Saturday, September 06, 2014

James O-L & The Villains On The Banks Of The Detroit River & Show # 525


On August 28th 2014, James O-L & The Villains released their new album On The Banks Of The Detroit River. Prior to meeting up with James O-L to discuss the album, I pass the Detroit River. It is unseasonably cold this day and the water in the river is a strange blue-green colour. The night before there was a large thunderstorm, the weather seems to be warming up the closer I get to my interview location. We first start talking about recording, James O-L is a man of many hats, he has recorded and produced every album he has released with the Villains himself. He is also a musician and songwriter, but today James is not wearing any hats. On The Banks Of The Detroit River was recorded in Kingsville, with Brett Humber at Sound Foundry Studios and overall the album has “More of a bigger sound” and “In general the songs have gotten more aggressive”, as James tells me. Lyrically, this album pulls inspirations from its surroundings. Songs on the album seem to evoke a certain tone, one that comes with living in Essex County. Musically the album draws from the folk/country dynamic that James O-L & The Villains have displayed in the past, but it also mixes with the aggressive, punk/90s rock edge that has developed within the band’s dynamic recently.

The album starts off with “The System”. It begins slow and is melodically folk-like before launching into furies of feedback. These two dynamics battle each other much like a vicious summer storm that follows a period of intense heat. This also applies to not only the song’s lyrical subject matter, but to the album’s overall dynamics. “Manquest” follows next, this song was as James tells me inspired “By a road trip with Caleb (The Villains drummer) to Owen Sound”. It is also the album’s first single. Musically the song features mostly clean guitar, melodic basslines and steady drumming with a Jazz-like beat. The song builds into a slow burn as it picks up with guitar solos before fading out. “Late Night Drive” follows next bringing down the pace with its folk elements, mixed with electric guitar and strong vocal harmonies provided by the band in addition to Kaitlyn Kelly. The song which has been a staple of the band’s live set for a few years now, moves along like a slow drive through back roads of Essex County. At the album release show for James O-L’s solo album last year at the Capitol Theatre near the end of The Villains set a few friends shouted out “Kill The Devil” from the back of the theatre. Only a select few people in their vicinity heard this request. I asked one of the Villains guitarists, Boh, after the show about this and he told me “It’s a new surf song we wrote”. While I did not hear the song that night, this instrumental surf song does not seem out of place on this album. The song along with the Jazz-like instrumental “Kissed At The Loop” adds a smooth dichotomy to songs found on this release.

“Arts Degree” is a song that James tells me “Hits something really unique. I think it just sounds like us. A lot of people have responded it to it. “ With lyrics such as “Born for a love with the strange and the absurd/Dreamt of the colours behind this translucent world/But they’ll rob you blind” this song seems to be convey finding a voice and artistic freedom in today’s “Post modern age”. The words also help to make this one of the strongest moments on the album. “Collective Ignorance” features guest appearances from Jim Meloche (Orphan Choir/Worry) and Kelly Hoppe (Big Sugar), they blend in amongst the bands aggressive folk sound seamlessly.

Other strong points include the weary beat of “Till The Morning Light”, which echoes elements of Neil Young’s 1972 album Harvest and the album’s ending track. “The Old And The New” ends the album in a symbolic way for the band. The song intensifies with a maelstrom of guitar, bass, and drums before it nears its end and fades out. James tells me of the album’s inspiration during our interview “I was living in a house on the Detroit River… it was like 3/5ths of the band living together and jamming and stuff at that house on the water and I think that had some influence. So we named the album kind of after that time.” He also mentions midway through the interview: “I think this album might eventually be like kind of a transition album in some ways. It seems more aggressive than anything we’ve done before, but I think we’re going to go even more in that direction. “ The songs that make up this album portray the subtleties of a band mixing elements of folk, country and the heavy rains of aggressive feedback. With On The Banks Of The Detroit River, James O-L & The Villains find their voice during the in-between moments of the album, not unlike the album’s cover image which looks outward from Windsor revealing the water between Windsor/Detroit or after a summer storm.

Another version of this article first appeared in The Windsor Independent.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. James O-L & The Villains - Collective Ignorance (CJAM Session)
2. James O-L & The Villains - Manquest (CJAM Session)
3. James O-L & The Villains - Arts Degree (CJAM Session)
4. James Bond & The Agents - Wild Angel
5. Flesh Rag - Bug Man
6. Shonen Knife - Dance To The Rock
7. Elephant Stone - All Is Burning
8. The Vindicators - Hate
9. Double Naught Spys - One More Beer
10. James O-L & The Villains - Kill The Devil (CJAM Session)
11. James O-L & The Villains - One Horse Town (CJAM Session)
12. Pokey LaFarge - Central Time
13. The Gories - Train Kept A Rollin’
14. The Rolling Stones - Do You Think I Really Care
15. Sloan - So Far So Good
16. The Exploding Hearts - Sleeping Aides & Razorblades
17. The Adverts - No Time To Be 21
18. The Mongrols - Plastic Girl
19. The Junior Raymen - The Rat Fink
20. Guitar Army - I Wanna Be Like You
21. Ty Segall - Tall Man, Skinny Lady
22. Jaill - On The Beat
23. Lowlife - Thinking Naturally
24. The Sinners - No Brains Required
25. Apache Dropout - Constant Plaything
26. The Subs - Gimme Your Heart
27. X - Soul Kitchen
28. The Boys - You Make Me Shake
29. The Marching Girls - First In Line
30. The Clash - Garageland

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for  September 6. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Invasions No Darkness EP Interview & Show # 524


Toronto’s Invasions have been making music for quite sometime, they have put out a few releases and originally had their beginnings as a garage band. Through several line-up changes and experience, the band’s sound evolved. We saw that in full form on the band’s 2013 self-titled release Invasions, where the band’s sound added watery textures that are at times synonymous with surf rock. They blended that with pop elements that some people might call indie rock, maybe even psychedelic to a degree, but their garage beginnings still lurked in the background. In addition to all this the band began using horn sections in a style that has been described as similar to spaghetti western soundtracks. In 2014, Invasions released an EP entitled No Darkness. The EP’s artwork looks like something that has been put together from a collection of B-horror movie posters. The sounds on No Darkness seem to attack the listener at a more aggressive level, not unlike the sea monster-like creature that fills the EP’s artwork.

The title track “No Darkness” starts off the EP with the band's new surf-western dynamic that they have been developing. The song builds up with an epic Ennio Morricone-like horn section that crawls between the stop and start bass patterns and guitar riffs. This song defines the band’s developing apocalyptic surf inspired sound. The lyrics also seem to delve deep into a similar mindset. “Black Lagoon” starts off the second track on No Darkness with dirty fuzz guitar riffs not unlike The Cramps before the reverb and humid sounding horn sections invade your eardrums. Amongst the dirtier guitar riffs and horns, the bass smoothly takes us through the pools of reverb that are often accented by vocalist Alex Zen. “Unknown Pleasures” ends the EP, in a more upbeat fashion. Featuring stop and start reverb soaked guitars, the song also features organ and guitar riffs that play simultaneously. Lyrically the song features words such as “The chemicals control you in waves/Uncontrollable haze” and “These unknown pleasures have taken hold” that end the EP with a bit of a cloud of mystery. On No Darkness, Invasions crank up the reverb and add a touch of chaos. In the process Invasions create a genre that is all their own.

The following interview was done between myself Dave Konstantino (the host of Revolution Rock) and members of the Toronto based band Invasions. The answers to these questions were provided by Alex Zen, Brian Moyer and Brian Cuddy of Invasions. We talk about recording, surfing, garage rock and Quentin Tarantino movies.

RR: Invasions have been around for quite some time now and has featured different band members. Who is in the band’s current line up?


Invasions is currently made up of: Alex Zen - Vox and guitar, Matt Buck - Lead Guitar, Brian Moyer – Trumpet & Organ, Brian Cuddy – Bass & Vox, Ara Carson - Drums. We’ve had a number of changes to the line up over the years (Danny from July Talk, Alex from The Holiday Crowd).

RR: How would you compare your current sound on albums such as 2013’s self-titled album and your No Darkness EP compared to your first full-length album and 2009’s Magic EP?

There is a night and day difference between the two. I think we kept some of the pop factor found on the Magic EP, but have developed as musicians and individuals since then. A sort-of self-evolution. I’d say our self-titled album and No Darkness EP is a culmination of all that.

RR: Invasions earlier sound was more garage rock oriented. What inspired the band’s change in sound and why?

I think we grew up a little bit. We evolved as musicians, added new members and began focusing a little more on the groove of our songs. We want to make something people can really feel while still retaining the grit and energy of our previous sound. It was really a natural evolution. Plus I tried surfing for the first time and got hooked – maybe that’s actually the real reason for the change in sound!

RR: Where was the No Darkness EP recorded at and did the process differ from recording 2013’s self-titled album. Who did you work with for the recording of this EP?

We are very fortunate to have our own secluded practice space where Matt and I (Alex) grew up in Etobicoke. We fashioned our rehearsal space in an office out there beside the Hell’s Angels headquarters. After 5 everyday and all weekend we go in set up right in the office and get our groove on. We recorded a little teaser video of us recording the No Darkness EP where you can see the space water cooler included.

We decided to record both the LP and the EP essentially by ourselves with the help of Edan Schkeimei of the Dirty Frigs – check em out! The DIY approach was both a blessing and a curse: having infinite studio time to work on a record really opens up the opportunity to explore ideas but at the same time this can slow down the overall recording process significantly. I think we learned a lot from the process. We have just added a new reel-to-reel to our collection and are excited to go analogue for our next EP which should capture our live sound with a little more clarity.

RR: The artwork for the band’s last two releases has seemed more DIY style in terms of the layout. Who did the artwork for No Darkness and the self-titled album and was that something you were going for?

Our No Darkness EP was a DIY project and I felt the artwork should represent this too. Recently I have been making collages from cut outs of old magazines and the No Darkness art work was came from one I thought was especially neat. In the end we only used a small portion of the whole piece, but it still makes a strong commentary on modern society. It has a real focus on society’s cruel tandem of complacency, apathy and fetishism. Check it out. Heavy stuff, but reminiscent of some ideas portrayed throughout the EP.

RR: Your recent sound has been compared to music found in a lost Quentin Tarantino movie and as being reminiscent of music found in spaghetti western soundtracks. Would you agree with this as being accurate and what is your favourite Quentin Tarantino movie and or spaghetti western?

In almost every review we get described with that type of language. I think the main thing we try to achieve is definitely cinematic in a way. We approach song-writing like you might approach a short film with a real focus on telling a story and creating a feeling. Also, from a purely aesthetic sense, we of course are all big fans of the digging up history, whether it’s through our instrument selection (60s era Vox, Framus, Hofners) or Moyer’s attachment to finding that perfect set of vintage cowboy boots.

It’s obviously quite hard to choose a favourite Tarantino film. My favourite scene is the opening of Reservoir Dogs – that is some raw human emotion in the back of that Cadillac.

RR: Invasions recently played NXNE how was the response at those shows and what is next for the band in terms of touring?

NXNE was great as usual! A highlight for me was playing the 159 Manning BBQ in the sweatiest front room. It got so crammed we had to get up on the furniture. Seeing Tom Verlaine and Television live was a special treat – or wait was that CMW?

We followed NXNE by touring out east in Canada, in October we will be touring out west in Canada. From there we would love to make our way down to the states and Europe.

RR: What are Invasions planning next? Are you planning on recording another album?

We just got accepted for a music residency in Banff Art Centre for two weeks this fall. We are very excited about this opportunity and hope to get some major work down while we’re out there. If all goes well we should have another EP ready before the years up!



Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Smiths - London
2. Simply Saucer - Instant Pleasure
3. The Mobbs - Demobbed
4. Mainly Spaniards - That’s What Friends Are For
5. The Expendables - The Man With No Desire
6. Grey Lands - Girl From The North Country (Featuring Joel Plaskett)
7. Frankie & Jimmie - Shake Sugaree
8. Neil Jarvis - Good Years
9. No Age - C’mon, Stimmung
10. Shanghai Dog - The Closet
11. The Zantees - Cruisin’
12. The 69 Cats - 69 Guitars
13. The Tell-Tale hearts - I Get Up In The Morning
14. The Furies - What Do You Want Me To Be?
15. The Straps - Just Can’t Take It No More
16. Public Image Limited - Fodderstompf
17. Nikki & The Corvettes - Just What I Need
18. The Ramrods - Nothin’ To Do In Detroit
19. Demolition Doll Rods - If You Can’t Hang
20. Reigning Sound - North Cackalacky Girl
21. MYSTICS - Sunburn
22. Invasions - Black Lagoon
23. Invasions - Unknown Pleasures
24. The Clean - Anything Could Happen
25. Bob Dylan & The Band - Wedding Song
26. New York Dolls - (There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown
27. David Bowie - Cracked Actor
28. Teenanger - Hot Rods At The Loser Convention
29. The Hives - Take Back The Toys

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. & Show # 523


In the summer of 1992, Dee Ramone had a chance meeting with John Carco (formerly of the hardcore band Misguided from Queens, New York) at the infamous Green Door party at St. Mark’s Place. The two decided to form a band, naming themselves Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. (Inter-Celestial Light Commune). With Dee Dee on guitar/vocals and John Carco on the bass, the band played some live shows in New York and played as a three-piece band. There were numerous different drummers in the I.C.L.C.’s early line up. Around this time Dee Dee came up with a collection of new material and began demoing them with Daniel Rey for the use on an upcoming Ramones album, but instead Dee Dee decided to keep the songs for the I.C.L.C. With bassist John Carco, the two moved to Amsterdam to record material for Rough Trade Records. Adding drummer Danny Arnold Lommen, the new line up released an EP in 1994, entitled the Chinese Bitch EP. The EP’s title track “Chinese Bitch” seems on draw subject matter from the song “Chinese Rocks”, a song written by Dee Dee and Richard Hell. Both the Ramones and Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers recorded their own versions separately, Ramones on 1980’s End of The Century and The Heartbreakers on L.A.M.F. in 1977. The song features Ramones style barre chords and guitar licks not unlike songs found on The Heartbreakers 1977 album L.A.M.F. “I Don’t Wanna Get Involved With You” seems similar to “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” by Ramones, but is apparently one of the very first Ramones songs written. “That’s What Everybody Else Does” is a classic Dee Dee penned track, reflecting on his early days being in a band and opposing the norm of being in a band lyrically. The EP ends with “We’re A Creepy Family” a fast song that sounds like it could have been an outtake from the 1984 Too Tough To Die album by the Ramones. Shortly after the release of the EP, Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. released a fourteen track full-length album in April of 1994.

Recorded at the same place as the Chinese Bitch EP at Klank Studios in Tegelen, Netherlands and produced by Gert-Jan "Joe" Van Avesaath, I Hate Freaks Like You further explored the aggressive sounds that were displayed on the EP released by the I.C.L.C. earlier in 1994. The album I Hate Freaks Like You opens with the track “I’m Making Monsters For My Friends”, it also ends with the same track, but more on that later. This track is perhaps best known because it was recorded by the Ramones and used on their last full-length album !Adios Amigos! in 1995. After quitting Ramones in 1989, Dee Dee would still contribute songs to the band regularly. The I.C.L.C. version opens the album in a fuzzy guitar fashion, featuring Dee Dee singing with attitude and confidence, displaying images of B-horror movies and television throughout it’s lyrical context. “Don’t Look In My Window” attacks with Ramones-like dynamics, but also with a bit of Motorhead-styled attitude, this comes off as evident when the chorus comes in. The song comes off with a bit of a creepy vibe, but also seems to dig deeper about others opinions on Dee Dee at the time. This is a subject that pops up in subtle form throughout the album amongst the other imagery that is portrayed lyrically. “Runaway” brings in some of Dee Dee’s pop sensibilities with haunting lyrics such as “Runaway/Runaway/As far as I can go/Runaway/Runaway/Away from everything” that find their way amongst slow distorted guitars and overpowering drums.

“All Quiet On The Eastern Front” comes in next picking up the pace. This song first appeared on the 1981 album Pleasant Dreams by Ramones, but on I Hate Freaks Like You it is executed in a more aggressive form. “I Hate It” and “I Hate Creeps Like You” are faster tracks, clocking in at less than two minutes each and they both seem to be a rant against the stereotypical view that others had of Dee Dee Ramone lyrically. “Trust Me” is a slower song, but one further showcasing Dee Dee Ramone’s pop credentials. With a chorus of lyrics stating “All I want is you/You can trust me”, the song sounds like it wouldn’t have been out of place on End Of The Century or Road To Ruin. “I’m Seeing Strawberries Again”, seems to draw on odd metallic sounding riffs, a sound that sometimes is hidden amongst the tracks on this album. The last two tracks on I Hate Freaks Like You both feature guest vocalist Nina Hagen, a German singer and actress. She first appears on the thirteenth track “Lass Mich In Ruhe”, the song builds on the fuzzy sound that Dee Dee Ramone has showcased throughout his career, but it also seems to pull in a bit of a Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers influence at times. The “Lass Mich In Ruhe” which is featured not only in the songs title, but chorus, roughly translates into leave me in peace or to stop bothering me. The album ends with another version of “I’m Making Monsters For My Friends”, this version differing with backing vocals by Nina Hagen.

Despite touring for ten months across 22 Countries, Dee Dee Ramone & I.C.L.C. were dropped by their label while they began work on their second full-length album. Some of those tracks would wind up on Ramones !Adios Amigos! album. Overall, I Hate Freaks Like You displays elements of Dee Dee’s Ramones past and other rock related elements such as guitar rock leads in the style of Johnny Thunders and some subtle 80s hard rock sounds that some have compared to Motorhead. Lyrically the album portrays images of alienation, isolation and B-horror movie related subjects. The lyrics in the chorus of the song “It’s Not For Me To Know” which state “I don’t have any illusions anymore/I’ve done all that I can Do/It’s not for me to know” could prove to be somewhat symbolic when looking at this album and Dee Dee’s post-Ramones work. He would continue to make music, contributing songs to both the Ramones until they ended in 1996 and until Dee Dee’s own passing in 2002. The music was often simple and straight to the point and when not in the context of the Ramones was criticized harshly by others in most circumstances. But Dee Dee always continued to do his own thing. Some of his material released was better than others, but on I Hate Freaks Like You some might say that this is the strongest collection of post-Ramones material ever released by Dee Dee Ramone.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. David Kilgour & The Heavy 8’s - Christopher Columbus
2. Strange Fires - Lambency
3. Supergrass -Moving
4. Jack White - I'm Down
5. Beck - Heaven’s Ladder
6. Naomi Punk - Television Man
7. Razorhouse - Neu Sensation
8. Invasions - No Darkness
9. The Nelsons - State Police
10. The Dadistics - Modern Girl
11. Paul Collins - Walking Out On Love
12. The Wombats - Utter Frustration
13. The Mutants - So American
14. The Sadies - The Pyramid
15. James O-L & The Villains - Kill The Devil
16. James O-L & The villains - Arts Degree
17. J Mascis - Every Morning
18. Dead Drugs - She Do
19. Actual Water - Gorgeous George & The Pilaprats
20. Characters - Tell Me
21. Threads Of Fybre - Believe Me
22. The Shadows Of Knight - Oh Yeah
23. The Premiers - Farmer John
24. The Sonics - Walkin’ The Dog
25. Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. - I’m Making Monsters For My Friends
26. Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. - I Hate Creeps Like You
27. Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. - Trust Me
28. The Victims - Disco Junkies
29. Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra - Mistaken
30. White Fence - The Light
31. White Fence - Wolf Gets Red Faced

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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Rebel Kind ... Canadian Punk From The Late 70s/Early 80s & Show # 522


On August 16, 1974, the Ramones played their first show as a four piece band at CBGB’s and using that as a starting off point CJAM FM celebrates the 40th anniversary of punk rock with a variety of programming from August 16-22nd 2014. For Revolution Rock, I decided to take a closer look at some of the bands that were involved in the first waves of the punk/new wave scenes of the late 70s and early 80s. Here is a short summary of some of the places (not all of them) in Canada that had various music scenes influenced by the punk rock attitude and ethos put forth by the loud, fast Ramones.

Toronto, Ontario

The Diodes were notable in the Toronto scene for two things, one for being the first Canadian punk act signed to a Canadian major label and secondly for running the Crash ‘n’ Burn, Toronto’s first punk club. This short lived club, also served as the band’s rehearsal space and was the subject of a 1977 film entitled Crash ‘n’ Burn, which can now be seen on Youtube. The Diodes released three albums, 1977’s The Diodes, Released in 1979, and Action-Reaction in 1980. There was also an outtakes compilation released in 1982 entitled Survivors. Several other releases have been put together and released through Bongo Beat Records. The Diodes along with many other bands in Toronto at the time such as The Viletones, The Ugly and The Scenics helped to define the early scene.

In 1978, a documentary film titled The Last Pogo was made by filmmaker Colin Brunton centering on what was billed as the last punk rock show at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. It featured many bands from the Toronto scene, but also other bands such as Hamilton’s Teenage Head. Recently, this film has been expanded on this premise to chronicle the Canadian punk scene from 1976-1978. Titled The Last Pogo Jumps Again, the film is “a documentary about the punk/new-wave/alternative music scene in Toronto, from when The Ramones hit the stage of The New Yorker in 1976 to when the cops gave Teenage Head the boot at infamous The Last Pogo concert in 1978. Filmmakers Colin Brunton and Kire Paputts started the project in June 2006 and logged hundreds of hours of interviews, photos and film clips. Using the 1978 film The Last Pogo as a jumping-off point, the three hour and twenty movie explores the dynamics of what was arguably the most exciting cultural explosion in Toronto’s history,” according to the film’s official website. More information can be found at http://www.thelastpogo.net


The Last Pogo Jumps Again trailer from Colin Brunton on Vimeo.

Vancouver, BC

While most people identify the popular and influential D.O.A. as coming from the late 70s punk scene in Vancouver, there were also several other influential bands from that time. Active Dog was a band that featured future members of other bands, most notably John “Buck Cherry” Armstrong of The Modernettes/Los Popularos/Lost Durangos, Gord Nicholl and Robert Bruce of The Pointed Sticks, Ross Carpenter of The Melody Pimps, Antheads, and several others. They only released one single in 1979 the Rat Race/Good Filthy Fun single before splitting up and were featured on the Vancouver Complication album compiling bands from the Vancouver scene. The power pop/punk band The Pointed Sticks, one of the band’s that featured members from Active Dog reformed in 2009, releasing a Three Lefts Make a Right in the same year. They are currently finishing up a third full-length album that has an anticipated release date of 2014. The Young Canadians were another influential band in the scene at the time. The band is notable for featuring Art Bergmann, who was involved with many bands in the scene. He would go on to become a solo artist in the 1980s and 90s. The Young Canadians released two EP’s and a single before splitting up and were originally called the K-Tels, but were forced to change their name due to legal related actions. Art Bergmann recently announced a new upcoming EP to be titled Songs For The Underclass that is to be released in 2014.

In 2011, there was also a documentary created by filmmaker Susanne Tabata entitled Bloodied But Unbowed. The documentary digs deep into the late 70s/early punk scenes in Vancouver and features many of the key members that were involved in the scene at the time. The documentary “tells a tale of rebellion and music — a fiercely independent scene created from nothing and played out in a microcosm of urban squalor,” as stated on their official website. More information can be found at http://thepunkmovie.com



London, Ontario

London, Ontario featured many bands that were influential during the late 70s and early 80s, some of which included 63 Monroe and The Demics. Taking members from one of the first punk bands in London, NFG and members of another London band The Verge, 63 Monroe was born releasing their first EP entitled N.F.G in 1980. The band often called a glam punk band still continues to perform to this day. The Demics, while they only released an EP and album during their existence (1979’s Talk’s Cheap EP and the 1980 album The Demics) were formed in 1977 in London, Ontario and relocated to Toronto in 1978. They are perhaps known for their song and breakthrough 1979 enigmatic single “New York City”. This is a song sung with attitude and aggressive guitars, despite it’s catchy and memorable chorus.

It is also worth noting that throughout the mid 80s and early 90s London had a zine called What Wave, which was a fanzine celebrating Canadian and sometimes non-Canadian garage/garage punk acts. Several of these issues also came with compilation albums on cassette and sometimes vinyl records. Currently CHRW, a campus radio station in London, Ontario has a program hosted by What Wave Dave (who ran the What Wave zine with his wife Rena from 1984 to 1996) called Radio What Wave, which airs Thursday nights from 6:00 - 7:30 PM, featuring music from the What Wave archives and several other garage and punk related acts. In November 2012, What Wave # 24 was published with a cassette compilation featuring London, Ontario bands from 1978-1992.






Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Spy's - Underground
2. The Dry Heaves - South Windsor Punk (No Funk)
3. 63 Monroe - After
4. The Viletones - Rebel
5. The Dishes - Monopolies Are Made At Night
6. The Diodes - Time Damage
7. The Hot Nasties - I Am A Confused Teenager
8. Young Canadians -Automan
9. D.O.A. - Kill, Kill This is Pop
10. The Melody Pimps - Shell Out
11. Corsage - Rome
12. Tim Ray & A.V. - Quarter To Eight
13. Exxotone - Big Shot
14. Active Dog - Rat Race
15. Active Dog - Good Filthy Fun
16. The Verdix - Media
17. The Sturgeons - Punk Rock Virgins
18. Crash 80’s - Thrills
19. Tyranna - Back off Baby
20. The Scenics - Do The Wait
21. The Secrets - Teenage Rampage
22. B-Girls - High School Dance
23. The Mods - Step Out Tonight
24. The Government - Hemingway (Hated Disco Music)
25. Drastic Measures - Mr. America
26. The Pointed Sticks - I’m Numb/What Do You Want Me To Do (Live June 1980)
27. The Nils - Freedom
28. The Unusuals - Hit And Run
29. The Curse - Shoeshine Boy
30. The Bureaucrats - She’s An American
31. The Dishrags - Past Is Past
32. Teenage Head - Picture My Face
33. The Modernettes - Barbra
34. The Forgotten Rebels - This Ain’t Hollywood
35. The Demics - New York City

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



Saturday, August 09, 2014

Parquet Courts Sunbathing Animal & Show # 521


The band Parquet Courts originate from Denton, Texas, and have roots in the band Fergus & Geronimo. In addition to this, members of the band had ties with other bands, but as Parquet Courts they released their first album American Specialties that blended elements of noisy 90s rock with early punk sounds in 2011. The band’s second full length Light Up Gold, which was more widely disturbed via the What’s Your Rupture? Label and is often thought of as the band’s first album. The band consists of Andrew Savage (guitar/vocals), Max Savage (drums), Austin Brown (vocals/guitar) and Sean Yeaton on bass and has since relocated to Brooklyn, New York. Sunbathing Animal, the band’s third full-length album was recorded in between touring, the sessions also produced an EP beforehand entitled Tally All The Things You Broke. With Sunbathing Animal, Parquet Courts lean more towards the punk, post punk and garage elements of the band with hints of their early noisy beginnings. The title track sounds like it could almost be a 80s hardcore song from the likes of Black Flag, while “Black And White” blends elements of Wire’s jittery sound with garage rock, that includes guitar fuzz lines.

“Dear Ramona” seems to pull elements of lazy 90s alternative rock, with garage overtones, “What Color Is Blood” could be a Talking Heads track as it treads along with a funky backbone, while “Ducking & Dodging” seems to draw from a similar pool of influence. “Instant Disassembly” is a longer track found on the album, showcasing slow scruffy melodies that sound like they could be from The Velvet Underground with guitar lines that sound reminiscent of art rock band Television. Blending elements of jittery 70s punk/post punk, elements of garage and the band Pavement at times, Parquet Courts combines this in conjunction with their lyrics providing us with another unique offering from this band. Combining all these factors, Sunbathing Animal lies in wait as each track progresses, until it is awoken by the listener.



Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Famines - Hi Hi Hi
2. Scorpio Tube - Yellow Listen
3. Steve & The Board - I Want
4. Monomyth - (Theme From) Monomyth
5. The Vondells - Dragstrip Courage
6. The Vondells - Courage
7. The Falcons - Shadow Land
8. Jon & The Nightriders - Super Jet Rumble
9. Stiv Bators - A Million Miles Away
10. The Dead Boys - 3rd Generation Nation
11. The Courtneys - Insuffient Funds
12. The Wythces - Wire Frame Mattress
13. Gang Of Four - Return The Gift
14. 4/4 - Systematic
15. The Blitzz - So Free
16. Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs - Get Pumped Up
17. Good Things - 500 Hands
18. Alex Chilton - The Walking Dead
19. Morrissey - The Bullfighter Dies
20. Vic Godard & The Subway Sect - Keep Our Chains
21. The Rainy Days - Nuclear Attack
22. The Rock N Roll Machine - Rock ’n Roll Disease
23. Dion Lunadon - Creature Of The Night
24. The D4 Come On!
25. Hater - Circles
26. Thee Oh Sees - Camera (Queer Sound)
27. Thee Deuces - You Gotta Try
28. Northwest Company - Get Away From It All
29. Parquet Courts - Black And White
30. Parquet Courts - What Color
31. The Modern Lovers - Old World
32. Pow Wows - EIO (During The Flood)
33. Black Lips - Dandelion Dust

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



Saturday, August 02, 2014

White Fence For The Recently Found Innocent & Show # 520


Tim Presley has been recording albums as White Fence since 2010, but until now Presley himself has recorded all of them on a 4 track at his home. For his sixth full-length outing, Presley enlisted the services of fellow prolific garage rock cohort Ty Segall and headed to his garage studio. The two first collaborated on 2012’s Hair, but on the album For The Recently Found Innocent Segall takes the producer seat and the drummer seat for a few tracks. The gritty lo-fi atmosphere that once dominated White Fence’s previous albums has cleared up a bit here, but the warbled sounds we once heard on previous White Fence bedroom 4 track recordings still loom with an underlying presence throughout this album. This album wasn’t a deliberate attempt to clean up Presley’s sound as Ty Segall recently explained in LA Weekly: "They weren't trying to sound shitty, they were trying to sound as rad as they could with limited resources. If you're trying to make a shitty mic sound great you're doing the right thing." He also continues in the same article mentioning that on this album "It's all Tim, it's just captured in a different way."

For The Recently Found Innocent opens with the track “The Recently Found” which serves as slow syrupy psychedelic introduction to the album before launching into “Anger! Who Keeps You Under?” This song is an upbeat psychedelic track with warm sounding drums, thick basslines and kaleidoscope sounding guitar rhythms, as Presley sings with lazy vocal lines loaded with trippy echo effects. “Like That” was the lead off single prior to this album’s release and the song itself takes his psychedelic pop sounds mixing in elements of early Who, The Kinks and sugary falsetto vocals that lyrically portray tongue-in-cheek lyrics. “Sandra (When The Earth Dies)” portrays post-apocalyptic imagery with lyrics such as “All the junkies left to cry/All the junkies wave goodbye/Laugh and cry/Heavy to light”. The song’s darker images juxtapose with the song’s infectious church-like organ and musical elements, which seem to echo the influence of Donovan.

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“Wolf Gets Red Faced” lyrically seems to provide images of an alcoholic werewolf as musically it takes on sounds compared to Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Beatles White Album. “Arrow Man” portrays a nostalgic feeling once again pulling in 60s influences, this time from The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, but at the same time it blends swirls of distortion in the background not sounding like a copy of the band that seemingly influenced it, instead it stands on its own displaying Presley’s song writing abilities. “Actor” draws its inspiration from The Byrds, “Hard Water” is catchy dream pop while “The Light” and “Paranoid Bait” are fuzzed out garage rock. These two tracks are executed here as some of the sounds on Hair had been, displaying moments of higher energies, definitely taking Segalls influence into consideration.

Aesthetically, For The Recently Found Innocent finds a balance between the last two releases from White Fence, 2013’s Cyclops Reap and Live In San Francisco, the later of which was an album that showcased White Fence in a full band and in a more revved up fashion. The album features not only Segall on some drum tracks, but also Nick Murray from White Fence’s live band further connecting his last set of releases. On the album’s front cover we see a painted self-portrait of Presley, not unlike Bob Dylan’s own self-portrait cover image from the 1970 album Self Portrait, but those two albums only have a connection with the artwork, not the music. We can see the same gritty canvas beneath the smeared messy painting on the cover, it is still the same White Fence. On For The Recently Found Innocent, Presley has merely stepped out of his home and upgraded to a more proper studio environment utilizing an 8 track recorder (instead of a 4 track) with the help of Ty Segall and in the process, displays a new type of innocence.


Saturday Night Play List:

1. The White Stripes - Stop Breaking Down
2. Muddy Waters - The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock and Roll (Number 2)
3. Reigning Sound - My My
4. Small Teeth - Party Shame
5. Love - A Motel Is Not A House
5. The Gruesomes - Cry In The Night
6. The Ugly Beats - Throw Me A Line
7. Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Liars Beware
8. Mission Of Burma - The Enthusiast
9. Army Navy - The Mistakes
10. Kestrels - Eternal And Debased
11. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Surfer Joe And Moe The Sleaze
12. The Mark Inside - The Coming Of Age At The End Of Days
13. King Cobb Steelie - Time=Money & Money=Pizza ∴ Time=Pizza.
14. The Velvet Underground - Foggy Notion
15. Frog Eyes - Your Holiday Treat
16. White Fence - Actor
17. White Fence - Paranoid Bait
18. Dead Ghosts - When It Comes To You
19. The Survivors - Baby Come Back
20. Iggy Pop - Tiny Girls
21. Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks - Little Fang
22. Devo - The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for  August 2. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tommy Ramone (1949-2014) & Show # 519


On July 11th, 2014 Tommy Ramone (real name Thomas Erdeyi) passed away due to complications with bile duct cancer, he was 65. Best known as the drummer of the influential punk band the Ramones from 1974-1978, Tommy helped to define the band’s early sound that has since become vastly influential on music. Prior to playing in Ramones, Tommy played guitar in a high school garage rock band in 1966 with John Cummings (later known as Johnny Ramone). The band was known as The Tangerine Puppets and Tommy actually played guitar in the group, Johnny played bass. The group split up in 1967. Tommy reconnected with Johnny during the embryotic stages of the Ramones. Starting as a three-piece band, with Joey Ramone on drums, Dee Dee Ramone bass/vocals and Johnny Ramone on guitar, Tommy was initially supposed to manage the group.  After Joey put down his drumsticks to take up vocals, Tommy Ramone stepped in to become the group’s drummer. Tommy played drums on Ramones first three albums (Ramones, Leave Home and Rocket To Russia) and would also serve as co-producer on those albums. He assisted in producing 1978’s Road To Ruin, the first album to feature Marky Ramone on drums. He also has production credits for the band's live album, It's Alive and 1984’s Too Tough To Die. It's Alive was recorded in 1977, but not released until 1979.

Tommy left the Ramones to focus more on his interest in music production. He apparently first worked as an assistant engineer at the age of 18 on Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies album in 1970. Tommy would also produce The Replacements 1985 album Tim, Neurotica by Red Kross in 1987 and a few others such as Talking Heads “Love --> Building On Fire” single in 1977. Tommy also released an album as Uncle Monk a blue grass country group in 2006, featuring Claudia Tienan a guitarist, bassist and vocalist that was formerly in The Simplistics. While he has been involved in music production, he is still known as one of the four founding members of the Ramones, all of which now have unfortunately passed away. Tommy’s drum style mixed with the Ramones brand of music that would later be called punk music, but the music also featured strong melodies and can be traced back to influences of 60s pop music, surf music and 70s proto punk.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1975, Tommy described the band’s sound, which was drastically diffeduring a period of over indulgent mainstream music: "Our music is an answer to the early Seventies when artsy people with big egos would do vocal harmonies and play long guitar, solos and get called geniuses. That was bullshit. We play rock & roll. We don't do solos. Our only harmonics are in the overtones from the guitar chords." Although the Ramones did not receive mainstream commercial success during their time, the effects of their loud, fast and abrasive songs that are attached with catchy melodies are still heard throughout music today.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Gears - Don’t Be Afraid To Pogo
2. The Kids - Do You Wanna Know
3. Zig Zags - The Fog
4. C’mon - Easier Said Than Done
5. Mark Lofgren - Pocketful Of Bliss
6. Vibrant Fiasco - Lizard LIps
7. The Walkabouts - Got No Chains
8. Anagram - Evil
9. Le Butcherettes - Tonight
10. Fakes - Sabrina
11. Walrus - Glam Returns
12. The Bell Peppers - Campfire Waltz
13. The Specials - Do Nothing
14. The English Beat - Click Click
15. Holy Wave - Surfin’ MTA
16. Sixpence - In The Building
17. Inexpensive Handmade Look - What Good Is Up?
18. The Pretty Things - You Don’t Believe Me
19. The Flaming Lips - Can’t Let It Go
20. Indian Wars - Bullfrog
21. The Standells - Try It
22. Ugly Ducklings - Just In Case You Wonder
23. Light Bulb Alley - Eye In The Sky
24. Lost Patrol - Sellin’ My Mind
25. Elvis Costello - I'm Not Angry
26. Undertones - I Told You So
27. Protex - Listening In
28. Nirvana - Sappy
29. Ramones - Swallow My Pride
30. Ramones - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
31. Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for  July 26. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.