This week's episode aired on December 25th, the first time that has ever happened in the entire time I have been on the air at CJAM FM. I played a collection of over twenty four not so average holiday songs. Check out the play list/download it below. I will be back in the New Year with a best of 2012 program and regularly scheduled programming.
Christmas play list:
1. Clyde Lasley & The Cadillac Baby Specials – Santa Came Home Drunk
2. Donovan – New Years Resolution
3. Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire – Mistletoe
4. The Pygmies – Santa Claus
5. Baby Eagle – Fearfully and Wonderfully
6. Eels – Christmas Is Going To The Dogs
7. Boxer The Horse – Material Xmas
8. Andrew Bird – Auld Lang Syne
9. Surfaris – A Surfer’s Christmas List
10. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – Faster Santa Claus Ho, Ho, Ho
11. The Bayview Village People – Merry Xmas Everyone
12. Mother Mother – Hit Er Miss Christmas
13. The Shins – Wonderful Christmas Time
14. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – All I Want For Christmas
15. REM – Christmas Griping
16. James Brown – Go Power At Christmas
17. James Brown – Hey America
18. Diamond Rugs – Christmas In Chinese Restaurant
19. Deja Voodoo – Bugs For Christmas
20. The Wailers – Please Come Home For Christmas
21. Reind Deers – White Xmas
22. The Nefidovs – Feliz Nefidov
23. The Sonics – Don’t Believe In Christmas
24. Keith Richards – Run Rudolph Run
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 25. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
This December 22nd marked the third annual Joe Strummer Day Marathon for CJAM FM in which we confront poverty in the Windsor/Detroit area to the soundtrack of the music of Joe Strummer and The Clash. I put together a program profiling Joe’s pre-Clash band The 101ers, which can be downloaded in the link after the play list below.
Prior to being in The Clash, Joe Strummer was in a band known as The 101ers. This pre-Clash band was different aesthetically falling under the category of Pub Rock, however if you look band a take a listen to the recordings that were made with The 101ers, you can see the sprouting seeds of Joe Strummer and a portrait of the artist he was to become. The band was named after a place that Joe and the group were squatting in during the mid 70s at 101 Wallerton Road in Maida Vale in the UK. The names origins have also been rumoured to be inspired by the torture “room 101” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The bands existence was from 1974 to approximately April of 1976. During the bands existence they did release one single the Keys To Your Heart/5 Star Rock & Roll Petrol in 1976 on the Chiswick record label after the band had broken up. They did make several demos and several live recordings were made, some of which would make their one and only album Elgin Avenue Breakdown which was released long after their break up in 1981 during The Clash's pick up in popularity. The bands musical output was built up upon their live set which heavily relied on numerous cover songs. Although the bands line up did have changes in their line up during their brief existence the band contained members Dan Kelleher (guitar/bass/vocals), Richard Dudanski (drums), Mole (bass until 1975), Clive Temperley (guitar/vocals), Tymon Dogg (fiddle/vocals), among others. The bands sound was built upon early Rock music such as Blues and roots Rock and Roll as evidence by the covers they would play live such as “Gloria” by Them, a variety of Chuck Berry songs, “Out of Time”” by The Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley and The Beatles. Just as the band was picking up in popularity, they even had a single coming out on Chiswick Records ("Keys To Your Heart"), everything changed and they were disbanded.
On April 6th, 1976, The Sex Pistols opened up for The 101ers at Nashville Room and something changed in Joe Strummers musical vision. As he famously has said in interviews and in Don Letts Westway To The World documentary: “Five seconds into their (the Pistols') first song, I knew we were like yesterday's paper, we were over”. Shortly after witnessing the Pistols in all their ragged Punk Rock glory Joe had split up The 101ers, joined The Clash with Mick Jones and Paul Simonon and for a long period of time The 101ers were kind of forgotten. As The Clash continued and grew in awareness in the public eye a compilation album was released in 1981 by the Andalucia label piecing together several 101ers studio demos/outtakes and live recordings. Entitled Elgin Avenue Breakdown, the collection was put together by Joe Strummer and given a limited vinyl release. A single of the song "Sweet Revenge" was also released in 1981.
On this album the band displayed their sense of high energy Rock and Roll enthusiasm in the vein of bands such as Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & The Hotrods, Ducks Deluxe, but the songs found on this release also contained a sense of the early R&B Garage Rock sound that had been employed by British Invasion bands, most notably The Rolling Stones here. The album features standout tracks such as “Letsagetabitarockin’” a fast and clangy guitar driven track being one of the first songs that Joe Strummer wrote/recorded for the band, “Keys To Your Heart” the song released as their first single and played in the early days of The Clash, “Motor Boys Motor”, “Sweety of The St. Moritz” and “Surf City”. “Surf City” is a song accredited to not only Strummer but also guitarist/vocalist Dan Kelleher who would also sing this track live to give Joe a break in the live set. Joe always worked well in the collaboration setting even while in The Clash and Kelleher is also an important factor in this and several of the recordings that The 101ers made. He was a good song writing companion for Joe as was the input of Clive Temperley, Richard Dudanski, along with a variety of musicians that had been involved in the group.
In 2002, Joe Strummer was putting together the idea of re-issuing The 101ers material in one definitive collection, but the project was delayed and it would take some time to be released due to his untimely death in December of 2002. With the help of former 101er Richard “Snake Hips” Dudanski the collection was released in 2005 as Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited. The collection featured the previous songs from the 1981 release plus several outtakes and live recordings. Among the unreleased recording there were versions of Them’s “Gloria”, The Rolling Stones “Out of Time”, Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips” and others. From the previously unreleased 101ers material we have most notably the song “Lonely Mother’s Son”, a song that would be later reworked into The Clash song “Jail Guitar Doors”, it was also one of the first songs Joe penned with overtly political lyrics. Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited is a document of the Pub Rock scene at the time and Joe Strummer’s early Rock and Roll vision. And although up until 1975 Joe went by the name Woody Mellor (inspired by Folk legend Woody Guthrie) it would be a few years before he started composing his literate and at times political inspired lyrics that he would be known for. The songs on this collection make up an early rough snapshot of the later Clash front man that we would come to know as Joe Strummer.
Joe Strummer Day/101ers Play List:
1. Letsagetabitarockin’ (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
2. Shake Your Hips (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
3. Hoy Hoy (Live at Derby Cleopatras December 12, 1975) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
4. Slippin’ and Slidin’ (Live at Derby Cleopatras December 12, 1975) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
5. Sweet Revenge (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
6. Hideaway (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
7. Steamgauge 99 (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
8. Keep Taking The Tablets (Live)(Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
9. I Saw Her Standing There (Live) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
10. Rabies (From The Dogs of Love) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
11. Motor Boys Motor (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
12. Five Star R 'n' Roll (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
13. Out of Time (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
14. Gloria (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
15. Be Bop A Lula (Live at Derby Cleopatras December 12, 1975) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
16. Unknown Song (Pathway Demo March 4, 1976) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
17. Surf City Interrupted (Pathway Demo March 4, 1976) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
18. Surf City (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
19. Lonely Mothers Son (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
20. The Sweety of St. Moritz (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
21. Silent Telephone (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
22. Keys To Your Heart (Version 2) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
Download this 101ers podcast/radio program:
Revolution Rock Joe Strummer Day 2012 101ers Special
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
To say that Ty Segall is a prolific writer is an understatement, in addition to what has been released previously by Segall he released three albums in 2012. He has been recording and making music since approximately 2008, where he has released music with The Epsilons, Party Fowl, Traditional Fools, with Mikal Cronin and has been involved with numerous other projects since then. Segall’s sound mixes elements of 60s Garage Rock, Punk and adds a dash of Grunge at times. Taking a look back at the three releases that Segall has been involved with in 2012 we can see not only how this San Fransican has developed as a musician, but also as an artist.
|Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair|
“Easy Ryder” features lazy drums and guitar with an almost Ventures Surf-like sound, “Crybaby” is Rockabilly with a demented sense of fun, similar to Alex Chilton’s Like Flies On Sherbert, “(I Can’t Get) Around You” and “Tongues” reflect a sound found on Psychedelic-era Beatles and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd records, but is also drawing comparisons from Ty Segall’s Goodbye Bread released in 2011. “Scissor People” is a straight ahead wild Garage Rock number mixed with a heavily distorted almost Grunge sound. Two minutes into the song we are juxtaposed with short clips of heavy jam sessions which have been seemingly spliced together like the last verse of “Yer Blues” on the White Album. The song ends with a bass and dual guitar attack rendezvous before slowly fizzling out. Overall, on Hair Ty Segall and White Fence let their hair down so to speak, creating a Beatles meets Piper At The Gates of Dawn-era Pink Floyd freak out, mixing those elements and everything in between.
|Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse|
The album begins with the song “Death” which starts with heavily distorted feedback in the style of “LA Blues” by The Stooges and “Endless Nameless” by Nirvana before the song kicks in with its chugging riffs and catchy choruses. Other tracks on this album include “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart” a catchy Garage song covered in the albums heavy dynamics, “Muscle Man” sounds cleaner compared to the distortion we experience here, while “The Bag I’m In” is an unrelenting moment. The song which is actually a cover song from the Nuggets-era of Garage Rock and is a completely uninhibited wild moment on the record serving as a solid anchor point near the end of this album. It is followed by two more covers an extra fast version of Bo Diddley’s “Diddy Wah Diddy” and a cover of “Oh Mary” a song originally featured on Ty Segall’s 2008 self titled release. On these three tracks we hear the band and even studio chatter, we can tell they are bashing out loud Rock and enjoying every decibel. “Fuzz War” ends the album with its appropriate title the song perfectly describes Slaughterhouse as a whole. It is an experimental foray into differing sounds and landscapes which is what this album achieves and what Ty Segall has put forth with the three albums he has released this year.
|Ty Segall - Twins|
Lyrically Ty Segall sings of love and with a demented sense of fun on songs such as “You’re The Doctor”, “Handglams”, “Inside Your Heart” and on “Thank God For The Sinners”. On this song he sings “Thank God for the sinners/thank God for your love/in he morning I’ll rise above”, this song is symbolic of Ty Segall rising above his creative aspirations for 2012 as a musician and as an artist. While Hair explored Folk/Psychedelia and Slaughterhouse took us through a heavy Space Rock Grunge direction, Twins is almost a return to form with Ty playing almost all of the instruments on the album, yet also a step in a new direction. Twins shows us that we can’t pin Ty Segall down to anything specific, he can be loud and noisy, low key, subtle and just plain unpredictable.
This week's play list:
1. Thee Rum Coves – Simple Little Lie
2. Shitty Neighbours – First Mistake
3. FIDLAR – Max Can’t Surf
4. Carbonas – Hate You
5. The Finks - Magic Eyes
6. The Specials – (Dawning of A) New Era
7. Madness – The Prince
8. Chang-A-Lang – Monday Again
9. Cuff The Duke – Side By Side
10. The Subway Sect – Ambition
11. The Cure – I’m Cold
12. XX Teens – B-54
13. Gang of Four – If I Could Keep It For Myself
14. Guided By Voices – White Flag
15. Sloan – I Hate My Generation (Pier 21 Demo)
16. The Beatles – Little Child
17. Pow Wows – Séance
18. Ricky Scott – I Didn’t Mean It
19. Ty Segall & White Fence – Crybaby
20. Ty Segall Band – Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart
21. Ty Segall – Who Are You?
22. Ty Segall - Love Fuzz
23. Mystics – Can’t Be Happy
24. Black Lips – Stuck In My Mind (Live At Third Man)
25. Black Lips - Oh Katrina (Live At Third Man)
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 18. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I had a chance to speak with Jesse Crowe through an email interview. The following interview was done between myself (Dave Konstantino of Revolution Rock) and Jesse Crow of the Toronto band Beliefs. We talk of cassettes, recording and musical influences.
RR: How would you describe Beliefs music and what would you say are your biggest influences whether musically or otherwise?
JC: Beliefs musically is influenced a lot by both American and uk bands from the early 90's. We aim to create a sound that not only captures the era of shoegaze, but still feels like something new.
RR: You released your untitled single digitally and on cassette. What led to that decision? Do you still listen to cassettes?
JC: Cassette is a great type of release for a single. It creates a feeling of nostalgia and allows us as a band to present something physical to those who want to buy our music, but without the expense, hassle and waiting time of a 7" vinyl. Each tape comes with a download because we all know most people's biggest musical libraries are their computers these days. I'd love to say that I still listen to tapes, but mine are mostly around as keepsakes these days.
RR: Where did you record these songs and who did you work with?
RR: Can you describe the bands formation and how you decided on your band name Beliefs?
JC: Josh Korody and I met at Pat's birthday party. Josh was new to the city and was looking for someone to play music with, I was depressed by the break up of my last band. I thought I would never find someone else who shared the same love for Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine as I did, so when started talking about our influences and desires musically, it was obvious we were both serious about playing together. Beliefs was a name that we tossed back and forth with a few other names, we all liked it so it stuck. No huge meaning. Just had a nice ring.
RR: How did you become involved with the Hand Drawn Dracula label?
JC: The first person to take interest in us was Greg Ipp of Unfamiliar records, through being friends with James at Hand Drawn Dracula, we peaked his interest as well. We came together with James officially during North By North East this past year at the time time as connecting with No Pain In Pop in the UK.
RR: Is this single is kind of like a teaser for the upcoming full length album? When will we see the release of this album and what can we expect from it?
JC: This tape is totally an album teaser. We wanted Catch My Breath to be the first single for the record because it encompasses the energy of the full length along side a bit of a throw back to our influences. The first record is quite diverse, half written by myself and half Korody, we play with sounds ranging from Phil Spector wall of sound drum beats to fuzzed out 90's multi layered guitar tracks. We are very proud of this album in its range. We are releasing the album in early March on Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada, No Pain In Pop in the UK and Manimal Vinyl in the US.
RR: What are the future plans for Beliefs?
JC: Currently we're just solidifying our live line up and getting ready to play with Dusted and Moon King coming up on December 28th at The Drake in Toronto. Josh and I are also deep into writing our second full length which we hope to start demoing in the new year.
This week's play list:
1. Lost Patrol – Second Time Around
2. Lost Patrol – No More
3. Light Bulb Alley – Who Do You Love?
4. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Dropout Boogie
5. NFG - Cowboy Rock
6. Runs With Kittens – Weight of the World
7. Johnny Cash – Wildwood Flower
8. The Men - Candy
9. Ty Segall & White Fence – Easy Ryder
10. Pissed Jeans - False Jesif Part 2
11, METZ - The Mule
12. The Pixies - Broken Face
13. Supergrass - Strange Ones
14. Nirvana - Even In His Youth
15. Marble Index – Everyone Else
16. Beliefs – Catch My Breath
17. Beliefs – Violets
18. The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog (John Cale Mix)
19. The Rolling Stones – Under My Thumb (Live)
20. The Hold Steady - Chillout Tent
21. Ian Dury & Blockheads - Sweet Gene Vincent
22. The Exploding Hearts – Shattered (You Left Me) (Alternate Version)
23. The Libertines - Up The Bracket
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 11. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
In 2010, The Soft Pack released their first full length self titled album. The album displayed a Garage Rock/Indie Rock blend featuring the low-fi anthemic “Answer To Yourself”. The song attacked listeners with its Garage/Punk and Surf guitar licks while lyrically it addressed freedom of ones self while tapping into a feeling of youthful angst in the modern world. The album itself garnered much attention for this Rock band from San Diego, California, it made several artists to watch lists. It was also recorded quickly, in the moment to capture the bands live sound by Eli Janney at Saltlands Studio in Brooklyn, New York. The Soft Pack followed an EP which was entitled the Muslims EP which was initially their band name, but after much negative comments and misinterpretations of the names meaning they became known as The Soft Pack. After touring extensively and even playing ten shows in one day, The Soft Pack released a follow up to their 2010 full length. Titled Strapped, on this album The Soft Pack explore the very song structures and dynamics which defined them as a band in the past. The band demoed approximately thirty songs, then cut it down to twelve for Strapped.
Released in September of 2012, Strapped features a lot of diversity and what some critics have referred to as growth in the songs that they present on this release. The album develops their catchy rhythms that were found on their first full length release moving into different genres while still sounding like The Soft Pack. The first song on Strapped “Saratoga” starts off with the traditional fuzzy guitar sounds and rhythms that Soft Pack fans have come to expect. “Second Look” enters at the second track and its title proves to be rather fitting when considering the album as a whole. It explores other musical landscapes in terms of instrumentation, featuring a New Wave feel with Saxophone, as does the majority of the album. Other songs on this album that display Soft Packs new found dynamics include songs such as “Tallboy” which is a song flooded with synthesizer keyboards sounding like a long lost 80’s New Wave song, and “Bobby Brown” which is also another track that is discussed when referring to the differences on this release and their previous. This song has an R&B rhythm with an almost Electro Pop vibe. Other interesting tracks found on Strapped include the Gang of Four sounding instrumental “Oxford Avenue”, “Ray’s Mistake””, and the song “Chinatown” with lyrics that address the Mayan calendar, the movie of the same name and California water rights. The song has the same feel as a song such as “Answer To Yourself”.
Overall Strapped is an album that is built up with enough variety to warrant repeat listens that will reveal different things each time. The Soft Pack could have easily released another album similar to their first full length, but they took their time and put out something that was different and emphasized growth within the band as a unit. Strapped is an album that some people will love, some people will hate but it is an album that shows a band branching out. The term “strapped” can have a few meanings, the most common being that you are strapped for cash, but in the context of this album the term strapped can be seen as being ready to go. As in, The Soft Pack are strapped in and ready for what will happen next. This album conveniently titled Strapped proves that with these songs the band is ready for just that.
The following interview was done between myself (Dave Konstantino of Revolution Rock) and Matt Lamkin of The Soft Pack. We talk of recording, the bands past, lyrical subject matter and more:
RR: Strapped took two years to make - what made you decide to take a slower approach to recording this album as opposed to your first full length as The Soft Pack?
RR: I read that thirty songs were actually recorded for this album what do you plan to do with the remainder of the unreleased songs and how did you decide on which songs would make the album?
ML: There were a bunch of song ideas and about 30 demos but most of the stuff that is on the album is stuff that we rerecorded in a studio. The songs that didn't make it to the studio were uninteresting and unfinished. You wouldn't like them.
RR: Growth is a word that is often thrown around when discussing this album - would you say trying other styles and experimenting with different kinds of instrumentation (for example saxophone, synthesizers) is something that The Soft Pack has always wanted to experiment with? Why or why not?
ML: Everything we had done before was straight ahead guitar rock. There are no effects on the guitars except for some reverb and the recordings were pretty much done live. This time around we wanted to get out of that and try some other stuff, effects, recording approaches. We listen to all sorts of records. Guitar rock is only a portion of our record collection, so I guess the idea is to get our songs to reflect our record collections. It really doesn't stray too much from the old stuff it just shows an interest in trying something else. We still haven't gotten there in my opinion. But, it is nice to hear people say we are growing as a band. That is the goal.
RR: What is your opinion of analog recording vs. digital and how do you prefer to listen to music? On vinyl, CD, cassette?
ML: None of us have any loyalties to any specific format. Personally, I listen to what ever format I can find. Vinyl is nice but its hard to find anything other than mp3 of some obscure stuff and sometimes you have to settle for a cd reissue when original vinyl is too expensive or hard to find. I like cd's, though. I don't really consider that settling. I'm down with all formats. I like cd's in the van, tapes in a boombox at the beach, records at home, mp3 on the go. Life is too short to be a slave to a format. I'm a slave to the rhythm.
RR: What are your inspirations behind the songs lyrically? For example you have a song called “Chinatown” that is about water rights in California.
ML: I just write lyrics about whatever. Chinatown is about that movie, the end of the Mayan calendar, California water rights, the Eastern Sierras where my dad is from. I'm not too concerned with people being able to understand exactly what I'm talking about in a song. I like to leave it open. Sometimes its just about screwing around with words like in Ray's Mistake.
RR: You guys used to be called The Muslims and recorded under that name before changing to The Soft Pack – what do you remember from the time those recording sessions/songs were made?
ML: The Muslims really was a different thing from the Soft Pack. Matty and I were the only song writers for that material. We recorded everything at Jon Greene's house in San Diego. Dave and Brian joined after about a year of playing around California and any material after that has been Soft Pack. I would say the Soft Pack is material written by all four of us, whereas the Muslims was just Matty and me. Anyway, writing the Muslims songs took a lot longer because we were brand new at it. The recordings were done over a period of months, more like the recording of Strapped. Really the first Soft Pack album is the outlier. It's the only one that we didn't do at our own pace, for better or worse.
RR: Since this is your second album as The Soft Pack what are some of your favorite sophomore albums (2nd albums by other bands)?
ML: My favorite sophomore releases would have to be Dragnet [The Fall], Reckoning [R.E.M], Songs From A Room [Leonard Cohen] to name a few. But it gets confusing with collaborations, recording dates, band names or territories with a few of my favorite artists like Brian Eno, Ariel Pink, Joy Division, the Beatles UK or US.
RR: In 2010 The Soft Pack played 10 shows in one day! How did you come up with that idea? Also how long was each set and how were you able to sustain the energy to do that many shows?
ML: 10 shows in one day was Sean Carlson's idea. It was a good idea. It was a blast. Very, very fun but, I never want to do it again. The sets were about 20 min. and the whole day was about 14 hours. By the end of the day we looked like zombies and could barely form sentences but we were able to plow through it because it was a good time.
RR: What are the future plans for The Soft Pack?
ML: The Soft Pack will be touring UK/Europe in Jan. and Feb. After that, we will do another tour around the US and Canada in the spring. It would be great to have another album out in 2013.
This Week's Play List:
1. Bunker Hill - The Girl Can’t Dance
2. Them – Go On Home Baby
3. The Regulators - Brainless Wonder
4. The Demics - Nervous Breakdown
5. The Hoots – Ghetto Fab
6. Dean Droulliard – Out of the Blue
7. Snake River – Wake, Darling, Wake!
8. Diamond Rugs – Hightail
9. The Soft Pack – Answer To Yourself
10. The Soft Pack – Chinatown
11. The Soft Pack – Tallboy
12. Papermaps – Nobody Gets It
13. David Bowie – Station To Station
14. The Clash – Overpowered By Funk
15. Tranzmitors – Bigger Houses, Broken Homes
16. Tranzmitors - Dancing In The Front Row
17. Young Rival – Black Popcorn
18. Young Rival – Better Things
19. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – Copycat (Unreleased Live At Max’s Kansas City 1979)
20. The Rezillos – Bad Guy Reaction
21. The Black Lips – Everybody’s Doin’ It
22. The D4 – Get Loose
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 4. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Link Wray has released a lot of singles, but in 1962/1963 he released a series of singles on the Mala record label that are relatively obscure in his catalogue and hard to come by nowadays. In 1962 Link Wray released the “Big City After Dark”/”Hold It” single. It was actually released under the name Ray Vernon & His Wraymen, which was a tribute to Link’s brother Vernon who played with his band, but was also an aspiring Pop star who would work behind the scenes with Link serving as a producer/recordist. “Big City After Dark” is a deep Blues cut with dirty raunchy guitar sounds, some of the dirtiest tones Link has captured on tape. The b-side to this single is a cover of Bill Doggett’s “Hold It”, Link and His Wray Men work up the song into a smoking panic serving as an excellent Garage Rock track that pre-dates early Beatles recordings. “Dance Party” was one of the other Link Wray songs released on the Mala Record label and it has been released under a few names. It was released under the “There’s A Hole In The Middle Of The Moon” single in 1963 with “Dancing Party” as it’s b-side. It has also gone under the name “Friday Night Dance Party”.
What do these singles have in common other than being rare and hard to find Link Wray singles? They were both reissued for the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day in 2012. When re-issued it came as a double single with “Big City After Dark”/”Hold It” on one single and “Dance Party” on the other, it features an extended version of the song listed as “Dance Party Parts 1 & 2” with part one on side A and part two on side B. What these singles serve as are rare glimpses into some raunchy obscure singles from Link Wray, ones that before Record Store Day were really hard to find other than on the odd compilation album. On the cover of the “Big City After Dark” single there is a picture of a young Link Wray with a smirk on his face and a certain look in his eyes, the look is somewhat ominous, but one of determination. The fact that these recordings pre-date Garage Rock further emphasises the importance of Link Wray’s sound on Rock music. Link’s look on the cover reflects the sounds we find on these singles and with his music. It has been said many, many times that Link Wray is an influential artist, these recordings prove that even on the deepest rarest cuts in Link’s catalogue he still had that unhinged raw Rock and Roll sound that that was not only original, but was bound to be influential. On this “Big City After Dark” re-issue, Link Wray’s sound is resurrected from the dusty grooves of the past, yet at the same time the music still sounds fresh. It is further evidence of his immediate influential and unrelenting Rock sound.
The Play List:
1. Holy Wave – Albuquerque Freakout
2. Davie Allan & The Arrows – Blues Theme
3. The Clique – You’ve Been Unfair
4. The Yardbirds – Mister You’re A Better Man Than I
5. Lowlands – Black Mask II
6. John Cale – I Wanna Talk 2 U
7. Drew Smith – Smoke & Mirrors
8. Neil Jarvis – What’s Done Is Done
9. Orphan Choir – Haunt The Highways
10. The Blue Squares – Time To Get Over You
11. The Checkerlads – Shake Yourself Down
12. The Skaliwags – Turn Him Down
13. The Zombies – Just Out of Reach
14. White Stripes – Stop Breaking Down (Live at BBC Studios, Maida Vale)
15. The Polymorphines – I Gotta Vibration
16. The Baracudas – (I Wish It Could Be) 1965 Again
17. Link Wray – Big City After Dark
18. Link Wray – Hold It
19. Pow Wows – Fire Song (Live WFMU September 15th, 2012)
20. The Zeros – What’s Wrong With A Pop Group
21. The Scabs – Amory Building
22. Lost Patrol – Dead or Alive
23. Long Weekends – Shame On You
24. Iggy Pop & James Williamson – Johanna
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 26. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
In 2008, The Scenics returned with the album How Does It Feel To Be Loved? an album made up entirely of Velvet Underground covers recorded during the bands heyday. A DVD version of The Last Pogo film was issued the same year which included bonus vintage footage of The Scenics playing on Canadian cable television. A new interest was generated in the band and they even began playing some live shows together again. Another album featuring previously unreleased material was put out in 2009 entitled Sunshine World, an album made up of studio recordings from 1977-1978. The band embarked on a mini tour around this time playing in places such as Toronto, London, Montreal and Ottawa. Around this time the band also began working on new recordings for a forthcoming full length album that would eventually be released in October of 2012.
Deadman Walks Down Bayview was released to positive reviews and displayed the band in a mature, yet unique point of view. The songs that make up this album are somewhat reminiscent of music heard from the band’s past, but The Scenics were never a band to follow trends or to repeat themselves. Even when they were playing in the late 70s Punk scene in Toronto, The Scenics were different and had their own sound. They are often described as a Proto-Punk sounding group and on Deadman Walks Down Bayyview the band expands their song writing capabilities while still keeping their youthful edge lyrically.
The opening track “Dark Cave” musically is reminiscent of Velvet Underground as the lyrics emphasize the secluded atmosphere around working a full time monotonous job. “Fox”, “When You Come Around”, and “Oh Boy” all display different sounds referencing music from bands such as Velvet Underground to The Byrds, and Television. “No Sleep” arrives with a Rockabilly-like rhythm, “Miami” comes in at song six with its Guided By Voices sounding influence as the lyrics “I want my own camera” are repeated over and over again. Songs like “I Can’t Be Careful” displays the bands more slower melodic style and a song like “Farmer” goes into experimental Psychedelic directions. It may have been thirty years since The Scenics have released new material, but Deadman Walks Down Bayview shows that The Scenics still have the chemistry and essence that made them so interesting in the first place.
Listen to an extended version of the interview that I did with Ken Badger of The Seenics on Revolution Rock here:
Music Video for Dark Cave:
This Week's Play List:
1. Chuck Berry – Let It Rock
2. Frankenstein 5 – It’s A Cryin’ Shame
3. Crystal Swells – Harsh Flux
4. Riff Raff – I Wanna Be A Cosmonaut
5. The Bloody Five – (I Wanna Go To) New York City
6. Alright Alright – Bingo Bango
7. Purple Hearts – Just To Please You – The Guy Who Made Her A Star
8. The Scenics – Dark Cave
9. The Scenics – Great Pile of Leaves
Ken Badger (of The SCENICS) INTERVIEW
10. The Scenics – Miami
11. The Scenics – Do The Wait
12. Dot Dash – Lateral/Vertical
13. Tame Impala – Why Won’t They Talk To Me?
14. Andrew Bird – When That Helicopter Comes
15. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Ignore That Door (Live August 17, 1978 Max’s Kansas City)
16. Indian Wars – Already Home
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 20. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
It's that time of year again, time for CJAM's annual pledge drive. Revolution Rock has been broadcasting on CJAM FM for eight years now – each week I provide listeners with a collection of 60s Garage, 70s Punk/New Wave, Indie and alternative music that is not broadcast on mainstream radio. CJAM FM is a non-profit campus/community radio station that relies on donations to keep running and growing. This year we are raising money in hopes of increasing our signal strength to broadcast further and reach more people! Pledge drive runs from November 9-16 and we only ask for pledges once a year to make a donation. You can call 519-971-3630 (Windsor) or 1-855-344-2526 (1-855-DIG-CJAM) for Detroit or out of town listeners and can also make a pledge securely online via cjam.ca.
In 2009 CJAM nearly lost its protected status as a station and it was documented in Voice of The Underground, a documentary that I made about their signal change. You can watch the documentary in full below – raising money to increase our signal strength is the next step to bring CJAM’s quality program to a wider audience – watch the documentary and show your support for Revolution Rock and CJAM FM today!
This Week's Play List:
1. Bell Peppers – Drapes N’ Squares
2. Nick Lowe - Long Limbed Girl
3. The Action – Waiting For The Man
4. Rah Rah - Art And A Wife
5. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Watch Your Step (Alternate Version)
6. The Zolas - In Heaven
7. Velvet Underground – One of These Days
8. Flowers 0f Hell – Atmosphere
9. Mark Lanegan - Gravedigger's Song
10. Thee Oh Sees - Flood's New Light
11. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement
12. Bloodshot Bill – Right Out The Door
13. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Coma Girl
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 13. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
“Nothing You Know Well” is the second track on Stay Young, with its climbing basslines and spacious reverb filled guitar riffs, this is a song like many on the album that displays a poignant sense of view at times combined with visual lyrics like “The fireflies are out tonight/and your eyes are burning above the cigarette light”. “Let It Go” starts with a heavy bassline from bassist John Smith, the song structure reflects a mid-period Clash influence not unlike their “Radio Clash” single. It is also layered with the catchy vocals that are a prominent feature of not only this song, but also Stay Young. “I Don’t Care” features intricate drum work from Noah Fralick and jangly Garage rhythms, while “Two Reasons” hits hard with Aron D’Alesio’s guitars and vocals. With its suburban juxtaposing lyrics such as “She came into my house/she broke the couch/she turned on the TV/and then she left the milk out” and “I kissed her on the steps/my hands on her hips/that’s when I found out she picked my pocket for a summer dress”, the song reflects a sharp yet mature point of view lyrically. The music video to this song has also become an internet sensation climbing at above 600,000 views in just ten days on reddit. The video features a variety of unique face paintings of James Kuhn from Michigan, which has gotten a big reaction out of people on the web. James was discovered by bassist John Smith and the rest of the band via his blog. The band collaborated with him for the video and after receiving about twenty five videos of James lip syncing to “Two Reasons”, the results were edited together by bassist John Smith.
“Black Is Good” is without a doubt one of the best tracks on Stay Young. It features a stop and start Strokes-like rhythm in the verses with haunting Beach Boys background vocals. The song kicks into high gear in the chorus when the tempo changes and the song takes on a Post-Punk structure not unlike early Iggy Pop. The lyrics to this song are very distinctive as Aron D’Alesio sings about love, as he searches for answers in a drunken epiphany he comes to the conclusion that “Black Is Good” and he’s content where he’s at as he sings in the songs chorus “You’ve always been my love girl/please don’t go/forever this will be the hand/knocking on your door” and the coda “Yes it’s true/I’d rather be in the dark with you/black is good”.
“Lost” is one of the most distinctively different songs found on Stay Young as it shows the band exploring a new creative experimental direction. It resembles The Beatles “Long, Long, Long” and music found on Radiohead’s OK Computer. It shows off Young Rival in top form branching out into a new and different direction. In the About Section of the band’s website, D’Alesio elaborates on the bands branching out on this album: “It opens the aperture as to what you think this band can do. It’s not just like: ‘Oh, they do this. And they do what they do well and that’s all they do,’” says D’Alesio. “It’s to let people know early on we can do a number of different styles within something that still feels like a cohesive effort.”
Other standout tracks on this album are the Rockabilly rhythms of “Better Things To Do”, the nuggets influenced “Valerie”, and “Night Song” which ends the album on mellow note. When the album is over, I can’t help but return to the its beginning track “Black Popcorn.” Like black popcorn, Young Rival grows naturally on Stay Young, not sounding genetically engineered or overproduced, they in essence harness the “Young Rival” sound in which they have become known for and at the same time have grown with a new sense flavour.
Young Rival play FM Lounge in Windsor on November 8th with The Elwins.
The Play List:
1. The Replacements – Raised In The City
2. Fang – The Money Will Roll Right In
3. Foo Fighters – For All The Cows
4. Vivian Girls – Tension
5. Hush Arbors – Fast Asleep
6. Sonny Boy Williamson – Bring Another Half A Pint
7. The Stems – Rosebud
8. The Elwins – Only Friend
9. Brazilian Money – Aliens Will Arrive
10. Tranzmitors – Jimmy’s At The Mod Shop
11. The Adverts – The Great British Mistake (BBC Session)
12. The Modernettes – Barbra
13. Sex Pistols – Don’t Give Me No Lip Child
14. Gang of Four –Paralyzed
15. Actual Water – The Paisley Orchard
16. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Vibolux Deluxe
17. Link Wray – Creepy
18. Alex Chilton – I’ve Had It
19. Nirvana – Spank Thru (Live)
20. Ty Segall – Thank God For The Sinners
21. Simply Saucer – Dance The Mutation
22. Young Rival – Two Reasons
23. Young Rival – Nothing You Know Well
24. Young Rival - The Ocean
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 6. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The songs were recorded by Alex Chilton at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee in October of 1977, as would be the bands first full length release Songs The Lord Taught Us, which would be released in 1980. The sound of The Cramps has often been called Psychobilly and some fans disagree with this label, they are also listed as Garage Punk too. The bands sound was described in the linear notes to 1979’s Gravest Hits by Dr. J.H. Sasfy, Professor of Rockology, American Rock'n'Roll Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A. as this: " It is one of first documents of the rockabilly revival genre, and the psychobilly genre. The term "Psychobilly" can actually be traced back to the Johnny Cash song "One Piece At A Time", which was released in 1976 and is the first recorded piece of music to use that term. The Cramps would also use this term on early show posters to advertise their sound, in the process they helped to coin the term and define a genre. This was done inadvertently, Lux Interior has been outspoken about this saying that The Cramps music was just Rock music.
With lyrics like “I got 96 tears and 96 eyes”, “Human Fly” not only conjures up retro Horror movie images, but also pays homage to ? and the Mysterians a Detroit based Garage band who had a hit song called “96 Tears”. In the very same song we find lyrics such as “I got a garbage brain/it’s drivin’ me insane/And I don’t like your ride/so push that pesticide” which can be seen as a metaphor for the time in which The Cramps were releasing this music in the midst of the 70s Punk scene in which they became a fixture in New York. It was something they also built upon in the song “Garbage Man”, although it tended to lean more towards the state of mainstream radio in that song. Compared to the other music at the time, The Cramps along with the 70s Punk scene represented a shift and The Cramps definitely took elements of Rocks past adding the edge of Punk to move forward in their own direction. Not unlike the story told in Johnny Cash's "One Piece At A Time" in which he tells us of putting together a Frankenstein-like car with different stolen parts from car different models, The Cramps pieced together their music from different parts of what makes Rock music great and exciting. Whether it was Surf, Garage, Country, Rockabilly or Punk, The Cramps did this one piece at a time in each song and "Human Fly" is one of the first examples of this.
This Week's Play List:
1. Big Vinny & The Cattle Thieves – Got Me A Monster
2. Queens of The Stone Age – Burn The Witch
3. Torn Down Units – Lost On Ghost Road
4. Unicorns - Tuff Ghost
5. Mudhoney - Halloween
6. Screaming Lord Sutch - She's Fallen In Love With A Monsterman
7. The Cramps - Human Fly
8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Up Jumped The Devil
9. Siouxsie and the Banshees - Halloween
10. Rotten Tropics – Nightmare Index
11. Deja Voodoo – Phantom Skateboarder
12. Ramones - Pet Semetary (Live)
13. Black Belles – Honky Tonk Horror
14. Cold Warps – Don’t Haunt Me, Ok?
15. Metz - Knife in the Water
16. Indian Wars – Commanche Killer
17. Tom Waits - Temptation
18. Ghost Bikini – Spooks
19. Spooks – Koji Kondo
20. TEENANGER – Frights
21. Fuzztones - She's Wicked
22. The Misfits – 20 Eyes
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 30. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
If you were to look up the songs actual co-ordinates Map Ref 41°N 93°W you would find Centerville, Iowa, something that was determined by Wire bassist Graham Lewis when writing the lyrics to this song. The song lyrically is a realization based on travelling through the US. Graham Lewis elaborates more in Wire … Everybody Loves A History:
"'Map Ref 41°N 93°W' - There's actually a place called something like Centretown, Iowa. The song is about travelling. I flew from L.A. to New York in 1978 and crossed the mid-west, and it went on and on and on and on. It was just incredible that this grid system was imposed on an enormous stretch of land. The other verse refers to travelling through Holland, by road, seeing all the dykes which is another grid system. 'Curtains undrawn' -- seeing these blocks of flats, like dolls houses with people sitting in them all day with curtains undrawn. It's a travelogue."
When 'Map Ref 41°N 93°W' was released as a single it did not chart. The b-side to this single was the song “Go Ahead” a song that was not featured on the 154 album, it has very foreign sounding guitar rhythms, having an overall almost industrial Joy Division sound. The lyrics to the song bring up chart positions and media coverage, which could have been influenced by the prevented success of their “Outdoor Miner” single from 1978’s Chairs Missing, the song was prevented from having chart success due to a payola scandal at the time. But returning to the a-side, when listening to the track you can hear its transcendent quality as the chorus hits with the lyrics “Interrupting my train of thought/ Lines of longitude and latitude/ Define and refine my altitude”, one can’t help but think of the lines that intersect in this song. Wire’s longitude and latitudes may have taken many adventures musically and while this singe wasn’t a large success commercially, it displays Wire at their best at that point in time in their career in the centre of their own musical landscape.
This Week's Play List:
1. The Obits – Let Me Dream If I Want To
2. Modern Superstitions – Black Moon
3. Random Variables – High School of My Heart
4. Lou Reed - Romeo & Juliet
5. Built To Spill - Dystopian Dream Girl
6. The Stoves - Can't Slow Down
7. The Zellots - Soldiers
8. The Gruesomes - Leave My Kitten Alone
9. The Fall - Couldn't Get Ahead
10. The Pointed Sticks - The Witch
11. Papermaps – Break
12. Dum Dum Girls – Season In Hell
13. Laughing Clowns – Law of Nature
14. The Vaccines – Bad Mood
15. Wire – Map Ref. 41° N 93° W
16. Pere Ubu - Final Solution
17. Modest Mouse - Cowboy Dan
18. Neil Young - For The Turnstiles
19. Black Lips – The Ballad of Ray Marsh (Outtake)
20. Public Image Limited - Annalisa
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 23. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Iggy Pop’s 1980 album Soldier started off with good intentions, it was set up to be produced by Ex-Stooges guitarist James Williamson who produced Iggy’s 1979 album New Values, another Iggy Pop album that did well in the UK at the time but is still criminally overlooked. When David Bowie came in to assist on some of the production Williamson and Bowie both left the sessions following an argument leaving engineer Pat Moran to pick up where they left off, as a result Soldier is an album that fights hard and stands up to other Iggy Pop releases making a unique and different album from its predecessors. The backing band on this album was a collection of Punk/New Wave musicians they were as Glen Matlock stated in the 2000 re-issue linear notes "Kind of a weird wacky band", but the deck was stacked on this album. Ex-Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock signed up to play bass and also assisted in writing four of the tracks on this album, it also featured Ivan Kral of The Patti Smith Group on guitar/keys, Barry Andrews of XTC on Keyboards, Klaus Kruger on drums (who played on New Values) and Steve New who played with Rich Kids, Generation X and countless New Wave/Punk groups on guitar, and David Bowie and The Simple Minds on one track. The album was recorded in 1979 at Rockfield Studies in Wales.
The album is known for its raw production, but also for its lack of lead guitar featuring primarily acoustic guitars, bass, drums and keyboards on most tracks. Rumour has it that Iggy got along poorly with guitarist Steve New on this album because he apparently punched David Bowie in the face for hitting on his girlfriend, which resulted in most of his guitar parts being taken out in the final mix of the album, adding further to Matlocks statement in the 2000 re-issue linear notes of the band being "weird and wacky". Soldier starts of with the quirky circus sounding keyboard driven rhythm of “Loco Mosquito”. The song starts of with the line “My mommy told me that if I was goody that she would buy me a rubber dolly” an odd line to start off any album with, yet it is a line that reflects what we can come to expect on this album lyrically, lyrics that question. Obviously representing some sort of hope that could have been instilled in a person in their youth if you’re good you’ll get what you want, that one line is a hint of the introspective lyrics that we will find on Soldier. At the time everyone was claiming Iggy Pop was such a huge inspiration with this previous band The Stooges and even with his early solo releases (The Idiot, Lust For Life), but at that point in time Iggy was questioning his make up as an artist what made him, him and reflecting on his past. “Ambition” follows contrasting against what were introduced with from "Loco Mosquito" lyrically and musically. It is a song penned by Glenn Matlock this salty acoustic, bass, drum and keyboard track shows Iggy making a statement with lyrics such as “Ah but my associates/Why they're no more than opiates/Always dragging me down/Dash my hopes to the ground” and ending with the lyrics “So 'till then just press on/Don't lose your grip/Don't lose ambition” letting us know that despite all that has been happening with his music career he will soldier on. “Knocking ‘Em Down (In The City)” follows next with its upbeat electric guitars and lyrics that call for a move forward, another hidden gem on this album.
“Play It Safe” follows next, it is a song that is perhaps a bit darker lyrically and one that questions America’s youth with lyrics “I wanna be a criminal/play it safe”, the song sounds like it could have been on a Berlin-era David Bowie album, it also features David Bowie and The Simple Minds on backing vocals. "Play It Safe" is often stated as a standout track on Soldier. “Dog Food” is an unused Stooges outtake, it features aggressive guitar, hand claps and lyrics that were inspired by according the re-issue linear notes “big housing projects set up in the state where the shops sell lots of dog food - but nobody there was allowed to own a pet!”. “I Need More” follows with more electric guitar, but this is a song which questions the suburban lifestyle, a shopping list of items are listed off in the song, but the one line “I need more mustard/pickle and relish” seems to stand out representing the variety that one craves in the monotonous modern everyday world, but can’t seem to claim. “Take Care Of Me” amongst its soulful basslines and fuzzy electric riffs provides us with lyrics such as “An international garbage man/I've decided that's what I am” and "It's an old story I suppose/A heavy price for a heavy pose" which are further example of the introspective, yet reflective lyrics that are found on this album. The political satire of “I’m A Conservative” with lyrics such as “I like the small black marks on my hand” takes us to the second last song on this album. On this track Iggy questions Conservatism is a dark yet humorous way, not coming off as overtly political. The album ends on a high energy offensive snotty note with the song “I Snub You”. The album was reissued in 2000 with two additional bonus tracks the acoustic “Low Life” and the instrumental New Wave Rock track “Drop A Hook”.
While Soldier is often overlooked, the album (the second of three albums released on Arista Records) has many things going for it that make it different from other Iggy releases. Its lack of electric guitars for the most part, although it does still have plenty of them on the ending tracks are one thing, but it is also a poignant statement which features intelligent and raw imperfections. Taking a look at the albums cover we see a seemingly worn out Iggy Pop in white t-shirt and red covered eye lids, he looks like a tired, worn out zombie more than anything, but as anyone who listens to this album and has followed Iggy Pops career will know the title Soldier represents what Iggy Pop wanted to do amongst all of his difficulties, to soldier on and win his own way.
This week's play list:
1. Fun Things – Lipstick2. Quinteto Acadademico – Train
3. New Kind of Mambo – Monkey Swing
4. Sonic Reverends – Have Some Mercy!
5. Paradise – Creatures of the Night
6. Cartoons – Vinyl Riot
7. Falklands – It’s Good To See You
8. Blank Generation – Reaction
9. Albert Hammond Jr. – Everyone Gets A Star
10. Divine Fits – What Gets You Alone
11. TV Smith’s Explorers – See Europe
12. The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey – In The Garden
13. Light Bulb Alley – Long Time Coming
14. Os Morgans – Opus
15. Bell Peppers – Rubber Bullets
16. Bell Peppers – Golf Shack
17. The Ghastly Ones - Mysterion
18. Actual Water –Brighton
19. Young Rival - Nothing You Know Too Well
20. Pow Wows – Killing Me
21. Iggy Pop – I Need More
22. Iggy Pop – Ambition
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 16. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This Week's was hosted by Clara of CJAM's The Washing Machine, it was a fill-in and she played an interesting mix of Indie Rock and music that you might normally hear on Revolution Rock. Check out these videos and the play list below.
The Bell Peppers "Shore Thing" is a new song by Manchesters Surf combo. They are currently working on new material and this song hasn't even been released yet.
The Adverts were a UK Punk band featuring the song writing talents of TV Smith. This is a performance the band did on Top of The Pops of the song "No Time To Be 21" a song also featured on this week's program.
This Week's Play List:
1. The XX – Chained
2. The Adverts – No Time To Be 21
3. Tame Impala – Lucidity
4. Turbo Fruits – Don’t Like To Fight
5. Teen – Sleep Is Noise
6. The Bell Peppers – Moonlight Heartache
7. Rah Rah – Art And A Wife
8. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
9. Stars – Lights Changing Colour
10. The Raveonettes – Downtown
11. DOA – War Hero
12. Classix Nouveau – Is It A Dream
13. Black Flag – Society’s Lease
14. Mystery Machine – Japanese Kids
15. Twin Shadow – At My Heels
16. The Avengers – The American In Me
17. Firehouse – More Famous Quotes
18. Two Hours Traffic – Feel Alright
19. The Stranglers – English Towns
20. Free Kitten – Oh Bondage Up Yours
21. Grizzly Bear – A Simple Answer
22. Animal Collective – Apple Sauce
23. Shonen Knife – Mr. J
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 9. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
The title track “Slimer” attacks with its razor sharp guitar parts, as it mixes in catchy lo-fi garage pop hooks with an 90s alternative edge. When the chorus kicks in one can’t help but think of the early Halifax sounds of Thrush Hermit and Sloan, lyrically the words “I don’t know what it means” stick in your head like the lime green slime that is portrayed on the singles artwork. “Dream Creepin’” follows next building with its stop and start guitar riffs and deranged lyrics, displaying the bands catchy yet darker lyrics at the same time, but everything is executed in an upbeat fashion. The artwork to the single was brilliantly executed by Yorodeo in a silk screen styled design (available in three different colours). The bright neon colours and cut out eyes of a 70s photo of Mick Jagger are reminiscent of colours we might find in the 90s with their bright colours, yet like unlike the 90s this music and design has all the benefits of the modern age. While the single may be short the lyrics in the first verse of “Slimer” come back to mind “I got you in my head I don’t know what it means”, the songs are catchy, the music is familiar, but difficult to pin down, as this Canadian band mixes its own homebrew for us to taste, and it tastes good.
This Week's Play List:
1. The Oblivians – I’m Not A Sicko, There’s A Plate In My Head
2. Hot Panda – Negative Thinking Patterns
3. TEENANGER – Walking On Eggshells
4. The Action – Down Town Boy
5. Mutts – Half Mile
6. Davey Parker Radio Sound – I Paid For My Baby
7. The Resistors – Never On A Sunday
8. The Vox – Bored of The 80’s
9. Starvin Hungry – Contagious
10. Jesse Pipkin & Band – Work With It
11. Little Sam Davis – Goin’ To New Orleans
12. Johnny Cash – All Over Again
13. Diamond Rugs – 100 Sheets
14. The Strokes – Soma
15. Elk - Flowers
16. The Diodes – Behind Those Eyes
17. Vice Creems – 01-01-01-212
18. Radio Birdman – Burn My Eye 78
19. The Carbonas – Blackout
20. The Hives – My Time Is Coming
21. Magazine – Model Worker
22. The Piranhas - Green Don't Suit Me
23. The True Lovers - Guilty Pleasure #9
24. Ty Segall – Don’t Do It
25. Cold Warps – Slimer
26. Cold Warps – Dream Creepin’
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 2. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The second set of owners of the studio were Rudy Rempel and James Heidebrecht, who produced recordings by The Constantines, and Royal City, and in 2006, Dean Marino and Jay Sadlowski took over as owners and operators of the Chemical Sound facility. The studio also moved locations in 2006, the original site of the studio was torn down in order to make way for condominiums. Relocated in Riverdale, Toronto Dean and Jay would produce recordings by artists such as Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, an i-tunes session for The Black Keys, The Schoemberg Fair, C’MON and many others. When they announced they were closing their doors in 2012 this message appeared on their website:
Chemical Sound has been in business for 20 years. Over the years the studio has played host to many important Canadian and International recording artists. Since 2006 Dean and Jay have worked with great bands like The Black Keys, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, C'MON, Sweet Thing, The Elwins, EIMIC, Attack in Black and many many more.
We want to thank everyone who has supported us over the years.
One of the last recordings recorded at Chemical Sound was the Inferior Ghost EP by Papermaps. The EP was recorded at Chemical, but also parts of it were done at Vespa Studios and mixed in what is now Central Audio, a new name for the space that used to be Chemical Sound. The EP represents perseverance through difficult times. Many reasons have been thrown around as to why the studio closed its doors, one being it not being economically viable, but the truth is all things must come to an end at some point. Chemical Sound retired while people still had an interest in it, and at a time where music recording is in a state of transition, the EP literally represents this, it was recorded at two places, one of them being Chemical Sound. It is a rather poignant and fitting release if you consider the EP in that respect.
It is nearly impossible to sum up a studio that for twenty years (from 1992-2012) has had produced so many recordings in a few odd paragraphs. You could say so many things, but the biggest factor that made people return to the studio was the fact that Chemical Sound was always devoted to quality, regardless of the genre of music or band that was recording there and the products spoke for themselves. So when you’re looking through an album and check out to see where it was recorded you can be sure that if it says Chemical Sound, something interesting was done there. I can’t help but return to Sloan’s Navy Blues, which is an album that showed off a different yet exciting side of the band which brought them new successes. But the band also recorded their next album Between The Bridges there as well (it was mixed elsewhere) a fact that few people know without checking out the linear notes, but you can hear it in the sound of the drums on that record. The drum sounds at Chemical were always something of note when considering the studio, they were often referred to as getting really good, if not some of the best drum sounds in Toronto and when you listen to a song such as “Money City Maniacs”, “She Says What She Means”, or even songs by C’MON, Godspeed! You Black Emperor or from any of the albums recorded there, you can hear the room, you can hear the sound of a band playing in that moment when the sound of a band/making music was all that mattered and that’s what you got from Chemical Sound a moment captured and what a great moment it was.
The following interview was done between myself (Dave Konstantino host of Revolution Rock) and Dean Marino and Jay Sadlowski musicians and the owners/operators of Chemical Sound from 2006-2012. We talk of recordings made there, a bit of its history and more.
RR: When did you first hear of Chemical Sound and what was it that interested the both of you about the studio?
D - I was a client. I made my first professional recording there in 2000. I heard that Sloan's Navy Blues was recorded there.
J - I knew about the music that came from the studio, but didn't know about the studio itself till I started talking to Dean about it.
RR: How, why and when did you guys become involved with the recording aspects of Chemical Sound?
D - Both Jay and myself have been recording since we were teenagers (we were in a high school band together). We would rent / steal and borrow equipment to make cassette recordings in our basements or in the music room at school - eventually we graduated from 4-track tape machines to semi pro and then fully pro stuff. After being a client at Chemical for a few years I built up the nerve to ask to intern there. I interned for a few months before they started paying me - all that high school tom foolery and experimentation paid off. I started at the studio in 2003, bought the gear and name in 2005 and we closed in 2012.
RR: Chemical Sound is known for their vintage gear and analog recording techniques, when was Chemical Sound first established as a recording studio and why do you think that the studio put this recording mandate in place to begin with?
D - The studio was established by Daryl Smith in 1992, when analog recording was really the only option - I guess ADATs had been around or a few years, but they were considered sub-standard. The studio just stuck to what worked. They didn't acquire a ProTools rig until 2004! Ian Blurton (Change of Heart, Blurtonia, C'MON) had a lot to do with the gear selection because he was/is heavily into the classic heavy rock sound - he knew what kind of gear works best for that sound. He's the one who tracked down the API console.
J - Yeah, Daryl and Ian really shaped it based on their love of classic records. It's cool. At the time, the 80's, they were really going against the grain in terms of popular sound. A lot of records then were thin and very clean sounding, meanwhile they were building this classic, gritty distorted sound.
RR: Chemical Sound was originally located elsewhere in Toronto for many years. When and why did Chemical Sound switch locations?
D - The location change happened late 2005 early 2006. The original location is now a swank condo.
RR: What are some of your favourite recordings that have come out of Chemical Sound? More specifically, out of all the recordings that you both have worked on which ones are some of your favourites?
D - Black Keys iTunes Session - because it was done so purely, quickly and sounds so good. EIMIC's (Everything is Made in China) first two records, because Jay and myself had full creative production and Tokyo Police Club's Elephant Shell because I made some life-long friends on that gig.
J - Yeah. I like most of the records that came out of Chemical. For sure everything Dean has mentioned. There's really too much to even list, Ruby Coast, Born Ruffians, The Elwins, Dilly Dally... I love all of them! It's been great to be so proud of it. And we've totally made new friends.
RR: Could you both describe a positive recording experience that you have both had during your time working at Chemical Sound?
D - Most of them are positive because you get to witness and aid in someone's creative child being birthed. It's a nice feeling. I really enjoyed meeting and working with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - they were some of the nicest people.
J - I liked working with a lot of people: Graham Wright, EIMIC, Eight Bit Tiger, Ian Blurton, Mike Rocha, The Elwins, etc. too many to mention.
RR: Alternatively, do you have any stranger moments that have occurred during your time at Chemical Sound that you remember fondly?
D - Yes, but why name names?
J - There were many strange moments; band members fighting, laughing etc. We once recorded a karaoke version of an opera song in return for some architecture work!.
RR: What do you remember of the first recordings that the both of you have worked on, whether it was in the producing or engineering role?
D - Jay and I made 3 records together with our high school bands. Then we didn't see each other until after university - we just ran into each other randomly. We reconnected and then when I thought about buying the studio I asked Jay to help me out with some sessions. We did our first proper record together, as a team, at old Chemical I think it was Tugnut's album Ode to Pete. Or it could have been a Magneta Lane track.
J - Yeah, either Magneta Lane or Tugnut was the first time we worked together in Chemical. They were both awesome sessions actually. We did do a lot of stuff before that too.
RR: When and why did you guys take over operations at Chemical Sound? Was owning and operating a recording studio something that you both wanted to do?
D - I've always dreamed of doing that - working in a studio. When I was a kid and I listened to records, I would imagine a studio scene, not a concert scene - if you get what I mean.
J - We took over around 2005 - 6. A combination of factors lead to this. The old space was being sold, the owners were making life changes, Dean was working there, we were both recording a lot.
RR: In February 2012, it was announced that Chemical Sound would be closing for good and retiring their name, what was it that led to this decision and now that Chemical Sound is over with do you plan to continue recording bands?
D - I will always produce records (be them my own or with artists I really like). I've got a new studio setup which I'm keeping private. I'm keeping the location a secret because I'm not in the "commercial studio" game anymore. No phones - no website. My new studio is smaller, with a much smaller overhead, but still quite substantial - for example, the live room is 400 sq ft with 12 foot ceilings and I can still record whole bands live off the floor. I share the space with two other bands I'm involved in. My goal is to cherry pick my clients from now on. If people want to work with me, they can write me.
J - There are many reasons why we closed; we just both agreed it was time for us to try other things. We are already working with other projects. Both Dean and I have been recording forever, I don't think that we will ever stop.
RR: What was the last recording to be officially made at Chemical Sound? When was it and what do you remember of that last recording session?
D - I want to say it's the forthcoming Papermaps EP, Inferior Ghost. Most of it was done at Chemical (with the exception of 3 bed tracks) and I mixed it in what used to be the Chemical Sound control room (Now Central Audio). It was strange to work in that room, not being the owner and not using the API console, which was sold to Rogue Studios.
J - Truth is, it took us a while to move out of the space and in that time we did as much recording as we could, so it really depends on what you count as the end.
RR: Chemical Sound is often referred to as a legendary studio from Toronto with a unique no frills recording approach. Do you agree with that statement and what do you think it was that appealed to so many bands to record their music at Chemical Sound?
D - Yes. I agree. Our rates were incredibly inexpensive for what you got in terms of equipment and especially in terms of service. No we were not posh - we had a very "workshop" or "garage" vibe going and we liked it that way. Graham Wright once told me he liked working with us because he didn't feel inhibited, he liked how we didn't scold him for touching the Hammond organ or playing around with gear - we/are were easy-going.
J - We tried to build the studio to be a comfortable place for artists to work. I think most musicians recognized that we were focused on making the best records we could. We built it knowing what it's like as the person being recorded.
RR: Both of you make music on your own and have lots of recording experience, what are your plans for the future, whether that is in music, recording or both?
D - I plan to concentrate on my band, PAPERMAPS and my songwriting and I would like to produce a few records and EP's each year by bands that I admire and respect.
J - I have a new "Jay Sad" record that Dean produced, recorded on tape at Chemical. It's mixed already, and I'm hoping to release it soon. I also have plans to mix and produce a few records. I recently did the music for a web animation for Amnesty International, and I'm working on a record with James Hicken (Wallscenery Demos).
Chemical Sound Play List:
1. Sloan – C’Mon C’Mon (We're Gonna Get Started) - Navy Blues (1998)
2. Invasions – Atlantic Blvd - Magic EP (2009)
3. C'MON – The Messenger – Midnight Is The Answer (2004)
4. Tokyo Police Club – Nursery Academy - Elephant Shell (2008)
5. Born Ruffians – Hummingbird – Red Yellow & Blue (2008)
6. Everything Made In China – 4 – 4 (2007)
7. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Storm - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000)
8. Jay Sad & Dean Marino - Best Friend - Chemical Demo (2009)
9. EX~PO – Remember (Live At Chemical Sound April 12, 2008) - Central Meaner Street (Bonus Track) (2008)
10. Jay Sad – Krazy – Krazy (2009)
11. The Superfriendz – Absurd Without It – Slide Show (1996)
12. The Inbreds – T.S. Elliot (Youth Mix) – Hilario (1993)
13. Tricky Woo – Fly The Orient – Sometimes I Cry (1999)
14. Death From Above 1979 - Cold War - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine (2004)
15. Orphan Choir - Burning Ash Again- Unwelcome Guests/Orphan Choir split 7 Inch (2008)
16. The Schomberg Fair – Can’t Go Home - Gospel (2009)
17. Graham Wright – No Hard Feelings – Shirts Vs. Skins (2011)
18. Tin Star Orphans – Let You Down – Yonder (2009)
19. The Black Keys – Chop & Change - i-Tunes Session (2010)
20. Suckerpunch – Let’s Get Evil – Carrots From The Canyon (1995)
21. Jay Sad & Dean Marino - Waiting For The Man - Chemical Outtake/Demo (2007)
22. Ride Theory - Dead Radio, Love - In This City (2005)
23. Papermaps – There Are Wolves - Inferior Ghost EP (2012)
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 25. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.