Saturday, January 12, 2019

Paul Jacobs EASY: A Short Interview & Show # 757


EASY is the latest album released by Paul Jacobs. Put out through UK label Stolen Body Records in October 2018, EASY shows Jacobs drifting out within his own lo-fi garage aesthetic, adding atmosphere with synthesizers that at times sound like they are coming from an old VHS tape. It was recorded, written and performed all by Jacobs himself, and features backing vocals from Meagan Callen that pop up throughout various songs on the album. EASY follows a series of releases from Jacobs. Earlier in 2018, an EP was released on cassette called Story About Anything and in 2016, there were two albums released, I’m Into What You’re Into and Pictures, Movies & Apartments. Stolen Body Records released Pictures, Movies & Apartments on vinyl in 2017. The music on EASY still retains the chaotic, lo-fi element that has been present in Jacobs’ music since the beginning, but there is something else found in this collection of songs. The melodies are stronger, almost haunting, as they make their way into the listeners subconscious.

“Holy Holy” starts off the album with a collection of diverse instrumentation that includes haunting synthesizers, distorted guitar, cowbell, drumrolls and infectious vocals that float amongst the chaos in a psychedelic fashion. Lyrically, EASY tackles everyday life with a slacker realization that is at times humorous and poignant. “Expensive” the second track found on EASY features lyrics like “So much for the future I watch the years go by/Here’s to the ones who do favours for the people with nothing” and “Because I can count on you/I’ll always count on you/Because the things that you do/Are not like anyone else/Well I can’t wait for you to notice me”. This song seems to operate with a duality about commercialism and as a love song at the same time. Musically, “Expensive” has 80s influences with added distorted guitar, drum machine sounds and laser beam sounding synthesizers. The slow and warbley instrumental track “Coffee” filters in at track three before we are brought to the song “Easy (Warm Weather)”. This song arrives like a smoky synthesizer display at a dimly lit rock venue amongst deep cutting bass and drums. With lyrics such as “You want to quit your job and do something that you love/You don’t care about the folks at the bank and getting your shit together” and “It’s okay/You’ll find it easy to stay in warm weather”, the song juxtaposes the monotonous reality of working a boring job and doing whatever you want. It finds solace in its hazy realizations amid dizzying synthesizers that suck you into its musical landscape.

“Laundry” features more exotic song textures as lyrically it processes through the cycle of everyday responsibilities, “Life Lessons II” submerges itself in fuzzy bass, drums and distorted guitars, while “Sunday Morning II” bounces with a psychedelic garage dimensionality. One of the many strong songs found on EASY, “Sunday Morning II” grabs ahold of the listener in a nonchalant way with open ended, abstract lyrics. “Setting Sun” features a fuzzier garage sound. Taking on what sounds like a T.Rex influence, this song searches for something while not getting hung up on the past with lyrics such as “Lately I always wonder what you’re doing/I don’t know exactly where I’m going/But the futures bright for those who know they’ll never go back”. “Trouble (Last Song)” breaks out with a more psychedelic approach as sounds reverberate amongst the omnipresent drums, bass and distorted, reverb drenched vocals. “Roads” is a more abstract song that moves forward in a laidback direction with lyrics made up with elusive and cryptic phrases and a combination of synthesizers that layer throughout the song’s atmosphere.

“Cigarettes” ends EASY. With its acoustic guitar, catchy basslines that seem to glow and fiery, overblown sounding synthesizers, Paul Jacobs ends this album with one of his strongest pop hooks. With lyrics such as “You were not supposed to hurt me/How’s someone like you go on/There is nothing wrong with love and laughter/Time keeps us moving on” and “Well time holds all of the answers/Time holds all the pain/Well time don’t know what’s the matter with you these days”, “Cigarettes” lives in the moment while at the same time provides hauntingly poignant words. With eight full-length albums, and numerous EP’s and singles in his discography, EASY offers something new for listener’s that may be familiar with music Paul Jacobs has created in the past, but it also doesn’t stray too far from the spirit that has been present in his earlier recordings. With EASY, Paul Jacobs delivers an album that grows at its own pace.

Continue reading for a short Q & A that I did with Paul Jacobs:

RR: When did you first begin work on your album EASY and how would you say it differs to your last full-length album Pictures, Movies & Apartments?


PJ: I started on EASY around January 2017 I’d say, just demoing and all that. I guess during the time my musical interests had changed a lot from the PM&A time. I was also playing my keyboard a lot more.

RR: What was the typical recording process like when making EASY?


PJ: Well I had my recording setup in my living room, so whenever I had a moment I’d just try to make something. The drums are electric and the guitars/keyboard are mostly DI so it’s pretty quick to get it going. I was living in an apartment while recording both albums (EASY and Pictures, Movies & Apartments) so I had to do what I could without getting any noise complaints.

RR: EASY was released through Stolen Body Records in the UK. How did you get connected with the label and what has it been like working with them?

PJ: Originally I was looking for anyone to re-release PM&A so I could do a tour. I hit up Al (of Stolen Body Records) after I saw he did releases for my friends in Dusty Mush. He liked the album and was down, he's a cool guy and I have a lot of respect for him and the label.

RR: You’ve played in Europe several times now. What is it like playing live shows in Europe as opposed to Canada? What were some of your more memorable experiences playing in Europe recently?

PJ: Europe just has a lot of places to play with short drive times. I also love how the culture changes in smaller distances. Shows are pretty much the same cuz people are people, but shows are only 1 hr of the day. It's the rest of the way you spend your time touring that makes or breaks it. I had a great time in Switzerland this year. It was also the end of the tour and the first 5 weeks became a blur haha.

RR: You did the music video for “Sunday Morning 2” off of EASY. How long did it take to put together the video and do you want to make more of your own videos in the future?

PJ: It took me a bit over a month to get it done. It was a lot of work but completing it was pretty rewarding. I'll do more again for sure.

RR: In 2018 you also released a limited edition cassette called Story About Anything. For this release, there were 100 cassettes made up of different covers that move like a flipbook. Can you tell us a bit about this release and why do you think independent musicians are still using cassettes?


PJ: I love cassettes because you can always find good albums at thrift stores. I released it just because I had the idea for the flipbook covers and wanted to get that done. I would do vinyl myself if I could afford it, but I can’t. Cassettes are great for people that just wanna get stuff out and have some merch for shows.

RR: How would you describe your music to someone that hasn’t heard it before?

PJ: I can't really answer that, they'd have to describe it to me.

RR: What’s next for you musically?

PJ: Same thing really, I'll just try to make music that I enjoy hearing.

Listen to EASY here: 



Grab a record from Stolen Body Records here.

Show 757 Play List (Originally Aired On January 12th, 2019)(Carbonas, Beastie Boys, Paul Jacobs):

1. Gene Carroll & The Shades - Red Devil
2. The Echo Tones - Inland Surfer
3. Outrageous Cherry - Last Nice Guy In Detroit
4. Jon Spencer - Time 2 Be Bad
5. Gary's House - The Past Does Not Confront Me
6. Tomorrows Tulips - Flaccid Guitars
7. Trout - Contrition & Disclosure
8. The C.I.A. - Pleasure Seeker
9. PRIORS - Sunshine
10. Carbonas - Blackout (Waiting To Happen)
11. Carbonas - (Your Love Is) Inside Out
12. The Polymorphines - Dirty Cop
13. Dead Ghosts - Roky Said
14. The Hives - Civilization's Dying
15. The Young and The Useless - Young and Useless
16. Beastie Boys - Egg Raid On Mojo (Demo)
17. Beastie Boys - Cooky Puss (Censored Version)
18. Beastie Boys - Jimmy James (Single Version)
19. Beastie Boys - Electric Worm
20. BS 2000 - The Scrappy
21. Country Mike - Country Mike's Theme
22. Country Mike - Don't Let The Air Out of My Tires
23. Luscious Jackson - Satellite
24. Volunteers - Ten In The Sky
25. Bad Sports - Gains and Losses
26. Hot Snakes - Plenty For All
27. Papa Ghostface - Lean Years
28. Paul jacobs - Quarter To Eleven
29. Paul jacobs - Holy Holy
30. Paul jacobs - Expensive
31. Paul jacobs - Sunday Morning II
32. White Fence - Lorelei
33. Young Rival - The Ocean

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for January 12.

Show 756 was a repeat of episode of 753 which originally aired in December of 2018. You can download that episode here and find the play list here.

Show 755 was a repeat of a horror/halloween themed episode that aired originally in October 2018. You can download that episode here and find the play list here.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Joe Strummer Day 2018: Joe Strummer 001, Live Tracks and Soundtracks (Show # 754)


Since the end of The Clash, much has been written about and celebrated in terms of reissues and box sets, but in September 2018 the first collection compiling Joe Strummer’s solo musical output was released. Joe Strummer 001 comes in a variety of formats, but it is a 32-track collection of Strummer’s pre and post Clash output. The super deluxe edition of Joe Strummer 001, features vinyl, CDs, other ephemera and three additional recordings. Following his untimely death in 2002 at the age of 50, it was discovered that Strummer kept quite the collection of recordings, writings and other materials in a barn in Strummer and his wife’s barn in Somerset. Following his time with The Clash, Joe Strummer dived into soundtrack work and appeared in acting roles in several films. This collection shows how deep he went jumping musical styles and really shows that he was capable of a lot more than people may realize.

Joe Strummer 001 operates on two levels. The first CD in the collection compiles twenty tracks, ranging from his early pub rock beginnings with the 101’ers, to work with The Latino Rockabilly War, other soundtrack work, material recorded with The Mescaleros and other tracks from various now hard to find releases. On this first disc, highlights include “Love Kills” recorded for 1986’s Sid & Nancy soundtrack, “Tennessee Rain”, one of the many tracks that Strummer composed for the soundtrack to the 1987 film, Walker, “Burning Lights” from the 1990 soundtrack to I Hired A Contract Killer, “Trash City” recorded for the Permanent Record soundtrack in 1988, “Redemption Song” recorded with Johnny Cash and “Over The Border” recorded with Jimmy Cliff for his 2004 album Black Magic. Of the Mescaleros tracks included are the dubbed out “Yalla, Yalla”, “Come Girl” and “Silver and Gold” from 2003’s Streetcore and one of Strummer’s finest compositions, “Johnny Appleseed” from 2001’s Global A Go-Go. From Strummer’s overlooked 1989 solo album, Earthquake Weather, only one song is represented “Ride Your Donkey”, which was originally done by The Tennors. But, like most of this collection, it is a sampling of Joe Strummer’s solo musical output.

The second level found on Joe Strummer 001 is contained on the second disc. This is the reason many fans will be drawn to this release. The second disc is made of twelve unreleased recordings, some of which some diehard fans may not have been aware existed. The first track is an acoustic demo of the song “Letsagitabitarockin” recorded in 1975. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, this track shows Strummer in his earliest days putting down his musical thoughts for one of his first great songs. This track is then followed by two demos of songs that were recorded for The Clash’s 1985 album, Cut The Crap. For this album, Clash guitarist Mick Jones had been fired from the group and only Simonon and Strummer remained from the original lineup. But, in these two demos we have, an early dubbed up version of “This Is England” entitled “Czechoslovak Song/Where Is England” and a version of the song “Pouring Rain” that show a still energetic, determined band. The songs are credited as Strummer, Simonon & Howard, who were the only Clash members on these recordings. “Crying On The 23rd” and “2 Bullets” shows off rockabilly and blues influences. These two tracks recorded with Clash guitarist Mick Jones on guitar and intended for the Sid & Nancy soundtrack were never released. “Crying On The 23rd” is a sloppy rockabilly blues track, while “2 Bullets” is a country track sung by Pearl Harbour.

Three tracks are included from the unreleased When Pigs Fly soundtrack. “When Pigs Fly”, “Pouring Rain” (a different reworking of this song), and “Rose of Erin” are heard here in astonishing detail and quality. The soundtrack and this film have been surrounded by a bit of mystery. Released in 1993, the film directed by Sara Driver was a story about a down and out jazz musician, a bar owner, a haunted chair and two ghosts. Starring Alfred Molina and Marianne Faithful, the film failed to get distribution. Its soundtrack has been available in low quality, bootleg form for some time now. But, these three tracks show how different and detailed these songs were, showcasing elements of Celtic folk and another side of Strummer’s musical abilities. “The Cool Impossible” is a jazz based track, unreleased until now and recorded with the same musicians that played on the 1993 When Pigs Fly soundtrack. “U.S. North” ends Joe Strummer 001. A ten-minute track by Mick Jones & Joe Strummer, this track reflects a Big Audio Dynamite sound (Jones’ post Clash group). This was a track recorded for the 1988-film Candy Mountain that was never used.

When some of these tapes were discovered for Joe Strummer 001, there were many recordings on reel-to-reel and cassette tapes that contained hidden tracks, some of which were superimposed on top of each other. All of the tracks were restored and mastered by Peter J. Moore at the E. Room in Toronto. He was also able to separate the superimposed tracks. It has been said that there are a total of 20,000 items in the Joe Strummer archive. What makes up those 20,000 items is unclear, but with a title like Joe Strummer 001, it is hopeful that there will be another collection of recordings released from his archive at some point. After discovering these recordings it took about five years to clean them up and archive. Like the hidden tracks that were discovered when going through Strummer’s archive, Joe Strummer 001 offers exposure to another side of Joe Strummer’s post and pre Clash musical past to listeners. Joe Strummer 001 shows that Strummer was not just the singer of The Clash, it provides detail and evidence that he was so much more.

JSD 2018 Play List - Joe Strummer 001, Live Tracks & Soundtracks:

1. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Johnny Appleseed (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/Global A Go-Go - 2001)
2. Joe Strummer - Pouring Rain (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/When Pigs Fly - 1993)
3. Joe Strummer - Love Kills (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/Sid & Nancy Soundtrack - 1986)
4. The Soothsayers - Crying on the 23rd (Outtake from the Sid & Nancy Soundtrack)(Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)
5. Joe Strummer - The Cool Impossible (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)
6. Joe Strummer - Tennesse Rain (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
7. Joe Strummer - Sandstorm (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
8. Joe Strummer - Matchete (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
9. Joe Strummer - Unknown Immortal (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
10. Joe Strummer - Tropic of No Return (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
11. Joe Strummer - Straight Shooter (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
12. The Pogues with Joe Strummer - If I Should Fall From The Grace of God (Live 1991)(Live In London - 2014)
13. The Pogues with Joe Strummer - London Calling (Live 1991)(Live In London - 2014)
14. The Pogues with Joe Strummer - Turkish Song of the Damned (Live 1991)(Live In London - 2014)
15. The Pogues with Joe Strummer - Dirty Old town (Live 1991)(Live In London - 2014)
16. The Pogues with Joe Strummer - The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn (Live 1991)(Live In London - 2014)
17. Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Police on my Back (Live The Fridge Brixton, South London 1988)
18. Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Trash City (Live The Fridge Brixton, South London 1988)
19. Joe Strummer - Burning Lights (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/I Hired A Contract Killer - 1990)
20. Joe Strummer - Rose of Erin (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/When Pigs Fly - 1993)
21. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Coma Girl (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/Streetcore - 2003)
22. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Silver and Gold (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018/Streetcore - 2003)
23. Joe Strummer - Letsagetabitarockin’ (Demo) (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)
24. Strummer, Simonon & Howard - Czechoslovak Song/Where Is England (Demo) (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)
25. Joe Strummer & Mick Jones - U.S. North (Unreleased song recorded for the Candy Mountain Soundtrack)(Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)

Download this episode here!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

2018 Highlights & Shows # 752, 753

For their favourite releases of 2018, Dave & Adam of Revolution Rock each picked ten albums that they liked that were put out in 2018 and some selections from other albums as well. They did two episodes devoted to music that was released in 2018 and you can download these episodes under the playlists below. Each of their top 10 lists are included in this post, followed by a little write-up of each of their top five albums from 2018.

Dave’s Top 10 Albums of 2018:

1. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
2. Nap Eyes - I’m Bad Now
3. Volunteers - I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver
4. La Luz - Floating Features
5. Paul Jacobs - EASY
6. Preoccupations - New Material
7. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
8. Rolling Blackouts C.F. - Hope Downs
9. Ty Segall & White Fence - Joy
10. Mudhoney - Digital Garbage

Adam’s Top 10 Albums of 2018:

1. U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited
2. Mount Eerie – Only Now
3. Low – Double Negative
4. Daughters – You Won't Get What You Want
5. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
6. Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance
7. Father John Misty – God's Favorite Customer
8. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
9. Mitski – Be the Cowboy
10. Rolling Blackouts C.F. - Hope Downs


A Few Write-ups From A Selection of Our Top 10 Lists:

Dave's Top Five:

1. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!



Released through Rough Trade Records, Wide Awake! finds guitarist/vocalist Andrew Savage, Austin Brown (guitar/vocals), Sean Yeaton (bass) and drummer Max Savage reconvening for what many have been calling their strongest album to date. “Total Football” opens Wide Awake! Starting with a marching drum beat and ringing guitar and bass, it quickly picks up pace as the basslines run in between the guitar parts, drums and vocals in a graceful, yet energetic way. Lyrically, the song is based on the theory of “total football” that states any player on the field can play any role or position. Parquet Courts take this theory and apply it to a modern context. With lyrics such as “We are troubled by your soft curiosity/But delighted to be anti-everything you were taught” and “Collectivism and autonomy/Are not mutually exclusive” the song deals broadly with the duality of collectivism, individuality and clichéd American masculinity. This first song, as has been said in interviews serves as a sort of manifesto for the album, which tackles the current political climate among other things, with humour, wit and a new sense of anger.

Produced by Danger Mouse, Wide Awake! shows Parquet Courts amplifying their characteristics, with a punk and funky aesthetic. The album is charged with an intensity and anger that is the opposite of 2016’s Human Performance. While it does address cultural and social contexts, it also comments on our current political climate. These points, however, aren’t forced down the listener’s throats. Like all of the band’s albums, lyrically there are many themes and ideas that can be drawn upon and looked at, not just the obvious. By looking inward and outward, Parquet Courts question everything and nothing at the same time. There is no fat left on this record, it flows seamlessly from track to track, however, Wide Awake! leaves the listener plenty to chew.

2. Nap Eyes – I’m Bad Now

Nap Eyes formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2011. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Nigel Chapman, Brad Loughead (lead guitar), Josh Salter (bass) and Seamus Dalton (drums), Nap Eyes musical style has drawn comparisons to bands such as The Velvet Underground, The Clean, The Go-Betweens, and Television, among others. Their style sometimes called “slacker rock” is different. It does have similarities to the above-mentioned bands, but at the same time it doesn’t. The music also lends itself to the indie rock world and also to other genres. Lyrically, the words operate on a different level being introspective, deadpan and sarcastic at times. I’m Bad Now, is the third full-length album release by this band. Released via You’ve Changed Records/Paradise of Bachelors, I’m Bad Now finds Chapman questioning relationships and life in general in philosophical, existential and cosmic contexts. While there are similar themes that pop up and appear between the three albums, I’m Bad Now stands up by itself. The meanings that can be drawn from the songs here can be abstract, or not. The listener is not presented with everything spelled out for them, which causes repeat listens to reveal little subtleties that may not have been noticed before. With all its cosmic layers, drawing on everything from existential to philosophical themes, I’m Bad Now seems to ask more questions than it answers. However, as we are told in “Boats Appear”, ”It takes time to understand things/And the more you know/The more you don’t know”.

3. Volunteers – I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver

In the spring of 2018, Volunteers, a band based in Vancouver released a new album entitled, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver. This debut album appeared mysteriously, by a band consisting of Dave McMartin (guitar), John McMartin (drums), Fraser With (guitar) and Brad Felotick on bass/vocals. They have had their song “Who Needs A Girl Like You” featured as the theme song to the CraveTV series, Letterkenny. In addition to providing the title theme to the show, they also have other songs in the various episodes of the show, along with other Vancouver bands. The album was recorded by Andrew Wilkinson, who also plays in the band Dead Ghosts. It was recorded in a barn on the outskirts of Vancouver where the two bands share a rehearsal space. This location is also the same place where Dead Ghosts recorded their 2015 release, Love and Death and All The Rest. As a result, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver has a laid back feel, but also never loses its 60s garage/rock spirit. With a title inspired by an ad-lib from a live recording by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver, blends a country/garage musicianship with lyrics that are strong with rich, folk-like imagery. The album is a bit mysterious, but is also a mature reflection on the past and present, while creating something new. The sound of Volunteers is organic, but pulls its roots from different musical backgrounds. I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver is homegrown, but never sounds dated. It leaves a lasting imprint on the listener that is hard to shake.

4. La Luz – Floating Features

Since 2015’s Weirdo Shrine, La Luz has relocated to Los Angeles. The changing of their backdrop from Seattle to Los Angeles is embedded into their third full-length and latest album’s very core. Floating Features still levitates with the same surf noir dynamics that were first cast on 2013’s It’s Alive. Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Floating Features adds a new shine to La Luz’s already established sound without being too obvious. The mood on Floating Features simmers as this all female quartet draws on the theme of dreams and its many variations. “Don’t Leave Me On The Earth” is layered in metaphors and surf fuelled drums, guitar, bass and organ that swelter with fervor. With a title that sounds like something from a sci-fi film from decades long ago and words such as “Wild World/I Was high/I was all dead inside” and a chorus of “Juniper/Juniper/Don’t leave me on the earth” and “Take me with you when you go”, this song and the juniper plant reference could be representing the desire for a cleansing of old landscapes as a new dream breaks free from the confines of an old one. With Floating Features, La Luz creates a mood that is a bit hazy at times and sometimes abstract. Lyrically building on the theme of dreams and the different ways that they can be perceived, La Luz confronts whatever comes their way to readjust their sonic features and to create and strengthen their own musical landscape.

5. Paul Jacobs - EASY

EASY is the latest album released by Paul Jacobs. Put out through UK label Stolen Body Records in October 2018, EASY shows Jacobs drifting out within his own lo-fi garage aesthetic, adding atmosphere with synthesizers that at times sound like they are coming from an old VHS tape. EASY follows a series of releases from Jacobs. Earlier in 2018, an EP was released on cassette called Story About Anything and in 2016, there were two albums released, I’m Into What You’re Into and Pictures, Movies & Apartments. Stolen Body Records released Pictures, Movies & Apartments on vinyl in 2017. The music on EASY still retains the chaotic, lo-fi element that has been present in Jacobs’ music since the beginning, but there is something else found in this collection of songs. The melodies are stronger, almost haunting, as they make their way into the listeners subconscious. Lyrically, EASY tackles everyday life with a slacker realization that is at times humorous and poignant. EASY offers something new for listener’s that may be familiar with music Paul Jacobs has created in the past, but it also doesn’t stray too far from the spirit that has been present in his earlier recordings. With EASY, Paul Jacobs delivers an album that grows at its own pace.

Adam's Top Five:

1. U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited


Stuck within the quagmire of insidious misogyny that pervades this culture (look no further than the sexist demagogue elected into office), women in 2018 had to face the bombardment of media re-enforcing ideas of female bodies being nothing more than commodities to exploit. This is the world Meg Remy combated on In a Poem Unlimited, the sixth album from the Toronto multi-instrumentalist's project U.S. Girls. While Remy's previous albums never shied away from the existential complexities of womanhood, this record's set of political pop was her most barbed and incisive collection yet. “Velvet 4 Sale” depicts a dystopian future wherein women and children are conscripted to fight the wars of the rich elite, “Mad As Hell” criticized the American military presence in the Middle East, while “Rage of Plastics” tells the story of a woman becoming infertile due to working in a chemical refinery. As dire as these narratives are, Remy could not even find respite in the afterlife, saving her most scathing critique of institutionalized sexism for the space-disco of “Pearly Gates”: “But like some roadside vet with a bag in hand/I could do anything St. Peter asked/For one chance to be an angel in his eyes/It seemed to be the safe bet, so I closed my eyes/And I opened my gates wide/And St. Peter came inside.” AND YET, as dark as the themes of this record were, In a Poem Unlimited also radiated hope. This was not only due to the hypnagogic pop of her assembled band, whose arrangements brought to mind a range of influences such as Bowie, Talking Heads, Blondie, and ABBA. It was also due to the tireless bravery of Remy tackling these themes, her ambition to call out to prevalent misogyny and corruption of the world around her, and the reassurances that as long as people like her continue this battle, love and righteousness may prevail. This is U.S. Girls' most complex and sprawling record, while also being their most immediate and grooving. It is political pop, protest music, full of revolutionary anger, while also being joyous and life affirming.

2. Mount Eerie - Now Only

Last year, Phil Elverum released one of the most emotionally cataclysmic records I have ever heard. The eulogistic A Crow Looked At Me explored the aftermath of losing a loved one (the songwriter's wife Genevieve Castree), with what amounted to less a collection of songs than an exercise of visceral catharsis. Now Only sees Elverum returning again to his grief, but resulting in a much different album. While the arrangements of Crow were sparse, barely even songs, the six tracks of Now Only are flushed out and complex. Arrangements shift and sprawl. Pleading acoustic laments suddenly break into feedback-laden squalls. Time signatures shift. The album even offers a bit of respite in humour, as Elverum recounts playing his “death songs to a bunch of young people on drugs” at a music festival. This isn't to say this record is any less devastating than its predecessor, but it seems time has given Elverum perspective. Now Only is the sound of a man healing after a major tragedy, and while it might be a stretch to claim this record as being “hopeful,” a bit of light has begun to break through the sombre clouds of Mount Eerie's world.

3. Low – Double Negative

Here's an accolade for you: I've never heard a record that sounded like Double Negative before in my life. While the Minnesota trio could have rode out their band's career producing yet another collection of slowcore indie rock, they decided instead to dabble in auto-tune, synths, and digital distortion. The resulting record is not exactly a rock record, nor a folk record, nor a pop record. I'm at my wit's end trying to find the right category for it to fit in (if such a thing even exists). Double Negative is akin too a polished indie pop record downloaded onto a digital drive, which has been dunked in water, thrown down a flight of stairs, and bludgeoned with a hammer. While soft comparisons have been made to Radiohead's Kid A and Bon Iver's 22, A Million, it really stands out on its own. Each digital clip, each wave of distortion seems specifically planned, meticulously orchestrated. Its the album of a veteran band refusing to be pigeon-holed, crafting a Dadaist masterpiece that is as haunting as it is unconventional.

4. Daughters – You Won't Get What You Want

Visceral. That is the word to describe this Rhode Island band's fourth release. This album is a nosedive into incessant paranoia and madness, as if Suicide's “Frankie Teardrop” were given a noise-rock makeover by Jesus Lizard. Listening to this LP is intense and brutal, with the icy guitar blasts of “Satan in the Wait” and cacophonous sea-shanty of “The Flammable Man” sheer peaks in this musical downward spiral. Add on some truly poetic lyrics by Alexis Marshall (just look to the chilling narrative told in “Ocean Song”) and Daughters have created the best heavy rock record of recent years.






5. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy (Face To Face)

A re-recording of Will Toledo's 2011 bedroom-rock project, this new version of Twin Fantasy is a vast improvement over its predecessor. Not only have the arrangements been fleshed out with a full band sound, but the previous record's propensity for navel-gazing has been removed in favour of greater confidence and Toledo's finely developed wry sense of humour. Of course, the subjects are just as personal and introspective as found on the previous version of this record, but the new arrangements provide much needed life into a record that otherwise was lost in the sea of laconic mope-rock permeating bandcamp. Twin Fantasy (Face To Face) is an emotional sprawling experience, and perhaps Toledo's most ambitious record to date.



Show 753 (Best of 2018 Part Two):

1. Double Winter - Oxen Eyes (Double Winter - Crystal Palace Records - 2018)
2. Flesh Rag - Just One Kiss (Inside Your Mind - Schizophrenic Records/Loose Lip Records - 2018)
3. Snake River - Let Us Be Something Seen (Tread On To The Unknown You - 2018)
4. Farewell Mourners - Always Eventually (Farewell Mourners EP - Must Be Nice Records - 2018)
5. Charles Bradley - Heart of Gold (Black Velvet - Daptone Records - 2018)
6. Fucked Up - Raise Your Voice Joyce (Dose Your Dreams - Merge Records - 2018)
7. U.S. Girls - Mad As Hell (In A Poem Unlimited - 4AD - 2018)
8. Rolling Blackouts C.F. - Bellarine (Hope Downs - Sub Pop - 2018)
9. Mudhoney - Next Mass Extinction (Digital Garbage - Sup Pop - 2018)
10. Mitski - Lonesome Love (Be The Cowboy - Dead Oceans - 2018)
11. Ty Segall & White Fence - Rock Flute/A Nod (Joy - Drag City Records - 2018)
12. Parquet Courts - Violence (Wake Up! - Rough Trade Records - 2018)
13. Rolling Blackouts C.F. - Talking Straight (Hope Downs - Sub Pop - 2018)
14. Father John Misty - Date Night (God's Favorite Customer - Sub Pop - 2018)
15. Courtney Barnett - Charity (Tell Me How You Really Feel - Mom + Pop Music - 2018)
16. Idles - Television (Joy As An Act of Resistance - Partisan Records - 2018)
17. Preoccupations - Espionage (New Material - Flemish Eye - 2018)
18. Car Seat Headrest - Sober To Death (Twin Fantasy (Face To Face) - Matador Records - 2018)
19. Paul Jacobs - Easy (Warm Weather) (Easy - Stolen Body Records - 2018)
20. Daughters - Guest House (You Won't Get What You Want - Ipecac Recordings - 2018)
21. La Luz - The Creature (Floating Features - Hardly Art - 2018)
22. Low - Poor Sucker (Double Negative - Sub Pop - 2018)
23. Volunteers - Don't Get Me Down (I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver - Barn Records - 2018)
24. Mount Eerie - Tintin In Tibet (Now Only - P.W. Elverum & Sun - 2018)
25. Nap Eyes - Every Time The Feeling (I'm Bad Now - Paradise of Bachelors/You've Changed Records - 2018)
26. U.S. Girls - Velvet For Sale (In A Poem Unlimited - 4AD - 2018)
27. Parquet Courts - NYC Observation (Wide Awake! - Rough Trade Records - 2018)

Download This Episode Here!

Show 752 (Best of 2018 Part One):


1. Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (Love Bites - United Artists - 1978)
2. Buzzcocks - I Don't Mind (Another Music In A Different Kitchen - United Artists - 1977)
3. Buzzcocks - Love You More (Love Bites - United Artist - 1978)
4. Shoobies - Surfin' Surgeon (Nevermind The Hardcore, Here's Shoobies - 2018)
5. Baby Giant - High Tide (2 - 2018)
6. Urban Surf Kings - Slipstream (Astro Surf A-Go-Go - Surf Cookie Records - 2018)
7. Papa Ghostface - Every Angry Element (What We Lost In The Flood - Tosteestosta Music - 2018)
8. Papermaps - Iron Stove (Confessions: To Each Their Own Rapture - Sparks Music - 2018)
9. Peach Kelli Pop - Quiet (Gentle Leader - Mint Records/Bachelor Records - 2018)
10. Peach Kelli Pop - Crooked (Which Witch - Mint Records/Bachelor Records - 2018)
11. Outrageous Cherry - The Beginning of the End of the Night (Meet You In The Shadows - Burger Records - 2018)
12. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Unwanted Number (Look Now - Concord Records - 2018)
13. School Damage - Isn't Easy (A To X - Chapter Music - 2018)
14. Archie & The Bunkers - Fire Walk With Me (Songs From The Lodge - Dirty Water Records - 2018)
15. The 427's - Bikini Thief (Stay Gold - Stingray Sounds - 2018)
16. Preoccupations - Solace (New Material - Flemish Eye - 2018)
17. Nap Eyes - Dull Me Line (I'm Bad Now - Paradise of Bachelors/You've Changed Records - 2018)
18. Courtney Barnett - Nameless, Faceless (Tell Me How You Really Feel - Mom + Pop Music - 2018)
19. Iceage - Catch It (Beyondless - Matador Records - 2018)
20. Jeff Rosenstock - Yr Throat (POST - Polyvinyl Record Co. - 2018)
21. Mark Sultan - Believe Me (Let Me Out - Dirty Water Records - 2018)
22. Bonny Doon - A Lotta Things (Longwave - Woodsist - 2018)
23. Mexican Knives - Social Diary (II - Jett Plastic Recordings - 2018)
24. Hot Snakes - Six Wave Hold Down (Jericho Sirens - Sub Pop - 2018)
25. Ty Segall - Main Pretender (Freedom's Goblin - Drag City Records - 2018)
26. Shame - Friction (Songs of Praise - Dead Oceans - 2018)
27. No Age - Cruise Control (Snares Like A Haircut - Drag City Records - 2018)
28. Jeff Tweedy - I Know What It's Like (Warm - dBpm Records - 2018)
29. Buzzcocks - Lipstick (Peel Session - October 23rd, 1978) (Love Bites (Deluxe Edition) - EMI Records - 2010)

Download This Episode Here!

Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Beatles White Album & The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (50th Anniversary) & Shows # 749, 750, 751


Originally released on November 22nd, 1968, The Beatles White Album was the highly anticipated follow up to 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s and the Lonely Hearts Club Band. While Sgt. Pepper’s showed the band taking a more psychedelic, experimental approach to songs and the recording of the album, The White Album was the opposite. The recording sessions had their origins in Rishikesh, India. From February to April 1968, The Beatles were there to take part in a Transcendental Meditation course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. During this time they came up with about forty new songs, several of which were demoed at George Harrison’s house in May of 1968 known as the Esher Demos. During the recording of this album, there were many aspects that caused turmoil and tensions within the group. Producer George Martin took a leave of absence during the sessions, engineer Geoff Emerick quit and drummer Ringo Starr left the group for about two weeks during the sessions before returning.

There are thirty songs on The Beatles. It should also be noted that the album is referred to as The White Album, but it is a self-titled album. Several of the songs have a fractured feel, but overall the album for all its styles and immediacy has an undeniable energy. From the opening moments of Paul McCartney’s “Back In the U.S.S.R”, which he wrote as a parody and pastiche at the time of a Beach Boys song, starts off with a heavy rock song that was seen as controversial by some due to the lyrical content. The song sets the tone as being both subversive and mischievous. “Glass Onion” is another hard-hitting rock track, written and sung by John Lennon that clouded up and addressed people who were looking too much into their songs for hidden meanings. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” is a song that is comprised of three different sections comprising different song styles within the less than three-minute track length. It contains surrealist lyrics and different time signature changes. “Don’t Pass Me By” written by Ringo Starr strangely reflects tensions within the band at the time (Ringo quit the band, but returned during the sessions), allusions to people looking too much into Beatles rumours and has a violin added over top in a manic fashion. It eerily reflects the violin featured on The Clash’s “Lose Your Skin” on their 1980 album Sandinista, written by Tymon Dogg. George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” features lead guitar by guitarist Eric Clapton, who was brought in when Harrison felt that John and Paul were not giving his composition the needed attention that it deserved. “Long, Long, Long” is a song with spiritually inspired lyrics that are open to interpretation. With its acoustic guitar, organ, and Starr’s dynamic drum fills, it also provides a moment of calmness between the raucous and chaotic “Helter Skelter” and the politically charged “Revolution 1”.

With double albums, there is more content than a regular full-length album. Many people have issues with certain aspects of double albums, saying that they would operate better if they were a single album instead. Producer George Martin argued this point when The Beatles were finishing up with The White Album, but they still decided to go ahead with a double album of thirty tracks. The overall sound of the album can be looked at just by taking a glance at the album cover. There is nothing on the album’s cover, it is a blank cover with just the band name in the corner. This can be juxtaposed to 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s, which has a brightly coloured, psychedelic cover. The White Album is raw, straight to the point, but also branches out into different musical styles and sometimes experimentation. There are many layers that are only revealed upon repeated listens. The album subverts conventions, musically and socially and challenges listeners.


Also released on November 22nd, 1968 was The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. It was an album that was recorded between November 1966 and October 1968. Village Green was also a concept album, the first of many that Ray Davies and The Kinks would explore. But, many feel this is one of the strongest and best. The concept of Village Green lies in theme of English life and the innocence of past times. At a time when being psychedelic was the new thing to do, Davies and the Kinks took a look back with a preservative attitude. Also, it was influenced by concepts from Dylan Thomas’s Under The Milkwood, many of the songs featured strong characters throughout. At the time of the album’s creation, The Kinks had been banned from performing in the USA (which occurred in 1965), they were surrounded by record company pressures and legal battles and of course turmoil within the band. Village Green was the last album to feature the original Kinks lineup of Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Peter Quaife and Micky Avory. Bassist Peter Quaife would leave the band in early 1969. If that wasn’t enough, at this time the band was also working on a solo Dave Davies album with The Kinks as his backing band and Ray was also working on material for a British TV show, all of which were recorded with The Kinks.

A version of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society was released in parts of Europe in October of 1968 (France, Sweden and Norway). This version featured twelve tracks and featured variations in mixes and track listing to the version that would eventually be released in the UK and the US in November 1968. After the original twelve track version of the album was delivered to Pye, Ray Davies asked them to postpone the release of the album so that he could expand and make some changes. Initially interested in making Village Green a double album, Pye denied this request and it was decided that a fifteen-track version would be produced and released. The notable changes to the album were the addition of “Last of the Steam Powered Trains”, “Big Sky”, “Sitting By The Riverside”, and “All of My Friends Were There”. The songs “Days” and “Mr. Songbird” were removed from the track list order. “Days” was later released as a single in June of 1968.

The album starts off with the song “The Village Green Preservation Society” in which Ray states “Preserving the old ways from being abused/Protecting the new ways for me and for you”. Ray and The Kinks flat out state the ethos of this album in the opening moments. This all happens amongst acoustic guitars, electric guitar stabs leads provided by guitarist Dave Davies with organ flooding the background as drummer Mick Avory and bassist Peter Quaife propel the song forward with their driving rhythm section. Musically the album draws on the lyrical prominence that was emphasized on 1967’s Something Else. The album has been said to be very subdued compared to early Kinks songs, but it has layers. The songs are well constructed, featuring plenty of acoustic arrangements combined with electric guitars. In addition to this legendary session musician Nicky Hopkins is featured all over Village Green playing piano and a variety of other instruments, adding to its atmosphere. However, nothing sounds out of place. That’s not to say it’s an album that is not unlike The Kinks, there are moments such as the refreshing blast of blues smoke in “Last of the Steam Powered Trains” and the wicked fuzzed out electric guitar riffs in “Wicked Annabella”. “Do You Remember Walter?” paints the picture of one of the many character sketches that populate this album. Inspired by a run in with an old friend and how they were in very different places and worlds, Davies reflects in a humorous way before “Picture Book” attacks with its scaling guitar and bass riffs in a striking fashion. There are other more eccentric moments too, like the song “Phenomenal Cat” that has a Mellotron flute and there is the stunning orchestral arrangement in the song “Village Green”. The album ends with “People Take Pictures of Each Other” a song that is upbeat and nostalgic.

Referred to as “The most successful flop of all time”, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society sold approximately 100,000 copies worldwide during its initial release. Compared to The Beatles White Album, which sold 3.3 million copies in the US alone within the first four days of its release, Village Green operated on a different axis at the time. Despite receiving good critical reviews, many felt that the music on Village Green Preservation Society was out of step with the times. It would later be embraced by an underground audience and gain a cult-like status. In 2018, it went gold in the UK. Both The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society and The Beatles White Album are often uttered in the same breath when discussing the time period that they were released. They both shed themselves of the psychedelic image popular during that time period and searched for something new. Whether that was through subversion of musical norms or through preserving a past innocence and looking forward.

Show 751 (Originally Aired On December 1st, 2018)(The White Album Vs. Village Green):

1. The Beatles - Long, Long, Long
2. The Beatles - Sour Milk Sea (Esher Demo)
3. The Beatles - (You're So Square) I Don't Care Studio Jam
4. The Beatles - Helter Skelter (Second Version - Take 17)
5. The Kinks - Last of the Steam Powered Trains
6. The Kinks - Creeping Jean
7. The Kinks - Misty Water (Mono Version)
8. Papa Ghostface - Rook
9. Papa Ghostface - Crawlspace Waltz
10. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Mr. & Mrs. Hush
11. Charles Bradley - Stay Away
12. Ty Segall & White Fence - Body Behaviour
13. Faux Co. - Prozac Spaceman
14. Jeff Tweedy - Some Birds
15. Volunteers - Mother Nature's Blues
16. Fever Feel - Lose your Mind
17. Urban Surf Kings - Run From The Bear
18. Shoobies - All My Profs Are On Strike
19. King Khan & The Shrines - Land of the Freak
20. Screamin' Deal - One Small Death
21. Daughters - The Flammable Man
22. Jon Spencer - Do the Trash Can
23. Snake River - Then She Wrote A Letter
24. The Sadies (w Jon Spencer) Justine Alright (Live)
25. King Tuff - Lazerbeam
26. Low - Rome (Always In The Dark)
27. Joy Division - Colony (BBC Session)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 1.

Show 750 (Originally Aired On November 24th, 2018)(Daughters, The Jesus Lizard & Mudhoney):

1. Pyramids - Pressure
2. Shoobies - Monkey Eat Sandwich
3. The Byrds - Stranger In A Strange Land
4. The Thin Cherries - Follow The Sun
5. Ty Segall - Isolation
6. Undertones - Luxury (Demo)
7. Autogramm - Jessica Don't Like Rock 'n Roll Anymore
8. Women - Heat Distraction
9. Daughters - Ocean Song
10. Josef K - Pictures of Cindy
11. FRIGS - Chest
12. Chandra - Get It Out Of Your System
13. The Jesus Lizard - Seasick
14. The Jesus Lizard - Naked Dancing Ladies
15. Flesh Rag - Ballad of Nova
16. The Soft Pack - Pull Out
17. The Routes - Vendetta
18. Brazilian Money - Jive With The Killer Instinct
19. Gary's House - Punch Party
20. Prefab Sprout - Faron Young
21. Yardlets - UnModern Man
22. The Burnin' Sands - Revenge of the Putrid Slime
23. The Pursuit of Happiness - Food
24. Destroyer - Plaza Trinidad
25. Outrageous Cherrry - Creeps Retreat
26. The Aints - The Church of Simultaneous Existence
27. Mudhoney - Nerve Attack
28. Mudhoney - Oh Yeah

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 24.

Show 749 (Repeat of episode 748. An episode focusing on Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks). Download this episode here and view the play list here.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Bob Dylan More Blood, More Tracks & Shows # 746, 747, 748


In 1974, Bob Dylan began work on what would become known as Blood On The Tracks. Around this time, Dylan returned to Columbia Records after releasing a few albums via Asylum records. People often say that this is Dylan’s “break up” album, since at the time his marriage was on the rocks and it would eventually lead to a divorce. At the same time the album revels in the visceral and draws on many narratives that deal with the intricacies of relationships. It has more of a personal edge than his work that preceded this. In his 2004 memoir Chronicles Volume 1, Dylan stated that the album was not about him, but was inspired by the short stories of Anton Chekov. After going through some painting classes with Norman Raeben in New York, Dylan found a new approach to his lyrics that came from his experiences painting. Prior to this Dylan’s lyrics often took on a surrealistic or political edge. While Dylan has always been an artist in flux, he has stated in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1978 that Blood On The Tracks was different and that “There's a code in the lyrics, and also there's no sense of time.”

In September 1974, Bob Dylan began recording Blood On The Tracks in New York. The sessions took place at A&R Recording Studios, where Dylan recorded all of his early acoustic albums. Coincidentally, the songs also take on more of a folk-music approach. Following a quick recording session, with some tracks featuring members of the band Deliverance, test pressings and artwork were printed and sent out. However, after going home for the holidays, Dylan’s brother David Zimmerman said that the songs were too stark and would not go over well with audiences. Following this, Bob Dylan assembled local musicians from Minneapolis and re-recorded five of the album’s tracks in December of 1974. The final album that was released in January 1975 is a combination of five tracks from the initial sessions in New York from September 1974 and the five tracks recorded in Minneapolis in December 1974. Many of the songs on Blood On The Tracks were also sped up by 2-3% percent to give the album a more pleasant sound.

“Tangled Up In Blue” opens the album. This song adheres to Dylan’s “No sense of time” comment mentioned earlier. The song jumps from different narratives from first person to third person and layers a complex tale that references a star crossed couple, their travels, and break up. The song also emphasizes the feeling of lost love, emotional ties that are hard to break, and hope. “Tangled Up In Blue” was referred to by Dylan in Rolling Stone in 1985 as being, "Like a painting where you can see the different parts, but then you also see the whole of it". In this case the paint is lyrics that illustrate this tale. Musically, the song does have a band arrangement, but also the acoustic guitar is quite prominent (as it is throughout Blood On the Tracks). The version found on 1975’s Blood On The Tracks was recorded in December of 1974 with local musicians from Minneapolis. Initially, the song featured just acoustic guitar and bass, was slower, and went back to a sound very similar to Dylan’s 60s acoustic recordings. As mentioned in reviews of the recently released Bootleg Series Volume 14: More Blood, More Tracks, you can even hear the sound of the buttons of Bob Dylan’s shirt hitting his acoustic guitar. There are also several other variations of this song and several others on the box set.

“Simple Twist of Fate” is the second track found on Blood On The Tracks. With just an acoustic guitar, an unobtrusive bassline and harmonica, musically “Simple Twist of Fate” takes on a more somber tone. Lyrically, the song is a poignant, emotionally charged affair. With words such as “He woke up, the room was bare/He didn't see her anywhere/He told himself he didn't care/Pushed the window open wide/Felt an emptiness inside/To which he just could not relate/Brought on by a simple twist of fate” and “I still believe she was my twin/But I lost the ring/She was born in spring/But I was born too late”, Bob Dylan takes to his lyricism in a poetic way that adds themes, mood, and a haunting atmosphere to what seems like a missed connection between two people. “You’re A Big Girl Now” comes in with Spanish styled acoustic guitar before Dylan’s vocals come into this song filled with a strong sense of melody, frustration and regret.

“Idiot Wind” is a song that clocks in over seven minutes and has a certain attitude that was featured in songs such as “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Positively 4th Street”. In this song Dylan rants “Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth/Blowing down the backroads headin’ south/Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth/You’re an idiot, babe/It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe”. In the choruses of this long track, listeners often draw comparisons to Dylan’s marriage at the time, but Dylan has often said that this is incorrect. Regardless of the interpretation, “Idiot Wind” is a venomous song with an undeniable anger, frustration and catharsis that radiates an energy with a seemingly personalized tone. Some love it, some hate it, but the song presents itself in an abrasive way that is like many of Dylan’s songs: many things at once. It has no filter.

“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When I Go” comes in with a musical energy that is reminiscent with songs found on 1969’s Nashville Skyline or even 1968’s John Wesley Harding. Lyrically, the song seems to bring forth images of heartbreak with razor sharp observations. With words such as “Dragon clouds so high above/I’ve only known careless love/It’s always hit me from below/This time around it’s more correct/Right on target, so direct” and “Situations have ended sad/Relationships have all been bad/Mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud/But there’s no way I can compare/All those scenes to this affair/Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go”, Dylan takes the listener to a pool of rich reflections of love, it falling apart, the changes, and lasting imprint that it can leave on a person. “Meet Me In The Morning” is more of a blues affair musically, while “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” is a folk-country song with prominent organ and lyrics that focus on a complex tale with a cast of characters. At almost nine minutes, this song tells a story like only Bob Dylan can. The story revolves around the three main characters in the song’s title, in an old western movie type setting. It is also loaded with literary references, symbolism, meaning, and open to multiple interpretations.

“Shelter From The Storm” comes in with a rustic sounding acoustic guitar and calming basslines. With this song, Bob Dylan once again layers a story complete with metaphors and symbolism that pull in different meanings from different people. However, like many of the songs on Blood On The Tracks, it deals with the concept of time, relationships, the way things once were, the present and the future all at once. Once again, it’s hard not to see possible autobiographical similarities in this song that are similar to occurrences in Dylan’s actual life that the time. In this song’s context there are also religious undertones that many people have also picked up on. With words such as “Not a word was spoke between us/There was little risk involved/Everything up to that point had been left unresolved/Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm” and “Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount/But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts/And the one-eyed undertaker/He blows a futile horn” and the repetitive line “Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”, the story of a weary traveler is told and his encounters with the harsh outside world. The character finds shelter from these outside occurrences, or storms, in the relationship that he discovers and loses. “Buckets of Rain” ends Blood On The Tracks. Featuring a downbeat acoustic guitar/arpeggio and soothing bassline, it evokes bittersweet emotions with a certain type of melancholy and an undeniable hopefulness.

Blood On The Tracks is an album where the songs take on a literate, complex narrative, but also shows a more personalized Bob Dylan, whether it is autobiographical or not, shedding his emotional turmoil and heartbreak. With the recently released Bootleg Series Volume 14: More Blood, More Tracks, we see glimpses into the creative process and a devotion to these songs that came at a time in Dylan’s career when people thought they had him figured out. The lyrics on this album are delivered in a raw, unapologetic, unnerving fashion. Dylan rearranges the concepts of time within the context of the songs on this album, challenging song conventions and his approach to lyrics that are different from what he had done before. As the listener makes their way through the album’s ten tracks, the pains of break ups, their aftermath and emotional baggage that come along with them, we see that these are tracks we all must cross at some point. But, sometimes certain feelings are not so easy to leave behind.

Show 748 (Originally Aired On November 10th, 2018)(Bob Dylan More Blood On The Tracks):

1. Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue (Take 2 Remake)
2. Bob Dylan - Simple Twist of Fate (Take 2)
3. Bob Dylan - You're A Big Girl Now (Take 1 Remake 2)
4. Bob Dylan - Idiot Wind (Take 6)
5. Bob Dylan - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When I Go (Take 4)
6. Volunteers - Dollar Bill
7. Volunteers - Don't Get Me Down
8. Snake River - Let us Be Something Seen
9. A.Savage - Buffalo Calf Road Woman
10. Urban Surf Kings - Groovy Haberdashery
11. Ketamines - 1 YR
12. Flesh Rag - In Another Dimension
13. Deerhunter - Death In Midsummer
14. Gregor - I'll Prove It To You
15. Catholic Girls - The Room
16. Cellos - Toronto
17. Secret V's - Empty
18. Calvin Johnson - Like You Do
19. Bob Dylan - Meet Me In The Morning (Take 1)
20. Bob Dylan - Lily Rosemary and the Jack Of Hearts (Take 2)
21. Bob Dylan - If You See Her Say Hello (Take 1)
22. Bob Dylan - Shelter From The Storm (Take 2)
23. Bob Dylan - Buckets of Rain (Take 2 Remake)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 10.

Show 747 (Originally Aired On November 3rd, 2018)(Repeat of Show # 740: South River Slim (Acoustic Session):

1. Archie & The Bunkers - Pacemaker
2. The Modern Lovers - Government Center
3. Reigning Sound - Call Me
4. Phono Pony - Monkey Paw
5. Billy Moon - Dingus
6. Broken Social Scene - ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)
7. The Sadies - Starling Auto
8. The Sadies - Tried Not To
9. South River Slim (w/Dale D'Amore) - Blind Lemon Girl (CJAM Acoustic Live Session)
10. South River Slim (w/Dale D'Amore) - Girl Trouble (CJAM Acoustic Live Session)
11. South River Slim - Bang Bang
12. Angelo Badalamenti - The Pink Room
13. Idles - Never Fight A Man With A Perm
14. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - dang
15. Jesus Lizard - Mouth Breather
16. Jesus Lizard - My Own Urine
17. Pissed Jeans - Bathroom Laughter
18. OFF! - Legion of Evil
19. Platinum Blonde - No Regrets
20. Nap Eyes - Judgement
21. R.E.M. - Wolves, Lower
22. Josef K - Drone
23. The Soft Pack - Parasites
24. Dead Ghosts - You Don't Belong
25. The 427's - Victory City
26. B-52's - Party Out Of Bounds
27. The Mummies - Just One More Dance
28. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street (Live in Copenhagen)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 3.

Show 746 (Originally Aired On October 27th, 2018)(Halloween Themed Episode):

1. The Ventures - The Bat
2. Swanks - Ghost Train
3. Condition - Ghost Train
4. Bauhaus - Stigmata Martyr
5. Sonic Youth - Death Valley 69
6. John Carpenter - The Shape Lurks
7. Goblin - Witch
8. Thom Yorke - Has Ended
9. Unicorns - Tuff Ghost
10. Archie & The Bunkers - 122 Hours of Fear
11. Swamp Rats - Psycho
12. Cord - Ghost Power
13. The Five Blobs - The Blob Theme
14. The Gories - Casting My Spell
15. Mark Sultan - Black Magic
16. Bloodshot Bill - Monsters In The Bayou
17. The Gruesomes - Dementia 13
18. King Khan & The Shrines - Darkness
19. The Courtneys - Lost Boys
20. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Halloween
21. The Misfits - Night of the Living Dead
22. The Cramps - The Creature From the Black Leather Lagoon
23. The Gooeys - Scary Black Cherry Nap
24. Psychic Void - Night Terrors
25. Dee Dee Ramone & I.C.L.C - I'm Making Monsters For My Friends
26. The Black Angels - Evil Things

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 27.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

CJAM FM 2018 Pledge Drive & Show # 745


CJAM FM has been broadcasting for 35 years on the FM dial in the Windsor/Detroit area. Being a non-profit radio station that serves the Windsor/Detroit communities, the station relies heavily on support from donations to continue operations. Once a year the station holds an annual pledge drive to raise money to continue broadcasting unique programming that is not mandated by mainstream or corporate interests. This year the station has an overall goal of raising $35,000, which is roughly 30% of their annual budget. Although provided with plenty of new/old music to choose from, programmers at CJAM FM are not told to play and programs/playlists are curated by programmers based on what they like. This creates something original in the programming, whether it is a variety program, Jazz program or something else like many of our ethno-cultural/spoken word programming.

CJAM is an art form when you consider a particular show or program that is being broadcast. Whether you are listening to 99.1 FM in the Windsor/Detroit area or online via cjam.ca. CJAM was one of the first campus/community radio stations to have streaming available to listeners online in 1996 and is looking into developing a new mobile app and upgrading the current website. Support this year will go towards those developments, along with station upgrades to help CJAM stay relevant and important in our current digital age. Even with all there is that you can find online via streaming, CJAM has its own voice for independent music and spoken word voices that wouldn’t be heard otherwise. CJAM provides the listener with something you won’t find anywhere else. A program like Revolution Rock would not exist anywhere else if it were not for a place like CJAM FM. If you listen to CJAM, regardless of how, consider making a donation to help the station continue to grow in the world of the broadcast arts that it provides on a daily basis.

If you would like to show your support for CJAM FM you can donate, here are the ways. We also offer incentives as a thank you for your support.

Any Amount – CJAM sticker
$10 – CJAM Enamel Pin
$10-20 – Music Prize Pack (CDs/vinyl/cassettes)
$25 – “Smashing All Preconceived Notions” a documentary on CJAM FM’s 35 year anniversary by Brittany Webster – Provided on an 8 GB flash drive
$50 – CJAM 2018 T-Shirt (Designed by Greg Maxwell)
$100 – CJAM Prize Pack (including 2017 t-shirt and gift certificates)

Individuals looking to donate can call in during Pledge Drive week at 519-971-3630 (Windsor) // 1-855-344-2526 (toll free from Detroit and around the world). Donations are also accepted via a secure online at grouprev.com/cjam35 or through my individual page for the pledge drive at grouprev.com/CJAM35-revrock.

2018 Pledge Drive Playlist:

1. Bloodshot Bill - I'm Telling You
2. Bloodshot Bill - That Lonesome Feeling
3. The Sadies - Mother of Earth
4. Volunteers - Dunce Kin
5. X - Adult Books (Demo)
6. Television - Venus
7. Wire - Stalemate (Demo)
8. Walter - House On Fire
9. Flesh Rag - Inside Your Mind
10. Cellos - Fly On The Wall (Alternate Take)(CJAM Session)
11. PJ Harvey - Man Size
12. X-Ray Spex - Let's Submerge
13. The Vaselines - Dying For It
14. Fucked Up - Come Down Wrong
15. Mission of Burma - Max Ernst
16. The Unicorns - Ghost Mountain
17. The Sonics - Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
18. Nap Eyes - Everytime The Feeling
19. Papa Ghostface - Samhain
20. The Gruesomes - Jack The Ripper
21. The Gruesomes - The Witch

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 21.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Volunteers I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver Interview & Shows # 743 & 744


In the spring of 2018, Volunteers, a band based in Vancouver released a new album entitled, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver. This debut album appeared mysteriously, by a band consisting of Dave McMartin (guitar), John McMartin (drums), Fraser With (guitar) and Brad Felotick on bass/vocals. They have had their song “Who Needs A Girl Like You” featured as the theme song to the CraveTV series, Letterkenny. In addition to providing the title theme to the show, they also have other songs in the various episodes of the show, along with other Vancouver bands. The album was recorded by Andrew Wilkinson, who also plays in the band Dead Ghosts. It was recorded in a barn on the outskirts of Vancouver where the two bands share a rehearsal space. This location is also the same place where Dead Ghosts recorded their 2015 release, Love and Death and All The Rest. As a result, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver has a laid back feel, but also never loses its 60s garage/rock spirit.

“Slough Road” starts off the album in a slow fashion. With just tom drums banging and ringing guitar chords, this opening instrumental track opens I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver in a swampy, nostalgic way as pedal steel guitar joins the mix. “Dollar Bill” follows with a 70s Rolling Stones feel as lyrics in the chorus “It comes creepin’ like a bad disease/Where did the money go/I don’t know” haunt the character in the song. “Pass My Time” is a jangly alt-country track, “Don’t Bring Me Down” brings up the tempo as it rides the grooves of the bass and drums. In the chorus the ramshackle 60s garage riffs blend with organ and the lyrics “Turn on the station/Where’s my television/Don’t bring me down”. This song shows a disillusioned character that is caught between an outside world and another world created by different forms media and what they have to say. The character tries to relate to the outside world while at the same time, not letting either place get them down. “I Don’t Mind” drops into a hazy groove, sounding like a slowed down version of a song by ? & The Mysterians. Surrounded by a circus-like organ and ringing guitars that verge on psychedelic, the vocals, bass and drums hold down the mesmerizing centre of this track. “Dunce Kin” follows in a short, but electrified rickety groove, as “Mother Nature’s Blues” follows with a 70s rock feel. Blending 70s exotic country rock grooves, maracas, and organ, the song questions the environmental factors that surround us all on a daily basis that are often ignored.

“Ten In The Sky” comes in with acoustic guitar, inspired by Neil Young’s 1974 album On The Beach. With its country-folk dynamics, the song paints a landscape with an atmosphere that seems to question the passage of time. “In The Van” drives with a woozy George Jones/Hank Williams feel, “Come On Through” thrashes along with a tight looseness through casual bass grooves, harmonica and cutting guitar riffs, “Jealous Kind” is an alt-country track that sketches out characters that leaves a lasting impression on the listener. Like some of the songs on the album, there are lyrics, but more musical atmosphere. With words such as “You have to admit/You don’t give her much time/That girl you got there/She’s the jealous kind”, the listener is left to wonder about the characters in this song, although mentioned briefly, and the true nature of their intentions. “Open Hearted Strangers” ends the album. Inspired by the story of a person that helped the band out on tour when their van broke down that went by the name Captain Kirk, the song features dusty acoustic guitar, dominant barroom styled piano, amongst country bass, guitar and drums. With lyrics such as “When you’re heading into town and your brakes are burning down/Trust the open hearted strangers on the road” and “At the end of the day/When you don’t know where you’ll stay/Trust the open hearted strangers on the road”, the song not only emphasizes the unexpected kindness of unknown strangers, but also the unpredictability of life in general.

With a title inspired by an ad-lib from a live recording by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver, blends a country/garage musicianship with lyrics that are strong with rich, folk-like imagery. The album is a bit mysterious, but is also a mature reflection on the past and present, while creating something new. The sound of Volunteers is organic, but pulls its roots from different musical backgrounds. I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver is homegrown, but never sounds dated. It leaves a lasting imprint on the listener that is hard to shake.

Check out the interview that I did with Dave McMartin of Volunteers here:



Show 744 (Originally Aired On October 13th, 2018)(Volunteers Interview):

1. Run Coyote - Night Rider
2. The Insufferables - FBI
3. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Unwanted Number
4. Colter Wall - Nothin'
5. Leonard Cohen - Travelling Light
6. New Riders of the Purple Sage - Lonesome LA Cowboy
7. The Rolling Stones - 100 Years Ago
8. Indian Wars - Took A Trip
9. Volunteers - I Don't Mind

VOLUNTEERS INTERVIEW

10. Volunteers - Come On Through
11. Bloodshot Bill - Never Wanna See That Face Again
12. Snake River - High/Low
13. Kurt Vile - Loading Zones
14. Black Belt Eagle Scout - Just Lie
15. School Damage - Isn't Easy
16. School Damage - I'm In Love With A Chump
17. Anybodys - RFK
18. Preoccupations - Espionage
19. Fucked Up - House of Keys
20. Carbolizer - ICE
21. Parquet Courts - Total Football

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 15.

On October 6th, 2018 a repeat of an episode featuring an interview with Colin Newman of Wire and the music of Wire. This program (episode 743) can be downloaded here and the playlist can be found here.