Saturday, December 26, 2020

Revolution Rock: The 2020 Interviews & Show # 862

This year on Revolution Rock, we’ve done more interviews than in any other year of the program. In 2020 the program featured ten different interviews, six audio based interviews that aired on the show and four that were done via email specifically for this website. On this episode we featured highlights (or clips) from each of the audio interviews and music from each of the artists that were interviewed, whether it was for the radio program specifically or for this website. Below you will find some info about these interviews plus the playlist and download links to the episode.

An Interview with Bloodshot Bill (February 2020):

In February 2020 as part of Revolution Rock’s Theme Month based programming we spoke with Montreal musician Bloodshot Bill. Bloodshot Bill plays his own brand of wild rockabilly and 50s rock influenced music. Sometimes operating as a one-man band live and sometimes performing with others, Bloodshot Bill releases music at a prolific pace. In this interview we discussed some of the collaborations that he has done throughout his career with other artists, leather jackets, his guitar, some of the strangest shows he has played, comic books and more. In April 2020, he released Get Loose Or Get Lost on Goner Records and several EPs (Spit On My Rubber (with The Televisionaires), Lost Gems From The Studio Vault Vol 1, Trick & Treat Vol 2, Outta My Head Vol 1 & 2). He also released a Halloween themed song with Mark Sultan as part of The Ding-Dong’s called Blood! Blood! Blood!, is featured on recordings put out by King Khan in 2020, released a rap album by G-Fine, and a compilation album of hard to find European singles called Tattletale Vol 1.

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with Dale & Dom D’Amore of The Nelsons (May 2020):

The Nelsons were a band from Windsor, Ontario. They are often considered the first supergroup in Windsor as they were made up of two parts of the Windsor band The Spy’s (guitarist Dale D’Amore & bassist Joe Desrameux) and two parts of The Hardtops (bassist/vocalist Dom D’Amore & drummer Dave Garrant). The band went through many lineup changes throughout their existence and played live shows frequently in Windsor, London and Detroit, but never officially released any recordings. This exclusive interview was done through Q&A for this website and covers their entire history. One of their unreleased songs “Cub’s Boogie” is featured on the radio show in this post (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

An Interview with Nigel Chapman of Nap Eyes (May 2020):

Halifax band Nap Eyes released their fourth full-length album, Snapshot of a Beginner in March 2020. We spoke with vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Nigel Chapman. Introspection is ever present in the music of Nap Eyes. The music and lyrics of Nap Eyes have a way of identifying with the listener in a personal way, as if the songs are about them. Musically, Nap Eyes have drawn comparisons to bands such as The Velvet Underground, Television, The Clean, Leonard Cohen, this one comes into its own also adding elements of bands such as early Walkmen, Yo La Tengo, and the music of David Berman. Production wise, Snapshot of a Beginner was produced by James Elkington and Jonathan Low at The National’s Long Pond Studio. For most of the band’s recorded output they have recorded live off the floor with minimal to no overdubs. This album differs in that aspect adding additional layers to the production of the Nap Eyes sound. Nap Eyes also released a digital single in 2020 called Snake Oil/Child's Romance.  In this interview Nigel discusses releasing an album in the pandemic, how Nap Eyes formed, and songwriting processes.

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with Dale D’Amore & Frank Carlone of The Spy’s (June 2020):

The Spy’s first and only single “Underground/Machine Shop” was originally released in 1980 and has since become somewhat legendary. Even after the bands split in 1980, it is still sought after. In the decades that followed, interest in The Spy’s has only grown. They were featured on the Smash The State Volume 2 compilation album in 1994, along with a collection of other early Canadian punk acts. In 2001, a compilation album entitled Original Punk Rock From Canada 1979-1980 was issued on the Incognito label. The album features demos that the band did of six songs in 1979 that were regular features of their live shows, the 1980 single and some live recordings of new songs from the 90s reunion show. Out of print for decades, Ugly Pop Records reissued The Spy’s “Underground/Machine Shop” single in 2012. In November 2020, The Spy’s released their single digitally for the first time on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The collection also includes six previously unreleased recordings. Guitarist Dale D’Amore and vocalist Frank Carlone did an exclusive Q&A interview for this website that covers their entire history.

Read the full interview/post here.

An Interview with Chris Murdoch (Writer, Musician and Drummer in Souvenir)(July 2020):

Chris Murdoch has been involved in numerous bands in and around the Halifax music scene. Some of his credits include being in Outtacontroller, Word On The Street and Botfly to name a few. Recently Murdoch has been playing drums and writing songs with Souvenir. This band just released an EP entitled Beating Into Dust in February 2020. In June 2020, Montreal based label Pentagon Black released the first of their Pentagon Black Pamphlet Information Series. Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer is an eight-page essay written by Halifax musician, DJ and writer Chris Murdoch. The eight-page essay is somewhere in between a zine and pamphlet that also includes exclusive illustrations done by graphic designer/musician Raymond Biesinger. Inside over the course of 2800 words, Chris Murdoch covers his own experiences being a musician and attending shows in Halifax along with information about when Black first met punk in the UK and US. During the first initial days of the release, orders came in and numbers quickly surpassed the 500 mark. Over 1601 copies of Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer have sold with over $3000 donated to Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund Nova Scotia. You can still get a copy over at the Pentagon Black website. This exclusive interview was done through Q&A for this website and covers Murdoch’s growing up in Halifax, writing Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer, bands that he has been a part, recorded with and a lot more. Several recordings from bands he has been in are featured on the radio show in this post (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Read the full interview/post here.

An interview with Jarrett Sampson of Tough Age (September 2020):

Toronto’s Tough Age released their fourth full-length album Which Way Am I? on Mint Records in August 2020. Originally from Vancouver, but located in Toronto since 2015, Tough Age have released what many feel is their strongest album to date. Tough Age is made up of singer/guitarist Jarrett Samson, Penny Clark on bass/vocals and Jesse Locke on drums. Musically the album draws from the sonic textures of indie bands such as The Clean, The Chills, The Bats and other early New Zealand bands on the Flying Nun record label. Recorded once again with producer Peter Woodford (TOPS, Moss Lime, Homeshake, Tess Roby) at The Bottle Garden in Montreal and mixed by Jay Arner, Which Way Am I? is just one of those albums that you can’t really describe why it affects you so much. In this interview Jarrett discusses the recording of Which Way Am I?, comic books, releasing a zine of poems/lyrics, the band Cub and more. Several recordings from this critically acclaimed album and one album outtake (“Waiting Here”) are featured on the radio show in this post (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with Steve Sidoli of Teenanger (October 2020):

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. 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. In this interview with drummer Steve Sidoli, he discusses the recording of Good Time, how Teenanger has evolved, Nick Cage and Jeff Goldblum movies, the music video for “Romance For Rent” and more.

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

A Live Performance and Interview with Johnny West (November 2020):

Johnny West has been making music in Windsor for some time. Usually recording in his home studio, Johnny West has released a prolific amount of music. West releases his music independently, usually on CD and often discusses it through his website.  Some of his critically acclaimed albums include 2008’s Chicken Angel Woman With A Triangle, 2009’s Love Songs For Nihilists, and 2011’s Gift For A Spider to name a few. Johnny West released Year of the Sleepwalk, a 48-song uncompromising, genre bending double album in early 2020. Year of the Sleepwalk spans a wide breadth of eclectic musical genres (folk, blues, jazz, blue grass, bossa nova, shoe gaze) and features several guest/cameo musicians. To coincide with this release, Revolution Rock did a lengthy Q&A for this website covering the album’s history and some of Johnny’s as well. In addition to all of this, Johnny filmed a live performance in his studio that was also shared on this site. This radio show in this post featured two recordings from Year of the Sleepwalk (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Read the full interview/post here. You will also find the live studio performance here.

An Interview with Michael Lachowski & Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon (November 2020):

Forming in the late 1970s in Athens, Georgia, Pylon were made up of four art students from the University of Georgia. Featuring guitarist Randy Bewley, bassist Michael Lachowski, drummer Curtis Crowe and singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Pylon took their brand of danceable post-punk to amazing heights in their initial run from 1979-1983. The original premise of the band was to play a live show in New York once, be featured in New York Rocker magazine and then break up. Fortunately, they stuck around longer than that. In November 2020, New West Records released Pylon Box, comprising the band’s first two albums, a demo tape and selected outtakes, singles and live recordings. Throughout the years, interest in the band has continued. Revolution Rock spoke with bassist Michael Lachowski and vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay discussing their recent box set Pylon Box. They also reflect in detail on some moments in the band’s career such as the developments between their albums Gyrate and Chomp, touring with Gang Of Four, how their background in art school influenced the music that they created and more. The radio show in this post features two songs from Pylon Box (download/streaming links are below the playlist).

Listen to the full interview here:

Find the original post here.

An Interview with King Khan (December 2020):

Originally from Montreal, but now residing in Berlin, King Khan has been known for his garage/punk music in bands such as The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Spaceshits, LTD, leading the R&B/soul inspired King Khan & The Shrines and collaborating with many others. Yet another prolific artist interviewed for Revolution Rock in 2020, King Khan released his first ever jazz album, Infinite Ones, at the end of October 2020. The album draws influences from composers such as Alice Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Philip Kelan Cohran, Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, John Carpenter and Quincy Jones. It also takes on influences from film noir and old Bollywood films. It also features contributions from members of the Sun Ra Arkestra and Calexico. In this interview King Khan discusses his jazz album, Infinite Ones, he also discusses his current activism causes, creating the Black Power Tarot and how he first met the Sun Ra Arkestra. This episode featured two selections from Infinite Ones and one new song from an upcoming punk album featuring a new band with Khan called The King Khan Unlimited.

Listen to the full interview here:

Show #862:  The 2020 Interviews Playlist:

1.  Bloodshot Bill - Don't Let Go (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)
2.  Bloodshot Bill - A Cheat (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)


3.  Bloodshot Bill - Straight To The Moon (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)
4.  The Nelsons - Cubs Boogie (Unreleased)
5.  Nap Eyes - If You Were In Prison (Snapshot of a Beginner - Royal Mountain Records/Jagjaguwar - 2020)


6.  Nap Eyes - Snake Oil (Snake Oil/Childs Romance - Jagjaguwar - 2020)
7.  Nap Eyes - Dark Link (Snapshot of a Beginner - Royal Mountain Records/Jagjaguwar - 2020)
8.  The Spy's - Underground (Underground/Machine Shop Single - 2020 Remaster)
9.  Souvenir - Promises (Beating Into Dust EP - 2020)
10. Outtacontroller - Mutations (Television Zombies - P. Trash Records/Young Modern/Southpaw Records - 2015)
11. Tough Age - My Life's A Joke & I'm Throwing It Away (Which Way Am I? - Mint Records - 2020)
12. Tough Age - Anti-Anxiety Exercises (Which Way Am I? - Mint Records - 2020)


13. Tough Age - Waiting Here (Waiting Here Single - 2020)
14. Teenanger - Good Time (Good Time - Telephone Explosion - 2020)


15. Teenanger - Touching Glass (Good Time - Telephone Explosion - 2020)
16. Johnny West - Vector (Year of the Sleepwalk - Tosteestosta Music - 2020)
17. Johnny West - Firecrackers (Year of the Sleepwalk - Tosteestosta Music - 2020)
18. Pylon - Volume (Gyrate - DB Records/New West Records- 1980/2020)


19. Pylon - Reptiles (Channel One Version) (Pylon Box - New West Records - 2020)
20. King Khan - The World Will Never Know (Infinite Ones - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2020)


21. King Khan - A Hard Rain's Gotta Fall  (Infinite Ones - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2020)
22. King Khan Unlimited - Pigment Of Your Imagination (Opiate Them Asses - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2021)

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Joe Strummer Day 2020: Revolution Clash! Retrospective and Rare Selections From Joe Strummer & The Clash (Show #861)

For the last several years, CJAM FM has held an annual Joe Strummer Day Marathon on their airwaves. Every year at this time, we focus on issues of homelessness and poverty in the Windsor/Detroit area and wrap them around the music of Joe Strummer and The Clash to help raise awareness and to address these issues. Revolution Rock did a music program this year, in addition to providing some information on resources for poverty/homelessness in the Windsor/Detroit area. For this year’s contribution to Joe Strummer Day, Dave & Adam of Revolution Rock did a retrospective of Joe Strummer and The Clash. It has differed from past specials. We decided to play a selection of some of our favourites from The Clash and Strummer’s catalogue. On the episode there is rare live Clash material, selections from The Mescaleros, the Joe Strummer 001 Box Set and more. View the playlist and download/stream link to the episode below. 

In Other Clash News:

On December 11th, a new music video appeared for The Clash’s 1980 single “The Magnificent Seven". It has been 40 years since The Clash released Sandinista! their fourth album, which was actually a triple album. The song is also found on this album. “The Magnificent Seven” featured a funk influence, but also the influence of 80s New York hip hop. This was also the first rap record by a rock group. The album Sandinista! delves into a wide variety of genres and exposed many listeners to different sounds that they may not have discovered otherwise.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sandinista! filmmaker Don Letts put together a new music video for "The Magnificent Seven". Letts has directed numerous music videos for bands such as Public Image Limited, The Clash, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Eddy Grant and Bob Marley to name a few. He also released the award winning documentary Westway To The World in 2000 and Punk: Attitude in 2005. The video for “The Magnificent Seven” compiles footage from The Clash in that time period, featuring footage from when the band appeared on The Tom Synder Show and previously unseen footage from when The Clash played a 17-night residency at the Bond’s International Casino in 1981. This was a surprise for many Clash fans due to the fact that much of this footage was said to have been lost years ago. 

Letts, who was also a frequent collaborator with The Clash (having done all their music videos) had this to say of the band: “They were always ahead of the game,” Letts said of The Clash. “‘Sandinista!’ signposted the multi-cultural way music was going and the elements that make The Clash great are still a currency that’s recognised by youth in the 21st century.” 


JSD 2020 Playlist (Originally Aired On December 22nd, 2020)(The Clash & Joe Strummer Retrospective):

1.  Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Gamma Ray (Global A Go-Go - 2001)
2.  Pearl Harbour - 2 Bullets (Joe Strummer 001- 2018)
3.  Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Love of the Common People (Live) (Live The Fridge Brixton, South London 1988)
4.  The Clash - Good Times Roll (Rude Boy - The Director's Cut - 2003)
5.  The Clash - Garageland (Demo) (Rude Boy - The Director's Cut - 2003)
6.  The 101ers - Silent Telephone (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited - 2005)
7.  Joe Strummer - Tropic of No Return (Walker Soundtrack - 1987)
8.  Johnny Cash (With Joe Strummer) - Redemption Song (Unearthed - 2003)
9.  Strummer, Simonon & Howard - Pouring Rain (Joe Strummer 001 - 2018)
10. The Clash - Rockers Galore/Bankrobber (Live)  (Live at Brixton Fair Deal 1982)
11. The Clash - Charlie Don't Surf (Live) (Live at Brixton Fair Deal 1982)
12. The Clash - Capital Radio (Live) (Live At The Lyceum - January 3rd, 1979)
13. The Clash - The Gates of The West (Cost of Living EP - 1979)
14. The Clash - The Leader (Sandinista! - 1980)
15. The Clash - City of the Dead (Super Black Market Clash  - 2000)
16. The Clash - Idle In Kangaroo Court (Combat Rock Outtake) (Sound System - 2013)
17. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - X-Ray Style (Rock Art & The X-Ray Style - 1999)
18. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Time and Tide (Yalla Yalla - 1999)
19. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Coma Girl (Streetcore - 2003)
20. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Global A Go-Go (Global A Go-Go - 2001)
21. Joe Strummer - Dum Dum Club (Sid And Nancy: Love Kills (Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack) - 1986)
22. Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Nothin' Bout Nothin' (Permanent Record - Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1988)
23. Joe Strummer & The Long Beach Dub Allstars - The Harder They Come (Free The West Memphis 3 - 2000)
24. The Clash - The Magnificent Seven (Sandinista! - 1980)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

2020 Album Highlights & Shows # 860, 859

Last year, instead of doing a top twenty or top ten album list on Revolution Rock, Dave and Adam decided to just play a collection of albums over two episodes and not list any specific number ranking for them. We've continued this method for the albums of 2020 this year.  What you will find here are six write-ups from some albums that were released in 2020, three written by Dave and three written by Adam. Following these words are playlists and download links to two episodes featuring music released in 2020.

2020 Album Highlights:
Written by Dave Konstantino

Tough Age – Which Way Am I?

Describing their music as “culmination rock" fusing elements of surf, garage, punk and indie pop, Toronto’s Tough Age released their fourth full-length album Which Way Am I? on Mint Records in August 2020.  Tough Age is made up of singer/guitarist Jarrett Samson, Penny Clark on bass/vocals and Jesse Locke on drums. Musically the album draws from the sonic textures of indie bands such as The Clean, The Chills, The Bats and other early New Zealand bands on the Flying Nun record label. In addition to this there are other musical signifiers such as Sonic Youth, Television and The Feelies. Lyrically, the songs are very introspective, that often question and contradict at the same time. “Self-Confidence” opens Which Way Am I? With scratchy guitars, driving bass and steady, yet explosive drum patterns, this song opens with the question many people in the arts find themselves in “Here we are back on track/Anyone still looking?” The song questions being a band in the modern age of Internet streaming with Samson’s own sense of wit and humour.  “Penny Current Suppression Ring” comes in as track two on Which Way Am I? Sung by bassist Penny Clark, this song with lyrics that poke fun at Samson’s obsession with New Zealand Flying Nun bands. The song thrives with energy and influences of bands such as Eddy Current Suppression Ring (who are from Australia, not New Zealand). Like many of the songs on this album, more than one thought runs through it. This song also poses the question what success would mean in order to be happy.  Which Way Am I? is just one of those albums that you can’t really describe why it affects you so much. The way that this three piece plays together on this album projects an energy and mesmerizing cohesion. Maybe that’s it? Whatever it is, Which Way Am I? creates its own sonic landscape that swirls with different lyrical and musical textures that are intense at times, but also thrilling and addictive. 

Recommended Tracks:  “Self-Confidence”, “Penny Current Suppression Ring”, “Consequences”

Teenanger – Good Time

Put out through Telephone Explosion Records, Good Time is a lean record that wields a large burst of creative energy. “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.  “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.  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.

Recommended Tracks:  “Romance For Rent”, “Good Time”, “Touching Glass”

Shadow Show - Silhouettes

Detroit’s Shadow Show combines elements of 60s psychedelia and garage rock.  The band features guitarist/vocalist Ava East, bassist Kate Derringer and drummer Kerrigan Pearce.  Recorded and mixed by bassist Kate Derringer in Ann Arbor, Michigan and mastered by Jim Diamond, Silhouettes, their debut full-length album contains ten tracks that cast infectious melodies and a mysterious energy.  “Charades” features a 1966-era Beatles psychedelia with its marching drumbeats, apregiated guitars, bouncing basslines and lyrics “I could be you/You could be me/I could be anything I see/But that’s part of the dream” that start off the album with a range of thoughts and sentiments.  As the song picks up and it drifts into the surfy breakdown, it moves back into undeniable grooves that make you move as lyrics such as “Now the mystique is to be known/its light as curious as shadow/cause that’s part of the show you know” provide further depth in the opening moments of Silhouettes.  “Contessa” is a garage rock track with lush vocal harmonies and lyrics about deception, “The Alchemist” deals with psychedelic elements and features lyrics such as “You seek the place/I seek the center of your mind/watch it closing in on you”.  “Trapeze Act” sways back and forth on the edge with its steadying drums, dizzying guitar riffs and basslines.  With Silhouettes, Shadow Show deliver a strong debut album with a range and depth featuring psychedelic grooves and catchy harmonies that is also rooted in the raw, uncompromising Detroit sound.  Silhouettes outlines a sound and vision that is all their own.  

Recommended Tracks:  “Charades”, “Contessa”, “Silhouette”

More 2020 Album Highlights:
Written by Adam Peltier

Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters

If punk is not a sound as much as an attitude, nobody made a more punk record this year than Fiona Apple. Fetch the Bolt Cutters is an uncompromising collection of piano and experimental percussion that completely subverts any expectations of listeners still wanting to hear another “Criminal” out of the artist. Beyond the abrasive and experimental sounds of the record, Apple was also uncompromising in the subject mater she sung about: misogyny (“Under the Table”), sexual assault (“For Her”), and the complexity of the songwriter’s relationships with other women. In fact, what is so fantastic about this record is how centred it is on the experiences of women, whether through the nostalgic reminiscences of “Shameika” or the scathing critique of how society positions females into confrontational roles as described in “Ladies.” Personal and political, Fetch the Bolt Cutters is Apple’s boldest and most honest record to date, a revelatory listen that demonstrates that she is one of our generation’s greatest songwriters.

Recommended tracks: “Shameika”, “Heavy Balloon”, “Cosmonauts”

Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways 

What’s left to say about Rough and Rowdy Ways? The bard’s 39th studio album was met with glowing praise on its release, with dozens of articles acclaiming the Protean-songwriter’s return to original material after a clunky series of covers-records. Like the other great late-era Dylan albums (think Time Out of Mind and Love & Theft), the legend hoarsely intones his elliptical poetry over sympathetic bare-bones blues arrangements. However, what stands out about the record is the quality of Dylan’s songwriting. His acerbic verse describes encounters with the spectre of death in “Black Rider,” the Pygmalion-cum-Frankenstein creation of an idealized lover in “My Very Own Version of You,” and describes passing into old age as a tumultuous sea-voyage on “Crossing the Rubicon.” It also features the best up-tempo numbers to come from Dylan in over a decade, such as in the bluesy “Goodbye Jimmy Reed” or the hard-hitting satire of “False Prophet.” Then there is “Murder Most Foul,” the epic seventeen minute piano ballad about the assassination of JFK which landed Dylan his first ever number one single. Though just shy of eighty, Rough and Rowdy Ways proves that Dylan has lost no steam and is still capable of producing some of the most profound and moving music of his storied career.

Recommended tracks: “False Prophet”, “I Contain Multitudes”, “My Very Own Version of You”

Cindy Lee - What’s Tonight to Eternity

Cindy Lee, the experimental project by former Women guitarist Patrick Flegel, is simultaneously beguiling and alluring. The sounds produced from this outfit sound both nostalgic and dystopian: the Cleaver’s house is on fire, Dick and Jane are chasing you with knives, Brigitte Bardot is flashing a smile at you while pouring sulfuric acid on your face. Traditional balladry evoking 1950’s pop music is subverted throughout What’s Tonight to Eternity: imagine Lynch’s Blue Velvet filtered through the apocalyptic dissonance of Sonic Youth’s “Death Valley 69.” Sounds of 60’s ye-ye pop are merged with VU style distortion on “Plastic Raincoat.” The bouncy synth-pop of “I Want You to Suffer” is suddenly plunged into cacophonous feedback. Even the album’s most conventionally beautiful song “Heavy Metal,” a tribute to Flegel’s late bandmate Chris Reimer, bristles with an unsettling undertone of menace. This noir nightmare of an album display’s Cindy Lee’s incredible range and manages to craft a unique sonic world unlike any other record released this year.

Recommend tracks: “Heavy Metal”, “I Want You to Suffer”, “Plastic Raincoat”

Show # 860 Playlist (Originally Aired December 19th, 2020)(Albums of 2020 Part Two):

1.  Tommy & The Commies - Hurtin' 4 Certain (Hurtin' 4 Certain EP - Slovenly Recordings - 2020)
2.  Demolition Doll Rods - That's Insane (Into The Brave - In The Red Records - 2020)
3.  Fuzz - Mirror (III - In The Red Records - 2020)
4.  TV Freaks - Space (People - Schizophrenic Records - 2020)
5.  Osees - If I Had My Way (Protean Threat - Castle Face Records - 2020)
6.  Jon Mckiel - Management (Bobby Joe Hope - You've Changed Records - 2020)
7.  Nap Eyes - Mark Zuckerberg (Snapshot Of A Beginner - Royal Mountain Records/Jagjaguwar - 2020)
8.  Daniel Romano's Outfit - Never Yet In Love (How Ill Thy World Is Ordered - You've Changed Records - 2020)
9.  Bloodshot Bill - My Heart Cries For You (Get Loose Or Get Lost - Goner Records - 2020)
10. Waxahatchee - Witches (Saint Cloud - Merge Records - 2020)
11. Bill Callahan - Breakfast (Gold Record - Drag City - 2020)
12. Jeff Tweedy - Gwendolyne (Love Is The King - dBpm Records - 2020)
14. Neil Young - Homegrown (Homegrown - Reprise - 2020)
15. X - Goodbye Year, Goodbye (Alphabetland - Fat Possum Records - 2020)
16. Jeff Rosenstock - Leave It In The Sun (No Dream - Polyvinyl Record Co. - 2020)
17. Drive-By Truckers - The New OK (The New OK - ATO Records - 2020)
18. Drive-By Truckers - Armageddon's Back In Town (The Unravelling - ATO Records - 2020)
19. Shadow Show - Contessa (Silhouettes - Stolen Body Records/Greenway Records - 2020)
20. Fontaines D.C. - A Hero's Death (A Hero's Death - Partisan Records - 2020)
21. Thurston Moore - Cantaloupe (By The Fire - Daydream Library - 2020)
22. Wire - Off The Beach (Mind Hive  - Pinkflag - 2020)
23. Metz - Blind Industrial Youth Park (Atlas Vending - Sub Pop - 2020)
24. The Strokes - Brookyln Bridge To Chorus (The New Abnormal - Cult Records/RCA - 2020)
25. Pottery - Take Your Time (Welcome To Bobby's Motel - Partisan Records - 2020)
26. Protomartyr - Michigan Hammers (Ultimate Success Today - Domino - 2020)
27. Teenanger - Good Time (Good Time - Telephone Explosion - 2020)
28. Tough Age - Consequences (Which Way Am I? - Mint Records - 2020)
29. Bob Dylan - False Prophet (Rough And Rowdy Ways - Columbia Records - 2020)

Show #859 Playlist (Originally Aired On December 12th, 2020)(Albums of 2020 Part One):

1.  Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Quick Trick (Just Coolin' - Blue Note - 2020)
2.  King Khan - Wait Till The Stars Burn (Infinite Ones - Ernest Jenning Record Co./Khannibalism - 2020)
3.  Rolling Blackouts C.F. - The Cool Change (Sideways To New Italy - Sub Pop - 2020)
4.  Dog Day - Hell On Earth (Present - Fundog Records - 2020)
5.  Sweet Dave - Future Dirt (Pink Dreams - Pointless Product - 2020)
6.  Guided By Voices - Haircut Sphinx (Mirrored Aztec - GBV Inc. - 2020)
7.  Fiona Apple - Shameika (Fetch The Bolt Cutters - Epic/Clean Slate - 2020)
8.  The Microphones - The Microphones in 2020 (excerpt) (The Microphones in 2020 - P. W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. - 2020)
9.  Cindy Lee - Heavy Metal (What's Tonight to Eternity  - W.25TH / Superior Viaduct - 2020)
10. Yves Tumor - Identity Trade (Heaven To A Tortured Mind - Warp Records - 2020)
11. Ron Leary This Guitar (Musicians Make Great Construction Workers - 2020)
12. Ron Leary & Dean Drouilliard - First Love (As Long As I Ain't Thinking About It - 2020)
13. Johnny West - Lead Bullets (Year of the Sleepwalk - Tosteestosta Music - 2020)
14. James O-L - All That I Need (No Fear - Famous Last Records - 2020)
15. Orville Peck - Summertime (Show Pony - Columbia Records/Sub Pop - 2020)
16. The Flaming Lips - Dinosaurs On The Mountain (American Head - Warner - 2020)
17. Jarv Is… - Swanky Modes (Beyond The Pale - Rough Trade Records - 2020)
18. Destroyer - Kinda Dark (Have We Met - Merge Records - 2020)
19. U.S. Girls - Overtime (Heavy Light - 4AD - 2020)
20. Porridge Radio - Sweet (Every Bad - Secretly Canadian - 2020)
21. Crack Cloud - Something's Gotta Give (Pain Olympics - Metal Machine - 2020)
22. Special Interest - Don't Kiss Me In Public (The Passion Of - Night School / Thrilling Living - 2020)
23. Coriky - Have A Cup Of Tea (Coriky - Dischord Records - 2020)
24. Lie - Digging In The Desert (You Want It Real - Mint Records - 2020)
25. Dean Marino - Haunted No 3 (Love-Thirteen - Flowerpot Records - 2020)
26. Kestrels - Blue and Grey (Featuring Jay Mascis) (Dream Or Don't Dream - Darla Records - 2020)
27. Damaged Bug - Microminature Love (Bug On Yonkers - Castle Face Records -2020)
28. Rough Francis - Urgent Care (Urgent Care -2020)
29. No Age - Agitating Moss (Goons Be Gone - Drag City -2020)

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Infinite Ones: An Interview With King Khan & Show # 858

In October, King Khan released his first jazz album entitled Infinite Ones. The album draws influences from composers such as Alice Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Philip Kelan Cohran, Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, John Carpenter and Quincy Jones. It also takes on influences from film noir and old Bollywood films. King Khan has described the creation of this album as “Sometimes a work of art comes unintentionally from a place from deep within the soul. It meanders and flops onto a table and sits and waits for its birth.”

“Wait Till The Stars Burn” begins Infinite Ones with a galloping drumbeat before an ensemble of wild sounds featuring baritone, alto-saxophone, soprano, tenor sax, and a multitude of marimba and percussion flood your senses. The sounds put forth here feature contributions from Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and John Convertino of Calexico to name a few. The song, which has been called “A planetary ode to the sun,” simmers with growing intensity before the track “Tribute To The Pharaoh’s Den (Requiem For Danny Ray Thompson)” comes in with its exotic rhythms. This track features some vocals (from Saba Lou Khan) and drifts out into an avant-garde jazz dimensionality. “Tribute To The Pharaoh’s Den” also features musical contributions from Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott of Sun Ra Arkestra. It is also the first of several tributes to musicians that have passed and people that have had an influence not only on King Khan, but also on the music world. This track is a tribute to Danny Ray Thompson of Sun Ra Arkestra and the first of several tributes found on this album. The others being “Theme Of Yaya,” a more upbeat track with a funkier bass and soul aesthetic is a song that Khan wrote for Yahya El Majid, who played with the Sun Ra Arkestra for many years. “Hal” would be another one of the other tributes found on Infinite Ones. As the album’s final track, this song delves into a cosmic experimentation as it pays tribute with a requiem for Hal Willner. Hal was responsible for selecting the music for Saturday Night Live for decades, but was also an influential American music producer in music, film, TV and live events.

Infinite Ones
is not a long jazz album, but has its own flow and sequence that works very well when played in order. This is apparent on tracks such as “(White Nile) Flows Through Memphis” and “A Hard Rain’s Gotta Fall.” The former track seems to come from the world not only of jazz, but also of Ennio Morricone. It is also the longest track found on Infinite Ones, going just over six minutes in length. “A Hard Rain’s Gotta Fall” delivers organic sounds featuring trumpet from Martin Weink of Calexico and drums from Allessandro Piretti. “Mister Mystery” arrives with dizzying synthesizers and clock sounds before guitar mixes with synth sounding bass, and hip hop drums. The song also features intense surf guitar that is also psychedelic. “Mister Mystery” sounds like Miles Davis meets John Carpenter and Ennino Morricone. “Xango Rising” is dominated by the bass and drum parts. Played by King Khan himself, along with the otherworldly organ sounds, the song also features trumpet by El Congo Allen that fills in the spaces of this longer, mesmerizing jazz track.

“The World Will Never Know” oozes with cinematic influences. The song levitates with bass that sounds like it could have come from the soundtrack to The Thing, as it mixes in surf guitars and epic orchestral sounds. This track features contributions from John Convertino and Martin Weink of Calexico, drums from Davide Zolli (of The Mojomatics) and viola from Gillian Rivers. All other instrumentation is provided by King Khan himself. “Trail of Tears” is a track featuring vocals from King Khan, as musically it pushes forth with psychedelic soul, jazz and surf sounds. “Follow The Mantis” brings a darker atmosphere as percussive water sounds, looming bass and a wash of drums sounds permeate this track.

Infinite Ones ends with “Hal.” As mentioned earlier it is a tribute/requiem to the influential music purveyor Hal Willner. The song features the influences of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane as the listener is taken through a cosmic jazz air. Infinite Ones may be King Khan’s first album that ventures out into the jazz world, but each track overlaps with elements of other music genres. The list of contributors also makes for a captivating listen. Infinite Ones features Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott of the Sun Ra Arkestra, John Convertino and Martin Weink of Calexico, Brontez Purnell of Younger Lovers, Ben Ra from King Khan & The Shrines, and Davide Zolli of The Mojomatics. Some reviews have called this album space jazz. You could also call it cosmic space jazz, but regardless of its description, Infinite Ones finds its own space while drawing in listeners in an organic way.

Listen to an interview that Revolution Rock did with King Khan:

Show #858 Playlist (King Khan Infinite Ones Interview):

1.  James O-L - East On Your Own
2.  Daniel Romano - Joys Too Often Hollow Part Two
3.  Bloodshot Bill - Please Don't (Break My Heart)
4.  Mark Sultan - The Problem
5.  TV Freaks - Living Wrong
6.  TV Freaks - Barely Human
7.  Pup - Edmonton
8.  Cellos - Shooting Star
9.  Psychic Void - Night Terrors
10. Louder Than Death - Scum of the Moon
11. King Khan - (White Nile) Flows Through Memphis


12. King Khan - A Hard Rain's Gotta Fall


13. King Khan - Mister Mystery


14. King Khan - Hal


15. Tough Age - Castigation
16. The Scenics - Great Piles of Leaves
17. Teenanger - Beige
18. Paul Jacobs - Thanks
19. Paul Jacobs - Trapped Inside
20. The King Khan & BBQ - Show Alone Again