Tuesday, November 30, 2010

XTC Ten Feet Tall & Show # 328

In January of 1980, the UK band XTC released a single in the US for the song "Ten Feet Tall". The song was originally found on the bands third full length album Drums and Wires, but the single version that was released in the USA in January of 1980 was completely different than the album version, it was re-recorded. This single was also the bands first single to be released in the US, it was done so to coincide with their first US tour. The song itself was a catchy New Wave Pop song, the album version featured acoustic guitar while the US single version featured electric and was a bit faster. The album Drums and Wires itself reached number 34 on the UK album charts and number 176 on the US album charts. The album is notable for containing the song "Making Plans for Nigel", a song that reached number 17 on the UK Singles charts and number 12 on the Canadian Singles Charts. The album also produced the single "Life Begins At The Hop", which was included on some versions of the album. The album was originally released with six different track listings in different parts of the world.

The artwork for the single featured a stacked up tape measure. The design was simple and straight to the point, but it was also a visual pun of sorts. If you look carefully there are ten tape measures stacked up, it was also designed by Andy Partridge of XTC.  The bands previous album cover for their album Go2, was an anti-album cover of sorts featuring just text, poking fun at usual album covers. Regardless the catchy song featured attractive artwork and stayed true to the bands interesting album art covers that they always seemed to have. The single version of "Ten Feet Tall" can now be found on the two disc singles collection Fossil Fuel

The Play List:

1. The Ruts - Babylon's Burning
2. The Specials - You're Wondering Now
3. The Nefidovs - Absent Jackets
4. Weekend - Coma Summer
5. Construction & Destruction - The Oracle
6. Disco Zombies - Drums Over London
7. The Worst - Can't Stand This Love
8. The Smugglers - 5-4-3-2-1
9. Raptors - Kids All Want Something
10. Red Red Meat - Braindead
11. No Age - Eraser
12. Pluto - Pretty Little Jacket
13. The Wipers - Rebel With A Cause
14. The Soft Boys - Hear My Brane
15. What Seas What Shores - Pave The Oceans
16. Magazine - Give Me Everything
17. XTC - Ten Feet Tall
18. X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage Up Yours!
19. Siouxise and the Banshees - Mirage
20. The Mark Inside - Shots From A Broken Bottle
21. The D4 - Stops Me Cold
22. Ramones - It's A Long Way Back

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 30th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Can't Wait...The Story of The Jolt & Show # 327

Originating from Glasgow, Scotland, The Jolt consisted of guitarist/songwriter Robbie Collins, Jim Doaks on bass, and Ian Sheddon on drums. After playing around Scotland for awhile, the band decided to relocate. The band relocated to London in 1977 to join to music scene there, opening for bands such as X-Ray Spex and The Jam. By August 1977 the band was signed to Polydor Records. When the band signed to Polydor it was not looked upon too kindly from their fans back in their hometown. The bands first single You’re Cold b/w All I Can Do was released in 1977. The single has been called a single with a major label release and a small label sound. According to guitarist Robbie Collins the producer for the songs wanted a rough cheap sound, the result was their most Punk sounding release. The bands next release would be closer to the bands Mod revival sound. The band would release their next single in 1978 being a cover of The Faces “What ‘cha Gonna Do About It? backed with “Again & Again”. Their third single was “I Can’t Wait” backed with “Route 66” and their fourth single was released in 1979 featured four songs (“Maybe Tonight”, “I’m In Tears”, See Saw”, “Stop Look”).  Following the bands 1977 single "You're Cold" all of the bands songs reflected a Mod/Power Pop sound, they would sometimes be referred to as Glasgow's answer to the Jam.  The band was not a Jam clone, but were on the same label, were a three piece, and their name even started with a "J". 

The band released a self titled album in 1978 that has often been described as Power Pop with New Wave and Punk hooks. The album features tracks such as “Decoyed”, “Mr. Radio Man”, “No Excuses” and “Chains” all falling into a catchy rhythm. In 1978 the band became a four piece adding keyboards to their sound. The underrated album was followed by the Maybe Tonight single/EP in 1979, following this the band split. The bands album has since been re-released on CD featuring several bonus tracks.

The Play List:

1. The Kills - Pull At U
2. Pigeons - Tresor
3. The Details - The Original Mark
4. The High Dials - I'm Over You (I Hope its True)
5. Elliot Smith - The Biggest Lie
6. The Shakers - Give It Back
7. The Collectors - Don't Feel Bad
8. The Nocturnals - If This Ain't Love
9. King Khan & BBQ Show - Hold Me Tight
10. The Dundrells - Nothin'
11. The Isley Brothers - Testify
12. The Jolt - You're Cold
13. Transmitters - High Rise
14. The Autographs - While I'm Still Young
15. Cane - Suburban Gorilla
16. Ex-Boyfriends - Chinese New Year In Vancouver
17. Brian Eno - Bone Jump
18. Gang of Four - Sleeper
19. Magic Hall of Mirrors - Coke Mountain
20. The Clocks - Tick Tock Man
21. The Vamps - Love Letters
22. Wire - French Film Blurred
23. Iggy Pop - Angel
24. Ramones - You're Gonna Kill That Girl
25. Hot Panda - Fools
26. Stone Temple Pilots - Art School Girl

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 23rd. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cool, Calm, Collected...The Rolling Stones Between The Buttons & Show # 326

In 1967, The Rolling Stones released their fifth full length studio album Between The Buttons. In 1966, albums were being released such as Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, Revolver by The Beatles and Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan all highly influential records, but also records that expanded and challenged the boundaries of Rock music. While the Stones released Aftermath the year before, Between the Buttons has often been over looked not only given the variety of high quality albums being released at the time, but also in comparison to many great albums that The Rolling Stones have in their catalogue. The album has been said to have been an album where the band began to experiment with elements Psychedelic music. The band would further their psychedelic experimentation on their album Their Satanic Majesties Request. The album featured songs that differed from the Garage Rock and Blues based ethics that the band had been known for. The songs were catchy, but they still had a unique grittiness that the Stones have been associated with.

The only single released from the album was "Let's Spend the Night Together" backed with "Ruby Tuesday”. On the UK edition of Between the Buttons, those two songs did not appear. The album would reach #3 on the UK album charts despite its differentiation from the bands previous albums. The US version of the album would feature "Let's Spend the Night Together" and "Ruby Tuesday" cutting the tracks for "Back Street Girl" and "Please Go Home".  Those two songs would later appear on a compilation album Flowers. It should also be noted that in the US "Ruby Tuesday" reached number one on the singles charts, while the album Between the Button went to # 2 on the top album charts. The album was produced by Andrew Long Oldham and was recorded in two parts. The first recordings began in 1966 in Los Angeles and later that same year in London, England. Oldham's influence is prevalent on this album more than any of the bands previous albums, it would also be The Rolling Stones last album with him, they would have a falling out after this album. He employs a Phil Spector layered production style on certain tracks such as "Yesterday's Papers", "My Obsession", and "Complicated".

The first track on the album is "Yesterday's Papers". The song was written by Mick Jagger himself (usually he wrote the majority of Rolling Stones songs with his writing partner and Stones guitarist Keith Richards). The song is aimed at a sour relationship that Mick Jagger had at the time with Chrissie Shrimpton. Brian Jones plays a variety of exotic musical instruments on this song (and on the album for that matter). He played the Harpsichord and Marimba, Keith Richards supplies the distorted guitar. From the very beginning the song is different and it is obvious that the Stones were expanding their song writing abilities within the realm of Psychedelic Rock music. "My Obsession" is a rumbling track. Featuring heavy bass and guitar distortion along with a steady hard hitting drum pattern from Charlie Watts, this song is an interesting feature on the album. With its start and stop rhythm and rapid piano parts it's an example of a great track found on Between the Buttons. Another interesting track found on the album is "Connection". With heavy piano, stabbing Chuck Berry influenced guitar parts it is sung by both Richards and Jagger, but primarily Keith Richards sings this one. Keith himself has said that this is one of his favourite obscure Rolling Stones songs. Lyrically the song deals with the long hours spent waiting at airports and the pressures that the band were going through at the time. Both Richards and Jones were arrested on drug charges prior to the song being recorded, the song is also a popular live track.

"She Smiled Sweetly" is one of the slower songs found on Between the Buttons. Taking on a Bob Dylan inflection, It features heavy plodding bass and prominent Organ, it was also featured in the movie The Royal Tennanbaums in 2001. "Cool, Calm, Collected" is definitely a song with Psychedelic connotations, it has honky tonk styled piano, and Kazoo. It is also undeniably catchy. Other interesting tracks include the Raucous "All Sold Out", the electric Bo Diddley Rhythm of "Please Go Home", and the strange and seemingly Music Hall influenced "Something Happened To Me Yesterday", which lyrically addresses taking Psychedelic drugs. Overall, Between the Buttons fits its title. The band was in a creative, innovative period in their career, they were writing in between their earlier Garage R&B sound mixing it with Psychedelics. Following this album the band went full out Psychedelic on Their Satanic Majesties Request, thus ending their Psychedelic period. Between the Buttons itself is a great look into a small period of time in the Rolling Stones career that is often overlooked.

The Play List:

1. The Black Angels - Telephone
2. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Go Away
3. The Mods - Wasting My Time
4. The Worst - I Don't Want You
5. The Chessmen - Time Machine
6. Huevos Rancheros - Raunchy
7. The Bayonets - Stuck In This Rut
8. The Corn Dogs - You Tell Me
9. The Modernettes - Celebrity Crack Up
10. Amber Squad - Tell You A Lie
11. Armed Forces - Pop Star
12. Lightning Raiders - Psychedelic Music
13. The Valves - Ain't No Surf in Portobello
14. Joe Strummer - Ambush At Mystery Rock
15. The Black Lips - Can't Bring Me Down
16. The Prehistoric Cave Strokers - Baby And Me (Fast Version)
17. Johnny West - Wine In A Water Glass
18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mystery Girl
19. The Rolling Stones - Please Go Home
20. The Rolling Stones - She Smiled Sweetly
21. The Rebel Set - Poison Arrow
22. The Dirtbombs - Sherlock Holmes
23. White Stripes - I Can't Wait
24. Bob Dylan - Isis

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 16th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Modern World...The Story of The Modern Lovers & Show # 325

Originally from a suburb in Boston, Natick, Massachusetts, Jonathan Richman moved to New York following his graduation in 1969. While there he was became closely associated with The Velvet Underground, even opening for them on one occasion. Richman spent several weeks sleeping on the couch of Steve Sesnick, the Velvet Underground’s manager. He then relocated to a hotel in New York known for its rodent infestation and poor conditions, the Hotel Albert. After nine months in New York, Jonathan Richman moved back to Boston and formed a band of his own. The band that would be known as The Modern Lovers had originally consisted of Jonathan Richman (vocals/guitar), John Felice (guitar), Rolfe Anderson (bass), and David Robinson on drums. The band’s first live gig was in September of 1970. In early 1971, the band had some line up changes. Rolfe Anderson and John Felice exited the group, being replaced by Ernie Brooks on bass, and Jerry Harrison would join the group as a keyboardist. With these new members in the band, the classic line up of The Modern Lovers was now in place.

The band began playing live shows and building up quite a reputation through word of mouth. By the fall of 1971, major label attention came the bands way, first in the form of Warner Brothers Records. The band recorded their first multi-track demo session in Boston. The demo created further interest in the band, more industry label interest came to the band from A&M Records as well. In April of 1972, the band went to Los Angeles to record two demo sessions. The first demo session the band recorded was with John Cale in the producer seat for Warner Brothers Records, the second for A&M Records with Alan Mason producing. Bootleg copies of the John Cale sessions began circulating all over, including the UK. As a result even more interest in the band generated.

The band continued to play live and build up a stronger following and by 1973 they had signed to Warner Brothers Records, but the band was on different wavelengths. Jonathan Richman agreed to record the bands earlier material, but wanted to depart from the bands early Rock/Velvet Underground inspired sound to a more mellow based sound. The band intended to record more sessions with John Cale producing, but the sessions never occurred (they also coincided with the death of friend Gram Parsons). Kim Fowley produced material with the band following this at Gold Star Studios. Since the band failed to deliver a completed album, The Modern Lovers were dropped from their label. They continued to perform live with a new drummer, Bob Turner. Disagreements amongst the remaining band members ensued. Richman had no interest in performing the bands older, still unreleased material preferring to go in a new direction. In 1974, after a final disagreement about the bands musical direction with Jerry Harrison, the band split. Jerry Harrison would join Talking Heads, drummer David Robinson would join and help form The Cars, John Felice would form The Real Kids, and Ernie Brooks joined up with David Johansen.

Jonathan Richman relocated to California in 1975 and began working at Beserkley Records. While Jonathan continued working in his new direction, Beserkley Records compiled material from the earlier sessions done by The Modern Lovers and put together an album from the sessions that the band did with John Cale and Alan Mason in 1972. The album was simply titled The Modern Lovers. When it was released the album received attention even being hailed as “One of the truly great art rock albums of our time” by critic Ira Robbins. The album featured nine tracks initially. The tracks “Roadrunner”, “Astral Plane”, “Old World”, “Pablo Picasso”, “She’s Cracked” and “Someone I Care About” all originated from the sessions that the band did with John Cale in 1972. The remainder of the albums tracks came from the sessions done with Alan Mason “Girl Friend”, “Modern World” and the song “Hospital” was taken from the bands first demo session in 1971.

“Roadrunner”, the first track on the album has been described as “the most obvious song in the world, and the strangest” by Rolling Stone magazine. It was written when Jonathan was 19, and drew influence from The Velvet Underground song “Sister Ray”, modifying the Velvet’s three chord structure to a two chord sequence for the most part of the song. Lyrically the song references the modern urban environment of Boston, Massachusetts while driving alone with the radio on. The song is magically passionate and was eventually covered by Sex Pistols. It was also recorded several times by Richman. It would appear on the Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers album in 1976. The song “Pablo Picasso” was another unique track on the album. Credited to John Cale and Jonathan Richman, the song featured lyrics such as “Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole”. The instrumentation on the song was Jonathan Richman on guitar/vocals, Ernie Brooks on second guitar, Jerry Harrison on bass, David Robinson on drums, and John Cale on piano. The album was released in 1976 and had a big impact on the future of what would become Punk Rock and New Wave, often being called Proto-Punk. While musically stylistic with elements of The Velvet Underground and Rock and Roll, The Modern Lovers lyrically harnessed a feeling that people could related to with songs about awkwardness, dating, growing up in Massachusetts, the love of life and the USA.

During the release of this album Jonathan Richman released another album titled Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. The Modern Lovers became the moniker for his backing band and was not the same musicians as previously stated. The music on this album was in a different direction, a mellower more Acoustic based sound with Doo-Wop flavour and Pop elements. This line up of the band included Leroy Radcliffe on guitar, Greg Keranan on bass, and David Robinson on drums. Robinson would exit the group following Richman’s insistence that he reduce the size of his drum kit. D. Sharpe would replace Robinson and bassist Greg Keranan would exit the group as well, being replaced by Asa Brebner. This line up would record the album Rock and Roll with the Modern Lovers which was released in 1977. This album produced a top five European hit for the band with the song “Egyptian Reggae”. The song itself was an instrumental track, with a haunting melody. While the songs on the album explored different song writing styles, a highlight of the album is the song “Dodge Veg-O-Matic”, which is an acoustic Rock song about a totaled car. Jon went solo in 1979 with the album Back in Your Life, but returned with a new version of The Modern Lovers backing him in 1983 with the album Jonathan Sings! This album which is now out of print features a strong romantic outlook on many of the songs. This album has been cited as one of his best, with songs such as “Give Paris One More Chance” and “That Summer Feeling”.

In 1981, another compilation album was released featuring recordings that the band did with Kim Fowley in 1972 as The Original Modern Lovers. The title was a little bit misleading, since the recordings did not feature the “classic” line up of The Modern Lovers. Released on Bomp Records, the songs serve as a document of early incarnations of Modern Lovers songs featuring two takes of “Roadrunner”, and several previously unreleased songs. Songs such as “Walk Up The Street”, “Sleep In Your Arms”, “Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste”, and “Dance With Me”. Jonathan continued to release records with the Modern Lovers backing him until the 1988 album Modern Lovers 88. He continues to perform solo, usually acoustically. While he never did return to the early Modern Lovers Rock sound, Jonathan Richman has gone down in music history as one of the most unique, eccentric and unpredictable musicians to come out of Boston.

This Week's Play List:

1. Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso
2. Square Root of Margret - WYSIWYG
3. Thee Dueces - You Gotta Try
4. Tom Northcott Trio - Just Don't
5. Ritchie Knight & The Mid-Nights - Work Song
6. Thee Mighty Caesars - Now I Know
7. Modern Lovers - Government Center
8. Ray Charles - Isn't It Wonderful
9. Otis Redding - Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out
10. Them - One More Time (Single Version)
11. The Plimsouls - I Can't Turn You Loose
12. Mike Jones Group - Funny Feeling
13. Micronite Filters - Let's Get Drunk
14. Micronite Filters - One-Eyed Stew
15. Sunbear - Living Dead
16. Guided By Voices - Cut-Out Witch
17. The Visitors - Sad TV
18. Dee Dee Ramone & The Chinese Dragons - Bad Little Go Go Girl
19. The Mark Inside - There Is Nothing To Admit
20. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Dodge Veg-O-Matic
21. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Egyptian Reggae
22. Modern Lovers - Road Runner (Alternate Version)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 9th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

CJAM Pledge Drive 2010 & Show 324

Today was my annual pledge drive show. Some money was raised for pledge drive this year on my show, but pledge drive runs until November 5th. Tonight there is a film screening at Phog Lounge in Windsor at 9 PM of a documentary about CJAM FM's frequency change that occurred last October, entitled Voice of the Underground. The event is FREE, but any donations received during the night’s activities will go towards CJAM and their pledge drive to increase their signal strength. Also being screened is Neil Young's Le Noise documentary. If you would like to donate to CJAM you can visit cjam.ca to make a pledge and support campus community radio.

1. Nick Lowe - Shake That Rat
2. New Town Animals - Fashion Fall Out
3. Money Brother - Just Another Summer
4. The Detentions - Ain't So Bad
5. Hot Nasties - I Am A Confused Teenager
6. The Clash - Pressure Drop

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 2nd. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.