Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Hey this week I did an entirely different show, one that was all surf rock and garage rock instead of good old punk rock. Why? for some variety, also because I've been collecting and listening to surf rock and garage rock for quite some time. I had so much of it I figured I'd play some it on CJAM for some variety. I'd also like to point out that this show was just a mix of bands I thought sounded surfish or garageish. I played The Who and The Kinks. These guys are kinda garagey at times, they influenced early punk in my opinion. Sex Pistols loved The Who they used to cover "Substitute" in concert. The Clash also loved both these bands. They opened for The Who in the 80's and have stated that they practiced Kinks songs when first starting out. In fact the song "Dead End Street" eerily sounds like The Clash's "London Calling".
I'm gonna talk briefly of two bands this week one surf and one garage. First the surf band, The Ventures. The Ventures formed in 1959 in Tacoma, Washington. They were a popular instrumental band. They would have many hits and charted singles/albums, but their larger fan base would be in Japan. Originally stemming from the group The Impacts, Bob Wilson and Don Wilson formed a group. After getting a bass player Nokie Edwards and a drummer Howie Johnston The Ventures were in place. The band would cover many different types of music for example, garage rock, psychedelic, and of course surf (which is what they started out doing). The band would also do TV Themes, one of the most notable being the theme song for the TV show Hawaii Five-O; it would reach #4 on the charts in 1969. After this around the early 70s, the band would focus more on the Japan music market. The band would continue to play, members came and went and played through out the 80's and even in 1996.
Now for the garage band. The Sonics are a band from Tacoma Washington as well. The band was a unique and raw sounding band. They are defined as garage rock, but they are just a early rock and roll group. The band was Gerry Rosalie (vocals, piano/organ),Bob Bennett (drums), Andy Parypa (guitar), Larry Parypa (Bass) originally. The band was influenced by bands such as The Kinks and early blues from the 50s. The bands recordings are rough, raw and gritty. They were a big local attraction and influenced many bands, but never made it out of the Washington area. The band would not last long at all, they would break up in the late 60s (they formed in the mid-60s). Many bands have been influenced by them today too, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder is a Sonics fan, also the Pointed Sticks a Canadian band played on my show have covered "The Witch" which The Sonics have done.
A variety of bands were played this week from obscure Canadian bands like The Ugly Ducklings to Atomic 7, to more familiar bands such as The Beach Boys and The Who. Most of the bands that were played this week and are classified as garage rock, were influential or were a prelude to what was going to become punk rock in the late 70s. The Who definitely had a larger impact on early punk, The Count Five were also influential on Sex Pistols. Next Week I will return to my original format of punk and punk inspired rock, it will be loud, angry, and awesome so tune in next week to CJAM 91.5 FM Wednesday at 9pm (or stream it at www.cjam.ca).
Here's what was played:
1. Dick Dale & His Deltones – miserlou
2. The Chantays – pipeline
3. The Challengers – one man flight
4. The Charms – so romantic
5. The Vipers – cheated and lied
6. Ugly Ducklings – nothin’
7. Great Scots – ball and chain
8. Jury – who dat
9. Atomic 7 – she’s got haggar party slacks
10. Atomic 7 – seven stranded castanets
11. Surf Trio – crash
12. The Torpedoes – torpedoes
13. Aqua Velvets – subterranean
14. Secrets – cryin’ over her
15. One Way Street – I see the light
16. The Stems – she’s a monster
17. Dick Dale & His Deltones – surf beat
18. The Ventures – dick tracy
19. The Ventures – Hawaii five-o
20. The Trashmen – surfin’ bird
21. The Missing Links – some kind of fun
22. The Kinks – till the end of the day
23. The Who – Out in the Street
24. The Fun Things – lipstick
25. The Tornadoes – bustin’ surfboards
26. The Sonics – it’s all right
27. Thundermug – Africa
28. Metalunas – blast off!
29. Phono Comb – pummeled
30. The Count Five – pretty big mouth
31. The Beach Boys –surfin’ safari
32. The Beach Boys – shutdown
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The White Stripes come from Detroit. They formed in 1997 with only two members, Jack White on vocals/guitar and Meg White on Drums. The White Stripes have a variety of influences but mainly they are in blues, punk, and folk. The White Stripes apply a simplistic nature to their songs, it's just good rock or blues inspired rock. Originally Jack White (real name Jack Gillis) wanted to be a priest, but changed his mind. He was also an upholsterer. The group also has a gimmick, red and white peppermint colours. They are usually dressed in a variety of red, black, and white colours, same as their album covers. Rumours also flew on whether or not Jack White and Meg White were brother and sister or previously married together. From what I have pieced together (this may or may not be true) they were once married.
The first album came out in 1999. It was a self titled album that featured a variety of punked up, garagy, and bluesy covers. a Bob Dylan song is covered "One More Cup of Coffee" as well as the Robert Johnson song "Stop Breaking Down". It is important to mention that the band has no bass player, it is just guitar, vocals, and drums. The effect is surprisingly good, sometimes you just forget that there isn't bass in the songs, there are so many good riffs that the listener can easily forget. The band was seen as part of the emerging garage rock revival phenomenon that was occurring around this time alongside The Strokes, The Hives, and The Vines. The second White Stripes album proved people wrong, it was a a mix of blues and classic rock music. This album was titled De Stijl (means "The Style" in Dutch) and was released in the year 2000. The album displayed different styles staying true to the title and was once said to be the best White Stripes album by Jack White himself. The album also featured some cover songs as does every White Stripes album. Blues artist Blind Willie McTell and Son House are some of the artists covered.
In 2001 White Blood Cells was released. The album was yet another step up for the band who were rising in popularity around this time. The album featured the Nirvana-esque "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground", the odd poppy "Hotel Yorba", the quick "Fell in Love with a Girl", and the odd dreary and hypnotising "The Union Forever". Besides the songs mentioned the album features many strong rock and pop songs. The band won the best video award and made many TV appearances around this time getting their name out in the world more than before. It surprised many and their next release would be one of their if not their best album to date, Elephant.
In 2003 Elephant was released. The album which was recorded in a time span of two weeks is just simply amazing. It has the energy of punk as well a Detroit sound (not to say they they didn't sound like a Detroit band before). "Seven Nation Army" a huge single for the band is driven by what sounds like a bass, but is actually Jack white using a guitar pedal effect; it also features Meg White's loud crashing simplistic drum style. "Black Math","Hypnotize" and "Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine" are fast, loud, punk songs in the spirit of early punk. "In the Cold, Cold Night" is a slow pop song featuring Meg White on Vocals. "I Just Don't Know What To Do with Myself" is a cover done at a BBC session of a Burt Bacharach song. That's not all "The Hardest Button To Button" a fast driving punkish rock (also a popular single) is another example of the excellence of Jack White's writing style. "Ball and Biscuit" is a long bluesy rocker (covered by Bob Dylan in concert), and "You've Got Her in Your Pocket" is a slow pop song. "Little Acorns" features Detroit newscaster Mort Crim for an intro, while the song builds from a piano riff to a loud raunchy guitar riff that sounds like an outtake from Nirvana's In Utero album. The album ends with a song featuring vocals from Holly Golightly, and Meg White. The result is "It's True That We Love One Another" a very happy sounding pop song, that is fun to hear and sounds like it was fun to record as well. The album reeks of quality, you just have to hear it to believe it.
2005 saw the release of Get Behind Me Satan, an album that was a drift from the two previous White Stripes albums. The album was an odd mix of piano, acoustic guitars, and just has a different feel to it. While the album features the song "Blue Orchid" which sounds like something off of Elephant, the rest of the album is quite diverse. Other good tracks include "The Nurse" a song driven by xylophone, piano, maracas and loud distorted guitar. "My Doorbell" is a song with piano, Maracas, drums and what sounds like a bass; it is a catchy stomping, piano-rocker. "The Denial Twist" a catchy blueish piano song, and "Instinct Blues" a slow dragging blues rocker, that is raw, and angry. "Passive Manipulation" is a short 35 song sung by Meg White about women listening to one another. It leads into "Take, Take, Take" an acoustic driven song with maracas and loud drums. The album ends with a slow piano ballad "I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet".
After a tour of this album, The White Stripes went on hiatus while Jack White got a new band going, The Raconteurs. The band was made of friends of Jack's who also lived/were in Detroit bands. It's beginnings began when Brendan Benson (guitar/vocals/keyboards)was working on a song and couldn't complete the lyrics, Jack White finished the lyrics and "Steady As She Goes" was born; the song apparently had a reggae vibe to it originally. The Greenhornes drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence joined the band as well. The band initially released "Steady As She Goes" as a single, but then would record a full album. Broken Boy Soldiers came out in spring of 2006. The album was a mix of 60s British pop, Blues, and classic rock. The album came off sounding in my opinion like Led Zeppelin III, in fact Jack White sings many times like Robert Plant on this album. The album did very well and the band toured behind it.
In 2007, Icky Thump was released. The album sounds like a mix of Elephant and De Stijl style White Stripes. This album was also the first digitally recorded White Stripes album (all others were recorded on analog equipment). The album features many great rocking songs such as "Icky Thump", "Bone Broke", "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do as You're Told)", and "Little Cream Soda". It also contains some acoustic tracks "Effect and Cause", as well as some excellent bluesy tracks "300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues", and "Catch Hell Blues". The album sounds like a re-energized White Stripes, as opposed to their last effort, Get Behind Me Satan. White Stripes went on tour in support of this album, but it was cut short after doing a big Canadian tour due to "Health Issues" according to the bands website; Their US tour was cancelled. Expect to see a new Raconteurs album in 2008 (rumoured to be titled Five on the Five), as well as a tour to follow.
Also I played "Myxomatosis" by Radiohead. The song is from their 2003 album Hail To The Thief and is about a disease introduced to the Britain rabbit population to help control it. Last year singer Thom Yorke released a solo album and now Radiohead have no record label, but Radiohead still show interest in playing and recording music. Next week I will be doing a show devoted entirely to garage rock and surf music. Bands such as The Ventures, Dick Dale, The Missing Links, The Vipers and many more obscure, but great bands. Be sure to check this show out next week because it will definitely be a different one.
Here's the play list:
1. The Clash – radio one
2. The Police – shadows in the rain
3. Pointed Sticks – true love
4. Gruesomes – hey!
5. Buzzcocks – sixteen again (BBC Session)
6. Pointed Sticks - 1-2
7. Ramones – Chinese rocks
8. Terrorways – never been to Borstal
9. The Saints – (I’m) stranded
10. Undertones – emergency cases
11. Dishrags – I don’t love you
12. Actionauts – party dog
13. Iggy Pop – loco mosquito
14. Talking Heads – found a job
15. Blondie – call me
16. Pretenders – Thumbelina
17. Fratellis - flathead
18. The Ride Theory – on fire
19. White Stripes - hypnotize
20. The D4 - rocknrule
21. Albert Hammond Jr. – postal blowfish
22. Sloan – suppose they close the door
23. Radiohead – myxomatosis
24. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - love comes in spurts
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This week I'm gonna talk a bit about The Strokes. Julian Casablancas (Vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar), and Fab Moretti (drums), played together in 1998 while at a private school in Manhattan. Then they met Nikolai Fraiture (bass) who would lead them to Albert Hammond Jr. (guitar) and The Strokes were born. The bands influences range from Television and Velvet Underground , to bands such as The Clash, Ramones, and Guided By Voices.
A three song demo The Modern Age EP was released in 2001, which generated huge interest in the band. The EP contained three songs "Modern Age", "Last Nite", and "Barley Legal". These songs would later appear on their first full length album Is This It which would come out in 2001. The band began playing shows and was called the next big thing in the UK. The album did very well creating huge commercial success for the new band. The UK version of the album contained a cover of that was controversial (it was a woman's nude rear end with a leather glove on top of it). It was rejected from various stores and when it came out in the USA, it had a few changes. First the cover, it was changed to a weird blue and yellow arty display and there was an issue with the song "New York City Cops". The song was thought to be inappropriate due to the 9-11 terrorist attacks, so it was changed with an album B-side, "When It Started". The band toured extensively for this record and got lots of acclaim, they even opened for the Rolling Stones on some of the Stones tour dates.
The UK and then the US covers of the Is This It album.
In 2003 Room on Fire was released. The album did good, it went gold, but some strokes fans lost interest because Room on Fire did not sound like Is This It. The album contained many new wave sounding songs as opposed to the excellent back to rock basics album Is This It. Still Room on Fire, had great songs such as "12:51", "Whatever Happened", "Reptillia", and "The End has No End". The band also toured intensively behind this album as well. The album is still my favourite strokes record, maybe because its the first one I listened to. Even though the first album is awesome Room on Fire is amazing as well. It is different, good different.
In 2006, The Strokes released their third album First Impressions of Earth. This album featured different producers than the first two albums. The album was seen as a bigger let down than Room on Fire by some strokes fans. The sound was very different, it was more heavy. The strokes drew from different rock influences and created one of the first unique releases of 2006. Songs such as "You Only Live Once", "Heart In a Cage", "Juicebox". and "Red Light" all add to make this album great. The album is a really good album, but like the last release, some people just would not accept this (critics mostly). The Strokes will never make another Is This It, but people still want another album that sounds just like it. They are constantly being compared to their impressive debut album, but people have to accept the fact that bands change. The band did not change drastically, they still sound like the Strokes. Despite some peoples views the album went to #1 in the UK, and #4 in the US.
In 2006 Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. released his first solo album Yours To Keep. The album was an UK only release (it will be released in the US in March), but it features guest musicians such as Julian Casablancas from the Strokes, Ben Kweller, Sean Lennon, and others. "101" is his first single. I saw the music video for It last week. It is of Albert running as his limbs begin to fall off, an odd but interesting video. Albert is opening for Incubus on their recent tour. The album contains some songs recorded originally with The Strokes. "In Transit" was a song he wrote and recorded for a Strokes DVD in 2001, but it was re-worked/re-recorded for this album; it was originally titled "Obstinate". It sounds like the Strokes and it doesn't. Some songs are slow and acoustic, while some are just good Strokes-esque rockers. "Holiday" was played on my show, but some other great songs are "Call Me An Ambulance" and "Everyone Gets A Star".
Also The Police played at the 2007 Grammy Awards on Sunday February 11th. I played "Roxanne" from that performance. The video can be seen here. The Police are set to have a full scale reunion tour this summer, I am and you should be very excited. I also played a very long version of the song "I Need Somebody" by The Stooges. This was taken from the Heavy Liquid box set. The song is basically a jam that is about 18 minutes. It features Iggy Pop discussing how to work out/change the song and him trying different lyrics. The box set also contains various live shows, rehearsal recordings, and studio recordings. For Example, there are multiple takes of the song "I Got A Right".
Here's what was played:
1. The Police – Roxanne (live @ 2007 grammys)
2. Sex Pistols – whatcha gonna do about it
3. The Gruesomes – I’m down
4. The Stooges – I need somebody/sweet child/ I like the way you walk
5. The Clash – police on my back
6. Ramones – all the way (demo)
7. Buzzcocks – lipstick (BBC)
8. Buzzcocks – everybody’s happy nowadays (BBC)
9. Generation X – one hundred punks
10. Smugglers – luau!(live)
11. Modernettes – Barbra
12. The Features – city scenes
13. The Saints – no time
14. Gang of Four – ether (BBC)
15. Talking Heads – a clean break (live)
16. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – no action
17. Public Image Limited – low life
18. XTC – wake up
19. Tricky Woo – let us sing
20. The Strokes – razorblade
21. Albert Hammond Jr. – holiday
22. Sloan – stand by me, yeah
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Hey just a short post this week (I'll make up for it next week). I played some more obscure stuff this week. First off the song "Simple Love" is a song by The Saints, but not the normal Saints I usually play on my show. This song was taken from their 1981 album Monkey Puzzle. This album is NOT like the other Saints albums, Chris Bailey (the lead singer) took the band in a different direction, but all the other band members were different. Ed Keupper (original guitar player) left to pursue a career in Laughing Clowns, a band that fused jazz with punk rock (I also played a song by them on my show). Monkey Puzzle is an average album, it is rock but very very different; It also features a cover of the song "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", originally by Larry Williams, but also covered by bands such as The Beatles. The song I played by the Laughing Clowns was "Winter's Way". The song starts off with a pretty good rock riff, but then adds a crazed jazz horn section. I played it off the 2005 release Cruel, But Fair which is a 3 CD box set containing all of the Laughing Clowns material; definitely something very different to hear.
I also played a song by Lou Reed titled "Nowhere At All". It is a bonus track from the 2006 remaster of Coney Island Baby. This was the album that Lou Reed made after Metal Machine Music, an album of odd noises and feedback. This was a back to rock basics album for Lou, and it sounds a lot like Velvet Underground. It was originally released in 1976. "Kingdom of Doom" is a song from the band The Good, The Bad & The Queen which I played on the show as well. The album of the same title, is a band put together with Damon Albarn (Blur), Simon Tong (The Verve), Paul Simonon (The Clash), and Tony Allen (Africa 70). The band sounds nothing like the Clash or Blur or even Damon's other side band, Gorillaz. It is melodic rock, and an interesting listen. If you liked what you heard you can go buy their album or visit their myspace page to hear more tracks.
Here's the play list:
1. The Jam – a bomb in wardour street
2. Undertones – Jimmy, jimmy
3. Generation X – trying for kicks
4. Teenage Head – picture my face
5. Diodes – Blonde fever
6. Buzzcocks – promises (bbc session)
7. Ramones – danny says
8. Ramones – high risk insurance
9. The Saints – simple love
10. Laughing Clowns – winter’s way
11. Young Canadians – Hawaii
12. The Gruesomes – leave my kitten alone
13. The Police – bombs away
14. The Clash – magnificent dance
15. Big Audio Dynamite – I turned out a punk
16. Magazine – a song from under the floorboards
17. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – radio, radio
18. Lou Reed – nowhere at all
19. Tricky Woo – fly the orient
20. The Ride Theory – parking ticket
21. Sloan – seems so heavy
22. The Good, The Bad & The Queen – kingdom of doom
23. Futureheads – help us out
24. The D4 – savage
25. Albert Hammond Jr. – everyone gets a star
26. The Love Me Nots – mine
27. The Hives – missing link