Just in time for Alan Vega's 70th birthday (!), Blast First's Petite series has put out either the most excessive or the best box set of 2008 in this six-disc collection of live Suicide (Vega on vocals and Martin Rev on "instrument") material recorded in the early years, long before they were legends, when their only real fan might have been Ric Ocasek of the Cars. Suicide were one of the most underground bands to come from New York's crazy punk scene, and were too extreme even for that crew. The back of the box set puts it like this: "WARNING: These recordings are not for the fainthearted or casual fan. They document thirteen entire live performances recorded between September 1977 and August 1978 and other audio ephemera." For a change, this isn't hype. These are not dead-dog sound files or horribly recorded cassette-tape bootlegs recorded from the audience in a noisy club. In fact, they are soundboard recordings. They reflect the extreme nature of a Suicide concert experience and the audience reaction to them. Their "sets" were usually between 20 and 25 minutes and featured a medley of "tunes" -- "Ghostrider," "Rocket USA," "Frankie Teardrop," "Cheree," and a cover of ? & the Mysterians' "96 Tears." The final disc captures them at their most extreme, playing a set that lasts over 43 minutes. Some of these sets were as an opening act for the Cars, and people didn't know what to make of them. Despite the repetition, no one version or medley of these classic jams is the same, making any real threat of redundancy a moot point. This stuff is frightening, insane, hilarious, and utterly great; it belongs on every real punk and no wave fan's shelf. In addition to the live gigs in New York, there are a couple of performances on German radio and even a commercial for British radio advertising their self-titled debut album on Marty Thau's Red Star imprint. It's an amazing thing that, given the climate of 2008's music industry, a treasure like this could even come into existence, let alone make it to the store shelf.