Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tommy Ramone (1949-2014) & Show # 519

On July 11th, 2014 Tommy Ramone (real name Thomas Erdeyi) passed away due to complications with bile duct cancer, he was 65. Best known as the drummer of the influential punk band the Ramones from 1974-1978, Tommy helped to define the band’s early sound that has since become vastly influential on music. Prior to playing in Ramones, Tommy played guitar in a high school garage rock band in 1966 with John Cummings (later known as Johnny Ramone). The band was known as The Tangerine Puppets and Tommy actually played guitar in the group, Johnny played bass. The group split up in 1967. Tommy reconnected with Johnny during the embryotic stages of the Ramones. Starting as a three-piece band, with Joey Ramone on drums, Dee Dee Ramone bass/vocals and Johnny Ramone on guitar, Tommy was initially supposed to manage the group.  After Joey put down his drumsticks to take up vocals, Tommy Ramone stepped in to become the group’s drummer. Tommy played drums on Ramones first three albums (Ramones, Leave Home and Rocket To Russia) and would also serve as co-producer on those albums. He assisted in producing 1978’s Road To Ruin, the first album to feature Marky Ramone on drums. He also has production credits for the band's live album, It's Alive and 1984’s Too Tough To Die. It's Alive was recorded in 1977, but not released until 1979.

Tommy left the Ramones to focus more on his interest in music production. He apparently first worked as an assistant engineer at the age of 18 on Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies album in 1970. Tommy would also produce The Replacements 1985 album Tim, Neurotica by Red Kross in 1987 and a few others such as Talking Heads “Love --> Building On Fire” single in 1977. Tommy also released an album as Uncle Monk a blue grass country group in 2006, featuring Claudia Tienan a guitarist, bassist and vocalist that was formerly in The Simplistics. While he has been involved in music production, he is still known as one of the four founding members of the Ramones, all of which now have unfortunately passed away. Tommy’s drum style mixed with the Ramones brand of music that would later be called punk music, but the music also featured strong melodies and can be traced back to influences of 60s pop music, surf music and 70s proto punk.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1975, Tommy described the band’s sound, which was drastically differed during a period of over indulgent mainstream music: "Our music is an answer to the early Seventies when artsy people with big egos would do vocal harmonies and play long guitar, solos and get called geniuses. That was bullshit. We play rock & roll. We don't do solos. Our only harmonics are in the overtones from the guitar chords." Although the Ramones did not receive mainstream commercial success during their time, the effects of their loud, fast and abrasive songs that are attached with catchy melodies are still heard throughout music today.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Gears - Don’t Be Afraid To Pogo
2. The Kids - Do You Wanna Know
3. Zig Zags - The Fog
4. C’mon - Easier Said Than Done
5. Mark Lofgren - Pocketful Of Bliss
6. Vibrant Fiasco - Lizard LIps
7. The Walkabouts - Got No Chains
8. Anagram - Evil
9. Le Butcherettes - Tonight
10. Fakes - Sabrina
11. Walrus - Glam Returns
12. The Bell Peppers - Campfire Waltz
13. The Specials - Do Nothing
14. The English Beat - Click Click
15. Holy Wave - Surfin’ MTA
16. Sixpence - In The Building
17. Inexpensive Handmade Look - What Good Is Up?
18. The Pretty Things - You Don’t Believe Me
19. The Flaming Lips - Can’t Let It Go
20. Indian Wars - Bullfrog
21. The Standells - Try It
22. Ugly Ducklings - Just In Case You Wonder
23. Light Bulb Alley - Eye In The Sky
24. Lost Patrol - Sellin’ My Mind
25. Elvis Costello - I'm Not Angry
26. Undertones - I Told You So
27. Protex - Listening In
28. Nirvana - Sappy
29. Ramones - Swallow My Pride
30. Ramones - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
31. Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Paul Jacobs Mouldy Love EP & Show # 518

Last we heard of Windsor artist Paul Jacobs he was heading out to Montreal, now he is in Paris France. Just before he took off for France, Paul came back to Windsor and laid down some recordings for his new EP entitled Mouldy Love. Working once again with his Jimmy Miller-like producer Josh Kaiser, Paul recorded again with Kaiser Sound Productions offering something different from April’s full length I Need A Place To Keep My Stuff. Normally playing as a one man band with a foot drum set up so that he can play guitar, drums and vocals all at once, this time around he went for a more full band approach. Mouldy Love was recorded with a full drum kit and bass, something that hasn’t been featured on any of Paul’s recent solo recordings in a traditional form.

The EP starts with the title track “Mouldy Love”, which comes off with a 60’s Kinks guitar sound, a collection of infectious handclaps and a bit of vocal delay. All of these elements bounce in between the primal drumbeats throughout this track. This song is probably one of the catchiest songs Paul has laid down yet. “That Feeling” features acoustic guitar blended with staccato electric guitar parts and driving bass rhythms. Lyrically the song seems to convey a feeling of strangeness brought on by insomnia with lyrics such as “I hear those church bells ringing it’s the strangest thing/All the people they’re staring waiting for more” and “I see an old man yelling at the TV screen/He never took a step outside his door”. The lyrics in the chorus “I’m so tired/It’s not fair/They can’t see me/They don’t care/I never want to wake up here no more” seem to further back up this strange feeling that is conveyed lyrically, musically the song is as strong as the distorted guitar solo that ends out this track.

The third track on this EP, “You Got Soul” first appeared on Paul Jacobs first self-titled solo album back in 2013, but actually dates back to his days playing with his three piece band Raised By Weeds. With the assistance of bass and a bit of re-arranging on Paul’s part, it is not as frenetic as the earlier version of this song. “You Got Soul” appears here with more space and builds up to the louder parts rather than crashing together all at once, while lyrically it tells us that “It don’t matter” what you do as long as “You got soul” you can do it your way. “Ocean City” ends the Mouldy Love EP on a more mid-tempo note. The song is dominated by a steady bassline and guitar that fills in the gaps of the spaces though out this song. At the halfway point, the song slows down and builds up into a force of riffs, drums and vocals with delay/reverb emulating the effect of a vicious tidal wave before it fades out with tense vibrations of feedback.

The Mouldy Love EP changes the process so to speak in terms of how Paul Jacobs has been executing his solo albums. While his previous releases were all unique in their own way, Mouldy Love takes those sounds and adds the bass element. This seems to combine both elements of Paul’s previous band Raised By Weeds and the sounds that have been dominating his albums and releases since Paul Jacobs first self-titled album in 2013. With bass it doesn’t sound too different to be drastically different. With the Mouldy Love EP, Paul Jacobs creates a new mould for his own sound, one that sounds fresh.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. Generation X - Kiss Me Deadly
2. Toni McCann - No
3. The Small Faces - All Or Nothing
4. Night Beats - Hex
5. Wolf Mountains - Hold Yr Girl #2
6. Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra - Yap Yap
7. DA SLYME - Crazy Glue
8. The Cure - Grinding Halt
9. Crocodiles - Summer Of Hate
10. The Vaporettos - Fortress
11. Total Control - Expensive Dog
12. Jimmy and The Smack - Come Down
13. The V.I.P.'s - Who Knows
14. The Zeros - Radio Fun
15. The Normals - Almost Ready
16. Jerry Nolan - Pretty Baby
17. Guitar Army - I Am Going To Detroit
18. The MC5 - Thunder Express
19. The Kinks - Come On Now
20. The Stems - Move Me
21. Monomyth - Candleholder
22. Wedge - 400 Blows
23. The Replacements - Little Mascara
24. The Modernettes - I Can Only Give You Everything (Live)
25. The M-80s - Seeing Things
26. The Strokes - What Ever Happened?
27. Cousins - At Odds
28. Paul Jacobs - Mouldy Love
29. Paul Jacobs - Ocean City
30. The Damned - Neat Neat Neat (BBC Session)
31. Young Rival - Elevator
32. Dirty Pretty Things - The Gentry Cove
33. Dirty Pretty Things - Blood Thirsty Bastards

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kestrels Interview & Show # 517

Remember in the 90’s when you turned on the radio and the term “alternative” didn’t mean overproduced pseudo-metal with auto tune? Well even if you don’t, Kestrels captures a certain moment of time before that when “alternative” was a new thing and was just as memorable as riding your bike around in the summer time with cutoff jean shorts and bright neon colours. On Kestrel’s newest EP The Moon Is Shining Our Way, the band pulls in influences of bands such as My Bloody Valentine, early Smeared-era Sloan, Dinosaur Jr., and even a bit of Eric’s Trip. Kestrels takes these influences into consideration, but they do not sound like a carbon copy of these bands, they add their own dynamic to the mix as well, creating their own sound. With just four tracks, The Moon Is Shining Our Way captures a certain hazy fuzziness that sticks with you like the summer heat. “Eternal and Debased” starts off the EP with the hazy fuzziness I just spoke of, while the vocals feature just enough echo and reverb to not get lost in the mix. “Wide Eyes” blends the band’s shoegaze sound with their mix of fuzziness, the song is catchy as well. The EP’s title track is a bit heavier, but with lyrics such as “Useful, strange and missing everything” that taps into a subconscious thought, it strikes a certain chord, making this a standout track on this EP. “The Double” features a slow heavy drone throughout before ending the EP.

When listening to The Moon Is Shining Our way it is noisy, but it is not too noisy. You can tell that the band took their time with the mastering not making it sound too loud, because having seen this band live in Windsor a few times they definitely are loud. The overall sound comes off with a warm analog groove, not modern or digital sounding. Originating from Halifax, on The Moon Is Shining Our Way, Kestrels captures a certain melodic noise, but they also emphasize a new exciting growth within the band’s dynamic.

Listen to the interview I did with Kestrels here:

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Ventures - No Trespassing
2. Habibi - Detroit Baby
3. Sheer Luxury - Depressing Song
4. The Violent Femmes - Gimme That Car
5. Tongan Death Grip - Watching You
6. Queen’s Rug - File Footage
7. Teleman - In Your Fur
8. Bo Diddley - Sixteen Tons
9. The UFO Club - Bo Diddley Was The 7th Son
10. Little Walter & His Jukes -Hate To See You Go
11. The Rolling Stones - Route 66 (Live)
12. Tom Waits - Satisfied
13. Greys - Use Your Delusion

Kestrels Interview

14. Kestrels - The Moon Is Shining Our Way
15. White Lung - Snake Jaw
16. The Vindicators - Searching For My Baby
17. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Today's Lesson
18. Thick As Thieves - Lie Cheat Steal
19. James OL & The Villains - Till The Morning Light
20. Uncle Monk - Round The Bend
21. Ramones - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (Demo)
22. Ramones - Chainsaw
23. Don’t Touch The Dancers - My Conscience
24. Ty Segall & White Fence - Crybaby
25. Lou Reed - Lady Day
26. Chuck Berry - How High The Moon? (Demo)
27. Guided By Voices - Bad Love Is Easy To Do
28. The Black Lips - Family Tree

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

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Black Angels Clear Lake Forest & Show # 516

In 2010, The Black Angels took us through a Phosphene Dream. “Phosphenes” are flashes of light brought on by movement, this was followed up with a collection of outtakes from this album called Phosgene Nightmare, which was named after the infamous chemical gas Phosgene used in WWII. In 2013, The Black Angels released Indigo Meadow and finally in April 2014 we were brought to Clear Lake Forest. It seems as if this Austin psych band has been taking us through a journey of body and mind, combining a mixture of strange psychedelic garage rock sounds. Indigo Meadow was a strong offering that featured some heavier psychedelic sounds, but on Clear Lake Forest we are taken to a place where the band has increased their sense of vocal melodies. The Black Angels also blend elements of the psychedelic sounds that they have been known for with a bit of grimy blues and 60s pop.

“Sunday Evening” starts off Clear Lake Forest with fuzzy 60s garage styled riffs with a bassline reminiscent of The Beatles “Rain”, as the song builds up to its chorus and the songs tempo speeds up. The song sounds as if you are walking through a hazy fog, before you reach a clearing in the chorus. With lyrics such as “I’m so tired of your fears you have dear/I am tired of those fears we have dear/we’re on fire cause those fears they have dear” the band displays a sense of positivity in the lyrics to the opener of this EP. “Diamond Eyes” is a bit slower, playing into the band’s lethargic side. The guitars feature vibrations mixed in with light organ and lyrics that tells a relationship of two people getting both people’s point of view. With lyrics such as “It’s better than letting things die” and “I’ve seen him cut diamonds with her eyes/I’ve seen her cut diamonds with her eyes/They both cut diamonds with their mind”, Alex Maas and The Black Angels display a certain ugliness within these two characters. A diamond can represent a lot of things spiritually, one of which is it can reveal the inner truths of people. In this song it seems to reveals these characters unknowingness of each other and the beauty they try to project on each other, but one that falls short.

“The Flop” comes in next with its 60s driving garage organ and vibrations, while “An Occurrence At 4507 South Third Street” delivers short organ stabs and drums, pulsing bass and sprawling guitar lines supplied by Christian Bland that fills in the spaces that this song brings forth. “The Executioner” displays yet another character, the one in its title who revels in his job and shows no sympathy. With the lyrics “If it feels good do it again/Twist in the wind/Do it again” and other lyrics in this song, they take on menacing connotations throughout. Musically the song features psychedelic guitar arpeggios with a hint of an underlying blues influence and a breakdown with vocals and guitar lost amongst a mass amount of delay and echo.

The album ends with the lengthy track “Linda’s Gone”. It is difficult to listen to this song without bringing up The Velvet Underground, as with all the band’s records there is an element of The Velvets. This song sounds like “Venus In Furs” and echoes of The Velvet Underground & Nico album mixed in with yet another blues element, but it also has a sort of Middle Eastern vibe. The song is a hazy and lethargic song that builds in its six minute and thirty-six second journey. This song also ends the album with an intense uneasy calmness. On Clear Lake Forest, The Black Angels once again display their strong dynamics as a band not changing their psychedelic sound too much, but by adding in a strong sense of melody and a bit of as mentioned earlier, grimy blues. The characters in the songs on Clear Lake Forest struggle with many different things, but at the end of the EP as we are told “Now Linda’s gone/And she’s moving on” we can see that the listener as well as the content of the album have finished their journey in seven songs at twenty eight minutes. As we reach the final clearing of Clear Lake Forest, we are left wondering where The Black Angels will lead us next.

Clear Lake Forest is being re-issued on July 22nd, 2014 on 12-inch clear vinyl.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Missing Links - You’re Drivin' Me Insane
2. Parquet Courts - Always Back In Town
3. The Lime Spiders - Slave Girl
4. Guided By Voices - Bulletin Borders
5. The Fresh And Onlys - Animal Of One
6. Television Personalities - Part Time Punks
7. The Only Ones - Breaking Down
8. Papermaps - Shadow Theatre
9. The Rapture - Pieces of The People That We Love
10. Damaged Bug - Sic Bay Surprise
11. Jaill - Stone Froze Mascot
12. David Bowie - Drive-In Saturday
13. The Clues - Almost Framed
14. The Marble Index - I Believe
15. Pointed Sticks - Telephone Song
16. Neil Young - Crazy
17. Locusts Have No King - Shotgun Wedding
18. Bob Mould - Little Glass Pill
19. Johnny Terrien and the Bad Lieutenants - Back To The Beach
20. 222’s - Always Around
21. Queens Of The Stone Age - In The Fade
22. Teenanger - Zons
23. The Visitors - Sad TV
24. The Police - Contact
25. Chelsea - I’m On Fire
26. The D4 - Exit To The City
27. UIC - Nashville Dreamin'
28. Ten Commandments - Feel It
29. Rumors - Hold Me Now
30. White Fence - Like That
31. The Black Angels - An Occurrence At 4507 South Third Street

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