Friday, December 22, 2017

Joe Strummer Day 2017: The Latino Rockabilly War & Chris Crossraods (Shows # 699, 700)

Following his time with The Clash, Joe Strummer worked on a variety of soundtracks, most notably for the Alex Cox films, Sid & Nancy and Walker. The Latino Rockabilly War was the backing band Strummer put together for music on the film Permanent Record, which starred Keanu Reeves. The band consisted of Zander Schloss (guitar), Lonnie Marshall (bass), Jack Irons (drums) as well as Willie McNeil on drums for select tracks. Five songs recorded during this time were featured on the Permanent Record soundtrack, “Trash City”, “Baby the Trans”, “Nothin’ Bout Nothin‘”, “Nefertiti Rock”, and the instrumental track “Theme From Permanent Record”. Three of these tracks were also released as Trash City, a three-track single that featured the title track, “Nefertiti Rock” and “Theme From Permanent Record”. The song “Trash City” is a hidden song within Joe Strummer’s post-Clash years. Often referred to as his Wilderness Years, this song is a rock song with world music rhythms, lyrically the song taps into a party type vibe, drawing on elements of American junk culture and the status quo.

This line-up was also featured on the Earthquake Weather, Joe Strummer’s first official solo album. Released in 1989, the album was initially not received well critically, but that has come to change with time, garnering more of a cult following. Earthquake Weather experiments with the influences of rockabilly, folk, funk, reggae, world music, and pop music. The album opens with Joe Strummer shouting, “Let’s rock again” before launching into the track called “Gangsterville”. The opening seconds of this song set the tone for this album, the first official solo album released by Joe Strummer. Musically the song brought into focus a reggae/rock style with added Caribbean music influences, while lyrically the song seems to reflect the frustrations Strummer was experiencing after his time with The Clash, and fans expectations of him. Lyrics such as “The revolution came and the revolution went/The chemical rain left a message on the tent” and other lines such as, “Wanted: one man to lead a crusade/Payment: a bullet on a parade” exemplify some of this, as a picture is painted of a time that was and a future that is beginning.

“King of the Bayou” is another strong rock song found early on this album, along with “Slant Six”, a song that recalls a Rolling Stones influence. “Shouting Street”, another rock song found on this release seems to pull in a rockabilly influence at times, but has its origins in the last days of The Clash. Apparently the song was late 1985/early 1986 and was intended to be worked up with Clash bassist Paul Simonon, but never was. “Island Hopping” is a more exotic tropical folk song of sorts, drawing in a mellow Caribbean/world music sound as lyrically it shows a changing world that is controlled by the people in power. “Dizzy’s Goatee” drifts into dub territory, while “Boogie With Your Children” brings funk music influences to Earthquake Weather. The song’s sound has drawn comparisons to Red Hot Chili Peppers musically. “Leopard Skin & Limousines” is a sparse arrangement, with flamenco styled guitar on top of piano and acoustic guitar. Lyrics such as “People only wanna Xerox you baby/They got a quota to fill” and “Suppose I should drag my stuff on out/But I don't like the memories/Found a pint of brandy on top of the fridge/And it's working like an antifreeze”, this song is one that is heartfelt, yet one that also seems to be dealing with a juxtaposition of past glories to a new, changed world.

“Jewellers & Bums”, a song cut in two takes, features drummer Jack Irons. He joined in the midst of the recording sessions for Earthquake Weather, but this track is the first one he recorded for this album. “Jewellers & Bums” portrays a searching lyrically, as musically it is an upbeat, yet melancholic track. “Ride Your Donkey” is a cover of 1966 reggae track of the same name originally by The Tennors. “Passport Detroit” drives along as the album’s 13th track before we end up at the song “Sleepwalk”. The last track on Earthquake Weather, “Sleepwalk” ends the album in a slower pace. It brings forth a theme of moving, in different directions, sometimes that occurs lyrically and musically through elements of transportation. This is a theme that runs throughout this album. Apparently written for Frank Sinatra, with its haunting melodies, tells the story of a lost love and the distance that is left between it.

The Latino Rockabilly War toured with Strummer as his backing band for his Rock Against the Rich tour in 1988/1989. After this the band played no more. When Earthquake Weather was released it apparently sold about 7,000 copies and was highly criticized (as mentioned earlier). It would be approximately ten years before Strummer would emerge with The Mescaleros, but this album is deep with hidden meanings, lyrical and musical discoveries, that might not be apparent upon a first listen. Only ever issued on vinyl and cassette, Earthquake Weather has still yet to be released on CD or reissued officially. But, like much of the content found here, it’s not easily explained. It is at times complex, at times not. Sometimes you don’t know what’s there until you take a look and find that bottle of brandy on top of the fridge.

Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War (Show # 699):

1. Theme From Permanent Record (Permanent Record Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
2. Nefertiti Rock (Permanent Record Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
3. King of the Bayou (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
4. Jewellers & Bums (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
5. Slant Six (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
6. Louisiana Turnpike (Permanent Record Outtakes - 1988)
7. Search Party (Permanent Record Outtakes - 1988)
8. Plymouth Roadrunner (Permanent Record Outtakes - 1988)
9. Punk Rock Blues (Gangsterville - 1989)
10. Viva La 15th Brigade (Island Hopping Single - 1989)
11. Don’t Tango With Django (Gangsterville Extended Mix - 1989)
12. Island Hopping (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
13. Sightsee MC (Live At Coasters Edinburgh, Scotland - 08.11.1988)
14. V.Thirteen (Live Green Wedge Benefit, The Tabernacle - Notting Hill, London 1988)
15. Straight To Hell (Live Green Wedge Benefit, The Tabernacle - Notting Hill, London 1988)
16. Dizzy’s Goatee (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
17. Boogie With Your Children (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
18. Ride Your Donkey (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
19. Cholo Vest (Permanent Record Outtakes - 1988)
20. Nameless (Permanent Record Outtakes - 1988)
21. Japanese Cars (Permanent Record Outtakes - 1988)
22. Trash City (Permanent Record Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
23. Baby The Trans (Permanent Record Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
24. Nothin’ Bout Nothin’ (Permanent Record Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
25. Passport To Detroit (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
26. Shouting Street (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
27. Highway One Zero Street (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
28. Sleepwalk (Earthquake Weather - 1989)
29. Gangsterville (Earthquake Weather - 1989)

Download this episode here!

An Interview With Chris Crossroads:

Chris Crossroads busks and performs as a solo artist. He has released music under that name, some of which are on his Bandcamp page. These recordings take on a DIY, lo-fi aesthetic. The music is usually folk and country based, but with elements of punk and other genres. Described as gothabilly, glitch rock, punkgrass, Crossroads originates from Winnipeg. For several years he also lived in Windsor, Ontario. Currently, Chris is back in Winnipeg where he is part of a new group called The Dirty Dead. Crossroads has created several art/videos on YouTube that has earned him wide acclaim.

This 30-minute program features an interview with musician Chris Crossroads, who has performed music all over Canada and has busked everywhere from Windsor to Winnipeg. We discuss the issues of poverty and poverty prevention from the point of view of a busker. The songs featured on this program were all songs performed live on CJAM FM at different points over the last several years on Revolution Rock. One of which, is a cover of Johnny Cash's version of "One Piece At A Time".

Chris Crossroads:  Joe Strummer Day 2017 Playlist (Show 700):

1. Chris Crossroads - Lost In The 13th Dimension (CJAM Session)
2. Chris Crossroads - Monsters In The Cradle (CJAM Session)


3. Chris Crossroads - All In The Family (CJAM Session)
4. Chris Crossroads - One Piece At A Time (CJAM Session)

Download this episode here!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cellos The Great Leap Backward & Shows # 698 & 701

In the summer of 2017, Cellos released The Great Leap Backward. Cellos are a noise rock band from Windsor, Ontario that have been creating heavy, riff oriented songs since 2011’s Bomb Shelter. The band consists of Kyle Marchand (guitar/vocals), Dave Allan (drums) and Vince Mazerolle (bass), who joined the band earlier in 2017 replacing bassist Joe Rabie, who played bass on The Great Leap Backward. The album was recorded at Sound Foundry Studios in Kingsville, Ontario by Brett Humber in the summer of 2016. The nine tracks found here were recorded consecutively and as a result, The Great Leap Backward has a unique cohesiveness to its overall sound.

“White Lines” opens The Great Leap Backward with its sludgy, heavy stop and start riffs. The song features distorted vocals throughout the verses, as melodic vocals occur at about the halfway point in this track, before heading into an apocalyptic breakdown featuring a hail of drums and distorted guitars. Lyrically, the song seems to question the unpredictability of what someone may think is right or wrong and the blurry lines of what’s in between. “Demagogue” comes in as the second track on this album. With its slithery guitar riffs, hard-hitting drums and creeping intense basslines, this song was inspired by the events of the most recent US election. With lines such as “I heard the Visigoths are coming/So you better build a wall”, “Demagogue at the throne” and “I hope you’re feeling comfortable/You get what you paid for”, Cellos paint an uneasy picture of a world of un-rational thought and its consequences.

“Delirium Tremens” starts off with drums and a heavy bassline before vocals and lead guitar lines, filter in and out, “Ghosts In The Sky” attacks with heavy riffs and drums that seem to float amongst the instrumentation and vocals. The breakdown of this song builds to a sludgy intensity before it drifts out into feedback. “Snake Charmer” lures you in with its heavy Melvins-meets-Kittens dynamic, “Out of Phase” broods with a balance of slow and heavy dynamics, pulling in elements of post-rock musically. Clocking in at just a little over six minutes, this song sucks you into its atmospheric, haunting void. This is also illustrated lyrically with words such as “Bodies floating in the Salton Sea/Dipped my head in, but I forgot to breathe” and “You were a ghost to me and if I chose to stay/Would I still be breathing?”. The short approximately two minute track “Bury Me On Highway 3”, showcases a Minutemen influence and was inspired by the long drive from Windsor to the band’s jam space in Kingsville, while “Shooting Star” picks up the pace further as it drags the listener down with its visceral guitar riffs.

“Stranger At The Door” ends the album, portraying a feeling of suspension musically and uncertainty, lyrically. At about five and a half minutes, this track encompasses elements of Cellos earlier sounds with a step out into something new. Lyrically, throughout The Great Leap Backward, Cellos employ an introspective method on several of the tracks. Musically, in terms of influence bands such as The Jesus Lizard, Melvins, and Kittens come to mind when listening to this LP. Cellos approach to this album maintains their heavy, aggressive sound, while at the same time incorporating more melody into some of the tracks, adding layers to their sound. The album may be titled, The Great Leap Backward, but on this album Cellos does the exact opposite.

Show 698 Playlist (Originally Aired On December 16th, 2017):

1. Lucille Furs - Thoughts & Words
2. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Poolygondwanaland
3. OCS - Memory of a Cut Off Head
4. Oh Sees - Drowned Beast
5. Julie & The Wrong Guys - Condescending You
6. Casper Skulls - You Can Call Me Allocator
7. Cellos - Snake Charmer (CJAM Session)
8. Fiftywatthead - Rock and Roll Killer
9. Motorhead - Dance
10. Flat Worms - Goodbye Texas
11. METZ - Dig A Hole
12. Gianna Lauren - Inn Keeper
13. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Continental Breakfast
14. Jeff Rosenstock - Beers Again Alone
15. The She's - Ashes
16. Des Demonas - Does It Matter To You
17. The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired (Demo)
18. Microdot - Atom Pentagon
19. Wolf Parade - Artificial Life
20. Laura Sauvage - Monkeys In Space
21. Klazo - This And That
22. Alex Chilton - Shakin' The World
23. Jonathan Richman - The Heart of a Saturday Night
24. The Brood - Chicken, Cheese & Beer
25. Mauno - Com
26. Little Girls - Concepts

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 16.

Show 701 (Originally Aired On December 23 is a repeat of my 2017 Joe Strummer Day Latino Rockabilly War Special.  Download that here and view the post here.)

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Replacements Live At Maxwell's 1986 & Shows # 695, 696, 697

On February 4th, 1986, The Replacements played a live show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. It wasn’t a new venue for the band to play, in fact, they had played there several years before in 1983, during their first East Coast tour. This live show was recorded by Randy Ezratty on a multi-track mobile studio. The mobile studio that was used for this recording was the same New York-based Effanel recording unit that was used for U2’s Under A Blood Red Sky and The Unforgettable Fire album. This show captured the band in what many are saying is one of their last great live performances featuring original guitarist, Bob Stinson. Prior to this, the recording of this show had only been available in bootleg form.

In 1985, the band had signed to Sire Records and released their critically acclaimed album, Tim. This live show was recorded to capture and document The Replacements in their live element, it was intended to be used for some sort of promotional purpose. Head of Sire Records, Seymour Stein suggested a live recording of the band, he had seen them perform live in December 1984 at New York’s Irving Plaza, which led to them getting signed to Sire Records. This recording was set up by Michael Hill, the band’s A&R man at the time. It took place shortly after The Replacements infamous Saturday Night Live appearance in 1985, which earned them a lifetime ban from NBC.

For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986, features 29 tracks made up of a collection of B-sides, covers and a mix of songs from all of the band’s albums up to that point in time. “Hayday” opens the album. Originally featured on 1983’s Hootenanny. This blistering take on this track shows the band starting off with high energy and in top form. Throughout this song and during various points of this concert, Westerberg can be heard shouting “Murder!” instead of the actual lyrics. This was done as part of an inside joke amongst the band, but also that warranted the title “Rock Like Murder” in an interview from Rolling Stone in 2012. It is followed up with a loose version of “Color Me Impressed”, “Dose Of Thunder” is a deeper cut from 1986’s Tim, while “Fox On The Run” is the first of several cover songs featured on this recording. Originally by The Sweet, this half-serious take of this song is cut short after about a minute.

The Replacements ability to balance their drunken reckless abandon with a seriousness and maturity in their music is exemplified perfectly throughout this album. They had a reputation live where they would sometimes play rowdy live shows in a drunken state, performing sets made up entirely of cover songs randomly, while on other occasions they would perform magnificently combining both originals and covers. “Hold My Life”, “I Will Dare”, “Unsatisfied”, “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out”, and “Can’t Hardly Wait”, performed here before it was released as a studio recording, are some of the tracks on this release that exemplify this. This song had been part of the band’s live set since 1984, but wouldn’t turn up on a record until 1987’s Pleased To Meet Me. “Bastards Of The Young” and “Kiss Me On The Bus” featured here differ from the studio recordings found on 1986’s Tim. Lead guitarist Bob Stinson, as described in the liner notes by Bob Mehr, “Seesaws between pinpoint precision and reckless abandon” on this release. During the recording of Tim he began to withdraw from the band. The live performances of these songs originally found on Tim, arguably exceed the studio versions.

Songs such as “Takin’ A Ride”, “I’m In Trouble”, and “God Damn Job” rival the early recordings and for all intents and purposes may be superior to those versions. In addition to this, there are the other moments such as “Left Of The Dial” which is an excellent performance of the song until it falls off of the rails at the end and “Answering Machine” which begins in dissonance before the band launches into this track. “If Only You Were Lonely” captures an unpredictable spontaneity. This song Westerberg’s country lament was originally released as the B-side to “I’m In Trouble” and starts off as a solo Westerberg track as the band joins in.

The covers of The Beatles “Nowhere Man”, T.Rex’s “Baby Strange”, Kiss’s “Black Diamond” and Vanity Fair’s “Hitching A Ride” are injected with the band’s own brand of raucousness. The album ends with two tracks from The Replacements 1982 Stink EP. An EP that ventured into hardcore punk territory at times, “Go” provides a moody moment prior to the concert ending middle finger send off track “Fuck School”.

The only live recording that was released by the band prior to this was, the 1985 cassette only release, The Shit Hits The Fans. This recording features reckless versions of primarily cover songs. The Maxwell’s recordings sat in the Warner Bros. vaults for decades, until they were finally mixed in 2007 as part of a reissue campaign for the band. These tracks were mixed by Brain Kehw and Bill Inglot, but still it would be another decade until they saw the light of day.

Shortly after this concert and some tours in the US and Europe, Bob Stinson departed from the group. Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars decided to regroup as a three-piece band and return to the studio. The result would be 1987’s Pleased To Meet Me, produced by Jim Dickinson. Seeing as how the band’s lineup had now changed, this live album was not released. The concert, a moment captured, was thought to be lost. Following the release of his New York Times best seller Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements, this album was produced for release by author Bob Mehr. For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 may have taken 31 years to be released, but it captures The Replacements in a moment. Whether you were there or not when it happened, this moment that many thought had been lost forever, now lives again.

Show 697 (Originally Aired On December 9th, 2017):

1. The Iguanas - Wild Weekend
2. The Novas - Take 7
3. Mach Kung-Fu - Bamboosville
4. Jackie Shane - In My Tenement
5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Sail On!
6. Grassy Knoll & The Magic Bullit - Around Under Your Feet
7. Grassy Knoll & The Magic Bullit - Bonberry Blues
8. The Holy Gasp - Stomp Out The Man
9. Chad VanGaalen - Static Shape
10. King Krule - Slush Puppy
11. Angel Olsen - Fly On Your Wall
12. Husker Du - Diane
13. Husker Du - Do You Remember?
14. Husker Du - Chinese Rocks
15. The Replacements - Anywhere's Better Than Here
16. The Replacements - I Won't
17. The Replacements - Portland
18. The Minutemen - Self-Referenced
19. The Minutemen - Cut
20. Wilco - Monday
21. TUNS - Throw It All Away
22. Chang-A-Lang - Throwaway Litres
23. Paul Jacobs - Stay At Home
24. The Fuzzy Undertones - Empath Blues
25. Torres - Helen In the Woods
26. The Runaways - School Days
27. The Revelons - The Way You (Touch My Hand)
28. Richard Lloyd - (I Thought) You Wanted To Know
29. The Replacements - Kiss Me On The Bus (Live At Maxwell's 1986)
30. The Replacements - Baby Strange (Live At Maxwell's 1986)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 9.

Show 696 (Originally Aired On December 2nd, 2017):

1. Link Wray - American Sunset
2. Link Wray - The Swag
3. The Velvetones - Doheny Run
4. The Scarlet Ribbon - Four in The Morning
5. Lucille Furs - The Fawn Of Teal Dear
6. (Those) Rogues - Wish I Could See You Again
7. Sultans 5 - You Know You Know
8. Link Wray - Son of Rumble
9. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Outta The Woodwork
10. Craig Brown Band - Shoulda Been Fishin'
11. James O-L & The Villains - The Road In Between
12. Jerry Jerry & The Son of Rhythm Orchestra - Dumb Love
13. King Khan - It's A Lie
14. The Dirtbombs - Your Love Belongs Under A Rock
15. Flat Worms - Motorbike
16. The O Voids - Next Week
17. Pale Lips - Hiding From The Moon
18. Actual Water - Having Fun in 2001
19. The Diodes - Mercenary Flight
20. The Replacements - Fox On The Run (Live At Maxwell's 1986)
21. The Replacements - Takin' A Ride (Live At Maxwell's 1986)
22. The Replacements - Bastards of Young (Live At Maxwell's 1986)
23. Television - I'm Gonna Find You (1974 Ork Loft Rehearsal)
24. Television - Double Exposure (1974 Eno Demo)
25. The Neon Boys - That's All I Know (Right Now)
26. Ariel Pink - Another Weekend
27. The Chills - The Oncoming Day
28. Ancient Shapes - Public Hymns
29. Ancient Shapes - Ancient Shapes
30. Jack O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers - Make Your Mind Up
31. The Damned - I Just Can't Be Happy Today
32. The Lost Patrol - Blue's Theme
33. The D4 - John Rock And Roll Sinclair

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 2.

Show 695 (Originally Aired On November 25th, 2017):

1. The Traditional Fools - Davey Crockett
2. Dusty Mush - Ugly Buddies
3. Priors - Got in Me
4. Cold Warps - Sleepist
5. Century Palm - Echo Divide (CJSW Session)
6. Fake Palms - I'm Not There (CJSW Session)
7. Trout - Long Hair
8. The Sliders - The Lamb Shake
9. The Flamethrowers - The Knight's Caper
10. Bloodshot Bill - Outta The Rain
11. Carl Perkins - Boppin' The Blues
12. Doctor Ross - The Boogie Disease
13. Bloodshot Bill - Shick Shack
14. Tom Waits - Gin Soaked Boy
15. Jonathan Richman - You're Crazy For Taking the Bus
16. Diane Motel - Okemah
17. Chad VanGaalen - Host Body
18. Ty Segall - Cherry Red
19. Expedition To Earth - Expedition To Earth
20. The Fall-Outs - Alone
21. Wolf Parade - Valley Boy
22. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - What I Like About Grease
23. The Blazers - Beaver Patrol
24. Elevator Through - The Only See To Thought
25. The Makers - It's Hard To Be Human
26. The Adverts - I Will Walk You Home
27. Radio Birdman - I-94
28. Television Personalities - Look Back In Anger
29. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Down At the Rock and Roll Club
30. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Who Says?
31. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Blank Generation

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