Saturday, November 22, 2014

Elvis Costello & The Attractions Pump It Up & Show # 535

In April of 1978, Elvis Costello & The Attractions released the single for the song "Pump It Up". Also a part of the 1978 album This Year’s Model, this single featured an album outtake entitled “Big Tears” as its B-side. The song “Pump It Up” begins with a bass and drum intro featuring Costello’s rhythm section of The Attractions, Bruce Thomas on bass and Pete Thomas on drums (there is no relation between the two). The song picks up with spiraling and dizzying organ from Steve Nieve as Elvis Costello supplies the quirky guitar parts and vocals that are both equally aggressive and have a sense of paranoia. Lyrically, the song has been described as being “underscored with sexual menace” as stated by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic. In the linear notes to the 2002 Rhino reissue of This Year’s Model Costello says that this song along with “Little Triggers” and “Hand In Hand” are “more cynical” and have “a guilty edge” to them as a result of the temptations and distractions of touring. This song is an excellent example of The Attractions musical abilities. Additionally, the album that this comes from is the first proper album to feature Elvis Costello and The Attractions as his backing band.

The B-side to this single, “Big Tears” is even more interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, the song lyrically is darker than it’s A-side, although both songs have an edgier construction. This song features 60s organ sounds by Steve Nieve along with the rest of The Attractions rhythm section and lead guitar from The Clash’s Mick Jones. His guitar is not noticeable at first, but once the chorus hits you can hear his undeniable style adding to the songs overall make up. Once again in the linear notes to the 2002 reissue of This Year’s Model Costello says that this song is the only “genuine outtake song from the This Year’s Model sessions. “ he goes on to say that he is not sure why the song did not make the album and adds further details behind Mick Jones appearance on this track. Costello notes that Mick’s band mates did not really approve of him being on that track and that he was originally brought in to play guitar on “Pump It Up”. “There is a version [of “Pump It Up” with Mick Jones on guitar] lying around somewhere on which he plays. However, he made much more difference to “Big Tears” Costello adds, summing up the tracks history. These two songs showcase both the frenetic and amphetamine paced rhythm abilities of The Attractions within Elvis Costello’s song writing powers.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. Useless Eaters - Walking In Circles
2. The Poles - CN Tower
3. Dan Sartain - Baby’s Town
4. Neil Young - All Those Dreams
5. Jack-O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers - Ditch Road
6. The Small Faces - Long Agos And Worlds Apart
7. Chris Crossroads - Dreams
8. Christian Bland & The Revelators - CB160
9. Paul Westerberg - Let’s Not Belong Together
10. Alvvays - Adult Diversion
11. The Twilight Sad - Pills I Swallow
12. Invasions - Born On A Wave
13. Paul Jacobs - Bag Of Bones (Do It Again)
14. The Gun Club - Sleeping In Blood City
15. The Gun Club - Mother Of Earth
16. Alex Chilton - Come On Honey
17. Teenage Head - Get Of My Back
18. Deja Voodoo - Big Pile Of Mud
19. The Mods - You Use Me
20. Actual Water - Double Negatives
21. Thee Oh Sees - Devil Again
22. The Black Angels - Bloodhounds On My Trail
23. Wreckless Eric - Grown Ups
24. The Stimulators - Loud Fast Rules
25. The Saints - Messin’ With The Kid (Live At The Hope And Anchor London 1977)
26. Chelsea - Urban Kids
27. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Pump It Up
28. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Big Tears

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 22. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Looking For Johnny Review & Show # 534

Looking For Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders is a documentary about the dangerous life and times of the New York Dolls and Heartbreakers guitarist. Written and directed by Danny Garcia, this film delves into the human condition as it relates to Johnny Thunders. To further add depth to this analysis there are interviews with a cast of characters who had a part in Thunders life such as Walter Lure, Billy Rath, New York Dolls manager Marty Thau, Sylvain Sylvain, to Lenny Kaye, Bob Gruen and Nina Antonia, among others. Born John Anthony Genzale Jr. in 1952, the film has a quote from Thunders where he describes his upbringing in its early moments which states, “I grew up with just my mother and sister and you know, you had to fight for every inch that you, every notch on your gun I guess you could say.” New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain also provides insight after we are informed of Thunders upbringing mentioning that there was always a void that Johnny carried with him. Johnny Thunders fought for every inch of his character and his career, with guns blazing so to speak, despite the excesses throughout his life.

In the early parts of this documentary, we learn of Johnny Thunders musical beginnings with his early bands The Reign, Johnny and The Jaywalkers and Actress, until he got connected with the members that were to become the New York Dolls. We see a young fresh faced, Johnny Thunders rise to popularity with the New York Dolls, but are also presented with the things that boiled beneath the surface of the band, as layers are peeled back we see the details behind the Dolls stage gimmick to how they were as people and how they operated as a band. We learn of the opinions of the band’s first album to their overlooked second album, Too Much Too Soon. The combination of the image presented of the band on their first album cover to the difficulties of the record label marketing the band and their introduction to drugs, all added to their eventual split. We also see how the songs on Too Much Too Soon particularly “Chatterbox” would lead to the sounds explored in Johnny Thunders next group, The Heartbreakers, who took their excesses to new extremes.

Another picture that Garcia paints throughout this film is the connection with people from Thunders past that pop up at various points throughout his career such as with drummer Jerry Nolan. The two had a musical connection that some might call familial and also Walter Lure, who would play sporadic live shows with Johnny in the 80s. But, with all this presented, Looking For Johnny is not all one sided. It does not just add to the myth that was Johnny Thunders of drugs and rock and roll, it probes deeper than that bringing to light the conflicted battles he had to deal with personally and as a musician. There is a great deal of coverage of Thunders post-Heartbreakers work such as his album In Cold Blood recorded with Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller, his life while living in Paris and Sweden, which also involved parts in several films to his time in Detroit as part of the group Gang War.

Bassist Adam Pearson of the English rock band Sisters Of Mercy provides a quote near the end of the film for more insight into Thunders character traits, “At the same time Johnny wanted significance, there was also this self-destructive pattern that would kick in when things were going too well.” Whether it be the early influence and popularity of the New York Dolls on what was to become punk rock, the conflicted mix on The Heartbreakers full-length album L.A.M.F. which caused drummer Jerry Nolan to quit the band, to his diverse solo career, this quote could be tied back to the beginnings of the film in conjunction with the later part of it. When we learn of the obstacles that Thunders dealt with prior to his death, we are presented with the facts and are not forced into one opinion. This method allows the viewer to contemplate and make up their own mind about Thunders controversial and tragic death.

Danny Garcia digs deep looking behind the haze of drugs that dominates the popular public opinion of who Johnny Thunders actually was. He looks behind the drugs to reveal the musician beneath, a prolific songwriter and at times a mystery. All sides are presented, the good, the bad in parts that make up the human condition in an unbiased way. Looking For Johnny helps to define the allure, but also adds to the influence of the career and life of Johnny Thunders.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Flaming Lips - Good Morning, Good Morning
2. The 13th Floor Elevators - Don’t Fall Down
3. Ariel Pink - White Freckles
4. Wampire - Bad Attitude
5. Drums Along The Gardiner - Fish
6. Huevos Rancheros - Raunchy
7. Cellos - Pilgrimage
8. The Francs - Situation
9. The Demics - Blueboy
10. Ex-Hex - How You Got That Girl
11. Neil Young - Payola Blues
12. Neil Young - Wonderin’
13. Bob Dylan & the Band - This Wheel's On Fire
14. The Band - Katie's Gone
15. Marianne Faithful - True Lies
16. Frankie & Jimmy - Let It Rock
17. Indian Wars - Wastin’ Time
18. Pow Wows - I Can See But You Don’t Know
19. The Prime Movers - I’m A Man
20. Hookworms - The Impasse
21. Johnny Thunders - Just Another Girl (Live August 6, 1982, Cambridge)
22. Johnny Thunders - In Cold Blood
23. Johnny Thunders - Sad Vacation
24. New York Dolls - Stranded In The Jungle
25. Wire - Lowdown

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 15. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Ritual Howls Turkish Leather & Show # 533

Turkish Leather, the newest full-length release by Ritual Howls is an eight-track trip through the dark post-punk and new wave sounds of yesterday reintegrated into a modern context. Consisting of Paul Bancell on vocals and guitars, Chris Samuels on synthesizers, samples and drum machine, and Ben Saginaw on bass, this three piece draws their influences from bands such as Nick Cave, Joy Division, The Horrors, The Gun Club, The Cure as well as some industrial music. Detroit’s Ritual Howls take these sounds and create their own danceable macabre groove.

“Zemmoa” starts off this album with its creepy horror movie cinematic sounds before the drum machine kicks in and we are introduced to Paul Bancell’s low register voice, while “The Taste Of You” grumbles with industrial sounding drum effects, fuzz bass and creepy dark sounding surf guitar. “Helm” builds on the sounds of “The Taste Of You” with its low-key vocals, catchy watery sounding guitars, fuzzy bass and synthetic drum sounds. “No Witnesses” sounds as if it could have come from the 1984 Nightmare On Elm Street soundtrack. With its creepy crawly bass, drums and synthesizers “No Witnesses” leads us through a sound that does not feature standard vocals, apart from what sounds like a paranoid protagonist from a horror film long ago, until halfway through the song when it changes. “Turkish Leather”, the album’s final and title track ends the album with the same spooky sounds that lurched their way forward from the album’s opening track, but this song features more depth than the earlier seven tracks. The cover of this album features a person wearing what looks like a golden curtain, appearing as a ghost-like figure. Underneath the golden curtain, Ritual Howls bend and crease their sound as it drifts into different and eerie post punk directions.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Music Machine - Talk Talk
2. Paul Revere & The Radiers - Stepping Out
3. The Detroit Cobras - Ya Ya Ya (Looking For My Baby)
4. Scott Morgan - Stick To Your Guns
5. Guitar Army - Going To Detroit
6. Razorhouse - Girl Like A Hand Grenade
7. Vietcong - Static Wall
8. No Age - Circling With Dizzy
9. Chad VanGaalen - I Want You Back
10. The Dead Milkmen - I’ve Got To Get My Numbers Up
11. Dean Drouillard - Lost City
12. Legato Vipers - Penetang Hips
13. Outrageous Cherry - The Digital Age
14. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Calgary Hill
15. Sloan - You Don’t Need Excuses To Be Good
16. Nickel Eye - You And Everyone Else
17. The Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night
18. Foxygen - Cosmic Vibrations
19. The International Submarine Band - Sum Up Broke
20. Jakob Dylan - Ain’t No Fair (In A Rock ’N’ Roll Love Affair)
21. John Doe - Just For The Hell Of It
22. Tara Watts - Pack My Bags
23. Carl Perkins - Matchbox
24. Jimmi Quinn - Sweet Home Chicago
25. Dead Ghosts - What To Do
26. Flesh Rag - Bad Attitude
27. Death - North St.
28. Ritual Howls - Final Service
29. Ritual Howls - Helm
30. The Stranglers - Nice N’ Sleazy

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 8. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

CJAM FM 2014 Pledge Drive & Show # 532

This week marks CJAM FM’s annual pledge drive. It is the one time a year that this non-profit campus/community radio station asks for donations in order to keep providing quality programming for the Windsor/Detroit area and anyone that is streaming it online. Since CJAM is non-profit based, we are limited in our capacity to raise money through advertising and rely heavily on listener-supported dollars. The annual funding or “pledge drive” is to help pay for everyday items, equipment and general operations that take place at the station. CJAM has been operating at 500 watts for over 25 years and recently the station increased its signal 2,084 watts.

CJAM has come a long way since they first began as a carrier current station in 1974. Initially the station was only heard on the University of Windsor campus and close-surrounding areas with its 20 watts of power located at 660 AM. In 1977, CJAM was established, previously it had been known as CSRW (Canada Student Radio Windsor). With the name in place CJAM broadcasted on the AM radio band until November of 1983, where it was established as an FM station located at 9.15 FM in the Windsor/Detroit area. CJAM’s first power increase occurred in 1996, where it grew in strength from 50 watts to 500 watts allowing the station to be heard on a greater scale in Windsor and Detroit surrounding areas. In 2009, CJAM FM switched radio frequencies to 99.1 FM, establishing themselves as a campus/community station with “protected status” from the CRTC.

In terms of programming, CJAM provides a wide variety of programming that is just not heard on mainstream radio. In addition to the music programs, which cover everything from jazz to punk and beyond, there are also spoken word programs and ethno-cultural programs that provide views from all perspectives in different languages. Without a station like CJAM, many different community groups, artists and musicians would not be heard and would get lost in the mainstream shuffle of media coverage. Although the Internet has greatly improved awareness of underground artists, bands and differing points of view, whether political or otherwise, there is still a disconnect that is similar to the maligning mainstream media. Despite all of this, CJAM continues to thrive and grow with the content it covers. The station’s mandate still stands, which is to provide the community with information and music programming ignored by the mainstream media in the Windsor/Detroit area. CJAM provides you with real music by real people who are volunteer based programmers who love and want to share the music and content with the listeners and community.

CJAM is now at 2,084 watts and broadcasts in a greater radius because of the support it has received from the Windsor/Detroit communities. This year’s pledge drive is no different, CJAM is asking for your continued support. To assist CJAM reach their $30,000 dollar goal and to help CJAM to continue to grow, you can donate and show your support today. CJAM offers a wide variety of incentives as a thank you for your donation, which can be viewed on their website. This can be done by calling 519-971-3630 (in Windsor) or 1-855-DIG-CJAM (1-855-344-2526 in Detroit and out of town) or by donating securely via PayPal on cjam’s website at

Play List:

1. Nick Lowe - Shake And Pop
2. Iceage - Simony
3. Teenanger - The Sequel
4. Thirsty Souls - Don’t Know What I Don’t Know (Yeah!)
5. James O-L & The Villains - One Horse Town (CJAM Session)
6. Monomyth - Pac Ambition
7. Chad Vangaalen - Evil
8. Chris Crossroads - Monster In The Cradle (Live CJAM Session)
9. Chris Crossroads - 20 Eyes (Live CJAM Session)
10. Chris Crossroads - Jian GhoPesci (Live CJAM Session)
11. The Black Angels - Call To Arms
12. The Stooges - 1969 (John Cale Mix)
13. Neil Jarvis - Last Song

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 1. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.