The Dils – Live! (1987, rec 1977 + 80, XXX)

I have a feeling recording time at studios in/around L.A. in the late seventies must have been a king’s ransom.  How else you can you explain why punk legends The Dils only recorded about ten two-minute (if that) songs in a their three/four year life span.  Perhaps that might explain why Dils live records were fairly ubiquitous at one point.  The trio was helmed by brothers Tony and Chip Kinman, operating guitar and bass respectively, with both sharing the mic – and rumored to have communist ideologies among other eccentricities.  Rounded out by a cast of rotating drummers, the band released three singles between 1977-80, bequeathing such cult punk, h/c standards as “Class War,” “Mr. Big” and “I Hate the Rich.”  Think the first Redd Kross ep to give you a general idea where they were coming from.  The Dils sparse body of work was surprisingly incisive given the brevity of their songs, not to mention a performance aptitude that was often just a notch or two above rudimentary.  As for the album I’m featuring, all I know is someone had a tape deck running at two separate Dils concerts.  The gig from 1980 is the lengthier and the more rewarding of the two, featuring a bevy of Dils “classics,” including some of the aforementioned and some surprises like a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Modern Don Juan.”  The 1977 set that rounds this thing out (tracks 11-14) is potentially incomplete and largely devoid of sophistication (e.g. “Baby You’re My Whore”).  As an aside, my incarnation of The Dils Live! is a cassette, though LP was also an option.

01. Tell Her You Love Her
02. Tell Me What I Want to Hear
03. It’s Not Worth It
04. You’re Not Blank
05. Red Rockers Rule
06. Mr. Big
07. Sound of the Rain
08. Gimme a Break
09. Modern Don Juan
10. Class War
11. You Can’t Shake It
12. Baby You’re My Whore
13. The Expert
14. It’s Not Worth It

(1-10 from 1980, 11-14 from 1977)

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Articles Origin: The Dils – Live! (1987, rec 1977 + 80, XXX)

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