Saturday, October 24, 2020

Good Time: An Interview with Teenanger's Steve Sidoli and Shows # 852, 851, 850

Teenanger released their sixth studio album titled Good Time on October 2nd. Put out through Telephone Explosion Records, Good Time is a lean record that wields a large burst of creative energy. The band finds a deeper groove on this record as they lock in on each of the eight tracks that make up Good Time and further expand the post punk wavelengths that they explored on 2017’s Teenager. They do this while still keeping their thought provoking and subversive lyrical subject matter in tact.

“Beige” starts off Good Time. With its watery guitar, bass that treads with strong melodies, intense feedback and drums that provide a resilient backbeat, “Beige” brings forth lyrical images with words such as “I’m stuck in a strange wave/Everything starts to feel beige/Can’t walk in a straight line/Can’t stay in time” and “It’s the safest shade/Everything is beige.”  Within the opening moments of the album, Teenanger leave plenty for the listener to contemplate. The lyrics are on point as they address the blandness we all can find ourselves dealing with in our everyday lives when it comes to work, housing and the monotonousness found in the world around us. “Trillium Song” starts off with bass and drums as erratic, wiry sounding guitar leaks into your ears. Lyrically, the song addresses the current political climate in Ontario, as it tackles the education system, environmental factors and failed promises. With its post punk dance groove, vocalist Chris Swimmings and bassist Melissa Ball trade off vocals (as they do in “Beige” and several other songs on this album) with lyrics such as “Yours to discover/Keep it beautiful/Throw away all that once was plentiful” that fester with social commentary.

“Pleassure” features bassist Melissa Ball on lead vocals. Musically, with synthesizers, new wave guitars and undeniable bass and drum combinations, Ball questions detachment in the modern digital age, finding happiness and the pressures that surround it. “Romance For Rent” features congas by Ed Squires (percussionist in U.S. Girls and Badge Epoque Ensemble), as musically the listener is surrounded in a post punk atmosphere that encircles this song about someone trying to find romance online since they can’t or are unwilling to in real life. The song takes on further context when considering how much the world has changed since the pandemic and is one of the strongest tracks, musically and lyrically on Good Time. “Straight To Computer” mixes synthesizer and proto punk guitar licks as drums and bass hold down the foundation in the background. Vocalist Chris Swimmings sings in a concerned, but irreverent tone as he asks “Straight to computer/What’s behind the screen.”  Along with words such as “People on autopilot have become the norm,” the song blends guitar and synthesizers in the middle section that also features dial up modem sounds that concerned Internet users in the 90s. Back then if someone called or picked up the phone while you were trying to use the Internet you would lose your connection. But as the song comes to a close it reveals an even more haunting concern, the disconnect of humanity in a modern age.

“Good Time” comes in as track six on Good Time. As the album’s longest track, this song is filled with a juxtaposition of lyrical satire and positive/negative thoughts. Musically, Teenanger stretch their early post punk watery guitar sounds with danceable drumbeats from drummer Steve Sidoli and fuzzy stop and start bass riffs. This is a song that while it contains many thoughts and brings up different emotions for different listeners, strikes a chord that echoes in more ways that one. “Touching Glass” mixes new wave/post punk sounds with pop. Sung by bassist Melissa Ball, “Touching Glass” arrives with a seemingly laid back approach, but digs in as the chorus “You’re touching glass/We’re fading fast” hits and cutting guitar and drums break through. This song delves into the frustration of being absorbed by our phones all day.  As the song reaches its close, the band moves into a funkier groove with sweeping synthesizers and polyrhythms that would make fans of Talking Heads or even Tom Tom Club move their feet. Ball had this to say of the song: “I was thinking about John Carpenter's 1988 classic They Live (starring Roddy Piper) before I wrote these lyrics so I guess I had that plot in the back of my mind. It's pretty straight forward lyrically and partly about the fear of mind control and my frustrations with being tethered to/tired with my phone.”

“The Drain” ends Good Time. With its encircling motorik drum patterns ala Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk and spacious guitars, the steady bass holds down the centre as Swimmings sings of acid rain and being stuck in malaise/funk of negativity. Although it was most likely partially inspired by the challenges in the studio that the band faced when making Good Time, flooding, rats, power outages, mold and a carbon dioxide leak, it calls for removing yourself from all the negativity that can bring you down in our current climate by letting it wash away down the drain where it belongs. With Good Time, Teenanger breaks free from the rut of repeating themselves. Produced by drummer Steve Sidoli in their newfound rehearsal space/functional studio named Studio Z and mixed by Sandro Perri, the title of the album may be tongue-in-cheek, it may not. Teenanger’s lyrical subversion and irreverent humour shine through as they harness their creative energies to create a new post punk aesthetic for themselves.  This proves to anyone who listens that despite the challenges and negativity that can surround us it is not impossible to have a Good Time.

Listen to an interview that Revolution Rock did with Steve from Teenanger:

Show 852 Playlist (Originally Aired On October 24th, 2020)(Teenanger Interview):

1.  Spencer Davis Group - Sittin' And Thinkin'
2.  Spencer Davis Group - Midnight Special
3.  Spencer Davis Group - Keep On Running
4.  The Quiet Jungle - Ship Of Dreams
5.  The Scarlet Ribbon - Four In The Morning
6.  The Canadian Squires - Leave Me Alone
7.  The Ugly Ducklings - Nothin'
8.  Teenanger - Pleassure


9.  Teenanger - Romance For Rent


10. Teenanger - Straight To Computer
11. Bruce Springsteen - Burnin' Train
12. Elvis Costello - Flag Day
13. Jeff Tweedy - Guess Again
14. The Mountain Goats - As Many Candles As Possible
15. Germs - Strange Notes
16. X - Sex and Dying In High Society
17. Violent Femmes - Promise
18. Girls - Morning Light
19. Girls - Love Life
20. Itchy Self - Here's The Rub
21. Young Rival - 4:15
22. Demolition Doll Rods - Cloud
23. Fuzz - Spit

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the October 24 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 851 Playlist (Originally Aired On October 17th, 2020)(Thurston Moore, The Kinks, James Williamson & Deniz Tek, Pylon):

1.  Thurston Moore - They Believe in Love (When They Look at You)
2.  Porridge Radio - Long
3.  Osees - I Come From The Moutain (Live Levitation Sessions)
4.  Dog Day - Pictures
5.  Sprinters - It's Gone
6.  Drive-By Truckers - The Unravelling
7.  Daniel Romano's Outfit - Drugged Vinegar
8.  Kevin Morby - Campfire
9.  Jeen - Monsters
10. Plumtree - Go!
11. The Hardship Post - Watchin' You
12. Jale - Again
13. The Kinks - Creeping Jean
14. The Kinks - I'm Crying
15. The Kinks - Groovy Movies
16. The Kinks - There Is No Life Without Love
17. No Age - War Dance
18. Souvenir - The Protrusion
19. James Williamson & Deniz Tek - Jet Pack Nightmare
20. The Scenics - Sunshine World
21. Quintron and Miss Pussycat - You Made It Weird
22. Bad Hoo - Ratscallion
23. Pylon - The Human Body (Razz Tape Demo)
24. Touche Amore - I'll Be Your Host
25. Special Interest - Disco III
26. Cream - You Make Me Feel (Session Outtake)
27. Actual Water - Take The Stairs
28. TV Freaks - Heart of Gold
29. METZ - The Mirror

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the October 17 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 850 Playlist (Originally Aired On October 10th, 2020)(METZ, Kestrels, The Hives, Wolfmanhattan Project):

1.  METZ - Draw Us In
2.  Kestrels - It's A Secret
3.  Smokekiller - Lion 
4.  Hot Snakes - Not In Time 
5.  The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk (Live At Third Man Records)
6.  The Spits - Up All Night
7.  Red Lights - Tiger Girl
8.  By Divine Right - Rock High 
9.  The Bats - Another Door 
10. Outrageous Cherry - Pale Frail Lovely One 
11. 3ft - Underground 
12. The Deadly Vipers - Lot Lizard 
13. Moonwalks - Steam Train 
14. Shadow Show - What Again Is Real?
15. The Strokes - Not The Same Anymore
16. Jeff Rosenstock - Honeymoon Ashtray 
17. Death Valley Girls - Hypnagogia 
18. Born Ruffians - 30th Century War 
19. Teenanger - Touching Glass
20. Of Montreal - Gronlandic Edit
21. Brian Eno - Cindy Tells Me 
22. Pekoe Cat - Ice In My Blood 
23. BBQT - Hangover Song 
24. Teenanger - Beige 
25. Mark Sultan - Heart Attack
26. The Spy's - Best I Can Get (Demo) 
27. Wolfmanhattan Project - You Are My Glue
28. Wolfmanhattan Project - Sticky 
29. Wolfmanhattan Project - Summer Forever 

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the October 10 file to download/stream the episode.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Osees Protean Threat & Shows # 849, 848, 847

John Dwyer’s Oh Sees put out their 23rd album, Protean Threat on September 18th via Castle Face Records. Now going by the name Osees (previously known as Thee Oh Sees, OCS, Oh Sees, etc.), this album showcases the mutating sounds of a band with a mesmerizing creative drive. Protean Threat features scuzzy psych-punk and trippy garage sounds, while also incorporating elements of jazz, kraut rock, prog and synthesizers. Although it sounds very much like Osees, Protean Threat propels with an unquenchable intensity as it ebbs and flows throughout the albums thirteen tracks.

Protean Threat starts off with the fuzz and scuzz driven “Scramble Suit II”, sounding somewhere between In Utero-era Nirvana, 70s hard rock and psych rock. The song also features synthesizers that sound like horns that puncture the rhythms and opening moments of this album. With lyrics such as “I see an eye within your eye/You seem distraught/It would imply/I know you/I feel recall within your view”,“A waking kind of nightmare” and “Unsure how you got here” Dwyer delves into the fears of our modern times without being obvious about it as they creep into your mind in-between the unrelenting riffs of "Scramble Suit II". “Dreary Nonsense” is a fuzzy punk track in the spirit of songs found on Carrion Crawler/The Dream and Floating Coffin, while at the same time it offers something new, albeit at a brief pace, “Upbeat Ritual” brings down the pace a bit, but not the intensity. With its space rock synthesizers and mesmerizing drum grooves, the bass skulks along with the song as razor sharp guitar riffs slice through between lyrics that conjure up a heightening awareness. “Red Study” delivers an unshakable performance and cosmic energy. With psych driven guitar and a Can-like funkiness, this song along with words such as “I'm gonna tell a lie/Look you in the eye/I can't spin a truthful tale/So no use in trying” delve even further into the subversive, yet new found energy of John Dwyer and Osees.

Sludgy and hyper Black Sabbath riffs penetrate track five of Protean Threat. “Terminal Jape” is a heavy burnt out psych track with lyrics such as “Future youth do conspire/Facelessness is key/Cloak your flag, dissimulate/Divert, disguise, mislead” that call for a subversive rebellion against an oppressive system. “Wing Run” provides a ethereal instrumental break that travels with floating synthesizers similar to songs found on 2016’s A Weird Exits and An Odd Entrance. “Said The Shovel” sucks the listener into its funky garage-psych void. The song slithers along as it reaches organ driven interludes while cryptic lyrics provide horror imagery. “Mizmuth” transports the listener back into a fuzzy abyss. In-between the spasms of guitar and dub/space rock synthesizer pulsations, the double drum attack of Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone really show the undeniable creative energies of Osees. “If I Had My Way” harkens back to Thee Oh Sees early garage jangle aesthetic. With this new lineup the song also adds new subtle jazz and prog influences into Osees sound. When released as a single John Dwyer had this to say of the song: “Looking at all the extraordinary death in the world now you have to wonder, have you lived your best life? It’s never too late to start.”

“Toadstool” delves into psychedelic jam territory with its use of wah-wah and space. It pulls from some of the ingredients on 2019’s Face Stabber, but exits before it overstays its welcome. “Gong Catastrophe” digs into a double drum dynamic. Guitar and bass play in just the right places while the lyrics simmer with images of societal collapse, immorality, rulers and other apocalyptic and gothic imagery. “Canopnr ‘74” wobbles in a laid back psychedelic trip. Mixing in synthesizers and futuristic sounding basslines from Tim Hellman and lyrics such as “Fickle and frustrated/I'm plentiful with enzymes/No imagination/I'm coming on strong/I'm coming up,” Dwyer displays a general agitation with the world around him. “Persuaders Up!” comes in with a frenzied attack as Protean Threat’s closing track. “Persuaders Up!” ties in the scuzziness that runs throughout the album with hyper energy and futuristic synthesizers that sound like accelerating pinball machines. All of this is combined with a lyrical optimism.

In the opening moments of Protean Threat, Osees rush out of the gate with “Scramble Suit II”, referencing the identity, shape-shifting disguises in Phillip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly. With this in mind, Osees use cryptic literary references and abstract lyrics. Cloaked in reverb and other vocal effects at times, the lyrics often offer subversive commentary without bashing you over the head with it. The music too shifts and mutates into new forms drawing on the band’s previous and current musical explorations. With Protean Threat, Osees keep you on your toes musically as they explore the at times terrifying and ever-changing world that surrounds us.

Show 849 (Originally Aired On October 3rd, 2020):(Osees, Coriky, King Khan, The Neptunas, Paul Jacobs):

1.  Coriky - Clean Kill 
2.  Coriky - Have A Cup Of Tea 
3.  Spectres - Years of Lead 
4.  Will Butler - Bethlehem 
5.  Tommy and The Commies - One Arch Town 
6.  Itchy Self - God Bless The Ego 
7.  The Famines - Stay Home Club 
8.  Women - Everyone Is So In Love With You 
9.  Dehd - Nobody 
10. Self-Cut Bangs - Perfect Posture 
11. Les Hays Babies - Limonade 
12. Connie Marchand - Le Belle Putain 
13. King Khan - Wait Till The Stars Burn 
14. The Neptunas - Shark Tooth Necklace 
15. The Neptunas - The Abyss 
16. Mexican Knives - Echo 
17. Pottery - What's In Fashion? 
18. Tough Age - Anti-Anxiety Exercises 
19. Westlaken - The August Song 
20. Bloodshot Bill - Got To Love Me 
21. Dana Gavanski - Never Too Far 
22. The Breeders - Drivin' On 9 
23. They Might Be Giants - Snowball In Hell 
24. Kurt Vile - How Lucky (Ft. John Prine) 
25. John Prine - Crooked Piece Of Time 
26. Eroders - Bag It Up 
27. Osees - Electric War 
28. Osees - If I Had My Way 
29. Osees - Canopnr '74 
30. Paul Jacobs - Coffee 
31. Paul Jacobs - Electric Dollar

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the October 3 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 848 (Originally Aired On September 26th, 2020)(Neil Young, The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup Reissue, Jonny West, Daniel Romano's Outfit):

1. Osees - Dreary Nonsense
2. Os Haxixins - Onde Meditar
3. Secret Agent - Desert Mission
4. CARLO - Surficide
5. The Plmisouls - When You Find Out
6. Neil Young - Try
7. Neil Young - We Don't Smoke It No More
8. Neil Young - Southern Man
9. Elliot Brood - Stay Out
10. Ron Leary - Musicians Make Great Construction Workers
11. Johnny West - Milk That Expires On Your Birthday
12. Johnny West - When The Bottom Falls Out
13. James O-L - Plain Clothes Boxer
14. Tymon Dogg - Locks & Bolts & Hinges
15. Idles - Model Village
16. Bob Mould - American Crisis
17. Shame - Alphabet
18. METZ - Blind Youth Industrial Park
19. Fontaines D.C. - Love Is The Main Thing
20. The Rolling Stones - Dancing With Mr. D (1973 Glyn Johns Mix)
21. The Rolling Stones - Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) (2020 Mix)
22. The Rolling Stones - Scarlet
23. Jimmy Page - She Just Satisfies
24. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Vicarious Living
25. Daniel Romano's Outfit - Green Eye Shade
26. The Flaming Lips - Flowers of Neptune Number 9
27. Thurston Moore - Cantaloupe
28. Yves Tumor - Medicine Burn
29. The Zeros - Wimp

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the September 26 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 847 (Originally Aired On September 19th, 2020)(Toots & The Maytals, Justin Townes Earle, Paul Collins, Beat, Protomartyr, Teenanger):

1.  Toots & Maytals - Funky Kingston
2.  Toots & Maytals - Louie Louie
3.  Toots & Maytals - 54-46 (That's My Number)
4.  The Specials - Monkey Man
5.  The Clash - Pressure Drop
6.  Toots & Maytals- Got To Be Tough
7.  Paul Collin's Beat - Let's Go!
8.  Leland Sundries - The Hills
9.  Barnacle - Smash
10. Kestrels - Vanishing Point
11. Favours - She Is Soul
12. Protomartyr - Day Without End
13. Protomartyr - The Aphorist
14. Desgraciados - Sin Manana
15. Cellos - Blight
16. Psychic Void - Boneshaker
17. Justin Townes Earle - Lone Pine Hill
18. Justin Townes Earle - Wanderin'
19. Reigning Sound - Pretty Girl
20. Melody Fields - Rhymes of Goodbye
21. King Khan - I Love To Boogie
22. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Cosmic Dancer
23. T.Rex - Baby Boomerang
24. Bill Callahan - Another Song
25. Sameer Cash - Keep Kicking
26. Leonard Cohen - Blessed Is The Memory
27. Smog - Cold Blooded Old Times
28. Teenanger - Romance For Sale

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the September 19 file to download/stream the episode.