Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In The City & Show # 415

On April 29th, 1977 The Jam released their debut single In The City in the UK. The song quickly shot up the UK music charts reaching the top 40. It helped launch their career and Paul Weller’s success as a musician. The song musically shares The Jam’s unique blend of Mod Revivalism and 70s Punk enthusiasm, it became an anthem for the Mod Punk revival of the late 70s. The song’s title was borrowed from the B-side of The Who’s I’m A Boy single, while lyrically the song is a social commentary addressing the scene at the time, being influenced by the burgeoning UK Punk scene and Joe Strummer of The Clash, one of Weller’s contemporaries at the time. The song celebrates as Weller states in the lyrics the “youth ideas” in the big city. In an interview with Q Magazine in April of 2010, Weller had this to say of the song and its origins:

"It was the sound of young Woking, if not London, a song about trying to break out of suburbia. As far as we were concerned, the city was where it was all happening; the clubs, the gigs, the music, the music. I was probably 18, so it was a young man's song, a suburbanite dreaming of the delights of London and the excitement of the city. It was an exciting time to be alive. London was coming out of its post-hippy days and there was a new generation taking over. The song captured that wide-eyed innocence of coming out of a very small community and entering a wider world, seeing all the bands, meeting people, going to the clubs, and the freedom that it held."

The B-side was the quick paced “Takin’ My Love” a song that along with “In The City” would appear on the bands first full length album In The City. Another interesting fact about this B-side is that it has appeared in the UK top 40 on three separate occasions during the Jam’s single releases. The single In The City was re-issued in 1980 following the success of “Going Underground” along with eight of the bands other singles, it charted in the top 40 and in 2002, Polydor re-issued the In The City single, the song went to number 36 on the UK singles charts. Six months following the release of this single, Sex Pistols released their Holidays In The Sun single, a song that featured a similar chord progression to “In The City”. The songs were both being worked on around the same time, The Jam demoing the song around the same time the Pistols were working on “Holidays In The Sun”, Paul Weller had this to say of the two songs in 2007 in Uncut, and of an argument and scuffle that Weller and Sid Vicious got into:

“He started it and I finished it. I don't know if anyone can claim any victory. He just came up to me and he was going on about 'Holidays In The Sun' where they'd nicked the riff from 'In The City.' I didn't mind them nicking it - you've got to get your ideas from somewhere, haven't you? Anyway, he just came up and nutted me. So I returned it."

Regardless of the supposed Sex Pistols, Jam rivalry surrounding this song both songs are good and different in their own right, the discussion of the two isn’t really relevant at this point. “In The City” was a defiant influential debut that introduced us to the three piece of Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler otherwise known as The Jam, it is also a song reflecting not only the times, but also a song that youth can identify with, even today.

The Play List:

1. Ty Segall – It #1
2. Dirty Projectors – maybe that was it
3. Deadly Lo-Fi – Walk Into The Sun
4. Micronite Filters – Hit The Hammer On The Nail
5. Mudhoney – What Moves The Heart
6. Lime Spiders – Nine Miles High
7. Cardboard Brains – Babies Run My World
8. Pelicans – New Wave
9. Johnny Jaws and The Sharks – Wizard
10. The Plain Steel – Away
11. Alex Chilton – Girl After Girl
12. Neil Young & Crazy Horse- Gallows Pole
13. The Beach Boys – The Shift
14. Young Rival – Another Nobody
15. Cold Warps - Slimer
16. The Future Primitives – Sea of Words
18. The Black Angels – Haunting at 1300 McKinley
19. The Police – On Any Other Day
20. Talking Heads – No Compassion
21. Devo – Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin’)
22. The Jam – In The City
23. The Jam – Takin' My Love
24. Sex Pistols – Satellite
25. Radio Birdman – Aloha Steve and Danno

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 31. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Batman Theme & Show # 414

One of the most recognized theme songs in television history is the theme song to the original 1960s Batman television series. The song was composed by Neal Hefti, a composer who had a background in Jazz and Big Band music, he also worked on arrangements, and was immensely influential, in addition to the “Batman Theme”, Hefti is also known for writing the theme song and music for The Odd Couple among others and even worked with Frank Sinatra gaining a composer/conductor credit on his 1961 album Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass. Now back to the “Batman Theme”, the song is a very simple, quirky, catchy song that like many Spy themed songs from that time period had catchy Surf-like guitar hooks. Based on a twelve bar blues progression, it features three chords predominately and has elements of Surf music that is embedded within the song, there are also stabs of brass, paying tribute to Hefti’s Big Band past. The song was built around a bass guitar riff, drums and horn sections to provide the driving rhythms and the quick paced actions scenes that would grace the TV series.

The theme was made to be, like the series campy and fun as opposed to the modern day Batman associations that started in 1989 with the original Batman series and the most recent Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan. But while this simple, yet undeniably catchy song is so assessable, it took months for Hefti to write. In 2004, Neal shed some light on the process to complete this song in an interview with Forrest Patten and as stated on http://nealhefti.info:

That one came very hard to me. It took me a couple of months to write. I had seen some footage and I knew how outrageous it had to be. So I needed to write a piece of music that was equally so. Well, when I first took the theme in to demonstrate it for Lionel Newman and the series producer at Twentieth Century Fox, I had to sing it and play it on the piano. Well, I’m no singer, and I’m no pianist. But I had Lionel and the producer, Bill Dozier, listening to me. My first thought was that they were going to throw me out, very quickly, but as I was going through it, I heard them both reacting with statements like, “Oh, that’s kicky. That will be good in the car chase.” My father, (a salesman) once told me, “If they say okay, get out of there before they change their mind.” When I saw Bill smiling, then I knew we had it.

Regardless of how long it took to complete, the “Batman Theme” was a huge success, even winning a Grammy, it was also released as a single in 1966, with a B-side “Batman Chase”, ultimately the song adhered to a Garage and Surf Rock approach, and while it only ever contained one lyric “Batman!”, the song remains popular to this day. The song in some cases is just as recognisable as the original TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward.  It was quickly covered by the instrumental Surf group The Marketts and The Ventures, and became a favourite in Surf music circles. It has also been covered by The Who, The Kinks, Link Wray, The Jam, The Flaming Lips and countless others. And While Batman may have evolved into something else differently in today’s day and age, the original “Batman Theme” is still recognized in popular culture and extremely catchy, the sign of good song writing. Once you hear it, you’ll never forget it.

Play List:

1. Hot Panda – Maybe Now?
2. Brazilian Money - Can't Live In A Vaccuum
3. The Blue Squares – Hit Your Sales
4. The Mourning After - Do Your Thaang
5. Elk – Before The Son
6. The Flaming Lips – Children of the Moon
7. The Kinks – Muswell Hillbilly
8. Woody Guthrie – I Ain’t Got No Home (In This World No more)
9. The Pixies – Caribou
10. Pure - Lilac
11. Intelligence – Hippy Provider
12. Laughing Clowns – This Year Is More Important
13. Public Image Limited – Deeper Water
14. A Place To Bury Strangers – And I’m Up
15. The Government – Acute Angle
16. Demics – Talk’s Cheap
17. V Necks – Sand Overdose
18. Thee Oh Sees – Opposition
19. King Khan & BBQ Show – Truth Or Dare
20. Light Bulb Alley – Backslider
21. The Flaming Lips – Batman Theme
22. The Who – Batman Theme
23. Link Wray – Batman Theme

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 24. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Revolution Rock (Revisited) Show # 413

This week’s program was a repeat of a show that first aired on May 8th, 2012. The post and show focused around Jack White's Blunderbus album, which emphasized more of Jacks Country and Folk influences. This well crafted album has had three singles released from it "Freedom At 21", "Love Interruption" and "Sixteen Saltines". Check out my original post on Blunderbuss. Also here are some videos by bands that were featured on the show this week. 

The Play List:

1. Beastie Boys – Gratitude
2. Beastie Boys – Remote Control
3. The Reply – I Must Stop
4. Frankenstein 5 – Go Away
5. Terrible Twos – Negative Drip
6. The Students – Somebody New Everyday
7. The Pin Group – Ambivalence
8. The Chills – Pink Frost
9. Doublehappys – Needles and Plastic
10. Leland Sundries – Monitor Arms
11. The Dandy Warhols – I Am Free
12. The City Streets – For All The (Doomed) Lovers
13. The Diamond Rugs – Gimme A Beer
14. Teenage Head – Wild One
15. Deja Voodoo – Big Pile Of Mud
16. 63 Monroe – Yumpin’
17. Teenanger – Tired Of You
18. Mystics – Play Your Game
19. MC5 – Over and Over
20. Nirvana – Dive
21. Jack White – Missing Pieces
22. Jack White – Sixteen Saltines

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 17. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lex Hives & Show # 412

Lex Hives is the full length follow up to The Hives 2007 release The Black And White Album, an album which the band recorded with a variety of producers in a variety of places, which resulted in an album featuring a branching out of styles from the band. In 2010, The Hives released the Tarred & Feathered EP, a straight forward three song EP featuring obscure cover songs, but with Lex Hives, they offer something else altogether. Five years is a long time between albums, but The Hives were always a band that took their time with their albums. Barely Legal was released in 1997, Veni Vidi Vicious released in 2000, Tyrannosaurus Hives in 2004, and The Black And White Album in 2007. Lex Hives was released in June 2012 on The Hives own Disque Hives label which was followed their decision not to extend their contract with Universal Music who released their last two full length albums. For Lex Hives, the band became independent and released their first full length album this way, musically the album serves as the missing link between Veni Vidi Vicious, Tyrannosaurus Hives and The Black And White Album.

The album starts off with the song “Come On”, a short opener that consists of lead singer Pelle Almqvist shouting “Come On” over 50 times, it is a drum and bass dominant song that builds as it progresses with its catchy choruses, which serves as a indication of what to expect to from The Hives from this album catchy driving songs. The lead off single from Lex Hives is “Go Right Ahead” a mid-tempo Glam Punk track with horn sections and loud ringing choruses, the song also features a song credit to Jeff Lynne of ELO, since parts of the songs chorus bear a similarity to ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down”, but The Hives put their own stamp on this number. “1000 Answers” is an interesting concoction, featuring Devo-like synthesizers placed along Jerry Lee Lewis piano parts, combined with driving guitar rhythms. The song has been played live for a few years now at festivals and it was in fact a song that was written right after 2004’s Tyrannosaurus Hives album, “I Want More” sounds like AC/DC meets Joan Jett, while “Wait A Minute” features similar back up vocals to “Come On”, but has a chorus so catchy its hard to get out of your head it sounds like a track omitted from The Black And White Album.

“Patrolling Days” another strong up tempo track found here is reminiscent of a lengthier version of “No Pun Intended, but a bit more anthemic than that, it has more depth lyrically as it seems to identify The Hives ethos. The song seems to address the Hives and what they stand for with lyrics such as “Waited for too long/for this day to dawn” and “My patrolling days are over/And I ain't shot nobody since/I fought the big cheese out of office/And showed the hep kids how to dance” it emphasizes that they don’t need to patrol around anymore, The Hives are The Hives and they’re going to do things their way. This song could also perhaps be about the time surrounding their last album and the last few years being a band on a major label. Other great tracks include “Take Back The Toys” a song that is yet another up tempo Punk Hives track, featuring a lo-fi Garage guitar sound. It is placed along with “These Spectacles Reveal The Nostalgics” and “If I Had A Cent” that keep this album moving quickly. “My Time Is Coming” is a brooding Hives-like Hymn, while “Midnight Shifter” has a sleazy R&B groove, as does “Without The Money” that is a song has many Blues elements, but is predominantly a vocal and organ track. Lyrically Lex Hives seems to address overcoming difficult situations and succeeding (“Take Back The Toys”, “1000 Answers”, “Wait A Minute”, “Patrolling Days”) and turning a negative into a positive. It is juxtaposed along songs that could be described as Party Rock lyrically (“Come On”, “Go Right Ahead”).

The term Lex Hives comes from an set of ancient Roman laws that roughly translates into creating a new body of laws within the system then accepting them as the standard. The Hives on this album did just that they took their body of music and translated them into their new standard. By taking the traditional Hives sound and flirting with elements of Glam Rock, 50’s R&B, Soul, Garage and Punk Rock, Lex Hives finds the band regaining their creative control sounding rejuvenated. The Hives live shows are phenomenally entertaining, that essence is captured here. Several critics claimed that The Black And White Album was an unfocused effort, but Lex Hives trimms all the fat and proves that these Swedish Garage Rockers can still make a good album while not sounding stale, even if it is five albums into their career.

Lex Play List:

1. Teenanger – Red Eye Station
2. Jaill – Perfect Ten
3. Mystics – Last Time (Demo)
4. The Scumbags - My Baby’s Gone Away
5. The Blue Squares – It’s No Wonder
6. New York Dolls – Looking For A Kiss
7. The Professionals – Payola
8. Iggy Pop – Sweet Sixteen
9. Fictions – Fication
10. Terminal Spectators – Another Day Another Dream
11. Guided By Voices – Hang Up And Try Again
12. Sloan - People Of The Sky (Live)
13. New Kind of Mambo – Luv Me True
14. New Kind of Mambo – Land of 1000 Dances
15. Paul Jacobs – Pickin’ Up The Slack
16. Pow Wows – Pandemic #44
17. Ty Segall Band - The Bag I'm In
18. Ty Segall Band – Oh Mary
19. The Black Angels – She’s Not There
20. The Spelling Mistakes – Hate Me, Hate Me
21. 999 – You Can’t Buy Me
22. Raptors - Can't Win
23. The Hives – 1000 Answers
24. The Hives – Take Back The Toys
25. The Hives – Patrolling Days

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 10. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Soul Food & Show # 411

The debut album from The Oblivians was released in 1995 on Crypt Records. Soul Food was the world’s introduction to the Memphis, Tennessee Garage Punk band The Oblivians and the album just swelters with Garage, Punk and Soul heat. Recorded at Easley Studios in Memphis, Soul Food is a 32 minute blast of pure primal Rock and Roll. Executed in the vein of The Cramps, Tay Falco's Panther Burns, and bands such as The Gories, The Sonics and The Stooges, it is an album that refuses to adhere to stereotype, the unbridled Punk Rock infused Garage sound is of an unrelenting, intense chaotic nature. The band is comprised of Jack Oblivian (real name Jack Yarber), Eric Oblivian (real name Eric Friedl) , and Greg Oblivian (real name Greg Cartwright), who adopted a similar last name paying tribute to Ramones. The band would switch instruments and alternate between drums, guitars and vocals. There were no bassists in the Oblivians, just two guitars, drums, and vocals, the band would also alternate instruments live and in the studio.

The album opens with a cover of “Vietnam War Blues”, originally by Lightnin’ Hopkins it is pure fuzzed out boogie Rock and Roll, “Jim Cole” is a repetitive song, just over a minute with heavy organ, guitar stabs and the same lyrics repeated over and over again for about a minute, “Never Change” is a mellower track, but one that oozes with soul and intensity similar to something found a Compulsive Gamblers record, Greg Oblivians other band. It is a simple, but effective track that clearly emphasises the bands motto. “I’m Not A Sicko, There’s A Plate In My Head” is an Oblivians original that sounds like The Cramps meets the Flat Duo Jets, while “Blew My Cool” grooves with Garage riffs and shouting vocals.

Soul Food is an album produced with a bare bones production technique, and has that live off the floor feel. You can even hear the band talking and counting off numbers, especially before “Never Change”, which as stated earlier emphasizes their motto with the lyrics, “I’ll never change for you not for twenty dollars, not for twenty two/like a broken record I play the same sad song, if I ever fix it I’ll probably still be wrong”, The Oblivians did things their way, and Soul Food is an explosive, raunchy, offensive, but good hearted record, complete with mistakes and imperfection and primalistic rhythms. Although it may be an acquired taste for some, it is a record that’s hard to ignore. After two more full length albums Popular Favorites, Play Nine Songs With Mr. Quintron and several singles/EPs, the band called it quits and its members moved on to other things. Jack and Greg reformed their previous band The Compulsive Gamblers before going their separate ways, Jack to Jack O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers, Greg to Reigning Sound and other bands. Eric went on to form Goner Records as well as playing with Dutch Masters and The True Sons of Thunder in addition to recording an album with Jay Reatard and other musiciang. It was announced recently that The Oblivians are working on a new full length album, that will be released on In The Red Records.

This Week's Play List:

1. Elk – Riverview
2. The New Strychnines – High Time
3. Pete Van Dyk & The Secondhand Band – Canadian Boy
4. Hab – Sedentary Blues
5. Bloodshot Bill – Right Out The Door
6. The Almighty Defenders – All My Loving
7. Deja Voodoo – Private Eye
8. The Gruesomes – 3 Men 1 Coffin
9. Testors – Together
10. Klark Kent – Office Girls
11. XTC – Science Friction
12. The Stranglers – (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
13. Rotten Tropics – New Miserablist
14. Pomegranates – Ezekiel
15. The Fall – Repetition
16. Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons - Are You Really Gone
17. The Mongrols - Plastic Girl
18. The Wipers – Let’s Go Away
19. The Caesars – We Got To Leave
20. Simply Saucer – Dance The Mutation
21. Oblivians – Vietnam War Blues
22. Oblivians – Jim Cole
23. Oblivians – Blew My Cool
24. The Cramps - Good Taste (Live)
25. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – Let Go (Demo)
26. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Born To Lose (Demo)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 3. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.