Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ed Kuepper ... Electrical Storm & Show # 354

Following his tenure with The Saints, Australia’s Ed Kuepper went on to form The Laughing Clowns, a band that explored Kuepper’s more experimental Post Punk nature often venturing into the Jazz genre. The Laughing Clowns split just before the New Year in 1984, one final album from The Laughing Clowns Ghosts of An Ideal Wife followed in 1985. Kuepper then began work on Electrical Storm, his first album as a solo artist. The music on Kuepper’s debut album was a departure from the sounds that were exemplified with The Saints and The Laughing Clowns, it was something different that at times made a foray into the realm of Pop. The band on Electrical Storm was a three piece featuring Nick Fisher on drums, Louis Tillet on piano and Ed Kuepper on guitar, bass, and vocals. The album features eleven songs, all of which reflect a narrative, emotive like quality. Kuepper in addition to writing the songs plays nearly every instrument on the album. The music on the album is more traditional than his previous Laughing Clown efforts, the horns have been left behind instead there is a more straightforward, raw edged sound approach. Several of the songs on this album would later become staples in Kuepper’s live sets song such as “Car Headlights” a song often described as one his most enduring, “No More Sentimental Jokes”, “When The Sweet Turns Sour” a song whose title comes from a quote in the Spiderman cartoon series, displaying Kuepper’s sense of humour and at times having a riff not unlike the Spiderman theme, “Rainy Night” and the intensifying title track “Electrical Storm”.

The album itself has soft and more upbeat songs, but they ooze with a gritty mature honesty. Being the first proper solo album, it has been hinted that some of the songs found on this album were collected from over the years and then recorded quickly. Acoustic guitar runs throughout the album often in unison with electric guitar, a technique that was employed as early as the late 70s with The Saints, but this album comes off with its own unique quality. Electrical Storm has the energy that was evident in pervious bands such as The Saints and The Laughing Clowns, but at the same time is represents the new beginning and direction that Kuepper would take his music into. Electrical Storm would be the only solo Kuepper album that proved to be this stripped back and straightforward. In March of 2011, Ed Kuepper held several live shows in which he performed Electrical Storm in its entirety along with the album Today Wonder, which was originally released in 1990.

This Week’s Play List:

1. Young Canadians - Hawaii
2. The Evaporators - On Non!
3. Hot Panda - Mindlessnesslessness
4. The Pack AD - Deer
5. Le Butcherettes - New York
6. Chain & The Gang - Why Not?
7. Junco Partners - Swinging Sixties Boys
8. Frank Xerox & The Copy Cats - Judy In Disguise
9. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Spy School Graduation Theme
10. The Gamblers - LSD 25
11. Al Casey - The Hearse
12. The Pointed Sticks - Worse
13. Booker T. Jones - Everything Is Everything
14. Ed Kuepper - Car Headlights
15. Ed Kuepper - Electrical Storm
16. The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
17. The Gears - Let's Go To The Beach
18. The Marble Index - Everyone Else
19. The Modernettes - I Can Only Give You Everything
20. The Dead Boys - Ain't Nothin' To Do
21. The Victims - Television Addict
22. Buzzcocks - Time's Up
23. The Hitmen - Didn't Tell The Man
24. Exploding Hearts - Shattered
25. Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It (Live @ Second Chance Ann Arbor, MI 1981)

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You're Not The Law... Show # 353

In 2004, a band from Liverpool called The Dead 60s released their first single, the catchy Ska/Punk track entitled “You’re Not The Law”. Backed with the heavy Dub influenced track “Too Much TV”, it was released via the UK indie label Deltasonic Records. The Dead 60s signed to the label shortly after the split of the first incarnation of the band Pinhole, whose music was within the Pop Punk Parthenon. The Dead 60s drew Influences from bands such as The Clash, Gang of Four, The Specials and Dub and Reggae artists such as King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry. “You’re Not The Law” was released to a limited run of 2000 copies and musically it reflected a Specials and Madness like influence. With its siren sounds and ramped organ, some critics have compared it to The Specials “Ghost Town”. You’re Not The Law” was also issued on their first self titled album in 2005, along with a variety of other Punk, Ska, and Reggae fuelled tracks. Following the release of their second album Time To Take Sides, The Dead 60s split up. Members of the band have separated in to two projects some working with Paul McCartney’s son James McCartney and the others are playing with the group Venus Fury.

This Week's Play List:

1. The Rapture - Caravan
2. Vacant Fever - Always A Tourist
3. Erase Errata - Tongue Tied
4. Forgotten Rebels - Surfin' On Heroin
5. The Unknowns - Teenage Terrorist
6. Lowlife - Thinking Naturally
7. Stark Naked & The Fleshtones - I Broke Her Heart, She Broke My Arm
8. Neville Staple - Gangsters
9. The Nefidovs - Canadian Paradise
10. K-Man and the 45s - Wait For Me
11. Dead 60s - You're Not The Law
12. The Locusts Have No King - On My Way
13. The Gun Club - Ghost On The Highway
14. The Love Me Nots - Make Up Your Mind
15. Chang A Lang - Japanese Eyes
16. Bottletop Band - Fall of Rome
17. The Libertines - Death On The Stairs
18. Dee Dee Ramone & The Chinese Dragons - What About Me
19. The Clash - 1977
20. The Undertones - True Confessions
21. The Damned - Neat, Neat, Neat
22. The MC5 - Looking At You
23. The D4 - Evil Heart
24. The Regulators - What's In The City
25. King Khan & His Shrines - Land of The Freak
26. The Black Lips - New Direction

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sloan ... The Double Cross Interview with Chris Murphy & Show # 352

On today's program I interviewed bassist Chris Murphy of Sloan. The interview occurs at about the half hour mark into the program and can be downloaded in the links below at the end of the play list. But first some info on Sloan's newest album The Double Cross. More info on the band and their tour can be found at http://www.sloanmusic.com/.

This May Sloan released their 10th full length album The Double Cross, which also marked their 20th anniversary as a band. The album features twelve new tracks building on their addictive Pop Power formula. The Double Cross starts off with "Follow The Leader" a song penned by bassist Chris Murphy, the drum and tambourine heavy Rock song has a seventies flavour. The song segue ways into "The Answer Was You" which is a Pop song written by Jay Fergusson, it sounds as if it would have fit perfectly on their 1996 release One Chord To Another. The album also features "She's Slowing Down Again" a song by drummer Andrew Scott, which sounds like it could have been from the 1998 album Navy Blues. According to Scott, the song has been around for a while. Other interesting tracks include "Unkind", a Patrick Pentland number, which is the first single for the album and "It's Plain To See", which is yet another high energy Pentalnd song. In additon to these, other tracks of note include "Shadow of Love" a song in a similar vein as “G Turns to D”, the acoustic Pop of "Green Gardens, Cold Montreal", "Beverly Terrace", and "I've Gotta Know". There is also the song "Traces", a song written by Andrew Scott that features bassist Chris Murphy on drums. The Double Cross which in Roman numerals is XX means twenty, has many songs that fans can identify with and love, but at the same time it also has a fresh sound and feel to it. Sloan has now been around for twenty years and with yet another album and tour underway, they show no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The Play List:

1. Sloan - It's Plain To See
2. Sloan - Beverly Terrace
3. Johnny West - I Must Be Your Prey
4. Chocolate Watch Band - Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love In)
5. The Sonics - Dirty Robber
6. The Music Machine - The People In Me
7. Nick Lowe - Cracking Up
8. HIdden Pictures - Working On A Way Out
9. Square Root of Margaret - So Far Gone
10. Prehistoric Cave Strokers - My Baby and Me (Fast Version)
11. The Vagrants - Oh Those Eyes
12. XTC - No Thugs in Our House
13. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Down At The Rock and Roll Club
14. Sloan - Shadow of Love
15. Sloan - She's Slowing Down Again
16. The Strokes - Machu Picchu
17. The Fall - Rebellious Jukebox
18. Magazine - Recoil
19. Radio 4 - Dance To The Underground
20. The Papermaps - Can't Make A Living
21. Mark Inside - House of Cards
22. The Hives - The Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Generation X ... Sweet Revenge & Show # 351

Generation X were a British Punk band that featured Billy Idol (vocals), Tony James (bass), Bob “Derwood” Andrews (guitar) and Mark Laff on drums. After releasing two albums of the Punk Rock variety Generation X in 1977 and the Ian Hunter produced Valley of the Dolls in 1979, which showed the band expanding their sound into a more heavy Rock style, disagreements arose amongst the band members. Some wanted to continue moving into heavy Rock territory while some wanted to stay true to their Punk roots. It should also be noted that Generation X were never one to follow the trends of the 70s Punk hayday, while they adopted the attitude and asthetics that were apparent then, they took inspiration from 60s British Pop bands and were the first UK Punk band to appear on the UK TV show Top of the Pops. By 1981, all the members of Generation X had left the group except for Billy Idol and Tony James. The band added additional members to record the album Kiss Me Deadly under the abbreviated band name Gen X. The band added drummer Terry Chimes (previously drummer in The Clash) and James Stevenson on guitar of the band Chelsea. The album Kiss Me Deadly would also feature several guest guitarists from the Punk community such as Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), John McGeoch (Magazine/Public Image Limited) and Steve New of The Rich Kids. The album is known for containing the song “Dancing With Myself”, which would later be used by Billy Idol when he became a solo artist, helping to launch his career. What most people may not know is that several of the songs on the album Kiss Me Deadly were recorded just before the original members Bob Andrews and Mark Laff left the group, including “Dancing With Myself”.

In 1979 with the original line up, Generation X recorded their third album which would not be released until 1998. The album would be titled Sweet Revenge. Some of the notable differences on Sweet Revenge are the early versions of songs such as “Triumph”, “The Stars Looked Down” and “Dancing With Myself” which as a whole is similar to the version found on Kiss Me Deadly, but there is less guitar and the ending is different. The songs also feature less of the production based sound that encompasses all of Kiss Me Deadly. Sweet Revenge has more of a raw Punk New Wave edged production style. Songs such as “Anna Smiles”, “Flash As Hell” and “Psycho Beat” are some of the offerings that were never re-recorded for the Kiss Me Deadly album, but remain essential in the Generation X catalogue. Overall, the album has a chemistry that is apparent between the band members, it has a unique energy that Kiss Me Deadly seems to be missing. When released in 1998, the album was titled K.M.D – Sweet Revenge and issued on the German label Empty Records. In 2003, Generation X released a three CD anthology. One of the discs was the Sweet Revenge album with bonus tracks and an interview with bassist Tony James, making it the first time Sweet Revenge was released officially. In 2004, K.M.D – Sweet Revenge Extra was released on a Japanese label expanding the 1998 version of the album.

This Week's Play List:

1. The Ride Theory - Parking Ticket
2. Munks - Long Time Waitin'
3. Painted Ship - And She Said Yes
4. Thee Mighty Caesars - You'll Be Sorry Now
5. The Great Scots - I Ain't No Miracle Worker (version 2) 
6. Phoenix Foundaion - Buffalo
7. Kurt Vile - Puppet To The Man
8. Beastie Boys - OK
9. Jolly Boys - Emmanuel Road
10. The Aggrolites - In The Cut
11. Rabble Rabble - Why Not
12. Sloan - Traces
13. 13th Floor Elevators - You Don't Know (Live)
16. Pointed Sticks - Found Another Boy
17. Statues - Signals 
18. Tranzmitors - Look What You're Doing
19. Tranzmitors - Glamour Girls
20. Generation X - Girls
21. Generation X - Dancing With Myself (Sweet Revenge Version)
22. Wire - Mannequin 
23. Dirty Pretty Things - The Weekenders
24. Bob Dylan & The Hawks - Tell Me Mama (Live Royal Albert Hall 1966)

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

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Elvis Costello & The Attractions ... Get Happy! & Show # 350

The year 1979 was a busy one for Elvis Costello. He completed the album Armed Forces with his band Elvis Costello & The Attractions was on tour in American on the Armed Funk Tour and produced an album for The Specials. Controversy would be brought into his world, when in April of 1979 while on tour he made some drunken derogatory remarks about James Brown and Ray Charles that were taken out of context during a conversation with Stephen Stills and Bonnie Bramlett at a hotel bar in Columbus, Ohio. Costello apologized for the remarks at a press conference explaining the situation. At the same time The Attractions were working on and rehearsing material for their next album that would be titled Get Happy! The album originally had more of a New Wave sound in the same vein as Armed Forces, but the band were unhappy with the results. Elvis Costello & The Attractions re-arranged the songs in order to give them a Soul and R&B feel. It has been hinted at that perhaps the songs on Get Happy! reflected this influence because of the events that preceded it. Costello had this to say in the 2002 linear notes to the Rhino reissue of Get Happy!

“It might have been tempting to claim that I had some noble motive in basing this record on the music that I had admired and learned from prior to my brush with infamy. But if I was trying to pay respects and make such amends, I doubt if pride would have allowed me to express that thought after I had made my rather contrived explanation... I simply went back to work and relied on instinct, curiosity, and enduring musical passions. “

The band recorded the album in Hilversum, Netherlands at Wisseloord Studios to get away from the distractions and as Costello highlights in the above quotation, the band went back to work. The result was a twenty song canvas of songs painted with a Soul and R&B style. Get Happy! as a term has a few origins. In regards to Gospel music “getting happy” refers to receiving the Holy Spirit, but it is also the title of a song by Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler. The artwork for the album was designed by Barney Bubbles, who had done artwork for Costello and numerous other artists in the past, he worked as an art designer for Stiff Records, Radar, and F-Beat Records to name a few. It was made to reflect a retro worn out feel, complete with ring marks.

Regardless of the events the preceded it Get Happy! is an energetic Soul stomping album with twenty songs, many short, but straight to the point moments reflecting Costello’s rage, humour and Pop sensibilities. Songs such as “Opportunity” ooze with R&B and Soul, while “The Imposter” is an original Soul New Wave rave up. The album features two cover songs “I Can’t Stand Up (For Falling Down)” is a song originally by Sam & Dave and it was released as the first single for this album, and “I Stand Accused” which is a song that was regular feature of the bands early live sets originally by the 60s band The Merseybeats. “New Amsterdam” is a Pop masterpiece equivalent to the Pop stylings of “Oliver’s Army”, while “High Fidelity”, and “Riot Act” all stand on their own as Pop songs based on their own merits. The album features so many moments that highlight Costello’s ability as a song writer venturing in a different direction. The band is dead on, Bruce Thomas’ R&B grooves are amped up on this album and and they adapt well to the Soul inspiration on this record (a Soul groove was always dominant on Attractions records, but not as dominant as this one), while Steve Nieve adds Booker T. styled flourishes on organ and Pete Thomas solidifies the beat. Get Happy! also marked fourth album in Costello’s catalog of five amazing albums that were released in succession (from My Aim Is True to Trust), all of which were produced by Nick Lowe. When released in 1980, Get Happy! went to number eleven on the US Pop album charts and number two on the UK album charts.

This Week's Play List:

1. Television - See No Evil
2. Red Light Driver - Celeste Celeste
3. Starlites - I Can See You
4. The Sherlocks - Stefany
5. The Chessmen - Time Machine
6. Gorillaz - Hillbilly Man
7. Golden Hands Before God - The Ladder
8. Neil Young & The Sadies - This Wheel's On FIre
9. Street Chant - Scream Walk
10. High Mother - Tryin Too Hard
11. The Spys - Watching You
12. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Don't Mess With Cupid (Live At Max's Kansas City 1979)
13. Ramones - California Sun
14. Bok Bok - Misfit
15. Buzzcocks - Paradise
16. Beastie Boys - Lee Majors Come Again
17. The Soles - Broken Ghost
18. The Smiths - Suffer Little Children (Troy Tate Sessions Version)
19. Undertones - You've Got My Number
20. The Kills - Getting Down
21. The Strokes - Taken For A Fool
22. The Doors - I Looked At You
23. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - The Imposter
24. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Stand Accused

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