Praise be to Joltin' Joe Belock. He's had Steve Wynn as a musical guest on his radio program almost as many times as I've had Dalek, and from my perspective, nothing defines the Three Chord Monte aesthetic better than these fantastic sessions from the former Dream Syndicate frontman. Now based in New York after years of being closely affiliated with the left coast musical underground, I've had the pleasure of seeing Steve and band perform many times and under many different circumstances. Two that come immediately to mind include a spur-of-the-moment run through of the Dream Syndicate's Days of Wine and Roses (at Manitoba's sometime in mid-2001), and also the odd occasion of them providing ambient musical accompaniment to a reading by crime fiction writer George Pelecanos (at Magnetic Field.) The latter was especially great, as my wife lived mere steps from Magnetic Field at the time—that afforded us the rare opportunity to rock until the late hours sans the mood-killing reality of a 3 AM subway ride on a work night. (Feel free to ignore that last bit if you're younger than 30, though I've always been ornery about getting home so late. I have theorized that my fleeting interest in hardcore music was mainly rooted in the fact that most of the shows were weekend matinees.)
Anyhow, in the midst of what were at one time fairly frequent live dates around town, Steve and band also made periodic stops at WFMU for live sets on Joe Belock's program, all of which are now available in their entirety in the FMA. This mix is whittled down to reflect my favorites, so take the fact that I've titled it "The Best of..." with a grain of salt. Try as I might, I was powerless to shy away from his epic renditions of old Dream Syndicate classics, even though Steve's more recent sounds are just as impressive. Naturally, if you like what you hear, I'd certainly urge you to go grab everything else.