you spend the whole night staring up at the ceiling

I haven’t done the obligatory Format post in a while, so here you go. This is a special bootleg, though the quality is terrible. Essentially this is just Sam and Nate sitting on a couch playing new songs (most of which never ended up on their records) and a few covers at the Modified Arts space in Phoenix, which used to host local bands, but is now merely an art gallery. Actually they may still have bands; I don’t know.

A bit about “Threes.” This particular recording (actually there’s a slightly better one out there) is one that I listened to pretty obsessively for a couple of years. It’s about the most melodramatic song ever written about Nate’s troubled relationship that inspired Dog Problems. There are even allusions to suicide (“…I wish I could stab my throat / there goes your wife, your car, your home … the life I’ve convinced myself I want to own”), though it somehow manages to end hopeful (“Anita wakes to get ready for a day she’ll never regret / their love is what has kept me on my feet”). The B-Sides and Rarities version of the song includes some lyrical changes that I’m not too crazy about, so for that reason, this will always be my favorite version.

There are at least two or three recordings from this show floating around, but this is the only complete one I know of. If there’s a better one out there, please let me know. I’ve been trying to hunt it down for years if it exists. This can be unlistenable at times, but it’s the only time some of these songs were ever played for an audience. (Try to) enjoy. Credit and infinite thanks to the original taper.

027The Format – Live at Modified Arts – Phoenix, AZ – 8/29/04
Download ZIP Archive

1. Dog Problems
2. 7 Digits
3. Faith in Fast Cars
4. We Dance (Pavement Cover)
5. Good Time at Your Expense
6. Threes
7. Janet
8. You’re Not a Whore
9. Colours (Joan Baez Cover)
10. Bath (Harry Nilsson Cover)
11. Your New Name