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This picture is not actually from the 15. April 2004, but hey, it’s at Lestats too, at least.
This is probably the best live bootleg I know of a Jason Mraz show. It’s a little short but the sound quality is flawless, Jason’s voice is perfect as always and the songs are mostly live debuts and very good as well. Additionally there are some funny intermezzi, which make this album even more enjoyable to listen to.
You can get it here.
1. Intro (0:36)
A little intro with Mraz saying “I’ve been in my apartement for a long time and I’ve been singing these new songs. You never know If a song is good until you leave your apartement.”
2. Flying My Guilt Over A Quilt (4:22)
Later known as “Plane” a song about his (at that time) current girlfriend and their long distance relationship. This definitely is one of my favorite versions of “Plane”, its wonderfully clean and raw and very exciting and powerful at the same time. It’s just Mraz playing his acoustic guitar and singing, no other distracting instrumentation. I also love the variation of the tempo and volume.
3. “Your clapping totally threw me off” (0:43)
Mraz begins playing for the next song, but has to stop, because the clapping of a viewer throws him off. And Mraz jokes around a little. Very funny to listen to.
4. Warming Up (4:38)
A very relaxed, more intro-like (though too long for that) song. This is the only recording I have seen this song on, so you could say it’s a rarity. It’s also the first time Jason played this song in front of a larger (in this case about one-hundred people) audience.
5. Fine Dining (4:28)
Another first recording, and again the only recording of this song I know of, which, in my opinion, is strange, since this song is one of my favorites of all songs I know of Jason Mraz. It’s overall very mraz-like, incredibly funny lyrics, a catchy melody, gorgeous acoustic instrumentation (just the guitar again).
6. “I brought some CD’s” (1:01)
Intro to “Song For A Friend”, but in the middle of it Jason remembers, that he brought some CD’s of covers he did, which he wasn’t allowed to sell, as turned out, so he’s giving them away to the audience.
7. Song For A Friend (4:25)
A song Jason wrote for one (I don’t know if any in particular) of his male friends. Again, very clean, overall a beautiful acoustic version without any ballast.
8. What It Takes (4:34)
A version of “Life is Wonderful”, probably also my favorite version of this song (so you see, this recording is, though short, quite excellent)
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I am going to review some excellent live bootlegs, therefore I have decided to explain some things about live bootlegs and I’ll also talk a little about lossless audio files (and converting them into more handy types).
Live bootlegs are recordings of live music shows/appearances, they are recorded by fans with equipment of varying quality. In most cases live bootlegs are not explicitly allowed or even forbidden, but in some cases (like Jason Mraz) the artist himself encourages bootlegging, and also allows the distribution of bootlegs through the web.
Where do I get live bootlegs?
You could try googling, or just go to archive.org.
Now what’s the deal with these odd audio formats (such as Flac or Shorten) you might ask:
Well, let me put it this way. If you record a piece of music, you will get a file of about 30-50 MB at size. This is the raw audio data, and it is called “lossless” because all the data recorded is in that file, nothing has been lost. Then there are lossless compressions, that means the file size of an audio file is shrunken without any actual data being lost. SHORTEN or FLAC for example are such audio formats, the file size with these should be around half of the uncompressed audio file.
You can also compress an audio file with a “lossy” audio format, that means in order to decrease the file size some of the data will be deleted (this will be sound you can’t actually hear with your ears, because the frequency is way to high (or low)), that way you can achieve an audio file with about one tenth of the size of the original lossless, uncompressed audio file.
Now, as I said, bootleggers distribute their recorded music as lossless audio files (they do that, so that the quality of the files won’t degrade through sharing) but for most people these files are way too big, so you will want to reduce their size by converting them into a lossy audio format. (Also most portable music players won’t be able to play lossless audio files)
There are several free and open source applications for various operation systems that can do that for you, here are some. If you run into troubles, need more help or other programs, don’t hesitate to write a comment and I’ll look into it. Because so far I’ve only worked with soundKonverter (I, almost exclusively, use Linux).