Saturday, August 01, 2020

Joy Division Closer & Shows # 840, 839, 838, 837

Released on July 18th, 1980 on Factory Records, Closer was Joy Division’s second and final studio album. The album was released two months after the death of lead singer Ian Curtis. A darker tone surrounds this album and the passing of Curtis only added to this element of the music. The album features a mixture of more guitar oriented songs and more of a synthesized electronic form of music. It is this combination of the experimental and the noisier guitar based tracks that create a certain type of dichotomy in the music. This when combined with the lyrics of Ian Curtis, which depict torment and the dealing with different paradigms such as alienation, loneliness, and materiality that create something different than its predecessor, Unknown Pleasures

“Atrocity Exhibition” starts of with a rotating drum pattern, before bass and experimental, noisy guitar builds up momentum. On this track bassist Peter Hook and guitarist Bernard Sumner switched instruments, giving it an unnerving, unpredictable edge. The song’s title comes from author J.G. Ballard, a lyrical influence of Curtis. With lyrics such “Asylums with doors open wide/Where people had paid to see inside/For entertainment they watch his body twist/Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist”, Curtis draws influence from his own personal struggles and distills it emphasizing the fascination of being entertained by something atrocious. “Isolation” begins with a very distinct electronic drum sound and springy sounding bassline as icy synthesizers float in. Lyrically, Curtis sounds as if he’s singing in a cavernous hall, it is also somewhat digital, which gives the song a certain aesthetic that fits its mood. This song displays a sense of melancholy as it addresses loneliness, anxiety and alienation. Comparisons have also been drawn to themes found in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot to this song. “Passover” features more moody, jagged guitar work from Bernard Sumner, mixed with the metronome-like drumming of Stephen Morris and idiosyncratic bass parts from Hook. Lyrically it takes on multiple meanings showcasing a positive and negative ambiguity. “Colony” draws on the influence of Franz Kafka lyrically with dark lyrics, while musically the song moves with tense rhythm with heavy bass, erratic guitar and meticulous drumbeats. 

“Heart And Soul” jumps more into the experimental side of Closer. With lyrics such as “Existence well what does it matter?/I exist on the best terms I can/The past is now part of my future/The present is well out of hand”, Curtis emphasizes existential themes, while also drawing on themes of hopelessness and frustration. Musically, the pulsating basslines build pressure underneath the drums and guitar. “24 Hours” contrasts haunting, dark lyrics with more upbeat music. The six string bass playing on Peter Hook on this track really adds to the song when combined with the drum and guitar elements. “The Eternal” starts off with intense train noises, before piano, bass, and echoing drumbeats take over. The lyrics are chilling as they depict an almost spectral mood. “Decades” ends Closer. Musically, shades of David Bowie’s Low show as an influence, but Joy Division make this song their own. The song clocks in at over six minutes and looms with creeping synthesizers, subtle, yet driving basslines that lock in with the drums in a locomotive-like way. Atop all of this are Ian Curtis’ vocals, which express a multitude of emotional turmoil. 

With Closer, Joy Division released what many feel is their masterpiece. The music and experimentation when combined with the production qualities and techniques of Martin Hannett painted broad strokes with Joy Division's sound. Recorded Britannia Row studios in Islington, Joy Division found themselves in a more conventional studio space. And space was something that they had. The space that is found on this record is often breathtaking. With Closer, Joy Division created a darker atmosphere with their sound, often exploring multi-layered sonic textures that had not been explored before. The icy, cavernous feeling is present throughout this album whether it is the music, the lyrics or both. Closer would pave the way for future musical landscapes from bands such as The Cure, U2, Bauhaus, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and the genre that was to become goth rock. While many view the album as exploring a world of darkness, that’s not all that it does. It searches for hope, love and rebirth. It is something you have to experience and can pull different meanings from.  Closer has its own mystique that draws in its listeners.  

Show 840 (Originally Aired On August 1st, 2020)(Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Bruce Springsteen, Dog Day, Teenanger):  

1.  Enchanters - High Heel Roller Skates
2.  Leather Uppers - Hot Shot 
3.  The Mumps - Crocodile Tears 
4.  The Marbles - Computer Cards 
5.  Gary Valentine - The First One 
6.  Fleetwood Mac - The Green Manalishi (With Two Prongs) 
7.  Les Hays Babies - Almost Minuit 
8.  Holy Fuck - Saint Sebastian 
9.  Dehd - No Time 
10.  Special Interest - Homogenized Milk 
11.  Reverb Ranch - Theme From El Camino De Los Muertos 
12.  Sandford Clark - They Call Me Country 
13.  Fiver - Why Do I Have To Choose 
14.  Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Quick Trick 
15.  Grant Green - No. 1 Green Street
16.  Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City 
17.  Bruce Springsteen - Hello Sunshine 
18.  The Lost Dakotas - To Love Someone 
19.  The Sadies - It's Nothing To Me 
20.  Dog Day - Trouble 
21.  Coriky - Hard To Explain 
22.  Thee Dirty Rats - Universe Is Chaos 
23.  Penny Diving - Nineteen 
24.  Shadow Show - Trapeze Act 
25.  Peach Kelli Pop - Don't Push Me 
26.  The Amps - Pacer 
27.  Skating Polly - Camelot 
28.  Sonic Youth - Bull In The Heather 
29.  Teenanger - Touching Glass 
30.  Teenanger - Fun Forgot

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the August 1 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 839 (Originally Aired On July 25th, 2020)(The OBGMs, Jarv Is..., METZ, Protomartyr):

1.  John Zorn - Milano Odeo 
2.  Dead Kennedys - Chickenfarm 
3.  Jesse Jam and the Flams - I'm Drawing A Blank 
4.  SNFU - Money Matters 
5.  The OBGMs - Not Again 
6.  Au Pairs - You 
7.  Favours - Memories 
8.  The Vacant Lots - Station
9.  The Strokes - The Adults Are Talking 
10.  Pottery - Under The Wires 
11.  Jarv Is… - Save The Whale 
12.  Touching - Oh General 
13.  Mother Sun - Pizza For Days 
14.  Priests - Texas Instruments 
15.  Jeffery Lee Pierce - Wildweed 
16.  The Unrelated Segments - Where You Gonna Go 
17.  Neil Young - Love Is A Rose 
18.  Joel Plaskett - West Cork Blended Irish Whiskey 
19.  Bloodshot Bill - Butcher Shop Boys (W/Butcher Bros) 
20.  White Fence - Beat 
21.  Cathedrale - Gold Rush 
22.  Holy Wave - I'm Not Living In The Past Anymore 
23.  Crack Cloud - Ouster Stew 
24.  Venus Furs - Paranoia 
25.  METZ - A Boat To Drown In 
26.  Rough Francis - Waxed Curb 
27.  Protomartyr - I Am You Now 
28.  Protomartyr - Modern Business Hymns

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the July 25 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 838 (Originally Aired On July 18th, 2020) (Joy Division Closer (40th Anniversary), Kestrels, Mark Sultan, Guided By Voices):

1. The Chats - Pub Feed
2. The Mark Vodka Group - Big Time Rocker
3. Paint Thinner - Touch In Arm's Reach
4. Thibault - Drama
5. Butthole Surfers - TV Star
6. Joy Division - Atrocity Exhibition
7. Joy Division - Isolation (Live at High Wycombe Town Hall, 20th February 1980)
8. Joy Division - Passover (University of London Union, 8 February 1980)
9. Joy Division - Colony (Peel Sessions 1979)
10. Joy Division - A Means To An End
11. Joy Division - Heart and Soul (Live at Lyceum Theatre Feb 29 1980)
12. Joy Division - Twenty Four Hours (Peel Sessions 1979)
13. Joy Division - The Eternal
14. Joy Division - Decades
15. Kestrels - Vanishing Point
16. Zoon - BrokenHead
17. Sahara - Indoor Pool
18. Glutenhead - It's Not Really A Problem
19. The Jerry Cans - On The Rocks
20. Mark Sultan - Two Left Feet
21. Mark Sultan - I'll Be Loving You
22. Bloodshot Bill - The Message
23. Mick Futures - What You Wanna Say Now
24. Kinetic Ideals - This Face
25. Guided By Voices - Haircut Sphinx
26. Guided By Voices - Man Called Blunder

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the July 18 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 837 (Originally Aired On July 11th, 2020)(Ennio Morricone, Coriky, Trout, L-Seven):

1. Ennio Morricone - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Main Title)
2. Ennio Morricone - Il Giardino Delle Delizie
3. Ennio Morricone - Driving Decoys
4. Ennio Morricone - Indagine Su Un Cittadino Al Di Sopra Di Ogni Sospetto (Main Title)
5. Ennio Morricone - Desolation (Main Theme)
6. Coriky - Shedileebop
7. Coriky - Too Many Husbands
8. Dead Ghosts - Freak
9. Trout - Scaredy Cat
10. The Famines - The State Of Music
11. Saba Lou - She Is The Keeper Of My Soul
12. The Phantom Keys - In The Summertime
13. Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - Casting My Spell
14. Dog Day - Hell On Earth
15. Not You - Mable
16. Trout - New Space
17. Neil Young - Homegrown
18. Drive By Truckers - Slow Ride Argument
19. Cass McCombs - Crick In My Neck
20. Evening Hymns - Heavy Nights
21. No Age - Sandalwood
22. Sarcasm - Drainpipe
23. L-Seven - Flower of Romance
24. Tommy and The Commies - Hurtin' 4 Certain
25. Jon McKiel - Management
26. Pottery - What's In Fashin?
27. Animal Collective - Slippi
28. Special Interest - Don't Kiss Me In Public
29. Girl Band - Going Norway
30. Pottery - Bobby's Forecast
31. Fontaines D.C. - Televised Mind

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the July 11 file to download/stream the episode.

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