Saturday, May 29, 2021

Bob Dylan's 80th Birthday Bash & Bob Dylan Covered Shows # 884, 883 & 882

On May 24th, 2021 Bob Dylan turned eighty years old. To celebrate this Revolution Rock did two shows focusing on the music of Bob Dylan. One episode focused on selections from Dylan’s vast discography and one show focused on cover song versions of Bob Dylan’s music.  Dylan has 39 studio albums to date, not counting compilation albums, live albums, singles, box sets and his Bootleg Series. You can find selections from some of these releases in the May 22nd episode of Revolution Rock. The show on May 29th shows his vast influences across different decades and genres. 

Here are some quotes from previous articles written for this website from the past and present:

In the span fourteen of months from January 1965 to roughly February 1966, Bob Dylan made a transition from the folk music scene that he was a part of starting in Greenwich Village into the wild spontaneous world of rock music. Already able to fill Carnegie Hall, Dylan looked for something new and did not want to be labeled as a protest songwriter. It is also fitting that his first album where he would experiment with what he would eventually call his “wild mercury sound” was produced by Tom Wilson. Wilson produced the three acoustic Dylan albums that preceded Bringing It All Back Home (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), The Times They Are A Changin’ (1964) and Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964)) and Wilson would assist in bringing Dylan’s electric sound to a new audience. 

In 2014, The Basement Tapes Complete were released as part of Bob Dylan’s bootleg series. This set took us through Dylan’s next phase of music following his “Dylan goes electric” era. Those songs reached out to Dylan’s roots exploring folk music, roots rock and country, which led to the sounds that would produce both Music From Big Pink by The Band and 1967’s stripped down John Wesley HardingThe Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: Bootleg Series Vol.12 rewinds the tape, going back to the time before any of that occurred. We see Dylan searching for a sound through rock music, which would put him in the public eye. The Cutting Edge shows the listener what it would be like to be a fly on the studio wall as Bob Dylan and a series of musicians create three very different highly influential albums that brought in a rock & roll sound with a new kind of lyric.

Blood On The Tracks
is an album where the songs take on a literate, complex narrative, but also shows a more personalized Bob Dylan, whether it is autobiographical or not, shedding his emotional turmoil and heartbreak. With the recently released Bootleg Series Volume 14: More Blood, More Tracks, we see glimpses into the creative process and a devotion to these songs that came at a time in Dylan’s career when people thought they had him figured out. The lyrics on this album are delivered in a raw, unapologetic, unnerving fashion. Dylan rearranges the concepts of time within the context of the songs on this album, challenging song conventions and his approach to lyrics that are different from what he had done before. As the listener makes their way through the album’s ten tracks, the pains of break ups, their aftermath and emotional baggage that come along with them, we see that these are tracks we all must cross at some point. But, sometimes certain feelings are not so easy to leave behind.

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.

Find the Bob Dylan & Bob Dylan Covered playlists/episodes below.

Show 884 Bob Dylan Covered Playlist (Originally Aired On May 29th, 2021):

1. Beck - Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat (War Child Presents Heroes Vol 1 - Parlophone - 2009)
2. Queens of the Stone Age - Outlaw Blues (Chimes of Freedom: The Song of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International - Fontana - 2012)
3. White Stripes - One More Cup Of Coffee (White Stripes - Sympathy For The Record Industry - 1999)
4. 13th Floor Elevators – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Easter Everywhere - International Artists - 1967) 
5. R.L. Burnside – Everything is Broken (Tangled Up in Blues: Songs of Bob Dylan - House of Blues - 1999) 
6. Julie Dorion – On the Road Again (Subterranean Homesick Blues: A Tribute - Reimagine Music - 2010) 
7. Lee Renaldo - Visions of Johanna (Outlaw Blues Volume Two - Imaginary Records - 1993) 
8. Patti Smith –Drifters Escape (Chimes of Freedom: The Song of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International - Fontana - 2012)
9. Cowboy Junkies – If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Rarities, B-Sides, and Slow, Sad Waltzes - True North/Latent - 1999)
10. The Byrds - You Ain’t Going Nowhere (Sweetheart of the Rodeo - Columbia Records - 1968)
11. Neil Young & The Sadies - This Wheel’s On Fire (Garth Hudson Presents A Canadian Celebration of The Band - Curve Music/Sony Music - 2010)
12. Neko Case - Buckets of Rain (Live From Austin, TX - Austin City Limits 2007)
13. Daniel Romano’s Outfit - Neighborhood Bully (Do (What Could Have Been) Infidels By Bob Dylan & The Plugz - 2020)
14. Daniel Romano’s Outfit - License to Kill (Do (What Could Have Been) Infidels By Bob Dylan & The Plugz - 2020)
15. Daniel Romano – Jokerman (Do (What Could Have Been) Infidels By Bob Dylan & The Plugz - 2020)
16. Richard Hell & the Voidoids – Going, Going, Gone (Destiny Street - Red Star - 1982/Omnivore Recordings - 2021) 
17. Ramones – My Back Pages (Acid Eaters - Radioactive - 1993) 
18. The Headstones – Tweeter and the Monkey Man (Picture of Health - MCA - 1993) 
19. PJ Harvey – Highway 61 Revisited (Rid of Me - Island - 1993) 
20. David Lynch - The Ballad of Hollis Brown (The Big Dream - Sacred Bones/Sunday Best -  2013)
21. The Clash - The Man In Me (Vanilla Tapes) (London Calling: 25th Anniversary Legacy Edition - Epic - 2004)
22. Devo (as Dove) - Gotta Serve Somebody (Live 1980)(Recombo DNA -  Rhino - 2000)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 29 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 883 Bob Dylan 80th Birthday Bash Playlist (Originally Aired On May 22nd, 2021):

1.  Bob Dylan - Mixed Up Confusion (Biograph - Columbia Records - 1985)
2.  Bob Dylan - Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Demo) (No Direction Home: The Soundtrack:  Bootleg Series Vol 5 - Columbia Records - 2005)
3.  Bob Dylan - Black Diamond Bay (Desire - Columbia Records - 1976)
4.  Bob Dylan - When The Ship Comes In (The Times They Are A-Changin' - Columbia Records - 1964)
5.  Bob Dylan - Spanish Harlem Incident (Another Side of Bob Dylan - Columbia Records - 1964)
6.  Bob Dylan - She Belongs To Me (Bringing It All Back Home - Columbia Records - 1965)
7.  Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited (Highway 61 Revisited - Columbia Records - 1965)
8.  Bob Dylan - I Want You (Blonde On Blonde - Columbia Records - 1966)
9.  Bob Dylan - Dirt Road Blues (Time Out of Mind - Columbia Records - 1997)
10. Bob Dylan - High Water (For Charley Patton) (Love and Theft - Columbia Records - 2001)
11. Bob Dylan - Someday Baby (Modern Times - Columbia Records - 2006)
12. Bob Dylan - World Gone Wrong (World Gone Wrong - Columbia Records - 1993)
13. Bob Dylan & The Band - Belshazzar (Bootleg Series Vol 11: The Basement Tapes Complete - Columbia Records - 2014)
14. Bob Dylan & The Band - 900 Miles From My Home (Bootleg Series Vol 11: The Basement Tapes Complete - Columbia Records - 2014)
15. Bob Dylan - The Man In Me (New Morning - Columbia Records - 1970)
16. Bob Dylan & The Band - Medicine Sunday (Take 1) (The Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: Bootleg Series Vol.12 - Columbia Records - 2015)
17. Bob Dylan & The Band - Jet Pilot (Take 1) (The Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: Bootleg Series Vol.12 - Columbia Records - 2015)
18. Bob Dylan & The Band - I Wanna Be Your Lover (Take 2) (The Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: Bootleg Series Vol.12 - Columbia Records - 2015)
19. Bob Dylan - Tombstone Blues (Take 9) (The Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: Bootleg Series Vol.12 - Columbia Records - 2015)
20. Bob Dylan - As I Went Out One Morning (John Wesley Harding - Columbia Records - 1967)
21. Bob Dylan & The Band - Going, Going, Gone (Planet Waves - Columbia Records - 1974)
22. Bob Dylan & The Band - Lo and Behold (The Basement Tapes - Columbia Records - 1975)
23. Bob Dylan & The Band - Open The Door, Homer (The Basement Tapes - Columbia Records - 1975)
24. Bob Dylan - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Blood On The Tracks - Columbia Records - 1975)
25. Bob Dylan & The Band - Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35 (Isle of Wight Live 1969: Another Self Portrait:  Bootleg Series Vol 10 - Columbia Records - 2013)
26. Bob Dylan & The Hawks - Tell Me, Momma (Bob Dylan Live 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert:  The Bootleg Series Vol 4 - Columbia Records - 1998)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 22 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 882 Playlist (Originally Aired On May 15th, 2021)(Kraftwerk, Blue Peter Paul Humphrey tribute, N.E.E.T., The Chills, Bob Dylan):

1.  Kraftwerk - Pocket Calculator
2.  Kraftwerk - Computer Love
3.  Brent Amaker and The Rodeo - Pocket Calculator
4.  Kristian North - Halfway To Heaven
5.  Blue Peter - Same Old Place
6.  Blue Peter - Radio Silence
7.  Blue Peter - Don't Walk Past
8.  N.E.E.T. - Digital
9.  N.E.E.T. - 1969
10. N.E.E.T. - Sunglasses After Dark
11. Iceage - Gold City
12. Rec Centre - The Last Time I Vomited
13. Juliana Hatfield - Mouth Full Of Blood
14. Spencer Krug - River River
15. Born Ruffians - Ring Finger
16. The Leather Uppers - Slow Puke
17. The Dry Heaves - I Can't Puke
18. Vaguess - Cherry-Flavored Chunks
19. Electric Vomit - Boredom Abolishing
20. The Follow Ups - Just For Dave
21. Poison Suckers - Stick Up
22. The Routes - Mesmerised
23. Bob Dylan & The Band - I Threw It All Away (Live)
24. Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash - Guess Things Happen That Way (Take 3)
25. Bob Dylan - I Went To See The Gypsy (Take 6)
26. Bob Dylan & The Plugz - Don't Start Me Talking
27. Bob Dylan - Romance In Durango (Live)
28. Beams - Born To Win
29. The Chills - Monolith
30. The Chills - Hidden Bay

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 15 file to download/stream the episode.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Pink Dogs On The Green Grass: Paul Jacobs Interview & Show # 881

Paul Jacobs latest release is Pink Dogs On The Green Grass. Out via Blow The Fuse Records, Pink Dogs On The Green Grass finds Paul Jacobs expanding his DIY garage style with more hazy pop melodies pulling in influences from the likes of Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs. With just thirteen tracks, this album follows 2020’s outtakes/demo collection Portrait of George (Demo & Songs I Forgot About) and 2018’s EASY.

“Christopher Robbins” starts off Pink Dogs On The Green Grass. Featuring bongos, a prominent drumbeat, a mixture of synths and guitar, this song brings forth lethargic melodies that also pop up at differing points throughout this album. Inspired by a few different people, including a manager for the band Pottery (who Paul also plays drums with), Jacobs has stated “This song’s about working for the man and doing what you gotta do to pay the bills until you find out what’s next.” With its off-kilter, yet infectious bongo grooves, “Christopher Robbins” captures something that isn’t clearly defined, but something that seems familiar. “Day To Day” arrives next, one of the many strong moments found on this album, this track adds flute to the mix of its hazy melodies and psychedelic folk vibes. “Day To Day” was inspired “by a trip with friends during which we played at a festival near a river out in the woods. The experience stuck with us as one of the greatest times in our lives” Jacobs has explained. This song with its chorus of “I just hope that you get to whatever you want to do/And I just hope that no one ever makes a fool of you” Jacobs transports the listener into nostalgic, yet hopeful thoughts as the words “I hope one day you’ll get the chance/To say whatever it is that you want to say,” bring on a melancholic feeling that sticks with you. “Half Rich Loner” was the lead off single for Pink Dogs On The Green Grass. Another track featuring mesmerizing, prominent drums, this track also moves with psychedelic garage vibes. With words such as “I was the half rich loner/Hanging underneath the ceiling/Staring at the photo/Or taking notes at the meeting/Yeah that was me,” Jacobs evokes working middle class thoughts, but also reveals stronger ambitions. While potentially autobiographical to a degree, this track with its hammer on guitar parts, rolling basslines and psychedelic drum breakdown, shines bright amongst the other tracks that make up the multi-layered sonic landscape of Pink Dogs On The Green Grass.

“Most Delicious Drink” marches with foggy melodies that recall the songs of The Clean featuring evocative synthesizer sounds and lyrics about well, a delicious drink that you want to last forever. Seemingly about nothing in particular, this song along with the track that follows it “Cherry” create a certain effect on the listener. Psychedelic sounds and effects permeate these songs. “Cherry” especially creates a contemplative mood. Blow The Fuse Records described the lyrics of Paul Jacobs as “those unwanted moments in life that stick with you, like unexpected encounters or bizarre situations that repeat themselves in your dreams,” songs like these definitely fit into that framework. “Everything’s Fine” delivers a fuzzy psychedelic air, as “Underneath The Roses” creates a dream-like trance with the music. Blending elements of Kurt Vile, Cass McCombs and early Beck, “Underneath The Roses” also features flute and casual guitars while lyrically it produces themes of unrealized realities. “Dancing With The Devil” is dominated by a hypnotic bassline and drum part and an omnipresent synthesizer, as Jacobs tells a stream of consciousness tale over top about getting new shoes, making something to eat and going dancing with the devil.

With its weary song structure and lyrics such as “She believes that he is up there watching over everyone/No you can’t take that back,” “Glory Days Yesterday” is somewhat enigmatic, as “Kathy’s Bible” begins with drums and kaleidoscopic riffs. With its tongue-in-cheek attitude, lyrics such as “I found the book to be quite long after that” following several lyrics juxtaposing different thoughts, “Kathy’s Bible” is yet another track that could fit into the unexpected situations that repeat themselves category that is found throughout Pink Dogs On The Green Grass. “The Boys Are Back” is another catchy mid-tempo track that features lyrics such as “I bet you’ve never stood on the inside looking outside/And I wonder if you had an opinion that you had to hide” that conjures up many different thoughts as revolving basslines, handclaps and other effects layer overtop. “Hello Sunshine” ends Pink Dogs On The Green Grass with its fizzy psychedelic, sunbaked melodies that are seamless.

Already having several albums in his discography, Pink Dogs On The Green Grass shows Paul Jacobs branching out by finding a new way of approaching his music. Musically, references have been made to Cass McCombs, Kurt Vile, early Beck, but you can also hear the influence of 60s psychedelia and bands such as The Byrds and Lou Reed. Lyrically, Jacobs words are at times surreal. They are sometimes about different characters or observations and often take on cryptic meanings. While some have said that the lyrics reveal unwanted moments that stick with you, Pink Dogs On The Green Grass is much more than that. With Pink Dogs On The Green Grass, Paul Jacobs reveals that the grass sometimes turns yellow on the other side and that sometimes the green grass can be found in the every day moments we find ourselves in.

Listen to Revolution Rock's interview with Paul Jacobs:   

Show 881 Playlist (Originally Aired On May 8, 2021)(Paul Jacobs Interview):

1.  Osees - Carrion Crawler (Live Levitation Sessions)
2.  Osees - Meat Step Lively (Live Levitation Sessions II)
3.  Eddie & The Showmen - Movin'
4.  The Sadies - Clear A Path
5.  Kid Congo Power & The Pink Monkey Birds - (Are You) Ready Freddy
6.  Kiwi Jr. - Guilty Party
7.  Paul Jacobs - Day To Day
8.  Paul Jacobs - Born In A Zoo


9.  Paul Jacobs - Baby (With Bells)
10. Paul Jacobs - Stages For You
11. Paul Jacobs - The Telephone
12. Paul Jacobs - Soul Catcher
13. Paul Jacobs - Suckin' On A Cigarette


10. Paul Jacobs - Cherry
11. Paul Jacobs - Dancing With The Devil
12. Bob Dylan - New Pony
13. Bob Dylan - Slow Train
14. Bob Dylan - Neighborhood Bully
15. Bob Dylan - Everything Is Broken
16. Pottery - Texas Drums Pts I & II
17. Pottery - Hot Like Jungle
18. Paul Jacobs - Christopher Robbins

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Full Moon Fever: An Interview with Matt Ellis & Shows # 880, 879, 878

Hamilton musician Matt Ellis has been played in many different bands such as The Vapids, Flesh Rag and PlasticHeads. Usually on guitar, Matt recorded a series of Ramones inspired EPs in 2020 at his home where he played all of the instrumentation. All of the proceeds from these releases went towards different non-profit organizations in Toronto and Hamilton. Following a remix, the addition of real drums provided by Jimmy Vapid of The Vapids, Curtis Tone from PlasticHeads and two new tracks, Full Moon Fever was released on vinyl at the end of February 2021 on Surfin Ki Records. With an obvious Ramones influence, the songs that make up Full Moon Fever pull from the Dee Dee Ramone penned catalogue of Ramones tracks with a dash of The Spits, DBOY and Seattle band HEAD.

“DMT Is Good For Me” starts off the album with a trip, literally. As the character in the song leaves the boringness of everyday life and unemployment through other means, the fast paced track attacks with heavy guitar riffs, escapist lyrics and a brief Johnny Thunders styled solo. “My Neighbourhood Is A Dump” is a gritty track that lyrically is just as catchy as the best Ramones tracks. With lyrics such as “Garbage fills the streets and no cares/This neighbourhood’s a dump” and “I don’t care/I don’t care anymore,” Ellis taps into a fervent frustration as the outside world and internal world of the character in this song falls into disarray and despair. “Flowers in the Moonlight” acts as sort of title track. A little more mid-tempo, Ellis gets more dynamic lyrically with words such as “The whole wide world is burning/But I feel nothing yet,” “Right now you have my heart/But I’ll show you my soul.” These words combined with a slice of UK punk and the chorus of “Like a flower in the moonlight,” provides the listener with a moment of thought symbolizing growth, despite the difficult times. “Monster Under My Bed” digs into B-Movie paranoia and is actually a track dating back to an earlier band called The Scabs that Ellis had with TV Freaks drummer Nathan Burger when he was 15, “Poison Holiday” brings in more of a grimy Spits influence with Ramones songs such as “Havana Affair." During these musical moments, the character in the song vents about not being able to sling hamburgers in Hamilton, avoiding the news and being stuck in a vicious cycle of a forced “Poison Holiday.”

“Die Tonight” takes the love song on with a morbid twist, “Rat Fucker” is an ode to a slimy, greedy individual. With razor sharp guitar licks, grimy, loud barre chords, a steady drumbeat and punchy basslines, Ellis sneers with contempt on this track. “Stay Home” is a pretty straightforward song with Ramones 1976 vibes. A more up-tempo track, the song descends into themes of mundane isolation, panic and anxiety. “PigHead” features buzzsaw guitars ala “Pinhead” as lyrically it comments on police brutality, “Missing You” blends Undertones-styled guitar leads with Ramones catchiness as a down on their luck love-sick character is stuck in a literal and metaphorical limbo, “Bad Day” starts off with a heavy drumbeat as a guitar slide transports us to a world of someone who “Had a bad day/And is gonna make you pay” and is at their breaking point.

“Walk Alone” ends Full Moon Fever. With its 80s punk riffs intertwined with darker lyrics such as “I always walk alone these streets at night/In the darkness I don’t feel alright” and a chorus of “Gimme my life,” the character in this song addresses the darkness of isolation as they look for some kind of meaning. At 18 tracks, none of the songs on Full Moon Fever go past the two-minute mark. Running through themes of isolation, frustration, boredom and escapism, Full Moon Fever delves into a manic dynamic of punk rock and suburban paranoia. Full Moon Fever more than anything proves that rock and roll will always rise above hard times. 

Grab a copy of Full Moon Fever on Vinyl over at Matt Ellis' Bandcamp page:

Continue reading for an interview that Revolution Rock did with Hamilton musician Matt Ellis:

RR: The new record Full Moon Fever had its start as several Ramones inspired EPs recorded in 2020. What inspired you to create these tracks musically or lyrically?

ME: I started recording the FMF album shortly after the first COVID-19 lockdown. I went stir crazy pretty fast and set up a recording studio in our spare bathroom. I started writing songs and they came out fast. The Ramones vibe or formula just kind of happened. They have a couple “rules” they used in their songs. All downstrokes on the guitar, minimal solos, and the songs are fast and short and to the point which I like. It all just came naturally because I love them so.

I wrote and recorded 4 songs a month for 4 months and released them every second Friday on Bandcamp. The money from each of the 4 releases was given to different organizations/non-profits in Toronto and Hamilton. Everyone seemed to like the songs so it was decided to remix and master them properly for an album.

Photo By: Nina Danger
RR: Although primarily Ramones influenced what were some other bands that you think may have influenced the sound of Full Moon Fever? 

ME: Some bands I’ve been enjoying are the great Canadian band DBOY who has a meat and potatoes punk rock approach that I really dig. The New SPITS album got a lot of plays on my turntable. The band HEAD from Seattle are definitely an influence on this album. The VAPIDS, because before I was in that band I was a fan. Jimmy Vapid was a big help with album artwork, drums and the other main man in this project. 

The album name FMF in part comes from Tom Petty, who I love as a songwriter. I took the name of his first solo record for my own. Also, my daughter was born on a full moon and it felt right to call it that because a lot of the songs come from my fear of the future she might have. It feels like the whole world has Full Moon Fever right now. 

RR: When/where did you record the tracks for Full Moon Fever and how did you get connected with Surfin’ Ki Records for the vinyl release?

ME: Surfin Ki records has released a number of Vapids records over the last 10 or so years. He also released the first Flesh Rag record. Carlo is the man behind the scenes and our Italian Rock 'n' Roll blood brother! A couple years ago Jimmy Vapid and myself got to hang out with him for a weekend in California. We had many beers and many laughs! I knew he liked my solo EPs so I remixed the songs as an album and had Jimmy Vapid and Curt from PLASTICHEADS play drums on tracks that originally had drum machines. I recorded two more songs for the LP to give it something fresh.

RR: There are some pretty cool lo-fi music videos that you made for some of the tracks on Full Moon Fever (“My Neighbourhood Is A Dump,” “Rat Fucker,” “DMT is Good For Me”). They all seem to have a different theme. Was there any aesthetic or mood you were going for when you were creating any of these videos and how did you come up with the tin foil monster for “DMT Is Good For Me”?

The music videos just came about by me trying to make the best of this messed up year. The whole album was recorded on an old MacBook I was given by my father in law. I filmed a couple videos on my cell phone by myself with a tripod and just figured it out on that old computer. The tinfoil monster just comes from my love of low budget movies and just being a goofball with cabin fever. I think DMT is actually a great drug but on the kind of budget I’m working with it’s very hard to present it in a visually stunning way. Let’s call it "low budget isolation madness."

RR: You’ve played in many different bands such as The Vapids, PlasticHeads and Flesh Rag. What was the first band that you played in and do you remember anything about the first live show that you played?

ME: The first band I played in was called ‘THE SCABS’ Nathan Burger was in the band from FLESH RAG and TV FREAKS. About 18 years ago we played our first show. It was a house party. We were like 15 year old kids and we wore lipstick and covered Misfits, GG Allin, Stooges and Ramones songs. Still cornerstones of my musical influence. The song ‘Monster Under My Bed’ from FMF was a Scabs song Burger and I wrote. It was a weird thing to record a song I wrote when I was only 15. But it works on the album and It was nice to put something from so long ago on vinyl.

Photo By: Nina Danger
RR: You play guitar primarily, but also play drums and bass. What was the first instrument that you played? Was it the guitar and what was the first guitar you played do you remember?

ME: I can barely play drums! But bass I have played in a few bands and Guitar.... yes! My first guitar my parents bought me at a garage sale. It was a cheap one but it was almost unplayable. After singing in the Scabs I wanted to learn guitar and my parents helped me buy a proper one. A cream colour Fender Strat. Kinda like the one Wayne really wants in Wayne’s World! I played it for a couple years and sold it. I really wish I still had it.

RR: Ramones have lots of albums. What do you feel some of their under appreciated albums are and do you have a favourite one in general?

ME: My favourite album is the first album. Its simplicity and power is unmatched in a debut album. The first 3 or maybe even 4 albums are perfect! The “best” I’d say is Rocket to Russia as it has the perfect hard punk songs to pop songs ratio. It should have made them huge and been a hit! The most underrated is Too Tough To Die. Tommy Ramone stepped back behind the board to produce and it shows. The Dee Dee songs he sings are killer! The demos he sings on from that album are some of my favourite Ramones demos! A couple people have said my album is Dee Dee Ramone influenced and they'd be correct. His songs are always my favourites.

RR: What’s next for you musically?

ME: I’d really like to get back to rehearsing and record our second album with PLASTICHEADS. We had a European tour get cancelled because of COVID. I really miss playing with that band. I play bass in a side project with TJ and Burger from TV FREAKS called ANXIOUS PLEASERS and we are releasing a limited tape and the songs will be on Bandcamp very soon. We recorded them December-ish 2019 and decided to put them out after waiting this long.

I think I’d also like to do another solo album but I’m in no rush. Right now working alone is the only thing I have creatively. It's different but has been satisfying. FMF has sold really well and people like it so maybe I’ll give ‘em more of what they want. I’m not reinventing the wheel, I’m just continuing in a musical tradition. You don’t need to come up with a new style or sound but if you can connect with people and the songs are good, that’s what really counts. FMF Is kind of an end of the world type album and sadly there is no shortage of inspiration at the moment.

Show 880 (Originally Aired On May 1st, 2021)(Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Matt Ellis):

1. Rolling Stones - Bitch (Live)
2. Rolling Stones - Dead Flowers
3. Iggy Pop - Glow in the Dark 
4. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - 40 LB Block of Cheese
5. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Calvin 
6. Alex Chilton and Hi Rhythm Section - Boogie Shoes (Live)
7. Art Bergmann - Your Second Amendment 
8. Neil Young - Monday Morning 
9. Willie Dunn - Wounded Lake 
10. Bob Dylan - Hard Times In New York Town (1961 Home Tape Demo)
11. Bob Dylan - No More Auction Block (Live at Gaslight Cafe, Greenwich Village 1962)
12. Bob Dylan - Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
13. Bob Dylan - Song To Woody 
14. Bob Dylan - Masters of War (Whitmark Demo)
15. Bob Dylan - Oxford Town 
16. Bob Dylan - Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind (Another Side of Bob Dylan Outtake)
17. Guided by Voices - Trust Them Now 
18. White Lung – Blow it South 
19. Dumb – Artfact 
20. Teenanger – Straight to Computer
21. Girlfriends & Boyfriends - Stephaney 
22. Paul Jacobs - Half Rich Loner 
23. Daniel Romano - Don’t Turn Around Janet
24. Teenage Art Scene - Rocket
25. Dinosaur Jr. - And Me 
26. Dean Marino - Footnotes 
27. Property! - The Isolator 
28. Pale Lips - (You Make Me) Wanna Be Bad
29. Matt Ellis - Stay Home 
30. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Crack of Dawn (Demo)

Show 879 (Originally Aired On April 24th, 2021) (The Kingsmen, La Luz, Triptides, The Byrds Fifth Dimension, Bob Dylan, Souvenir):

1. The Kingsmen - Louie, Louie (Shindig 1965)
2. The Kingsmen - Haunted Castle
3. The Kingsmen - Money 
4. La Luz - Tale of My Lost Love
5. Triptides - It Won’t Hurt You 
6. Triptides - Let It Go
7. The Byrds - Mr. Spaceman 
8. The Byrds - Eight Miles High (Alternate RCA Version)
9. The Byrds - What’s Happening ?!?! 
10. The Armed – An Iteration 
11. Special Interest – Young, Gifted, Black, in Leather 
12. Psychic Void – Alley Dweller 
13. METZ – Slow Decay 
14. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Spirit Of The Radio 
15 The Coathangers - Stasher
16. Cold Warps - Everyone I Know
17. No Museums - Perimeter Won’t Tighten Anymore 
18. Johnny West - The Stillness of Us 
19. Cory Hanson - Limited Hangout 
20. Bob Dylan - Country Pie 
21. Bob Dylan  - Woogie Boogie
22. Bob Dylan - Father of Night 
23. Bob Dylan - Days of '49 
24. Bob Dylan - Billy 7 
25. Bob Dylan - Big Yellow Taxi [Joni Mitchell cover] 
26. The Glebes - Theme 
27. Klazo - This and That 
28. Priors - VideoDrome
29. The Famines - The Second World War 
30. King Khan Unlimited - Megpie Eyes 
31. Souvenir – I'm Leaving 
32. Fitness – Priest's Feet 
33. Chad VanGaalen – Nothing is Strange 

Show 878 (Originally Aired On April 17th, 2021)(Unwound, Muddy Waters, John Lurie, Matt Ellis):

1. Unwound – Look a Ghost 
2. Tunic – Shaking Hands
3. Japandroids – Racer X 
4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Government Came {Ashes to the Sea or Nearer to Thee}
5. Neil Jarvis - Get The Band Back Together
6. Bill Jr. Jr. - Renaissance Man
7. Not You - Mabel
9. Neil Young - Come Along and Say You Will 
10. South River Slim - Blind Lemon Girl
11. Hank III - 7 Months, 39 Days 
12. Townes Van Zandt - Turnstyled, Junkpiled 
13. Muddy Waters – Long Distance Call 
14. Muddy Waters – Long Distance 
15. Muddy Waters - The Same Thing 
16. Muddy Waters – The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock and Roll 
17. John Dwyer - City Maggot
18. John Lurie - Al Is Hated 
19. John Lurie - Al Al Al Al 
20. Marvin Pontiac - I Hope She Is Okay
21. Marvin Pontiac - My Little Garden Gnome 
22. The Lounge Lizards - The First and Royal Queen 
23. Tuns – In Another Life 
24. Spencer Krug – Fading Graffiti 
25. Born Ruffians – Beyond the Lightning 
26. Dry Cleaning – Unsmart Lady
27. Pony – My Room 
29. Matt Ellis - Monster Under My Bed 
30. Matt Ellis - My Neighbourhood Is A Dump