Saturday, October 20, 2018

CJAM FM 2018 Pledge Drive & Show # 745

CJAM FM has been broadcasting for 35 years on the FM dial in the Windsor/Detroit area. Being a non-profit radio station that serves the Windsor/Detroit communities, the station relies heavily on support from donations to continue operations. Once a year the station holds an annual pledge drive to raise money to continue broadcasting unique programming that is not mandated by mainstream or corporate interests. This year the station has an overall goal of raising $35,000, which is roughly 30% of their annual budget. Although provided with plenty of new/old music to choose from, programmers at CJAM FM are not told to play and programs/playlists are curated by programmers based on what they like. This creates something original in the programming, whether it is a variety program, Jazz program or something else like many of our ethno-cultural/spoken word programming.

CJAM is an art form when you consider a particular show or program that is being broadcast. Whether you are listening to 99.1 FM in the Windsor/Detroit area or online via CJAM was one of the first campus/community radio stations to have streaming available to listeners online in 1996 and is looking into developing a new mobile app and upgrading the current website. Support this year will go towards those developments, along with station upgrades to help CJAM stay relevant and important in our current digital age. Even with all there is that you can find online via streaming, CJAM has its own voice for independent music and spoken word voices that wouldn’t be heard otherwise. CJAM provides the listener with something you won’t find anywhere else. A program like Revolution Rock would not exist anywhere else if it were not for a place like CJAM FM. If you listen to CJAM, regardless of how, consider making a donation to help the station continue to grow in the world of the broadcast arts that it provides on a daily basis.

If you would like to show your support for CJAM FM you can donate, here are the ways. We also offer incentives as a thank you for your support.

Any Amount – CJAM sticker
$10 – CJAM Enamel Pin
$10-20 – Music Prize Pack (CDs/vinyl/cassettes)
$25 – “Smashing All Preconceived Notions” a documentary on CJAM FM’s 35 year anniversary by Brittany Webster – Provided on an 8 GB flash drive
$50 – CJAM 2018 T-Shirt (Designed by Greg Maxwell)
$100 – CJAM Prize Pack (including 2017 t-shirt and gift certificates)

Individuals looking to donate can call in during Pledge Drive week at 519-971-3630 (Windsor) // 1-855-344-2526 (toll free from Detroit and around the world). Donations are also accepted via a secure online at or through my individual page for the pledge drive at

2018 Pledge Drive Playlist:

1. Bloodshot Bill - I'm Telling You
2. Bloodshot Bill - That Lonesome Feeling
3. The Sadies - Mother of Earth
4. Volunteers - Dunce Kin
5. X - Adult Books (Demo)
6. Television - Venus
7. Wire - Stalemate (Demo)
8. Walter - House On Fire
9. Flesh Rag - Inside Your Mind
10. Cellos - Fly On The Wall (Alternate Take)(CJAM Session)
11. PJ Harvey - Man Size
12. X-Ray Spex - Let's Submerge
13. The Vaselines - Dying For It
14. Fucked Up - Come Down Wrong
15. Mission of Burma - Max Ernst
16. The Unicorns - Ghost Mountain
17. The Sonics - Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
18. Nap Eyes - Everytime The Feeling
19. Papa Ghostface - Samhain
20. The Gruesomes - Jack The Ripper
21. The Gruesomes - The Witch

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 21.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Volunteers I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver Interview & Shows # 743 & 744

In the spring of 2018, Volunteers, a band based in Vancouver released a new album entitled, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver. This debut album appeared mysteriously, by a band consisting of Dave McMartin (guitar), John McMartin (drums), Fraser With (guitar/pedal steel guitar), Craig Pettman (guitar/keyboards/harmonica/vocals) and Brad Felotick on bass/vocals. They have had their song “Who Needs A Girl Like You” featured as the theme song to the CraveTV series, Letterkenny. In addition to providing the title theme to the show, they also have other songs in the various episodes of the show, along with other Vancouver bands. The album was recorded by Andrew Wilkinson, who also plays in the band Dead Ghosts. It was recorded in a barn on the outskirts of Vancouver where the two bands share a rehearsal space. This location is also the same place where Dead Ghosts recorded their 2015 release, Love and Death and All The Rest. As a result, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver has a laid back feel, but also never loses its 60s garage/rock spirit.

“Slough Road” starts off the album in a slow fashion. With just tom drums banging and ringing guitar chords, this opening instrumental track opens I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver in a swampy, nostalgic way as pedal steel guitar joins the mix. “Dollar Bill” follows with a 70s Rolling Stones feel as lyrics in the chorus “It comes creepin’ like a bad disease/Where did the money go/I don’t know” haunt the character in the song. “Pass My Time” is a jangly alt-country track, “Don’t Bring Me Down” brings up the tempo as it rides the grooves of the bass and drums. In the chorus the ramshackle 60s garage riffs blend with organ and the lyrics “Turn on the station/Where’s my television/Don’t bring me down”. This song shows a disillusioned character that is caught between an outside world and another world created by different forms media and what they have to say. The character tries to relate to the outside world while at the same time, not letting either place get them down. “I Don’t Mind” drops into a hazy groove, sounding like a slowed down version of a song by ? & The Mysterians. Surrounded by a circus-like organ and ringing guitars that verge on psychedelic, the vocals, bass and drums hold down the mesmerizing centre of this track. “Dunce Kin” follows in a short, but electrified rickety groove, as “Mother Nature’s Blues” follows with a 70s rock feel. Blending 70s exotic country rock grooves, maracas, and organ, the song questions the environmental factors that surround us all on a daily basis that are often ignored.

“Ten In The Sky” comes in with acoustic guitar, inspired by Neil Young’s 1974 album On The Beach. With its country-folk dynamics, the song paints a landscape with an atmosphere that seems to question the passage of time. “In The Van” drives with a woozy George Jones/Hank Williams feel, “Come On Through” thrashes along with a tight looseness through casual bass grooves, harmonica and cutting guitar riffs, “Jealous Kind” is an alt-country track that sketches out characters that leaves a lasting impression on the listener. Like some of the songs on the album, there are lyrics, but more musical atmosphere. With words such as “You have to admit/You don’t give her much time/That girl you got there/She’s the jealous kind”, the listener is left to wonder about the characters in this song, although mentioned briefly, and the true nature of their intentions. “Open Hearted Strangers” ends the album. Inspired by the story of a person that helped the band out on tour when their van broke down that went by the name Captain Kirk, the song features dusty acoustic guitar, dominant barroom styled piano, amongst country bass, guitar and drums. With lyrics such as “When you’re heading into town and your brakes are burning down/Trust the open hearted strangers on the road” and “At the end of the day/When you don’t know where you’ll stay/Trust the open hearted strangers on the road”, the song not only emphasizes the unexpected kindness of unknown strangers, but also the unpredictability of life in general.

With a title inspired by an ad-lib from a live recording by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver, blends a country/garage musicianship with lyrics that are strong with rich, folk-like imagery. The album is a bit mysterious, but is also a mature reflection on the past and present, while creating something new. The sound of Volunteers is organic, but pulls its roots from different musical backgrounds. I Wish I Was As Happy As John Denver is homegrown, but never sounds dated. It leaves a lasting imprint on the listener that is hard to shake.

Check out the interview that I did with Dave McMartin of Volunteers here:

Show 744 (Originally Aired On October 13th, 2018)(Volunteers Interview):

1. Run Coyote - Night Rider
2. The Insufferables - FBI
3. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Unwanted Number
4. Colter Wall - Nothin'
5. Leonard Cohen - Travelling Light
6. New Riders of the Purple Sage - Lonesome LA Cowboy
7. The Rolling Stones - 100 Years Ago
8. Indian Wars - Took A Trip
9. Volunteers - I Don't Mind


10. Volunteers - Come On Through
11. Bloodshot Bill - Never Wanna See That Face Again
12. Snake River - High/Low
13. Kurt Vile - Loading Zones
14. Black Belt Eagle Scout - Just Lie
15. School Damage - Isn't Easy
16. School Damage - I'm In Love With A Chump
17. Anybodys - RFK
18. Preoccupations - Espionage
19. Fucked Up - House of Keys
20. Carbolizer - ICE
21. Parquet Courts - Total Football

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 15.

On October 6th, 2018 a repeat of an episode featuring an interview with Colin Newman of Wire and the music of Wire. This program (episode 743) can be downloaded here and the playlist can be found here.