Barry.
Original score to Norman Jewison's gritty 1965 film Cincinnati Kid (starring Steve McQueen) composed by Lalo Schifrin.

I've been on a huge Naked City kick lately. To those interested in checking out the band's studio albums, i would highly recommend the s/t album (a great mix of all Naked City styles), Torture Garden (over 40 tracks of complete grindcore madness, featuring the inhuman vocals of Yamatsuka Eye), and my favorite, Radio.


  1. Many thanks for this and the Torture Garden! cheers: a

  2. Wow, great post, thanx a bunch! :)

  3. Great job, brotha. Don't know if you noticed but I posted the Manacled and posted a MySpace page. You can search my blog for it. Wanna trade links? I already linked you to mine. Thanks!

  4. Rich, i just linked your page. I'm glad you dig the blog. I wanted to make a Manacled post for some time now. Is their any way you can make the 7" downloadable? Or maybe upload it using mediafire of megaupload and send it to me?

    I checked ou the Myspace and the video. Brought back some memories for sure.


  5. Can you e-mail me on how to do it? Will mediafire walk me through the process? Thanks for the linkage!

  6. Thank you! This is a true Gem, I am just glad to be finding out about this music. I have already listened to a lot of grindcore and modern jazz and also to the likes of i.e.: Mr. Bungle but it is nice to find out about where it came from! Cheers

  7. Yeah I was the anonymus guy, BTW we just opened up for Jarboe.. she was STILL breathtaking!!

  8. I can't even imagine opening for Jarboe. Cheers!

    I'm glad people are checking this Naked City set out. Seriously, if i had to recommend just one recording from this blog, this would be it.

  9. I got this from Bunglefever ftp a while ago. It has clicks in some of the tracks and some of them cut out in a few spots which is annoying to say the least.

    When you say the band is at their creative best, I have to slightly disagree. Not that American Psycho isn't creative (its an amazing song)But calling Naked City a creative band is misleading. Sure there was some improvisational imput from the other members but John Zorn wrote all their music or arranged whatever covers they did. Its much different than a rock, punk or metal band in that respect. John Zorn took these jazz, country, etc., musicians out of the contexts they were used to working in and made them play this mix of standards, covers and hardcore / grindcore snippets and it was so beautiful because of that.

  10. Yeah, maybe saying Naked City as a band were creative can be misleading. It's all Zorn. I'll stand by my opinion of American Psycho being HIS most creative song though. Keep in mind i haven't heard any Zorn outside of Naked City and some Painkiller stuff.

  11. Man their cover of Rosemary's Baby is of the chart, one of the best versions I've ever heard, and can be compared with the original with no problem. This band really hit it hard by the time they did this concert