Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Are Time...The Story of The Pop Group... Show # 315

The Pop Group consisted of Mark Stewart (vocals), Gareth Sager (guitar), John Waddington (guitar), Simon Underwood (bass) and Bruce Smith on drums. Coming from Bristol in England, The Pop Group were a Post-Punk band that mixed elements of Funk, Jazz, Dub, Reggae, Funk, and Punk into their music. The bands name, as you may guess after hearing them is a bit of an understatement. The Pop Group had very little Pop in their music, they mixed musical styles and radical political based lyrics for a sound that some might describe as bordering on Avant Guard. The bands debut single She Is Beyond Good and Evil, was released in March of 1979 on Radar Records.

Y, the bands debut album was released in April 1979. While it did not sell very well, it received a lot of critical admiration. As a result they were signed to Rough Trade Records. In October of 1979, The Pop Group released the single We Are All Prostitutes. This song is one of the bands best known singles and it features Cello by Free Jazz improviser Tristan Honsinger. The bands second album followed in March of 1980, the album was titled For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? Based on the title alone one can assume what the lyrical content will be like. Musically the album features heavy Funk influences and a collaboration with The Last Poets, an American/Poet based group. The album is currently out of print. A split single was then released with The Slits called Where There's A will There's A Way. By this point the band was sharing not only a manager with The Slits, but also a drummer (Dick O'Dell).

In 1981, The Pop group split up due to internal disagreements and legal related issues. Several of the bands members went on to form other groups such as Rip, Rig & Panic, Pigbag, and Maximum Joy. A third album was released after the bands split that featured a variety of outtakes, it was entitled We Are Time. Recently The Pop Group announced that they would be reforming for some live shows in May of 2010.

The Play List:

1. U2 - Another Day
2. Franz Ferdinand - Come On Home
3. Gang of Four - What We All Want
4. The Pop Group - She Is Beyond Good and Evil
5. U-J3RK5 - Naum Gabo
6. Young Canadians - I Hate Music
7. Pointed Sticks - The Marching Song
8. Lowlife - White Lightning
9. Malibu Kens - Crude City
10. B-Girls - Mystery
11. Elvis Presley - Let Yourself Go
12. Mr.Chill - Gastown Taxi
13. Bob Dylan - Tough Mama
14. XTC - Love At First Sight
15. Wire - Mannequin
17. The Rapture - Sister Saviour (Live From the Bowery Ballroom, NYC 2003)
18. Desiderata - Uppercut Party
19. Laughing Clowns - Ghost Beat
20. Iggy Pop - The Endless Sea
21. Talking Heads - Crosseyed and Painless (Live)
22. TV Smith's Explorers - I Live For Everything
23. Devo - Uncontrollable Urge
24. Magazine - I Love You, You Big Dummy

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 31st. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Neon Crocodiles....Show # 314

The Crocodiles, who are from San Diego, California formed in 2008. The band which can be best described as a Noise Pop and Indie Rock band, draws influences from bands such as Jesus and The Mary Chain, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Spacemen 3. The bands members Brandon Welchez (programming/vocals) and Charles Rowel (guitar/syntheziser) were put together from two separate Noise Punk bands called The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower and Some Girls. The band gained a good amount of exposure when they released a split 7 inch single with the band No Age. Their song featured on this 2008 single was called "Neon Jesus". The band describe thier music and artistic merits by their own credo, guitars, loud, feedback, bliss. In April of 2009, The Crocodiles released their first album, which was entited Summer of Hate on Fat Possum Records.

The Crocodiles have been acknowledged as being an excellent live band and have released several split 7 inch singles and singles of their own since the release of Summer of Hate. Recently they have released a single for the song "Sleep Forever" which is a song from their next upcoming album which will be titled Sleep Forever. The album is set to be released in September 2010. It was produced by James Ford who has worked with Simian Mobile Disco, The Last Shadow Puppets and Arctic Monkeys. Their new song "Sleep Forever" can be downloaded free via the Fat Possum website.

The Play List:

1. The Cramps - Drug Train
2. The Del Feugos - I Always Call Her Back
3. The Chosen Few - Slimey Characters
4. Velvet Underground - I'm Not A Young Man Anymore (Live)
5. Luke Doucet and the White Falcon - Dirty, Dirty Blonde
6. Land of Talk - Quarry Hymns
7. Siskiyou - Everything I Have
8. The Evaporators - You Got Me Into This, Now You Get Me Out
9. The Burnin' Sands - Don't Feed The Sharks
10. Atomic 7 - Theme From Atomic 7
11. The Tiki Tones - Go Go Loco
12. The Panasonics - Panther
13. Link Wray - Deuces Wild
14. Wavves - Linus Spacehead
15. Neats - 6
16. Deniz Tek Group - Workingman's Shoes
17. Will Currie and The County French & Sloan - Push Pins
18. King - My Baby Don't Care (BBC Session)
19. Carbon/Silicon - The Best Man
20. Crocodiles - Flash of Light
21. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Time
22. The Postelles - White Night
23. Wreckless Eric - Reconnez Cherie

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 24th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Attack & Release ... The Story of the Black Keys .. Show # 313

The Black Keys are a Blues and Rock based duo that formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001. The bands name was inspired by an Akron, Ohio artist who used the phrase "Black Keys" as an insult. Being very much a fixture in the underground music scene The Black Keys (which consisted of Dan Auerbach on guitar/vocals and Patrick Carney on drums) mixed elements of Blues, and Rock and Roll. The bands first album, The Big Come Up was released in 2002 on Alive Records. The album was recorded in the drummer (Patrick Carney's) basement on an old 1980s eight track tape recorder. Amongst the thirteen songs featured on the album there are elements of raunchy Blues, Garage Rock, Folk, Soul, and Funk. Two singles were released from this album "Leaving Trunk", which is a cover a traditional Blues song and "She Said, She Said" a Psychedelic song done originally by The Beatles. The album was well received and resulted in the band signing to Fat Possum at the end of 2002.

The bands next album was recorded in the very same fashion as The Big Come Up, on an old 1980s eight track tape recorder in Patrick Carney's basement. Thickfreakness, was recorded in one fourteen hour recording session and was released in April of 2003. The album title was inspired by a saying in Japan which means "Inazuma Rockin' Blues", the world "Inazuma" means "Flash of lightning". The album cover depicts two fingers removing a large amount of thick, yellowish cream from a red tin labeled "Thickfreakness". The music on the album continued the tradition that was started on the bands debut album The Big Come Up, mixing elements of Blues, and Garage Rock. One of the songs on this album "Midnight In Her Eyes" featured bass, which is not usually found on Black Keys songs, since they are a duo. The bass was recorded through a guitar amplifier by Dan Auerbach on a Guild SG styled bass. The band had three singles released from this album "Set You Free", "Hard Row", and a cover of the song "Have Love Will Travel". The song "Set You Free" was featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film School of Rock, which garnered them some mainstream attention. Critics in the mainstream made constant comparisons in similarities found between The Black Keys sound and The White Stripes sound. This common misconception is an overgeneralization of the band. The two bands are duos and have Blues elements in their music, but do not sound identical. A split EP was released in September of 2003. The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys EP featured three songs from the band Six Parts Seven, and three songs from The Black Keys.

In 2004, The Black Keys recorded their third full length album in an abandoned factory in Akron, Ohio. Like the first two albums, Rubber Factory was produced by drummer Patrick Carney. This album picked up on the momentum that started following the release of the bands second album, Thickfreakness. Songs from the album were featured on commercials for American Express, Victoria Secret, and in the movie Live Free or Die, The Go Getter, and Black Snake Moan A music video for the song "10 AM Automatic" featured comedian David Cross. The three singles released from this album "10 AM Automatic", "Till I Get My Way", and "Girl On My Mind". The music on this album had more a production based nature, but in a good way. The songs are exciting and are crafted in a way that makes this album a strong effort on the bands part. A Live DVD was release in 2005, entitled Live, and an EP was released titled Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough. The EP featured all cover songs of Blues songs originally done by Fat Possum artist Junior Kimbrough, who passed away in 1998. In 2006, The Black Keys released their first album for Nonesuch Records. Magic Potion was the first album by the band to feature all original compositions, previously on the bands albums there were always some cover songs. Magic Potion added some depth to the bands sound incorporating more moody and melodic elements. Of the three singles released for the album ("You're The One", "Your Touch", "Just Got To Be"), "Your Touch" would eventually be featured in the 2009 movie Zombieland, and the HBO TV series Eastbound and Down.

The bands next album Attack & Release was produced by Danger Mouse and was released in April of 2008. Initially the sessions for the album began as part of a collaboration with Ike Turner, but in 2007 he passed away before the album could be completed. According to Carney, some of the songs they recorded sounded similar to Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The band pushed forward with Danger Mouse producing and released an album that at the time was their most successful to date. Debuting at # 14 on the Billboard 200 album charts, this album produced three singles, "I Got Mine", "The Same Old Thing", and "Strange Times". Songs from this album reflected a deeper sound for the band, highlighting more moodier elements while still encompassing the same sound that the bands early records had. Several of the songs for the album were used in TV shows (The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill, Lie To Me, Big Love) and video games (Grand Theft Auto IV, NASCAR 09). A live DVD followed in 2008 (Live at the Crystal Ballroom), and in 2009 the two members of The Black Keys pursued side projects. Auerbach released a solo album in February of 2009 entitled Keep It Hid, and Patrick Carney released an album called Feel Good Together with a side project he formed called Drummer. Carney played bass in the band. The Black Keys also collaborated with Hip Hop artist Damon Dash and released a Rap-Rock record entitled Blackroc at the end of 2009.

For The Black Keys sixth album, they headed to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. The studio has been famous for having music recorded there from Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Staple Singers, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and more. The band produced the album themselves, incorporating elements of their Hard Blue Rock sound with Soul and the musical stylings found on Attack and Release, the album was mixed by Tchad Blakd and recorded with engineer Mark Neil. The first song released from the album, which was titled Brothers was "Tighten Up". The song was the last one recorded for the record, it was also the only track produced by Danger Mouse. The song mixes Funk and Blues with Soul for a catchy song that moves alongside Auerbach's voice that rises to a falsetto at different points in the song. The album was also recorded entirely in analogue and it debuted at # 3 on the Billboard 200 album charts, their highest to date. The album art done for Brothers is a homage to an album originally done by Chess recording artist Howlin' Wolf (This is Howlin' Wolf's New Album). "Howlin' For You" the B-Side to the single "Tighten Up", is a raucous Blues song, while there are other elements on this album such as "The Only One', which features Organ that encircles the listener, "Unknown Brother" has 60's Soul influences, while "Never Gonna Give You Up" is a cover of a song originally done by Jerry Butler. The CD version of Brothers has a thermal CD surface that changes colours depending on the temperature surrounding the disc. The fifteen track album also has two outtakes, "Ohio" and "Chop and Change", which were released on versions of the album featuring bonus material.

This Week's Play List:

1. 63 Monroe - Media Junkie
2. Slander - Petticoat Junction
3. The Count Five - Double Decker Bus
4. Prehistoric Cave Strokers - Johnny Degree
5. Revolver - Leave Me Alone
6. Kevin Walker - Storm We Cannot Run From
7. Bob Dylan - Down the Highway
8. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Oliver's Army
9. Minotaurs - Caught in the Light
10. The Specials - Concrete Jungle
11. Public Image Limited - Annalisa
12. Television - Elevation
13. The Diodes - Red Rubber Ball
14. The Cinch - Get Up & Get Out
15. Pearl Jam - Grievance
16. The Exploding Hearts - Still Crazy
17. The Police - Peanuts
18. Lost Patrol - Overlook Hotel
19. Hater - Blistered
20. The Black Keys - Heavy Soul
21. The Black Keys - Same Old Thing
22. The Black Keys - Everlasting Light

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 17th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lazy...Show # 312

In 2009, the New Zealand based band Luger Boa released their first album Mutate or Die! The band was formed by Jimmy Christmas (previously of The D4) and the first album was a mixture of Glam Rock influences such as David Bowie, Hard Rock, and Pop. The album was well received in New Zealand, along with the bands live shows. The album also charted on CJAM's Earshot! Online charts in January of 2009, it reached # 10 on the Top 30 album charts. The band is currently finishing up work on a follow up to Mutate or Die! that is set to be released sometime soon this year. Currently the band finished making a video for the first single from the album, the single is called Lazy.

The band is also currently giving away a free mp3 of a new track that will be on their upcoming album via their facebook page . The Song, which is entitled "F.T.K (fuck tha kidz)" is a cross between 70's Punk, Lugar Boa and The D4. To get a high quality version all you have to do is email them at (lugerboa@live.com).

This Week's Play List:

1. Tight Ship - Sittin' and Thinkin'
2. 409 - They Said
3. The Black Lips - The Best Napkin I Ever Had
4. The Nerves - Stand Back and Take A Look (Demo)
5. The Barracudas - On The Strip
6. Magic Hall of Mirrors - The Devil's Highway Pt.1
7. The Poison Arrows - Interpretive Hunger
8. The Bulletproof Tiger - Momentum Booooooottss
9. Mudhoney - Suck You Dry
10. Arcade Fire - Modern Man
11. Johnny West - Intervals
12. James OL & The Villains - Lebz
13. Johnny Cash - The Wreck of the Old 97
14. Locusts Have No King - Shotgun Wedding
15. Boxcar Guitars - My Love Is Blue
16. True Lovers - Makes A Fool
17. The Fall - Dice Man
18. Klark Kent - Too Kool To Kalypso
19. The Vapours - Somehow
20. Buzzcocks - What Ever Happened To?
21. Luger Boa - Lazy
22. Young Rival - Authentic
23. Tank - Blood, Guts, and Beer (Live)
24. Motorhead - Pay Your Price (I Won't)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 10th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Obsession...The Story of The True Lovers & Interview with Dion Lunadon...Show # 311

Following June of 2006, Dion Lunadon, previously from the New Zealand band The D4 headed to Los Angeles. Relocating to New York, he got started on a project with Ben Maitland who was also previously in a New Zealand band called Box Car Guitars. Drawing upon influences such as Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, Andre Williams within the Soul genre and other music such as Howlin’ Wolf from the Blues genre, The True Lovers would emerge. Before the band played any shows Dion and Ben Maitland got together and wrote the songs that would appear on the bands first album. A band was put together made up of Dion Lunadon (guitar/vocals), Ben Maitland (guitar/vocals), Evan Pazner (drums), John Schwartz (bass) and Soren Oakes Christensen adding additional guitar and keyboards. After rehearsing for about three months, The True Lovers went into the studio to record an album.

In February 2009 at Mission Sound in Brooklyn, New York, The True Lovers recorded their album, but it was not recorded like your average modern day album would be recorded. The band used vintage recording gear and recorded to analog tape as opposed to recording digitally. The album was engineered by Oliver Strauss and produced by Dion Lunadon and Ben Maitland. The sound of the album is different from what Dion and Ben have done in their past bands, there is a certain grittiness to the recordings. A large majority of the songs featured on the album were recorded live in the studio, there were minimal overdubs done on the record.  After listening to the album it is apparent that there is an undeniable groove to it, the album sweats and breathes along with each track.

The first song on the album, “Death Threat” was actually one of the first songs written for the album. The songs origin began in Los Angeles shortly after Dion moved out there from New Zealand. “Death Threat” along with a lot of songs on The True Lovers album started out as a bassline, even before the rest of the song was completed. A music video for the song was filmed by director Michael McCarthy. The concept for the video was born out of an interest for music videos shot for Guitar Wolf (a Japanese Garage/Punk band). It was shot in Memphis over three days and the church featured in the video was the very same church where Johnny Cash played his first show. “Cougar” another song on the album follows along with a common theme of sleaze that seems to be engrained deep within the songs on this album. Lyrically the song is self explanatory, the music is drowned in feedback, raunchy guitar solos and a soulful, bouncy bassline.

Songs such as “Lady of the Manor” and “Guilty Pleasure # 9” ooze with Blues elements, while vocally, the lyrics are sung in such away that is akin to Iggy Pop on The Stooges album Raw Power. “Bang Bang” is a shot of Garage Rock themed passion, sounding like a classic 60s nugget cut. “Love and Affection” is soaked in Soul, complete with congas, while “Fade Away” bleeds with organ drowned riffs, heavy bass, and guitar slides. “Makes A Fool Out of Me”, a song written and sung by Ben Maitland is an acoustic track with Folk qualities. It is a very different track compared to the others on the album, but still follows suit with the style and groove that is constant throughout the album. The True Lovers is very unique combining elements from many genres, but sounding raw, honest, and real. The lyrics and music are filled with a gritty sleaze, groove and a Rolling Stones swagger.

Following the recording of the album, The True Lovers started playing live gigs. A different version of the band was put together for their later live gigs featuring Mike Welsh on bass and Kevin Stapleton adding additional guitar and keyboards. The band played live gigs on the West Coast in the US, and also played the Big Day Out Festival in New Zealand. The album was released on Altra! Records in March in New Zealand, and in April in the US and elsewhere. There was talk of recording a 7 inch single for a Spanish record label, the songs were said to have had a rawer sound than the ones found on the True Lovers album. True Lovers were also said to have been working on a video for the song “Cougar”, which was supposed to be their next single, but that never happened. Around February of 2010, The True Lovers stopped playing as a band. Currently Dion Lunadon is playing bass with the Brooklyn band A Place To Bury Strangers and is working with them on their third album.

The True Lovers album can be purchased via their official website in digital and vinyl formats.

Links of Interest:

True Lovers Facebook Page


The following interview was done between myself (David Konstantino host of Revolution Rock) and Dion Lunadon (of The True Lovers).  Dion elaborates on The True Lovers, his past and current bands, and recording. 

RR:  How did the formation of The True Lovers occur?

DL:  Post D4 I moved to LA. I discovered that Ben Maitland (True Lovers guitar player and co song writer) was also moving there and I always loved his playing. The first time I saw him play I was like "I want to play in a band with this guy". Anyway, for one reason or another it was to hard to get things off the ground (find somewhere to live) so he moved to Portland and I moved to NY. About a year after that he came to NY for a month and we wrote about half the record. After that he moved to NY and the rest of the members fell into place pretty organically. We knew what we wanted in our players, a good sense of groove and finesse. Not just standard hard hitting rock people.

RR:  What were some of the musical influences you drew upon when creating music for The True Lovers?

DL:  Mainly Blues and Soul stuff. Howlin' Wolf, Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, Andre Williams, CCR, Stones and obscure soul comps from the late 60's early 70's. We wanted it to sound like a real, unprocessed band. I was trying to move away from what I'd done in the past but still retain my strong points as a musician and a performer.

RR:  How did the recording process of the True Lovers album differ from other recordings you have made in the past?

DL:  Not wildly different. I've always been one to record live to tape. There are very few overdubs on the album and some songs are completely live including vocals. Minimal mics on the drums, generally 4 I think. We also tend to play pretty quietly. Because we were recording live I felt the room was important so I went to Mission Sound here in Brooklyn, which allowed us to set up the way we wanted and has a great sounding purpose built live room. Minimal effects on the record too. I distain plug ins so we used the real thing where possible.

RR:  Who did you work with when recording this album (ie: Producers, engineers, etc.)?

DL:  Ben and I produced it ourselves. Too many bands get pushed by labels to hire big name producers who have no idea what the band wants. I engineered quite a few D4 recordings and have recorded myself ever since I started playing so we knew what we wanted and how to get it. Looking back I should have done a few things differently like making it a bit more extreme especially in the mix. Oliver Strauss the owner of Mission engineered it. I was going to but producing, playing and working on gear I'd never worked on may have been too much. Or maybe not...

RR:  You have always got great guitar sounds on your albums. What types of guitars/amps did you use on this album as opposed to 6twenty by The D4?

DL:  We used smaller amps. The D4 recordings I did also have smaller 20 Watt amps. We used Fender Deluxe Reverb, Fender Pro Junior, 50 Watt Fender Bassman and Fender 2 x 15 for bass and a Vox here and there. Guitar wise we mainly used a 72 Fender P Bass, 64 SG Junior and a Fender Bronco.

On 6Twenty we used various amps including the New Zealand 60's amp Jansen 6Twentys. I used a Les Paul Junior and Vaughan used that same P Bass. Think Jimmy used his 72 Tele Deluxe.

RR:  Do you prefer recording on analog or recording digitally and why?

DL:  Analog no doubt. I like having to capture something as a whole and sticking with it. I don't want it to be perfect and move little blocks around a screen. I also like to overload the tape although that's not so evident on The True Lovers record. I tend to use little to no compression so the tape helps with that too. Digital has it's place for sure. It doesn't really matter what you record on as long as the performance and the songs are good. If it sounds good it is. We also mastered it, I feel, a bit more tastefully than they do today. We did not make it as loud as possible and tried to find a balance of what we like and what's out there today.

RR:  What are some of your favourite albums?

Changes with time, but some staples (pretty obvious). The first 3 Stooges records, John Lee Hooker "It Serves You Right To Suffer", The Sonics records, The S/T DMZ record on Sire, Exile On Main St. The list could go on.

RR:  You have played with a variety of bands. What are some of the other bands that you have been involved with and do you still keep in contact with any of the other bands you have played in?

DL:  My first real band was called Nothing At All! and is definitely worth a listen. Early 90's three piece. I played bass. The drummer Paul is still my best friend. Unfortunately the singer Tony passed away from Cancer at the early age of 21. We toured NZ relentlessly and built up a loyal fan base. Our only album came out on Festival records. Then I was in a band called The Snitches playing guitar. Tony was on drums with a boy/girl partnership up front, more of an edgy power pop thing. Then the Rainy Days, quite a unique band. Marty Sauce And The Source, [which was a] Heavy rock band where every song had the word "Rock" in it.

RR:  When did the True Lovers stop playing together and What are your plans for the future musically?

DL:  We stopped playing around the start of Feb this year. So we were only playing live for 8 months before we disbanded. Iv'e been playing bass in Brooklyn band A Place To Bury Strangers since early March. We just got back from Colombia which was wild and are working on our 3rd record.

This Weeks Play List:

1. The Stooges - Gimme Danger
2. Howlin' Wolf - I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)
3. The Orpheans - Turn Out The Lights
4. Painted Ship - Frustration
5. Northwest Company - Get Away From It All
6. The Morlocks - I'm A Man
7. The True Lovers - Cougar
8. The True Lovers - Bang Bang
9. Otis Redding - Cigarettes and Coffee
10. A Place To Bury Strangers - Keep Slipping Away
11. Shapes + Sizes - Tell Your Mum
12. Sunfields - City
13. BBQ - Justify
14. Them - Just A Little Bit
15. Ugly Ducklings - Just In Case You Wonder
16. The D4 - Baby in a Box (John Peel Session)
17. Ultravox! - Young Savage
18. The Mark Inside - Circling the Drain
19. Nothing At All - Busted
20. The Sonics - Keep A Knockin'
21. The Gruesomes - Hip-no-tyzed
22. The True Lovers - Guilty Pleasure # 9
23. The True Lovers - Obsession

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 3rd. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.