Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Citizen Freak ...The Story of 49th Parallel & Show # 336

49th Parallel was a Garage/Psych outfit from Calgary, Alberta. The band was initially known as Shades of Blond upon their formation in 1966 and released one single entitled “All Your Love”. Due to line up changes something that would plague the band until the end of their short career, the band changed their name to 49th Parallel. The name could have come from a variety of places. One being the obvious 49th Parallel in the geographical sense, which is a circle of latitude that 49 degrees North and South of the Earth’s equatorial plane. It also forms part of the Canadian US border. The other possible source in which the band could have gotten its name is from the 1941 British film of the same name. Over the course of a year, the band developed into a steady line up featuring Dennis Abbot (vocals), Bob Carlson and Dan Lowe (guitars), Mick Woodhouse (bass), Terry Bare (drums), and Dave Petch on organ. The band released three singles through Gaiety Records, which was an Ontario subsidiary of RCA Records. The bands first single was released in 1967, it was the song “Labourer” backed with “You Do Things”. The single displayed a sneerful hard edged fuzz guitar filled Garage Punk ethic, which would do well on a small scale. “She Says” was released next and it offered a more Pop based offering, the single was backed with the Psychedelic Punk track known as “Citizen Freak”. The bands third single was “Blue Bonnie Blue” in 1968 which displayed Folk-like elements lyrically, while musically it still harnessed the Garage sound that the band was known for. In the late spring of 1968, Dave Petch and Mick Woodhouse exited the group. Dave Downey was added as the group’s new bassist, while an Organist/keyboardist Jack Velker was eventually brought in to replace Petch.

During 1968 and 1969, The 49th Parallel embarked on a North American tour, with an ever changing band line up. During their tour the band would stop in and make recordings on the go. In 1969, the group had a successful single with the song “Twilight Woman” backed with the swirling Garage/Psych Punk "Close the Barn Door", the Pop, Folk and Psychedelic number stayed for seven weeks on the CHUM charts reaching a peak position of number 17, the single also had some moderate chart success in the US. This single was released for Venture Records, it was followed by the band’s second single for Venture Records in September 1969, “Now That I’m A Man”. The song with its Psychedelic Pop sensibilities went on to peak at number 22 on the CHUM charts, it remained on the charts for three weeks.

A full length album was compiled featuring the bands recorded single output and a variety of studio outtakes. This was done due mostly to the fact that the band’s line up was in constant flux and recording proved to be rather difficult. The result was the 1969 album 49th Parallel. This collection, released through Gaiety Records captured the bands early cutting Garage Punk sound with their Psychedelic and Pop influences into a single package. Immediately following the release of this amongst the battle of the ever changing band line up, singer Dennis Abbot left the group. Replaced by Doran Beattie, it was no surprise that the band’s sound changed with the addition of a new singer. With Beattie at the group’s helm, the band which then consisted of Lowe, Velker, Downey, and Bare began working on a full length album that was never completed, however a single was released from the sessions. 49th Parallel released its last single “I Need You” backed with “Goodtime Baby” in 1970, it failed to chart. This was essentially the end for the band. Later on in 1970 the band changed their name to Painter, releasing one album with two moderately successful singles “West Coast Woman” and “Crazy Feeling”. The band would then morph into the 70s Hard Rock band Hammersmith. With yet another name change and sound change the band released two singles “Feelin’ Better” and “Late Night Lovin’ Man” and two full length albums on Mercury before they broke up.

In the mid 90s, 49th Parallel started to receive a lot of airplay on classic Rock radio stations in the prairies which resulted in a best of collection to be released in 1995 on Pacemaker Records. This collection contained 19 tracks featuring the bands early singles plus further material of interest, in 1999 the song “Citizen Freak” was featured on the best of Gaiety Records compilation. In 2005 the bands self titled 1969 release was remastered and released with several bonus tracks, bringing the track total from ten songs originally to twenty one. Following the bands music career, Beattie would create All The Rage in Paris and would then go on to become a successful Country singer. Guitarist Dan Lowe would go into the producing field of music and invent the Q-Sound producing technique. While 49th Parallel was a short lived band, their music still stands as compelling Garage music with elements of Psychedelic, Pop, Folk music and what would become known as Punk Rock. They are often described as an unusual breed of Garage/Psych band to come out of Canada, they are an example of a unique Garage band that is not as well known as they should be.

The Play List:

1. The Diodes - Noise
2. U2 - Streetmission
3. The Stranglers - Hanging Around
4. My Dad vs. Yours - En Plien Soleil
5. Rah Rah - Waltz
6. Micronite Filters - In Search of Delights
7. Shilpa Ray and The Happy Hookers - Heaven In Stereo
8. The Veils - Bloom
9. Mean Creek - Sunlight
10. 49th Parallel - You Do Things
11. 49th Parallel - Close The Barn Door
12. Hot Nasties - Fashion Show (Live)
13. The Misfits - Attitude
14. The Rapture - Out of the Races and onto the Tracks
15. Second Head - Starglow
16. Wavves - Mutant
17. Blondie - In the Sun
18. Roxy Music - All I Want Is You
19. King Khan & BBQ Show - Crystal Ball
20. The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
21. MC5 - Back In The USA
22. Modern Superstitions - Beck & Call
23. Black Mountain - Radiant Hearts
24. The Black Angels - Sunday Afternoon
25. Action Makes - Sandworms
26. The D4 - Little Baby

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for January 25. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sex Pistols: Sub-marine Mission & Show # 335

In 1977, The Sex Pistols were recording what was to become their only official full length album and ultimate statement, Nevermind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols. One song in particular on this album was "Submission". The song was written after Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren told the band to write a song called "Submissive". Instead Rotten suggested a song about a sub-marine mission which generated the song "Submission", with the first line being "I'm on a submarine mission for you baby". The whole band is credited on this track (Cook, Jones, Matlock, Rotten) it was written rather early in the bands career. Drummer Paul Cook stated in the linear notes to the 2002 Sex Pistols Box Set: "Submission' had a classic riff that's been done millions of times before. We slowed it down. It was similar to that Doors riff in ‘Hello I Love You’, The Who’s ‘Can’t Explain’, and the early Kinks. We made it more subversive."

"Submission" was recorded numerous times in the bands career, but there are three definite versions that fans have come to identify with. The first being the album version found on Nevermind The Bollocks which was recorded at Wessex Studios in 1977, the second being found on the infamous Spunk bootleg album featuring original Pistols bassist Glen Matlock on bass, the third version is referred to as "Submission (Version # 1). This version is a more experimental version that was in fact mixed by Rotten himself and it features Sid Vicious on bass. While he was the Pistols bass player after Glen Matlock was kicked out of the band, guitarist Steve Jones recorded almost all the bass tracks for the album. Sid is credited as playing bass on the song "Bodies", while Glen Matlock, plays bass on "Anarchy in the UK". "Submission" was originally found as a B-side on the 1992 single release of "Pretty Vacant", but can now be found on the Sex Pistols Boxed Set. The album version also appeared as a B-side on the US release of the single "Pretty Vacant" in 1977. Another interesting note on the song "Submission" is that initial copies of Nevermind the Bollocks did not feature this song. About 50,000 copies were printed without the "Submission" track, but included a free one sided 7" single with the album containing the song and a poster upon the bands insistence. All future pressing of the album would have twelve tracks, featuring "Submission".

This week's play list:

1. Undertones - More Songs About Chocolate and Girls
2. Jerry Nolan - Take A Chance With Me
3. Quinn Marston - Can You Hear Me See Me Now?
4. Twilight Hotel - Ham Radio Blues
5. Lonesome Lefty - River Blues
6. Meat Puppets - Plateau
7. Broken Records - Modern Worksong
8. Jonathan Richman - These Bodies That Came to Cavort
9. Johnny Cash - Luther's Boogie
10. The Weirdies - DIY Lobotomy
11. The Ex-Boyfriends - Still Kicking the Slow Birds
12. Cut Throat Brivita - Pink Pills
13. The Mongrels - Play My Guitar
14. 14th Wray - Let It Out
15. Johnny Kannis - King of Surf
16. Guided By Voices -Teenage FBI
17. Radio Birdman - I-94
18. Soundgarden - Never Named
19. The Doors - Land Ho!
20. Nick Lowe - I Love My Label
21. Bob Dylan - Tombstone Blues (Alternate Take)
22. Bob Dylan - It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Alternate Take)
23. Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant (1976 Denmark Street Demo)
24. Sex Pistols - Submission (Version #1)
25. Deja Voodoo - Call Link Wray

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for January 18. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beatles Outtakes from 1969,1964 & Show # 334

On today’s program I featured a version of The Beatles song “I’m So Tired”, but the version played was one quite different than the one found on The Beatles 1968 White Album. This version was sung by Paul McCartney not John Lennon as it normally is. Recorded in January of 1969 during the Get Back/Let It Be album sessions, this version of the song is obviously not meant to be taken seriously and is just the band having some fun in the studio. During the Get Back/Let It Be album sessions the band played and recorded over a hundred hours of material. This included covers, jams, and material that would be bootlegged from a variety of sources. Some of the bootlegged songs include “Watching Rainbows”, “Commonwealth”, The Palace of the King of the Birds”, “All Things Must Pass”, “Gimme Some Truth”. The later three songs were re-recorded by Paul, George, and John for future solo projects.

The recordings took place from January 2nd -14th at Twickenham Film Studios and at Apple Studios from January 20th-30th (these recordings would be the ones used for the Let It Be album). In addition to the audio recorded during these sessions, there was also video recorded for a movie that was released in 1970 entitled Let It Be, which currently remains out of print. The recordings were documented in the film Let It Be, it also showed heated arguments and the creative process for what would be the final Beatles album. The film would culminate with songs from the famous rooftop concert. Initially the album was intended to be released in 1969 as Get Back, but the band weren’t satisfied with the results. There were several versions of the album mixed by Glyn Johns that are available in bootlegged form. Prior to the release of the Let It Be movie, Phil Spector was brought in to do some remixing. The album was released in 1970 after the Beatles had broken up and renamed Let It Be. While Let It Be was technically the final Beatles release, it was pushed back several times until Phil Spector came in and the theatrical release of Let It Be.  Abbey Road was recorded after this album and released first.

Another Beatles track featured on today’s program was the song “Leave My Kitten Alone”. This song was initially recorded in August of 1964 during the Beatles For Sale recording sessions. The original version of this song was done by Little Willie John and Johnny Preston. When it was released in 1959, it went to # 13 on the Billboard R&B Charts and #60 on the Pop charts. The Beatles version of this song was recorded in five takes. The fifth take was deemed the best and overdubs were added for the song, but it was never mixed. It remained unreleased until the 1995 Beatles Anthology series, which documented several outtakes and alternate versions of songs from The Beatles career.

This Week's Play List:

1. The Almighty Defenders - Over the Horizon 
2. Ugly Duckings - I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart
3. The Modernettes - Femme Fatale
4. Lost Patrol - Tell No Lies
5. The Blood Lines - Song Salvation
6. Geronimo - Hope and Fear 
7. The Government - Gunshot Wound
8. The Nurotics - Shark
9. Spectrals - I Ran With Love But I Couldn't Keep Up
10. No Age - Fever Dreaming
11. Swell Maps - Read About Seymour
12. Regurgitator - Making No Sense
13. Middle Brother - Me, Me, Me
14. Wire - Two Minutes
15. Clap Clap Riot - Don't Want Your Baby
16. The Mint Chicks - Welcome To Nowhere
17. AC/DC - High Voltage (BBC Session 1976)
18. The Beatles - Leave My Kitten Alone
19. The Beatles - I'm So tired (Sung By Paul McCartney)
20. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Love Comes in Spurts
21. Ramones - I'm Affected 
22. The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
23. The Ride Theory - Motel Woman 
24. The Pretty Things - Midnight To Six Man 

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for January 11. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Real Life...Now & Show # 333

In 1976, Howard Devoto who was then a member of the Manchester band Buzzcocks, stepped away from the band and the Punk scene that was to follow in 1977 after the release of the Spiral Scratch EP and just twelve live shows. Later on in 1977, he re-emerged with a new band Magazine. The band would be careful to not fall into the entrapments of what other Punk bands were doing at the time, Howard wanted to do something different citing David Bowie's Low and Iggy Pop's The Idiot as the bands musical background references. With a line up in tact featuring John McGeoch (guitar/saxophone), Barry Adamson (bass), Bob Dickinson (keyboards), Martin Jackson (drums) and Howard Devoto on vocals the band recorded their first single, “Shot By Both Sides”/”My Mind Ain’t So Open”. The song has its origins in Devoto's Punk/Buzzcocks past, it was an old riff that Pete Shelley gave Devoto (the very same riff would resurface in the Buzzcocks song "Lipstick") the result was a powerful song that would eventually be defined as Post-Punk. The song while it contained the energy and urgency of Punk, also featured seemingly experimental/darker elements. Lyrically, the song stemmed from a political argument between Devoto and a friend in which she said "You'll end up shot by both sides". This song was also a step in a new intellectual based direction in which Devoto wanted to incorporate into the bands lyrics. This style can be heard in its infant stage on Buzzcocks Spiral Scratch EP. Following the release of this single, which reached # 41 on the UK singles charts and the recording of one more single "Touch and Go/"Goldfinger", Magazine signed to Virgin Records. They then began work on their full length debut as the "Touch and Go" single hit the shelves.

Prior to the recording of the bands "Shot By Both Sides" single, keyboardist Bob Dickinson left the group, to be replaced by Dave Formula who would be added just before the recording of the bands first full length album, which would appear in June of 1978. The album which would be titled Real Life was recorded by John Leckie and would be recorded partly in Abbey Road Studios. In the 41 minutes and 24 seconds that are contained on this album, there are nine songs. Within these nine songs, there are complex often experimental musical elements and intellectual thought provoking lyrics that define the album and make a strong statement. There are outsider oriented lyrics and words that drift in amongst the textual and swirling keyboard sounds of Real Life. Some of the interesting tracks on the album include “Definitive Gaze” which lyrically draws on sci-fi filmic elements and starts the album with its hypnotising basslines and encircling keyboards, “My Tulpa” which touches on spirituality, “Shot By Both Sides” a re-recording of the song fleshed out more, it is less bass and thrashy than the original single version.

Also included on the album are the songs “The Light Pours Out Of Me”, a song which identifies with a sense of detachment and can be seen as anthemic and defining as “Shot By Both Sides”. The song “Motorcade” is almost six minutes and is a haunting pieces that picks up and slows down throughout, while lyrically it has been said to have been influenced by an article written about a South American dictator. “The Great Beautician In The Sky” is an almost demented Circus sounding song which heightens the element of outcast-based lyrics evident on this album, while “Parade” ends the album. This track is slower paced and sounds directly influenced by the songs featured on David Bowie’s Low album, and is an ill-sounding track that has lyrics such as “Sometimes I forget, we’re supposed to be in love, sometimes I forget my position”, which can be seen as relating to Devoto’s experience with his Punk beginnings and a sombre way to end out the album, drenched with synthesizers, piano, and keyboards. Real Life is at times a complex album that addresses music intellectually and captures the essence and urgent nature of Punk, while drawing on other influences without wavering. It is unpredictable with a dynamicism that would redefine Howard Devoto musically, artistically and it stands as unique now as when it was originally released in 1978.

The musicians in the band should be taken note of as well, besides Devoto, guitarist John McGeoch who Howard Devoto met prior to Magazines formation, would go on to play with numerous Post-Punk oriented groups such as Visage, Siouxsie & The Banshees, and Public Image Limited. He has often been called "The New Wave Jimmy Page". Bassist Barry Adamson has been involved with bands such as The Birthday Party, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Visage, Pan Sonic and Depeche Mode. In addition to releasing several solo albums/recordings, Adamson also has been involved in a great deal so soundtrack work on films such as David Lynch's Lost Highway, Natural Born Killers, and The Beach. Martin Jackson would later join The Chameleons and Swing Out Sister.

The Play List:

1. Queens of the Stone Age - Turning of the Screw
2. Black Sabbath - Evil Woman (BBC Session 1970)
3. Pavement - Sunset
4. The Reducers - Things Go Wrong
5. The Rowdies - Negative Malfunction
6. Notekillers - Eyelash
7. The Cheap Speakers - Alibi
8. The Psychic Alliance - Tri-Scare-A-Tops
9. The Poly Shores - Llama
10. The Unsettlers - Cincinnati Shakedown
11. New Country Rehab - Log Train
12. Olenka & The Autumn Lovers - Odessa
13. The Kinks - Holiday
14. The Deadlies - Save the Waves
15. The Surfdusters - The Reef
16. The Cramps - I'm Cramped
17. Link Wray - Scatter
18. Big Star - She's A Mover (Alternate Version)
19. Talking Heads - 1.2.3 Redlight (Live San Francisco 1977)
20. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Stand Accused
21. Orange Juice - Lovesick
22. Magazine - The Great Beautician In The Sky
23. Magazine - Parade

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for January 4th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.