Permanent Record [1988]

"I hope you know," Gordon Gano sings, "That this will go down on your permanent record." The line, which gives title to this live release (and a greatest hits collection), comes from the Violent Femmes' debut. It's also the first in a three-song encore from this 49-minute show, recorded at Virginia's Boat House on July 21, 1991. The Wisconsin trio gives an impassioned performance, pulling out all the stops for a spooky version of "Confessions," for which they bring out Caleb Alexander on saxophone. Throughout the show, singer/guitarist Gano looks like a mischievous choirboy, bass player Brian Ritchie looks like a hillbilly (must be that mullet), and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo looks like Moe Tucker in that he too plays an upright drum kit. Most importantly, though, the band sounds great. Permanent Record includes seven videos spanning the Femmes' career, from 1983-1994, along with a lo-fi street performance of "Kiss Off." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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