Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Highlights & Show # 540

The following is a collection of some of my favourite releases from 2014. Songs from these albums plus several others can be heard in the podcast below. It can be downloaded below the play list.

As a bonus, this year Revolution Rock featured a co-host on several occasions. I have included Adam’s (my occasional co-hosts) top ten in this post as well.

1. Thee Oh Sees - Drop

After announcing that the band will be taking a hiatus last year, Thee Oh Sees released their eighth full-length album at the end of April. Entitled Drop, the album brings in an intense focus to the band’s already established San Franciscan psychedelic garage sound. Apparently recorded in a banana ripening factory, there’s gritty garage sounds with scruffy guitars, psychedelic solos, a bit of kraut rock and elements found on 2012’s Putrifiers II and 2013’s Floating Coffin. Drop is victorious in its savage, primitive and unrelenting garage psych riffs, while the pop elements sink in deeper amongst the synthesizers and crude album cover artwork.

2. Teenanger – E P L P

E P L P is Teenanger from Toronto’s fourth studio album. The album has an undeniable garage punk sleaze to it. The sound on this album is one that is difficult to describe specifically, it is the sound of a band in their element. On E P L P the new wave/post punk influence from previous albums is still apparent, but there seems to be more voluminous guitar riffs that are like shards of shrapnel. Basslines sound thick and at times fuzz addled, as analog sounding drums, snotty vocals by Chris Swimmings and backing vocals provided by Melissa Ball add to the overall battlefield of dynamics found here. With E P L P Teenanger does not misfire. Throughout this nine-track launch the band hones their sound and are right on target.

3. White Fence - For The Recently Found Innocent

Aesthetically, For The Recently Found Innocent finds a balance between the last two releases from White Fence, 2013’s Cyclops Reap and Live In San Francisco, the later of which was an album that showcased White Fence in a full band and in a more revved up fashion. The album features not only Segall on some drum tracks, but also Nick Murray from White Fence’s live band further connecting his last set of releases. On the album’s front cover we see a painted self-portrait of Presley, not unlike Bob Dylan’s own self-portrait cover image from the 1970 album Self Portrait, but those two albums only have a connection with the artwork, not the music. We can see the same gritty canvas beneath the smeared messy painting on the cover, it is still the same White Fence. On For The Recently Found Innocent, Tim Presley has merely stepped out of his home and upgraded to a more proper studio environment utilizing an 8 track recorder (instead of a 4 track) with the help of Ty Segall and in the process, displays a new type of innocence.

4. The Black Lips - Underneath The Rainbow

Recorded with Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) and Tommy Brenneck (Budos Band), The Black Lips take their “flower punk” garage sound adding some southern and country influences. There is a brief moment in the music video that was created for the song “Justice After All” that perfectly describes what to expect from Black Lips on this album and more than likely in the future. In the video, we see shots of the band performing live and running down a street. At one point during the solo we see a shot of guitarist Ian Saint Pe playing a solo as another shot of guitarist Cole Alexander slides in and he pukes on the ground. This moment shows the listener and viewer that while they are trying new things, they are still the same band that we have all known. They may have branched out on Underneath The Rainbow, showcasing a slightly different spectrum of sound with Southern twang influences, but they are still the same Black Lips.

5. Ty Segall – Manipulator

Manipulator is a double album that contains a multitude of layers. This 56 minute double album also took fourteen months to record, every other Segall release was recorded and released quickly. Musically the album combines elements of Segall’s most recent projects Fuzz, sounds from the album Slaughterhouse with the Ty Segall Band, acoustic elements, and the garage sounds that he has been known for. Additionally, the influence of 70s glam rock and classic rock sounds dominate this seventeen track release.

6. James O-L & The Villains - On The Banks Of The Detroit River

On The Banks Of The Detroit River was recorded in Kingsville, with Brett Humber at Sound Foundry Studios and overall the album has “More of a bigger sound” and “In general the songs have gotten more aggressive”, as James tells me. Lyrically, this album pulls inspirations from its surroundings. Songs on the album seem to evoke a certain tone, one that comes with living in Essex County. Musically this album draws from the folk/country dynamic that James O-L & The Villains have displayed in the past, but it also mixes with an aggressive, punk/90s rock edge. The songs that make up this album portray the subtleties of a band mixing elements of folk, country and the heavy rains of aggressive feedback.

7. Paul Jacobs - Do It Again

Do It Again was the fourth release by the prolific garage rock machine Paul Jacobs in 2014. His first two releases, a split with Vaguess entitled I’ll Listen To This Later and the full-length I Need A Place To Keep My Stuff, both featured Paul Jacobs in his one-man band setup. Paul released the Mouldy Love EP in June of 2014, doing things a bit differently recording with a traditional full band set up and bass, something that has been absent from his solo recordings. Released in October 2014, Do It Again featured the same full band more traditional setup. This release was a collection of re-recordings from Paul Jacobs back catalog even featuring a song from Raised By Weeds, a three-piece band that he played with back in 2012. With Do It Again, Paul Jacobs reworks some of his best songs, presenting them in a compilation-like fashion. The songs still sound as fresh, exhilarating and sometimes better than the original versions. Paul Jacobs does it again, in more ways than one.

8. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Gates Of Hell

Four of the album’s tracks were recorded with Ben Cook of the band Fucked Up. Sam Coffey covered the rest of the production, recording in the band’s practice space and a variety of other locations adding to the album’s character, as he has done with previous Iron Lungs recordings. Gates Of Hell covers a lot of topics lyrically and musically adds to the Iron Lungs palate. Sam Coffey originally from Waterloo, Ontario, recently relocated to Toronto and expanded his band to a six-piece group. More people in the band means there could be more complication in the overall sound of the group. The band does not fall into this trap here. The band’s sound may have expanded with more members and higher production values, but on Gates Of Hell, Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs deliver an album that deals with many hellish complex subjects, whether metaphorically or bluntly throughout the album’s lyrical content. Musically they still keep the rowdy, pub-crawl spirit that drew us to them in the first place.

9. Guided By Voices - Motivational Jumpsuit

The first of two albums that Guided By Voices released in 2014, before their eventual split. This album finds the band in one of their unique, prolific creative pockets featuring songs drawing comparison to 1994’s Bee Thousand, 1995’s Alien Lanes and 1996’s Under The Bushes Under The Stars. With Motivational Jumpsuit, Guided By Voices zip up all the loose ends, but not too tightly. Featuring twenty tracks under forty minutes, this album proves that they can still make a great album twenty-one albums into their career.

10. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

Sunbathing Animal, the band’s third full-length album was recorded in between touring, the sessions also produced an EP beforehand entitled Tally All The Things You Broke. With Sunbathing Animal, Parquet Courts lean more towards the punk, post punk and garage elements of the band with hints of their early noisy beginnings. The band also released another album Content Nausea near the end of 2014 under the band Name Parkay Quarts. The band features a slightly different line-up, but is primarily the work of Andrew Savage and Austin Brown from Parquet Courts.

Adam’s Top Ten for Revolution Rock:

1. Sun Kil Moon – Benji
2. Swans – To Be Kind
3. Perfume Genius – Too Bright
4. Iceage – Plowing Into The Field Of Love
5. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
6. Aerial Pink – Pom Pom
7. Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
8. Ty Segall – Manipulator
9. White Lung – Deep Fantasy
10. Ought – More Than Any Other Day

Best of 2014 Play List:

1. Parquet Courts - Instant Disassembly (Sunbathing Animal - What's Your Rupture? 2014)
2. Parkay Quarts - Content Nausea (Content Nausea - What's Your Rupture? 2014)
3. Guided By Voices - Planet Score (Motivational Jumpsuit - Guided By Voices Inc. 2014)
4. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Hold Me Close (Gates Of Hell - South Paw Records 2014)
5. Paul Jacobs - Waking Up (Do It Again - Self Released 2014)
6. James O-L & The Villains - Late Night Drive (On The Banks Of The Detroit River - Famous Last Records 2014)
7. Ought - Weather Song (More Than Any Other Day - Constellation Records 2014)
8. White Lung - Just For You (Deep Fantasy - Domino 2014)
9. Ty Segall - Connection Man (Manipulator - Drag City 2014)
10. Mac DeMarco - Blue Boy (Salad Days - Captured Tracks 2014)
11. Ariel Pink - Nude Beach A Go-Go (Pom Pom - 4AD 2014)
12. King Tuff - Magic Mirror (Black Moon Spell - Sub Pop 2014)
13. OFF! - I Won't Be A Casualty (Wasted Years - Vice 2014)
14. Chad Vangaalen - Leaning On Bells (Shrink Dust - Sub Pop 2014)
15. The Black Angels - The Flop (Clear Lake Forest EP - Blue Horizon Records 2014)
16. Kestrels - Wide Eyes (The Moon Is Shining Our Way EP - Noyes/Sonic Unyon 2014)
17. Ty Segall - Manipulator (Manipulator - Drag City 2014)
18. St. Vincent - Birth In Reverse (St. Vincent - Loma Vista/Republic Records 2014)
19. Iceage - Forever (Plowing Through The Field Of Love - Matador 2014)
20. Perfume Genius - Longpig (Too Bright - Matador 2014)
21. The Black Lips - Dorner Party (Underneath The Rainbow - Vice 2014)
22. White Fence - Anger! Who Keeps You Under (For The Recently Found Innocent - Drag City Records 2014)
23. Swans - A Little God in My Hands (To Be Kind - Young God/Mute Records 2014)
24. Sun Kil Moon - Pray for Newtown (Benji - Caldo Verde Records 2014)
25. Teenanger - Sky Saxon (E P L P - Telephone Explosion 2014)
26. Thee Oh Sees - Drop (Drop - Castle Face 2014)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 27. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

For those keeping track, episode number 538 was a repeat of show number 531.  It can be downloaded here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Clash Live - Joe Strummer Day 2014 (Show 539)

For CJAM FM’s 5th annual Joe Strummer Day marathon, where the station addresses issues related to poverty in the Windsor/Detroit area surrounded by the music created by Joe Strummer and The Clash, I hosted a two-hour program featuring a selection of live Clash recordings. These recordings range from a wide variety of Clash bootlegs to material from official Clash live releases From Here To Eternity: Live (1999) and Live At Shea Stadium (2008).

Here are some recordings of note that were featured on this program:

Bonds International Casino 1981

In May-June of 1981, The Clash played a series of live shows in New York City. Initially the band were to play a series of eight live shows throughout the end of May and in early June 1981. Due to the venue reaching over capacity because of tickets being oversold by promoters, the fire department had to intervene. This resulted in a planned May 30th show being cancelled, but the band decided to extend the amount of shows they were to play. The Clash wound up playing a total of 17 live shows during this May-June period, sometimes playing two shows in a day. While widely bootlegged, some of these shows were recorded professionally. Performances from the bands June 13th date turned up on the 1999 From Here To Eternity: Live album. This album compiled various recordings from 1978-1982 from the band’s career. The band’s time at Bonds was also documented in Don Letts’ Westway To The World documentary.

Live At The Agora Theater, Cleveland, Ohio 1979

In February 1979, The Clash embarked on their first US tour. Playing with Bo Diddley as support on this nine-show tour, the band dubbed this tour the “Pearl Harbor” tour. This show features many songs from the band’s Give 'Em Enough Rope period and the songs and singles from the band’s first titled album. All of these songs are prior to the release of the Cost Of Living EP released in May 1979 and London Calling, which would be released in December 1979. Other facts of note during this period in the band’s career are that the first self-titled album was not initially released in the US. As a result, the album was a high selling import album, reportedly selling 100,000 copies. A modified version of The Clash’s first album was released in 1979 for the US market expanding to the original track listing. In reference to the recording of this live show at the Agora Theater, it is from a soundboard source, but it is however rough sounding at times. Despite this, The Clash’s show at The Agora Theater on February 13th, 1979 features an early example of the band in their explosive live glory on one of the dates on their first US tour. Some of these recordings have also been broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio program.

JSD 2014 Play List:

1. What’s My Name (Music Machine, London, England - July 27th, 1978 - From Here To Eternity: Live)
2. English Civil War (The Lewisham Odeon, London, England - February 18th, 1980 - From Here To Eternity II)
3. Safe European Home (The Lyceum Theatre, London - December 28, 1978 - From Here To Eternity II)
4. Jail Guitar Doors (The Lyceum Theatre, London - December 28, 1978)
5. Guns Of Brixton (Bonds International Casino - NYC - June 13th, 1981 - From Here To Eternity)
6. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais (Reital France - June 14th, 1980)
7. Police & Thieves (The Agora - Cleveland, Ohio - February 13th, 1979)
8. The Prisoner (St. Paul, Minnesota - June 12th, 1979)
9. I Never Did It (The 100 Club - London, England - August 31st, 1976)
10. How Can I Understand The Flies (The 100 Club - London, England - August 31st, 1976)
11. Remote Control (Mont De Marsan Festival - France - August 5th, 1977)
12. Cheapskates (The Lyceum Theatre, London - December 28, 1978 - From Here To Eternity II)
13. City Of The Dead (The Agora - Cleveland, Ohio - February 13th, 1979)
14. Jimmy Jazz (The Capitol Theater - Passaic, NJ - March 8th, 1980)
15. Stay Free (The Capitol Theater - Passaic, NJ - March 8th, 1980)
16. Magnificent Seven Armagideon Time Medley (Shea Stadium - October 13th, 1982 - Live At Shea Stadium)
17. Ivan Meets GI Joe (Japp Edenhall - Amsterdam, Netherlands - May 10th, 1981)
18. Bankrobber (Brixton Fair Deal - London, England - July 30, 1982)
19. One More Time (Japp Edenhall - Amsterdam, Netherlands - May 10th, 1981)
20. London Calling (Japp Edenhall - Amsterdam, Netherlands - May 10th, 1981)
21. Radio Clash (Bonds International Casino - NYC - June 9th, 1981)
22. The Call Up (Bonds International Casino - NYC - June 9th, 1981)
23. Complete Control (Bonds International Casino - NYC - June 13th, 1981 - From Here To Eternity)
24. Koka Kola (The Palladium - NYC - September 21, 1979)
25. I'm So Bored With The USA (The Palladium - NYC - September 21, 1979)
26. I Fought The Law (The Lyceum Theatre, London - December 28, 1978)
27. Janie Jones (Aragon Ballroom - Chicago, Illinois - September 14, 1979)
28. Garageland (The Capitol Theater - Passaic, NJ - March 8th, 1980)

Download this program here!

Check out and download some of the other programs from CJAM FM's Joe Strummer Day 2014 here!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Motivational Jumpsuits and Cool Planets & Show # 537

The ever prolific Robert Pollard reformed Guided By Voices with their classic 1992-1996 line-up featuring Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos, and Kevin Fennell in 2010 for a series of live shows beginning with Matador Records 21st anniversary. In 2012, they returned in recorded form with this line-up for three albums (Let’s Go Eat The Factory, Class Clown Spots A UFO and The Bears For Lunch), in 2013 they released the EP Down By The Racetrack and the album English Little League. This album was rumored to be their last, but 2014 saw the release of two more albums with this line-up Motivational Jumpsuit and Cool Planet (minus Kevin Fennell on drums). This myriad of releases rivals some of the prolific material that the band released during the 90s, but these albums mixed more modern recording techniques with the band’s lo-fi tendencies. After six albums and an EP, Robert Pollard with the reformed line-up announced announced that the band has finally called it quits.

Released in February 2014, Motivational Jumpsuit rivals some of Guided By Voices best material drawing comparisons to material found on 1994’s Bee Thousand, 1995’s Alien Lanes and Under The Bushes Under The Stars from 1996. As with these aforementioned albums, Motivational Jumpsuit features a collection of sometimes ramshackle, lo-fi sounding recordings alongside some more studio-produced sounding efforts. This album also features plenty of Tobin Sprout written songs in conjunction with material by the irreverent Robert Pollard. The album starts off with the echo filled drums and the guitar driven sound of “The Littlest League Possible”. As Pollard alludes to baseball and the music industry at the same time this song features catchy and witty lyrics in less than two minutes (one minute and 18 seconds to be exact). But this song exemplifies what Guided By Voices do best, which are short and straight to the point songs with strong melodic hooks.

“Writer’s Bloc (Psycho All The Time)” features garage rock and post punk jabs as Pollard sings tongue-in-cheek about a subject that we might not ever have thought Robert Pollard would utter. “Planet Score” has to be one of the top songs in the bands catalog as Robert Pollard sings of the haunting musical memories in the present tense with a melodic crunch. Tobin Sprout struts a psychedelic swing in “Jupiter Spin”, a candy coated Byrdsian sound in “Record Level Love”, while “Shine (Tomahawk Breath)” features a slow pop melody with fuzzy distorted Big Star nostalgia. Additionally, Sprout adds to to several of Robert Pollard sung/written tracks on Motivational Jumpsuit such as “I Am Columbus”. These songs in addition to “Vote For Me Dummy”, “Bulletin Borders”, the lo-fi tape flutter Who influenced “Evangeline Dandelion” and the gritty hook-filled “Alex and The Omegas” all count as highlights on this release. With Motivational Jumpsuit, Guided By Voices zip up all the loose ends, but not too tightly. Featuring twenty tracks under forty minutes, this album proves that they can still make a great album twenty-one albums into their career.

In May 2014, Guided By Voices released what is now said to be their last album, Cool Planet. This album differs from the previous five that were released during this 2010-2014 period of the band. It was recorded in a proper studio. While the hiss and fuzziness of their lo-fi style may be missing from this album, the scrappiness and ubiquitous nature of Guided By Voices remains strong here. This album also differs in the line-up, drummer Kevin Fennell is not behind the drum kit for Cool Planet, but Kevin March is. March originally played with GBV from 2002-2004 and was featured on what was labeled their last release in 2004, the psychedelic melancholic Half Smiles Of The Decomposed. Fittingly he returns here for what is said to be the band’s last album, again, but a decade later.

“Authoritarian Zoo” starts off Cool Planet with a gut punch of guitar riffs and drums with a sound somewhat reminiscent to 2004’s “Everybody Thinks I’m A Raincloud (When I’m Not Looking)”. This song sonically and lyrically provides something different from the opening moments of the softer dimensions of Half Smiles Of The Decomposed and even Motivational Jumpsuit’s “The Littlest League Possible”. Elements of the song “Motor Away” from 1995’s Alien Lanes pops up on “Hat Of Flames” where Pollard sings of a mysterious character with a “Magic code to the parading masses”. This song ignites with its spark inducing fuzz garage riffs amongst Robert Pollards pop hooks. Amongst the eighteen tracks on Cool Planet, we are also visited by more Tobin Sprout originals. “All American Boy” is a spiraling pop gem featuring vibrating guitar leads and pounding piano, “The Bone Church” shows Sprout spreading his wings on the heavier side of rock, tipping his hat to Black Sabbath and the piano induced “Narrated By Paul”. This song along with several of Sprout’s recent contributions to the reformed GBV have had Beatles references, whether musically or in song title variations. This influence/reference pops up again in the echo and acoustic driven “Ticket To Hide”.

Other tracks worth of note on this album includes the windmill rush of “Pan Swimmer”, “Cream Of Lung”, which seems to compliment Sprout’s “The Bone Church”, and “Males Of Wormwood Mars” which proves to be Cool Planet’s strongest pop success. With its watery verses, and Keith Moon styled drums provided by Kevin March, this song tucks itself away near the end of the album. “Bad Love Is Easy To Do” starts off in a fashion similar to “Teenage FBI”, but showcases the songwriting abilities of Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout as they sing of a love song in a way only they could. This song comes off with an effortless success as it balances jittery verses, pop choruses and calming breakdowns supplied by Tobin Sprout. The album ends with its title track, “Cool Planet”.

On 2004’s Half Smiles Of The Decomposed, “Huffman Flying Field” ended a chapter in the GBV discography as Bob & company sang of visiting mysterious fields and being “Closed and locked up for far too long”. In 2014, “Alex & The Omegas” ended Motivational Jumpsuit with the lyrics “Get out alright/Nothing’s on/Everything’s over/It’s the living end” drawing a gritty connection between the band and their status. Finally on the title track to Cool Planet, the band executes a ramped up fuzzy Who-like pattern in less than two minutes as Pollard sings the abstract lines of “Heroes do matter/Insects do scatter”. If these three songs can show us anything, they reveal a sense of wanting to travel down the same path, but at the same time a desire to stop and change course. Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices have achieved a rarity in music. While at times people identify sameness in the GBV sound there is also diversity in the band’s catchy, aggressive and at times lo-fi approach to music. Lyrically, GBV has ventured into all kinds of territories. We may be saying goodbye to Guided By Voices again, but after the hiss and fade out of another chapter in the Guided By Voices catalog ends, a few lines of “Littlest League Possible” from Motivation Jumpsuit provides us with an abstract clue for Robert Pollard’s approach to music and what GBV fans having been thinking for a long time. “And Meanwhile and after too much/You’d run out of gas/But that’s not possible”.

Guided By Voices Play List:

1. A Salty Salute (Live) (Hardcore UFOS - 2003)
2. Hot Freaks (Bee Thousand - 1994)
3. Everywhere With Helicopter (Universal Truths And Cycles - 2002)
4. Postal Blowfish (Brain Candy Soundtrack - 1996)
5. Draw(In)g To A (W)hole (God Save The Clean - 1997)
6. Cut-Out Witch (Under The Bushes Under The Stars - 1996)
7. Weed King (Propeller - 1992)
8. A Good Flying Bird (Alien Lanes - 1995)
9. The Unsinkable Fats Domino (Let's Go Eat the Factory - 2012)
10. Worm W/ 7 Broken Hearts (Class Clown Spots A UFO - 2012)
11. Liar’s Tale (Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia - 1989)
12. Demons Are Real (Bee Thousand - 1994)
13. Kicker of Elves (Bee Thousand - 1994)
14. Robert Pollard - Back To The Farm (Superman Was A Rocker - 2008)
15. The Other Place (Forever Since Breakfast - 1986)
16. Captains Dead (Devil Between My Toes - 1987)
17. Taco, Buffalo, Birddog and Jesus (Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft - 2000)
18. My Valuable Hunting Knife (7 Inch Version) (Tigerbomb EP - 1995)
19. Shocker In Gloomtown (The Grand Hour EP - 1993)
20. #2 in the Model Home Series (Vampire on Titus - 1993)
21. Drag Days (Under The Bushes Under The Stars - 1996)
22. Drinkers Peace (Same Place The Fly Got Smashed - 1990)
23. Little Whirl (Alien Lanes - 1995)
24. Shine (Tomahawk Breath) (Motivational Jumpsuit - 2014)
25. The Sudden Death Of Epstein’s Ways (English Little League - 2013)
26. Crybaby 4-Star Hotel (English Little League - 2013)
27. Surgical Focus - (Do The Collapse - 1999)
28. Sister, I Need Wine (Isolation Drills - 2001)
29. Girls Of Wild Strawberries (Half Smiles Of The Decomposed - 2004)
30. Can’t Stop (Sandbox - 1987)
31. Sensational Gravity Boy (Briefcase - Suitcase Abridged: Drinks And Deliveries - 2000)
32. I Am A Tree (Mag Earwig! - 1997)
33. I Am A Scientist (Live at X-Fest 1999) (X Fest 99 - 1999)
34. Smoggy Boy (The Bears For Lunch - 2012)
35. Males Of Wormwood Mars (Cool Planet - 2014)
36. Teenage FBI (Original Version) (Wish In One Hand EP - 1997)
37. Game Of Pricks (Alien Lanes - 1995)
38. The Ugly Vision (Alien Lanes - 1995)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 13. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Last Pogo Jumps Again Interview & Show # 536

The Last Pogo Jumps Again begins with images of fans jumping around to bands playing music while in the background we hear The Demics “New York City”. This song, when not taken at surface value reveals a message of independence and creativity within one’s environment. As we see fans jumping or pogoing in erratic fashion we are led into the beginnings of the documentary. Directors Colin Brunton and Kire Paputts show the building of a scene from nothing. The beginnings of the documentary are juxtaposed with the building of Toronto’s CN Tower and the events that led up to the Toronto punk/new wave scene in 1976. The uniqueness of a music scene like this is covered in great detail and depth. There were a lot of factors at play that resulted in the rise and fall of many of the bands that were involved in this scene that was truly DIY and alternative to the mainstream.

From what began at a theatre that used to show B-movies entitled the 99 Cent Roxy in conjunction with the Ramones playing a series of shows at a venue called The New Yorker, a chord was struck with aspiring musicians and artists alike. Both of these venues were run by who are referred to as the two Gary’s (Gary Topp and Gary Cormier), who both supported the scene and booked acts and many of the venues that they would run throughout the early parts of this scene. The Last Pogo Jumps Again leaps into coverage of several of the heavyweights in this early music scene such as The Diodes, who took their power pop influenced punk sounds to CBS Records Canada, becoming the first Canadian punk band signed to a major label and The Viletones. They took punk to new extremes, both literally and musically. In addition to the music factor of the scene, many of the artists also connected through other art related means such as fashion. Marion Lewis who was a local artist at the time describes the early parts of this scene adding further to the images supplied in the opening parts of this documentary:

“There was no culture here. There was just European based culture or American culture. So we were starting from scratch, you know. We had to start with a crumpled Twinkie wrapper on the side of the road, there’s no other place you can start. You got to start there and then you’ve got to use your intellect and your sense of yourself and your sense of your destiny to build .”

The Last Pogo Jumps Again executes the feelings of alienation and the searching for something new at the time with razor-sharp precision. Additionally, it showcases the growing of this music scene, while at the same time covering some of the bands that were perhaps not as well known to the general public back then. For example, The Scenics had their own unique sound, but were criticized by some for it. This including several other bands that had a different aesthetic such as The Government, Drastic Measures and The Curse, among others are contrasted with the conflicts of bands and situations within the scene, which caused a separation of sorts. At the beginning of the documentary the pogoing fans in the audience jump to the beat of a song at a different tempo. Throughout this documentary we see many artists moving to their own beat musically and artistically, even if there is a clash between them.

Brunton and Paputts started this project in 2006 and after six years of work the result is an informative and revealing documentary of epic proportions that clocks in at approximately three hours and twenty minutes. The Last Pogo Jumps Again burns bright with its coverage of a scene that has been grossly overlooked by many. This film searches for meaning in the spirit of the music and the scene as it moves, with every drop of sweat and every sobering grain of film.

The Last Pogo Jumps Again was recently released on DVD with an extensive amount of extras. Get your copy at

Check out the interview I did with Colin Brunton:

Saturday Night Play List:

1. Drastic Measures - Flowers (Live 1978)
2. The Ugly - All Because Of You (Live 1978)
3. Brian Eno - Dead Finks Don't Talk
4. Acid Baby Jesus - Row By Row
5. Tyranna - Back Off Baby
6. The Curse - Killer Bees
7. The Viletones - Screaming Fist


8. The Diodes - Red Rubber Ball
9. The Government - Acute Angle
10. The Scenics - Bubbles
11. Thee Oh Sees - Wait, Let’s Go
12. Bob Dylan & The Band - My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
13. Bob Dylan & The Band - I'm Not There
14. SQÜRL - Funnel Of Love
15. Damaged Bug - Photograph
16. Simply Saucer - Get My Thrills
17. The CADs - Do The Crabwalk
18. Sonny Vincent & Spite - Disinterested
19. Sleater-Kinney - I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
20. Ramones - We're A Happy Family
21. Marching Girls - First In Line
22. Teenanger - Fly On The Wall

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 6. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.