Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nick Lowe ...Labour of Lust & Show # 349

In 1979, Nick Lowe released his second full length album Labour of Lust. The album featured members of the band Rockpile (a band that had a strong Rockabilly and Power Pop influence), it was also recorded at the same time as Dave Edmunds (a member of Rockpile) solo album Repeat When Necessary. It should also be noted that Rockpile was Nick Lowe’s touring and studio band. They were sometimes referred to as Rockpile, Nick Lowe and Rockpile or Dave Edumunds and Rokcpile. Both albums were also produced by Lowe, which further adds to his reputation as "The Basher", which is a nick name Lowe was given for bashing out records because of his production style.  Lowe once described his production style as this to Rolling Stone to "bash it now; tart it up later".   Labour of Lust is notable for containing Lowe’s only US chart topping hit “Cruel To Be Kind”. The song originated from an earlier band that Lowe was in called Brinsley Schwarz and when it was released as a single it went to number twelve on both the US and UK singles charts.

After being out of print for nearly twenty years (it was released on CD in 1990), Yep Roc have reissued Labour of Lust, remastering it and including a bonus track (the country folk flavoured “Basing Street”) and a twelve page booklet. Originally the US and UK versions of the album had different track listing, the UK version of the album featured the song “Endless Grey Ribbon”, while the US album substituted that track for the song “American Squirm”, which was a B-side featuring members of Elvis Costello & The Attractions. This new edition of the album appends the track listing to include both “Endless Grey Ribbon” and “American Squirm”. Overall, the album mixed elements of Lowe’s Power Pop style, which is sometimes defined as New Wave as well as songs verging into Roots Rock territory at times. The album has remained out of print for so long, some people may have forgotten about it, but it stands as a strong document of a great song writer.

This Week's Play List:

1. Crystal Stilts - Through The Floor
2. The Moving Units - Until She Says
3. Arctic Monkeys - Brick By Brick
4. Elk - Shaking Hands
5. The Ascot Royals - Zap Zap
6. Wildlife - When I Get Home
7. Code Pie - Operator
8. Nicole Markham - Police & Thieves
9. Lonesome Lefty - Diga Diga Doo
10. Elvis Presley - Trying To Get To You
11. Prince Buster - Ghost Dance
12. The Specials - Concrete Jungle
13. Dub Spencer & Trance Hill - London Calling
14. Shake - Culture Shock
15. The Demics - The Least You Can Do
16. Elad's Guitar Army - Rattlesnake Tongue
17. Orphan Choir - Picture Book of Saints
18. The Misfits - Some Kinda Hate
19. Shannon And The Clams - Sleep Talk
20. Nick Lowe - Switchboard Susan
21. Iggy Pop - Curiosity
22. The Rapture - Notes
23. White Stripes - When I Hear My Name
24. True Lovers - Temptress
25. The Black Angels - Haunting At 1300 McKinley

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 26. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Modern Art...The Black Lips & Show # 348

Atlanta Garage Rock band The Black Lips will release their sixth full length album Arabia Mountain on June 7th via Vice Records. The band who describes their music as “Flower Punk” worked on this record with producer Mark Ronson of Duran Duran, Amy Winehouse, Lilly Allen, and The Kaiser Chiefs producing fame, making it the first time the band has used an outside producer. A large majority of the albums tracks were reportedly recorded in a ten day session, two tracks were also produced by Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter. This highly anticipated album has already had two singles released in preparation for the albums unveiling “Go Out and Get It”, a Pundt produced track is a song portraying the bands Pop style similar to the Good Bad Not Evil album cut “Bad Kids”, while “Modern Art” produced by Ronson, is The Black Lips at their dirty nugget styled Garage Rock finest, complete with a theremin. Two videos for these songs have been made available online, a tour is currently in progress to road test the material.

Todays show was also co-hosted with Derk of CJAM's The Surfphony of Derstruction. His last show will air tonight at 7 PM on CJAM 99.1 FM and can also be streamed at http://www.cjam.ca/

This Weeks Play List:

1. Bell - Hang Around
2. Sonic's Rendezvous Band - Electrophonic Tonic
3. Northern Primitive - One Click
4. The Bedwells - Karate Again
5. 63 Monroe - Side B 5
6. The Tranzmitors - Beating Up My Heart
7. Talking Heads - Cities
8. Ian North - Hollywood Babylon
9. Fast Romantics - Pretty Strangers
10. Twin Library - Beware of Bees
11. Johnny West - Blue Cheese Necklace
12. The Stranglers - Hanging Around
13. The Monks - Dear Jerry
14. The Sounds - Something To Die For
15. The Surfdusters - El Dementia
16. The Clash - Fujiyama Mama (Live Tokyo 1982 with Pearl Harbor)
17. The Dirtbombs - Cedar Point '76
18. The Psychotic Turnbuckles - Cool It Baby
19. Tommy Blake - F-Olding Money
20. Young Rival - At The Break of Dawn
21. The Rays - Elevator Operator
22. Nirvana - Turnaround
23. Tijuana Bibles - Reverse Psychology
24. The Diodes - Red Rubber Ball
25. The Cramps - Green Fuzz
26. The Black Lips - Modern Art

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 19. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Kinks ... Kinda Kontroversy & Show # 347

In March 2011, The Kinks released deluxe versions of their first three albums as part of a reissue campaign that will cover the band's first seven albums. The Kinks, Kinda Kinks, and Kink Kontroversy are now available in two disc deluxe format, featuring a plethora of singles, demos, outtakes, and BBC sessions from the band's catalogue. When discussing The Kinks catalogue, its no hidden secret that the master tapes from early Kinks recordings were not well looked after, they were often times destroyed, lost, or recorded over by Pye in the 80s, their record label. Unlike their 60s contemporaries (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc.) whose recordings have been preserved, it is nearly impossible to determine how many recordings may have been lost due to this fact. But despite this, many outtakes and demos survived, several of which are found on these reissues. From the period that the band signed to RCA onwards, more careful consideration and documentation of the band's recordings have been kept. One of the good things about these reissues is the sound fidelity. If you have purchased The Kinks 1998 Castle reissues, and compared them to the new deluxe edition songs, you will notice the sound quality is of a greater improvement. There is an apparent muddiness sound on the 98 releases that has now seemed to be cleaned up, possibly due to the location of better quality master tape recordings. This week, we will discuss a little bit of the two of the deluxe reissues, Kinda Kinks and Kink Kontroversy both of which were originally released in 1965.

The Kinks second album titled, Kinda Kinks was recorded at a combination of studio sessions. It was recorded during February 16-18 in 1965 at Pye Studios No.2 in London, England, “Tired of Waiting For You” was recorded in August of 1964, prior to any of the albums main sessions and held back as an early single for the album, with guitar overdubs occurring in December of 1964. The songs “Come On Now” and “Something Better Beginning” were recorded between December 22-23 1963 at Pye Studios. The album was recorded quickly in a rush between the band's 1964-1965 world tour. In a matter of approximately two weeks, The Kinks completed their second album with Shel Talmy producing and it was released in March 1965 in the UK and August 1965 in the US.

Kinda Kinks is an often underlooked album in regards to the band's catalgoue. The album mixes the band's early R&B sound, with elements of Folk, and Motown. Kinda Kinks is notable for having numerous songs sung by lead guitarist Dave Davies “Got My Feet On The Ground” is an R&B rave up sung by Dave Davies featuring that early raw Kinks sound, “Naggin’ Woman” finds the Kinks delving deeper into a Blues groove, and “Come On Now” is a early Kinks Garage track, written by Ray Davies, sung by Dave and also included as the B-Side to "Tired of Waiting For You". The rest of the album mixes in a variety of the developing song writing style of Ray Davies. Songs such as “Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ About That Girl” reflects an atmospheric Folk nature with its flirtatious Jazz beats, “Tired of Waiting For You” was the lead off single for this album, the song reflects the band's early R&B influences while at the same time featuring a slower groove. When released as a single it went to number one on the UK singles charts, and number six in the US. “So Long” is akin to “Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ About That Girl”, with its Folk coffee house style, the song has prominent acoustic guitar and with lyrics such as “Got No Time For Tears/There’s Music In My Ears” it reflects the band's situation at the time, there are also songs such as “You Shouldn’t Be Said” which is a Motown influenced R&B track. The album ends with the rather poignant “Something Better Beginning” lyrically and musically it reflects the future direction in which Ray Davies and the Kinks would take their sound.

Kinda Kinks also produced numerous singles and songs that would be released on a variety of US only releases (Kinks-Size and Kinkdom) and Kywet Kinks which was an EP released in the UK. Among these, some of the non-Kinda Kinks album tracks include “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy”, “Who’ll Be The Next In Line”, “Set Me Free”, “I Need You”, “See My Friends”, and “A Well Respected Man”. “Set Me Free” was released in May of 1965 as a single, it is a song done in a style similar to “Tired of Waiting For You”. The single is perhaps loved for its exciting B-Side “I Need You”, which is a raw uncompromising Kinks power chord filled Rock song right from the start of its initial bursting feedback and infectious harmonies. “See My Friends” is a pinnacle single indicating the maturing song writing style of Ray Davies. The song itself features Indian guitar raga styles, dipping into elements of Psychedelic Rock and notable for being released prior to The Beatles “Norwegian Wood”, which featured Sitar. Lyrically the song was placed under some scrutiny regarding the subject matter which have often been misconstrued, lyrically the song has been said to be influenced by a stop the band made in Bombay during their 1965 Asian tour where Davies witnessed a group of fisherman chanting on way to their morning work. The next set of singles released during this period were the piano driven “Who’ll Be The Next In Line” and “A Well Respected Man”, which lyrically addressed British class economics and musically drew from British Music Hall influences.

Kink Kontroversy was recorded in late October/early November of 1965 at Pye Studios no.2 in London, England. The album was once again produced by Shel Talmy and was released on November 26th, 1965 in the UK and in March 30th 1966 in the US. The albums title originates from the band's onstage reputation, which at times earned them the nick name Kontroversial Kinks. Prior to the album being recorded, one such incident occurred onstage between guitarist Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory. After apparently being spat at by Dave Davies, Avory hit him over the head with the pedal end of his drum hi-hat, resulting in stitches for Dave. The media focused on the issue, but the band wanted to get away from it. As a result, Clem Cattini filled in as a session drummer for the majority of the Kink Kontroversy album sessions, Avory appears on approximately two to three tracks. Despite the drummer situation, Avory would re-join as the drummer quickly after the sessions.

Musically and lyrically Kink Kontroversy showed The Kinks developing into their own style and with a new sense of sophistication. The album displays elements of The Kinks previous R&B sound, but also transitional elements of what would become the band's future Kinks sound. A perfect example of this dynamic can be explained when looking at the first single released for the album “Till The End of the Day”, backed with “Where Have All The Good Times Gone”(also found on Kink Kontroversy). This strong single exemplified the end of The Kinks “You Really Got Me” style, with “Till The End of the Day”, but also contrasted it with the song “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” which demonstrates Ray Davies ability and development as a song writer. Not only do the two songs contrast each other musically, but they do so lyrically as well. While “Till The End of the Day” is somewhat upbeat and in a style most fans identified with (being one of the last songs in that style to do so), “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” is a lament, it can also be seen as a farewell to the Kinks previous musical direction and a step forward into the next, thus indicating the end of one of the band's first eras. Chart wise the single reached the top ten on the UK singles charts, and went to number 50 initially on the UK singles charts. Kontroversy starts off with the tense and raunchy R&B “Milk Cow Blues”, sung by Dave Davies, it is also complimented with the piano playing of session man Nicky Hopkins, who is featured on this whole album. Songs such as the ballad “Ring The Bells”, the laidback “The World Keeps Going Round”, and Calypso stylings of “I’m On An Island” all indicate the band's new sense of direction, which would be further developed on the band's next release Face To Face in 1966. “I Am Free” is a Dave Davies composition, in which he declares independence, “Too Late” an acoustic Blues number, and the final offering “You Can’t Win” that has dual vocals between Ray and Dave all add to the albums pivotal atmosphere.

The next single to follow was the song “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, which is an angry, satirical song furthering the Music Hall influenced style first demonstrated with “A Well Respected Man”. The single charted high in the top ten on the UK singles charts and in the top 40 in the US. Following the albums release and Mick Avory coming back into the fold The Kinks continued to make albums and also got involved in more controversy in 1965, resulting in a five year ban from the touring in the US.

This Weeks Play List:

1. Jook - Aggravation Place
2. The Gorillas - She's My Gal
3. The Kinks - Time Will Tell
4. The Kinks - A Little Bit of Sunlight (Demo)
5. Boats - Drinking The Lake
6. Obits - You Gotta Lose
7. Cake - Long Time
8. This City Defects - Recycle Thief
9. Timber Timbre - Black Water
10. Jack-O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers - Make Your Mind Up
11. Les Jupes - Mathematics
12. 49th Parallel - Laborer
13. Martha & The Muffins - Saigon
14. The Space Plan - Tread Lightly
15. Link Wray - Fat Back
16. The Fleshtones - Comin' Home Baby
17. Mach Kung-Fu - Bamboo Twist
18. 999 - My Street Stinks
19. Supergrass - Caught By The Fuzz
20. The Howlies - Howlies Sound
21. Young Rival - Untitled (CBC Radio 3 Session 2009)
22. Alex Chilton - Can't Seem To Make You Mine
23. ASK - Have A Gun
24. The Kinks - I Need You
25. The Kinks - Till The End of The Day (BBC Session)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 12. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Wild Child ... Lou Reed 1972 & Show # 346

In June of 1972, Lou Reed released his first solo album. The self titled album featured ten songs, several of which were unreleased songs that he had previously written with Velvet Underground. At this point in 1972, Velvet Underground were not as renowned as they now are and the songs that are found on Lou's first solo album were not released in any form yet. The album was recorded in December of 1971 and January 1972 at Morgan Studios in London, England with Richard Robinson in the producer seat. The album featured five songs that were recorded during the Velvet Undergrounds Loaded album sessions (“Walk and Talk It”, “I Love You”, “Love Makes You Feel”, “Ride Into The Sun”, and “Ocean”) and “I Can’t Stand It”, “Lisa Says”, which would later surface on Velvet Underground outtake compilation album VU. There are also songs such as “Going Down” which is one of the two new compositions created for this album, and the song “Berlin” both of which would later be re-recorded for the Lou Reed album Berlin. One of the clear highlights found on Lou Reed, is the song “Wild Child”. This raucous track is done in the spirit of Lou’s influential Rock music style.

The album cover for Lou Reed was done by UK artist Tom Adams, who has a large body of work, but is perhaps best known for his work designing the covers for novels. He has created covers for the novels of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, John Fowles, and many others. On Tom Adams website (http://www.tomadamsuncovered.co.uk) he had this to say of working with Lou Reed:

"It was good to meet Lou Reed and talk about his brilliant music and poetic lyrics. I'm not sure I did them justice but it was great to be involved in his first UK album."

The album as a whole has often been said to be an album that the record company Lou was on at the time, didn’t know what to do with. If you look at the studio musicians recruited for the album, among the ranks you will find Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman of the Prog Rock band Yes, which is perhaps an indication of the reason for the album sounding the way it does. But if you listen to the album closely, it is simply an album of discovery, Lou Reed is exploring several songs structures and arrangements within the songs found on Lou Reed. There are of slower, sparsely spaced song arrangements, but there are also upbeat Rock songs that rise and fall with the album. It was at the time a highly anticipated release, when Lou Reed was released it went to number 189 on the Billboard 200 album charts. The album, while it is often forgotten about, is a historical document of where Lou Reed would take his music and an indication of a musician in transition. Lou Reed’s next release Transformer, would be in December of the same year (1972) and was produced by Mick Ronson and David Bowie. Transformer had both greater critical and commercial acclaim.

The Play List:

1. The Spys - Welcome to the Cruel World
2. Prehistoric Cave Strokers - Urine You're Out
3. The Gories - I Think I've Had It
4. C'Mon - Mirrors
5. Papermaps - Exit
6. The Modernettes - Teen City
7. Dirty Looks - 12 O'Clock High
8. Jemmy Leggs - Fireworks
9. The Leisure Units - Best Way
10. The Raveonettes - Recharge & Revolt
11. The Wolfmen - The Cowboy's Dream
12. The Mekons - Abernant 1984/5
13. Ghost Wave - Sunsetter
14. Sun Wizard - Golden Girl
15. My Son The Hurricane - Honour Among Thieves
16. Peter Case - Round Trip Stranger Blues
17. The Mods - If You Got To Go
18. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - No Hiding Place
19. REM - Aligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter
20. Hater - Downpour At Mt.Angel
21. Lou Reed - Walk And Talk It
22. Lou Reed - Wild Child
23. The Damned - New Rose
24. The D4 - What I Want

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 5. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.