Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today's Lesson...The Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Story ... Show # 254

Coming from Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia, Nick Cave's first band was originally known as The Boy's Next Door. Consisting of Mick Harvey (guitar), Phil Calvert (drums), Tracey Bew (bass) and Nick Cave on vocals the group began playing Punk and Proto-Punk cover songs as well as originals. The band would play songs by bands like Lou Reed, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Ramones, and Alice Cooper. Rowland S. Howard joined as an additional guitarist in 1978, which would result in the band changing their sound. With Howard in the band, they began incorporating Punk, Free Jazz, Blues, Rockabilly and other genres into their music. The Boys Next Door released a full length album in 1979 entitled Door, Door. Following this release, in 1980 the band relocated to London, England. It was at this time that the band changed their name to The Birthday Party. The band brought a new aggressive element to their music. Nick Cave's vocal style was often expressionistic and called demented, scary Gothic and powerful.

The Birthday Party Album was released in 1980. Originally credited to The Boys Next Door, the album was late,r re-released crediting The Birthday Party as the band name (it can now be found on CD as part of a compilation titled Hee Haw). Several singles were released and two full length albums (Prayers On Fire 1981, Junkyard 1982). In 1982, Cave formed a spin off group with Lydia Lunch, the band also moved to Berlin, Germany at this time. With The Birthday Party/Nick Cave backing her, she recorded an album entitled Honeymoon In Red, although it would not be released until 1987. In 1983, The Birthday Party split up. In the later part of 1983, Cave and Mick Harvey put together a new band that would eventually call themselves Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The groups band members would be consistently change throughout their long career. In 2009, Mick Harvey left the group. Ed Keupper (from Australian band The Saints) currently fills in on guitar.

The Bad Seeds also featured a shift in the song writing styling of Nick Cave. His lyrics would often reflect a more literate and lyrical prose structure. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds released their first full length album entitled From Her To Eternity in 1984. The album featured a cover of a Leonard Cohen song "Avalanche" and an Elvis Presley cover "In The Ghetto". In 1985, The Firstborn Is Dead was released. This album lyrically referenced the American South, Elvis Presley and several Blues musicians. Kicking Against The Pricks came next in 1986. The album was a collection of cover songs. The single "The Singer" was a number one hit in the UK. Another album came after this titled Your Funeral...My Trial. This album was more melancholic than previous Bad Seeds albums, partially due to Nick Cave's addiction to Heroin at the time. Following this album, the band went on hiatus for two years. Cave would appear in the film Wings of Desire. In 1988, Tender Prey would be released The album features the well known and signature song of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, "The Mercy Seat". The album also featured songs such as "Deanna", "City of Refuge", and "Up Jumped The Devil".

In the 90's the band kicked drugs and released an album in 1990 titled The Good Son. They also relocated to Brazil at this time. The album is often seen as a quieter album and initially disappointed fans of the band. Now they are more responsive to songs such as "The Weeping Song" and "The Ship Song", which are now standards. Henry's Dream came next in 1992, and Let Love In, in 1994. The Band was also featured at the 1994 Lollapalooza festival to promote this album. Murder Ballads was released in 1996. The album which featured songs about murder, was very successful for Cave (# 8 on the UK album charts). It also contained duets with PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue. 1997's The Boatman's Call featured a lyrical shift. Instead of chaotic and violent lyrics, Cave instead focused on biographical lyrics and lyrics about relationships. Nick Cave then took a break from the band. During this time he got married, went to rehab and released a spoken word album, Secret Life of Love Songs in 1999.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds returned in 2001 with the album No More Shall We Part. In 2003, Nocturama was released. A double album was released in 2004 titled Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, and a 3 CD collection of B-Sides and rarities, called B-Sides & Rarities. In 2006, Nick Cave formed a Garage Rock inspired band called Grinderman. They released a self titled album the same year and are said to release a follow up. In 2008 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds released Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, it was the bands 14th studio album. Lyrically the album referenced the Biblical story of Lazarus of Bethany. The album featured excellent songs, such as "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!", "Today's lesson", and "Lie Down Here (and Be My Girl)". The album was another high charter on the album charts across Europe.

This Week's Play List:

1. The Saints - Memories Are Made of This
2. Pretty Vanilla - Paper Tiger
3. The Ugly - Stranded In The Laneway
4. The Action - Waiting For The Man
5. Beck - Sunday Morning
6. The Evaporators - Oh Non
7. Sebastien Grainger - It's A living
8. Death From Above 1979 - Too Much Love
9. The Zeros (UK) - Radio Fun
10. The Survivors - Baby Come Back
11. The Kids - Do You Wanna Know?
12. Blue Peter - Radio Silence
13. The Associates - A
14. The Visitors - Euro Girls
15. Crocodiles - Refuse Angels
16. The Boys Next Door - Somebody's Watching
17. The Birthday Party - Release The Bats
18. Grinderman - Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)
18. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)
19. Sonic Youth - Sacred Trickster
20. Blam Blam Blam - There Is No Depression In New Zealand
21. Brian James - Where Did I Find A Girl Like You?
22. Iggy Pop - Loco Mosquito
23. The Cigarettes - I've Forgot Your Number (Now I'm Telling You My Name)
24. Radio Birdman - What Gives?

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on June, 23rd 2009.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Journey Through The Past...The Neil Young Story and Archives Special...Show # 253

On June 2nd, 2009 Neil Young released Archives Volume 1. The set which comes in three formats (CD, DVD and Blu-Ray) chronicles Young's career from 1963-1972. This is a collection featuring previously unreleased material, alternate mixes and material previously found on Young's albums that has been in the works since 1989. The CD version of the box set contains 8 CD's, while the DVD and Blu-Ray sets have 10 discs. Also the DVD & Blu-Ray sets have previously unreleased live footage and bonus material not found on the CD version. Since the set only covers 1963-1972, that is what my profile on Neil Young will cover.

Born in Toronto, Ontario in 1945, Neil Young was the son of writer Scott Young and Edna Ragland. He spent his early childhood in Toronto, but grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Where the family relocated. One Neil Young's first groups were The Squires. Young formed the group while in high school. The instrumental, surf inspired group recorded a series of demos at the time. "The Sultan" was a local favourite. Another song Young recorded with The Squires was "I Wonder". The song is an early version of what was later to become "Don't Cry No Tears" on Zuma in 1975. During this time Neil would also play acoustically at local folk clubs. Eventually he would meet Stephen stills and Joni Mitchell. Neil Young would leave The Squires and in 1965 go on a tour as solo act. While playing in Toronto 1966, he met Mynah Birds. Fronted by Rick James, Young joined the group and they recorded an album for the Motown Record label. When Rick James was arrested, the group broke up and Neil Young relocated to Los Angeles to find sucess with bassist Barry Palmer. Once they got to Los Angeles, Young met musician and friend Stephen Stills and they formed the group Buffalo Springfield.

Buffalo Springfield's first self titled album was released in 1967. The album produced a hit for the band called "For What It's Worth". The band played a mix of Country, Psychedelic, Folk and Rock. Neil Young and Stephen Stills both played lead guitar. Despite their success, the band had constant arguments. Barry Palmer would be arrested and deported, which did not help matters. Buffalo Springfield Again was released in November 1967. The album contained the Neil Young composition "Mr. Soul". The heavy rock song had a riff similar to The Rolling Stones "Satisfaction" and was a minor hit. Neil Young also contributed two other songs to the album ("Expecting To Fly" and "Broken Arrow"), but they were recorded without Buffalo Springfield as a backing band. They were recorded and intended for a Neil Young solo album. While recording this album tensions rose again amongst the group and after recording one more album (due to contract obligations), Buffalo Springfield split up. Last Time Around featured recordings previously made that year (1968). The album featured two more Young compositions "I Am A Child" and "On The Way Home". After this album, Neil Young acquired band manager Elliot Roberts (who still currently manages Young) and signed a solo record deal to Reprise Records.

Neil Young's first solo album (which was self titled) was released on November 12, 1968. The date also coincided with his 23rd Birthday. The album did not do very well, it received mixed reviews. It does despite the bad reviews, contain a few good songs most importantly "The Loner". Neil Young put together a different backing band for his second album. Collecting musicians Danny Whitten (guitar), Billy Talbot (bass) and Ralph Molina (drums), Neil Young put together a band that at the time were known as The Rockets. Changing their name to Crazy Horse, the band recorded with Neil Young for two weeks to complete the album known as Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. This album features some of Neil's best known songs. "Cinnamon Girl", "Down By The River", and "Cowgirl In The Sand". These songs showed off his style and were apparently were written when Neil Young had a 103 °F fever. The album featured long jams, heavy rock songs and folk/rock based recordings. This album went to # 34 on the Billboard Pop Album charts.

Next up Neil Young joined the group Crosby, Stills & Nash. The band who had already released an album asked Neil to join the group as a sideman. Instead Neil became a full member and the group became known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They recorded one album together titled Deja Vu. Released in 1970, Neil Young fell into the same argumentative disagreements as when he was in Buffalo Springfield. Neil Young is not featured on all of the tracks, but the album does have some songs written by Neil. The album itself went to #1 on the Billboard 200 Album charts. Shortly after the album was released, Neil Young wrote the song "Ohio", which was written about the Kent State Massacre in May 1970. It was recorded fast and released as a single soon afterwards. The song went to #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

After The Gold Rush was also released in 1970. The album featured musicians such as Stephen Stills and Greg Reeves (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bassist). When Neil began working on the album, the sessions did feature Crazy Horse. Due to a variety of factors, one being guitarist Danny Whitten's health problems, the band changed around a bit. The album did include some songs with Crazy Horse ("When You Dance I Can Really Love", "I Believe In You", and "Oh Lonesome Me"). The album is a mix of hard rock with folk and country, it also went to %8 on the Billboard Top Pop Album charts. After The Gold Rush has some great songs on it such as "Southern Man" (A song about racism in the south), "Don't Let It Bring You Down", and "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (#33 on the Hot 100 charts).

By 1971, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young had broken up and Crazy Horse signed a record deal. Neil also embarked on a solo tour the same year, assembling a band of Country musicians to back him that would be known as The Stray Gators. Harvest would be the album he recorded with The Gators and it would be a huge success for Neil Young. The album, which was a Country/Rock album went to number one on the Billboard 200 charts. The single "Heart of Gold" would immediately become a number one hit. Other songs on Harvest are the song "Old Man" and "The Needle and The Damage Done". The song was written about the turmoils of Heroin addiction and how it destroys so many people. The song was inspired by Crazy Horse guitar player Danny Whitten, who was addicted to it at the time (he would later pass away due to an overdose). Also the song featured on Harvest, was actually taken from a live recording in 1971 at Massey Hall.

At this point Neil began working on the follow up to Harvest with Crazy Horse, but it would be halted by the passing of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten. A soundtrack to the Neil Young directed film would come next titled Journey Through The Past. Neil would continue recording and making music. His next three albums are referred to as his "Ditch Trilogy". They are referred to this name because of Neil's reaction after the success of "Heart of Gold". This quote from Neil Young about the song describes the titles origin:

"This song put me in the middle of the road. Travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there."

The three albums in the trilogy are Time Fades Away (1973), On The Beach (1974) and Tonight's The Night (1975). Neil Young's story does not end there, he still continues to record and release music. Most recently he released an album titled Fork in the Road. The Archives box set ends in 1972 and that is where this post will end. There is the promise of future volumes of the Archives series.

Neil Young Play List:

1. Mr. Soul (Buffalo Springfield)
2. Sell Out (Buffalo Springfield)(Previously Unreleased)
3. Down To The Wire (Neil Young)
4. Sugar Mountain (Neil Young)(Previously Unreleased Demo Version)
5. The Rent is Always Due (Neil Young)(Previously Unreleased)
6. I Am A Child (Buffalo Springfield)
7. Kahuna Sunset (Buffalo Springfield)
8. Aurora (The Squires)
9. I Wonder (The Squires)(Previously Unreleased)
10. Mustang (The Squires)(Previously Unreleased)
11. The Loner (Neil Young)
12. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (With Crazy Horse)
13. Cowgirl In The Sand (With Crazy Horse)
14. See The Sky About To Rain (Live Massey Hall 1971)
15. Down By The River (Live Massey Hall 1971)
16. Everybody's Alone (With Crazy Horse)(Previously Unreleased)
17. Dance, Dance, Dance (With Crazy Horse)(Previously Unreleased)
18. When You Dance, I Can Really Love (With Crazy Horse)
19. Don't Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young)
20. Tell Me Why (Neil Young)
21. Cripple Creek Fairy (Neil Young)
22. Harvest (Neil Young & The Stray Gators)
23. Wonderin' (Live Filmore East 1970 - With Crazy Horse)
24. Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown (Live Filmore East 1970 - With Crazy Horse)

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on June, 16th 2009.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Green Man Music Festival 2009

Last year I mentioned the Green Man Festival on my blog. This year they are once again holding voting for the public to choose for the bands they want to see play in London, England.

Here are the rules:

Calling all bands and artists – the Green Man needs YOU!

Fancy being the first band to play at Green Man 2009, standing on the main stage on Friday August 21st as the sun beats down over the Black Mountains and opening the festival with one of YOUR songs in front of thousands of people?

How about sharing the bill Animal Collective, Jarvis Cocker, Wilco, Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear, getting airplay on Green Man YouTube for a year, having an opportunity of being included in the festival promotion and press such as giving interviews to Radio 1 and the BBC, or being featured in the esteemed publications and websites such as Mojo, Guardian, NME and Drowned in Sound as well as the many others that follow Green Man?

What if we threw in 6 pairs of free Green Man tickets for your family and friends to witness your big moment live on stage, just for good measure?

Sounds good, right?

Well forget X Factor and all those rubbish TV talent shows - Green Poll 2009 is here and the search is on to find the best new band or act to get the Green Man party started!

How can I enter?

It’s easy! We are asking signed or unsigned acts to register on our special Green Poll microsite and upload a YouTube or MySpace video of your band performing a song. Anyone can enter as long as they do so before June 29 – better get your skates on!

What happens next?

The music-loving Green Man public will choose their favourite bands in two nail-biting rounds of voting. The top 6 acts then go through to a live Battle of the Bands final at The Camden Monarch, in London, on July 23rd where a panel of top music industry boffins will pick one lucky winner to open Green Man 2009!

What’s the catch?

There’s no catch my friends, it’s as easy as one, two, three. To recap:

Round 1 - Voting closes at midnight on June 28 and the top 20 bands with the most votes go through to…

Round 2 - Voting closes at midnight on July 12 and the top 6 bands with the most votes go through to…

Grand Final - A live Battle Of The Bands contest in London on July 23rd to find one lucky winner to open Green Man 2009 judged by a panel of music industry boffins

How can I vote?

The winning band / artist will open the Festival on the main stage on Friday 21st August.

What if I want to cheat?

Cheats never beat so don’t you even bother! Every single vote really counts and the Green poll site will be constantly monitored for irregular or suspicious voting patterns - any underhand activities will lead to automatic disqualification. What do you think this is, the Eurovision Song Contest?

Is there a limit on how often I can vote?

Each user is limited to one vote per day.

Good luck – may the spirit of the Green Man be with you!

Vote here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Don't Push Me Around...The Story of The Zeros...Show # 252

Originally known as The Main Street Brats, The Zeros formed in 1976 in Chula Vista, California. The group consists of Javier Escovedo (guitar/vocals), Robert Lopez (guitar), Baba Chenelle (drums), and Hector Penalosa on bass. Often referred to as "The Mexican Ramones", The Zeros were part of the late 70's LA punk scene. While they played along with bands such as Black Flag, The Nerves, X, The Germs, and The Wipers, The Zeros were not as well received as their contemporaries.

The bands first single was "Wimp" in 1977 on Bomp Records. In 1978, Javier Escovedo left the group and was replaced by Guy Lopez. Guy would leave soon afterward. The band would relocate to San Fransisco and continue as a three piece band. In 1980, the new version of The Zeros recorded a single containing the songs "They Say", "Getting Nowhere Fast", and "Girl On The Block". After another tour, the band stopped playing. Since their split, The Zeros have reformed several times and released a full length album Right Now! in 1999. A compilation collection all of The Zeros early recordings was released in 1992. It was titled Don't Push Me Around.

Play List:

1. The Jam - In The Midnight Hour
2. Rezillos - Mystery Action
3. X-Ray Spex - I Am A Cliche
4. Alternative TV - Action Time Vision
5. The Prefects - Things in General
6. Modernettes - Static
7. SLYME - Crazy Glue
8. The Prince Brothers - Birds Eye View
9. Iggy Pop - King of the Dogs
10. The Mystery Jets - Young Love
11. Phoenix - 1901
12. The Sounds - 4 Songs & A Fight
13. XX Teens - B-54
14. Zro4 - Give Me Attention
15. Oasis - Cigarettes & Alcohol
16. The Zeros - Wimp
17. The Zeros - Getting Nowhere Fast
18. Joy Division - Leaders of Men
19. Subway Sect - Chain Smoking
20. The Gruesomes - Hey!
21. The Gruesomes - I Try (1985 Demo)
22. International Noise Conspiracy - Bigger Cages, Longer Chains
23. The Damned - Sick of Being Sick
24. Television - Marquee Moon (Alternate Version)

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on June, 9th 2009.

Rare Zeros Video from San Fransisco TV Show (1977):

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Primary Colours...The Story of The Horrors....Show # 251

Forming in 2005, The Horrors were brought together by their love of music (60's Garage Rock, Punk and Post-Punk) and DJing in London, England. The band consists of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Third (guitar), Tom Furse (bass/synthesizers), Spider Webb (keyboards/bass), and Coffin Joe on drums. Dressing themselves in Gothic fashion, the band began playing live shows in London. They soon gained notice for their live shows and were signed to Loog. Their first single was the song "Sheena Is A Parasite". This helped the band gain exposure. After releasing another single The Horrors signed to a US label (Stolen Transmission). They released a five track EP in the US in October of 2006.

The bands first album came in 2007. Strange House featured a selection of previously released material, but some of it was re-recorded for the album. It debuted at #37 on the UK album charts. The album contained Garage Rock and Punk influenced songs. It was also influenced by post post. The album contains tracks such as "Sheena Is A Parasite", "Jack The Ripper", "Count In Fives", "Horrors Theme", and "She Is The New Thing". The album is a fresh blast of originality. To support this album The Horrors went on a world tour supporting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in the US. The band played numerous live shows all over the world at this time supporting artists such as Arctic Monkeys and The Sonics. They also appeared on the British TV show The Mighty Boosh. They played a band called The Black Tubes.

Signing to XL Recordings at the end of 2007, The Horrors also began working on their second full length album. Primary Colours was released in May of 2009, reaching # 25 on the UK album charts. The album featured a different sound. It displayed the colours of Post-Punk bands such as Joy Division, Shoe Gaze and Goth music. The singles released from the album were "Sea Within A Sea" and "Who Can Say". The Horrors have also made a number of interesting music videos that are worth checking out.

Also on today's program, I played two bands from Japan. Both of these bands were discovered at .The Last Days of Man On Earth Blog.

The Play List:

1. XTC - This Is Pop
2. The Rapture - Echoes
3. The Crocodiles - Soft Skull (In My Room)
4. Crash 80s - Thrills
5. Spiral Scratch - Englands Burning 81
6. Boo Hoo - The Future
7. Pretty Vanilla - Lost in the Soda Shop
8. The Leather Uppers - Supercar
9. Meat Puppets - Rotten Shame
10. Luger Boa - On My Mind
11. True Lovers - Death Threat
12. The Demics - New York City
13. Tricky Woo - Hot Kitty
14. The Horrors - Horrors Theme
15. The Horrors - Do You Remember?
16. The Mirrors - Passenger
17. The Plastics - Top Secret Man
18. Devo - Red Eye
19. The Piranhas - Green Don't Suit Me
20. Gang of Four - I Found That Essence Rare
21. Rich Kids - Rich Kids
22. The Smugglers - Three Sides
23. The Adverts - One Chord Wonders
24. Nick Lowe - They Called It Rock

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on June, 2nd 2009.

The Horrors Videos:

Sheena Is A Parasite (Music Video)
Count In Fives (Music Video)
She Is The New Thing (Music Video)
Gloves (Music Video)
Sea Within A Sea (Music Video)
Who Can Say (Music Video)