Having moved about six weeks ago (locally in Washington, DC), I only just — two days ago — got a broadband connection set up at my new house. And I’m relieved to have it again, not so I can check e-mail or the weather or the news or music sites, no… but so I can get back to my Dimeadozen addiction. For those of you who haven’t gotten with the program, Dimeadozen (hereafter just “Dime”) is a carefully-controlled bittorrent site on which users post live recordings — but any hint of any commercially-released material, or material from bands who publicly condemn live recordings, is immediately removed, so theoretically it’s all legit. Further, only lossless formats are allowed (ie mostly FLAC files — MP3s are allowed only if there is no lossless original recording).
In just a couple months on Dime, I’ve discovered recordings of bands I honestly never expected to ever, ever hear live recordings of. To wit: Art Bears, Weidorje, Aksak Maboul, Happy Family, Shub Niggurath, Änglagård, even some zeuhl band so obscure no one has ever heard of them (and they never released any recordings), Evohé. It’s amazing how these unlikely, decades-old recordings of unbelievably obscure bands come out of the woodwork. There have also been plenty of recent recordings of equally-obscure modern prog bands, including a bunch from NEARfest 2005, as well as from various avant-rock festivals in Europe.
Probably my favorite finds, though, are a couple of immaculate soundboard recordings of Belgian avant-jazzers Aka Moon with guests: one from 1997 with African percussionist Doudou N’diaye Rose (who also collaborated, decades earlier, with Toubabou), and one from 2002 with a turntablist who just rips. Great stuff!
In fact there’s so much great music to be found on Dime that I have been having a hard time balancing my listening between new CDs and new live recordings. I’ve never been a huge fan of live recordings simply because there’s so much music out there to discover that I always kind of thought it a waste of time to listen to 20 different versions of the same songs; but when you get recordings of such obscure bands who are supposedly great live, it’s tough to resist. And I’m not regretting my time spent with most of this stuff!