Saturday, April 11, 2020

Black Lips Sing In A World That's Falling Apart & Shows # 820, 823, 824

Released in January 2020, The Black Lips 9th studio album Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart finds the band in a new territory. Called cosmic country by some, the latest offering by Atlanta’s Black Lips is a country record, but other influences attach themselves to the tracks throughout this release. The band’s flower punk and garage rock sound still find their way through and surface at different points on this album. Following the line up change after 2014’s Underneath The Rainbow, guitarist Ian Saint Pe and drummer Joe Bradley exited the group. Jack Hines rejoined the band on guitar (from an earlier incarnation of the group), Oakley Munson from Atlanta’s The Witnesses joined on drums and Zumi Rosow joined on saxophone. They released one album with this line up, the psychedelic tinged Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? in 2017. In 2018, Jack Hines left the group and guitarist/vocalist Jeff Clarke (from Montreal’s Demon’s Claws) joined The Black Lips forging a new line up. Recorded and co-produced by Nic Jodin at Valentine Recording Studios in Laurel Canyon, The Black Lips Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart was recorded on all analog equipment, which lends a certain aesthetic to Black Lips sleazy, country charms.

“Hooker Jon” opens Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart with a guitar fuzz pedal driven country song. Sung by guitarist/vocalist Cole Alexander with lyrics such as “Everybody’s wrong about what turns me on” it evokes a gritty tale of prostitution and mistaken identities. “Chainsaw” is a slower country number, sung by guitarist Jeff Clarke. Conjuring up a Rolling Stones/Gram Parsons, country ballad aesthetic, lyrics such as “And it’s hard to know/That you’ve gone away”, paint a shocking vivid portrait of absence, loss and memory that cuts your right to your very soul. “Rumbler” shifts into upbeat terrain. Sung by bassist Jared Swiley, this song blends fuzzy garage rock riffs with outlaw country and rockabilly. Lyrically, the song is influenced by a GI Joe action figure that was based on the bassist’s great uncle. With lyrics “Ride, ride rumbler ride/Leave them good old boys behind/You know they got nowhere to hide”, Swiley unravels a fictionalized story based on his great uncles exploits that finds itself grappling themes of enemies, past lives, the future and the renegade spirit. “Hold Me Holding You” gallops with fast paced country/rockabilly sounds, while “Gentleman” follows next. With its acoustic and organ sound and lyrics “It's getting hard to lie through my teeth/Cause they rotted out and they're not all there” and “And I found out the hard way, that the pathway to her heart is not through her nose”, this track sung by Cole Alexander, shows a form of bleary maturity from the band.

“Get It On Time” is a cover of an obscure Velvet Underground song. Discovered decades ago on a Velvets bootleg by drummer Oakley Munson, the song jangles with a Velvet Underground & Nico dynamic as saxophonist Zumi Rosow loads the song with her lush, mesmerizing vocals. Deciphered from a very rough recording from an early Velvet Underground rehearsal, Munson completed the words to this incomplete song before the band got it down in the studio. “Get It On Time” builds up to a climactic coda as lyrically, The Black Lips wander through a spellbinding rendition of a song about a myriad of missed opportunities and found determinations. “Angola Rodeo” is a more upbeat rock number with a sleazy Exile On Main Street styled horn section. With lyrics such as “So, while I do my time/I'm gonna rope me some bovines/And be a king for a day/If it's only for a little while” bassist Jared Swiley, tells the tale of an outsider that finds his own fleeting freedom in the rodeo, despite its dangers. “Georgia” lurks with its psychedelic country rhythms, pulling in a Waylon Jennings influence. Operating an ode to Black Lips home state, the track is sung by guitarist Jeff Clarke and also intertwines itself with a sense of longing. “Odelia” blends Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo style music with the Black Lips 60s garage nugget and psychedelic influences. Released as the first single for this album, this angst-ridden track also portrays a sense of complex emotions about the title character in the song. “Dishonest Men” shuffles with its early rock and roll grooves while adding in surf and 60s garage fuzz influences as Swiley weaves stories that sound like they are pulled out of the gospel an old Western film.

“Locust” is another cosmic country song sung by Jeff Clarke. The words “You kept the linen clean/But you couldn’t keep the dirt off me” and “I'm a locust in the wind, there is nothing where I've been/Just a feeling left behind” reveal further grit and depth to this album. “Live Fast Die Slow” ends Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart. Along with “Gentlemen”, this track proves to be another highlight that dives deep into The Black Lips sleazy ethos. The song which sounds like a late night, drunken epiphany glistens with lyrics such as “Live fast, die slow and painful/In a world that's fallin' apart/I never/Ever live to tell”, that evokes a disturbing and chaotic story of a lost soul. With this song Black Lips end their cosmic country infused album with a warped sense of Americana that walks the line between weirdness, satire and sincerity.

Show 824 Playlist (Originally Aired On April 11th, 2020)(John Prine, Bloodshot Bill, The Strokes):

1. John Prine – Pretty Good
2. John Prine – Quiet Man
3. John Prine – Lonesome Friends of Science
4. Cindy Lee – Heavy Metal
5. Hamilton Leithauser – Isabella
6. No Age - Tuned To String
7. Gum Country - Tennis
8. Bloodshot Bill - My Heart Cries For You
9. Bloodshot Bill - Be My Satellite
10. Stompin’ Tom Connors - The Old Atlantic Shore
11. Fiver - Train Leaves Here This Morning
12. Penny Diving – Shotgun, She Said
13. Lie – Good Boy
14. Fuudge – Tu Peux Prendre Mon Ame
15. Glorious Din – Tenement Roofs
16. Spectres – Pictures from Occupied Europe
17. TOPS – Take Down
18. Ty Segall - Gotta Get Up
19. Brenda Vaqueros - Approaching Zero
20. Clifffs - Panic Attack
21. The Fleshtones - Alex Trebek
22. Ex-Bats - Good Enough For You
23. Johnny West - Losing Light
24. Dead Kennedys – Soup is Good Food
25. Husker Du – Wheels
26. Protomartyr – Here is the Thing
27. The Slits – Heard it Through the Grapevine
28. Psychic Void - Denim Daddy
29. Ancient Shapes - All The Kids
30. Talking Heads - Life During Wartime (Alternate Version)
31. The Strokes - Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus

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

Show 823 Playlist (Originally Aired On April 4th, 2020)(Daniel Romano, Black Lips, Bob Dylan):

1. Viagra Boys - Lick The Bag
2. No Fix - Arm The Boys
3. Destination Lonely - In That Time
4. U.S. Girls – Born to Lose
5. Waxahatchee – Witches
6. Nap Eyes – Dark Link
7. Jeff Tweedy – Empty Head
8. Drive by Truckers - Armageddon's Back in Town
9. Andy Shauf - Things I Do
10. Daniel Romano - Where May I Take My Rest
11. Daniel Romano’s The Outfit - Toulouse
12. Chad Vangaalen - Space Dreaming
13. Christopher Sleightholm - Sun’s Rising
14. Born Ruffians – Dedication
15. Mundy's Bay – Heavy Bloom
16. Porridge Radio – Don't Ask Me Twice
17. Holy Fuck – No Error
18. Girl Band – Amygdala
19. Drive Like Jehu – Human Interest
20. Titus Andronicus – On the Street
21. Dogleg – Melee
22. Black Lips - Alone and Forsaken (Laginappe Sessions)
23. Black Lips - Locust
24. Rays - California
25. Shotgun Jimmie - Blues Riffs
26. Trout - Cigarettes
27. The Routes - Just How It Feels
28. Bob Dylan – Murder Most Foul

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

Show #820 Playlist (Originally Aired On March 14th, 2020)(Gang of Four, The Make-Up, Throbbing Gristle, Shadow Show, Johnny West, Psychic Void):

1. Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It
2. Gang of Four - A Hole in the Wallet
3. Gang of Four - We Live As We Dream Alone
4. Gang of Four - I Love A Man In Uniform
5. The Make-Up - Every Baby Cries The Same
6. The Make-Up - Hey! Orpheus
7. The Make-Up - Here Comes The Judge
8. Shoobies - Hot Liquid Salmon
9. Johnny West - Calcium Oxalite
10. Johnny West - These Psychic Pants are Slimming
11. Destroyer - Cue Synthesizer
12. Shadow Show - The Alchemist
13. Shadow Show - Trapeze Act
14. Lie - Good Boy
15. Psychic Void - Bone Shaker
16. Psychic Void - Internet Human
17. Throbbing Gristle - 20 Funk Jazz Greats
18. Throbbing Gristle - Hot on the Heels of Love
19. King Krule - Comet Face
20. The Reigning Sound - I Don't Care
21. Loving - If I Am Only My Thoughts
22. The Black Lips - Get it on Time
23. Buck Owens - King of Fools
24. Merle Haggard - Swingin’ Doors (Alternate Version)
25. Guided by Voices - Cat Beats a Drum Surrender
26. Death - Politicians in my Eyes
27. Elephant Stone - Darker Time, Darker Space
28. Trophy Knife - America's Favourite Pastime
29. Trout - Pagliacci
30. Clamm - Dog
31. Wire - Cactused

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for March 14.

Show 821 was a repeat of a Neil Young themed show from February 2020 featuring mostly obscure cuts from his discography. You can download/stream this episode here and find the playlist here.

Show 822 was a repeat of a show from April 2019 featuring music from the I.R.S. Records label. You can download/stream this episode here and find the playlist here.