Saturday, February 20, 2021

Women's Public Strain & Other Music: An Interview With Patrick Flegel & Michael Wallace & Show # 870

In September 2010, the Calgary band Women released their second and final album Public Strain. Recorded in the dead of winter in Calgary, Alberta with Chad VanGaalen over a ten-month period, the album sessions were tense. In terms of sound, Public Strain helped identify a voice for the musicians in the band. With comparisons to bands such as Caribou, The Velvet Underground, Deerhoof and Abe Vigoda, Women shaped a sonic depth with their sound that explored elements of post punk with noise rock. It features darker more jarring sounds, while at the same time pop sensibilities lurk beneath. Experimentation also runs deep within this album, while comparisons can be made to other bands, Women often veer off from that moving into unexplored territory. Public Strain creates a certain mood that you can feel with every listen.

“Can’t You See” opens in a haze of guitar feedback as melodic bass from Matthew Flegel plucks its way through the screeching drones, bowed guitars from Chris Reimer, cello and haunting, yet poppy vocals provided by vocalist/guitarist Patrick Flegel. The atmosphere created here is darker, moody and often referred to as a nocturnal ballad. It contrasts pop elements with more dissonant and experimental ones. “Heat Distraction” is the opposite of the opening track. With its bright guitar interplay and deep bass tones that seem to sink below all the instrumentation, this track has several different time signatures that shift from one form to another seamlessly. The drums from Michael Wallace drive this track as Patrick Flegel and guitarist Chris Reimer sing in abstract lyrics such as “Programmed without form/Programmed without sound” and “Austere known your pen/Throats inside of glass/Hanging next to me” that further adds to the mood of this track and album. “Narrow With The Hall” features clouds of feedback with eerie vocals that float on top. 60s sounding bass melodies jump in with marching drums as the guitar feedback switches forms. The harmonies provided by the Flegel’s on this track were compared to bands such as The Zombies while the track was once described in Pitchfork as producing “a unique, gray-paisley vibe-- the sound of vintage psychedelia bleached of its color”.

“Penal Colony” brings in more pop melodies that rise to the surface as ringing guitar, subtle drums and cello rise and fall slowly in the background. This track adds touches of psychedelia as well into the mix. The sounds of The Velvet Underground and Syd Barrett come to mind when hearing this, but it is its own thing. With lyrics such as “Faces start to blend/Meet a sudden end/And you're gone completely/I know that it's hard to go” the song seems to pull from a personal feeling of exile. “Bells” is an instrumental interlude of sorts. It is a drone heavy, noisy ballad that builds tension and ambiance. “China Steps” arrives with drums where you can hear the squeak of the pedal as bass and two opposing guitars attack the sonic air. About halfway through after a heavy song transition, the vocals come in. Drawing comparisons to 80s Sonic Youth, “China Steps” treads through its sonic landscape never afraid to move forward. “Untogether” features unnerving, disorienting melodies with more experimental indie rock sounds, while “Drag Open” is a visceral onslaught of guitar, bass, drums and feedback. The middle section of the song changes pace, like a change of wind direction. As the song slows down, the song builds up tension, mood and trails off in hazy sounds.

The mid-tempo “Locust Valley” arrives next. The memorable guitar melodies float in between the bass and drums. With krautrock dynamics and unmistakable vocal melodies, it moves with urgency. This is also one of two songs that reference American artist Ray Johnson. Johnson was a seminal figure in Neo-dada and Pop Art who was referred to as “New York’s most famous unknown artist”. Locust Valley is the town Johnson lived in New York State. Women also referenced Johnson on their 2008 debut album with their song “Sag Harbor Bridge”, which was the place of Johnson’s death. “Venice Lockjaw” arrives next. Another highlight among the often experimental and noisy post punk sounds found on Public Strain, this song adds further psychedelic, paisley beauty as it contrasts the music with darker lyrics. The term “Venice Lockjaw” once again refers to artist Ray Johnson, who handed out pins with this term at an art exhibition in Venice in 1990.

“Eyesore” ends Public Strain. With jangly guitars, syrupy basslines and compelling drums, this is the longest track on the album. With words such as “Spill and heat consume both of the lights/They were flashing white and ecru pale” and “I just could not/Tell against your will/Give out your number now”, the lyrics evoke a feeling that is open to interpretation (like many moments on the album) that resemble some similarities to the lyrical style of David Bowie’s Low album. Public Strain ends in a fade out. Throughout this album, there is a contrast between noise, dissonance, psychedelia and pop melodies. Each track offers something that sounds new and fresh with each listen. As a whole it creates a mood that surrounds you that is hard to resist. The lyrical content of Public Strain has been described as cycling “through insomnia, paranoia, resignation and euphoria, to capture a band with an undeniable voice coming into full awareness of their craft.” And while the lyrics are often darker and compliment the at times brooding music, Public Strain is more than just a dark record. Throughout the walls of noise and experimentation, there is something hard to define. Even after ten years of its initial release, Public Strain burns with a passion and intensity that is timeless.

Women toured heavily from 2008-2009 prior to Public Strain’s release in support of their 2008 album Women. They also toured in support of Public Strain, but that tour was cut short in October 2010. Following a show that occurred in October 2010 in Victoria BC, Women stopped playing as a band. The band members went their separate ways. Bassist Matthew Flegel and drummer Michael Wallace went on to form the band Viet Cong (before changing their name to Preoccupations), guitarist/vocalist Patrick Flegel would continue creating music eventually creating music as Cindy Lee and Christopher Reimer joined the band The Dodos as their touring guitarist while collaborating and creating music until he passed away in his sleep unexpectedly in 2012. In 2020, Flemish Eye and Jagjaguwar announced a reissue of Public Strain along with an EP of outtakes and rare tracks called Rarities 2007-2010 in celebration of the album’s 10th anniversary.

Grab a copy of Public Strain from Flemish Eye or Jagjaguwar.

Support Patrick Flegel’s latest project Cindy Lee here.

Listen to Revolution Rock interview with Patrick Flegel (of Cindy Lee/Women):

Listen to Revolution Rock's interview with Michael Wallace (of Preoccupations/Women):

Public Strain Playlist (Originally Aired On February 20th, 2020):

1.  Women - Pinky (CBC Radio 3 Session) (CBC Radio 3 Session - January 2010)
2.  Women - Drag Open (Public Strain - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2010)
3.  Women - Locust Valley (Public Strain - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2010)
4.  Women - Bullfight (Live Session) (CJSW Live Session 2010)


5.  Chris Reimer - Mustard Gas (Hello People - Flemish Eye - 2018)
6.  Preoccupations - Pointless Experience (Viet Cong - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2015)
7.  Preoccupations - Zodiac (Preoccupations - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2016)
8.  Cindy Lee - I Want You To Suffer (What's Tonight to Eternity - W.25TH / Superior Viaduct - 2020)
9.  Cindy Lee - Bondage Of The Mind (Cat O' Nine Tails - CCQSK Records - 2020)


10. Chris Reimer - First Cut/TV Water (The Chad Tape - Flemish Eye - 2012)
11. Chris Reimer - Waving Goodbye From A Tree (Hello People - Flemish Eye - 2018)
12. Preoccupations - Unconscious Melody (Cassette - Mexican Summer - 2013/Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2017)
13. Cindy Lee - The Promise of Lonliness (Tatlashea - Isolated Now Waves - 2012)


14. Women - Eyesore (Public Strain - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2010)
15. Women - Penal Colony (Public Strain - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2010)


16. Women - Service Animal (Rarities 2007-2010 - Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar - 2020)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Junior Murvin's Police & Thieves & Show # 869

Jamaican musician Junior Murvin is perhaps best known for his song “Police & Thieves”, however he started his career recording under the name Junior Soul.  Influenced by Curtis Mayfield as a youth, Murvin first began performing live in Montego Bay, but then after his family relocated to Kingston.  He would audition for producer Lee “Scratch” Perry and Coxsone Todd.  His audition was unsuccessful, but this didn’t deter Murvin.  He had minor hit for the Crystal label in Jamaica with his song “Solomon” in 1972.  He also wrote songs for artists such as Derrick Harriott and Keith & Tex.  Performing in Kingston hotels and tourist hotels, Murvin also played with The Hippy Boys, The Mighty Falcons and The Tornadoes.  Following a second audition for legendary and innovative producer Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark Studio in 1976, the two decided to record his song “Police & Thieves”. With Perry’s studio backing band The Upsetters and a small lyrical adjustment, the song was recorded by Perry and released shortly afterwards. Reportedly improvised as The Upsetters performed the music, dub and remix versions done by Perry quickly followed. However, the song about police brutality, gang war and societal unrest, became a hit in Jamaica. 

The album Police & Thieves, which contained the song of the same name, was released through Island Records in 1977.  The album, often viewed as one of the best produced albums to come out of Perry’s Black Ark Studio, is now seen as a classic album that dug deep into elements of roots reggae.  The overall feel of the album is also heavily seeped in soul influences.  Murvin’s falsetto vocal often rises above the music, operating in conjunction with the socially conscious lyrics.  The opening track “Roots Train” blends roots reggae and soul with infectious, dance inducing rhythms.  With lyrics such as “You gotta be righteous/You gotta be clean in thought, word, and deed/To get on board the train”, Murvin sets the tone for this album with its rich soulful, reggae elements in combination with lyrics drawing on spiritual salvation and signaling positivity in a sea of negativity.  “Solomon” is a reworking of Murvin’s earlier hit.  This version, with its soulful horn sections and heavy bass and drums, captivates the listener.  “Tedious” is pulsating with its burning dub rhythms as the lyrics urge for unity in a land that is divided.   Like many of the songs created during this time period, they were often reflections of the ongoing struggles of the common people in Jamaica.  Crime, corruption and political related issues ran rampant.   Socially conscious lyrics run not only throughout the Police & Thieves album, but throughout the music that was created by Junior Murvin's career.  Other tracks such as “Lucifer” has drawn comparisons to Max Romeo’s “Chase The Devil”, with its heavy lyrical weight and even deeper bass and drum grooves that compliment this darker track in a distinctive way.  “Workin’ In the Cornfield” contrasts the hard working individual with the wealthy.  

With its lyrical context and mesmerizing music complemented by Lee “Scratch” Perry’s use of space and innovation, Police & Thieves was destined to become a landmark album for roots reggae music. Throughout all the tracks on Murvin’s debut, the songs captivate as they search for hope in bleakness. It’s not hard to see why this album works so well. But, the story doesn’t end there. In addition to the album, the single “Police & Thieves” would receive an even bigger response in the UK. It became a club hit there. The song became an anthem with the disenfranchised black community in the UK when the Noting Hill Carnival broke out in a riot in 1976. The song was then covered by The Clash. The band's Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon were involved in the riots and inspired to cover the song. Murvin’s version was re-released as a single in 1980 climbing the Top 40 UK singles charts to number 23. “Police & Thieves” appeared in the 1978 movie Rockers by Theodoros Bafaloukos and in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998. It was also re-recorded several times by Murvin, in addition to being covered by other artists that were inspired either by his or the version done by The Clash.

Two other songs of note that were recorded with Lee “Scratch” Perry were the songs “Bad Weed” and “Philistines On The Land”. These songs along with their B-sides used similar rhythms to “Police & Thieves”. But, the two would never record another album together again. Throughout his career Murvin worked with a number of different producers such as Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson in 1979 for the single “Cool Out Son”, Henry “Junjo” Lawes for the 1984 album Muggers In The Streets, Prince Jammy and King Tubby.  The song “Cool Out Son” was later featured on the soundtrack to the Skate 3 video game in 2010.  In 1982, Murvin worked with reggae musician Mikey Dread. With Dread at the controls, he produced the album Bad Man Possee, which delved even further into dub rhythms. Murvin continued making music throughout his life. He released eight full-length albums and many singles. The music always retained that soulful, roots reggae influence balanced with a social consciousness that resonated with audiences.

Punky Reggae Party Playlist (Originally Aired On February 13th, 2020):  

1.  Junior Murvin - Police & Thieves (Police & Thieves - Island Records - 1977)
2.  Big Youth - Screaming Target (Screaming Target - Trojan Records - 1972)
3.  Mikey Dread - Love The Dread (Dread At The Controls - Trojan Records - 1979)
4.  Bob Marley - Punky Reggae Party (Jamming/Punky Reggae Party Single - Island Records - 1977)
5.  Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Israelites (Israelites - Pyramid - 1968)
6.  Charley Pride - The Snakes Crawl At Night (Country Charlie Pride - RCA Victor - 1966)
7.  Brent & Harry - Foolin' Around (16 Great Country Songs by 16 Great Canadian Country Artists - Banff - 1963)
8.  Brent Williams - Saginaw, Michigan (On The Go - Paragon - 1970)
9.  Brent Williams - Anybody Goin' To San Antone (On The Go - Paragon - 1970)
10. George "Wild Child" Butler - Open Up Baby (Open Up Baby/Big Momma, Little Momma Single - Jewel Records - 1967/Open Up Baby - Charly R&B - 1985)
11. Little Walter - Just A Feeling (Teenage Beat/Just A Feeling Single - Checker Records - 1955)
12. Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Rock Me (Rock Me/Lonesome Road Single - Brunswick - 1938)
13. Lee "Scratch" Perrty - Roast Fish & Corn Bread (Roast Fish, Collie Weed, and Corn Bread - Lion of Judah - 1978)
14. Max Romeo - I Chase The Devil (War Ina Babylon - Island Records - 1976)
15. Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey (Marcus Garvey - Island Records - 1975)
16. U-Roy - Chalice In The Palace (Dread In A Babylon - TR International/Virgin Records - 1975)
17. Rough Francis - Waxed Curb (Urgent Care - 2020)
18. Big Joanie - Baby Rust (Crooked Room EP - Sistah Punk Records - 2016)
19. JONCRO - Degenerates (Lions Den Session - 2020)
20. JONCRO - Bunununus Riddim (Dub Plate) (Bunununus Riddim (Dub Plate) Single - 2020)
21. Culture - Two Sevens Clash (Two Sevens Clash - Joe Gibbs Record Globe - 1977)
22. Dr. Alimantado - Born For A Purpose (Born For A Purpose/Reason For Living Single - Ital Sounds - 1977)
23. Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown (King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown - Yard International/Clock Tower Records - 1976)
24. Toots & The Maytals - Monkey Man (Sweet And Dandy - Beverley's Records - 1969)
25. Un Blonde - Spine (Un Blonde EP - Yew Nork - 2013)
26. Yves Jarvis - Victim Sundry Rock Song Stock (Victim Sundry Rock Song Stock - Flemish Eye - 2020)
27. OGBMs - Ousah (The Ends - Black Box Recordings - 2020)
28. OGBMs - Not Again (The Ends - Black Box Recordings - 2020)

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Destiny Street Complete: An Interview With Richard Hell & Show # 868

Originally released in 1982 on the Red Star label, Destiny Street is the second and final album by Richard Hell & The Voidoids.  It followed their classic debut released on Sire Records in 1977, Blank Generation.  In between this time, Richard Hell & The Voidoids toured the UK for 19 dates with The Clash.  A single also came out in 1979, recorded and produced by Nick Lowe (The Kid With The Replaceable Head/I’m Your Man) on Jake Riviera’s Radar Records.  However, Hell didn’t really like to tour.  The Voidoids would still tour, but infrequently and only when they had to.  Due to this, the band lineup would change often.  When it came time to record the follow up to Blank Generation, The Voidoids featured original members Richard Hell on bass/vocals and Robert Quine on guitar, Naux (Juan Maciel) on second guitar and Fred Maher on Drums.  Destiny Street was recorded and mixed in about a three-week span in 1981.  Richard Hell was also in a different state at this time, finding it difficult to go into the studio on some days.  As stated in his autobiography I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp he was “Strung so tightly … couldn’t tolerate the thought of stepping outside.”

The album opens with “The Kid With The Replaceable Head”.  Attacking at a wilder pace than the 1979 single version, the song also has an undeniable swing to it.  As the solos trade off and Hell’s bass drives in between, Fred Maher’s drums deliver an undeniable groove.  With lyrics such as “They say he's dead, he's my three best friends/He's so honest that the dishonest dread” this song, Hell’s attempt to write a pop song, starts off Destiny Street questioning identity and being honest with yourself.  “I Gotta Move” is a reinterpreted and energetic version of a song originally by The Kinks.  It is also the second track on Destiny Street and the first of three covers.  “Going Going Gone” a song originally by Bob Dylan follows.  The song brings down the tempo contrasting with the earlier up-tempo tracks.  Everything about this track excels.  The guitar work by Quine, the bass and vocals by Hell deliver an honesty and desperation that penetrates not only this track, but also all of Destiny Street.  “Lowest Common Dominator” drives with pseudo disco rock grooves, the guitar work by Naux is scathing as it accelerates in the verses (he trades off solos with Quine later on in this track) and with the propelling drums and bass that really digs in with the vocals.  Lyrically, with words such as “Acknowledging at all that you have had an effect/Well, that alone will make you feel so tough/Oh, we'll just leave you knowin'/Your worm insides are showin'/And that's a revenge enough,” “Lowest Common Dominator” delivers seething lyrics about the dominating, two face type of person.  “Downtown At Dawn” flirts with 80s styled New York funk.  The lyrics operate like a riddle with a poignancy as the listener wanders in and out of the late 70s/early 80s New York nightlife and themes of alienation, anxiety and despair paint themselves throughout the lyrics.  

“Time” is one of Richard Hell’s best songs.  Both lyrically and musically this song sucks the listener into its vortex, not in an aggressive way, but more in a jangly, trance-like way.  While there is an influence of The Byrds found here, the song is completely its own.  The guitar work and solos on this song and on “Going Going Gone” by Robert Quine are in a class of their own.  Lyrically, the song with its strong melodies and poetically honest lyrics such as “Only time can write a song that's really really real/The most a man can do is say the way its playing feels/And know he only knows as much as time to him reveals” are enduring and thought provoking.  “I Can Only Give You Everything” is the third cover found on Destiny Street and it captures the spirit of “real gone rock and roll”, which is the sound that Hell wanted to achieve with Destiny Street.  This on edge version of a song originally by Them is described in the CD linear notes to Destiny Street Complete as compelling, being reduced "To a marching song, strung out as if the guitars were razor wire threaded through the knotted strand of drums in cartoony shapes against the void."  It ends in complete chaos.  “Ignore That Door” continues the themes present on the album.  It hustles with conviction, an anti-drug message, duelling guitar solos and plenty of ooh’s. 

“Staring In Her Eyes” surrenders itself to the lyrics and music.  It is a mid-tempo love song that at one point states “Stare like a corpse in each's eyes/Till you never want to come alive and rise.”  The final track of Destiny Street is the title track.  It pulsates with funkier bass and drum rhythms.  It was a collaboration that came to be in the studio as Hell intertwines a tale throughout about meeting a younger version of yourself and being seduced by that younger self.  The song itself ties in many themes found on Destiny Street, but also operates as a cautionary tale about the temptations of the past and future as stated in the lyrics “Playing for the past or future/Is playing with a fool's paradise.”  

The new Destiny Street Complete version of this album released by Omnivore Recordings presents every version of the album available.  It is a remastered, remixed and repaired reissue.  It features the original 1982 Destiny Street remastered, the repaired version from 2009, which featured Hell doing new vocals over the bed tracks (of drums, rhythm guitar, bass), guitar contributions from Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Ivan Julian and the 2021 remixed version of Destiny Street.  When the three of the original master tapes were found in 2019, the album was remixed by Richard Hell, Nick inner of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and engineered by Erin Tonkin.  In addition to this, there are also demos, singles and some outtakes.  There is a studio outtake version of the song “Don’t Die” which is a moment captured in time that has an urgency and focus that utterly captivating.  

When it was originally released, Richard Hell was dissatisfied with Destiny Street.  The master tapes were said to have been lost and the album mix “was a morass of trebly multi-guitar sludge."  When Destiny Street was released in 1982, it did receive some good critical reviews, but it never quite had the impact that it should have.  Now in 2021, we can look at the album and its evolution.  The remixed version of the album is great.  It revitalizes Destiny Street, enhancing the best moments that were lost in the original 1982 mix.  It gives the album and these songs a new life.  You can even get a remixed 11-track version of the album on on its own vinyl via Omnivore or you can listen to the Destiny Street Complete version.  But, you decide.  There are many paths you can take to rediscover this underappreciated classic by Richard Hell & The Voidoids, but whatever path you take all roads lead to Destiny Street.  

Listen to an interview that Revolution Rock did with Richard Hell:

Destiny Street Complete Playlist (Originally Aired On February 6th, 2021):  

1.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - The Kid With The Replaceable Head (Destiny Street Remaster) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)
2.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Staring In Her Eyes (Destiny Street Repaired) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)
3.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Time (Destiny Street Remixed) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)
4.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Don't Die (Single Version) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)


5.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Love Comes In Spurts (Blank Generation - Sire Records - 1977)
6.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - I'm Your Man (1977 Demo) (Time - Matador Records - 2002)
7.  Richard Hell - The Hunter Was Drowned (Time - Matador Records - 2002/R.I.P. - ROIR - 1984)
8.  Dim Stars - Baby Huey (Let's Dance) (Dim Stars - Caroline Records/New Rose Records - 1992/Spurts: The Richard Hell Story - Rhino - 2005)


9.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - You Gotta Lose (Another World EP - Ork Records - 1976)
10.  Neon Boys - That's All I Know (Right Now) (Spurts: The Richard Hell Story - Rhino - 2005)
11.  The Heartbreakers - Hurt Me (Demo) (Time - Matador Records - 2002/R.I.P. - ROIR - 1984)
12.  Television - Blank Generation (Live) (Spurts: The Richard Hell Story - Rhino - 2005)
13.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Ignore That Door (Live) (Funhunt: Live at CBGB's & Max's 1978 and 1979 - ROIR - 1990)
14.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Lowest Common Dominator (Destiny Street Remaster) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)
15.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Going Going Gone (Demo) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)
16.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Funhunt (Demo) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)
17.  Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Destiny Street (Destiny Street Remixed) (Destiny Street Complete - Omnivore Recordings - 2021)

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Coming Up On Revolution Rock in February 2021!

It’s February, which means that throughout this month Revolution Rock will devote each episode that airs in February to theme based programming. Dave and co-host Adam have some cool programming lined up ranging from reggae, dub, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk, post-punk, garage and surf.  Revolution Rock airs every Saturday from 7-9 PM EST on CJAM 99.1 FM in Windsor/Detroit. It can be streamed and downloaded This year is also a first for the show as we have now become syndicated with other campus stations across Canada. Revolution Rock and its programming can now also be heard on CFUV 101.9 FM in Victoria, BC (Wednesdays 7-9 AM PST), on CKUW 95.9 FM in Winnipeg (Mondays 2-4 AM CST), on Caper Radio/CJBU FM in Sydney, Nova Scotia (Tuesdays 12-2 PM AST) and on CFRC 101.9 FM in Kingston, ON (Thursdays 9-11 PM EST).  

Continue reading to find out about this year's Theme Month schedule:

Destiny Street: A Special on Richard Hell’s 2021 Release Destiny Street Complete and Other Selections (Featuring An Interview With Richard Hell)
Saturday February 6th, 2020
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

Richard Hell is an author, poet, musician and actor. Known as one of the originators and pioneers during the early days of New York punk, Hell quit the music world in 1984 to focus on writing, only reappearing a few times on some music projects. Having co-founded Television, being one of the original members of The Heartbreakers (featuring Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan of The New York Dolls), Hell formed Richard Hell & The Voidoids in 1976 and released their debut album, Blank Generation in 1977. Hell’s look and aesthetic would go on as a template for punk music that would influence others, most notably The Sex Pistols, who in turn would influence their own music scene. The Voidoids first album is seen as a classic, with its title track still sounding as vital and thought provoking today. When it came time to put out a follow up to Blank Generation, Richard Hell and his band were in a different state. The album was recorded over a three-week period at Chelsea Sound Studios in New York City and produced by Alan Betrock. Never completely satisfied with the way it was originally released in 1982, Destiny Street has been an often misunderstood album in Richard Hell’s discography. Originally released on the Red Star label, Destiny Street’s master tapes were said to have been lost preventing any type of remix. In 2009, a cassette version of the bed tracks of drums, bass and rhythm guitars were discovered and Hell, along with a few other guest guitars (Marc Ribot, Ivan Julian and Bill Frisell) recorded new parts to this album. It was titled Destiny Street Repaired. However in 2021, after the master tape/multi-tracks of the original recording sessions were found and a remix was done, Destiny Street Complete was released by Omnivore Recordings. The set contains four versions of the album, along with a few outtakes. The original 1982 version remastered, the 2009 Destiny Street Repaired version, a newly remixed version of Destiny Street and a collection of demos that show early and different versions of the songs that would make up this album. Destiny Street Complete re-establishes the great moments of Destiny Street for everyone to hear. On this episode of Revolution Rock, we will play selections from Destiny Street Complete, other selections from Hell’s discography as well as featuring an exclusive interview with Richard Hell.

Punky Reggae Party: Reggae and its influence on the 70s UK punk scene

Saturday February 13th, 2020
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

Many people have heard the song “Police & Thieves”, it was covered by The Clash on their debut album. This was many people’s introduction to this song and to reggae. It is however a reggae song originally by Jamaican reggae musician Junior Murvin. “Police & Thieves” has its roots in Jamaica where it was recorded in 1976. Following a second audition for legendary and innovative producer Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark Studio in 1976, the two decided to record his song “Police & Thieves”. With Perry’s studio backing band The Upsetters and a small lyrical adjustment, the song was recorded by Perry and released shortly afterwards. Dub and remix versions done by Perry quickly followed. However, the song about police brutality, gang war and societal unrest, became a hit in Jamaica. A reflection of the times in Jamaica, the song would be released via Island Records and would receive an even bigger response in the UK. It became a club hit there. The song became an anthem with the disenfranchised black community in the UK when the Noting Hill Carnival broke out in a riot. The song was then covered by The Clash.  The band's Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon were involved in the riots and inspired to cover the song.  Murvin’s version was re-released as a single in 1980 climbing the Top 40 UK singles charts to number 23. This is just one of the examples of reggae being influential. Featured heavily in UK clubs in the late 70s thanks to DJs like Don Letts, other artists would also elicit an influence such as Toots & The Maytals, Mikey Dread, Desmond Dekker & The Aces and Bob Marley. In July 1977, Bob Marley released a single called Punky Reggae Party. This song with lyrics such as “New wave craze/New phrase/New Wave/New craze” and “I’m saying/The Wailers will be there/The Damned, The Jam, The Clash/Maytals will be there/Dr. Feelgood too”, Marley wrote this song about the positive response in the UK of The Clash’s cover of Junior Murvin’s “Police & Thieves”. The sounds of reggae and dub’s influence can be heard all over. It found its way into punk music and helped pave the way for the sounds that were to become post punk. On this episode of Revolution Rock, we will celebrate Black History Month by featuring sets of music devoted to reggae and its influence on punk music, as well as different genres from black artists such as blues, soul, jazz and more.

Public Strain: Women’s Public Strain and Other Music (Featuring An Interview With Patrick Flegel & Michael Wallace)
Saturday February 20th, 2020
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

The second and final album released by the Calgary rock band Women was titled Public Strain. Recorded in the span of ten months in the dead of winter in Calgary by Chad VanGaalen, Public Strain explored more post punk sounds, often darker and more jarring, but at the same time there is something strangely beautiful that permeates this record. The album received widespread critical acclaim, eventually being long listed on the nominees for the Polaris Prize in 2011. Prior to this album’s release Women put out their debut album Women in 2008. Also recorded by Chad VanGaalen in a basement with boom boxes and tape machines, the album displayed a lo-fi sound. Women generated buzz in various media publications at the time. In a press release the album’s sound was described as “Sometimes light and spacious, at other times eerie and dense with an ominous weight, this self titled album touches upon Velvet Underground, Swell Maps or This Heat while not really having any obvious precursors - a lo-fi masterpiece cloaked in layers of vibrato and guitar wash.“ Women toured heavily from 2008-2009. They also toured in support of Public Strain, but that tour was cut short in October 2010. Following a show that occurred in October 2010 in Victoria BC, Women stopped playing as a band. The band members went their separate ways. Bassist Matthew Flegel and drummer Michael Wallace went on to form the band Viet Cong (before changing their name to Preoccupations), guitarist/vocalist Patrick Flegel would continue creating music eventually creating music as Cindy Lee and Christopher Reimer joined the band The Dodos as their touring guitarist while collaborating and creating music until he passed away in his sleep unexpectedly in 2012. In 2020, Flemish Eye and Jagjaguwar announced a reissue of Public Strain along with an EP of outtakes and rare tracks called Rarities 2007-2010 in celebration of the album’s 10th anniversary. In celebration of this, Revolution Rock will have an entire episode devoted to the music of Women’s Public Strain and its lasting influence, as well as featuring selections from the band members of Women other bands. Expect to hear selections from the album Public Strain and from other material in Women’s catalogue, along with music from Cindy Lee, Preoccupations, Chris Reimer and more  This episode will also feature an interview with Patrick Flegel (of Women/Cindy Lee) and Michael Wallace (of Women/Preoccupations).  

Revolution Surf 2021: The Wild West
Saturday February 27th, 2020
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

Surf rock is known for its reverb drenched guitar sounds and solos, drums and relation to surf culture. Starting in the 60s it has since infiltrated several genres of music. But, Western surf music or surf music with Wild West elements is kind of hard to pinpoint. You could go back to the early days of the Spaghetti Western movies and more specifically the films of Sergio Leone, which featured music from Italian film music composer Enninio Morricone. He often created epic, cinematic soundscapes in Western films incorporating elements of surf rock, along with other genres such as country and folk as well as unconventional sound effects at the time. The soundtrack to films such as For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly have gone on to influence music in unexpected ways. Surf music, or surf guitar finds its way into all kinds of music nowadays it seems. But, Western themed surf music basically has elements of country and folk mixed in with it. Surf itself in its early days in the 60s often took influence from other cultures of music. In the case of guitarist Dick Dale, he added Middle Eastern and Mexican music influences into his songs that in turn helped create a style now common in the genre. Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” originates from a folk song that has been played in numerous different languages.  It has ties to many different musical origins such as Greek Rebetiko, Middle Eastern Belly Dancing and Jewish Klezmer.  The Ventures even had an album of instrumental/surf based country songs called The Ventures Play Country Classics in 1963. It’s not surprising since The Ventures explored and tackled many different genres in their music with their own sense of innovation. However, these are not the only examples of Western themes appearing in surf music or vice versa. Toronto’s The Sadies have blended garage, surf, country and folk in their music as well. They have several albums featuring surf music while mixing in other elements of music. On this edition of Revolution Surf, the program will be made up entirely of surf and instrumental music that contains Western themes. It will also feature guest hosts such as Derk Brigante of The Surfphony of Derstruction 2000, Carley of CJAM FM’s Everything’s No Good and Brady Holek of CJAM FM’s The Mighty Mezz.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Sylvain Sylvain & Shows # 866 & 867

Sylvain Sylvain was an American guitarist that is perhaps best known as being a member of the proto punk band The New York Dolls. While often overshadowed by guitarist Johnny Thunders, Sylvain’s rhythm helped give the Dolls part of what made them so unique. When they played together it created something special.  In Vintage Guitar Magazine Sylvain said: "I’m trying to hit you with everything, a little bit. Sometimes, I kind of float around, but it’s only a natural thing.” I feel this is a good way to describe the way Sylvain played the guitar and his aesthetic in general.

Originally from Egypt, his family eventually made their way to New York after living in France. Sylvain had a knack for fashion, clothing and music. Prior to being in the New York Dolls he ran a popular clothing company called Truth and Soul with his friend and future band mate Billy Murcia. Across the street from A Different Drummer, a men’s boutique shop that he also worked at in his younger days was a place called The New York Doll Hospital. The name "New York Dolls", struck a chord with Sylvain as something that would make a good band name. Although he played in several bands before the formation of The New York Dolls, Sylvain played in a band in high school called The Pox with Murica and in 1970 played in a band he called The Dolls that featured a young Johnny Thunders on bass. Sylvain wound up teaching Thunders how to play the guitar around this time. Not too long after this, Sylvain began playing in a band called Actress with guitarist Johnny Thunders, bassist Arthur Kane and drummer Billy Murcia. Sylvain Sylvain replaced guitarist Rick Rivets, who was one of the original guitarists in the group. While Johnny Thunders sang and provided lead guitar, he decided that he did not want to front a band and David Johansen entered the band as their vocalist. The New York Dolls were born. 

While on a short tour in England in 1972, drummer Billy Murcia died of an accidental overdose. When the band returned to New York they auditioned several drummers before adding Jerry Nolan to their ranks. The New York Dolls did have a small devout fan base, but they were never largely popular during their initial run, which ran from about 1971-1976. They however did challenge the conventions of rock and roll. Known as a glam rock, proto punk and punk before it was a word people used, The New York Dolls would go on to be vastly influential following their dissolution. Their live shows both shocked audiences with their use of genre bending glam dress and enthralled them with their wild rock sounds. The music that influenced their sound was part Bowie and T.Rex, girl group pop music, the sleazy rock sounds of The Rolling Stones, The Stooges, The MC5 and elements of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. 

Although their first two albums 1973’s New York Dolls and 1974’s Too Much Too Soon had bigger name producers attached to them, they just never sold that many copies or hit on the larger scale that they should have. While members of the band and fans have stated that the recordings of these albums were not that great, they still sound as vital now as they did in the 70s. Lenny Kaye had this to say of Sylvain and the Dolls: "Though he tried valiantly to keep the band going, in the end the Dolls’ moral fable overwhelmed them, not before seeding an influence that would engender many rock generations yet to come."

After the Dolls split, Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen continued to play and write music together. Johansen’s first three solo albums featured songs written with Sylvain and he even played on several of the tracks. Sylvain also did his own thing, while still playing off and on with Johansen and other ex-Dolls at various points in their careers. The Criminals formed around 1977 and released the single The Kids Are Back/The Cops Are Coming in 1978. The band featured a strong power pop influence along with a sleazy rock influence in their sound. Slyvain Sylvain was released in 1979. His first solo album, the album featured songs such as “Teenage News”, one of the last songs he wrote for the New York Dolls before their initial split and other great songs such as “14th Street Beat”, “Emily” and the infectious soul harmonies of “What’s That Got To Do With Rock ‘n’ Roll?” The album was laced with acoustic guitars, harmonies, soul and 50s rock influences. It also showcased Sylvain as a songwriter in his own right. In 1981, he released an album as Syl Sylvain and The Teardrops. They were a three-piece band that took on many of the influences of his 1979 album, but also heavily embraced the sound of the 80s. He and David Johansen reformed The New York Dolls in the mid 2000’s touring and releasing three new albums worth of material. Throughout this time Sylvain Sylvain continued to play music. He even had a band with Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys called Batusis who released an EP in 2010. He also played and released much more music than this in his lifetime.  

Sylvain Sylvian passed away in January 2021 at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer. His influence with the Dolls and many of the bands that he has written or played with runs deep.

Show 867 Playlist (Originally Aired On January 30th, 2021)(Paul Jacobs, New Fries, Pony, Chad VanGaalen, Jeff Tweedy, The Replacements):

1.  Paul Jacobs - Half Rich Loner
2.  Paul Jacobs - Thanks
3.  Paul Jacobs - If You Cannot Stay
4.  Birds of Paradise - Money Tree
5.  Fireball XL5 - Just A Vacant Boy
6.  The Goldstars - With This Ring
7.  Huttch - Quick Fix
8.  Pony - Couch
9.  Palberta - No Way
10. Lithics - Beat Fall
11. New Fries - L'Express
12. Goat Girl - Badibaba
13. Chad VanGaalen - Samurai Sword
14. TUNS - My Memories
15. The Bats - Warwick
16. Wilco - I'm Always In Love
17. Jeff Tweedy - Natural Disaster
18. Spencer Tweedy - Wind School
19. Bill Jr. Jr. - Blue
20. The Besnard Lakes - Fueds With Guns
21. Falcon Jane - Had Enough
22. Stinkbox - Burn 'Em
23. The Avengers - Car Crash
24. Crime - Terminal Boredom
25. The Screamers - Magazine Love
26. The Ex - Six Of One And Half A Dozen Of The Other
27. Pinch Points - Jelly Brain
28. Amyl & The Sniffers - Cup of Destiny
29. The Replacements - I.O.U. (Demo)
30. The Replacements - Alex Chilton (Rough Mix)
31. Johnny Thunders - Talk About You (Resurrected Remix)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the January 30 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 866 Playlist (Originally Aired On January 23rd, 2020) (Sylvain Sylvain Tribute, Viagra Boys, Bill Callahan & Bonnie Prince Billy, Kiwi Jr.):

1.  Viagra Boys - Ain't Nice
2.  Sleaford Mods - Elocution
3.  Shame - Snow Day
4.  Lice - R.D.C.
5.  Sylvain Sylvain - Teenage News
6.  The Criminals - Rockin' Good Time
7.  New York Dolls - Trash
8.  New York Dolls - Puss 'n' Boots
9.  Steve Earle & The Dukes - Maria
10. Bill Callahan, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Ty Segall - Miracles
11. White Laces - Hands In Mexico
12. Blush - Lunching Alone
13. Bill Callahan & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - OD'd In Denver
14. The Kills - The Void
15. Danny Kroha - Poor Howard
16. The Bobby Tenderloin Universe - Sandpaper One Side, Rubber on the Other
17. Tea Leaves - Cicada Song
18. Guided By Voices - Electronic Windows To Nowhere
19. Kiwi Jr. - Undecided Voters
20. Kiwi Jr. - Waiting In Line
21. Bad Hoo - Skim Milk Test
22. Bike Thiefs - Connie's Got A New Phone
23. Necking - Habbo Hotel
24. The Young Canadians - I Hate Music
25. Art Bergmann - Demolished
26. Bella and the Bizarre - Delusions
27. 49th Parallel - You Do Things
28. Northwest Company - Hard To Cry
29. The Ar-Kaics - To Be Free

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the January 23 file to download/stream the episode.

For those keeping track, show #865 was an encore of a previous episode that originally aired in February 2020 focusing on lesser known songs in Neil Young's Discography. Download that show here and find the playlist here.

Shows # 864 & #863 were encore episodes of our albums of 2020 episodes.  You can download those shows here and here and find the playlist here.  

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Revolution Rock: The 2020 Interviews & Show # 862

This year on Revolution Rock, we’ve done more interviews than in any other year of the program. In 2020 the program featured ten different interviews, six audio based interviews that aired on the show and four that were done via email specifically for this website. On this episode we featured highlights (or clips) from each of the audio interviews and music from each of the artists that were interviewed, whether it was for the radio program specifically or for this website. Below you will find some info about these interviews plus the playlist and download links to the episode.

An Interview with Bloodshot Bill (February 2020):

In February 2020 as part of Revolution Rock’s Theme Month based programming we spoke with Montreal musician Bloodshot Bill. Bloodshot Bill plays his own brand of wild rockabilly and 50s rock influenced music. Sometimes operating as a one-man band live and sometimes performing with others, Bloodshot Bill releases music at a prolific pace. In this interview we discussed some of the collaborations that he has done throughout his career with other artists, leather jackets, his guitar, some of the strangest shows he has played, comic books and more. In April 2020, he released Get Loose Or Get Lost on Goner Records and several EPs (Spit On My Rubber (with The Televisionaires), Lost Gems From The Studio Vault Vol 1, Trick & Treat Vol 2, Outta My Head Vol 1 & 2). He also released a Halloween themed song with Mark Sultan as part of The Ding-Dong’s called Blood! Blood! Blood!, is featured on recordings put out by King Khan in 2020, released a rap album by G-Fine, and a compilation album of hard to find European singles called Tattletale Vol 1.

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with Dale & Dom D’Amore of The Nelsons (May 2020):

The Nelsons were a band from Windsor, Ontario. They are often considered the first supergroup in Windsor as they were made up of two parts of the Windsor band The Spy’s (guitarist Dale D’Amore & bassist Joe Desrameux) and two parts of The Hardtops (bassist/vocalist Dom D’Amore & drummer Dave Garrant). The band went through many lineup changes throughout their existence and played live shows frequently in Windsor, London and Detroit, but never officially released any recordings. This exclusive interview was done through Q&A for this website and covers their entire history. One of their unreleased songs “Cub’s Boogie” is featured on the radio show in this post (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

An Interview with Nigel Chapman of Nap Eyes (May 2020):

Halifax band Nap Eyes released their fourth full-length album, Snapshot of a Beginner in March 2020. We spoke with vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Nigel Chapman. Introspection is ever present in the music of Nap Eyes. The music and lyrics of Nap Eyes have a way of identifying with the listener in a personal way, as if the songs are about them. Musically, Nap Eyes have drawn comparisons to bands such as The Velvet Underground, Television, The Clean, Leonard Cohen, this one comes into its own also adding elements of bands such as early Walkmen, Yo La Tengo, and the music of David Berman. Production wise, Snapshot of a Beginner was produced by James Elkington and Jonathan Low at The National’s Long Pond Studio. For most of the band’s recorded output they have recorded live off the floor with minimal to no overdubs. This album differs in that aspect adding additional layers to the production of the Nap Eyes sound. Nap Eyes also released a digital single in 2020 called Snake Oil/Child's Romance.  In this interview Nigel discusses releasing an album in the pandemic, how Nap Eyes formed, and songwriting processes.

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with Dale D’Amore & Frank Carlone of The Spy’s (June 2020):

The Spy’s first and only single “Underground/Machine Shop” was originally released in 1980 and has since become somewhat legendary. Even after the bands split in 1980, it is still sought after. In the decades that followed, interest in The Spy’s has only grown. They were featured on the Smash The State Volume 2 compilation album in 1994, along with a collection of other early Canadian punk acts. In 2001, a compilation album entitled Original Punk Rock From Canada 1979-1980 was issued on the Incognito label. The album features demos that the band did of six songs in 1979 that were regular features of their live shows, the 1980 single and some live recordings of new songs from the 90s reunion show. Out of print for decades, Ugly Pop Records reissued The Spy’s “Underground/Machine Shop” single in 2012. In November 2020, The Spy’s released their single digitally for the first time on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The collection also includes six previously unreleased recordings. Guitarist Dale D’Amore and vocalist Frank Carlone did an exclusive Q&A interview for this website that covers their entire history.

Read the full interview/post here.

An Interview with Chris Murdoch (Writer, Musician and Drummer in Souvenir)(July 2020):

Chris Murdoch has been involved in numerous bands in and around the Halifax music scene. Some of his credits include being in Outtacontroller, Word On The Street and Botfly to name a few. Recently Murdoch has been playing drums and writing songs with Souvenir. This band just released an EP entitled Beating Into Dust in February 2020. In June 2020, Montreal based label Pentagon Black released the first of their Pentagon Black Pamphlet Information Series. Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer is an eight-page essay written by Halifax musician, DJ and writer Chris Murdoch. The eight-page essay is somewhere in between a zine and pamphlet that also includes exclusive illustrations done by graphic designer/musician Raymond Biesinger. Inside over the course of 2800 words, Chris Murdoch covers his own experiences being a musician and attending shows in Halifax along with information about when Black first met punk in the UK and US. During the first initial days of the release, orders came in and numbers quickly surpassed the 500 mark. Over 1601 copies of Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer have sold with over $3000 donated to Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund Nova Scotia. You can still get a copy over at the Pentagon Black website. This exclusive interview was done through Q&A for this website and covers Murdoch’s growing up in Halifax, writing Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer, bands that he has been a part, recorded with and a lot more. Several recordings from bands he has been in are featured on the radio show in this post (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Read the full interview/post here.

An interview with Jarrett Sampson of Tough Age (September 2020):

Toronto’s Tough Age released their fourth full-length album Which Way Am I? on Mint Records in August 2020. Originally from Vancouver, but located in Toronto since 2015, Tough Age have released what many feel is their strongest album to date. Tough Age is made up of singer/guitarist Jarrett Samson, Penny Clark on bass/vocals and Jesse Locke on drums. Musically the album draws from the sonic textures of indie bands such as The Clean, The Chills, The Bats and other early New Zealand bands on the Flying Nun record label. Recorded once again with producer Peter Woodford (TOPS, Moss Lime, Homeshake, Tess Roby) at The Bottle Garden in Montreal and mixed by Jay Arner, Which Way Am I? is just one of those albums that you can’t really describe why it affects you so much. In this interview Jarrett discusses the recording of Which Way Am I?, comic books, releasing a zine of poems/lyrics, the band Cub and more. Several recordings from this critically acclaimed album and one album outtake (“Waiting Here”) are featured on the radio show in this post (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with Steve Sidoli of Teenanger (October 2020):

Teenanger released their sixth studio album titled Good Time on October 2nd. Put out through Telephone Explosion Records, Good Time is a lean record that wields a large burst of creative energy. The band finds a deeper groove on this record as they lock in on each of the eight tracks that make up Good Time and further expand the post punk wavelengths that they explored on 2017’s Teenager. They do this while still keeping their thought provoking and subversive lyrical subject matter in tact. Produced by drummer Steve Sidoli in their newfound rehearsal space/functional studio named Studio Z and mixed by Sandro Perri, the title of the album may be tongue-in-cheek, it may not. Teenanger’s lyrical subversion and irreverent humour shine through as they harness their creative energies to create a new post punk aesthetic for themselves. In this interview with drummer Steve Sidoli, he discusses the recording of Good Time, how Teenanger has evolved, Nick Cage and Jeff Goldblum movies, the music video for “Romance For Rent” and more.

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

A Live Performance and Interview with Johnny West (November 2020):

Johnny West has been making music in Windsor for some time. Usually recording in his home studio, Johnny West has released a prolific amount of music. West releases his music independently, usually on CD and often discusses it through his website.  Some of his critically acclaimed albums include 2008’s Chicken Angel Woman With A Triangle, 2009’s Love Songs For Nihilists, and 2011’s Gift For A Spider to name a few. Johnny West released Year of the Sleepwalk, a 48-song uncompromising, genre bending double album in early 2020. Year of the Sleepwalk spans a wide breadth of eclectic musical genres (folk, blues, jazz, blue grass, bossa nova, shoe gaze) and features several guest/cameo musicians. To coincide with this release, Revolution Rock did a lengthy Q&A for this website covering the album’s history and some of Johnny’s as well. In addition to all of this, Johnny filmed a live performance in his studio that was also shared on this site. This radio show in this post featured two recordings from Year of the Sleepwalk (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Read the full interview/post here. You will also find the live studio performance here.

An Interview with Michael Lachowski & Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon (November 2020):

Forming in the late 1970s in Athens, Georgia, Pylon were made up of four art students from the University of Georgia. Featuring guitarist Randy Bewley, bassist Michael Lachowski, drummer Curtis Crowe and singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Pylon took their brand of danceable post-punk to amazing heights in their initial run from 1979-1983. The original premise of the band was to play a live show in New York once, be featured in New York Rocker magazine and then break up. Fortunately, they stuck around longer than that. In November 2020, New West Records released Pylon Box, comprising the band’s first two albums, a demo tape and selected outtakes, singles and live recordings. Throughout the years, interest in the band has continued. Revolution Rock spoke with bassist Michael Lachowski and vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay discussing their recent box set Pylon Box. They also reflect in detail on some moments in the band’s career such as the developments between their albums Gyrate and Chomp, touring with Gang Of Four, how their background in art school influenced the music that they created and more. The radio show in this post features two songs from Pylon Box (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with King Khan (December 2020):

Originally from Montreal, but now residing in Berlin, King Khan has been known for his garage/punk music in bands such as The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Spaceshits, LTD, leading the R&B/soul inspired King Khan & The Shrines and collaborating with many others. Yet another prolific artist interviewed for Revolution Rock in 2020, King Khan released his first ever jazz album, Infinite Ones, at the end of October 2020. The album draws influences from composers such as Alice Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Philip Kelan Cohran, Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, John Carpenter and Quincy Jones. It also takes on influences from film noir and old Bollywood films. It also features contributions from members of the Sun Ra Arkestra and Calexico. In this interview King Khan discusses his jazz album, Infinite Ones, he also discusses his current activism causes, creating the Black Power Tarot and how he first met the Sun Ra Arkestra. This episode featured two selections from Infinite Ones and one new song from an upcoming punk album featuring a new band with Khan called The King Khan Unlimited.

Listen to the full interview here:

Show #862:  The 2020 Interviews Playlist:

1.  Bloodshot Bill - Don't Let Go (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)
2.  Bloodshot Bill - A Cheat (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)


3.  Bloodshot Bill - Straight To The Moon (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)
4.  The Nelsons - Cubs Boogie (Unreleased)
5.  Nap Eyes - If You Were In Prison (Snapshot of a Beginner - Royal Mountain Records/Jagjaguwar - 2020)


6.  Nap Eyes - Snake Oil (Snake Oil/Childs Romance - Jagjaguwar - 2020)
7.  Nap Eyes - Dark Link (Snapshot of a Beginner - Royal Mountain Records/Jagjaguwar - 2020)
8.  The Spy's - Underground (Underground/Machine Shop Single - 2020 Remaster)
9.  Souvenir - Promises (Beating Into Dust EP - 2020)
10. Outtacontroller - Mutations (Television Zombies - P. Trash Records/Young Modern/Southpaw Records - 2015)
11. Tough Age - My Life's A Joke & I'm Throwing It Away (Which Way Am I? - Mint Records - 2020)
12. Tough Age - Anti-Anxiety Exercises (Which Way Am I? - Mint Records - 2020)


13. Tough Age - Waiting Here (Waiting Here Single - 2020)
14. Teenanger - Good Time (Good Time - Telephone Explosion - 2020)


15. Teenanger - Touching Glass (Good Time - Telephone Explosion - 2020)
16. Johnny West - Vector (Year of the Sleepwalk - Tosteestosta Music - 2020)
17. Johnny West - Firecrackers (Year of the Sleepwalk - Tosteestosta Music - 2020)
18. Pylon - Volume (Gyrate - DB Records/New West Records- 1980/2020)


19. Pylon - Reptiles (Channel One Version) (Pylon Box - New West Records - 2020)
20. King Khan - The World Will Never Know (Infinite Ones - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2020)


21. King Khan - A Hard Rain's Gotta Fall  (Infinite Ones - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2020)
22. King Khan Unlimited - Pigment Of Your Imagination (Opiate Them Asses - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2021)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the December 26 file to download/stream the episode.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Joe Strummer Day 2020: Revolution Clash! Retrospective and Rare Selections From Joe Strummer & The Clash (Show #861)

For the last several years, CJAM FM has held an annual Joe Strummer Day Marathon on their airwaves. Every year at this time, we focus on issues of homelessness and poverty in the Windsor/Detroit area and wrap them around the music of Joe Strummer and The Clash to help raise awareness and to address these issues. Revolution Rock did a music program this year, in addition to providing some information on resources for poverty/homelessness in the Windsor/Detroit area. For this year’s contribution to Joe Strummer Day, Dave & Adam of Revolution Rock did a retrospective of Joe Strummer and The Clash. It has differed from past specials. We decided to play a selection of some of our favourites from The Clash and Strummer’s catalogue. On the episode there is rare live Clash material, selections from The Mescaleros, the Joe Strummer 001 Box Set and more. View the playlist and download/stream link to the episode below. 

In Other Clash News:

On December 11th, a new music video appeared for The Clash’s 1980 single “The Magnificent Seven". It has been 40 years since The Clash released Sandinista! their fourth album, which was actually a triple album. The song is also found on this album. “The Magnificent Seven” featured a funk influence, but also the influence of 80s New York hip hop. This was also the first rap record by a rock group. The album Sandinista! delves into a wide variety of genres and exposed many listeners to different sounds that they may not have discovered otherwise.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sandinista! filmmaker Don Letts put together a new music video for "The Magnificent Seven". Letts has directed numerous music videos for bands such as Public Image Limited, The Clash, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Eddy Grant and Bob Marley to name a few. He also released the award winning documentary Westway To The World in 2000 and Punk: Attitude in 2005. The video for “The Magnificent Seven” compiles footage from The Clash in that time period, featuring footage from when the band appeared on The Tom Synder Show and previously unseen footage from when The Clash played a 17-night residency at the Bond’s International Casino in 1981. This was a surprise for many Clash fans due to the fact that much of this footage was said to have been lost years ago. 

Letts, who was also a frequent collaborator with The Clash (having done all their music videos) had this to say of the band: “They were always ahead of the game,” Letts said of The Clash. “‘Sandinista!’ signposted the multi-cultural way music was going and the elements that make The Clash great are still a currency that’s recognised by youth in the 21st century.” 


JSD 2020 Playlist (Originally Aired On December 22nd, 2020)(The Clash & Joe Strummer Retrospective):

1.  Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Gamma Ray (Global A Go-Go - 2001)
2.  Pearl Harbour - 2 Bullets (Joe Strummer 001- 2018)
3.  Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Love of the Common People (Live) (Live The Fridge Brixton, South London 1988)
4.  The Clash - Good Times Roll (Rude Boy - The Director's Cut - 2003)
5.  The Clash - Garageland (Demo) (Rude Boy - The Director's Cut - 2003)
6.  The 101ers - Silent Telephone (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
7.  Joe Strummer - Tropic of No Return (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
8.  Johnny Cash (With Joe Strummer) - Redemption Song (Unearthed - 2003)
9.  Strummer, Simonon & Howard - Pouring Rain (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)
10. The Clash - Rockers Galore/Bankrobber (Live)  (Live at Brixton Fair Deal 1982)
11. The Clash - Charlie Don't Surf (Live) (Live at Brixton Fair Deal 1982)
12. The Clash - Capital Radio (Live) (Live At The Lyceum - January 3rd, 1979)
13. The Clash - The Gates of The West (Cost of Living EP - 1979)
14. The Clash - The Leader (Sandinista! - 1980)
15. The Clash - City of the Dead (Super Black Market Clash  - 2000)
16. The Clash - Idle In Kangaroo Court (Combat Rock Outtake) (Sound System - 2013)
17. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - X-Ray Style (Rock Art & The X-Ray Style - 1999)
18. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Time and Tide (Yalla Yalla - 1999)
19. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Coma Girl (Streetcore - 2003)
20. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Global A Go-Go (Global A Go-Go - 2001)
21. Joe Strummer - Dum Dum Club (Sid And Nancy: Love Kills (Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack) - 1986)
22. Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Nothin' Bout Nothin' (Permanent Record - Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
23. Joe Strummer & The Long Beach Dub Allstars - The Harder They Come (Free The West Memphis 3 - 2000)
24. The Clash - The Magnificent Seven (Sandinista! - 1980)