Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Standells ... Show 164

Coming from Los Angeles, California, The Standells formed in 1962. The band consisted of drummer/singer Dick Dodd, guitarist Tony Valentino, Organist Larry Tamblyn, and a variety of bass players (such as John Fleck). The band would be known as a garage rock band. The band did a variety of cover songs from the sixties including songs from The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The band did some television work at first appearing in a movie Get Yourself A College Girl, and The Munsters TV show (1964-1965). On The Munsters the band played two songs, a cover of the Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Come On Ringo".

When the band teamed up with producer Ed Cobb, the band would have their biggest hit, "Dirty Water". The song "Dirty Water" was written by Cobb and would go to # 11 on the Billboard charts in June of 1966. The band did not even like the song at first, but it would help them get into the top forty. The song makes references to Boston, where Cobb was from. People sometimes think because of the lyrical content in this song that the band is from Boston, but they're from LA. Apparently, after every victory at home for the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins, "Dirty Water" is played. This song would give the band a change in direction and image from their early days (which was very clean cut).

In 1966/67 The Standells wrote "Riot On The Sunset Strip" and starred in the movie of the same name; The song itself was more psychedelic in nature and lyrically about police brutality towards hippies. The band would break up in 1968, Actually they would not record anymore after that time; Dick Dodd would also go solo in 1968. Other songs for which the band was known for were "Good Guys Don't Wear White" (later covered by Minor Threat), "Why Pick on Me", and "Try It" (which was banned in several states due to its subject matter). After Issuing some albums (Dirty Water, Why Pick On Me, The Hot Ones!, and Try It)the band was essentially over, they released released a large majority of material out in a short period of time. They are known as a garage rock band, and were influential on many early punk bands such as The Stooges and many garage bands as well. In 2004 the group reunited at Fenway Park as part of the second game of the World Series. The band has also released some live album (Ban This!) and countless compilations. If you're looking to get into the band, your best bet is to check out one of their compilation albums.

The play list:

1. The Sonics – the witch (version 2)
2. Velvet Underground – I can’t stand it
3. Ugly Ducklings – windy city
4. Standells – sometimes good guys don't wear white
5. Munks – long time waiting
6. Haunted – 8 o’clock this morning
7. Free-for-all – show me the way
8. Secrets – cryin’ over you
9. The Animals – a girl named sandoz
10. The Dark – Hawaii five-o
11. Nick Lowe – shake that rat
12. Beastie Boys – heart attack man
13. Beastie Boys – the melee
14. The Nerves – one way ticket
15. The Government – flat tire
16. Young Rival – dead end scene
17. Compulsive Gamblers – way I feel about you
18. The Pack - snow
19. Rich Kids – hung on you
20. The Scabs – leave me alone
21. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – this years girl
22. Dishrags - past is past
23. Beastie Boys - tough guy
24. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – funhunt
25. Dirty Pretty Things – deadwood
26. Exploding Hearts - thorns in roses
27. The Caesars – its not the fall that hurts

Download Part One of Show 164
Download Part Two of Show 164

Standells Videos:

Dirty Water/Why Pick On Me
Get Away From Here (from the Riot On The Sunset Strip movie)
Riot On the Sunset Strip (from the Riot On The Sunset Strip movie)Try It
Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Verse Chorus Verse...The Nirvana Story Part Two...Show # 163

In 1993, Nirvana returned with In Utero. This album was produced by Steve Albini (of the band Big Black, who produced The Pixies) and showed off a harsher heavier, dark sound of the band. Recorded in just two weeks, In Utero was initially rejected by the record company. Some of the tracks needed to be remixed, so the band brought in Scott Litt (REM) to remix some of the tracks. "Heart-Shaped Box", "All Apologies", and "Pennyroyal Tea" were remixed; The remix of "Pennyroyal Tea" would not be released officially until 2002. The album was a success again for the band, and it showed them going into another direction from its predecessor.

In Utero starts of with "Serve the Servants" a heavy dissonant sound rock song about issues with Cobain's father and teenage angst. "Scentless Apprentice" was a song lyrically pertaining to the book Perfume, and musically evolving out of a jam (all three band members get credit on this track). "Heart-Shaped Box" is next. Lyrically the song draws on various issues in a dark poetic style, the song can be looked at as having various meanings, but musically it is a flowing, loud, riffy beautiful song. "Rape Me" is a fast punk influenced track about portrayal in the media, that did cause some controversy, but it is an anti-rape song. Other fast punky tracks are laced all over the album such as "very Ape", "Milk it", and "Tourette's". Songs such as "Dumb", "Pennyroyal Tea", and "All Apologies" show of the bands pop side once again.

One of the other tracks on the album "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter", came about because of an article negatively portraying Kurt and his wife (Courtney Love) in Vanity Fair magazine; The song was originally titled "Four Month Media Blackout". Also the album was originally going to be titled I Hate Myself and I Want To Die or Verse Chorus Verse, both songs which Cobain had written (which would end up as B-sides to the album, along with a few other tracks written during the In Utero sessions). The title In Utero came from one of Courtney Love's poems. Lyrically Cobain takes a step up on In Utero drawing in more poetic images than he did before on Nevermind. The band would then go on a tour of the US also adding Germs guitarist Pat Smear to their ranks.

In 1993, Unplugged in New York was also recorded. The set contained a bunch of lesser known Nirvana songs and covers; The album would get release in 1994. During the period of 1993 Cobain would once again battle with drug addiction and in March of 1993 checked into rehab, cancelling a European tour. On April 8th, 1994 Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home. The issues that surround Cobain's death may never be known for sure, some fans believe that he was murdered but some believe that he shot himself.

After the end of Nirvana there were numerous post-humus releases. In 1994, Unplugged in New York (on CD & VHS) was released and the video Live! Tonight! Sold Out were released. In 1996, From the muddy Banks of the Wishkah (a collection of live material) was released. After Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl went on to be successful in his band Foo Fighters, and Krist Novesellic went on to be in various side projects, then finding politics.

In 1997, Novesellic and Grohl started to assemble material for a Nirvana box set to mark the 10th anniversary of Nevermind. A legal battle then ensued for the future of Nirvana's legacy between Courtney Love, Krist Novesellic, and Dave Grohl. They couldn't agree on the material that was to appear on the box set, one song in particular "You Know You're Right" caused issues within the collective group. They eventually settled in 2002, Love wanted the final Nirvana song "You Know You're Right" (recorded in 1994) to be on a greatest hits CD. The song leaked onto the Internet in September of 2002 just before the release of the greatest hits CD. In October of 2002, Nirvana was released. It was a greatest hits compilation of the band which contained the singles of the band plus a few different versions of Nirvana songs.

In 2004, With the Lights Out a 3 CD and one DVD box set was released. The first disc of the set contained Bleach-era Nirvana rarities such as early demos and live recordings of the band. The second disc contained more Nevermind-era recordings, while the third disc contains In Utero-era Nirvana recordings and beyond. The DVD contains live performances a majority of which were taken during the Bleach tour, it also contains more rare songs in the DVD menus such as another demo of "All Apologies", and a demo version of "Lounge Act". Overall, the box set is an extensive look into the recording career of the band which included outtakes such as "Verse Chorus Verse" , and "Old Age" as well as much, much more. In 2005, Sliver: The Best of the Box, was released, it was a compilation of the best tracks from the With the Lights Out box set plus, two previously unreleased demos. In 2006, Live! Tonight! Sold Out! was released on DVD, and in 2005 a Classic Albums DVD was made about the Nevermind album. A DVD version of MTV Unplugged was released in November of 2007.

Currently there has been no official word about any further Nirvana releases, a Kurt Cobain solo album was also said to be in the works in 2000-2002, but there has been no word since then. There is said to be many tapes any recordings left behind, but no one knows for sure how much is left exactly. Whether or not there is other Nirvana releases, the band still has a large following and will always be known as the band that changed rock music for the nineties bringing the underground to the mainstream.

For more information on Nirvana check out Live Nirvana, and Nirvana Club. Also, there are two great books Come As You Are by Michael Azerrad and Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross.

What was played:

1. The Damned – liar
2. Adverts – one chord wonders
3. Alternative TV- action, time, vision
4. Undertones – my perfect cousin
5. The Saints – (I’m) misunderstood
6. The Demics – new york city
7. The Statics – rebel like me
8. Modern Pickles – teenage dropout
9. Hammersmith Gorillas – leavin’ town
10. The Dogs – slash your face
11. The Skids – sweet suburbia
12. Subway Sect – parallel lines
13. Prefects – things in general
14. Lurkers – shadow
15. Sturgeons – forward disorder
16. Fits – bored of education
17. The Poles – cn tower
18. Hot Nasties – I am a confused teenager
19. Teenage Head – disgusteen (alternate version)
20. Ramones – loudmouth
21. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – born to lose
22. Generation X – ready steady go
23. Black Flag – wasted
24. Fugazi – margin walker
25. Mekons - where were you?
26. Modern Lovers - pablo picasso
27. Black Lips - i saw a ghost
28. Hot Hot Heat - 5 times out of 100
29. Young Canadians - don't tell me
30. Nirvana – talk to me (live unreleased)

Nirvana Videos:

Heart Shaped Box (SNL 1993)
Rape Me (SNL 1993)
Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (Live and Loud 1993)
Pennyroyal Tea (Live and Loud 1993)
The Man Who Sold the World (MTV Unplugged)
Where Did You Sleep Last Night (MTV Unplugged)
Drain You (French TV 1994)
Serve the Servants/Dumb (RAI Studios, Rome 1994)
Heart Shaped Box (Video)
You Know You're Right(Video)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Endless, Nameless...The Nirvana Story Part One...Show # 162

Nirvana were one of the biggest bands of the nineties. Their influences ranged from bands such as The Beatles, Devo, Cheap Trick, Sex Pistols, and Black Sabbath, to indie bands such as The Pixies, Vaselines, Black Flag, The Stooges, and Flipper (to name a few). They would be known as a grunge band that blended elements of punk and metal, but Nirvana were different from the other grunge bands that came out of the emerging scene in Seattle during the late 80's/early 90's. Nirvana contained elements of punk and metal, but they also contained a pop element. Their pop element differed than the other Seattle bands.

After being introduced by Buzz Osbourne (the Melvins) to Krist Novesellic, Kurt Cobain decided to form a band together due to their interest in punk music and feelings of alienation within their home town. After attempting to find a vocalist/guitarist with Cobain on drums and Novesellic on bass, the order was switched around (Cobain on vocals/guitar and Novesellic on bass duties) and after getting drummer Aaron Burckhard on drums, Skid Row was formed. Chad Channing was on drums in 1987 and the band would be known as Nirvana. In 1988, Nirvana released their first single on the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop. "Love Buzz" was actually a cover of a song originally done by the band Shocking Blue, Nirvana's version is re-worked and is better in my opinion. The single was backed by the song "Big Cheese".

The album Bleach would come next in 1989. Recorded for $606.17, the album was heavily influenced by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Seattle band Mudhoney. The album which was produced by Jack Endo, was successful on college radio and it created a buzz that got major labels interested. The actual album itself contained a lot of songs showing the bands potential, but also revealing that they had not found their sound yet. The slow drudging "Blew" starts the album, continuing into the heavy-dirty, "Floyd the Barber". "About A Girl" is a song that shows off Cobain's Beatles influence, while still sounding original and different. Other interesting tracks from the album are "School", "Paper Cuts", and "Swap Meet". The band toured a lot behind this album displaying intensive energetic live shows.

Another important note about Bleach is that another guitarist is credited on the album even though he did not actually play on it. This was Jason Everman (also featured on the cover), he did tour a little bit with the band after the release of Bleach, but he would be fired, he also have a brief stint with Soundgarden. Everman also supplied the band with the money to record Bleach. The Blew EP was also released in 1989. The EP contained four tracks "Blew", "Love Buzz" (which can be found on Bleach), and "Been A Son (which can be found on the 2002 Nirvana greatest hits CD)", and "Stain" (on the Incesticide) . The EP was only released in the UK, it was released on vinyl and CD.

The band then released the single Sliver with "Dive" as the B-side. The songs featured a new drummer, Dan Peters from Mudhoney. Nirvana went through a lot of drummers before they would finally find a suitable hard-hitting one to compliment their music and make it even stronger than before. This man would be, Dave Grohl who was playing in the DC hardcore band Scream. During this time the band also signed to a major record label Geffen/DCG in 1990. Before signing over the band also did some work on demos with Butch Vig, but they would then go to Sound City Studios in Los Angeles to work on songs for what would become Nevermind. After spending two months recording Butch Vig mixed the album, but it needed to be remixed. The band chose Andy Wallace from a list of possible people to mix the album, after seeing that he worked with the metal band Slayer. Later on in the bands career, they would say that the mixing on Nevermind was too polished.

Nevermind took the world by storm in 1991, because of the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit". People latched onto this song and it got heavy rotation on mainstream radio and MTV. The album exploded into the mainstream sucking in the Seattle grunge scene with it and a thousand copy-cat bands. The album itself is a mix of the bands punk and pop influences on a more focused level than Bleach. No one thought the album would turn the world of music upside down, but it did. The album itself had a similar impact as Sex Pistols did in the late 70s with their album Nevermind the Bollocks. At the time mainstream radio was filled with older bands and hair metal polluting the airwaves, Nevermind wiped them out. The album contained songs such as "Come As You Are" and "Drain You", which were pop songs that contained watery sounding guitar effects. "Breed", "Territorial Pissings" and "Stay Away" showed off the bands punk rock influences. The band drew influences from all over on this album such as The Pixies, REM and many others. The album ends with the eerie acoustic song "Something in the Way" in which Cobain sings of living under a bridge. After this track there is a hidden song, a song that would be known as "Endless Nameless". Initial copies of the American release of Nevermind failed to include this track. The song was created for the band to let off their frustrations of being in the studio. It would also be a song in which the band would end their lives shows with then smash their instruments.

In 1992, Incesticide was released. It was an album of rarer Nirvana songs. The album contained songs such as "Sliver" a two minute punk song about Cobain wanting to leave his Grandmothers house, and a variety of Bleach sounding outtakes such as "Mexican Seafood", "Beeswax", "Downer", and "Big Long Now". The album also contained a variety of cover songs showing off the bands influences. "Turnaround" (Devo), "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun" (Vaselines)were the covers. The album also contained "Aneurysm" one of Nirvana's best songs, a start and stop masterpiece, and "Been a Son" was another fast punker from the band. A number of these tracks were actually from BBC sessions that the band did. "Aneurysm", "Been A Son", Molly's Lips" and "Son of A Gun" were all taken from BBC session performances.

Hormoaning EP - two different covers (Japan, & Australia)

During the process of touring another EP would be released in Australia and Japan to support their tour there in 1992. In February of 1992, Hormoaning was released. The EP contained six tracks, four covers and two originals. Three of the six songs can be found on Incesticide ("Turnaround", "Molly's Lips", "Son of a Gun"), while the other tracks were "Aneurysm" (a different version than the one featured on Incesticde), "D-7" (Wipers cover), and "Even in His Youth (B-side form the "Teen Spirit" single) were harder to find. To support their releases the band toured to back their success, Cobain would get married and have a child and by 1993 the band would work on their follow up to Nevermind, In Utero. Before the actual recording took place during 1991-92 Cobain would go through numerous personal problems with drug abuse and dealing with fame. Nirvana would also make appearances on various TV shows such as Top of the Pops in the UK, and Saturday Night Live int he USA. Next week I will finish my post on Nirvana, going into 1993 and beyond.

In other news on this Friday September 14th, the University of Windsor will be hosting the Harvesting the FAM Festival, which is an all day event showcasing local talent such as artists, musicians, movies, and fashion. More info can be found here. On Septemeber 28-30th Windsor will be having the PA Festival, a three day event supporting various local and live acts at the Avalon Front and Phog Lounge.

Play list:

1. The Strokes – New York City Cops
2. Libertines – last post on the bugle
3. Replacements – shiftless when idle
4. Green River – ride of your life
5. Mudhoney – inside job
6. Nirvana – big cheese
7. Nirvana – even in his youth (demo)
8. Tankhog – shame
9. Hater – downpour at Mt. Angel
10. Queens Of The Stone Age – misfit love
11. Tricky Woo – hot kitty
12. Mark Inside – liar
13. Rapture – heaven
14. The Hives – love in plaster
15. Ride Theory – walk the line
16. Young Rival – don’t make a sound (demo)
17. Dead 60s – liar (live)
18. The Tweeks – quasi celebrity
19. The Situations – fashion girl
20. The D4 – evil heart
21. Yoko Casionos - cameras on
22. Turbo Fruits - devo girl
23. The Defandants – guilty of you
24. White Stripes – I can’t wait

Nirvana Videos:

In Bloom (Sub Pop Version)
Aneurysm (Live Amsterdam 1991)
Territorial Pissings (Live Jonathan Ross Show 1991)
SNL 1992 (Teen Spirt/Territorial Pissings)
Stay Away (Live Reading Festival 1992)
Lounge Act (Live Reading Festival 1992)
Sliver (Music Video)
In Bloom (Music Video)
Nobody Know's I'm New Wave (Live Argentina 1992)
School & Come As You Are (Live Argentina 1992)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

All Mods Cons...Show # 161

The Jam were band that came out around the time of punk, but did not really sound like the punk bands of the time. Forming in their earlier incarnation in the 70s, The Jam started out as a four piece with Paul Weller (guitar/vocals), Steve Brookes (guitar), Bruce Foxton (bass), and Rick Buckler on drums; Steve Brookes eventually left the band and they became a three piece with Paul Weller covering all of the guitar and vocals. The band originally started out playing classic American rock such as Chuck Berry, but that changed when Paul Weller heard The Who. After hearing "My Generation" in particular, Weller and the band then switched directions taking on a more mod look, becoming obsessed with mod bands such as The Who, The Small Faces, and dressing in tailored suits. The band would gain a small following in London around 1976-77, after Sex Pistols started playing in the UK influencing tons of people to start their own groups.

In 1977, The Jam got a record deal with Polydor Records and in April they released their first single "In the City". It was a song that was about police brutality. The song sounds influenced by Sex Pistols song "Holidays in the Sun". In May of 1977, the band released their first full length album titled, In the City. The album was a mix of covers of R&B and Motown bands as well as some Paul Weller originals. The album was fast with the energy of punk despite the fact that a lot of the bands influences were elsewhere differing from the other bands coming out of Britain at this time. "All Around the World" would make it into the UK top ten, after doing a British tour, the band went to work on their next album.

This is the Modern World would come out in the summer of 1977. The album had a few good tracks, but is looked at as not their best effort. Many critics said the album was a repetition of the bands first (Weller has even stated later on, that he had a lack of interest while making the album). Bassist Bruce Foxton contributed two songs to the album "London Traffic" and "Don't Tell Them You're Sane", but Weller would still be the bands main song writer. The band then embarked on their first US tour, it was not successful.

In 1978, All Mods Cons was released. This album was more of a success for the band, going to # 6 on the UK charts. The band first single was "News of the World" a song written and sung by the bassist Foxton; It went to # 27 of the UK Singles chart. The album showed the band going in a different direction than their first two albums going in a more pop direction, drawing in influences of The Kinks ("David Watts" is covered for this album). The album also contained the songs "A Bomb in Wardour Street" (about Weller's sour views on punk and the violence that came with it), and "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" (about violence in Britain). "Billy Hunt" was a fast paced track with climbing basslines, and the acoustic "English Rose" was actually rejected by Polydor for release as singles. All Mods Cons contained only nine tracks originally and is seen as the bands best album by many. In 2006 a deluxe edition of the album was released which contained demos, B-sides and a DVD documentary.

In 1979, Setting Sons was released. The album was a politically themed album featuring different more produced production than the bands previous efforts. The album was a smash hit in the UK going to # 3 on the charts, but in the US it went to # 137 on the Billboard 200 charts. "Eton Rifles" , and "Little Boy Soldiers" were politically themed tracks, it also contained "Heat Wave" which is a cover of a Motown song. "Going Underground" was a single released for this album, but not actually on the album, and it went to # 1 on the UK charts. The album is seen as another step up for the band, but the band would jump into the Motown and American R&B sound more heavily on their next release Sound Affects.

In 1980, "Start!" was released as a single for the bands next album Sound Affects. The song sounded a lot like the Beatles song "Taxman", and went to #1. The album was a mix of Revolver-era Beatles and Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson. The album would also bring in influences of post-punk, and funk. The album went to # 2 in the UK and # 27 in the US. "Monday", and "Man in the Corner Shop" were obviously showing off the bands Revolver-era Beatles influence. along with "That's Entertainment!" an acoustic number written about the British working class lifestyle. The band then released two non-album singles "Funeral Pyre" and "Absolute Beginners" in 1981, showing more R&B influence than before.

The Gift came out in 1982. This album was the bands last and it was quite different. It brought in influences of soul, funk, and American R&B. The album went to #1 on the UK charts. "A Town Called Malice" was a huge hit for the band, it sounds like a Motown Supremes song. The bands second single "The Bitterest Pill" went to # 2, and the band had one final single "Beat Surrender" which was another # 1. The band did one final tour in the UK, then broke up. After The Jam Paul Weller formed the band Style Council. The band had a few hit singles then broke up toward the beginning of the 90s. Weller then went solo. In the 90's Weller also played the lead guitar and solo on Oasis's "Champagne Supernova", who cited The Jam as a big influence.

In 1997, Direction Reaction Creation was released, it was a five CD Jam box set. Rumours started to fly in 2006 of a possible Jam reunion when Weller and Foxton met backstage. Foxton and Jam drummer Rick Buckler revealed that in autumn of 2007, The Jam will reform for a tour, but there's a catch Paul Weller doesn't want any part of it. So the remaining members of the band will play some shows without Weller and are rumoured to be working on a new album to come out in 2008, once again without Paul Weller. The Jam were a popular band in the UK, but never made it successfully in America. The band started inspired by mod and punk and went into a Motown, soul, and R&B direction and were influential on many bands in the nineties.

Here's what was played:

1. XTC – are you receiving me
2. The Stranglers – Sweden (all quiet on the eastern front)
3. The Swingers – five o’clock shadow
4. Bored Games - joe 90
5. The Stones – something new
6. Boys Next Door – somebody’s watching
7. Radio Birdman – hanging on
8. Burger Boys – shake
9. Vindicators – you’re too much
10. The Diodes – shapes of things to come
11. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – new pleasure
12. The Drones – movement
13. The Jam - the place I love
14. The Jam – eton rifles
15. Gruesomes – leave my kitten alone
16. The Government – telephobia
17. Crash 80s – thrills
18. Radio 4 – caroline
19. Air Traffic Control - what stays
20. The Numbers – I want to believe
21. Albert Hammond Jr. – in transit
22. Television – ain’t that nothin’ (single version)
23. Only Ones – language problem
24. Klark Kent – away from home
25. Air Traffic Control - realize
26. Talking Heads - I wish you wouldn't say that

Jam Videos:

All Around the World (Marc Bolan Show 1977)
In the City (So It Goes Show)
Art School
In the City/A Bomb on Wardour Street/Billy Hunt (OGWT 1978)
Down At the Tube Staion At Midnight (TOTP)
Going Underground (TOTP)
That's Entertainment!
Eton Rifles (Something Else Show 1979)
Town Called Malice
Funeral Pyre (Live on Swedish TV 1981)
Beat Surrender