Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Revolution Rock Holiday Special 2012 & Show # 437

This week's episode aired on December 25th, the first time that has ever happened in the entire time I have been on the air at CJAM FM. I played a collection of over twenty four not so average holiday songs. Check out the play list/download it below. I will be back in the New Year with a best of 2012 program and regularly scheduled programming.

Christmas play list:

1. Clyde Lasley & The Cadillac Baby Specials – Santa Came Home Drunk
2. Donovan – New Years Resolution
3. Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire – Mistletoe
4. The Pygmies – Santa Claus
5. Baby Eagle – Fearfully and Wonderfully
6. Eels – Christmas Is Going To The Dogs
7. Boxer The Horse – Material Xmas
8. Andrew Bird – Auld Lang Syne
9. Surfaris – A Surfer’s Christmas List
10. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – Faster Santa Claus Ho, Ho, Ho
11. The Bayview Village People – Merry Xmas Everyone
12. Mother Mother – Hit Er Miss Christmas
13. The Shins – Wonderful Christmas Time
14. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – All I Want For Christmas
15. REM – Christmas Griping
16. James Brown – Go Power At Christmas
17. James Brown – Hey America
18. Diamond Rugs – Christmas In Chinese Restaurant
19. Deja Voodoo – Bugs For Christmas
20. The Wailers – Please Come Home For Christmas
21. Reind Deers – White Xmas
22. The Nefidovs – Feliz Nefidov
23. The Sonics – Don’t Believe In Christmas
24. Keith Richards – Run Rudolph Run

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Five Star Rock & Roll ... Joe Strummer Day 2012 (Show 436)

This December 22nd marked the third annual Joe Strummer Day Marathon for CJAM FM in which we confront poverty in the Windsor/Detroit area to the soundtrack of the music of Joe Strummer and The Clash. I put together a program profiling Joe’s pre-Clash band The 101ers, which can be downloaded in the link after the play list below.

Prior to being in The Clash, Joe Strummer was in a band known as The 101ers. This pre-Clash band was different aesthetically falling under the category of Pub Rock, however if you look band a take a listen to the recordings that were made with The 101ers, you can see the sprouting seeds of Joe Strummer and a portrait of the artist he was to become. The band was named after a place that Joe and the group were squatting in during the mid 70s at 101 Wallerton Road in Maida Vale in the UK. The names origins have also been rumoured to be inspired by the torture “room 101” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The bands existence was from 1974 to approximately April of 1976. During the bands existence they did release one single the Keys To Your Heart/5 Star Rock & Roll Petrol in 1976 on the Chiswick record label after the band had broken up. They did make several demos and several live recordings were made, some of which would make their one and only album Elgin Avenue Breakdown which was released long after their break up in 1981 during The Clash's pick up in popularity. The bands musical output was built up upon their live set which heavily relied on numerous cover songs. Although the bands line up did have changes in their line up during their brief existence the band contained members Dan Kelleher (guitar/bass/vocals), Richard Dudanski (drums), Mole (bass until 1975), Clive Temperley (guitar/vocals), Tymon Dogg (fiddle/vocals), among others. The bands sound was built upon early Rock music such as Blues and roots Rock and Roll as evidence by the covers they would play live such as “Gloria” by Them, a variety of Chuck Berry songs, “Out of Time”” by The Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley and The Beatles. Just as the band was picking up in popularity, they even had a single coming out on Chiswick Records ("Keys To Your Heart"), everything changed and they were disbanded.

On April 6th, 1976, The Sex Pistols opened up for The 101ers at Nashville Room and something changed in Joe Strummers musical vision. As he famously has said in interviews and in Don Letts Westway To The World documentary: “Five seconds into their (the Pistols') first song, I knew we were like yesterday's paper, we were over”. Shortly after witnessing the Pistols in all their ragged Punk Rock glory Joe had split up The 101ers, joined The Clash with Mick Jones and Paul Simonon and for a long period of time The 101ers were kind of forgotten. As The Clash continued and grew in awareness in the public eye a compilation album was released in 1981 by the Andalucia label piecing together several 101ers studio demos/outtakes and live recordings.  Entitled Elgin Avenue Breakdown, the collection was put together by Joe Strummer and given a limited vinyl release.  A single of the song "Sweet Revenge" was also released in 1981. 

On this album the band displayed their sense of high energy Rock and Roll enthusiasm in the vein of bands such as Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & The Hotrods, Ducks Deluxe, but the songs found on this release also contained a sense of the early R&B Garage Rock sound that had been employed by British Invasion bands, most notably The Rolling Stones here. The album features standout tracks such as “Letsagetabitarockin’” a fast and clangy guitar driven track being one of the first songs that Joe Strummer wrote/recorded for the band, “Keys To Your Heart” the song released as their first single and played in the early days of The Clash, “Motor Boys Motor”, “Sweety of The St. Moritz” and “Surf City”. “Surf City” is a song accredited to not only Strummer but also guitarist/vocalist Dan Kelleher who would also sing this track live to give Joe a break in the live set. Joe always worked well in the collaboration setting even while in The Clash and Kelleher is also an important factor in this and several of the recordings that The 101ers made. He was a good song writing companion for Joe as was the input of Clive Temperley, Richard Dudanski, along with a variety of musicians that had been involved in the group.

In 2002, Joe Strummer was putting together the idea of re-issuing The 101ers material in one definitive collection, but the project was delayed and it would take some time to be released due to his untimely death in December of 2002. With the help of former 101er Richard “Snake Hips” Dudanski the collection was released in 2005 as Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited. The collection featured the previous songs from the 1981 release plus several outtakes and live recordings. Among the unreleased recording there were versions of Them’s “Gloria”, The Rolling Stones “Out of Time”, Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips” and others. From the previously unreleased 101ers material we have most notably the song “Lonely Mother’s Son”, a song that would be later reworked into The Clash song “Jail Guitar Doors”, it was also one of the first songs Joe penned with overtly political lyrics. Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited is a document of the Pub Rock scene at the time and Joe Strummer’s early Rock and Roll vision. And although up until 1975 Joe went by the name Woody Mellor (inspired by Folk legend Woody Guthrie) it would be a few years before he started composing his literate and at times political inspired lyrics that he would be known for.  The songs on this collection make up an early rough snapshot of the later Clash front man that we would come to know as Joe Strummer.

Joe Strummer Day/101ers Play List:

1. Letsagetabitarockin’ (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
2. Shake Your Hips (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
3. Hoy Hoy (Live at Derby Cleopatras December 12, 1975) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
4. Slippin’ and Slidin’ (Live at Derby Cleopatras December 12, 1975) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
5. Sweet Revenge (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
6. Hideaway (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
7. Steamgauge 99 (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
8. Keep Taking The Tablets (Live)(Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
9. I Saw Her Standing There (Live) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
10. Rabies (From The Dogs of Love) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
11. Motor Boys Motor (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
12. Five Star R 'n' Roll (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
13. Out of Time (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
14. Gloria (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
15. Be Bop A Lula (Live at Derby Cleopatras December 12, 1975) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
16. Unknown Song (Pathway Demo March 4, 1976) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
17. Surf City Interrupted (Pathway Demo March 4, 1976) (Smokey Joe's Cafe Bootleg)
18. Surf City (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
19. Lonely Mothers Son (Live) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
20. The Sweety of St. Moritz (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
21. Silent Telephone (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
22. Keys To Your Heart (Version 2) (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)

Download this 101ers podcast/radio program:
Revolution Rock Joe Strummer Day 2012 101ers Special

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ty Segall 2012 ... A Trilogy & Show # 435

To say that Ty Segall is a prolific writer is an understatement, in addition to what has been released previously by Segall he released three albums in 2012. He has been recording and making music since approximately 2008, where he has released music with The Epsilons, Party Fowl, Traditional Fools, with Mikal Cronin and has been involved with numerous other projects since then. Segall’s sound mixes elements of 60s Garage Rock, Punk and adds a dash of Grunge at times. Taking a look back at the three releases that Segall has been involved with in 2012 we can see not only how this San Fransican has developed as a musician, but also as an artist.

Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair
In April 2012, Ty Segall released an album collaborating with White Fence entitled Hair. White Fence is actually Tim Presley and has like Ty been involved in other bands. As White Fence Presley normally records and plays all the instruments himself. The album Hair starts of with the song “Time”, which is a Folk/Psychedelic piece that hints at the heaviness that will come in future releases for Segall. The intro which features a slow count down that is stopped by short heavy Garage Rock guitar stabs before the songs filters in. “Time” moves with an early Pink Floyd like rhythm mixed in with guitar parts that sound like they could be from George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album, but just as the lush melodies sink in the song changes directions (something that happens at various points on Hair). The last fifty seconds of the song sounds like something from Black Sabbath before fading out into the next track “I Am A Not Game”. This is one of the highlights on this Psychedelic/eclectic release, “I Am A Not Game” attacks with its retro organ driven riffs and clean/scuzzy Garage Rock rhythms, while lyrically the song serves as an indication of what Ty and White Fence are doing on this album, not playing the traditional game. They mix up familiar Garage Rock with Psychedelia in different ways in less than half an hour.

“Easy Ryder” features lazy drums and guitar with an almost Ventures Surf-like sound, “Crybaby” is Rockabilly with a demented sense of fun, similar to Alex Chilton’s Like Flies On Sherbert, “(I Can’t Get) Around You” and “Tongues” reflect a sound found on Psychedelic-era Beatles and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd records, but is also drawing comparisons from Ty Segall’s Goodbye Bread released in 2011. “Scissor People” is a straight ahead wild Garage Rock number mixed with a heavily distorted almost Grunge sound. Two minutes into the song we are juxtaposed with short clips of heavy jam sessions which have been seemingly spliced together like the last verse of “Yer Blues” on the White Album. The song ends with a bass and dual guitar attack rendezvous before slowly fizzling out. Overall, on Hair Ty Segall and White Fence let their hair down so to speak, creating a Beatles meets Piper At The Gates of Dawn-era Pink Floyd freak out, mixing those elements and everything in between.

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse
The second release featuring Ty Segall in 2012 was the Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse which was released in June of 2012. The album features Ty on guitar/vocals and his touring band Emily Rose Epstein on drums, Charles Motthar on guitar, and Mikal Cronin on bass (who is a long time collaborator with Ty). The album is as its title alludes to a heavy assault on the ears, compared to Ty’s release with White Fence in April, it’s like night and day. Prior to the albums release Ty Segall described this album as being “evil space rock" in Exclaim! also going on to say that he wanted to "do a total glam Stooges-meets-Hawkwind or Sabbath" sound for this album. The album also contains a heavy influence referencing the grungalized sounds once heard by Nirvana and Mudhoney, while at the same time still having Ty’s sense of melody and Garage style.

The album begins with the song “Death” which starts with heavily distorted feedback in the style of “LA Blues” by The Stooges and “Endless Nameless” by Nirvana before the song kicks in with its chugging riffs and catchy choruses. Other tracks on this album include “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart” a catchy Garage song covered in the albums heavy dynamics, “Muscle Man” sounds cleaner compared to the distortion we experience here, while “The Bag I’m In” is an unrelenting moment. The song which is actually a cover song from the Nuggets-era of Garage Rock and is a completely uninhibited wild moment on the record serving as a solid anchor point near the end of this album. It is followed by two more covers an extra fast version of Bo Diddley’s “Diddy Wah Diddy” and a cover of “Oh Mary” a song originally featured on Ty Segall’s 2008 self titled release. On these three tracks we hear the band and even studio chatter, we can tell they are bashing out loud Rock and enjoying every decibel. “Fuzz War” ends the album with its appropriate title the song perfectly describes Slaughterhouse as a whole. It is an experimental foray into differing sounds and landscapes which is what this album achieves and what Ty Segall has put forth with the three albums he has released this year.

Ty Segall - Twins
October 2012 brought the album Twins, a solo album released by Ty Segall. This album brings us back to songs that have a feel similar to ones found on 2009’s Lemons and 2010’s Melted, but the album also features some new musical directions for Ty. The album starts off with “Thank God For The Sinners” a slow driving fuzzed up Ty Segall classic, as “You’re The Doctor” forces its way into our hearts with its demented lyrics and fast driving frenzied rhythms. The album ventures into other musical avenues this is evident on the intro to “The Hill” which starts with an almost Gospel like intro sung by Brigid Dawson of San Francisco’s other prolific Garage Rock outfit Thee Oh Sees. John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees also appears vocally on two tracks here on “Love Fuzz” and “Handglams” connecting Ty with the scene on record (as he did with White Fence earlier in 2012 on Hair). It is also appropriate that Ty Segall is joined by John Dwyer on “Love Fuzz” a song that could metaphorically symbolize what these two musicians love doing, making fuzzy Garage inspired Rock music. Other moments on the album such as “Gold On The Shore” displays an acoustic/Folk vibe, while “There Is No Tomorrow” ends the album on a slow, but loud note. 

Lyrically Ty Segall sings of love and with a demented sense of fun on songs such as “You’re The Doctor”, “Handglams”, “Inside Your Heart” and on “Thank God For The Sinners”. On this song he sings “Thank God for the sinners/thank God for your love/in he morning I’ll rise above”, this song is symbolic of Ty Segall rising above his creative aspirations for 2012 as a musician and as an artist. While Hair explored Folk/Psychedelia and Slaughterhouse took us through a heavy Space Rock Grunge direction, Twins is almost a return to form with Ty playing almost all of the instruments on the album, yet also a step in a new direction. Twins shows us that we can’t pin Ty Segall down to anything specific, he can be loud and noisy, low key, subtle and just plain unpredictable.

This week's play list:

1.  Thee Rum Coves – Simple Little Lie
2.  Shitty Neighbours – First Mistake
3.  FIDLAR – Max Can’t Surf
4.  Carbonas – Hate You
5.  The Finks - Magic Eyes
6.  The Specials – (Dawning of A) New Era
7.  Madness – The Prince
8.  Chang-A-Lang – Monday Again
9.  Cuff The Duke – Side By Side
10. The Subway Sect – Ambition
11. The Cure – I’m Cold
12. XX Teens – B-54
13. Gang of Four – If I Could Keep It For Myself
14. Guided By Voices – White Flag
15. Sloan – I Hate My Generation (Pier 21 Demo)
16. The Beatles – Little Child
17. Pow Wows – Séance
18. Ricky Scott – I Didn’t Mean It
19. Ty Segall & White Fence – Crybaby
20. Ty Segall Band – Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart
21. Ty Segall – Who Are You?
22. Ty Segall - Love Fuzz
23. Mystics – Can’t Be Happy
24. Black Lips – Stuck In My Mind (Live At Third Man)
25. Black Lips - Oh Katrina (Live At Third Man)

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Beliefs Jesse Crowe Interview & Show # 434

Formed in 2010, Beliefs are a Toronto based band that features Jesse Crowe and Josh Karody. They are a three piece band who have now added Richard Stanley to the line up, they have also just released their debut single which is titled, Untitled. The single was released in two formats digitally and on cassette. The two tracks reflect certain influences drawing on a low-fi late 80s/90s sound. Bands such as Jesus & The Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine come to mind when describing their sound, they also add their own Dream Pop/Shoegaze style on top of these influences. The single serves as a teaser to an upcoming full length release that will be out in 2013.

I had a chance to speak with Jesse Crowe through an email interview. The following interview was done between myself (Dave Konstantino of Revolution Rock) and Jesse Crow of the Toronto band Beliefs. We talk of cassettes, recording and musical influences.

RR: How would you describe Beliefs music and what would you say are your biggest influences whether musically or otherwise?

JC: Beliefs musically is influenced a lot by both American and uk bands from the early 90's. We aim to create a sound that not only captures the era of shoegaze, but still feels like something new.

RR: You released your untitled single digitally and on cassette. What led to that decision? Do you still listen to cassettes?

JC: Cassette is a great type of release for a single. It creates a feeling of nostalgia and allows us as a band to present something physical to those who want to buy our music, but without the expense, hassle and waiting time of a 7" vinyl. Each tape comes with a download because we all know most people's biggest musical libraries are their computers these days. I'd love to say that I still listen to tapes, but mine are mostly around as keepsakes these days.

RR: Where did you record these songs and who did you work with?

JC: We recorded the two songs on the tape at different times. Catch My Breath we recorded to be a part of our first full length record (which is due to come out in March). Josh Korody, who is our guitarist and singer, recorded, produced and mixed the two songs (as well as the coming album) in two of the three studios we've now recorded in. Catch My Breath we recorded at the Cowboy Junkies studio with Noel Webb co engineering and producing as well as drumming. Kyle Connolly on third guitar and Pat McCormack on bass. Violets is a song we wrote as a b-side later on for the single. We recorded it in Josh Korody's new studio he shares with Dusted's Leon Taheny called Candle Recording. We switched drummers and guitarist on this track to Ben Reinhartz and Richard Stanley. Myself (guitar/vocals) Josh and Pat (bass) played on both tracks.

RR: Can you describe the bands formation and how you decided on your band name Beliefs?

JC: Josh Korody and I met at Pat's birthday party. Josh was new to the city and was looking for someone to play music with, I was depressed by the break up of my last band. I thought I would never find someone else who shared the same love for Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine as I did, so when started talking about our influences and desires musically, it was obvious we were both serious about playing together. Beliefs was a name that we tossed back and forth with a few other names, we all liked it so it stuck. No huge meaning. Just had a nice ring.

RR: How did you become involved with the Hand Drawn Dracula label?

JC: The first person to take interest in us was Greg Ipp of Unfamiliar records, through being friends with James at Hand Drawn Dracula, we peaked his interest as well. We came together with James officially during North By North East this past year at the time time as connecting with No Pain In Pop in the UK.

RR: Is this single is kind of like a teaser for the upcoming full length album? When will we see the release of this album and what can we expect from it?

JC: This tape is totally an album teaser. We wanted Catch My Breath to be the first single for the record because it encompasses the energy of the full length along side a bit of a throw back to our influences. The first record is quite diverse, half written by myself and half Korody, we play with sounds ranging from Phil Spector wall of sound drum beats to fuzzed out 90's multi layered guitar tracks. We are very proud of this album in its range. We are releasing the album in early March on Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada, No Pain In Pop in the UK and Manimal Vinyl in the US.

RR: What are the future plans for Beliefs?

JC: Currently we're just solidifying our live line up and getting ready to play with Dusted and Moon King coming up on December 28th at The Drake in Toronto. Josh and I are also deep into writing our second full length which we hope to start demoing in the new year.


This week's play list:

1. Lost Patrol – Second Time Around
2. Lost Patrol – No More
3. Light Bulb Alley – Who Do You Love?
4. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Dropout Boogie
5. NFG - Cowboy Rock
6. Runs With Kittens – Weight of the World
7. Johnny Cash – Wildwood Flower
8. The Men - Candy
9. Ty Segall & White Fence – Easy Ryder
10. Pissed Jeans - False Jesif Part 2
11, METZ - The Mule
12. The Pixies - Broken Face
13. Supergrass - Strange Ones
14. Nirvana - Even In His Youth
15. Marble Index – Everyone Else
16. Beliefs – Catch My Breath
17. Beliefs – Violets
18. The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog (John Cale Mix)
19. The Rolling Stones – Under My Thumb (Live)
20. The Hold Steady - Chillout Tent
21. Ian Dury & Blockheads - Sweet Gene Vincent
22. The Exploding Hearts – Shattered (You Left Me) (Alternate Version)
23. The Libertines - Up The Bracket

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

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Second Look Soft Pack Interview & Show # 433

In 2010, The Soft Pack released their first full length self titled album. The album displayed a Garage Rock/Indie Rock blend featuring the low-fi anthemic “Answer To Yourself”. The song attacked listeners with its Garage/Punk and Surf guitar licks while lyrically it addressed freedom of ones self while tapping into a feeling of youthful angst in the modern world. The album itself garnered much attention for this Rock band from San Diego, California, it made several artists to watch lists. It was also recorded quickly, in the moment to capture the bands live sound by Eli Janney at Saltlands Studio in Brooklyn, New York. The Soft Pack followed an EP which was entitled the Muslims EP which was initially their band name, but after much negative comments and misinterpretations of the names meaning they became known as The Soft Pack. After touring extensively and even playing ten shows in one day, The Soft Pack released a follow up to their 2010 full length. Titled Strapped, on this album The Soft Pack explore the very song structures and dynamics which defined them as a band in the past. The band demoed approximately thirty songs, then cut it down to twelve for Strapped.

Released in September of 2012, Strapped features a lot of diversity and what some critics have referred to as growth in the songs that they present on this release. The album develops their catchy rhythms that were found on their first full length release moving into different genres while still sounding like The Soft Pack. The first song on Strapped “Saratoga” starts off with the traditional fuzzy guitar sounds and rhythms that Soft Pack fans have come to expect. “Second Look” enters at the second track and its title proves to be rather fitting when considering the album as a whole. It explores other musical landscapes in terms of instrumentation, featuring a New Wave feel with Saxophone, as does the majority of the album. Other songs on this album that display Soft Packs new found dynamics include songs such as “Tallboy” which is a song flooded with synthesizer keyboards sounding like a long lost 80’s New Wave song, and “Bobby Brown” which is also another track that is discussed when referring to the differences on this release and their previous. This song has an R&B rhythm with an almost Electro Pop vibe. Other interesting tracks found on Strapped include the Gang of Four sounding instrumental “Oxford Avenue”, “Ray’s Mistake””, and the song “Chinatown” with lyrics that address the Mayan calendar, the movie of the same name and California water rights. The song has the same feel as a song such as “Answer To Yourself”.

Overall Strapped is an album that is built up with enough variety to warrant repeat listens that will reveal different things each time. The Soft Pack could have easily released another album similar to their first full length, but they took their time and put out something that was different and emphasized growth within the band as a unit. Strapped is an album that some people will love, some people will hate but it is an album that shows a band branching out. The term “strapped” can have a few meanings, the most common being that you are strapped for cash, but in the context of this album the term strapped can be seen as being ready to go. As in, The Soft Pack are strapped in and ready for what will happen next. This album conveniently titled Strapped proves that with these songs the band is ready for just that.

The following interview was done between myself (Dave Konstantino of Revolution Rock) and Matt Lamkin of The Soft Pack. We talk of recording, the bands past, lyrical subject matter and more:

RR: Strapped took two years to make - what made you decide to take a slower approach to recording this album as opposed to your first full length as The Soft Pack?

ML: We toured for about a year straight after the release of the first album. After that we were pretty burnt out. So, we took about 6 months off and then slowly started writing and recording demos. Mostly, we just wanted to take our time because everything around the last album was so rushed. It gave us more time -maybe too much- to try new sounds that are on the records we love, albums like Tattoo You or Reckoning. When we started out we didn't know what we are doing. We still don't really know. I would say these albums are documents of us trying to figure it out. The first one is more simple and fast because there was no time to write and it reflects the mood of that time period. Strapped is disjointed and varies a bit because these songs were written and recorded at different times and places. There was no main session or studio. That was the goal. We wanted to make an album that was kinda like a mixtape and took a few listens to decipher.

RR: I read that thirty songs were actually recorded for this album what do you plan to do with the remainder of the unreleased songs and how did you decide on which songs would make the album?

ML: There were a bunch of song ideas and about 30 demos but most of the stuff that is on the album is stuff that we rerecorded in a studio. The songs that didn't make it to the studio were uninteresting and unfinished. You wouldn't like them.

RR: Growth is a word that is often thrown around when discussing this album - would you say trying other styles and experimenting with different kinds of instrumentation (for example saxophone, synthesizers) is something that The Soft Pack has always wanted to experiment with? Why or why not?

ML: Everything we had done before was straight ahead guitar rock. There are no effects on the guitars except for some reverb and the recordings were pretty much done live. This time around we wanted to get out of that and try some other stuff, effects, recording approaches. We listen to all sorts of records. Guitar rock is only a portion of our record collection, so I guess the idea is to get our songs to reflect our record collections. It really doesn't stray too much from the old stuff it just shows an interest in trying something else. We still haven't gotten there in my opinion. But, it is nice to hear people say we are growing as a band. That is the goal.

RR: What is your opinion of analog recording vs. digital and how do you prefer to listen to music? On vinyl, CD, cassette?

ML: None of us have any loyalties to any specific format. Personally, I listen to what ever format I can find. Vinyl is nice but its hard to find anything other than mp3 of some obscure stuff and sometimes you have to settle for a cd reissue when original vinyl is too expensive or hard to find. I like cd's, though. I don't really consider that settling. I'm down with all formats. I like cd's in the van, tapes in a boombox at the beach, records at home, mp3 on the go. Life is too short to be a slave to a format. I'm a slave to the rhythm.

RR: What are your inspirations behind the songs lyrically? For example you have a song called “Chinatown” that is about water rights in California.

ML: I just write lyrics about whatever. Chinatown is about that movie, the end of the Mayan calendar, California water rights, the Eastern Sierras where my dad is from. I'm not too concerned with people being able to understand exactly what I'm talking about in a song. I like to leave it open. Sometimes its just about screwing around with words like in Ray's Mistake.

RR: You guys used to be called The Muslims and recorded under that name before changing to The Soft Pack – what do you remember from the time those recording sessions/songs were made?

ML: The Muslims really was a different thing from the Soft Pack. Matty and I were the only song writers for that material. We recorded everything at Jon Greene's house in San Diego. Dave and Brian joined after about a year of playing around California and any material after that has been Soft Pack. I would say the Soft Pack is material written by all four of us, whereas the Muslims was just Matty and me. Anyway, writing the Muslims songs took a lot longer because we were brand new at it. The recordings were done over a period of months, more like the recording of Strapped. Really the first Soft Pack album is the outlier. It's the only one that we didn't do at our own pace, for better or worse.

RR: Since this is your second album as The Soft Pack what are some of your favorite sophomore albums (2nd albums by other bands)?

ML: My favorite sophomore releases would have to be Dragnet [The Fall], Reckoning [R.E.M], Songs From A Room [Leonard Cohen] to name a few. But it gets confusing with collaborations, recording dates, band names or territories with a few of my favorite artists like Brian Eno, Ariel Pink, Joy Division, the Beatles UK or US.

RR: In 2010 The Soft Pack played 10 shows in one day! How did you come up with that idea? Also how long was each set and how were you able to sustain the energy to do that many shows?

ML: 10 shows in one day was Sean Carlson's idea. It was a good idea. It was a blast. Very, very fun but, I never want to do it again. The sets were about 20 min. and the whole day was about 14 hours. By the end of the day we looked like zombies and could barely form sentences but we were able to plow through it because it was a good time.

RR: What are the future plans for The Soft Pack?

ML: The Soft Pack will be touring UK/Europe in Jan. and Feb. After that, we will do another tour around the US and Canada in the spring. It would be great to have another album out in 2013.

This Week's Play List:

1. Bunker Hill - The Girl Can’t Dance
2. Them – Go On Home Baby
3. The Regulators - Brainless Wonder
4. The Demics - Nervous Breakdown
5. The Hoots – Ghetto Fab
6. Dean Droulliard – Out of the Blue
7. Snake River – Wake, Darling, Wake!
8. Diamond Rugs – Hightail
9. The Soft Pack – Answer To Yourself
10. The Soft Pack – Chinatown
11. The Soft Pack – Tallboy
12. Papermaps – Nobody Gets It
13. David Bowie – Station To Station
14. The Clash – Overpowered By Funk
15. Tranzmitors – Bigger Houses, Broken Homes
16. Tranzmitors - Dancing In The Front Row
17. Young Rival – Black Popcorn
18. Young Rival – Better Things
19. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – Copycat (Unreleased Live At Max’s Kansas City 1979)
20. The Rezillos – Bad Guy Reaction
21. The Black Lips – Everybody’s Doin’ It
22. The D4 – Get Loose

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