Saturday, July 25, 2015

Revolution Rock (Revisited) Pow Wows Broken Curses & Show # 570

Episode number 570 of Revolution Rock was a repeat of an episode that aired on CJAM FM back in March 2015. I interviewed Ryan of the Toronto garage-based band Pow Wows about their newest album Broken Curses. You can hear the interview and read an excerpt from my review of the album below. To check out the full review, check out this link.

Pow Wows highly anticipated second full-length Broken Curses was released in February 2015 on Get Hip Recordings. This album follows the 2011 release Nightmare Soda, where Pow Wows first displayed their garage punk psych and R&B twang in a greased lightning fashion, and a series of recent singles in 2012/2013. Recorded and mixed by Steve Major in Toronto at Verge Music Lab and mastered by Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit, this ten-track release contains the same intensity that was first displayed back in 2011. The press release for this album states that the songs are “tales of dystopia with a back beat. Party rock for end times” and that couldn’t be more accurate.

Listen to the interview I did with Pow Wows bassist/vocalist Ryan Rothwell here:

The Playlist:

1. The Honeycombs - Can’t Get Through To You
2. The Angels - Get Away From Me
3. Demolition Doll Rods - Lil Darlin
4. Pearls Mahone - Blow Your Top
5. The Delmonas - I Did Him Wrong
6. The Z-Rays - Number Nine
7. The Cramps - Domino
8. Pow Wows - Fire Song
9. Pow Wows - Car Cemetery

Pow Wows Ryan Rothwell Interview

10. Pow Wows - Rebel Stomp
11. BA Johnston - You Can Love Someone And Hate The Things They Love
12. Dum Dum Girls - Yours Alone
13. X Ray Spex - Obsessed With You
14. Diamond Rugs - Voodoo Doll
15. Brat Kings - Good Drugs (Pinball Session)
16. Paul Jacobs - Pop Can Ashtray
17. The Curse - No More Ice Cream (Live)
18. The Dishrags - Can’t Wait
19. Colleen Green - I Want To Grow Up
20. Sleater-Kinney - A New Wave
21. A Place To Bury Strangers - Straight
22. Ricked Wicky - Guts
23. Alex Chilton - Just To See You
24. JD McMpherson - It Shook Me Up
25. Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse (Live In San Francisco)
26. Ty Segall Band - Skin (Live In San Francisco)
27. Ty Segall Band - Standing At The Station (Live In San Francisco)
28. The Replacements - Seen Your Video

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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sticky Fingers & Show # 569

1971’s Sticky Fingers represented a lot of things for both The Rolling Stones and the culture in which they were interwoven at the time. Although the album was recorded through a series of sessions that began in March of 1970, Sticky Fingers captures the band in their raunchy, sleazy, ragged glory in a way that some feel hasn’t been replicated in such capacity since. The album’s opening cut, the now classic “Brown Sugar” attacks with a primal groove and an intro emphasizing Keith Richards riff-style, but also at the same time displays a loss of innocence. This can be said in part with the songs lyrical content, but also in The Rolling Stones universe in 1970/1971. This album marked the first release in which The Stones were no longer associated with their manager and Decca records and it was also the first album in which Mick Taylor was a full force as a member of The Rolling Stones. Previously Taylor appeared on 1969’s Let It Bleed, but only the tracks "Country Honk" and "Live With Me". Also at the same time, the culture was breaking out of the 60’s mindset and Sticky Fingers addresses things in certain ways, while at the same time seeming to pay homage to the band’s earlier roots and influences that were dominate on their early recordings.

“Sway” comes in as the second of ten tracks on Sticky Fingers. This song swoons with a feeling as Jagger sings of abandonment emphasizing a sense of debauchery, but one that oozes with sentiment. The lyrics “Its just that demon that life has got me in its sway” all add to the soundscape created on this track. Although this song contains the elements that people identify with as The Rolling Stones sound, Keith Richards does not actually play guitar on this track, Mick Jagger provides the rhythm guitar as Mick Taylor plays lead. Keith does however add backing vocals, along with a few other guests. “Wild Horses” is a country ballad with folk elements. The song features 12-string guitar combined with Nashville tuning and once again tapped into the Jagger/Richards songwriting formula as well as a feeling that Richards stated in 1993 as “not wanting to be on the road, being a million miles from where you want to be”. “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” slides in with crunchy guitar as Charlie Watts provides a rhythmic swing on the drums in conjunction with Bill Wyman on bass. Lyrics, compared to the music featured here, seem secondary, but they do however take the listener into a seemingly seedy underworld. Musically the song features a long instrumental outro, which delves into elements of jazz, funk and blues with Latin sounding rhythms. This was apparently not planned, the band kept playing after approximately the 2:30 mark. The result was one of the longest songs in the band’s catalog and one that featured equal parts raunchiness and experimentation.

With “You Gotta Move” The Stones take on a traditional song done by Fred McDowell that features bass drum, filthy acoustic guitars and sizzling guitar lines from Mick Taylor that swelter along with the lyrics sung by Jagger and Richards that convey a sense of desolation. “Bitch” is another up-tempo number similar to “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” or Brown Sugar”. This song makes excellent use of swanky horn sections, while at the same time draws a similarity to a song by The Temptations and conveys a message of love in general being a “bitch”. “I Got The Blues” makes use of horn sections once again, but this time The Stones display their soul influences up front, an Otis Redding influence also appears to surround this track, while “Sister Morphine” addresses the gritty realities of drug addition. Originally recorded for 1969’s Let It Bleed, this song was saved for this album’s inclusion and features slide guitar from Ry Cooder”.

“Dead Flowers” brings The Stones foray into country back into the spotlight at track nine on this album. The band’s country influence began due to the friendship struck up by Keith Richards and country-rock musician Gram Parsons and can be heard on songs such as “Dead Flowers”, “Far Away Eyes” and “Sweet Virginia” for example. On “Dead Flowers”, The Rolling Stones provide cool and breezy country sounds contrasted with lyrics that tell the story of broken hearts, upper class socialites and drug addiction. The song’s title takes on several meanings as the chorus hits portraying both a reflection of a broken relationship and heroin addiction, but also features many elements that can take on universal meaning. “Moonlight Mile” ends Sticky Fingers. The song is a ballad that is illuminated with lyrics and music that portray the paradoxes and loneliness of being on the road. The song features a string arrangement by Paul Buckmaster, perhaps best known for working with Elton John and piano by Jim Price, not Ian Stewart. His absence from this track is said to be due to his dislike of songs with minor chords. As Sticky Fingers fades out, the album exudes a feeling that is difficult to pinpoint. The balance between the bands sleazy swagger and atmosphere created on Sticky Fingers sweats with anticipation. The Rolling Stones would take their sound further into the 70s next with the eighteen-song album Exile On Main St., but with Sticky Fingers The Rolling Stones drift away from the decade that was the 60s and onward to their own exile.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. The Rolling Stones - Can't You Hear Me Knocking (Alternate Version)
2. The Rolling Stones - Sway
3. The Routes - At The Bottom
4. The Black Angels - Twisted Light
5. Breakker - Faze Game
6. Super Visas - What I Can
7. Pere Ubu - Humor Me (Live)
8. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - I Been Sleeping On It
9. The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There (Live At The Star-Club, Hamburg, Germany 1962)
10. Thirsty Souls - Don’t Know What I Don’t Know (Yeah!)
11. Buddy Selfish - It’s Only Make Believe
12. Bloodshot Bill - Don’t Bug Me Baby
13. Bloodshot Bill - Come Back To Me
14. The Rolling Stones - You Gotta Move
15. The Rolling Stones - Dead Flowers (Alternate Version)
16. Wilco - Random Name Generator
17. Shotgun Jimmie - Summer Sound
18. Mick Futures - Tentative Issue
19. Grounders - Bloor Street And Pressure
20. Meat Puppets - Leaves
21. Martha Wainwright - When The Day Is Short
22. The Mighty Swells - Runaway
23. New York Dolls - Don’t Mess With Cupid (Demo)
24. Television - Friction
25. Cowboy Junkies - Dead Flowers (Live)
26. Shotgun Jummie - Impossible Popcycle
27. The Rolling Stones - Moonlight Mile

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

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Station To Station, Cold Hot Plumbs & Show # 568

David Bowie - Station To Station

Originally released in 1976, David Bowie’s Station To Station is a transitional album for many reasons. The album was released during what is often called David Bowie’s Thin White Duke Period (he is even referenced in this album’s title track). This was yet another persona created ala Ziggy Stardust that was developed while Bowie played with The Spiders From Mars. In contrast to his more glamorous styles as Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke dressed more like a fugitive and had darker elements to his persona that were reflected in the music. The album is also an extension from Bowie’s plastic soul musical style that he emphasized on 1975’s Young Americans. In addition to the soul and rock influences present here, Bowie ventures into avant-garde territory experimenting with synthesizers and a variety of styles such as funk and krautrock on Station To Station. The album’s title track is perhaps one of the best influences of this. The ten-minute track is an epic piece that serves as an introduction to the Thin White Duke character and the album as it addresses many different things lyrically and musically in a different fashion.

Damaged Bug - Cold Hot Plumbs

The latest release by Damaged Bug, the synth-rock driven project by Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer was released in June 2015. Cold Hot Plumbs seems to venture into a cloudy territory, as does the Thunderbirds-looking pilot in the video for the album’s first single/video “Jet In Jungle”. His glassy eyes float between trees in dark territory much like the synthesizers and lyrical content found on Cold Hot Plumbs. As Dwyer ups the synthesizers swapping in favour of guitar at times, Cold Hot Plumbs is effective in its mission and takes flight expanding upon the sounds of 2014’s Hubba Bubba traveling and exploring in the world of primal synth pop.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. David Bowie - Station To Station
2. Yukon Blonde - Confused
3. Catholic Girls - Berlin
4. Braineaters - Rock Rock
5. The Secrets - New Blood
6. Maggie’s Marshmallows - Come Along
7. The Gruesomes - Time’s Gonna Come
8. The Sonics - Shot Down
9. Nap Eyes - Make Something
10. Monomyth - Vision
11. Aron D’Alesio - A Long Time
12. Neil Jarvis - Help
13. Genki Genki Panic - HPV Lovecraft
14. Deja Voodoo - 16 Tons
15. Benny The Jet Rodriguez - Alley Cat
16. The Victims - Open Your Eyes
17. Dik Van Dykes - Adult Gumby
18. The Strokes - What Ever Happened?
19. The Replacements - Love Lines
20. Nervebreakers - My Girlfriend Is A Rock
21. Death - Politicians In My Eyes
22. Ramones - Glad To See You Go
23. Devo - Patterns
24. Damaged Bug - Frog
25. The Stranglers - Toiler On The Sea
26. Tough Age - I Get The Feeling Central
27. The Teardrops - Seeing Double
28. Generation X - Wild Dub

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

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Mick Futures Banned From The Future & Show # 567

Banned From The Future is the debut full-length album by Sudbury’s Mick Futures, a pseudonym for Strange Attractor drummer and Statues bassist/vocalist Mitch Houle. At fifteen tracks, there is a lot of content, although most of the songs found on Banned From The Future are relatively short, some barely over one and a half minutes. The music pulls from the ubiquitous synth-driven sounds of the 80s, but specifically the sounds of artists such as early Brian Eno, Gary Numan, Devo and Kraftwerk. Futures also dons other subtler influences such as The Wipers, Buzzcocks and Wire.

The album opens with “My Machine Gun”. A song in which Mick Futures projects a Mark Mothersbaugh howl amongst fuzzy, static sounding guitar riffs. The chorus attacks with what sounds like either watery guitar effects or keyboards while throughout the song Futures sings with a verbal arsenal making a social commentary on the unease of the modern world and personal safety. The song also ties in with references of the frights of a past cold war hysteria. “Tentative Issue” floats with a Gary Numan influence. Paranoid expansive guitar lines glide with cold sounding drums and spaceship sounding synthesizers. It echoes the sounds of 80s, while at the same time offering something new to say, ending with the words “You can’t be everything to everyone”. These tracks are then followed by two shorter tracks. “A Few Pieces” melds together the different puzzle pieces of Devo, Kraftwerk and The Wipers constructing and infectious groove with handclaps and guitar lines, while “What Do You Say Now?” appears to be a comment on the creative process.

“Living On Dark Street” features acoustic guitar in the mix of a song that seems to bring forth a sci-fi element (one that is present throughout this album), but this song seems to be all about different personal perceptions. “In Case We Learn” chugs along with fuzzy guitar and a message that seems to portray a burning determination for success. “Whatever You Want” is part Canadian punk, part UK punk and part new wave. Futures sings in a voice similar to Diodes singer Paul Robinson, while the guitars echo with a the semblance of Buzzcocks guitarist Steve Diggle and the siren call guitar lines of Mick Jones on The Clash’s rendition of “Police On My Back”. This song is all about a call for action. It is not one with anything specific in mind, but just one that promotes going out and getting what you want. This also song struts with an underlying optimism.

Other confident moments on the album include, “Mini Mag” which seems to portray a feeling of the viewpoints in the mainstream media amongst icy Gang Of Four meets Canadian art rock band The Government song dynamics. “Cold Emotions” blurs the lines with its darker sci-fi dystopian imagery as “Two Hands” cascades with cleaner guitars and synthesizers. “Walk The Prism” sounds as if it were lifted from an old sci-fi soundtrack. The song also bears a resemblance to the instrumental songs found on Music Madness From The Kinetic Kid by Klark Kent. While Music Madness From The Kinetic Kid was the brainchild of Police drummer Stewart Copeland, Mick Futures takes his madness to different levels singing of “wishing his mind away” and “stitching the bonds of time to focus on something better” in his own illuminating patterns. The songs that make up Banned From The Future can at times have a bleak view, but there is also a silver lining of hopeful optimism. Banned From The Future takes the cold icy dystopian views of the past and applies it to the present.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. Robert Gordon - Rock Billy Boogie
2. Cheater Slicks - Crying
3. Deerhunter - Memory Boy
4. Women - Shaking Hand
5. Slim Twig - Still The Same
6. Flamin’ Groovies - Shake Some Action
7. Luau Or Die - On The Fly
8. Pow Wows - Shock Corridor
9. Metric On The Sky
10. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - We Call Upon The Author
11. Paul Jacobs - Under Water
12. Guided By Voices - Echos Myron
13. Liz Phair - Girls! Girls! Girls!
14. Thee Oh Sees - Palace Doctor
15. Crosss - Mind
16. Jawbox - Jackpot Plus
17. Iceage - Simony
18. Test Tone Channel - Clown In The Dark
19. White Fence - Arrow Man
20. The Weirdies - Bad Connection
21. The Boys - I Don’t Care
22. The Wipers - Window Shop For Love
23. X-Ray Spex - I Can’t Do Anything
24. REM - (Don't Go Back To) Rockville
25. The Vee Eights - Trick Fueler
26. The Frenetics - Shortest String
27. Mick Futures - In Case We Learn
28. Mick Futures - Mini Mag

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