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Music / Live

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It’s the sun that burns, It’s the wheel that turns.
It’s the way we sing that makes 'em dream.
— "Selling the Drama"

Livenote  is a Alternative Rock band from York, Pennsylvania. Originally formed as Public Affection, the group changed its name to Live after the release of one album. After the modest success of their first album as Live, the group skyrocketed to popularity in 1994 with Throwing Copper, on the strengths of the singles "Selling the Drama", "I Alone", "All Over You", and "Lightning Crashes". Their next two albums were well-received but not as successful, and with their subsequent albums, they slowly dwindled in popularity. Singer Ed Kowalczyk split from the group rather acrimoniously in 2009, and it reformed in late 2011 with new singer Chris Shinn, formerly from Unified Theory. However, as of December 2016, Ed has returned as the band's lead vocalist, with the official website being redone to completely 86 any mention of Chris Shinn's time with them. To take it further, the album they recorded with Shinn, The Turn, has been removed from all digital music outlets and is nowhere to be seen in their official discography either. As of 2023, Ed Kowalczyk is the only remaining original member, having gained majority control of the band, first firing Chad Taylor, then later firing Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey. Taylor and Gracey were replaced by touring members Zak Loy and Robin Diaz, respectively, while Dahlheimer was replaced by Chris Weerlein.



  • Zak Loy - Lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Chris Weerlein - Bass
  • Robin Diaz - Drums
  • Ed Kowalczyk - Vocals


  • Chris Shinn - Vocals
  • Adam Kowalczyk - Rhythm guitar, backing vocals (Unofficial member)
  • Chad Taylor - Lead guitar
  • Patrick Dahlheimer - Bass guitar
  • Chad Gracey - Drums


  • The Death of a Dictionary (1989, as Public Affection)
  • Four Songs (EP) (1991)
  • Mental Jewelry (1991)
  • Throwing Copper (1994)
  • Secret Samadhi (1997)
  • The Distance to Here (1999)
  • V (2001)
  • Birds of Pray (2003)
  • Songs from Black Mountain (2006)
  • Radiant Sea: A Collection of Bootleg Rarities and Two New Songs (2007)
  • Live at the Paradiso – Amsterdam (2008)
  • The Turn (2014)

This band provides examples of the following:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: From "White, Discussion":
    And if the decibels of this disenchanting discourse / Continue to dampen the day
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Chad Gracey's wife calls his on-stage persona "Walter", because he seems to become a completely different man behind the drum-set. While he's big and imposing, he's also currently the most clean-cut looking member of the band.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: "Lightning Crashes" opens with two verses about an 'old mother' who has just died and a 'new mother' who has just given birth. Bonus points, as the lyrics imply that the 'old mother' is being reincarnated in that moment as the baby of the 'new mother'.
  • Chronological Album Title: Vnote 
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • "Shit Towne" repeats "Gotta live, gotta live in shit towne" twice in each chorus.
    • "Waitress", while not vitriolic, has enough cursing that it's a wonder it didn't earn Throwing Copper a Parental Advisory sticker.
  • Double Entendre: The first verse of "The Dolphin's Cry".
    The way you're bathed in light reminds me of that night
    God led me down into your rose garden of trust
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The original line-up all did, in York, Pennsylvania.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: ZigZagged in "Waitress":
    Come on baby, leave some change behind
    She was a bitch, but I don't care
    She brought our food out on time
    Wore a funky barrette in her hair
  • Hated Hometown: Patrick, the Chads and Ed all grew up in York, Pennsylvania, in a rather rough neighbourhood with many "crack-heads." Ed in particular was known to constantly badmouth it. "Shit Towne" was written about their time there.
  • Hidden Track:
    • "Horse" on Throwing Copper
    • An untitled track on V, which is essentially a remix of "Deep Enough"
  • I Call It "Vera": Chad Taylor has a Fender Jazzmaster named "Ruby Lou", after his daughter. He's got another guitar named "Scarlet", which is red.
  • Important Haircut: Kowalczyk shaved his head down to a single braid in between the videos for "Selling the Drama" and "I Alone" and then completely shaved it off to go fully bald. While he does outgrow his hair from time to time, he's nowadays more recognisable with the bald look. From then on, their videos started getting really trippy and artsy, at least through the songs from The Distance to Here.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The original four members played together for 20 years, from 1989 to 2009. There were sometimes additional musicians touring with them, but none of these were official members of the band.
  • Performance Video: All of their videos to one degree or another.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • "Stage", "Freaks", "Voodoo Lady", and "People Like You" all drop one or two pointed F-bombs, although in all but "Voodoo Lady" (where the lyric is a quote from her), they're rather gratuitous and out-of-the-blue.
    • Ed would also regularly insert the f-word in live performances of "Lakini's Juice".
  • Progressive Instrumentation: "Lightning Crashes" starts with the guitar, then at 0:26 the vocals, then 1:58 the bass, and finally at 2:27 the drums appear.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Lightning Crashes" was inspired by the death of a friend of Ed's who was killed in a car accident caused by a driver fleeing an armed robbery. She was an organ donor, and the imagery of the song represents how her donated organs, including her heart, empowered the lives of others.
  • Reincarnation:
    • "Lightning Crashes" suggests that the 'old mother' who has just died has been reincarnated as the newborn baby down the hall.
    • The band itself "reincarnated" with Chris Shinn taking over as the lead singer and the return to the rougher sound of their early days for a few years before the original line up regrouped.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The album version of "White, Discussion" includes some lo-fi clips of an angry-sounding man. This was something Ed had heard over a shortwave radio and decided to record and incorporate into the song because he thought the man's voice was "amazing":
    I warned you, I prepared you! I instructed you, I told you what to expect...
  • Surreal Music Video: "I Alone", "Lakini's Juice", "Freaks" and the alternate version of "Turn My Head".
  • Video Full of Film Clips: "Forever May Not Be Long Enough", which was written for The Mummy Returns.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ed Kowalczyk was very fond of either wearing open shirts or no shirt at all.
  • War Is Hell: "What Are We Fighting For?"
    The world got smaller but the bombs got bigger
    Holocaust on a hairpin trigger
    Ain't no game so forget the score
    What are we fighting for
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Tricky contributes a rapped breakdown to "Simple Creed." Around the same time, Ed Kowalczyk sang on Tricky's "Evolution Revolution Love".
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Several songs, especially on Secret Samadhi.
    • Word of God has said that they wrote the lyrics while in Jamaica after they "got a little friendly with the local gardener". This could be true for most of the songs; however, not for "Freaks" as it was performed live as early as 1994, a whole 3 years before the album was released.
  • Younger Than They Look: As of 2015 the band members are only in their early- to mid-fourties. Patrick Dalheimer and Ed Kowalczyk looked older than they were from the beginning, while Chad Taylor has aged himself with a beard.