Saturday, May 20, 2023

Anne, If: An Interview with Evan Uschenko of Ghost Woman & Show # 988

Ghost Woman’s Anne, If was released in January 2023 on the Full Time Hobby label. Following 2022’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut, Anne, If picks up where that album left off. The music was written/recorded/performed by multi-instrumentalist Evan Uschenko on a Tascam 388 tape recorder in a large, expansive house. The press release states that when recording the album there was not much to do “except record music, watch old VHS movies, and cook meals over an open fire in the backyard.” Recording songs at different times of day also influenced the sounds and nuances present on Anne, If. Influences such as songs from 60s garage Nuggets compilation, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Love, Safe As Milk-era Captain Beefheart, Can, Neu!, and 60s Kinks/The Creation all float around in the musical atmosphere of these songs, however, these all add to the chemistry of the songs to expand Ghost Woman’s sound.

“Welcome” offers a short introduction to the album before “Broke” starts with its dusty, yet fuzzy grooves. As the bass and drums roll in, crunchy guitars and Uschenko’s ethereal vocals sit atop with lyrics such as “Oh, there was some I would call on/You exist on the phone,” and “Another day gone/What if I lose it all/Another day alone/And if I lose it all,” themes of disconnection, loneliness, self doubt and a sense of yearning present themselves, in between searing guitar solos. “3 Weeks Straight” continues with the 60s sounding guitars, heavy drums and deep bass grooves hold down the beat, while lyrically the song searches for meaning in the complex glow of the light and darkness of a relationship. The chorus of “I can feel you under my skin” creeps and crawls with an eeriness emphasizing a presence that is omnipresent. “Anne, If” pulls from the large pool of garage psych sounds of the Nuggets compilation with a touch of The Yardbirds as lyrically, “Anne, if you're lonely/Listen to your words/There's nothing I can say/Living yesterday” deals with nostalgic complications that are hard to break free of, while the chorus juxtaposes this with the words “I am yours/I am yours too.” “Street Meet” offers a short instrumental break as is moves forward with propelling, Can and Neu! influenced rhythms, “The End of a Gun” was the lead off single for Anne, If. With its chiming 12-string guitar growing out of The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane mould, garage rhythms from The Kinks and flashes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young harmonies, this driving track seems to operate like a time warp while also peering into the present. 

“Lo Extrano” is another highlight featuring acoustic guitar, sparse drums and bass, psychedelic guitar and reflective lyrics that also emphasize a longing. The song’s languid nature is also elevated by the stunning pedal steel country guitar work provided by musician Ryan “Skinny” Dyck. "Arline” is an unhurried psych track with acoustic guitar, otherworldly sounding electric guitar parts and strong vocal harmonies. Lyrically, with words such as “Will this world keep on turning/My ear’s always burning,” “Arline, I can hear you/Try my best to feel you/Tired of black and white,” and a chorus of “I don’t know,” the song seems to question the unknown workings of the universe around us, while “Down Again” brings a heavy 60s psych groove with touches of 70s Krautrock ala Can and cryptic lyrics. “Tripped” features vocals by Nick Hay (the bassist from the Ghost Woman live band) that evoke a Mark Lanegan howl as the bass, guitar, drums and background harmonies (all supplied by Evan Uschenko) offer a hypnotic psychedelia groove. The lyrics conjure up themes of haunting isolation and contemplation. “So Long” ends out Anne, If with trippy sounding electric guitar and vocal harmonies.

On Anne, If we are presented with music that was described as being created during a “strange new chapter” in Uschenko’s life. The songs that we gravitate towards on this album feature lyrics that are sometimes cryptic and open ended. It is something that travels with you after and during each listen. If this was a strange new chapter for Uschenko, then we are also a part of it by extension of this album. With Anne, If the music is saturated with an analog warmth and feel that provides nuanced musical moments that pull you into the world that it creates.

Continue reading for an interview that Revolution Rock did with Evan Uschenko:

RR: The press release for Anne, If said the album was made “living in a large, expansive house with nothing to do except record music, watch old VHS movies, and cook meals over an open fire in the backyard.” What type of movies did you watch on VHS and do you feel that recording in this way (sort of isolated) informed the songwriting at all for this album? Did it differ from how you recorded the 2022 self-titled album?

EU: “Cannibal Holocaust” on repeat. 

RR: How do you approach songwriting in general? When you come up with songs is it usually in the same way or does it differ from track to track?

EU: I basically have mini-strokes and psychotic episodes. I always keep microphones placed around any room I inhabit for longer than 48 hours.

RR: You mentioned during interviews salvaging and replacing instruments from various spaces, including burned down rehearsal spaces and broken down vans. What sort of equipment were you able to retrieve?

EU: You ever play that game called “telephone”? It’s kinda like that. 

RR: Where did you come up with the name for the project? Does the idea of hauntings influence the way you write lyrics or record your sounds?

EU: “Ghost woman” is probably the worst band name ever conjured. Any name replacement recommendations are welcomed. 

RR: How did you assemble your touring band? What do they offer to the sound of Ghost Woman? What do you see being the most noticeable difference in the project's live sound and sound on record?

EU: The most noticeable difference is: Live, the music actually sounds good. 

RR: Another aspect of Ghost Woman that isn’t talked about as much is your music videos. Maybe you can talk about what inspired you to make the videos for “Broke” from Anne, If and “Behind Your Eyes” from the first album? Perhaps you could tell us a bit about these songs origins?

EU: "Broke" was produced by Bruce the Rabbit, who is in the music video actually. He was passed out in front of our Belgian home when we found him. We brought him in and tried to nurse him back to health. He ended up just raiding the cupboards and draining all our bottles. The video is something that he made when we had gone out to see some friends. I guess he had access to my computer and found a way send the video to various buyers. Safe to say, we don’t keep in contact with him much anymore. 

“Behind your eyes” video was a single roll of exposed Kodak film stock that was mysteriously left in my family P.O. Box somewhere in western Canada. I had access to a dark room and processed the film one evening as a means to avoid drinking. I shelved it because of the horrific nature of the film. There are about 10 mins of footage on that reel that should never see the light of day, but instead I figured I would use the band as a platform to release the less disturbing footage. If anyone has any information on anybody in that video, please contact the band at

RR: Anne, If features a few contributions from other musicians. Nick Hay appears on lead vocals for “Tripped” and Ryan “Skinny” Dyck provides pedal steel on “Lo Extrano.” How did they become involved in these tracks in this way?

EU: They wouldn’t leave the house when I asked them to. So naturally I figured they wanted to stay. I had a windowless room that I would keep them in and feed them a bowl of unwashed chickpeas a day until they performed the take I was pleased with. 

RR: Ghost Woman has toured Europe quite a bit. Are there any plans for any US/Canadian dates in the future and what is next for Ghost Woman?

EU: Yes. What’s next? I wanna know who’s on first.

Show 988 Playlist (Originally Aired On May 20th, 2023)(Ghost Woman, James Brown, The Smiths):

1.  PONY - Sucker Punch 
2.  Knitting - Fix 
3.  Amos the Kid - Under Thin Eye Lids 
4.  King Krule - Seaforth
5.  James Brown - Introduction/I’ll Go Crazy
6.  James Brown - Lost Someone
7.  The Smiths - This Charming Man (John Peel Session) 
8.  The Smiths - London 
9.  The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make? (John Peel Session) 
10. The Smiths - Oscillate Wildly 
11. Bob Dylan - Watching the River Flow (Live) 
12. William Tyler & The Impossible - Our Lady of the Desert
13. Ryan Hicks - Surf Rider 
14. Tea Leaves - Creature on a Stage 
15. Atomic 7 - Skynyrd 
16. Olivia Jean - Raving Ghost
17. Pretty Matty - Harder 2 Smile
18. Ghost Woman - The End of a Gun 
19. Ghost Woman - Lo Extrano 
20. Ghost Woman - Down Again 
21. Ghost Woman - Dead & Gone
22. Mudhoney - Flush the Fascists 
23. Subway Sect - Ambition 
24. Osees - Intercepted Message

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 20 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Link Wray's Rumble & Shows # 987, 986, 985, 985, 983, 982

Link Wray is known as the first guitarist to use the power chord in a song. The song was “Rumble.” Originally released in 1958 on the Cadence label, the song had its origins at a Record Hop (an event that would feature live music and dancing popular in the 50s). In 1957, at one of these Record Hops in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Wray and his brother Doug were playing when they were asked by the announcer to play a stroll. “The Stroll” was a popular song at the time by The Diamonds made to accompany the dance of the same name. Link Wray didn’t know how to play the song, but his brother Doug said he knew the beat to a stroll on the drums and Link Wray made up the chords to what would become known as “Rumble.” Upon playing the song, the crowd went crazy for the song. It was played 3-4 times that night.

Originally under the working title “Oddball,” the song was recorded (like many of Wray’s early songs) with his brothers Doug and Vernon, with the addition of their cousin Shorty Horton on bass. Vernon (Known Ray Vernon and Vernon Wray) would produce/manage Link Wray’s early output. He himself has recorded quite a lot of music on his own, many of which feature the other Wray’s on the recordings. Prior to this, Wray and his brothers had a background playing music starting out with country and western music. Link Wray served in the US Army during the Korean War and contracted Tuberculosis, which led to him being hospitalized and then later having a lung removed. Doctors at the time predicted at he would never sing again. This of course would not be true, Wray would sing on many tracks in addition to performing instrumentals. 

But, back to the song “Rumble.” It would go on to have a lasting influence throughout the future generations of rock music influencing everyone from Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page and The Kinks to Iggy Pop (to name a few). The edgy track, which featured power chords, distortion and attitude quickly, climbed up the top 40 singles charts of the day reaching #16. It would also be banned because DJs thought it would incite gang violence. In 1959 “Raw Hide” would reach #23 on the US singles charts. Other unhinged, tense and raw sounding tracks such as “Jack The Ripper,” “The Sweeper,” “Run Chicken Run,” “The Shadow Knows,” "Ace of Spades," “Deuces Wild,” and “I’m Branded” would be released throughout this early part of Wray’s career. Wray went on to create numerous instrumentals, but also perform tracks with vocals and branch out into different styles. Also of Shawnee Native American heritage, growing up Wray’s family be subject to racial discrimination. Including times when his family would have to go into hiding. Link Wray would pay homage to his heritage to honour it in songs such as “Comanche” and “Shawnee.”

In the 1960s Link Wray retired from music and went to work on his family’s farm in Maryland, after tiring of the music industry and their attempts to clean up his music. He did around this time build his own recording studio and would record music again, but it would not be released until the 1970s. Recorded in a converted chicken shack on his brother Vernon’s property, Wray would reinvent himself upon his return to music. In 1971 he returned with a country, gospel, folk and blues influenced album simply titled Link Wray. This roots rock album still featured a primal-ness that was present on Wray’s early recordings as he branched out. The album cover to 1971’s Link Wray also pays homage to his Shawnee background in addition to several of the lyrical content of songs found on the album. It would be the first in a series of albums where Link Wray experimented with sounds in this way, Mordicai Jones followed in 1972 and Beans and Fatback in 1973. In between these albums Be What You Want To Be was released in 1973, featuring several guest musicians such as Jerry Garcia and David Bromberg.

Wray would go on to play and record albums with Robert Gordon in the 70s (Robert Gordon with Link Wray (1977), Fresh Fish Special (1978)) and he continued performing live and recording up until his passing in 2005. The impact of the sounds of Link Wray have been reverberating throughout different decades and genres of music since the first opening notes of 1958’s “Rumble.” In May of 2023, it was announced that Link Wray would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The sounds he embraced when creating music of distortion, fuzz, tremolo, intensity and attitude continue to be heard.

Show 987 (Originally Aired On May 13th, 2023)(Link Wray, Via Mardot, Sloan, Protomartyr):

1.  Spider Bite - Human Body Human Brain
2.  Dumb - Quarter Stereo
3.  Mason Lowe - Plastered
4.  Iceage - Sociopath Boogie
5.  Biker Priests - Dodge Babylon
6.  Westelaken - Fixed Up By Orange Light
7.  Slim Harpo - Shake Your Hips
8.  Link Wray - I'm Branded
9.  Link Wray - Raw-Hide
10. Link Wray - The Shadow Knows
11. Link Wray - Commanche
12. Link Wray & The Raymen - Big City After Dark
13. Link Wray - Falling Rain
14. Link Wray - Hidden Charms
15. Link Wray - Son of Rumble
16. Via Mardot - Static
17. Via Mardot - Towers
18. Gris Gris - Cuerpos Haran Amor Extrano
19. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Here I Am, Here I Always Am
20. The Courettes - Hop the Twig
21. Shadow Show - Radiant Hue
22. Spooky But Nice - Everytime
23. Priors - Optimizer
24. Plastic Act - What's in the Water
25. Sloan - Keep On Thinkin'
26. Sloan - On the Horizon
27. Preoccupations - Zodiac
28. Uh Huh - Citrus Song
29. Sneakpeak - Strawberry Reality
30. The Particles - The Trumpet Song
31. Protomartyr - Elimination Dances

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 13 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 986 (Originally Aired May 6th, 2023)(PJ Harvey, New Order, Gordon Lightfoot):

1.  PJ Harvey - Man-Size
2.  PJ Harvey - 50 ft. Queenie
3.  Wednesday - Hot Rotten Grass Smell
4.  Divorcer - Tiny Devil
5.  Yessica Whoaneil - Again Again
6.  Orange Juice - I Can't Help Myself
7.  Pulp - Something Changed
8.  New Order - Age of Consent
9.  Destroyer - Leave Me Alone
10. Broadcast - Michael A Grammar
11. Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain
12. Gordon Lightfoot - Negotiations
13. Gordon Lightfoot - Spin, Spin
14. Century Palm - If You Could Read My Mind
15. Datblygu - Casserole Efeilliad
16. Psychedelic Furs - Heaven
17. La Securite - Try Again
18. Steve Adamyk Band - Do You Wanna Know
19. The Golden Shitters - CIty of Doom
20. SQURL - Berlin 87
21. The Hives - Bogus Operandi
22. The Jackets - Life's Not Like the Movies
23. The Routes - A Day in Hell
24. Link Wray - Deuces Wild
25. The Horrors - Primary Colours
26. Wax Mannequin - Love is a Hunter
27. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Gimme Hell

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 6 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 985 (Originally Aired On April 29th, 2023)(David Bowie's Aladdin Sane 50th Anniversary):

1.  Tea Leaves - Cicada Song
2.  Twin Rains - You're The Only One
3.  Olinda - World Within
4.  Mononegatives - Testing Capability
5.  Priors - Daffodil
6.  Tunic - Indirect
7.  B.A. Johnston - You're Like a Steve Miller Band Song
8.  Buddie - Worried
9.  David Bowie - Watch That Man (Live)
10. David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
11. David Bowie - Drive-In Saturday (German Single Edit)
12. David Bowie - Panic In Detroit (Live in Detroit 1974)
13. David Bowie - Cracked Actor
14. David Bowie - Time
15. David Bowie - The Prettiest Star (1970 Single Version)
16. David Bowie - Let's Spend the Night Together Llive)
17. David Bowie - The Jean Genie (Live)
18. David Bowie - Lady Grinning Soul
19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date with the Night
20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (Four Track Demo)
21. The Replacements - Color Me Impressed
22. The Replacements - Take Me Down to the Hospital
23. Minor Threat - Think Again
24. Minor Threat - Cashing In
25. The Government - Real Computer
26. Harry Belafonte - Brown Skin Girl
27. Harry Belafonte - Go Down Emanuel Road

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 29 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 984 (Originally Aired On April 22nd, 2023) (R.E.M.'s Murmur 40th Anniversary):

1.  The Pop Group - She is Beyond Good and Evil 
2.  The Pop Group - Words Disobey Me 
3.  R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe 
4.  R.E.M. - Pilgrimage (Live Toronto 1983) 
5.  R.E.M. - Laughing (1982 RCA Demo) 
6.  R.E.M. - Talk About the Passion 
7.  R.E.M. - Moral Kiosk (Live Holland 1987) 
8.  R.E.M. - Perfect Circle 
9.  R.E.M. - Catapult (Stephen Hague Demo 1982) 
10. R.E.M. - Sitting Still (1981 Demo) 
11. R.E.M. - 9-9 (Rough Mix) 
12. R.E.M. - Shaking Through (1982 RCA Demo) 
13. R.E.M. - We Walk 
14. R.E.M. - West of the Fields 
15. Tough Age - Give It A Day 
16. Eddie Current Suppression Ring - Our Quiet Whisper 
17. By Divine Right - How Soon Is Now 
18. Leather Rose - Space Girl 
19. Julie Doiron - Back to the Water 
20. Apollo Ghosts - Pink Tiger 
21. Whitehorse - I Miss the City 
22. Packs - Smallest One 
23. Love Language - New Power 
24. Cat Clyde - Mystic Light 
25. The Beths - Watching the Credits 
26. R.E.M. - There She Goes Again 

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 22 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 983 (Originally Aired On April 15th, 2023)(Uh Huh, Olinda, David Lynch, Home Front, The Specials):

1.  Tee Vee Repairmann - Time 2 Kill
2.  Mononegatives - Television Funeral
3.  Uh Huh - Rain (In the Afternoon)
4.  Universal Cleaner - Her Mind Was A Psychic Slaughterhouse
5.  Chain of Flowers - Serving Purpose
6.  The Tubs - Wretched Lie
7.  Sniffany and the Nits - Good Boy
8.  Es - Swallowed Whole
9. The GN Band - The Bell Song
10. Olinda - Dreams in Transit
11. The Jellies - Jive Baby On A Saturday Night
12. Yellow Magic Orchestra - Pure Jam
13. The Scarlet Ribbon - Four in the Morning
14. Breanna Barbara - Rise
15. The Ketamines - Midnight Dawn
16. Messer Chups - Blue Velvet
17. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - 3 Piece Suit
18. The Waterheads - WAHWAHWAH :(
19. Good Throb - Slick D***s
20. The Rebel - Why Must I May?
21. The Ex - The Rise of the Dutch Republic
22. You’ll Never Get To Heaven - Exquisite Tension
23. David Lynch - Star Dream Girl
24. Home Front - Focus
25. Kim Gray - No Moonlight
26. Carol Kim - Saigon
27. The Mob - Witch Hunt
28. Milk Music - No, Nothing My Shelter
29. The Specials - Do Nothing

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 15 file to download/stream the episode. 
Show 982 (Originally Aired On April 8th, 2023) (Violent Femmes 40th Anniversary):

1.  Sloan - Nice Work If You Can Get It
2.  Alvvays - Pressed
3.  Mad Ones - Molly Moth
4.  Hotkid - Letters
5.  The Leather Uppers - You Know I Do
6.  The Gruesomes - Won't You Listen (Live)
7.  The Gruesomes - My Dad's A Ho-Dad (Live)
8.  Violent Femmes - Promise
9.  Violent Femmes - Prove My Love
10. Violent Femmes - To the Kill
11. Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone (live)
12. On Film - Blister in the Sun
13. The Dandy Warhols - Kiss Off
14. Yo La Tengo - Add It Up
15. Beck - Painted Eyelids
16. Shana Cleveland - Gold Tower
17. The Courettes - Misfits & Freaks
18. Ghost Woman - Tripped
19. The Ichi-Bons - Show Me the Ropes
20. Bloodshot Bill - Vertigo
21. Calvin Johnson - Pink Cadallac
22. Deerhoof - And the Moon Laughs
23. Amos the Kid - Enough as It Was
24. Doctor Mother Father - Act Like I Like You
25. Mister Rabbit - Anyone
26. A Certain Ratio - Samo
27. Kosmetika - Psycho Tv
28. Dragnet - Strike
29. Husker Du - Do You Remember? (Live)
30. Mudhoney - Move Under

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 8 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, April 01, 2023

CJAM FM 2023 Pledge Drive & Show # 981, 980, 979, 978, 977

This week CJAM FM is holding its annual pledge drive. It is the only time of year CJAM reaches out to the community for financial support to continue daily operations at the station. This year, the station is celebrating 40 years on the FM dial come November as independent non-commercial radio, giving a voice to underrepresented artists, viewpoints, and cultures. We are playing with one of our nicknames, The Jamming One, for creative inspiration in our new exclusive line of t-shirts, tote bags, stickers and flyers. CJAM FM is a non-profit campus community radio station located at the University of Windsor. It has been on the FM dial offering alternative programming to the mainstream since 1983. The station is also available online and has past programs available to listen for 30 days, in addition to live streaming options.

“For 40 years, CJAM has been a leader in alternative spoken word and music programming; carving out a space to provide experiential learning opportunities to students and providing them opportunities to learn how to record audio, edit, and create original radio programs for audiences in Windsor and Detroit,”
says Walter S. Petrichyn, Station Manager at CJAM 99.1 FM.

Program partnerships with student life such as the law department’s Magna Carta Pro-Bono Students, the nursing department’s No Scrubs and St. Clair College’s MediaPlex program are a few examples of shows that highlight the station’s ever-growing program base that has been a launching pad for careers in the music industry, journalism, and sports broadcasting. “We have had Jammers go on to work for AM 800, SOCAN, CBC, Bell Media, The Maple Leafs, and plenty more. It’s incredible to see our volunteers take flight with their professional careers and we want to continue supporting them and providing these rich opportunities,” says Petrichyn.

Last year, the station did not hold a pledge drive. Shows like Revolution Rock would not exist without something like CJAM FM. The program as mentioned before is curated to offer a different side of independent music and it often digs deep. Branching off from 70s punk/new wave, the program also focuses on garage, indie, surf and alternative genres. Featuring new/old music within and beyond those genres, it offers something different. CJAM offers a voice to artists of all genres and to different spoken word and language based programs that would not have a platform otherwise. That alone is a great reason to support CJAM FM during this time.

This year, CJAM is offering the following prizes at different donation levels.

$5 – CJAM 2023 Pledge Drive “The Jamming One” Sticker design by CJAM’s Batool Yahya // on Instagram

$10 to 20 – Music Prize Pack (CDs/vinyl) accessible from the CJAM Prize Room

$20 – Classic Vintage CJAM T-Shirts

$50 – CJAM 2023 Pledge Drive “The Jamming One” t-shirt designed by Windsor artist Kristina Bradt // @krizzlepie on instagram

$100 – CJAM prize pack (including 2023 t-shirt, sticker, music prize pack and vintage t-shirt)

Donation and merch site: or

There are also some events in the Windsor/Detroit area this year. One occurred at Green Bean Café on April 4th, the second will take place on April 8th at Craftheads at 7 PM.

Below you can find some playlists to recent episodes of Revolution Rock and an example of the type of programming that we offer.

Show 981 (Originally Aired On April 1) (2023 Pledge Drive Edition):

1.  Pylon - Crazy
2.  Martha & the Muffins - Walking Into Walls
3.  Terapi - Rock'A'Tchooka
4.  Daniel Johnston - Walking the Cow 
5.  The Cramps - Faster Pussycat
6.  The Hold Steady - Sideways Skull 
7.  New Pornographers - Really Really Light 
8.  PACKS - Brown Eye
9.  Blessed - Felt 
10. The Replacements - Hayday
11. Ramones - Somebody Like Me
12. Butthole Surfers - Hey 
13. Lou Reed - Make Up My Mind 
14. Neil Young -Payola Blues 
15. The White Stripes - Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine
16. The White Stripes - It's True That We Love One Another
17. Al Green - Stand Up 
18. Al Green - Your Love is Like the Morning Sun 
19. Paul Jacobs - With My Friends 
20. The Stools - Eyeball Crush 
21. Trophy Knife - Class Outside 
22. Gloin - Brique Chaude 
23. Noble Rot - Medicine 
24. Johnny West - Funeral Face
25. Magazine - Touch and Go

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 1 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 980 (Originally Aired On March 25th, 2023)(The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Suede, Wire):

1.  Shadow Show - Contessa 
2.  Strobobean - Kitchen 
3.  Leggy - Lipstick on the Mic
4.  Tough Age - Time & Again 
5.  Packs - EC
6.  Ron Leary - Our Dogs
7.  Aleks Stoykoysky - This Year’s Loser 
8.  Tea Leaves - Traveller 
9.  Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys in the Campfire - Dream 
10. Jad Fair and Samuel Locke Ward - Donuts 
11. The Beatles - Misery 
12. The Beatles - There’s A Place
13. Led Zeppelin - The Crunge 
14. Led Zeppelin - Dancing Days (Rough Mix)
15. Suede - Moving 
16. Suede - Metal Mickey (Island Demo)
17. Love Language - New Power 
18. Frankie Flowers - Bad Dream 
19. Pile - Loops 
20. Bonnie Trash - Shades of You 
21. Telegenic Pleasure - Polarized
22. Olinda - The Chalice 
23. Buzzcocks - Hollow Inside
24. The Damned - You Know
25. Wire - It’s the Motive
26. Wire - Ignorance No Plea (I Should Have Known Better) 

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the March 25 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 979 (Originally Aired On March 18th, 2023)(Roxy Music, Shadow Show, The Black Angels) :

1.  Shadow Show - Radiant Hue
2.  The Sadies - So Far, So Few
3.  The Facials - Never Learn
4.  The Routes - Attention
5.  Ancient Shapes - Another Century of Ice
6.  Stripmall - Meat (Live at CJSW)
7.  Mononegatives - Cro-Magnon
8.  Roxy Music - Do the Strand
9.  Roxy Music - Editions of You
10. Roxy Music - In Every Dream Home a Heartache
11. Roxy Music - The Bogus Man (live 1974)
12. Galen & Paul - Lonely Town
13. Leonard Cohen - Teachers
14. Norma Tanega - A Street That Rhymes at 6AM
15. Willie Dunn - Bear and Fish
16. Vision Eternel - Sometimes in Absence
17. The Black Angels - El Jardin
18. The Black Angels - Make It Known
19. The Black Angels - 100 Flowers of Paracusia
20. The Black Angels - Icon
21. Dry Cleaning - Swampy
22. Yves Tumor - Echolalia
23. Co-Op - Magic Eraser
24. boyhood - Stranger
25. Cake Function - Interior is Lifestyles
26. Fidlar - Sand on the Beach

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the March 18 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 978 (Originally Aired On March 11th, 2023)(Minute Men, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, Uh Huh, Ghost Woman):

1. Sun Room - Outta Their Minds
2. Death Valley Girls - Islands in the Sky
3. Moonwalks - Heavy Tears
4. TEKE::TEKE - Garakuta
5. King Tuff - Tell Me
6. Husker Du - Pink Turns to Blue
7. Meat Puppets - Plateau
8. Minutemen - Games
9. Black Flag - TV Party
10. Tunic - Whispering
11. Shame - Six-Pack
12. Noble Rot - Casting No Light
13. Universal Cleaner - Her Mind Was A Psychic Slaughterhouse
14. Kinetic Ideals - No Exit
15. First Man Over - Somewhere
16. Uh Huh - Babylon
17. The New Pornographers - Angelcover
18. Pony - Tres Jolie
19. Ghost Woman - 3 Weeks Straight
20. Yo La Tengo - Fallout
21. The Men - Eternal Recurrence
22. Blackbelt Eagle Scout - Fancy Dance
23. Shana Cleveland - A Ghost
24. Outtacontroller - Less is More
25. Motorists - Natural Targets (Live CJSW)
26. Protomartyr - Make Way

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the March 11 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 977 Playlist (Originally Aired On March 4th, 2023)(Tom Verlaine, Television, The Feelies, U2, John Cale, Tom Waits):

1.  Television - The Blow-Up (Live)
2.  Television - (I Look At You and Get A) Double Exposure 
3.  Television - Friction
4.  Television - Days 
5.  The Feelies - Original Love 
6.  Ducks Ltd. (Featuring Mo Troper & Ratboys) - Invitation (Feelies Cover)
7.  US Girls - Only Daedalus 
8.  Packs - 4th of July 
9.  Knitting - Throwaway Year 
10. U2 - Seconds 
11. John Cale - Graham Greene 
12. Tom Waits - Virginia Avenue
13. Television - Mars 
14. Tom Verlaine - Breakin' My Heart 
15. Tom Verlaine - Fragile
16. Olinda - World Within 
17. Decliner - Dirty Money
18. Mononegatives - North Carolina Atomic Bomb 
19. C.C. Voltage - Bummer Party
20. Andy Shauf - Halloween Store
21. The Burning Hell - All I Need 
22. Cub - Exit
23. Television - Venus

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the March 4 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Lead Lined Clouds & Get Past Go: An Interview With Chris Jack of The Routes & Show # 976

The Routes have been releasing music since 2007, but lately they have been putting out two, or sometimes more releases a year. The band is lead by multi-instrumentalist/main songwriter Christopher Jack and currently features drummer Bryan Styles. In 2022, they released The Twang Machine, a surf tribute to Kraftwerk that works so well, in 2021 two instrumental albums (Instrumentals II and Shake Five) were released in addition to Mesmerised, a psych, reverb doused collection of tracks with vocals. While they are a garage punk band, they often blur the lines of that title pulling other influences creating something different each time. At the end of 2022, the instrumental album Get Past Go! was released and in February 2023, the garage-psych album that pulls in post-punk influences titled Lead Lined Clouds was released. 

“Axe To Grind” opens Get Past Go! Said to have a 60s California sound, this track splashes with reverb drenched guitar, fuzz guitar and bass in the chorus with dynamic drums that almost seem to levitate as the song progresses. “Twist Each Word” hits hard with organ, drums and well, twisted 60s sounding garage riffs mixed with surf reverb. The song cuts deep as drummer Bryan Stiles shuffles through this instrumental track that gives off driving down the sunset strip at night vibes. “In A Rut” is another standout track on Get Past Go! The tempo comes down a bit while the drums, organ and bass hold down the groove and surf riffs float overtop, more reverb arrives with the title track “Get Past Go!” pulling in Ventures soundscapes as it builds to an intense guitar crescendo, “Had Your Time” pulls in country and western sounds, in addition to Spaghetti Western soundtrack aesthetics, “Jamas” picks up the pace with stop and start reverb doused twangy riffs and bouncy basslines, “Like A Knife” comes in at track number eight on Get Past Go!. Another highlight, the chemistry on this track is strong with its drum rolls, crashes and Dick Dale & Ventures inspired descending guitar riffs that cut through the din of modern day boredom.

“Wani” brings up the organ and bass with the drums. Musically, the instrumentation glides forward making way for guitar, which flies above juxtaposing sunny surf with hazier atmospheres, “No Going Back” is another high energy surf track, it changes pace keeping you on your toes as foamy guitar riffs move with the fluid drums and bass. “A Day In Hell” features amped up almost jazz/bossa nova drumbeats in the verses as fiery guitars overtake the choruses and middle section of the song while the bass drives everything in the background, “Too Much To Take” ends Get Past Go! A louder sweeping guitar track, it blends soulful basslines with rolling drums, while wild guitars echo back and forth with reverb, twang and attitude. Get Past Go! features songs loosely based on songs in The Routes back catalogue that are soaked in garage, twang, Spaghetti Western influences and the sounds of Dick Dale, Link Wray, The Trashmen and 60s surf compilations. With Get Past Go! The Routes propel past the finish line.

The Routes released Lead Lined Clouds in February 2023. It features vocals, garage, psych, proto punk, organ and post punk influenced sounds. The album continues the thread of previous Routes releases, while at the same time not straying too far from still sounding like The Routes. “Drained” starts off Lead Lined Clouds. The guitar and organ blend seamlessly on the opening moments as the drums rumble in the background, while Jack sings of the draining of monotony from the negativity that can surround us on a daily basis, “Lead Lined Clouds” comes in next with a Stranglers influence mixed with 60s and psych sounds. Lyrics such as “Are we really so dumb/Or is it just greed/That we can’t get along/History repeats” and “And all the clouds are filled with lead/Waiting to fall/Fall on our heads” display an existential outlook taking on issues of greed and corruption, contrasting it against a sense of hope that once may have seemed present. “No Good” pulls in shoegaze, indie, garage and post punk elements making nods to bands My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Seen Better Days” attacks with Syd Barrett fuzziness juxtaposed with strong Kinks-meets-Alien Lanes-era Guided By Voices styled melodies while the lyrics “I have been waiting on the line/I need assistance can’t you find/Find someone who can deal with me/Someone with sympathy” and “I'm not done but I’ve seen Better Days/They looked away” are melancholic as the character in this song tries to navigate the world while they deal with their own internal conflicts. “Attention” features dizzying organ, heavy hitting drums, while the chorus hits with fuzzy guitars and lyrics explore themes of obsessive, yet oblivious attention seekers.

“Opinions” features the lyrics “I never realized/What’s eating me inside/Now I’m a different guy/Take it all in my own stride” and “Opinions/I have one myself/You should shut up/Keep it to yourself,” that delve into social media related ignorance, but at the same time like the music found on this record could have more meanings, in this case it could also be relating to stubborn opinionated people. Musically this track adds more alternative UK sounds in the mix. The simmering organ, guitar fuzz and drums found here are incendiary. “Inside Out” is almost fragmented as the influence of The Fall comes to mind and lyrically the song confronts themes of aging, the mesmerizing sounds of “Shrunken Heads” with the lyrics “Hung out to dry/Your shrunken head/It was your choice/We're all left for dead” that deal with themes of corruption and propaganda, create a potent musical mixture drawing on influences of The Fall, The Stranglers and The Modern Lovers. “Only Us and Them” ends Lead Lined Clouds. A more mid-tempo number, the lyrics offer a critique addressing themes of paranoia. Musically it festers with the 60s sounds of bands like The Standells and The Count Five, while the drums and bass recall the erratic rhythms of post punk. Throughout Lead Lined Clouds, universal themes of austerity, old age, corruption, propaganda, social media and mental health are found all over its make up. The Routes pull no punches here. While they are a garage punk band, they are unpredictable and don’t revel in nostalgia. With nods to bands of the past, Lead Lined Clouds hovers with darker themes as The Routes reveal to us to a world that may not be exactly what it seems.

You can find Lead Lined Clouds through Otitis Media. 
Get Past Go! is also available through Otitis Media or find them both digitally Bandcamp and other streaming services. 

Listen to an interview that Revolution Rock did with Chris Jack of The Routes here: 
Revolution Surf 2023 Playlist (Chris Jack of The Routes Interview)(Originally Aired On February 25th, 2023):

1.  Pitted - Wah-Bah (So Pitted - 2021)
2.  The Surf Hermits - Jet City Rumble (Showdown - Sharawaji Records - 2022)
3.  Magnatech - Oll'n Trekker (Impala '59 - Sharawaji Records - 2022)
4.  Jim and the Sea Dragons - The Murder Hornet Twist (The Murder Hornet Twist Single - 2022)
5.  Huevos Rancheros - Wild n' Wendy (Endsville! - C/Z Records - 1993)
6.  The Forbidden Dimension - Haunted (Sin Gallery - Cargo Records - 1993)
7.  Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother (Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham - Cargo Records - 1991
8.  Urban Surf Kings - Penguin or Robot? (Penguin or Robot? - Reverb Ranch - 2014)
9.  The Routes - Like A Knife (Get Past Go! - Ottis Media Records - 2022)
10. The Routes - The Robots (The Twang Machine - Topsy Turvy Records - 2022)


12. The Routes - Shake Five (Shake Five - Topsy Turvy Records - 2021)
13. The Routes - Snail Love Story (Instrumentals II - Groovie Records - 2021)


14. The Routes - Yeti Spaghetti (Instrumentals - Groovie Records -  2012)
15. The Routes - Noise Annoys (Unreleased - 2023)
16. Takeshi Terauchi & The Blue Jeans - Rashomon (Rashomon - King Records - 1972)
17. Link Wray - Jack The Ripper (Jack The Ripper - Swan - 1963)
18. The Astronauts-  Hot Doggin' (Hot Doggin'/Everyone But Me Single - Victor - 1965)
19. The Ventures - Stop Action (Where The Action Is! - Dolton Records - 1966)
20. The Mel-tones - Sorrow Bay (Surf! Spy! Space! - LoveCat Music - 2006)
21. The Surfrajettes - Marshmallow March (Marshmallow March/All I Want For Christmas Single - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2022)
22. Lulufin the Woo Hoo - Jellyfish (Jellyfish/Bamboo Twist Single - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2018)
23. The Surfdusters - Chill Out (Save the Waves - Fireball Records - 2011)
24. The Ichi-Bons - Switchblade (Ich-I-Bon #1 EP - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2023)
25. Bloodshot Bill - The Sludge (Songs from the Sludge - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2022)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the February 25 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire 50th Anniversary & Show # 975

When People think of Reggae, Bob Marley often comes to mind. Before he became more famous, he had been involved in the Jamaican music scene as far back as 1962, when he was just a teenager. The Wailers were a group that formed early on with friends and went through a few different band name changes before becoming known as The Wailers. They first released an album in 1965 called The Wailing Wailers. The group featured Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, all of whom would be successful reggae artists on their own. Catch A Fire was the fifth full-length studio album released by Bob Marley & The Wailers (on some editions credited as The Wailers). This album was originally released in April of 1973 and was their first release for Island Records. It also featured the original line up of the band of Bob Marley (guitar/vocals), Peter Tosh (organ/guitar/piano/vocals), Bunny Wailer (bongos/congas/vocals), Aston Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums).

“Concrete Jungle” starts off Catch A Fire, with a funky and soulful dynamic as the vocals come in and the bass moves throughout the background Marley sings “No sun will shine in my day today/The high yellow moon won’t come out to play,” and “Cause life/Must be somewhere to be found/Instead of concrete jungle,” exposing a global audience to themes of harsh poverty and brutality that surrounded West Kingston, presenting audiences to the socially conscious lyrics that Marley & The Wailers would be known for. The song also instils a hopefulness. Throughout this song and album the backing vocals of Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and backing singers Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths are a highlight, while the instrumentation from the musicians on "Concrete Jungle" displays a laidback, yet cautiousness dynamic. The chemistry of the group on this album is undeniable. “Slave Driver” is the second track on Catch A Fire. With its meaningful message emphasizing how racism is still thriving within the structures of society, this song with its deep bass and drum grooves from Aston & Carlton Barrett, reggae guitar staccatos, organ/guitar from Peter Tosh, additional percussion from Bunny Wailer, strong vocal harmonies and Marley’s passionate fiery vocals is another one of Catch A Fire’s songs featuring heartfelt urgency. The next two songs “400 Years” and “Stop That Train” were written by Peter Tosh.

”400 years” features a haunting social criticism referring to slavery and its many forms. With chilling backing vocals, melancholic synthesizer and a striking band chemistry, the song is another standout track on Catch A Fire. “Stop That Train” with its soulful bass grooves combined with the reggae guitar and strong vocal harmonies is a catchy track that is rich in themes of despair and heartbreak. It also reflects Tosh’s abilities that would lead to his successes as a solo artist. “Baby We Got A Date (Rock It Baby)” is a love song that is both mellow and upbeat, while “Stir It Up” has a longer history. The song was originally released by The Wailers in 1967 and it found new success in the US and the UK in 1972 when it was covered by Johnny Nash reaching the top 20 in the US and the UK. Prior to the recording of this album, the band had been on tour in the UK with Johnny Nash, who in turn began recording with the band in London around this time. Due to clashes with Nash and a CBS record contract, tensions started rising within the band. They were advanced money to record an album with Chris Blackwell and Island Records when their manager approached him. They band wound up going back to Jamaica to record the album before returning to the UK to work on the album with Blackwell. The version found on 1973’s Catch A Fire is often seen as the best version of the song. This is one of Bob Marley’s best known songs. The 1973 version encompasses an excellent mix of reggae elements, the guitar, congas, bass, keyboards and steady beat are hypnotic as Marley sings “Stir it up/Little darlin’” with relaxed smoothness. “Kinky Reggae” follows “Stir It Up” with its in the pocket upbeat reggae grooves and skanking guitars. Lyrically it has been said that it could be an allegory relating to drug use, sexuality or both. “No More Trouble” is a soul-stirring track with not too many words that holds the listener transfixed, while “Midnight Ravers” ends Catch A Fire.

Catch A Fire and the Burnin’ album that followed later in 1973 were recorded around the same time. After the release of Burnin’, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley would all go onto pursue solo careers (Marley continued with The Wailers, but with a different line up). This is one of the last albums to feature all three original members of The Wailers, as also around this time tensions within the band and management were on edge. It was recorded at three different studios in 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica, the tapes were then flown back to London, England with Marley and worked on with producer/label founder Chris Blackwell. With Marley’s supervision, Blackwell remixed the tracks at Island Studios and overdubbed on the some of tracks with Muscle Shoals session guitarist Wayne Perkins. Lyrically the album would address issues of oppression, other socially conscious themes, as well as featuring love songs. Containing now classic tracks such as “Kinky Reggae,” “Slave Driver,” “Concrete Jungle” and two excellent tracks written by Peter Tosh (“400 Years” & “Stop That Train”), Catch A Fire was one of the first international roots/reggae records distributed (following the Harder They Come Soundtrack in 1972) and would set Marley on the path to superstardom.

Punky Reggae Party II Playlist (Originally Aired On February 18th, 2023):

1.  Bob Marley & the Wailers - Concrete Jungle (Catch a Fire - Island Records - 1973)
2.  Bob Marley & the Wailers - Burnin' and Lootin' (Burnin' - Island Records - 1973)
3.  Toots & the Maytals - Sit Right Down (Funky Kingston - Mango Records/Dragon Records - 1973)
4.  The Upsetters - Black Panta (14 Dub Black Board Jungle - Upsetter Records - 1973)
5.  Earth, Roots, & Water - Zion (Innocent Youths - Summer Records/Light In The Attic - 1977/2008)
6.  Leroy Brown - Money Barrier (Money Barrier - Rhythm Gits - 1981)
7.  Winston Hart - Slaves Made Them Rich (Slaves Made Them Rich - Rose Royce - 1977)
8.  Noel Ellis - To Hail Selassie (Noel Ellis - Summer Records - 1983)
9.  Oscar Peterson - In the Still of the Night (Plays The Cole Porter Song Book - Verve Records - 1959)
10. Oscar Peterson - I Love Paris (Plays The Cole Porter Song Book - Verve Records - 1959)
11. Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie - Mozambique (Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie - Pablo Records - 1974)
12. Otis Redding - Shake (Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul - Volt Records - 1965)
13. Curtis Mayfield - Wild and Free (Curtis - Curtom - 1970)
14. Wilson Pickett - Mercy, Mercy (The Exciting Wilson Pickett - Atlantic Records - 1966)
15. Howlin' Wolf - Evil (Is Going On) (Moanin' in the Moonlight - Chess Records - 1959)
16. Willie Dixon (with Memphis Slim) - Move Me (Willie's Blues - Prestige Bluesville - 1959)
17. Bob Marley & the Wailers - Stop That Train (Jamaican Version) (Catch a Fire: Deluxe Edition - Island Records - 2001)
18. Toots & the Maytals - It Was Written Down (Funky Kingston - Mango Records/Dragon Records - 1973)
19. The Upsetters - Drum Rock (14 Dub Black Board Jungle - Upsetter Records - 1973)
20. King Tubby - East Arrows of Hi Fi Dub (Dub From the Roots/A Declaration of Dub - 1975/2014)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the February 18 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Otto Motto: An Interview with Jose Contreras & Show # 974

Otto Motto is the latest album released by Toronto’s By Divine Right. A now legendary proto-indie rock band, By Divine Right is fronted by Jose Contreras and the band has seen many lineup changes throughout the years, in their previous lineups they featured Feist, Brendan Canning (of Broken Social Scene) and Brian Borcherdt (of Holy Fuck). Their current lineup of Jose Contreras (guitar/vocals), Geordie Dynes (drums) and Alysha Haugen (bass) has been together since 2010. In 2016, the band recorded a full album cover of Depeche Mode’s Speak & Spell album in their rehearsal space, calling it Speak & Spell U.S. Otto Motto is a sprawling double album containing 14 tracks and features haunting psychedelic pop textures to the songs as the lyrics dig deep and are contemplative.

The album opens with “Problems of the Professional.” Driven by acoustic guitar, drums and bass, this contemplative track opens Otto Motto. With lyrics such as “The gadgeteers exploits/The experts ingenuity/Profit from my mistakes” and “The polite way to make people vanish,” Contreras sings a song that is motivational and hopeful, but also wrought with frustration. As the song reaches the halfway point, it picks up the tempo as guitars bass and drums drift into a psychedellia influenced interlude before jumping back into the mid-tempo ethereal groove found here. “Fuzzy Empire” floats in with fuzz induced electric guitar and rolling bass and drums as lyrically the pop inflective chorus of “I can feel it in my bones/I hate to be alone/I’m not lying/Feel like dying/I need more,” echoes a complex collection of emotions of being close and distant at the same time. This is one of several tracks that features additional guitar from Toronto musician/guitarist Stuart Cameron. “St. Leon’s” was the first single released for Otto Motto. Starting off with a steady bass and drums before electric guitar and vocals come in, this track was written about a tour story and adventure that the band had in Nakusp, BC. St. Leon’s is an off the beaten path hot spring in Nakusp that has been described as mystical. As the song treads within its own sonic landscape, lyrics such as “Keep on going down that rocky slope/To St Leon’s off the logging road/There will be a place for you,” and “We left the motel at the break of day/Lived the dream and then we drove away,” Contreras seems to be singing of this hard to find place that is mystical, but also juxtaposing it with touring life that may be one in the same.

“The Weeping Man” has a late night moody feel, with primarily acoustic guitar, bass and drums, Contreras weaves the tale of the invisible people we see every day. In a brief interview with Exclaim! Contreras talked about the songs context a bit more: "The story of the song, really, is it's an amalgam of the invisible people we see every day. My Toronto always has had spirit people living in it. The people no one talks to; the people that don't go into stores; the people you see day after day and no one knows." This is also an example of the album’s live dynamic that captures you and doesn’t let go. “Smokies and Cannonballs” is a jangly rock track that switches up the pace and tempo of Otto Motto, while lyrically it seems to be about just shutting off from the outside world and just hanging out in your hotel room. “Wild Ducks” is a slower psychedelic art pop track that floats with a spontaneous energy, ”Alighter” drifts with an atmospheric ambiance, and “The Volcano” finds its place as the eighth track on Otto Motto. The groove digs deep on this one as the guitars, bass and drums put forth a locomotive-like groove awash in vibrant, but muted textures that mix with pop sounds. Lyrics such as “Twice before you start to crack/I collided with the night,” and “Find a light and hold it tight/In comes the night I need to find a cure/Holding back/Holding back the volcano,” emphasize an eruption that is about to take place, despite ones best efforts. “No. 87” has been described by Contreras aswarble-y existential disco based on a typo,” that was written “After some misadventures, I returned to live in Toronto, trying to remember my way back to the future.” This warble-y track also features dreamy vocals as it forays into more psychedelic pop in addition to the other sounds that permeate this track.

“East Side Anthem” attacks with a laidback rhythm and guitar work that festers with an influence reminiscent of Marc Ribot on Tom Wait’s Rain Dogs album. With its jerky stop and start dynamics, lyrics paint the picture of eerie and strange things that occur late at night on the east side of town. Musically the song, like many on the album feature textures and additional instrumentation, this one features streetcar guitar credited to Steven Lambke. “Middle March” is another standout track on Otto Motto. Saturated in themes of nostalgia for the future and past, the song features sparse drum beats from Dynes and soulful basslines from Haugen that blend with kaleidoscopic guitars from Contreras. There are also, like on many tracks on the album, backing vocals provided by Alysha Haugen. As the song reaches its end Shotgun Jimmie offers a brief segment behind a series of atmospheric sounds, asking for his friend to help him move a piano with his van that is both humorous, yet also fitting with the themes of wistfulness and melancholy present on this track. “Moon Jams” ends Otto Motto. The full band comes in as distorted guitars overtake the opening moments of this song. Also featuring lyrics sung in French, Contreras sings of taking a trip to the moon and looking back down at the earth. The lyrics are a bit abstract, but they seem to touch on existential themes and our significance in the vast universe around us. The song ends with a phone message by Shotgun Jimmie, who has little messages throughout the record asking to be put on the album.

Throughout Otto Motto, the songs are longer than 2013’s Organized Accidents (in addition to 2016's Speak & Spell U.S.) and take their time, but never overstay their welcome. Arriving just shy of an hour of music, the working title of this album was Onomatopoeia, which is a word that is associated with the sound that it is named after. On Otto Motto, the sounds are By Divine Right and can’t be associated with anything else. With this being the longest running lineup of the band, they are as Jose once said when describing the future of BDR’s sound “More us, and at the same time, wider.” Otto Motto widens their scope, leaving room for repeat listens, new interpretations and a sonic space for future sounds.

Listen to the interview that Revolution Rock did with Jose Contreras here:

By Divine Right & Jose Contreras Playlist (Originally Aired On February 11th, 2023):

1.  By Divine Right - St. Leon’s (Otto Motto - Fortune Stellar Records - 2022)
2.  By Divine Right - Tora! Tora! Tora! (Speak and Spell U.S. - Headless Owl Records - 2016)
3.  By Divine Right - Eating the Ghost (Organized Accidents - Hand Drawn Dracula - 2013)
4.  By Divine Right - Cupid in Oilskins (Mutant Message - Hand Drawn Dracula - 2009)
5.  By Divine Right - Out of It (By Divine Right - Kinetic Records - 1995)
6.  By Divine Right - Come For A Ride (Bless This Mess - Nettwerk - 1999)


7.  By Divine Right - City City (Sweet Confusion - Linus Entertainment - 2004)
8.  By Divine Right - Supernatural (Good Morning Beautiful - Linus Entertainment - 2001)
9.  By Divine Right - Goodbye Paralyzer (Bless This Mess - Nettwerk - 1999)
10. By Divine Right - Highway Alien Paranoia (Al Hail Discordia - Squirtgun Records - 1997)


11. By Divine Right - Smokies and Cannonballs (Otto Motto - Fortune Stellar Records - 2022)
12. Jose Contreras - Grand Central Station (At The Slaughterhouse - Headless Owl Records - 2019)
13. Jose Contreras - At 45 (At The Slaughterhouse - Headless Owl Records - 2019)
14. Jose Contreras - Silver Thread (Jose Contreras - Squirtgun Records - 2014)
15. The Heat Death - Don’t Tell Her That You Love Her (The Heat Death - 2018)
16. The Heat Death - I’m Already There, Sunshine (CJAM Session 2016)
17. By Divine Right - Psychic Radio (Hybrid TV Genii - Linus Entertainment - 2004)
18. By Divine Right - Past the Stars (Organized Accidents - Hand Drawn Dracula - 2013)
19. By Divine Right - The Weeping Man (Otto Motto - Fortune Stellar Records - 2022)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the February 11 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Iggy & The Stooges Raw Power & Show # 973

Originally released on February 7th, 1973, Iggy & The Stooges Raw Power is the third full-length album by The Stooges. After the demise of the initial incarnation of The Stooges in 1971, Pop met David Bowie. As a fan of The Stooges, Bowie helped Iggy Pop get signed to a new label and management. Originally intended to be a solo outing, Iggy brought guitarist James Williamson along (who had played in a lineup with The Stooges prior to their breakup in 1971) with him to the UK in order to make a new record. Not finding suitable band members to meet their standards, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton of The Stooges were brought over to England and the second lineup of the band was in place. For this lineup, there was a shift in dynamics within the band, the more groove heavy version of The Stooges changed as Ron Asheton switched from guitar to bass, locking in a new primal heavy groove with drummer Scott Asheton and guitarist James Williamson played wild, erratic guitar riffs. Iggy Pop sang vocals overtop with a cerebral dangerousness as the band drifted more towards a harder rock sound. Since Iggy was under new contract, they were dubbed Iggy & The Stooges. Pop has recalled that the making of Raw Power “was done with drugs, youth, attitude, and a record collection.”

Raw Power opens with “Search and Destroy,” a song that was originally influenced by an article in Time Magazine where the term appeared along with “raw power.” It has roots in an anti-Vietnam War sentiment as the lyrics contrast the apocalyptic war imagery with themes of isolation, alienation and self exploration. It is an outsider anthem. The result is not only a strong opening to an album, but a song that would start off an album that would influence and launch a thousand bands. It has the subversive ability to take on multiple meanings expanding beyond its initial influences as lyrics such as “A streetwalking cheetah with a heartful of napalm,” and “I am the world’s forgotten boy/The one who’s searchin’/Searchin’ to destroy” strike alongside searing guitar riffs, explosive drumbeats and lurking basslines. “Gimme Danger” starts off with acoustic guitars, piano, drums and bass before Iggy’s haunting vocals come in. With lyrics such as “Gimme danger little stranger/And I’ll feel your disease” and “There’s nothing left alive but a pair of glassy eyes,” Pop looks inward as he expresses a complex series of emotions surrounding drug use, withdrawal, sexual tension, and as Pop stated recently for Apple Music “being haunted by the PTSD of your drug addictions, and failures in the industry.” The song, while there seems to be a Doors influence has drawn comparisons to “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones. “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” is another up-tempo, sonically chaotic track with more slashing guitar work from James Williamson behind a Chuck Berry influenced dynamic. Lyrically Iggy Pop displays an indictment of superficial beauty, while at the same time critiques pretty girls comparing them to having the same level of degeneracy as him. Side one of Raw Power ends with the lust-filled and edgy track “Penetration.” 

The title track opens side two of Raw Power. With more groove and violent guitar riffs, lyrically Pop touches on sleep deprivation and the state of mind it can bring, along with a touch of the sex, drugs & rock and roll ethos. “I Need Somebody” is another slower track. Included as part of an agreement with Columbia Records to have two ballads on the album (the other being “Gimme Danger”), the song features what has been called a rolling blues sound. Entrenched in a blues influence, the acoustic guitars contrast with the simmering guitar leads and a swampy bass and drum groove, as Iggy sings with passionate self-awareness and caution. “Shake Appeal” swaggers with a 50s rock influence as the hostile guitar contrasts with its influences. Pop has stated that this was his moment to “get to my dream of being Little Richard for a minute.” Raw Power ends with the longer track “Death Trip.” With lyrics such as “Said I'm with you/You're with me/Honey, we're going down in history,” Pop sings of the uncertain future of The Stooges in a self deprecating way, but at the same time it finds itself in that world of alienation and lack of acknowledgement that could take on multiple meanings. As all this is occurring, the unhinged and fervent guitar provided by James Williamson cuts through the chaos, while Iggy’s vocals match the chaotic nature, as the deep groove of Ron & Scott Asheton hold down the anarchic nature of the song. 

When recording this album at CBS Studios, the band was left to their own devices. When it came time to mix the album, the label stated that David Bowie would have to remix it. When he was brought the tapes by Iggy Pop, he was brought a mixdown with the band on one track, lead guitar on another and vocals on a third, proving for a challenging task for Bowie. He fed some of the tracks through a delay unit that was called the Cooper Time Cube, along with doing some mix tweaks. The album came out featuring a lot of vocals and guitar high in the mix while the bass and drums were much lower in the mix. At times they can seem inaudible. Since Iggy’s original mix was rejected, it started the long line of mixes and bootlegs that would be released of the album. Eventually Iggy would do his own remix in 1996 that would drive everything into the red of the mix creating a distorted on purpose, aggressive mix of the album that has been described as sounding like your speakers are melting. Following a legacy edition of the album in 2010, a double album release of Raw Power was put out in 2012 for Record Store Day on vinyl featuring David Bowie’s original mix and a version of Iggy Pop’s mix that is seen as the definitive version of the album. In 2023, remastered versions of both mixes were made available on streaming services.

In between all this time, the status of Raw Power grew. It was a cult classic that went on to influence punk and many rock bands of the future. It would reach new status and recognition when The Stooges reunited in the early 2003 with their initial lineup and then with the Raw Power-era lineup in 2009. Bogged down by the mixing history that created different versions of the album didn’t really affect the album’s importance. While many consider Bowie’s mix to be the superior version of the album, it is the songs that stand out. The guitar and sounds put forth on Raw Power would go onto influence generations of musicians becoming one of the most important and influential albums in rock music history. But, its more than just the music, lyrically there is an inherent intellectualness to the lyrics present throughout the songs. Paving the way for punk, Raw Power displays an uncompromising furiousness fraught with emotion, anger, incendiary guitar and an omnipresent, biting viciousness.

Raw Power Playlist (Originally Aired On February 4th, 2023):

1.  Iggy & the Stooges - I Got a Right (Outtake from the Raw Power Sessions) (Gimme Danger (Music From the Motion Picture) - Rhino Records - 2017)
2.  Iggy & the Stooges - Scene of the Crime (I'm Sick of You! BOMP! Records - 1988)
3.  Iggy & the Stooges - Head On (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)
4.  Iggy & the Stooges - Johanna (CBS Studio Rehearsals) (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)
5.  Iggy & the Stooges - Search & Destroy Raw Power (1977 UK Pressing) (Raw Power - CBS/Embassy Records - 1977)
6.  Iggy & the Stooges - Gimme Danger Raw Power (2023 Iggy Remaster Mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records/Legacy - 1973/2023)
7.  Iggy & the Stooges - Your Pretty Face is Going To Hell Raw Power (1973 Bowie Mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records - 1973)
8.  Iggy & the Stooges - Penetration Raw Power (1997 Iggy mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records/Legacy - 1997)
9.  Iggy & the Stooges - Raw Power Raw Power (1973 Bowie Mix)  (Raw Power - Columbia Records - 1973)
10. Iggy & the Stooges - I Need Somebody (Rough Power - BOMP! - 1994)
11. Iggy & the Stooges - Shake Appeal (1973 Bowie Mix) (Raw Power: Legacy Edition - Columbia Records/Legacy - 2010)
12. Iggy & the Stooges - Death Trip Raw Power (2023 Iggy Remaster Mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records/Legacy - 1973/2023)
13. Iggy & the Stooges - Hey Peter (Outtake) Raw Power: Legacy Edition - Columbia Records/Legacy - 2010)
14. Iggy & the Stooges - Can’t Turn You Loose (Morgan Sound Studios, Ypsilanti, MI March 73) (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)
15. Iggy & the Stooges - I'm Sick of You (I'm Sick of You! BOMP! Records - 1988)
16. Iggy & the Stooges - Open Up & Bleed (1973 CBS Studio Rehearsals) (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the February 4 file to download/stream the episode.