As I have said before, I am not really a big fan of THIS BIKE IS A PIPEBOMB, but I respect them as artists, musicians and as some of the best people that I have had the privilege of meeting in my life. In 2000, TBIAPB, set out on a tour of the southeastern U.S. playing solely folk and union songs. They didn't play any original songs. They had a fancy camera with which their friends Todd and Tate recorded a lot of their performances. It was rumored that they were supposed to be getting a grant to produce this material for a program about the new wave of folk and punk that was to be aired on PBS. Well, that last part never actually happened. What actually did happen is that TBIAPB sent out these recordings ahead of their tour (along with a songbook that told you the note and words to these songs [and more] and encouraged punks to learn the songs on different instruments and play at the show with their band. I set up a show for them under a bridge by the Tennessee River and it was pretty great, but no one joined them to play along.
Some of these songs sound great in their transition to TBIAPB's take on punk, such as "John Henry". Others are cringe-worthy, like "Eat a Block Of Tofu" set to the tune of LEADBELLY'S "Pick a Bale of Cotton". Anyway, don't listen to my jaded ass talk about it. Listen for yourself.
Embrace the Tape Hiss
Out of all the times I have accompanied TBIAPB in their tour van, I never asked them what happened to all of that live footage from this tour. I'll find out.