Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Flash As Hell & Show #122

Generation X, were a punk band that formed in 1976 around the same time as the UK punk scene. The name came from a book of the same title, which was about the mod scene in Britain. The band consisted of Billy Idol (vocals), Tony James (Bass), Bob Andrews (guitar), and original Subway Sect drummer Mark Laff on drums; The band originally had John Towe as their drummer, but Laff replaced him just before they signed to Chrysalis Records. The songs were written by both Billy Idol and Tony James (Billy providing the music, Tony the lyrics most of the time). The bands first incarnation was within the group Chelsea, with Gene October. Idol and James would leave this group and then form Generation X.

Signed to Chrysalis Records, their first self titled album came out in 1978. It is a harsh sounding album that fits in well with all the bands of the time. People always seemed to downplay Generation X because they were seen as "pretty boys". Generation X were deeply influenced by literature read by Billy Idol, The Who, Sex Pistols, and other classic rock bands. Some people say that they come off sounding like a very early version of Green Day, but most of Generation X's first album had a sound that was not unlike early Clash, Sex Pistols, and Buzzcocks. The bands first album was produced by Martin Rushnet (he would go on to produce the likes of Buzzcocks, XTC, and Stranglers). The album contained songs that lyrically made reference to everyday life in Britain, as well as other topics. The album contained notable songs such as "Day By Day", "One Hundred Punks", "From the Heart", "Promises, Promises" and "Kiss Me Deadly". "Kiss Me Deadly" was a slower ballad sounding track. "Ready Steady Go" was a hit in the UK charts, it went to # 47, they would also appear on Top of the Pops. They were one of the first punk bands to appear on the show, many felt it was un-punk to do so. The band also covered John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", which appeared on US versions of Generation X.

In 1979, Valley of the Dolls was released. Named after a book of the same title, Valley of the Dolls was different than their first self titled release. It showed the band going into a harder glam rock direction. Most people overlook this album, but it contains songs like "Valley of the Dolls", "English Dream", and the Elvis Presley influenced song "King Rocker". The album was produced by Mott the Hoople's Ian Hunter. The album did feature a few hit singles as well. "King Rocker" (#11), "Friday's Angels" (#62), and "Valley of the Dolls" (#23). The band began to have disagreements about the musical direction during/after this album. Some wanted to stay true to the bands original punk sound and some wanted to keep going into a harder rock direction.

After this the band actually recorded material for a third album, that came off sounding very new wave. It would eventually be called Sweet Revenge, but it would not be found until much later on. It was released in 2003, and actually features an early version of "Dancing with Myself" which is better than the version you're used to. Other great tracks are "Flash As Hell" and "Anna Smile". The band then split, but still released one more album in 1981, with a few different members. Kiss Me Deadly, featured the song "Dancing With Myself", and others that are on Sweet Revenge. The album featured different guitar players (Steve Jones from Sex Pistols, and Steve New) along with original Clash drummer, Terry Chimes. The band name would be shortened to Gen X. After this the band split up until they reunited in 1993, Billy Idol went on to front a successful solo career (using Generation X's version of "Dancing With Myself" as a single), Tony James went on to form the glam-punk band, Sigue Sigue Sputnik. He now is in the band Carbon/Silicon with Mick Jones from the Clash. Bob Andrews and Mark Laff would form the short lived band Empire. They released one album Expensive Sound; It was reissued in 2003. All of the Generation X albums have been re-released remastered with bonus tracks.

The song I Played by Generation X was "I Dig Everything" a song from the Sweet Revenge Era of the band. It can be found on the Generation X Anthology. For more Generation X/Billy Idol info visit this page.

I also played a live medley by The Hives. This was recorded for a Swedish TV show on October 20th, 2006. The Hives played a medley which consisted of seven songs, six of them being cover songs. Here is a list of the songs included in that medley:

1. List of Demands (Originally by Saul Williams)
2. Hey Ya! (Originally by Outkast)
3. Two thieves (Originally by Compulsive Gamblers)
4. Gotta Get Some Action Now! (Originally by Hellacopters)
5. Stay Fly (Originally by Three 6 Mafia)
6. Seven Nation Army (Originally by White Stripes)
7. Hate To Say I Told You So (A song by The Hives)

I just thought I'd add that the song "Hey Ya!" by Outkast was said to be inspired by The Hives, after seeing one of their live shows. Here's a link to watch the actual full performance of these seven songs by The Hives:

The Hives - Live Medley on Swedish TV

Here's what was played:

1. Buzzcocks - time's up
2. Buzzcocks - boredom
3. Sex Pistols - liar
4. The Damned - problem child
5. The Police - nothing achieving
6. The Clash - Janie jones
7. The Clash - career opportunities
8. Ramones - little bit o'soul
9. Ramones - outsider
10. Modernettes - no tears
10. Generation X - I dig everything
11. The Diodes - jenny's in a sleep world
12. The Saints - church of indifference
13. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - (what's so funny about) peace, love, and understanding?
14. Big Audio Dynamite - I turned out a punk
15. XTC - sgt rock (is going to help me)
16. Hot, Hot, Heat - no, not now
17. Sloan - ill placed trust
18. Iggy Pop - I'm bored
19. The D4 - what I want
20. The Hives - live medley
21. The Sonics - he's waitin'
22. 101'ers - letsagetabitarockin'
23. Nirvana - been a son
24. The Jam - modern world

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Music For Pleasure & Show #121

Hey this week I had a really loud show, anyways, I'll be talking about The Damned this week. The Damned started off in a pool of musicians, in the late 70's among the musicians in this circle was Mick Jones (The Clash), Billy Idol (Generation X), and Chrisie Hynde (The Pretenders),and many others. The Damned formed just as punk was starting to pick up and scare people in the late 70's in the UK, in fact they were the first UK punk band that got a single released (it was "New Rose" in 1976). The band is influenced by MC5, The Stooges, The Beatles, and Sex Pistols, among others . The band formed in 1975/76 with Dave Vanian (Vocals), Brian James (guitar), Captain Sensible (Bass), and Rat scabies (Drums). The band was quite odd, lead singer Dave Vanian, dressed as a vampire on stage, the band has songs that dealt with things in sarcastic ways.

In 1977, Damned, Damned, Damned was released, it was the bands first full length album and the first UK punk album to be released. It was produced by Nick Lowe, there were some rumours that the album was actually sped up to sound faster, but this is just a rumour and is not known for sure. The album was energetic fast, and the first punk album the UK had to offer to the world. The follow up album Music For Pleasure, came out in 1978 and was produced by Nick Mason from Pink Floyd. The band originally wanted Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd to produce it, but they settled for Mason. The album has some great tracks and great song writing on it. It is often over looked by many because it doesn't sound exactly the same as the bands first album. The album is really great and I pick it as my favourite Damned album. After this album, Brian James decided to leave the group, he was the main song writer, but the band decided to keep going.

The band members switched positions, Captain Sensible went to guitar, and Ex-Saints bassist Algy Ward joined up with the group for their next album that would be titled Machine Gun Etiquette; it was released in 1979. The album turned out to be just as good as when The Damned had Brian James with them. After that bassists would keep switching and the band would continue to revolve members and play for along time. An album was released in 2001 titled Grave Disorder. The Damned were an odd band, they had quirky senses of humour and a vampire as a lead singer, they are definitely worth checking out.

The song played tonight was "One Way Love" from the album Music For Pleasure.

Here's the play list:
1. Ramones - teenage lobotomy
2. Ramones - I don't care
3. Sex Pistols - bodies
4. Modernettes - teen city
5. The Diodes - terminal rock
6. Undertones - my perfect cousin
7. The Clash - what's my name
8. The Clash - cheat
9. The Police - landlord
10. Teenage Head - kissin' the carpet
11. The Damned - one way love
12. Buzzcocks - breakdown
13. Buzzcocks - friends of mine
14. The Saints - everything's fine
15. Sloan - people think they know me
16. Iggy Pop - new values
17. XTC - science friction
18. Public Image Limited - attack
19. Generation X - psycho beat
20. Dead 60's - a different age
21. Rage Against The Machine - down on the street
22. The D4 - out of my head
23. The D4 - feel it like it
24. Sloan - living with the masses
25. Soundgarden - no attention
26. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - liars beware
27. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - one track mind
28. Gang of Four - 5:45 (Live BBC session)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Out of their Heads & show #120

Hey this week I will be talking about The D4. The D4 are a band from New Zealand, most people haven't heard of this band. The band formed in 1998, by friends Jimmy Christmas and Dion (not much is known of the members names, except their first name). The D4 formed and started doing live shows in the New Zealand area. There isn't that much info about the band out there, the answer is in their music. Their first release was and EP, The D4 EP in 1999. In 2003 they released 6twenty, which seemed to cause a buzz, the band even appeared on some last night talk shows, but never cracked the mainstream audience. 6twenty is a great album it is a mix of old New York punk and classic rock such as the Rolling Stones. It is a loud, album, which just rocks, you don't hear rock this good anymore, you really have to hear it to believe how good it is.

In 2005, the band released Out of My Head, and sadly broke up in June of 2006. There is no word on whether they will reform or not, because according to their website, they are on hiatus for awhile. But over the album is equally rocking as 6twenty. All of the bands albums feature cover songs, the first covers of "Pirate Love" by Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, and "Mysterex" by The Scavengers (an obscure New Zealand punk band from the 70s). On Out of My Head, there is a cover from the Limespiders (an obscure Australian punk band), and many others. Overall The D4, is a great band that sounds very similar to Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, and rock just as good as The Stooges, The Sonics, AC/DC, or MC5. It's too bad that a band this good, that should have been played on every single radio station in the world, is no longer together.

The song played by the band tonight was "Sake Bomb', a song that was inspired by Japan, Beer, and Sake. It is off their 2005 album, Out of My Head. More information can be found about The D4 on these two websites,

their myspace page

Flying Nun Records Website

An extensive, more complete band history of The D4 can be found in my Auckland Four Post.

Here's the playlist for this week's show:

1. Teenage Head – get off my back
2. Pointed Sticks – new ways
3. The Diodes – tired of waking up tired
4. New York Dolls – chatterbox
5. Sex Pistols – submission (spunk version)
6. The Who – tattoo
7. Buzzcocks – nostalgia
8. Buzzcocks – noise annoys
9. Ramones – rock n’ roll high school
10. Ramones – come back, she cried aka I walk out (demo)
11. The Saints – Brisbane (security city)
12. The Clash – silicone on sapphire
13. The Clash – version pardner
14. The Police – murder by numbers
15. Talking Heads – burning down the house (alternate version)
16. Generation X – Anna smile
17. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – two little Hitlers
18. Big Audio Dynamite – the bottom line (unreleased Rick Rubin remix)
19. Iggy Pop – the passenger
20. Albert Hammond Jr. – everyone gets a star
21. Sloan – HFXNSHC
22. The D4 – sake bomb
23. The Rapture – the sound

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Synchronicity and Show # 119

This post used to feature information about The Police. For a more complete history on the band click Here.

The Play List:

1. The Police - miss gradenko
2. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - modds for moderns
3. Gang of Four - to hell with poverty (live BBC session)
4. Sex Pistols - problems
5. Generation X - cathy come home
6. Iggy & The Stooges - raw power
7. Iggy & The Stooges - i need somebody
8. Teenage Head - little boxes
9. Pointed Sticks - how could you?
10. Ramones - it's a long way back
11. Ramones - i want you around
12. The Saints - everyday's a holiday, everynight's a party
13. New York Dolls - trash
14. Buzzcocks - what do you know?
15. Buzzcocks - ever fallen in love (with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with?)
16. The Diodes - mercury flight
17. Public Image Limited - annalisa
18. The Clash - version city
19. The Clash - living in fame
20. Talking Heads - this must be the place (naive melody)
21. Sloan - all used up
22. The D4 - heartbreaker
23. The Rapture - whoo! alright - yeah...uh huh
24. Rage Against The Machine - in my eyes

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

CJAM Pledge Drive Show & Show # 118

This week was CJAM's annual pledge drive, so I did a show to try and raise some money for the station. If you still wanna help out and make a pledge visit for more information. Below is a play list of what I played and some links to download the show.

1. Pointed Sticks – waiting for the real thing
2. MC5 – American ruse
3. Sex Pistols – EMI
4. Buzzcocks – sixteen again
5. Generation X – flash as hell
6. Ramones – 53rd & 3rd
7. Ramones – bad brain
8. The Saints – take this heart of mine
9. The Clash – Armagideon time
10. The Clash – the street parade
11. The Police – o my god
12. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Sundays best
13. PiL – public image
14. English Beat – mirror in the bathroom
15. Sloan – on the horizon
16. The D4 – party
17. The Rapture – don gon do it
18. Led Zeppelin - no quarter