Recorded at ASI studios, for the Minneapolis station KQRS, under the auspices of the implausibly named Steve Fingerett, most of the opening seven minutes runs under the ‘Nocturnal Emissions’ title, and features Tom doing a high-octane finger-poppin beatnik rap: “with all due candour, I really don’t do this for a living, I’m really a labour organiser for a maternity ward”. He runs down a whole heap of his metropolitan double-talk, caught halfway between a Kerouack-ian reverie and a stand up comedian’s schtick. Recorded Dec 16th ’75, this is some months after he ‘d waxed the Nighthawks at the Diner album at Wally Heider’s studio, and he draws heavily on that material, jamming it all together. The intro to ‘Eggs & Sausage’ continues the banter, and is as unhealthily pleasurable as the kind of food he’s singing about.
Sound quality is good overall, with only a few bits of unwanted noise during ‘Better Off Without a Wife', and some kind of tape-op glitch in Tom's encore 'Putnam County'. During ‘Semi-Suite’, which has a nice long rambling intro, he slips in a little ‘As Time Goes By’ quote, which he eventually put down as the intro to ‘Bad Liver & a Broken Heart’ on the sublime Small Change album. ‘Spare Parts’ returns to the toe-tapping finger snappin’ beat vibe, and he manages to slip portions of ‘Diamonds on My Windshield into his rap, along with his patented ‘automobile passing by’ impersonation (seeing him do this on the Austin City Limits film is great, track that down if you can).
“’Scuse me, I usually vomit… but this is gonna be a tasteful programme”.
Tracklisting: Intro / Emotional Weather Report / Eggs And Sausage (Intro) / Eggs And Sausage / Better Off Without A Wife / Semi Suite / Spare Parts / Ghosts Of Saturday Night/The Heart Of Saturday Night / New Coat Of Paint / Warm Beer And Cold Women / Virginia Avenue / San Diego Serenade / Putnam County / Ol' '55