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Kitsap Sun, February 24, 2006

Vault Unveils Rock and Roll History

Now it's just getting crazy

There's so much free, legitimate music floating around the Internet that it's daunting to think about where to start. Wolfgang's Vault is a good entry point.

The Vault is the latest resting place of the Bill Graham Presents archives (Wolfgang Grajonca is Graham's given name). The legendary rock promoter of the 1960s and '70s had the presence of mind to record many of the concerts he promoted at places like Winterland, Fillmore West and the Los Angeles Forum. On Vault Radio, easily accessed at www.wolfgangsvault.com, you can hear tracks from those concerts, which until now have been stacked in "well-sealed boxes in a warehouse," according to Matt Lundberg, the Vault's vice president.

Lundberg doesn't know exactly how many concerts they have in every imaginable musical medium, but he knows it's in the thousands, possibly the tens of thousands.

Along with the streaming audio of artists ranging from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Jefferson Airplane are factoids about the concert or the artist.

When listening to Stevie Wonder's March 3, 1973 performance of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," for instance, you learn that at this particular show, Wonder was showcasing work from his "Talking Book" album.

An April 27, 1971 Grateful Dead show of "Uncle John's Band" marked the first of a five-night stand at the Fillmore East. On the second night, the Beach Boys joined the San Francisco jam band on stage.

"Wolfgang's Vault is all about the live concert experience," Lundberg said. "We're trying in a small way to encapsulate the entire performance, not just the music."

Lundberg said the bits of history are compiled from extensive research, but that they're always interested in hearing more. One listener, he said, wrote him to say that the info they had accompanying an Everly Brothers track was too bland. He suggested mentioning that Warren Zevon was the road manager for the tour. Lundberg verified the fact and updated the song's information.

This free service is accompanied by the opportunity to purchase memorabilia from the particular shows.

Lundberg said many of the Vault's listeners are wondering when the songs will be available for purchase.

Lundberg said the company absolutely wants the tracks to be made available for purchase and they're moving forward with making financial arrangements with the artists and their labels.

For now, the seemingly never-ending vat of songs will be rotated through in batches of 100 every week.

Hear YOKO Take On Lennon

Rolling Stone has made available a 1970 interview Editor/Publisher Jann Wenner did with John Lennon. What's disturbing is that Yoko Ono is also in the room.

I'd heard of Ono's "influence" on the Beatles, but hearing this interview is the first time it's really struck home.

She steers the conversation, answers questions that were directed at Lennon and even changes the subject to softer issues. It makes you wish Wenner had let out a good, "Cork it, Yoko!" The interview is available at www.rollingstone.com.

A couple Hours with Bob Dylan

You can download the "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home" podcast at Apple's iTunes Music Store. There's little information about the two-hour podcast, but it sounds like a pared-down version of the Martin Scorsese documentary of the same name, which is pitched at the end of show's four chapters.

It includes interviews with people who were around Dylan when he was an emerging artist in Greenwich Village, N.Y., as well as live performances from Dylan. Unfortunately, however, there are no comments from the performer.

By Christopher Kornelis

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