Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beat Happening Look Around & Show # 607

Named after the band’s 1987 single, Look Around is a 23-track anthology compiling music from the highly influential indie band Beat Happening. Forming in 1982, Beat Happening recorded and released five full-length albums, four EPs and several singles in that time period before they stopped performing in 1992. In addition to this, band member Calvin Johnson also co-founded the seminal independent music label, K Records. Based out of Olympia, Washington, Beat Happening and K Records spearheaded the indie/lo-fi music movements through both their primitive, simple, yet effective sound and K Records releases which shared a similar mindset.

Beat Happening are a three-piece band comprised of Calvin Johnson (vocals/guitar), Heather Lewis (vocals/guitar/drums) and Bret Lunsford (guitar/drums). There was no bass player in Beat Happening. While people often identify with Johnson’s low baritone vocal tone, his powerful presence and the songs that he sang, Heather Lewis provided not only vocals and guitar on songs that she wrote for the band, she would also play drums on several tracks. The band would often change instruments depending on the song. Her part in Beat Happening would also be influential on the riot grrrl music movement of the 1990s. The band’s primitive sound also featured a lyrical style, which has been described as childlike. Many of the songs display a certain kind of innocence, but in most cases also have darker undertones. They have also been described as being twee pop, which is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the UK in the mid 80s. Through the bands DIY aesthetic, there an element of complexity that creeps up on the listener.

Look Around features many pivotal songs in the band’s catalogue and a few other surprises, all of which were selected by the band for this release. “Indian Summer” is a slow and hazy track and perhaps Beat Happening’s best-known song. On this track, Johnson sings of having breakfast in a cemetery, young love, French toast, molasses, croquet and baked Alaska while the slow moving slightly out of time drum beat follows a mirage-like guitar riff. This song has been covered by numerous artists since its original release and still holds an interest with fans and listeners alike. Amongst the 23 songs on Look Around there are songs such as, “Other Side” a jangly pop song from the band’s 1989 album Black Candy sung by both Johnson and Lewis, along with “Cast A Shadow” which may be one of the band’s strongest songs. There are heavy, fuzzed out garage rock songs “Nancy Sin”, “Pine Box Derby” “Bewitched” which conjure up lyrical images of forbidden love, witchcraft and crushes. Apparently when recording “Bewitched” for1988’s Jamboree one of Bret Lunsford’s guitar strings got stuck on a screw that was sticking out of his guitar. He did not stop the song, but played it with an increasing intensity until it became unstuck.

In “Foggy Eyes” Heather Lewis sings “Keep your eyes shut and live your life/someone else will pay the price” tapping into a sense of the nostalgia and a sense of the unknowing, “In Between”, “Left Behind”, “Fortune Cookie Prize" and “Noise” are all songs sung by Lewis also featured in this set. “Godsend” another track sung by Lewis, is a captivating, almost nine and a half minute trance-like song. “Angel Gone” ends Look Around as its 23rd track. “Angel Gone”, is a slow, catchy jangly pop song featuring Johnson’s trademark low baritone voice combined with higher vocal harmonies by Heather Lewis. This song was released as a one off single in 2000 with the song "Zombie Limbo Time" as the B-side.

At the end of the set, I’m drawn back to the words and slightly out of time rhythms of the song that this anthology was named after, “Look Around”. In the lyrics, it at first listen seems to be a simple love song about a boy that loves a girl who loves another. However, when you pay close attention it is actually the story of a woman that the singer of the song knows is no good for them, but he doesn’t care. It ends with the line “If a black cats gonna cross my path/It might as well be you". This line adds further emphasis with a different type of lyrical tone. Much like the songs of Beat Happening, there are layers, with darker undercurrents that seep in amongst their simple and at times seemingly innocent songs. You don’t have to look very far to find what makes a band like Beat Happening still relevant today. And with rumoured reissues of the band’s five albums and 2003's rarity/B-sides album, Music To Climb The Apple Tree By on vinyl coming soon, this anthology is a good place start.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. The Cool Rays - Diary Of You
2. The Go-Team - Bikini Twilight
3. Beat Happening - Cast A Shadow
4. Beat Happening - Foggy Eyes
5. Burning Hell - Men Without Hats
6. Code Pie - Hands
7. Pity Sex - A Satisfactory World For Reasonable People
8. Andre Williams - I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City
9. Mike Watt & The Missingmen - Up To My Neck In This
10. The Minutemen - Afternoons
11. So Duh Pop! - The Rest You Know
12. Calvin Johnson - Love Will Come Back Again
13. James O-L & The Villains - Dumpsters
14. Shotgun Jimmie - Love Letter
15. Pow Wows - Killing Me
16. Indian Wars - Carol Anne
17. The Monkees - Gotta Give It Time
18. The Creations - Crash
19. The Mockers - Madalena
20. Burdocks - Room Temperature
21. Young Rival - Heard It All Before
22. The Halo Benders - Your Asterisk
23. The Hive Dwellers - Streets Of Olympia Town
24. Dub Narcotic Sound System - Industrial Breakdown
25. Walrus - Fur Skin Coat
26. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Wanted Man
27. Hooded Fang - Miscast
28. Beat Happening - Nancy Sin
29. Beat Happening - Angel Gone

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 11.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Complete Them & Shows # 605 & # 606

In December 2015, The Complete Them 1964-1967 was released via Legacy/Exile Productions. The set compiles all of the recordings made by Them, the band that featured a young Van Morrison. In the linear notes to this set, which were written by Van Morrison himself, he states that Them was “a way for me to sing and play the blues”. Them drew influence from early R&B and blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley Slim Harpo and Muddy Waters, among others. He took the raw blues sound and influence and it was applied to Them. Forming in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1964, Them began first became known for their live performances at the Maritime Hotel. The original group featured Van Morrison on vocals/harmonica, Billy Harrison (guitar), Alan Henderson (bass), Eric Wrixton (keyboards) and Ronnie Millings on drums. Them’s R&B and blues covers were executed in a musical style that would become known as garage rock. Them soon found their way to Decca Records and recorded their first session in July of 1964. They recorded songs such as “Don’t Start Crying Now”, “One Two Brown Eyes”, the popular live favourite “Turn On Your Love Light”, the future garage rock staple “Gloria” and a few others.

Soon after this recording session, the band line-up began to shuffle and Them featured numerous different session musicians on their recordings. It was also during this early point in Van Morrison’s career where he began working with producer/songwriter Bert Burns. One of his contributions to Them was the song “Here Comes The Night”, which was recorded along with a cover “Baby Please Don’t Go”. In this set’s linear notes, Morrison describes first hearing this song on an acoustic guitar. The version that was recorded features Van Morrison’s raw and soulful vocal delivery, and guitar performed by then session musician Jimmy Page. “Here Comes The Night” was Them’s third single. It reached number two on the UK singles charts and number 24 on the US singles charts when it was originally released in October of 1964. Them continued to record with varying lineups. They released several singles and two full-length albums, The Angry Young Them (1965) and Them Again (1966), all of which are included on The Complete Them 1964-1967.

Part of what makes this collection of recordings from other Them compilation releases, most notably The Story Of Them, is the fact that the mono recordings featured here are sourced from the original master tapes from Decca. In addition to this, the third disc featured in this collection features 24 songs made up of demos, alternate versions of session tracks and live recordings from BBC’s Saturday Club. Some of the alternate versions of songs featured here are drastically different. The slow build of “Turn On Your Love Light”, as mentioned earlier, a popular live favourite during the band’s live set in their early days. This version picks up to a rapid R&B rave-up pace, rivaling the previously released studio version. “Go On Home Baby (Take 4)” features more sprawling, aggressive guitar and vocals, while “I Gave My Love A Diamond (Take 8)” is drenched in tremolo guitar, staccato guitar parts and glassy sounding bass. There are numerous nuggets like this throughout this 69-song set. The name Them has often been described as being influenced by the 1954 science fiction film of the same name, but in the linear notes to this set, it is also revealed that it was partly influenced by an ad for another band in Melody Maker. Throughout this set, we can see Van Morrison develop and reveal a sound of raw, wide-eyed garage rock seeped in the blues, to a more soulful sound. It was at this point in 1967 that Van Morrison would branch off from Them and would then go onto a successful solo career.

Below are the playlists for the two most recent episodes of Revolution Rock (Download links are below each playlist):

Show # 606 (Originally Aired on June 4th, 2016):

1. Them - Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4)
2. Them - Turn On Your Love Light (Alternate Version)
3. Them - Richard Cory
4. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Frying Pan
5. The Standells - Rari
6. The Howlies - She’s In Control
7. The Velveteins - Beach Reprise
8. The North Carolina Music Love Army - Stick To The Plan
9. Papa Ghostface - Samhain
10. Border Patrol - This World
11. Jose Contreras - Psychic Radio
12. Art Bergmann - A Town Called Mean
13. Art Bergmann - In Betweens
14. Daniel Romano - I Had To Hide Your Poem In A Song
15. White Fang - Chunks
16. Monomyth - Transmission
17. The Ronald Reagan Story - Ronnie (I Voted For You)
18. The Minstrels Of Truth - I Want Your Business
19. Generation X - Kiss Me Deadly
20. The Police - No Time This Time
21. Gang Of Four - Call Me Up
22. Dee Dee Ramone & The Chinese Dragons - What About Me?
23. The Vores - Stress
24. The Bureaucrats - Grown Up Age
25. Idols - You
26. Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
27. Old Code - Crooked Smile
28. The Mark Inside - Where You Are
29. The Mark Inside - Shark Attack (I Can See Them Circling)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 4.

Show # 605 (Originally Aired on May 28th, 2016):

1. Fire Engines - Discord
2. Walrus - Fur Skin Coat
3. The Burning Hell - Nostalgia
4. Simply Saucer - Dance The Mutation
5. White Lung - Dead Weight
6. Supermoon - Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves
7. Frankie Cosmos - Sinclair
8. Car Seat Headrest - Fill In The Blank
9. Adriean Teacher And The Subs - Terminal City
10. Outrageous Cherry - Sign Of The Times
11. Shotgun Jimmie - Province To Province
12. John Lennon - Crippled Inside
13. Bob Dylan - As I Went Out One Morning
14. Bob Dylan - Melancholy Mood
15. Bob Dylan - That Old Black Magic
16. The Velvet Underground - Coney Island Steeplechase
17. The Modern Lovers - She’s Cracked
18. By Divine Right - Que Paso?
19. Radiohead - Identikit
20. John Cale - Barracuda
21. Leonard Cohen - Tonight Will Be Fine
22. Dead Ghosts - That Old Feeling
23. Them - Mystic Eyes
24. Them - Gloria (Demo)
25. Them - Here Comes The Night (Take 2)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for May 28.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Misfits, Gruesomes Reunions and Shows # 602, 603 & 604

Misfits to Reunite for Riot Fest 2016

After years of legal battles, a surprise announcement was made that the Misfits would be reuniting for two live shows as part of Riot Fest 2016. Billed as “The Original Misfits”, the reunion will include Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle. Glenn Danzig formed Misfits originally in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey with a different line-up. When bassist Jerry Only joined the band shortly after, he and Danzig would be the only consistent members in the line-up until they split in 1983. Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, the brother of Jerry Only joined the Misfits in 1980. Misfits released several EPs, singles and the full-length albums, Walk Among Us in 1982 and Earth A.D./Wolf’s Blood in 1983 during their original incarnation. Following the split, Only continued with Misfits and Danzig went onto a solo career. The tagline for the reunion shows is “They Said It Would Never Happen”, but the Misfits will be playing again. The reunion shows will take place in Denver, Colorado September 2-4, 2016 and in Chicago September 16-18, 2016. No word on whether future dates will be added.

The Gruesomes Reunite for Anachronik Music Festival

Another reunion of sorts took place in May 2016. Montreal garage band The Gruesomes played a few live shows. Named after the scary neighbours from The Flintstones cartoon, the band formed in 1985 drawing heavily on early 60s garage and R&B influences. The band featured Bobby Beaton (guitar/vocals), Gerry Alvarez (guitar/vocals), John Davis (bass) and brother Eric Davis on drums originally. The band’s first full-length album Tyrants Of Teen Trash was originally released on independent Canadian music label Og Music in 1986. This resulted in a growth in popularity and led to an underground following in Europe, the US and Canada. The band split in 1980. They reformed in 1999, releasing Cave-In! in 2000 and have performed live shows sporadically. They played in 2008 to coincide with the CD release of Tyrants of Teen Trash via the Ricochet Sound label and again in 2009 as part of another music festival in Montreal. On May 6th, 2016, The Gruesomes performed as part of the Montreal Anachronik Music Festival. They also played a smaller show in Ottawa on May 7th.

Below are the playlists for the three most recent episodes of Revolution Rock (Download links are below each playlist):

Playlist for Show # 604 (Originally aired on May 21st, 2016):

1. Deja Voodoo - Swamp Of Love
2. Kid Congo And The Pink Monkeybirds - Magic Machine
3. Teen Challengers - Doin’ Me-In
4. King James & The Royal Jesters - I Get A Feeling
5. The Bell Peppers - Negative Creep
6. Thee Mighty Caesars - Thee Trickster
7. Traditional Fools - Stronger Than Dirt
8. Frenchy And The Punk - Fe Fi Fo Fum
9. Vic Godard & The Subway Sect - Vertical Integration
10. Tom Waits - Talking At The Same Time
11. Stompin' Tom Connors - My Stopmpin' Grounds
12. MIck Farren & The New Wave - Lost Johnny
13. Art Bergmann - Live It Up
14. Alex Chilton - Sugar, Sugar/I Got The Feelin'
15. The Smiths - Is It Really So Strange
16. The Stranglers - Hey! (Rise Of The Robots)
17. Parks At Night - I Don’t Mind
18. Hooded Fang - Vacant Light
19. Kitten Forever - Static
20. Actual Water - Carolina Ave.
21. Terminal Sunglasses - The A.M. Story
22. Young Rival - Lucky
23. Pow Wows - Do The Splash
24. Holy Wave - Magic Landing
25. Holy Wave - Western Playland
26. Crushed Butler - Its My Life
27. The Replacements - Basement Jam
28. The New Strychnines - Dirty Robber
29. The Kinks - Milk Cow Blues

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

Playlist For Show # 603 (Originally aired on May 14th, 2016):

1. Damaged Bug - Gloves For Garbage
2. The Lonely Parade - Window
3. Misfits - Cough/Cool
4. Devo - Don’t You Know
5. Nervebreakers - Why Am I So Flipped?
6. Nervous Talk - Nothing To Say
7. Greys - No Star
8. The Black Angels - Young Dead Man
9. Johnny Bell - Flip Flop And Fly
10. Ding Dongs - She’s A Tiger
11. South River Slim - Bang Bang
12. The Pogues - Waxie’s Dangle
13. Shotgun Jimmie - Join The Band
14. Cold Warps - Everywhere I Go
15. Sloan - I’m Gonna Give It A Try
16. Alexander Zen - She Is Soul
17. Bipolaroid - Beauty
18. Jack Wood - So Sad
19. Motor City Bonnevilles - Make Up Your Mind
21. The Sonics - Don’t You Just Know It
22. The Stones - Fad World
23. The Gruesomes - Tell Me How You Feel (Live)
24. The Gruesomes - My Dad's A Ho-Dad (Live)
25. The Special Edisons - The Road To El Dorito
26. The Lime Spiders - Out Of Control
27. The Rolling Stones - Prodigal Son
28. Iggy Pop - Vulture
29. The Famines - I’ll Save My Sympathy
30. The Velvet Underground - Beginning To See The Light (Live)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for May 14.

Playlist For Show # 602 (Originally aired on May 7th, 2016):

1. The King Khan & BBQ Show - Hold Me Tight
2. Light Bulb Alley - I Only Got Two Feet
3. Sheer Mag - Can't Stop Fighting
4. Downtown Boys - Wave Of History
5. White Lung - Kiss Me When I Bleed
6. Radiohead - Burn The Witch
7. Hooded Fang - Tunnel Vision
8. Wire - Numbered
9. The Soft Pack - Answer To Yourself
10. Laura Sauvage - Rubberskin
11. Plants And Animals - Stay
12. Johnny Cash - Blue Train
13. Sturgill Simpson - In Bloom
14. The Sadies - Postcards
15. The Decoys - In Our Blood
16. Teenanger - You’re My Baby
17. David Bowie & The Lower Third - Can't Stop Thinking About Me
18. David Bowie - Liza Jane
19. Beat Happening - Bewitched
20. Lost Patrol - You Just Care About Looks
21. White Zombie - Gentleman Junkie
22. PJ Harvey - Chain Of Keys
23. The Traditional Fools - Surfin’ With The Phantom
24. The Traditional Fools - Black Water
25. Ty Segall - Lovely One
26. Neil Young - Opera Star
27. Modern Lovers - Astral Plane

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for May 7.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Flying Nun Tuatara & Show # 601

A Tuatara is a reptile that is exclusive to parts of New Zealand. This particular reptile is one of a kind and is the only surviving member of its species that became extinct over 200 million years ago. This particular reptile was also chosen as the name of the very first compilation released by the New Zealand independent record label Flying Nun Records. The label was founded and started by Roger Shepherd in 1981. It was started primarily to document the music of the local scene in New Zealand in places such as Christchurch, but quickly spread outward to cover other parts of New Zealand. The music of Flying Nun covered their punk and post-music scenes and also the Dunedin sound. This was a particular style of music that was strongly influenced by the jangly pop sounds of The Velvet Underground, lo-fi experimentation, industrial, elements of noise rock and rock/electronic sounds.

Tuatara starts off with an instrumental track by The Clean called “Fish”. This song swims with groove, from the jangly guitar sounds to the loud crashing drums and driving bass. The second track on this compilation is “Coalminers Song” by The Gordons, which verges into noise rock territory. Other tracks of note on this compilation are the jangly pop/post-punk sounds of The Verlaines “Death And The Maiden” a song that was inspired by a 19th century French poet and a painting of the same name by Egon Schiele, the haunting melancholy of “Pink Frost” by The Chills which features 80s indie rock and post-punk sounds and the Sneaky Feelings “Throwing Stones”. This track along with quite a few others share similarities in the above mentioned Dunedin sound, but at the same time sounds different from say The Clean or The Verlaines. The Great Unwashed is a band that was formed by The Kilgour brothers of The Clean. Their name is a punny reference to their earlier band, The Clean. “Neck Of The Woods” from The Singles EP is featured on this compilation album.

In addition to these above mentioned tracks Tuatara compiled tracks from other New Zealand bands such as The Bats and Tall Dwafs, which was a band featuring Chris Knox. Knox is a New Zealand musician, songwriter and producer. It is fitting that the last track on this album is by Tall Dwarfs. Although the song shares its name with a 1962 sci-fi horror movie, it was Knox, who used his 4-track recorder to record most of the early Flying Nun singles. He also provided artwork for the label. Since this release hit the US in 1986, Flying Nun has become more diverse and has expanded. Flying Nun has housed artists such as The D4, The Mint Chicks, Pavement, David Kilgour, Street Chat, Tiny Ruins and numerous others since their beginnings in 1981. Most recently in 2013, they joined forces with US label Captured Tracks and re-issued several classic Flying Nun albums. At first thought many people may have thought that the music from Flying Nun was like the lizard that is featured on the front cover of the Tuatara compilation. But, there wasn’t a lizard on the front cover. It was a different species, a different kind of reptile. Flying Nun set out to do something different and like the stoic reptile that is on the cover of the Tuatara compilation album, Flying Nun has survived and still walks proud today

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. Sneaky Feelings - Throwing Stones
2. The Great Unwashed - Neck Of The Woods
3. The Dandy Warhols - The Catcher In The Rye
4. The Last Shadow Puppets - Aviation
5. The Soles - Newest Revelation
6. Dead Broke - Miles Away
7. Electric Eels - Agitated
8. No Exit - Nothing New
9. Mo-Dettes - Norman (He’s No Rebel)
10. Sloan - Learn To Play Dead (One Chord To Another Outtake)
11. Marbles - Red Lights
12. Chris Stamey - The Summer Sun
13. Erasers - It Was So Funny (The Song They Sung)
14. Alice Cooper - Caught In A Dream
15. The Tonettes - I Gotta Know
16. The Commands - Must Be Alright
17. Deja Voodoo - Things With You
18. Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra - Color TV
19. The Locusts Have No King - Rye Whiskey (CJAM Session 2008)
20. James O-L & The Villains - The Other Side
21. The 427’s - Night Of The Living Surf
22. Kid Congo & The Pink Monkeybirds - Coyote Conundrum
23. John Doe & The Sadies - Detroit City
24. Trout - Spineless
25. TV Freaks - Don’t Read The News
26. The Famines - The State Of Music
27. The D4 - Exit To The City
28. The Vibrators - Petrol
29. The Adverts - One Chord Wonders
30. Parquet Courts - Two Dead Cops

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 30. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ork Records New York, New York & Show # 600

Ork Records was originally started in 1975 to release Television’s first single “Little Johnny Jewel”. The song, said to be about Iggy Pop was a longer track and had to be split into two parts to fit onto a 45 single. This rough early version of Television before they would release their cleaner and wonderfully crafted Marquee Moon is an example of what you would find on Ork Records. Ork documented a scene with sounds that at the time were not defined and featured bands that you may not have even heard of. It documented the early New York new wave and punk scene.

Terry Ork, which the label would be named after, first arrived in New York in the 1960s and became, according to the Numero Group’s website “fugitive of Andy Warhol’s Factory”. He didn’t make a connection with the New York underground CBGB’s scene until he started working as a manager at Cinemabilla, a bookstore with a film literature slant. Here he met Richard Hell and Richard Lloyd and would eventually become the manager of Television. Charles Ball would also help guide the label and help to acquire the likes of Alex Chilton, who would release several singles for Ork. The label also captured music from other bands such as The Feelies, Cheetah Chrome, Lester Bangs and lesser-known bands such as Marbles, Chris Stamey and the dBs, The Idols and numerous others. Ork Records would stop in 1980, but not before they released a collection of bands that documented the New York CBGB’s scene, an alternative to the music released by Ramones, Television and Blondie.

Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley of The Numero Group set about collecting all the known releases by Ork Records and would eventually release Ork Records: New York, New York. This is the complete discography of all the singles/music released by Ork Records and features a 190-page book in addition to several songs that were intended to be released by Ork, but never were due to financial constraints. The set was released in a variety of formats in October 2015. In the lyrics to Television’s “Little Johnny Jewel” Tom Verlaine sings “He’s just trying to tell a vision/Some Thought this was sad/Others thought it mad”. This can be applied to the Ork Records philosophy. Said to be the first punk label, Ork never really made a lot of money, but was a very influential label. They set out showing a different side of music in 1975. Whether the music was rough sounding, or in the realm of punk, new wave or power pop, the label and the music had something different to say. The songs were energetic, sometimes on the more literate side and sometimes strange, but this is what drew people to the music of Ork and that time period. And for many people, it still does.

Numero Group Website: Ork Records: New York, New York

Playlist For Episode 600:

1. The Coathangers - Perfume
2. Art Bergmann - Mirage
3. Babeours - Shoelace
4. Sightlines - Idea Of The North
5. Ramones - I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement
6. Pow Wows - No Thirteen
7. The Gruesomes - Hey!
8. The Gories - Telepathic
9. The Painted Ship - And She Said Yes
10. This Machine Kills Robots - Sea Fairies
11. Cellos - Sea Legs
12. Mike & The Melvins - Annalisa
13. Prince - Partyman
14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Take Me With U
15. Patti Smith - When Doves Cry
16. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Alphabet Street
17. Richard Hell - (I Belong To The) Blank Generation
18. The Feelies - Fa Ce La
19. Alex Chilton - Take Me Home
20. Minutemen - Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
21. Minutemen - One Chapter In The Book
22. Teenanger - Dawn (Demo)
23. The Scenics - I Killed Marx
24. Magazine - Touch And Go
25. Buzzcocks - What Do I Get (Demo)
26. Siouxsie And The Banshees - Hong Kong Garden
27. Johnny Thunders - Endless Party
28. The Waldos - Golden Days

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 23. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Parquet Courts Human Performance & Show # 599

There’s a certain feeling one gets when late at night you look out into the city. In these late night hours people often have a mixture of emotions, deep thought and abstract thought. It is these things that people think about as their minds drift that Parquet Courts draws inspiration from for their newest album, Human Performance. The band has stated that Human Performance was inspired by “The unavoidable noise of NYC that can be maddening, the kind of the impossible struggle against clutter, whether it’s physical or mental or social”. With musical comparisons to bands such as The Velvet Underground, Pavement, The Modern Lovers and Wire, Parquet Courts have built their own blend of music that combines punk, post-punk, garage and sometimes-psychedelic influences. Lyrically, the band operates at a different level.

“Dust” opens the album with the sounds of an early city morning before a sinewy, scratchy rhythm drifts in with repetitive lyrics. The lyrics and cloudy atmosphere displayed here are combined with the words “Dust is everywhere/Sweep”, which could be in reference to an old city stuck in its own mess or a train of human thought that needs investigating. This is something that Parquet Courts delve into throughout Human Performance’s 13 tracks. “Dust” ends with what sounds like a subway train speeding up really fast before we hear the familiar sounds of busy city traffic. “Human Performance” grooves with mellow, modulating bass melodies, scratchy guitar rhythms and lyrics that are soulful and reflect on the promise of love, forgiveness, and how haunting it can be without it. These heavy lyrics show us a different type of Parquet Courts, where they are often known for their intellectual, witty lyrics, “Human Performance” has lyrics that are emotionally critical. “Outside” sung by Andrew Savage deals with his existence and mortality. This short track is further example of the band’s variety in lyrical content, while musically the song is a quick garage pop gem. It glows with a beaming, yet confused charm.

“Paraphrased” balances between heavy guitar chord structures and more mellow subdued, catchy elements. In this song Savage sings at one point “Sometimes I can’t be repeated/Sometimes I can’t be paraphrased”, he seems to be commenting on the band’s output as of late and perhaps even their craft for their music. Parquet Courts released an EP last year Monastic Living, and two albums in 2014 Sunbathing Animal and Content Nausea, under the name Parkay Quarts. With all of these releases, critics have tried to pin down the band’s sound as punk, indie rock or as the band being slackers, however, with each release the band has revealed something different. “Captive Of The Sun” reveals a more introspective outlook, as musically it reflects the bands garage influence at a simmering, mid-tempo pace. “Steady On My Mind” sung by Austin Brown showcases a slow, hazy, sound, “One Man, One City” features an off-kilter approach with bongos, while “Berlin Got Blurry” features a dusty, western styled guitar riff.

Released as one of the early singles for Human Performance, “Berlin Got Blurry” shows off the bands post-punk influences and scruffy garage dynamics with bouncy, soulful bass riffs. The song itself seems to tell disillusioned tales of human experiences ranging from frustrations with cell phone service to street food. The song taps into a feeling of humour and disgust. “Keep It Even” brings forth a country/folk approach and features guitar contribution from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, as does the albums opening track “Dust”. A short punk blast comes in with the track “Two Dead Cops”, while “Pathos Prairie” is a song that questions self-doubt, worry and calls for a personal change amongst its raunchy stop and start garage riffs. “It’s Gonna Happen” ends Human Performance unlike any song in the band’s catalogue. Written by bassist Sean Yeaton, this song features a waltz-like beat as sweeping sounds drift in the background. This sound takes over as the album ends with a chilling nighttime air feeling. Drawing comparisons to Lou Reed and sung in a Leonard Cohen drawl, Yeaton seems to question conventions in Human Performance’s closing track.

Throughout Human Performance, Parquet Courts draw their lyrical inspirations from urban decay, human emotion and critical thoughts of self-doubt. It is here where the band achieves what people love about them the most. Their highly critical and intellectual lyrics are on par with bands such as Wire, Swells Maps, Pere Ubu, The Modern Lovers, and The Fall, among others. The music found on Human Performance also makes connections to the songs and sounds found on 2013’s Light Up Gold. It is also the complete opposite of 2015’s Monastic Living. This noisy/experimental release featured only one song with lyrics. As Parquet Courts gaze away from their thoughts that reflect a look out in New York City, they make broader strokes, finding a larger scope within their lyrical and musical grasp. With Human Performance, Parquet Courts achieve their most realized effort to date.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. The Panasonics - Panpede
2. Crossfires - Fiberglass Jungle
3. Violent Femmes - Holy Ghost
4. Shotgun Jimmie - Triple Letter Score
5. Notta Comet - Slipstream
6. John Cale & Friends - Ghost Story (Live at the Ocean Club 1976)
7. Prehistoric Cavestrokers - Cavebangin’
8. The Real Kids - Shake Outta Control
9. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Born 2 Be Abused
10. Strange Attractor - Nature Man
11. Esther Grey - Fried Blood
12. Protomartyr - Dope Cloud
13. Ramones - Ramona
14. Frank Black - I Heard Ramona Sing
15. Metros - In With The Crowd
16. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - This Year’s Girl (Alternate Eden Studios Version)
17. Tacocat - I Hate The Weekend
18. Pylon - Gravity
19. Pylon - Yo-Yo
20. B-Sides - Underground Radio Stars
21. Lounge Lizards - My Clown’s On Fire
22. Operators - Rome
23. The Radiation Flowers - Wall Of Gold
24. Bob Mould - Pray For Rain
25. DIIV - Out Of Mind
26. Young Rival - Let Me Go On
27. Parquet Courts - Paraphrased
28. Parquet Courts - Human Performance

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 16. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Iggy Pop Post-Pop Depression & Show # 598

Recorded in secret, Iggy Pop’s Post-Pop Depression started with a text message in March of 2014. Iggy contacted Josh Homme about collaborating together and shortly after the process began. The intention was to create not a heavy record, but a content heavy record. It was to be self funded by both Pop and Homme to avoid outside influences. The two exchanged ideas and Pop even provided Homme with a song-by-song breakdown of his 1977 album Lust For Life. The two brought unfinished ideas to each other and they began working as a two-piece then the remainder of the band was brought in. Hand selected by Josh Homme, Royal Oak, Michigan native Dean Fertita (of The Dead Weather, Queens Of The Stone Age) was brought in and contributed guitar, piano, bass and synthesizer to the album and English drummer Matt Helders (of Arctic Monkeys) contributed drums, percussion and backing vocals.

Post-Pop Depression was recorded in approximately three weeks. The recordings were produced by Josh Homme in Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California and at Pink Duck studios in Burbank, California. “Break Into Your Heart” starts off the album. This dirty garage blues romp was apparently inspired by the path that Iggy Pop set beginning with The Stooges up to 1977’s Lust For Life and can be seen musically as having ties to early Stooges material and some of his more soulful solo offerings. “Gardenia” is a song features rotating synthesizers and a heavy bassline that sounds like it could be a combination of elements from songs found on 1977’s The Idiot and Lust For Life. It sounds like a meeting point of the two, while lyrically the song revolves around an experience that Iggy Pop had in San Francisco that involved an exotic dancer of the same name and Allan Ginsberg. Being the first single released from Post-Pop Depression, “Gardenia” is a perfect example of this album’s content heavy intentions. The lyrics of the song weave in and out of the music like someone reciting a short story from memory after a few drinks. “American Valhalla” begins with xylophone before a sludgy bassline creeps its way in, as lyrically Pop seems to be questioning his own mortality and legacy. This song has quickly skyrocketed up the list of their favourite all time tracks recorded by Iggy Pop.

“In The Lobby” shuffles with the same visceral guitar lines as the ones found on “Sister Midnight” while the bass and drums fill in the background space. Lyrically, Pop talks of “Following his shadow/And It led me here” as he questions temptations, and what seems to be a battle between Iggy Pop and Jim Osterburg. “Sunday” comes in with a Bowian disco groove. The song ends in an orchestral chorus complete with female vocalists and an atmosphere like it could have been lifted from a black and white foreign language film. “Vulture” features acoustic guitar from Mr. Pop and a build up of Western styled instrumentation reminiscent of something from an Enino Morricone soundtrack. ‘German Days” features one of the best intros on this album. A combination of stop and start guitar riffs before descending into hazier rhythms. The song itself seems to be a reflection of a mid 70s period in Berlin as the song drives along with rich, dark textures.

“Chocolate Drops” dips into a soulful groove. Lyrically, the song displays a sense of hopefulness. The character in the story delves into loneliness and passion with a certain intensity. “Paraguay” ends Post-Pop Depression at track number nine. Pop sings of getting away from it all and going to Paraguay for a simpler lifestyle. The song has been discussed in many reviews as it weighs down at the end of the album in a number of ways. Pop has recently stated that this may very well be his last album. And at 17 albums in and being now 68 years old that is understandable. As the music picks up pace with the ending rant, Post Pop-Depression ends with a middle finger, similarly to the way he started with The Stooges. Post-Pop Depression weaves in and out with lyrical content loaded with metaphors, double meanings and musical landscapes that drift between 1877’s The Idiot, Lust For Life and his early solo output. Post-Pop Depression was recorded in the desert in Joshua Tree, California. Perhaps Pop has entered the very same “burning sands” once described in The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” or maybe it’s just a mirage. With Post-Pop Depression, Iggy Pop engages the listener and redefines what it means to be a musician and an artist on his own terms.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. The Teardrops - Seeing Double
2. The Regulators - Cat Eyes
3. Minutemen - Dr. Wu
4. Minutemen - Corona
5. Trout - Burning Fire, The House
6. Kim Gray - Perfume Ghost
7. Iggy Pop - American Valhalla
8. Iggy Pop - Don't Look Down
9. Iggy Pop - Tonight
10. Iggy Pop - Sister Midnight
11. Psychedelic Furs - Flowers
12. Julie Doiron - Soon, Coming Closer
13. Julie Doiron - Taller Beauty
14. Merle Haggard - Someone Told My Story
15. Merle Haggard - No Reason To Quit
16. The Magnificent Bastards - She Won't Do It Anymore
17. Johnny West - Sun Comes Up, It's A One-Legged Segal
18. Johnny West - If At First You Don't Suceed, Redefine Success
19. Benowa - Blue Girl
20. Black Mountain - Florian Saucer Attack
21. Parquet Courts - Berlin Got Blurry
22. Iggy Pop - German Days
23. Iggy Pop - The Horse Song
24. Iggy Pop - Ambition
25. Iggy Pop - Kill City
26. Dead Ghosts - Good Love (Is Not Free)
27. Link Wray - Comanche
28. Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band - Here I Am Here I Always Am
29. David Bowie - Breaking Glass (Live)
30. Eric's Trip - Lightly Feeling
31. Eric's Trip - Nevergrow

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 9. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.