Saturday, August 19, 2017

Revolution Rock: Radio Brain Drain - LA Punk Special & Show # 680 & 681

As part of CJAM FM’s Radio Brain Drain, a week's worth of programming devoted to punk rock and all its forms, Revolution Rock hosted a program featuring music made up from the early LA punk music scenes. The play list was also inspired by the book Under The Big Black Sun, a book written by John Doe with Tom DeSavia about the LA Punk music scene. In addition to playing a selection of music from the early LA punk music scenes, the show also featured part of an interview that I did with X’s John Doe in 2016.

You can listen to the interview that I did with John Doe here:

Radio Brain Drain 2017 (LA Punk Special):

1. The Descendents – Suburban Home (Milo Goes to College - 1982)
2. Bad Religion – We’re only Gonna Die (How Could Hell Be Any Worse? - 1982)
3. The Dickies – Paranoid (The Incredible Shrinking Dickies - 1979)
4. The Eyes - Don’t Talk To Me (The Eyes/The Controllers/The Skulls - Don't Talk To Me/(The Original) Neutron Bomb/Victims - 1978)
5. The Screamers - Vertigo (Demos 1977-1978 - 2013)
6. X - Los Angeles (Los Angeles - 1980)
7. X - Adult Books (Wild Gift - 1981)


8. The Flesh Eaters - River of Fever (A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die - 1981)
9. The Blasters - She Ain’t Got The Beat (American Music - 1980)
10. The Gun Club - Sex Beat (Fire of Love - 1981)
11. The Alley Cats – Nightmare City [Nightmare City - 1981]
12. The Go-Go’s - We Got the Beat (Original 1980 Stiff Records Version) (We Got The Beat/How Much More - 1980)
13. The Weirdos – Destroy all Music (Destroy All Music - 1977)
14. The Dils – You’re not Blank (I Hate the Rich/You’re Not Blank - 1977)
15. The Zeroes – Don’t Push Me Around (Wimp/Don't Push Me Around - 1977)
16. The Brat - Attitudes (Attitudes EP - 1980)
17. Black Flag - Rise Above (Damaged - 1981)
18. Circle Jerks – Deny Everything (Group Sex - 1980)
19. FEAR – Let’s Have a War (Paradise Studios Demos - 1982)
20. Wasted Youth – Problem Child (Reagan’s In - 1981)
21. Germs – Manimal ((GI) - 1979)
22. The Nerves - You Found Out (The Nerves EP - 1976)
23. The Plugz – A Gain – A Loss (Electrify Me - 1979)
24. Suburban Lawns - Janitor (Suburban Lawns - 1981)
25. Black Randy and the Metrosquad – I Slept in an Arcade (Pass the Dust, I Think I’m Bowie - 1979)
26. Bags – Survive (All Bagged Up..The Collected Works 1977-1980 - 2007)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 19.

Show 680 was a repeat of show 668, which was an episode featuring an interview with the drummer from Toronto's Teenanger. You can view that post here.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Teenanger Steve Sidoli Interview & Show # 679

Toronto’s Teenanger returned with their fifth full-length album, Teenager earlier this summer. The album’s title is a reference to the error from others when pronouncing their band name, whether in articles or on band posters, its something that has been happening since they first began as a band back in 2007. The album was created over a year period beginning in 2016 and produced by the band’s own drummer Steve Sidoli and guitarist Jon Schouten. The album pulls in a lot of elements of previous Teenanger albums, $ingles Don’t Sell and EPLP come to mind, but at the same time this album is different from its predecessors.

Teenager starts with the instrumental track “The Middle Fingers” perhaps titled this way as a jab to people who might want to criticize this track for going full synth. This track sounds like it was lifted from an obscure 80s B-horror movie soundtrack. The track creeps around, roams and infiltrates your speakers and/or listening devices with an undeniable mood. The track drifts into the album’s first track with vocals, “Dawn”. This song establishes a feeling with its steady, Public Image Limited influenced bassline, as watery guitar lines, filter in and out of the bass and in the pocket drum groove. Chris Swimmings sings a vocal that is more laid back, but one that is also tense with his trademark snarling attitude. On a lyrical level words such as “Lost days and I’m feeling awake/This town is gonna suffocate/Price tags are never going down” and a chorus of “A child at 4 AM/The streets are rather tame/At Dawn/Always at dawn”, the listener finds themselves in a reflective, contemplative mood, trying to pin down a feeling, that can’t really be defined by the eerie, empty streets at dawn. “Emoji Kush” brings together several emotional strands into a single musical output. Teenanger attack this song and its subject matter with a cynical look at nightlife, social media, vanity and the like with a mellow tempo juxtaposed with the track’s jagged Gang of Four-like guitars and 80s drum rhythms. “Just Drop It” ups the tempo with vocals from bassist Melissa Ball, as lyrically she addresses a situation, expressing a desire to move forward, despite the protagonist this song employs who has their own ideas, “Media Overload” follows with slower lucid tempos amongst lyrics such as “Hey Siri table for four”, and “Media overload/Taking Too much” that address the immediacy of social media, its many flaws and the sensory overload that can be caused from it.

“Wychwood Heights” starts off with creepy electronic rhythms before launching into an intense clanging groove. The song tells the story of a coward hiding out in this Toronto suburb, amongst its other subtle themes. It is one of a few songs found on Teenager that addresses urban/suburban themes. “It Works With My Body” is a drum and bass dominated track featuring twisting sounding guitar lines, “Weird Money” features biting vocals and heavy basslines, as “The Night Shift” offers up something else entirely. Dominated in industrial post punk sounds, with echoing drums and dominating synthesizers, this track features vocals from drummer Steve Sidoli. The lyrics reflect late night thoughts dealing with employment in a way similar to the song “Dawn”, found earlier on this album. This song employs a synthesizer induced otherworldly feeling. “Pay It Forward” brings up the intensity, while “Fun Forgot” is one of the strongest songs found on this album. With lyrics such as “I like a lot of stuff/But I’m not into much”, Swimmings tells the tale of an uninspired summer, that embodies a slacker rebelliousness and an unexpected realization amongst the songs sprawling guitar-lines that splash in between the crashing drumbeats and unrelenting, sunbaked basslines.

“N.O.B.L.O” ends Teenager. Standing for North of Bloor, Life Onwards, this track addresses the suburban dilemma of Toronto’s real estate situation and being an artist in that area of the city. Sidoli recently stated in Now Toronto: “Now, being forced to move north of Bloor is like a new frontier because you’ve been priced out or you want a bigger place. There’s an analogy there between having to do that and moving into adulthood and other phases of life.” This quote can be utilized to show the general consensus brought forth on this album, but with this album there are a lot of subtle layers that all add up to a greater whole. With the sounds found on Teenager, we see that Teenanger haven’t changed drastically into some unexpected, over-bloated version of what they once were that can be found at a shopping mall. Teenanger isn’t trying to be something that they’re not, but they’re also not repeating themselves here. With the album’s title, Teenanger poke fun at themselves. At the same time they mess with the people in the world that surrounds them on different levels that don’t read between the lines to see what’s actually there.

Check out my interview with Teenanger drummer Steve Sidoli here:

The Play List:

1. The Belle Isles - Summer Song
2. Greg Cartwright - Love Won't Leave You A Song
3. The Oblivians - Bad Man
4. The Stooges - Real Cool Time
5. The Yardbirds - Psycho Daisies
6. The Rolling Stones - Now I've Got A Witness
7. The Beatles - Long Tall Sally (BBC Session)
8. Teenanger - Dawn
9. Teenanger - Just Drop It


10. Teenanger - Fun Forgot
11. Teenanger - The Night Shift
12. Cellos - Demagogue
13. The Birthday Party - Sonnys Burning
14. The Psychic Alliance - I Saw An Aquatic Rat Today
15. Aron D'Alesio - Destroyer
16. Sprinters - What's Done Is Done
17. Dale Crover - Little Brother
18. Guided By Voices - Just To Show You
19. Paul The Tailor - Two Brains
20. Mise En Scene - Light In The Night
21. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Down On Me
22. David Bowie - Shapes Of Things
23. Daniel Romano - Sucking The Old World Dry
24. Johnny West - Spider Ventriloquist
25. Ramones - Ramona
26. Ramones - It's A Long Way Back To Germany

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 5.