Thursday, August 29, 2019

Jon Spencer Interview & Show # 789

Spencer Sings The Hits! is the first solo album released by Jon Spencer. Having been in the bands Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog and Heavy Trash, Spencer has long been involved in styles of music that go by their own rules. While it is often in the garage and punk direction, his 2018 solo offering features a melding of his styles so to speak. Spencer Sings The Hits! sounds just as wild and raw as anything that Spencer has ever done. Armed with synth bass, distorted primitive guitar riffs and drums accented with metal percussion, this album creates a world of its own, not retreading past musical landscapes that Spencer has been known for.

The album had its beginnings with demos created by Spencer in his apartment in Manhattan when he didn’t really have a current band to play with. After writing and demoing songs on his own, he put together a new band for this record. He added Sam Coomes (from the band Quasi, Heatmeiser) on keyboards/synth bass and M. Sord (No Monster Club) on drums. All of the songs were recorded in Benton Harbor, Michigan at the Key Club Recording Company and produced/mixed by Jon Spencer and Bill Skibbe. “Do The Trash Can” starts off Spencer Sings The Hits! with the words “Fuck this orange piece of shit!” in between primitive drums and fuzzy overdriven synth bass and fuzzy guitars, “Do The Trash Can” operates with danceable garage punk grooves. The opening lines address the current US political climate in a humorous way, but also with the rest of the song, it releases a sense of anger and rage. Several of the songs on the album address political issues, the celebration of rock and roll, doing something new/looking at the past and other topics in a way only Jon Spencer can. “Fake” lyrically directs its anger outward calling out phonies with its stop and start guitar and bass riffs, “Overload” brings in blues and garage punk dynamics with lyrics that address elements of taking on too much, but the lyrics could also easily apply to the overload of media content we experience on a daily basis.

“Ghost” addresses the theme of aging as the music projects a horror movie sounding aesthetic, “Beetle Boots” features driving guitar and bass riffs and drums as lyrically it addresses the challenges and stereotypes and authenticities of being in a band. With lyrics “You wearing those fake Beetle Boots/You gonna need a new career/Imitation leather and plastic zipper” and “Wrong priorities/Misguided intentions/Ironic distance just reinforces convention” Spencer drives this point home. “Hornet” brings in funky rhythms as lyrically it buzzes about the craziness of one’s past and the freedom that it brings while looking at the present with words such as “Why would anyone want to tie you down/You should be free”, “Wilderness” with its garage and funky interlude features lyrics such as “Set the way back machine for never” and lines like “The noise, the noise, the noise” that finds itself in a world juxtaposed with the noise of being retro for retro’s sake without much else.

“Love Handle” comes in with pounding drums and distorted guitar and bass before a rockabilly styled riff floats into the mix as Spencer sings of the frustrations of long term relationships with a razor sharp wit, “I Got The Hits” is a tongue-in-cheek song that draws parallels to our current political and media climate amongst its soulful garage riffs, while “Cape” ends Spencer Sings The Hits! With its slithery Cramps like riffs alongside synth bass and primal drums, it addresses the frustrations of a male dominated world contrasting it with a desire for a more female centric outlook. The song ends with lyrics that list off female superheros “Calling out Batgirl, calling out Sue Storm, Calling out Black Widow, She Hawk, Starfire, Wonder Woman”. On the album cover of Spencer Sings The Hits! one of Jon Spencer’s hands isn’t a hand at all, it is a menacing looking monster hand. Like the monster hand that appears the album’s cover, the music on Spencer Sings The Hits! lurks with fuzzy guitar riffs, overloaded synthesizer bass and visceral, primal rhythms, creating something that when combined with the lyrical content claws at your subconscious.

Check out Revolution Rock's interview with Jon Spencer here:

Show 789 Playlist (Originally Aired On August 24th, 2019)(Jon Spencer Interview):

1. Jon Spencer - Do The Trash Can
2. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Shirt Jac
3. Heavy Trash - The Loveless
4. Boss Hog - Winn Coma
5. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Bellbottoms
6. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Burn it Off
7. Pussy Galore - NYC 1999!


8. Heavy Trash - That Ain't Right
9. R.L. Burnside - Snake Drive


10. Demolition Doll Rods - Fast One
11. Purlicue - Fire
12. Science is Fiction - Awkward Girl
13. Le Kidd & Les Marinellis - Camille
14. Le Kidd & Les Marinellis - Dis Moi
15. I.n. Baba - Dads
16. Smokey & the Feelings - The Worm
17. Chad VanGaalen - Weird Love
18. Cellos - Blight
19. Oh Seas - Snickersnee
20. Foggy Tapes - Here Comes the Fog
21. Nature Boys - No Subject
22. Dumb - Slacker Needs Serious Work
23. Jon Spencer - Beetle Boots
24. Jon Spencer - Ghost
25. Jon Spencer - Cape

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 24.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Ramones Radio Brain Drain Show # 788

As part of CJAM FM’s Radio Brain Drain programming this year, which is a week’s worth of celebrating punk rock in all its forms. Revolution Rock did a program made up entirely of music from the Ramones. With 14 studio albums in their discography, not counting live albums and compilations, the Ramones branched out in a variety of styles from 1974-1996, but commercial success evaded them. The band was and is still highly influential and even what some people view as not their best albums still feature some great songs. This program featured a mix of music from the band’s discography, selections from the recent 40th anniversary box sets of their first four albums including demos, rare recordings and live recordings. Download/stream the show after the playlist below.

Ramones Radio Brain Drain Playlist:

1. Ramones - Judy is a Punk (Demo) (Ramones - Sire Records - 1976/2001)
2. Ramones - Return of Jackie and Judy (End of the Century - Sire Records - 1980)
3. Ramones - I Want You Around (Soundtrack version) (Rock 'N' Roll High School (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Sire Records - 1979)
4. Ramones - Glad to See You Go (Bubblegum version) (Leave Home - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sire/Rhino Records - 2017)
5. Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated (Take 2) (Road to Ruin - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sire/Rhino Records - 2018)
6. Ramones - Surfin’ Bird (Alternate Vocal) (Rocket to Russia - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sire/Rhino Records - 2017)
7 Ramones - She's the One (Road To Ruin - Sire Records - 1978)
8. Ramones - Bop Til' You Drop (Halfway to Sanity - Sire/Beggars Banquet - 1987)
9. Ramones - Psycho Therapy (Subterranean Jungle - Sire Records - 1983)
10. Ramones - My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Animal Boy - Sire Records - 1986)
11. Ramones - Howling at the Moon (Sha-la-la-la) (Too Tough to Die - Sire/Beggars Banquet - 1984)
12. Ramones - Eat that Rat (Animal Boy - Sire Records - 1986)
13. Ramones - Warthog (Too Tough to Die - Sire/Beggars Banquet - 1984)
14. Ramones - I Don't Wanna Grow Up (Adios Amigos! - Radioactive - 1995)
15. Ramones - Do You Remember Rock n' Roll Radio? (Greatest Hits Live - Radioactive - 1996)
16. Ramones - Pet Sematary (Brain Drain - Sire Records - 1989)
17. Ramones - California Sun (Sundragon Rough Mix) (Sundragon Sessions - Sire/Rhino Records - 2018)
18. Ramones - Swallow My Pride (Sundragon Rough Mix) (Sundragon Sessions - Sire/Rhino Records - 2018)
19. Ramones - I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement (Ramones - Sire Records - 1976)
20. Ramones - Havana Affair (Ramones - Sire Records - 1976)
21. Ramones - 53rd & 3rd (Demo) Ramones (Ramones - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sire/Rhino Records - 2016)
22. Ramones - Commando (Leave Home - Sire Records - 1977)
23. Ramones - Ramona (Sweet Little Ramona Pop Mix) (Rocket to Russia - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sire/Rhino Records - 2017)
24. Ramones - Rockaway Beach (Rocket to Russia - Sire Records - 1977)
25. Ramones - We're a Happy Family (Rocket to Russia - Sire Records - 1977)
26. Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy (Rocket to Russia - Sire Records - 1977)
27. Ramones - Rock 'N' Roll High School (End of the Century - Sire Records - 1979)
28. Ramones - All's Quiet on the Eastern Front (Pleasant Dreams - Sire Records - 1981)
29. Ramones - The KKK Took My Baby Away (Pleasant Dreams - Sire Records - 1981)
30. Ramones - Questioningly (take 2) (Road to Ruin - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Sire/Rhino Records - 2018)
31. Ramones - Little Bit O’Soul (Subterranean Jungle - Sire Records - 1983)
32. Ramones - I'm Not An Answer (Dee Dee Vocal Version) (Too Tough to Die - Sire/Beggars Banquet - 1984/2002)
33. Ramones - R.A.M.O.N.E.S. (Greatest Hits Live - Radioactive - 1996)
34. Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop (Live) (Leave Home - Sire Records - 1977/2001)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 17.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mark Sultan Let Me Out & Shows # 785, 786, 787

Let Me Out was released in October 2018 on Dirty Water Records on vinyl/CD and on cassette through Burger Records. Recorded at Sultan’s Sound Imperfection Studio in the woods of Berlin, this album is the latest release from Sultan, who has a plethora of releases in his discography with other groups such as The Spaceshits, Les Sexareenos, The Ding-Dongs, The King Khan & BBQ Show and as Mark Sultan/BBQ. The songs on this album are layered in fuzz guitar lines, 60s styled Farfisa organ and soulful vocals and rhythms. Let Me Out also has a punk influenced energy that when combined with the other elements that make up this album creates a world of its own.

“Coffin Nails” digs into the listener’s subconscious with fuzz guitar, surf guitar lines, 60s organ stabs and soulful bass and vocals. Lyrically with words such as “You dropped your casket/Into my heart/And there you stay girl until we part/Cause this world don’t mean a thing/It never did it never will” themes of anger, loss and love are cast alongside a desire to not be held down by the aspects of negativity. “The Other Two” delves into a lament for a connection between two people. In between Farfisa organ flourishes, guitar stabs, drum fills and a catchy chorus that states “Three out of five people looking for love/I wanna be the other two”, Sultan’s vocals grab a hold of the listener’s attention with a heartfelt melody that avoids all cliché. “Everybody Knows” dips into a more cosmic, psychedelic atmosphere. With a deep, catchy bass groove, Sultan croons over simmering organ, subtle guitar parts and a chorus revealing the complexity of trust and the words that are often left unsaid that come along with it as the lyrics emphasize “Looks like everything came true/And there’s nothing left to do/Cause everybody knows/Everybody knows”.

“Believe Me” cuts below the surface with a groove taking inspiration from The Count Five, as it changes time signatures, creating a strong dramatic effect, “Don’t Bother Me” picks up the pace with up-tempo drums, organ and revolving basslines, “Last Chance” creates tension amongst fuzzy guitar breakdowns and catchy verses that seem to float between the choruses, “Humiliation” attacks with its stop and start riffs, drum build ups, crashes and otherworldly organ parts. Lyrically, with words such as “So come back baby into my heart/I don’t feel no shame/The prying eyes of a vengeful god are to blame”, this song calls for a sense of understanding from past mistakes and confusions. A new intensity grows with the psych garage of “Let Me Out”. This song festers with a frustration and need to move forward, “Heed This Message” musically goes back to some early 50s rock sounds mixed with early 60s soul and garage sounds, while “Black Magic” floods your speakers with organ, vocal harmonies and jangly guitar. “The Problem” moves back and forth with its own mesmerizing rhythms amongst lyrics such as “And maybe that’s the problem man/That you don’t understand/The way I wanna be” that plea for individuality and a sense of identity. This is a theme that is even more relevant today, but also one that can have many layers to it.

Drum fills and R&B rave up guitar riffs come in with the next track, “Tragedy”. With the lyrics “Drowning in an ocean of obscurity/Got no patience/I ain’t got security” and “Maybe the world’s slipping/None of that matters without you by my side”, this song searches for a place, but is also a love song with a Kinks/Animals musical outlook. “Wasting Away” ends Let Me Out. With slow, fluid organ parts and surf-inflected guitar mixed with pulsing basslines and a marching drumbeat, Sultan seems to be embracing the chaos of life whether it is good or bad. Let Me Out sizzles with intensity, authenticity and strong songwriting. A cohesion presents itself throughout this album with many layered possibilities and lyrical meanings. With all the instrumentation performed by Sultan himself, the music here may be a collection of 60s garage psych songs, but the album does not revel in nostalgia. Let Me Out finds its own voice and is set free with Mark Sultan’s impassioned vocal melodies and innate musical abilities showing why Sultan is a master of his craft.

Show 787 (Originally Aired On August 10th, 2019)(David Berman, Mark Sultan, B Boys, The White Stripes):

1. Silver Jews - Honk If You’re Lonely
2. Purple Mountains - All My Happiness Is Gone
3. Wilco - Red-Eyed And Blue
4. The Unintended - Beautiful Things
5. Smokey & The Feelings - Chores
6. Rheostatics - I Wanna Be Your Robot
7. Aweful - Lucid Dream
8. Oh Sees - Heartworm
9. Mark Sultan - Coffin Nails
10. Mark Sultan - Everybody Knows
11. Mark Sultan - The Problem
12. The Original Sins - Making Up For Lost Time
13. Light Bulb Alley - Walking Backwards On The Moon
14. Pow Wows - Hidden Future
15. The Black Lips - Noc-A-Homa
16. Shotgun Jimmie - 401
17. The Exits - Cheam
18. The V.I.P.'S - Who Knows
19. B Boys - I Want
20. B Boys - Cognitive Dissonance
21. Parkay Quarts - The Map
22. Ronald Regean Story - (Your Love Has Turned My Heart Into A) Hand Grenade
23. Psychic Void - Internet Human
24. Teenanger - Teenanger
25. PIL - Annalisa
26. Simply Saucer - Here Come The Cyborgs (Part 1)
27. The Pointed Sticks - The Witch
28. Danny & The Darleans - Soul On Ice
29. MC5 - Lookin' At You
30. The White Stripes - Stop Breaking Down
31. The White Stripes - Broken Bricks

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 10.

Show 786 (Originally Aired On August 3rd, 2019)(Jack Oblivian, The Oblivians, Ty Segall):

1. The Challengers - Skinned Shins
2. Revels - Revellion
3. Jack Obilivan - La Charra
4. Jack Obilivan - Scarla
5. Reigning Sound - Call Me #1
6. Oblivians - Shut Your Mouth
7. Oblivians - Something for Nothing
8. Membranes - The City is an Animal (Nature is its Slave)
9. The Black Fever - Keep You
10. Ty Segall - Radio
11. Ty Segall - Taste
12. The Hives - Good Samaritan
13. LTD - Leather Boy
14. Almighty Defenders - Cone of Light
15. King Khan Experience - La Responsabe
16. The Jackets - Steam Queen
17. The Vandells - French Girl
18. Iggy Pop - James Bond
19. Purple Mountains - Margaritas at the Mall
20. Leeroy Stagger - Strange Attractor
21. Digawolf - By the Water
22. Paul Jacobs - Stay at Home
23. Uppers - Parapet
24. Idles - Mercedes Marxist
25. METZ - Leave Me Out
26. Titus Andronicus - Beneath the Boot
27. Dude York - Unexpected
28. Snail Mail - Thinning
29. Necking - Go Getter
30. Snake River - Jeanie, I Know When I Want to Go Home

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 3.

Show 785 (Originally Aired On July 27th, 2019)(The Replacements, Foggy Tapes, Cellos):

1. The Replacements - I'll Be You
2. Violent Femmes - Hotel Last Resort
3. The Feelies - Fa Ce La
4. The Sadies - Leave this World Behind
5. Ron Leary - Miles
6. Snakies - Cobra High
7. X - Under the Big Black Sun
8. Prince - Sex Shooter
9. The Stranglers - (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
10. Talking Heads - Mind (Alternate Version)
11. Buzzcocks - Airewaves Dreams
12. Shotgun Jimmie - Cool All The Time
13. Dumb - Some Big Motor Dream
14. Cellos - Slow Revolution
15. Not Of - Tectonic Plates
16. Mannequin Pussy - Patience
17. Lungbutter - Depanneur Sun
18. Necking - Spare Me
19. Light Bulb Alley - I Don't Owe You a Thing
20. Foggy Tapes - Fly in my Head
21. Raised by Weeds - Another Day
22. The Routes - Mantohihi Brother
23. Takeshi Terauchi & the Bunnys - Black Carnation
24. Purple Hearts - Scooby Doo
25. Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers - Before the Beginning
26. Priests - Carol
27. Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty (Peel Session)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 27.