Live but not live
September 11, 2011 4:22 PM   Subscribe

I would like to see music videos that are live-take performances but not recordings from gigs. Help please!

I find the effect of of a live performance in a contrived setting disarming (in a positive way.)

Examples include the Nine Inch Nails video for March of the Pigs or the Strokes' video for Last Nite.

These are the only two I know of but I'm sure there must be others. Thanks in advance.
posted by timshel to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Revelations ft. Tre Williams, "I Don't Want To Know."
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:34 PM on September 11, 2011

Do you mean videos where it's the studio recording, but the premise of the video is "we're playing live in a club"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:36 PM on September 11, 2011

Heh, my first thought was Green Day's Basket Case. Quite the contrived setting...

Smells like Teen Spirit

:'( Music videos used to be cool!
posted by obscurator at 4:41 PM on September 11, 2011

I'm not really sure what you're asking, but something like this? It's a live recording of Josh Garrels but it's not from a concert. Some other singer-songwriter types do this too.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 4:47 PM on September 11, 2011

Response by poster: Do you mean videos where it's the studio recording, but the premise of the video is "we're playing live in a club"?

I mean the opposite: videos where it is a live recording & performance but in a non-"live" setting. So no lip-syncing whatsoever but also no crowd, you know? (This rules Green Day and Nirvana videos, sorry if I didn't word it clearly.)

The Revelations video is an example of this. Another that came to mind is Blur's video for Tender. The Radiohead Scotch Mist performances also work.

Also, it'd be great if, unlike the Blur/Radiohead/NIN/Revelations videos, it went beyond being just a live performance and there was an element of cool visuals and post-production trickery. Surely this has been done?
posted by timshel at 4:47 PM on September 11, 2011

Ok, how about Radiohead's fantabulous From the Basement series? Similar to Scotch Mist, though not as weird.

I am inevitably going to be thinking about this all night...
posted by obscurator at 4:56 PM on September 11, 2011

KEXP has a bunch of in-studio performance videos on its website. Does this fit your criteria? Live performance, taped, but with no audience? Or are you solely looking for "videos" like used to run on MTV? There's not really anything contrived about the KEXP shows, though, just musicians performing for a radio audience.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:01 PM on September 11, 2011

Ack, sorry, meant to link to the KEXP video stream
posted by crush-onastick at 5:03 PM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: crush-onastick: The ideal is something resembling a "video" video and but I'm going to be going through that archive like no one's business.
posted by timshel at 5:06 PM on September 11, 2011

Howard Stern's show is actually great for this. Lady Gaga's recent performance of Edge of Glory was a particularly good version.
posted by Mchelly at 5:08 PM on September 11, 2011 - This is where I discovered Jessica Lea Mayfield. - There are some pretty notable artists that have done Takeaway Show videos if you dig through the archive.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 5:16 PM on September 11, 2011

You want live videos in either a rehearsal space or recording studio. There are a billion, search youtube.
posted by fire&wings at 5:24 PM on September 11, 2011

You might like the Black Cab Sessions and the Live From Abbey Road series
posted by Magnakai at 5:27 PM on September 11, 2011

Slit Skirts by Pete Townshend.
posted by mintcake! at 5:32 PM on September 11, 2011

Joe Jackson recorded his 1986 album "Big World" live in front of an audience who were instructed not to applaud or react audibly in any way, the idea being to capture a pristine studio-quality recording with a live-show energy. After the album came out, there was a video collection of the band performing some of the songs whose takes had been rendered unusable by an audience unable to contain themselves.

Sadly, the name of the video collection escapes me at the moment, but if you think this may fit your bill, it can't be too hard to track down.
posted by Devoidoid at 5:42 PM on September 11, 2011

ok... it's not a "video" video, but the AV Club's undercover project has some cool bands covering other artists songs, and video taped live in studio.
posted by tomjoadsghost at 6:06 PM on September 11, 2011

I'm not entirely clear about your question, but I'll offer up Steve Earle with The Pogues recording 'Johnny Come Lately' in London for the album 'Copperhead Road." It's pretty much all prep for the song until about 6:55, when the song proper starts--and the camera flips from musician to musician, featuring parts in isolation. (By the by, the smokes! The booze! The HAIR.) It's more like a making-of video than a video, but still an interesting view of live performance in a studio setting.

Also--KFOG has a number of in-studio performances. Here's Marc Broussard - "Home" at KFOG Radio. I think you'll want to look at its archive as well.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:26 PM on September 11, 2011

The Morning Benders- Excuses
posted by quiet coyote at 6:50 PM on September 11, 2011

Second Blogotheque.
posted by melancholyplay at 7:28 PM on September 11, 2011

I THINK I understand what you mean -- you see the band and it's clearly not them lip-syncing, but they're not in front of an audience. Is that correct?

If so, this clip from the movie Rattle and Hum may work, as well as this one.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 PM on September 11, 2011

A performance of the entire "Darkness on the Edge of Town" album was filmed in an empty Paramount Theater in Asbury Park. Here's "Badlands".
posted by davebush at 7:42 PM on September 11, 2011

Sounds to me like your looking for videos with the sound and staging of actual music videos, but ones which show the band performing their song with their instruments.

You're looking for videos like LCD Soundsytem's All My Friends.
posted by Think_Long at 7:55 PM on September 11, 2011

hmm, or maybe not - I missed your update.
posted by Think_Long at 7:57 PM on September 11, 2011

I'm reasonably sure that the Cowboy Junkies' definitive (according to Lou Reed) version of Sweet Jane is a video of the live recording (from the recorded-live-in-a-church Trinity Sessions album).
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:03 PM on September 11, 2011

Perfect Kiss by New Order might not be perfectly perfect authentic live-take, but it is recorded in their rehearsal space, and Hook does a swell bass solo at the end, and their deadpan facial expressions are perfect.
posted by ovvl at 8:34 PM on September 11, 2011

Best answer: OK Go - This Too Shall Pass
posted by various at 8:59 PM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

if you're into the rolling stones, check out the "sympathy for the devil" film by godard where you can watch that song evolve into it's final, recognizable form over the course of many iterations. the film intersperses studio-performances with weird sketches - maybe skip the sketches.
posted by victory_laser at 4:52 AM on September 12, 2011

The Springsteen videos for "Brilliant Disguise," "Lonesome Day," and (famously) "Streets Of Philadelphia" don't feature lip-syncing, but rather a live vocal track recorded on a hidden microphone during filming. The music, however, is still pre-recorded.

(Wikipedia says that Mellencamp's "Rain On The Scarecrow" video was done the same way.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:27 AM on September 12, 2011

Also, speaking of Wikipedia, it further claims that--unlike pretty much every other musical ever--Rocky Horror was recorded with live vocals, so that what you're hearing is what's actually being sung in the shot. A quick glance at Google doesn't confirm or deny this, however.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:37 AM on September 12, 2011

Along the lines of the Springsteen videos mentioned by Ian A.T., the video for R.E.M.'s "So. Central Rain" features a canned studio performance with new, live vocals recorded by Michael Stip.

Make sure you watch the "Perfect Kiss" video linked by ovvl above. It's directed by Jonathan Demme and is pretty much the seminal example of this — it's also the best recorded version of that track that I know.

Maybe the video for "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys. I'm not sure it's a "live take" strictly speaking, but it's a slightly different instrumentation and lyric than the album and single versions, so I guess it could be. It's staged like a concert in an empty theater.
posted by Joey Bagels at 6:39 AM on September 12, 2011

There is an infrequently-updated in-studio performance series taped at Georgia State called Indie ATL which kinda fits what you may be looking for. They're generally really nicely recorded, shot and edited as well, which I suppose is why they seem to only update once in a blue moon. That and they're bound by the semester system, I guess.

I really dig the kind of videos you're talking about too--reading the question, that NIN video was the first thing that popped into my head, so I think we're on the same page. I'll try to think of more and keep an eye on this thread.
posted by Maaik at 6:43 AM on September 12, 2011

I'll offer up Cardiacs rehearsing 'As Cold as Can Be in an English Sea' and 'Jibber and Twitch' in an impossibly tiny, claustrophobic room.
No eardrums were spared in the recording of these videos.
posted by prinado at 10:58 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Tomahawk - God hates a coward.
posted by St. Sorryass at 12:19 AM on September 13, 2011

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