Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beck Odelay & Show # 618 & # 619

Originally released on June 18th, 1996, Beck’s Odelay became a breakthrough album for Beck Hansen. Being his fifth full-length album (if you count his earlier independent releases), for Odelay Beck collaborated with The Dust Brothers. As the producers for this album, The Dust Brothers, who had previously worked with The Beastie Boys on their album Paul’s Boutique, added a hip-hop flare to Beck’s sound. While he had experimented with many different genres on some of his previous releases, Odelay blended samples and instrumentation for an album that on paper might not make sense.

Odelay started out with a recording session with producers Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf. The songs were primarily acoustic songs and the album was abandoned when he decided to work with The Dust Brothers instead. The results would be a layered album filled with samples, instrumentation and hip hop backbeats that would jump genres from track to track. “The New Pollution”, “Devils Haircut”, “Where It’s At” and “Jack-Ass” were all released as singles from Odelay and all had a different vibe to them switching from garage rock, to hip hop, jazz, to country. Other tracks included the soulful “Hotwax”, the country and fuzzy blend of “Lord Only Knows”, the punk infused “Minus”, “Readymade” which sounds like it is mixes sounds from Super Mario Brothers with hip hop and “Ramshackle”. The haunting folk sound created on Odelay’s closing track comes from the initial acoustic sessions that Beck worked on prior to enlisting The Dust Brothers. Many of the lyrics to the album have generated theories as to what they might actually mean. And while Beck later admitted that for a lot of the vocal takes they just used scratch vocals and left them because they had grown to like them, the lyrics on Odelay are executed with a cool and aloof nature that draw up vivid imagery.

At the time of creating this album, Beck had been known for his hit single “Loser” from the album Mellow Gold. Odelay would be the album that propelled him from one-hit wonder (in the eyes of the mainstream) to something much more going on to sell more than two million copies. Odelay turned 20 years old on June 18th, 2016 and like the Komondor (the rare breed of dog seen jumping on the cover that has a thick, layered, corded coat of fur), Odelay is thickly layered and filled with many hidden grooves, sounds and unexpected surprises.

Playlist For Show # 619 (Originally Aired June 25th, 2016):

1. The Traditional Fools - Milkman
2. Vision - Inneraction
3. Mission Of Burma - This Is Not A Photograph
4. Mission Of Burma - That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate
5. Walrus - Close My Eyes
6. Brave Radar - Moves In Time
7. Child Actress - Monogamy
8. Odonis Odonis - Nervous
9. Deja Voodoo - Blast Off!
10. Lost Patrol - Walkin’ The Dog
11. The Rolling Stones - Talkin’ Bout You
12. Crazy Rhythm Daddies - Satan Takes A Holiday
13. Paul Simon - Wristband
14. Sonny And The Sunsets - Reject Of The Lowest Planet
15. Mitski - Dan The Dancer
16. Young Rival - Oh Nancy
17. Bob Dylan & George Harrison - I Threw It All Away
18. Boxcar Guitars - This Heat, This Heat
19. Cuff The Duke - Rocking Chair
20. C.W. Stoneking - The Thing I Done
21. Commands - Hey It's Love
22. Timber Timbre - Curtains!?
23. Little Richard - By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
24. Chuck Berry - Roly Poly
25. Willie C. Echols - Satellite Stroll
26. Sex Pistols - Substitute
27. Mick Futures - Tentative Issue
28. Titus Andronicus - Come On, Siobhan
29. James O-L - Detroit And Paris
30. The Heroes - Seven Day Weekend

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 25.

Playlist For Show # 618 (Originally Aired June 18th, 2016):

1. Paul McCartney - Heart Of The Country
2. Beck - Lord Only Knows
3. Bob Dylan - Hurricane
4. Psychic Ills - Another Change
5. Beach Boys - It’s OK (Alternate Mix)
6. Kim Gray - Perfume Ghost
7. Tim Ray & A.V. - Quarter To Eight
8. Damaged Bug - Very
9. Preoccupations - Anxiety
10. Supreme Cool Beings - Survival Of The Coolest
11. Useless Eaters - Industrial Park
12. Nick Lowe - They Called It Rock
13. The Boys - Weekend
14. Big Star - She’s A Mover
15. Daniel Romano - Valerie Leon
16. Sloan - Glitter And Gold
17. The Clash - Version City
18. The Sadies - Locust Eater
19. Hank Williams - I Can’t Get You Off Of My Mind
20. Old Code - The Sun
21. Actual Water - Ivory And Oak
22. The Gruesomes - The Deal
23. The New Dimensions - Psyche-Out
24. The A-Jacks - Fury
25. Tijuana Bibles - Tokyo Topless
26. Ghost Vines - Fire
27. Teenanger - Bank Account
28. X - Los Angeles

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 18.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beat Happening Look Around & Show # 617

Named after the band’s 1987 single, Look Around is a 23-track anthology compiling music from the highly influential indie band Beat Happening. Forming in 1982, Beat Happening recorded and released five full-length albums, four EPs and several singles in that time period before they stopped performing in 1992. In addition to this, band member Calvin Johnson also co-founded the seminal independent music label, K Records. Based out of Olympia, Washington, Beat Happening and K Records spearheaded the indie/lo-fi music movements through both their primitive, simple, yet effective sound and K Records releases which shared a similar mindset.

Beat Happening are a three-piece band comprised of Calvin Johnson (vocals/guitar), Heather Lewis (vocals/guitar/drums) and Bret Lunsford (guitar/drums). There was no bass player in Beat Happening. While people often identify with Johnson’s low baritone vocal tone, his powerful presence and the songs that he sang, Heather Lewis provided not only vocals and guitar on songs that she wrote for the band, she would also play drums on several tracks. The band would often change instruments depending on the song. Her part in Beat Happening would also be influential on the riot grrrl music movement of the 1990s. The band’s primitive sound also featured a lyrical style, which has been described as childlike. Many of the songs display a certain kind of innocence, but in most cases also have darker undertones. They have also been described as being twee pop, which is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the UK in the mid 80s. Through the bands DIY aesthetic, there an element of complexity that creeps up on the listener.

Look Around features many pivotal songs in the band’s catalogue and a few other surprises, all of which were selected by the band for this release. “Indian Summer” is a slow and hazy track and perhaps Beat Happening’s best-known song. On this track, Johnson sings of having breakfast in a cemetery, young love, French toast, molasses, croquet and baked Alaska while the slow moving slightly out of time drum beat follows a mirage-like guitar riff. This song has been covered by numerous artists since its original release and still holds an interest with fans and listeners alike. Amongst the 23 songs on Look Around there are songs such as, “Other Side” a jangly pop song from the band’s 1989 album Black Candy sung by both Johnson and Lewis, along with “Cast A Shadow” which may be one of the band’s strongest songs. There are heavy, fuzzed out garage rock songs “Nancy Sin”, “Pine Box Derby” “Bewitched” which conjure up lyrical images of forbidden love, witchcraft and crushes. Apparently when recording “Bewitched” for1988’s Jamboree one of Bret Lunsford’s guitar strings got stuck on a screw that was sticking out of his guitar. He did not stop the song, but played it with an increasing intensity until it became unstuck.

In “Foggy Eyes” Heather Lewis sings “Keep your eyes shut and live your life/someone else will pay the price” tapping into a sense of the nostalgia and a sense of the unknowing, “In Between”, “Left Behind”, “Fortune Cookie Prize" and “Noise” are all songs sung by Lewis also featured in this set. “Godsend” another track sung by Lewis, is a captivating, almost nine and a half minute trance-like song. “Angel Gone” ends Look Around as its 23rd track. “Angel Gone”, is a slow, catchy jangly pop song featuring Johnson’s trademark low baritone voice combined with higher vocal harmonies by Heather Lewis. This song was released as a one off single in 2000 with the song "Zombie Limbo Time" as the B-side.

At the end of the set, I’m drawn back to the words and slightly out of time rhythms of the song that this anthology was named after, “Look Around”. In the lyrics, it at first listen seems to be a simple love song about a boy that loves a girl who loves another. However, when you pay close attention it is actually the story of a woman that the singer of the song knows is no good for them, but he doesn’t care. It ends with the line “If a black cats gonna cross my path/It might as well be you". This line adds further emphasis with a different type of lyrical tone. Much like the songs of Beat Happening, there are layers, with darker undercurrents that seep in amongst their simple and at times seemingly innocent songs. You don’t have to look very far to find what makes a band like Beat Happening still relevant today. And with rumoured reissues of the band’s five albums and 2003's rarity/B-sides album, Music To Climb The Apple Tree By on vinyl coming soon, this anthology is a good place start.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. The Cool Rays - Diary Of You
2. The Go-Team - Bikini Twilight
3. Beat Happening - Cast A Shadow
4. Beat Happening - Foggy Eyes
5. Burning Hell - Men Without Hats
6. Code Pie - Hands
7. Pity Sex - A Satisfactory World For Reasonable People
8. Andre Williams - I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City
9. Mike Watt & The Missingmen - Up To My Neck In This
10. The Minutemen - Afternoons
11. So Duh Pop! - The Rest You Know
12. Calvin Johnson - Love Will Come Back Again
13. James O-L & The Villains - Dumpsters
14. Shotgun Jimmie - Love Letter
15. Pow Wows - Killing Me
16. Indian Wars - Carol Anne
17. The Monkees - Gotta Give It Time
18. The Creations - Crash
19. The Mockers - Madalena
20. Burdocks - Room Temperature
21. Young Rival - Heard It All Before
22. The Halo Benders - Your Asterisk
23. The Hive Dwellers - Streets Of Olympia Town
24. Dub Narcotic Sound System - Industrial Breakdown
25. Walrus - Fur Skin Coat
26. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Wanted Man
27. Hooded Fang - Miscast
28. Beat Happening - Nancy Sin
29. Beat Happening - Angel Gone

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 11.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Complete Them & Shows # 615 & # 616

In December 2015, The Complete Them 1964-1967 was released via Legacy/Exile Productions. The set compiles all of the recordings made by Them, the band that featured a young Van Morrison. In the linear notes to this set, which were written by Van Morrison himself, he states that Them was “a way for me to sing and play the blues”. Them drew influence from early R&B and blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley Slim Harpo and Muddy Waters, among others. He took the raw blues sound and influence and it was applied to Them. Forming in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1964, Them began first became known for their live performances at the Maritime Hotel. The original group featured Van Morrison on vocals/harmonica, Billy Harrison (guitar), Alan Henderson (bass), Eric Wrixton (keyboards) and Ronnie Millings on drums. Them’s R&B and blues covers were executed in a musical style that would become known as garage rock. Them soon found their way to Decca Records and recorded their first session in July of 1964. They recorded songs such as “Don’t Start Crying Now”, “One Two Brown Eyes”, the popular live favourite “Turn On Your Love Light”, the future garage rock staple “Gloria” and a few others.

Soon after this recording session, the band line-up began to shuffle and Them featured numerous different session musicians on their recordings. It was also during this early point in Van Morrison’s career where he began working with producer/songwriter Bert Burns. One of his contributions to Them was the song “Here Comes The Night”, which was recorded along with a cover “Baby Please Don’t Go”. In this set’s linear notes, Morrison describes first hearing this song on an acoustic guitar. The version that was recorded features Van Morrison’s raw and soulful vocal delivery, and guitar performed by then session musician Jimmy Page. “Here Comes The Night” was Them’s third single. It reached number two on the UK singles charts and number 24 on the US singles charts when it was originally released in October of 1964. Them continued to record with varying lineups. They released several singles and two full-length albums, The Angry Young Them (1965) and Them Again (1966), all of which are included on The Complete Them 1964-1967.

Part of what makes this collection of recordings from other Them compilation releases, most notably The Story Of Them, is the fact that the mono recordings featured here are sourced from the original master tapes from Decca. In addition to this, the third disc featured in this collection features 24 songs made up of demos, alternate versions of session tracks and live recordings from BBC’s Saturday Club. Some of the alternate versions of songs featured here are drastically different. The slow build of “Turn On Your Love Light”, as mentioned earlier, a popular live favourite during the band’s live set in their early days. This version picks up to a rapid R&B rave-up pace, rivaling the previously released studio version. “Go On Home Baby (Take 4)” features more sprawling, aggressive guitar and vocals, while “I Gave My Love A Diamond (Take 8)” is drenched in tremolo guitar, staccato guitar parts and glassy sounding bass. There are numerous nuggets like this throughout this 69-song set. The name Them has often been described as being influenced by the 1954 science fiction film of the same name, but in the linear notes to this set, it is also revealed that it was partly influenced by an ad for another band in Melody Maker. Throughout this set, we can see Van Morrison develop and reveal a sound of raw, wide-eyed garage rock seeped in the blues, to a more soulful sound. It was at this point in 1967 that Van Morrison would branch off from Them and would then go onto a successful solo career.

Below are the playlists for the two most recent episodes of Revolution Rock (Download links are below each playlist):

Show # 616 (Originally Aired on June 4th, 2016):

1. Them - Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4)
2. Them - Turn On Your Love Light (Alternate Version)
3. Them - Richard Cory
4. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Frying Pan
5. The Standells - Rari
6. The Howlies - She’s In Control
7. The Velveteins - Beach Reprise
8. The North Carolina Music Love Army - Stick To The Plan
9. Papa Ghostface - Samhain
10. Border Patrol - This World
11. Jose Contreras - Psychic Radio
12. Art Bergmann - A Town Called Mean
13. Art Bergmann - In Betweens
14. Daniel Romano - I Had To Hide Your Poem In A Song
15. White Fang - Chunks
16. Monomyth - Transmission
17. The Ronald Reagan Story - Ronnie (I Voted For You)
18. The Minstrels Of Truth - I Want Your Business
19. Generation X - Kiss Me Deadly
20. The Police - No Time This Time
21. Gang Of Four - Call Me Up
22. Dee Dee Ramone & The Chinese Dragons - What About Me?
23. The Vores - Stress
24. The Bureaucrats - Grown Up Age
25. Idols - You
26. Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
27. Old Code - Crooked Smile
28. The Mark Inside - Where You Are
29. The Mark Inside - Shark Attack (I Can See Them Circling)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 4.

Show # 615 (Originally Aired on May 28th, 2016):

1. Fire Engines - Discord
2. Walrus - Fur Skin Coat
3. The Burning Hell - Nostalgia
4. Simply Saucer - Dance The Mutation
5. White Lung - Dead Weight
6. Supermoon - Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves
7. Frankie Cosmos - Sinclair
8. Car Seat Headrest - Fill In The Blank
9. Adriean Teacher And The Subs - Terminal City
10. Outrageous Cherry - Sign Of The Times
11. Shotgun Jimmie - Province To Province
12. John Lennon - Crippled Inside
13. Bob Dylan - As I Went Out One Morning
14. Bob Dylan - Melancholy Mood
15. Bob Dylan - That Old Black Magic
16. The Velvet Underground - Coney Island Steeplechase
17. The Modern Lovers - She’s Cracked
18. By Divine Right - Que Paso?
19. Radiohead - Identikit
20. John Cale - Barracuda
21. Leonard Cohen - Tonight Will Be Fine
22. Dead Ghosts - That Old Feeling
23. Them - Mystic Eyes
24. Them - Gloria (Demo)
25. Them - Here Comes The Night (Take 2)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for May 28.