Saturday, February 25, 2023

Lead Lined Clouds & Get Past Go: An Interview With Chris Jack of The Routes & Show # 976

The Routes have been releasing music since 2007, but lately they have been putting out two, or sometimes more releases a year. The band is lead by multi-instrumentalist/main songwriter Christopher Jack and currently features drummer Bryan Styles. In 2022, they released The Twang Machine, a surf tribute to Kraftwerk that works so well, in 2021 two instrumental albums (Instrumentals II and Shake Five) were released in addition to Mesmerised, a psych, reverb doused collection of tracks with vocals. While they are a garage punk band, they often blur the lines of that title pulling other influences creating something different each time. At the end of 2022, the instrumental album Get Past Go! was released and in February 2023, the garage-psych album that pulls in post-punk influences titled Lead Lined Clouds was released. 

“Axe To Grind” opens Get Past Go! Said to have a 60s California sound, this track splashes with reverb drenched guitar, fuzz guitar and bass in the chorus with dynamic drums that almost seem to levitate as the song progresses. “Twist Each Word” hits hard with organ, drums and well, twisted 60s sounding garage riffs mixed with surf reverb. The song cuts deep as drummer Bryan Stiles shuffles through this instrumental track that gives off driving down the sunset strip at night vibes. “In A Rut” is another standout track on Get Past Go! The tempo comes down a bit while the drums, organ and bass hold down the groove and surf riffs float overtop, more reverb arrives with the title track “Get Past Go!” pulling in Ventures soundscapes as it builds to an intense guitar crescendo, “Had Your Time” pulls in country and western sounds, in addition to Spaghetti Western soundtrack aesthetics, “Jamas” picks up the pace with stop and start reverb doused twangy riffs and bouncy basslines, “Like A Knife” comes in at track number eight on Get Past Go!. Another highlight, the chemistry on this track is strong with its drum rolls, crashes and Dick Dale & Ventures inspired descending guitar riffs that cut through the din of modern day boredom.

“Wani” brings up the organ and bass with the drums. Musically, the instrumentation glides forward making way for guitar, which flies above juxtaposing sunny surf with hazier atmospheres, “No Going Back” is another high energy surf track, it changes pace keeping you on your toes as foamy guitar riffs move with the fluid drums and bass. “A Day In Hell” features amped up almost jazz/bossa nova drumbeats in the verses as fiery guitars overtake the choruses and middle section of the song while the bass drives everything in the background, “Too Much To Take” ends Get Past Go! A louder sweeping guitar track, it blends soulful basslines with rolling drums, while wild guitars echo back and forth with reverb, twang and attitude. Get Past Go! features songs loosely based on songs in The Routes back catalogue that are soaked in garage, twang, Spaghetti Western influences and the sounds of Dick Dale, Link Wray, The Trashmen and 60s surf compilations. With Get Past Go! The Routes propel past the finish line.

The Routes released Lead Lined Clouds in February 2023. It features vocals, garage, psych, proto punk, organ and post punk influenced sounds. The album continues the thread of previous Routes releases, while at the same time not straying too far from still sounding like The Routes. “Drained” starts off Lead Lined Clouds. The guitar and organ blend seamlessly on the opening moments as the drums rumble in the background, while Jack sings of the draining of monotony from the negativity that can surround us on a daily basis, “Lead Lined Clouds” comes in next with a Stranglers influence mixed with 60s and psych sounds. Lyrics such as “Are we really so dumb/Or is it just greed/That we can’t get along/History repeats” and “And all the clouds are filled with lead/Waiting to fall/Fall on our heads” display an existential outlook taking on issues of greed and corruption, contrasting it against a sense of hope that once may have seemed present. “No Good” pulls in shoegaze, indie, garage and post punk elements making nods to bands My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Seen Better Days” attacks with Syd Barrett fuzziness juxtaposed with strong Kinks-meets-Alien Lanes-era Guided By Voices styled melodies while the lyrics “I have been waiting on the line/I need assistance can’t you find/Find someone who can deal with me/Someone with sympathy” and “I'm not done but I’ve seen Better Days/They looked away” are melancholic as the character in this song tries to navigate the world while they deal with their own internal conflicts. “Attention” features dizzying organ, heavy hitting drums, while the chorus hits with fuzzy guitars and lyrics explore themes of obsessive, yet oblivious attention seekers.

“Opinions” features the lyrics “I never realized/What’s eating me inside/Now I’m a different guy/Take it all in my own stride” and “Opinions/I have one myself/You should shut up/Keep it to yourself,” that delve into social media related ignorance, but at the same time like the music found on this record could have more meanings, in this case it could also be relating to stubborn opinionated people. Musically this track adds more alternative UK sounds in the mix. The simmering organ, guitar fuzz and drums found here are incendiary. “Inside Out” is almost fragmented as the influence of The Fall comes to mind and lyrically the song confronts themes of aging, the mesmerizing sounds of “Shrunken Heads” with the lyrics “Hung out to dry/Your shrunken head/It was your choice/We're all left for dead” that deal with themes of corruption and propaganda, create a potent musical mixture drawing on influences of The Fall, The Stranglers and The Modern Lovers. “Only Us and Them” ends Lead Lined Clouds. A more mid-tempo number, the lyrics offer a critique addressing themes of paranoia. Musically it festers with the 60s sounds of bands like The Standells and The Count Five, while the drums and bass recall the erratic rhythms of post punk. Throughout Lead Lined Clouds, universal themes of austerity, old age, corruption, propaganda, social media and mental health are found all over its make up. The Routes pull no punches here. While they are a garage punk band, they are unpredictable and don’t revel in nostalgia. With nods to bands of the past, Lead Lined Clouds hovers with darker themes as The Routes reveal to us to a world that may not be exactly what it seems.

You can find Lead Lined Clouds through Otitis Media. 
Get Past Go! is also available through Otitis Media or find them both digitally Bandcamp and other streaming services. 

Listen to an interview that Revolution Rock did with Chris Jack of The Routes here: 
Revolution Surf 2023 Playlist (Chris Jack of The Routes Interview)(Originally Aired On February 25th, 2023):

1.  Pitted - Wah-Bah (So Pitted - 2021)
2.  The Surf Hermits - Jet City Rumble (Showdown - Sharawaji Records - 2022)
3.  Magnatech - Oll'n Trekker (Impala '59 - Sharawaji Records - 2022)
4.  Jim and the Sea Dragons - The Murder Hornet Twist (The Murder Hornet Twist Single - 2022)
5.  Huevos Rancheros - Wild n' Wendy (Endsville! - C/Z Records - 1993)
6.  The Forbidden Dimension - Haunted (Sin Gallery - Cargo Records - 1993)
7.  Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother (Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham - Cargo Records - 1991
8.  Urban Surf Kings - Penguin or Robot? (Penguin or Robot? - Reverb Ranch - 2014)
9.  The Routes - Like A Knife (Get Past Go! - Ottis Media Records - 2022)
10. The Routes - The Robots (The Twang Machine - Topsy Turvy Records - 2022)


12. The Routes - Shake Five (Shake Five - Topsy Turvy Records - 2021)
13. The Routes - Snail Love Story (Instrumentals II - Groovie Records - 2021)


14. The Routes - Yeti Spaghetti (Instrumentals - Groovie Records -  2012)
15. The Routes - Noise Annoys (Unreleased - 2023)
16. Takeshi Terauchi & The Blue Jeans - Rashomon (Rashomon - King Records - 1972)
17. Link Wray - Jack The Ripper (Jack The Ripper - Swan - 1963)
18. The Astronauts-  Hot Doggin' (Hot Doggin'/Everyone But Me Single - Victor - 1965)
19. The Ventures - Stop Action (Where The Action Is! - Dolton Records - 1966)
20. The Mel-tones - Sorrow Bay (Surf! Spy! Space! - LoveCat Music - 2006)
21. The Surfrajettes - Marshmallow March (Marshmallow March/All I Want For Christmas Single - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2022)
22. Lulufin the Woo Hoo - Jellyfish (Jellyfish/Bamboo Twist Single - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2018)
23. The Surfdusters - Chill Out (Save the Waves - Fireball Records - 2011)
24. The Ichi-Bons - Switchblade (Ich-I-Bon #1 EP - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2023)
25. Bloodshot Bill - The Sludge (Songs from the Sludge - Hi-Tide Recordings - 2022)

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

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire 50th Anniversary & Show # 975

When People think of Reggae, Bob Marley often comes to mind. Before he became more famous, he had been involved in the Jamaican music scene as far back as 1962, when he was just a teenager. The Wailers were a group that formed early on with friends and went through a few different band name changes before becoming known as The Wailers. They first released an album in 1965 called The Wailing Wailers. The group featured Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, all of whom would be successful reggae artists on their own. Catch A Fire was the fifth full-length studio album released by Bob Marley & The Wailers (on some editions credited as The Wailers). This album was originally released in April of 1973 and was their first release for Island Records. It also featured the original line up of the band of Bob Marley (guitar/vocals), Peter Tosh (organ/guitar/piano/vocals), Bunny Wailer (bongos/congas/vocals), Aston Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums).

“Concrete Jungle” starts off Catch A Fire, with a funky and soulful dynamic as the vocals come in and the bass moves throughout the background Marley sings “No sun will shine in my day today/The high yellow moon won’t come out to play,” and “Cause life/Must be somewhere to be found/Instead of concrete jungle,” exposing a global audience to themes of harsh poverty and brutality that surrounded West Kingston, presenting audiences to the socially conscious lyrics that Marley & The Wailers would be known for. The song also instils a hopefulness. Throughout this song and album the backing vocals of Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and backing singers Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths are a highlight, while the instrumentation from the musicians on "Concrete Jungle" displays a laidback, yet cautiousness dynamic. The chemistry of the group on this album is undeniable. “Slave Driver” is the second track on Catch A Fire. With its meaningful message emphasizing how racism is still thriving within the structures of society, this song with its deep bass and drum grooves from Aston & Carlton Barrett, reggae guitar staccatos, organ/guitar from Peter Tosh, additional percussion from Bunny Wailer, strong vocal harmonies and Marley’s passionate fiery vocals is another one of Catch A Fire’s songs featuring heartfelt urgency. The next two songs “400 Years” and “Stop That Train” were written by Peter Tosh.

”400 years” features a haunting social criticism referring to slavery and its many forms. With chilling backing vocals, melancholic synthesizer and a striking band chemistry, the song is another standout track on Catch A Fire. “Stop That Train” with its soulful bass grooves combined with the reggae guitar and strong vocal harmonies is a catchy track that is rich in themes of despair and heartbreak. It also reflects Tosh’s abilities that would lead to his successes as a solo artist. “Baby We Got A Date (Rock It Baby)” is a love song that is both mellow and upbeat, while “Stir It Up” has a longer history. The song was originally released by The Wailers in 1967 and it found new success in the US and the UK in 1972 when it was covered by Johnny Nash reaching the top 20 in the US and the UK. Prior to the recording of this album, the band had been on tour in the UK with Johnny Nash, who in turn began recording with the band in London around this time. Due to clashes with Nash and a CBS record contract, tensions started rising within the band. They were advanced money to record an album with Chris Blackwell and Island Records when their manager approached him. They band wound up going back to Jamaica to record the album before returning to the UK to work on the album with Blackwell. The version found on 1973’s Catch A Fire is often seen as the best version of the song. This is one of Bob Marley’s best known songs. The 1973 version encompasses an excellent mix of reggae elements, the guitar, congas, bass, keyboards and steady beat are hypnotic as Marley sings “Stir it up/Little darlin’” with relaxed smoothness. “Kinky Reggae” follows “Stir It Up” with its in the pocket upbeat reggae grooves and skanking guitars. Lyrically it has been said that it could be an allegory relating to drug use, sexuality or both. “No More Trouble” is a soul-stirring track with not too many words that holds the listener transfixed, while “Midnight Ravers” ends Catch A Fire.

Catch A Fire and the Burnin’ album that followed later in 1973 were recorded around the same time. After the release of Burnin’, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley would all go onto pursue solo careers (Marley continued with The Wailers, but with a different line up). This is one of the last albums to feature all three original members of The Wailers, as also around this time tensions within the band and management were on edge. It was recorded at three different studios in 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica, the tapes were then flown back to London, England with Marley and worked on with producer/label founder Chris Blackwell. With Marley’s supervision, Blackwell remixed the tracks at Island Studios and overdubbed on the some of tracks with Muscle Shoals session guitarist Wayne Perkins. Lyrically the album would address issues of oppression, other socially conscious themes, as well as featuring love songs. Containing now classic tracks such as “Kinky Reggae,” “Slave Driver,” “Concrete Jungle” and two excellent tracks written by Peter Tosh (“400 Years” & “Stop That Train”), Catch A Fire was one of the first international roots/reggae records distributed (following the Harder They Come Soundtrack in 1972) and would set Marley on the path to superstardom.

Punky Reggae Party II Playlist (Originally Aired On February 18th, 2023):

1.  Bob Marley & the Wailers - Concrete Jungle (Catch a Fire - Island Records - 1973)
2.  Bob Marley & the Wailers - Burnin' and Lootin' (Burnin' - Island Records - 1973)
3.  Toots & the Maytals - Sit Right Down (Funky Kingston - Mango Records/Dragon Records - 1973)
4.  The Upsetters - Black Panta (14 Dub Black Board Jungle - Upsetter Records - 1973)
5.  Earth, Roots, & Water - Zion (Innocent Youths - Summer Records/Light In The Attic - 1977/2008)
6.  Leroy Brown - Money Barrier (Money Barrier - Rhythm Gits - 1981)
7.  Winston Hart - Slaves Made Them Rich (Slaves Made Them Rich - Rose Royce - 1977)
8.  Noel Ellis - To Hail Selassie (Noel Ellis - Summer Records - 1983)
9.  Oscar Peterson - In the Still of the Night (Plays The Cole Porter Song Book - Verve Records - 1959)
10. Oscar Peterson - I Love Paris (Plays The Cole Porter Song Book - Verve Records - 1959)
11. Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie - Mozambique (Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie - Pablo Records - 1974)
12. Otis Redding - Shake (Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul - Volt Records - 1965)
13. Curtis Mayfield - Wild and Free (Curtis - Curtom - 1970)
14. Wilson Pickett - Mercy, Mercy (The Exciting Wilson Pickett - Atlantic Records - 1966)
15. Howlin' Wolf - Evil (Is Going On) (Moanin' in the Moonlight - Chess Records - 1959)
16. Willie Dixon (with Memphis Slim) - Move Me (Willie's Blues - Prestige Bluesville - 1959)
17. Bob Marley & the Wailers - Stop That Train (Jamaican Version) (Catch a Fire: Deluxe Edition - Island Records - 2001)
18. Toots & the Maytals - It Was Written Down (Funky Kingston - Mango Records/Dragon Records - 1973)
19. The Upsetters - Drum Rock (14 Dub Black Board Jungle - Upsetter Records - 1973)
20. King Tubby - East Arrows of Hi Fi Dub (Dub From the Roots/A Declaration of Dub - 1975/2014)

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

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Otto Motto: An Interview with Jose Contreras & Show # 974

Otto Motto is the latest album released by Toronto’s By Divine Right. A now legendary proto-indie rock band, By Divine Right is fronted by Jose Contreras and the band has seen many lineup changes throughout the years, in their previous lineups they featured Feist, Brendan Canning (of Broken Social Scene) and Brian Borcherdt (of Holy Fuck). Their current lineup of Jose Contreras (guitar/vocals), Geordie Dynes (drums) and Alysha Haugen (bass) has been together since 2010. In 2016, the band recorded a full album cover of Depeche Mode’s Speak & Spell album in their rehearsal space, calling it Speak & Spell U.S. Otto Motto is a sprawling double album containing 14 tracks and features haunting psychedelic pop textures to the songs as the lyrics dig deep and are contemplative.

The album opens with “Problems of the Professional.” Driven by acoustic guitar, drums and bass, this contemplative track opens Otto Motto. With lyrics such as “The gadgeteers exploits/The experts ingenuity/Profit from my mistakes” and “The polite way to make people vanish,” Contreras sings a song that is motivational and hopeful, but also wrought with frustration. As the song reaches the halfway point, it picks up the tempo as guitars bass and drums drift into a psychedellia influenced interlude before jumping back into the mid-tempo ethereal groove found here. “Fuzzy Empire” floats in with fuzz induced electric guitar and rolling bass and drums as lyrically the pop inflective chorus of “I can feel it in my bones/I hate to be alone/I’m not lying/Feel like dying/I need more,” echoes a complex collection of emotions of being close and distant at the same time. This is one of several tracks that features additional guitar from Toronto musician/guitarist Stuart Cameron. “St. Leon’s” was the first single released for Otto Motto. Starting off with a steady bass and drums before electric guitar and vocals come in, this track was written about a tour story and adventure that the band had in Nakusp, BC. St. Leon’s is an off the beaten path hot spring in Nakusp that has been described as mystical. As the song treads within its own sonic landscape, lyrics such as “Keep on going down that rocky slope/To St Leon’s off the logging road/There will be a place for you,” and “We left the motel at the break of day/Lived the dream and then we drove away,” Contreras seems to be singing of this hard to find place that is mystical, but also juxtaposing it with touring life that may be one in the same.

“The Weeping Man” has a late night moody feel, with primarily acoustic guitar, bass and drums, Contreras weaves the tale of the invisible people we see every day. In a brief interview with Exclaim! Contreras talked about the songs context a bit more: "The story of the song, really, is it's an amalgam of the invisible people we see every day. My Toronto always has had spirit people living in it. The people no one talks to; the people that don't go into stores; the people you see day after day and no one knows." This is also an example of the album’s live dynamic that captures you and doesn’t let go. “Smokies and Cannonballs” is a jangly rock track that switches up the pace and tempo of Otto Motto, while lyrically it seems to be about just shutting off from the outside world and just hanging out in your hotel room. “Wild Ducks” is a slower psychedelic art pop track that floats with a spontaneous energy, ”Alighter” drifts with an atmospheric ambiance, and “The Volcano” finds its place as the eighth track on Otto Motto. The groove digs deep on this one as the guitars, bass and drums put forth a locomotive-like groove awash in vibrant, but muted textures that mix with pop sounds. Lyrics such as “Twice before you start to crack/I collided with the night,” and “Find a light and hold it tight/In comes the night I need to find a cure/Holding back/Holding back the volcano,” emphasize an eruption that is about to take place, despite ones best efforts. “No. 87” has been described by Contreras aswarble-y existential disco based on a typo,” that was written “After some misadventures, I returned to live in Toronto, trying to remember my way back to the future.” This warble-y track also features dreamy vocals as it forays into more psychedelic pop in addition to the other sounds that permeate this track.

“East Side Anthem” attacks with a laidback rhythm and guitar work that festers with an influence reminiscent of Marc Ribot on Tom Wait’s Rain Dogs album. With its jerky stop and start dynamics, lyrics paint the picture of eerie and strange things that occur late at night on the east side of town. Musically the song, like many on the album feature textures and additional instrumentation, this one features streetcar guitar credited to Steven Lambke. “Middle March” is another standout track on Otto Motto. Saturated in themes of nostalgia for the future and past, the song features sparse drum beats from Dynes and soulful basslines from Haugen that blend with kaleidoscopic guitars from Contreras. There are also, like on many tracks on the album, backing vocals provided by Alysha Haugen. As the song reaches its end Shotgun Jimmie offers a brief segment behind a series of atmospheric sounds, asking for his friend to help him move a piano with his van that is both humorous, yet also fitting with the themes of wistfulness and melancholy present on this track. “Moon Jams” ends Otto Motto. The full band comes in as distorted guitars overtake the opening moments of this song. Also featuring lyrics sung in French, Contreras sings of taking a trip to the moon and looking back down at the earth. The lyrics are a bit abstract, but they seem to touch on existential themes and our significance in the vast universe around us. The song ends with a phone message by Shotgun Jimmie, who has little messages throughout the record asking to be put on the album.

Throughout Otto Motto, the songs are longer than 2013’s Organized Accidents (in addition to 2016's Speak & Spell U.S.) and take their time, but never overstay their welcome. Arriving just shy of an hour of music, the working title of this album was Onomatopoeia, which is a word that is associated with the sound that it is named after. On Otto Motto, the sounds are By Divine Right and can’t be associated with anything else. With this being the longest running lineup of the band, they are as Jose once said when describing the future of BDR’s sound “More us, and at the same time, wider.” Otto Motto widens their scope, leaving room for repeat listens, new interpretations and a sonic space for future sounds.

Listen to the interview that Revolution Rock did with Jose Contreras here:

By Divine Right & Jose Contreras Playlist (Originally Aired On February 11th, 2023):

1.  By Divine Right - St. Leon’s (Otto Motto - Fortune Stellar Records - 2022)
2.  By Divine Right - Tora! Tora! Tora! (Speak and Spell U.S. - Headless Owl Records - 2016)
3.  By Divine Right - Eating the Ghost (Organized Accidents - Hand Drawn Dracula - 2013)
4.  By Divine Right - Cupid in Oilskins (Mutant Message - Hand Drawn Dracula - 2009)
5.  By Divine Right - Out of It (By Divine Right - Kinetic Records - 1995)
6.  By Divine Right - Come For A Ride (Bless This Mess - Nettwerk - 1999)


7.  By Divine Right - City City (Sweet Confusion - Linus Entertainment - 2004)
8.  By Divine Right - Supernatural (Good Morning Beautiful - Linus Entertainment - 2001)
9.  By Divine Right - Goodbye Paralyzer (Bless This Mess - Nettwerk - 1999)
10. By Divine Right - Highway Alien Paranoia (Al Hail Discordia - Squirtgun Records - 1997)


11. By Divine Right - Smokies and Cannonballs (Otto Motto - Fortune Stellar Records - 2022)
12. Jose Contreras - Grand Central Station (At The Slaughterhouse - Headless Owl Records - 2019)
13. Jose Contreras - At 45 (At The Slaughterhouse - Headless Owl Records - 2019)
14. Jose Contreras - Silver Thread (Jose Contreras - Squirtgun Records - 2014)
15. The Heat Death - Don’t Tell Her That You Love Her (The Heat Death - 2018)
16. The Heat Death - I’m Already There, Sunshine (CJAM Session 2016)
17. By Divine Right - Psychic Radio (Hybrid TV Genii - Linus Entertainment - 2004)
18. By Divine Right - Past the Stars (Organized Accidents - Hand Drawn Dracula - 2013)
19. By Divine Right - The Weeping Man (Otto Motto - Fortune Stellar Records - 2022)

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

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Iggy & The Stooges Raw Power & Show # 973

Originally released on February 7th, 1973, Iggy & The Stooges Raw Power is the third full-length album by The Stooges. After the demise of the initial incarnation of The Stooges in 1971, Pop met David Bowie. As a fan of The Stooges, Bowie helped Iggy Pop get signed to a new label and management. Originally intended to be a solo outing, Iggy brought guitarist James Williamson along (who had played in a lineup with The Stooges prior to their breakup in 1971) with him to the UK in order to make a new record. Not finding suitable band members to meet their standards, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton of The Stooges were brought over to England and the second lineup of the band was in place. For this lineup, there was a shift in dynamics within the band, the more groove heavy version of The Stooges changed as Ron Asheton switched from guitar to bass, locking in a new primal heavy groove with drummer Scott Asheton and guitarist James Williamson played wild, erratic guitar riffs. Iggy Pop sang vocals overtop with a cerebral dangerousness as the band drifted more towards a harder rock sound. Since Iggy was under new contract, they were dubbed Iggy & The Stooges. Pop has recalled that the making of Raw Power “was done with drugs, youth, attitude, and a record collection.”

Raw Power opens with “Search and Destroy,” a song that was originally influenced by an article in Time Magazine where the term appeared along with “raw power.” It has roots in an anti-Vietnam War sentiment as the lyrics contrast the apocalyptic war imagery with themes of isolation, alienation and self exploration. It is an outsider anthem. The result is not only a strong opening to an album, but a song that would start off an album that would influence and launch a thousand bands. It has the subversive ability to take on multiple meanings expanding beyond its initial influences as lyrics such as “A streetwalking cheetah with a heartful of napalm,” and “I am the world’s forgotten boy/The one who’s searchin’/Searchin’ to destroy” strike alongside searing guitar riffs, explosive drumbeats and lurking basslines. “Gimme Danger” starts off with acoustic guitars, piano, drums and bass before Iggy’s haunting vocals come in. With lyrics such as “Gimme danger little stranger/And I’ll feel your disease” and “There’s nothing left alive but a pair of glassy eyes,” Pop looks inward as he expresses a complex series of emotions surrounding drug use, withdrawal, sexual tension, and as Pop stated recently for Apple Music “being haunted by the PTSD of your drug addictions, and failures in the industry.” The song, while there seems to be a Doors influence has drawn comparisons to “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones. “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” is another up-tempo, sonically chaotic track with more slashing guitar work from James Williamson behind a Chuck Berry influenced dynamic. Lyrically Iggy Pop displays an indictment of superficial beauty, while at the same time critiques pretty girls comparing them to having the same level of degeneracy as him. Side one of Raw Power ends with the lust-filled and edgy track “Penetration.” 

The title track opens side two of Raw Power. With more groove and violent guitar riffs, lyrically Pop touches on sleep deprivation and the state of mind it can bring, along with a touch of the sex, drugs & rock and roll ethos. “I Need Somebody” is another slower track. Included as part of an agreement with Columbia Records to have two ballads on the album (the other being “Gimme Danger”), the song features what has been called a rolling blues sound. Entrenched in a blues influence, the acoustic guitars contrast with the simmering guitar leads and a swampy bass and drum groove, as Iggy sings with passionate self-awareness and caution. “Shake Appeal” swaggers with a 50s rock influence as the hostile guitar contrasts with its influences. Pop has stated that this was his moment to “get to my dream of being Little Richard for a minute.” Raw Power ends with the longer track “Death Trip.” With lyrics such as “Said I'm with you/You're with me/Honey, we're going down in history,” Pop sings of the uncertain future of The Stooges in a self deprecating way, but at the same time it finds itself in that world of alienation and lack of acknowledgement that could take on multiple meanings. As all this is occurring, the unhinged and fervent guitar provided by James Williamson cuts through the chaos, while Iggy’s vocals match the chaotic nature, as the deep groove of Ron & Scott Asheton hold down the anarchic nature of the song. 

When recording this album at CBS Studios, the band was left to their own devices. When it came time to mix the album, the label stated that David Bowie would have to remix it. When he was brought the tapes by Iggy Pop, he was brought a mixdown with the band on one track, lead guitar on another and vocals on a third, proving for a challenging task for Bowie. He fed some of the tracks through a delay unit that was called the Cooper Time Cube, along with doing some mix tweaks. The album came out featuring a lot of vocals and guitar high in the mix while the bass and drums were much lower in the mix. At times they can seem inaudible. Since Iggy’s original mix was rejected, it started the long line of mixes and bootlegs that would be released of the album. Eventually Iggy would do his own remix in 1996 that would drive everything into the red of the mix creating a distorted on purpose, aggressive mix of the album that has been described as sounding like your speakers are melting. Following a legacy edition of the album in 2010, a double album release of Raw Power was put out in 2012 for Record Store Day on vinyl featuring David Bowie’s original mix and a version of Iggy Pop’s mix that is seen as the definitive version of the album. In 2023, remastered versions of both mixes were made available on streaming services.

In between all this time, the status of Raw Power grew. It was a cult classic that went on to influence punk and many rock bands of the future. It would reach new status and recognition when The Stooges reunited in the early 2003 with their initial lineup and then with the Raw Power-era lineup in 2009. Bogged down by the mixing history that created different versions of the album didn’t really affect the album’s importance. While many consider Bowie’s mix to be the superior version of the album, it is the songs that stand out. The guitar and sounds put forth on Raw Power would go onto influence generations of musicians becoming one of the most important and influential albums in rock music history. But, its more than just the music, lyrically there is an inherent intellectualness to the lyrics present throughout the songs. Paving the way for punk, Raw Power displays an uncompromising furiousness fraught with emotion, anger, incendiary guitar and an omnipresent, biting viciousness.

Raw Power Playlist (Originally Aired On February 4th, 2023):

1.  Iggy & the Stooges - I Got a Right (Outtake from the Raw Power Sessions) (Gimme Danger (Music From the Motion Picture) - Rhino Records - 2017)
2.  Iggy & the Stooges - Scene of the Crime (I'm Sick of You! BOMP! Records - 1988)
3.  Iggy & the Stooges - Head On (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)
4.  Iggy & the Stooges - Johanna (CBS Studio Rehearsals) (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)
5.  Iggy & the Stooges - Search & Destroy Raw Power (1977 UK Pressing) (Raw Power - CBS/Embassy Records - 1977)
6.  Iggy & the Stooges - Gimme Danger Raw Power (2023 Iggy Remaster Mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records/Legacy - 1973/2023)
7.  Iggy & the Stooges - Your Pretty Face is Going To Hell Raw Power (1973 Bowie Mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records - 1973)
8.  Iggy & the Stooges - Penetration Raw Power (1997 Iggy mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records/Legacy - 1997)
9.  Iggy & the Stooges - Raw Power Raw Power (1973 Bowie Mix)  (Raw Power - Columbia Records - 1973)
10. Iggy & the Stooges - I Need Somebody (Rough Power - BOMP! - 1994)
11. Iggy & the Stooges - Shake Appeal (1973 Bowie Mix) (Raw Power: Legacy Edition - Columbia Records/Legacy - 2010)
12. Iggy & the Stooges - Death Trip Raw Power (2023 Iggy Remaster Mix) (Raw Power - Columbia Records/Legacy - 1973/2023)
13. Iggy & the Stooges - Hey Peter (Outtake) Raw Power: Legacy Edition - Columbia Records/Legacy - 2010)
14. Iggy & the Stooges - Can’t Turn You Loose (Morgan Sound Studios, Ypsilanti, MI March 73) (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)
15. Iggy & the Stooges - I'm Sick of You (I'm Sick of You! BOMP! Records - 1988)
16. Iggy & the Stooges - Open Up & Bleed (1973 CBS Studio Rehearsals) (Heavy Liquid - Easy Action Records - 2005)

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the February 4 file to download/stream the episode. 

Friday, February 03, 2023

Coming Up on Revolution Rock in February 2023 & Shows # 972, 971, 970

As February arrives, Revolution Rock is prepping for its annual theme month programming. Every episode that airs in February will be devoted to a specific theme. Dave and Adam have some cool programming lined up ranging from our annual Black History Month program to our Revolution Surf episode. Revolution Rock can be streamed and downloaded from (and also after it airs on this website). Revolution Rock became a syndicated program back in 2020 and can now be heard on thirteen different campus/community radio stations across Canada in addition to CJAM FM.

Continue reading to find out about this year’s schedule for Theme Month:

Raw Power 50th Anniversary Special
February 4th, 2023
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

Originally released on February 7th, 1973, Raw Power is the third full-length album by The Stooges. Renamed Iggy & The Stooges due to Pop's new contract, the lineup change in the group to Iggy Pop on lead vocals, James Williamson on lead guitar, original guitarist Ron Asheton (who switched to bass) and original drummer Scott Asheton on drums. As the story goes after the release of Fun House in 1970, the band were dropped from their label due to low album sales in addition to the band’s unpredictability due to drug abuse related issues. With the band splitting up in July of 1971, Iggy Pop then met David Bowie and became good friends. Through Bowie, Pop got a new recording contract and Iggy Pop and James Williamson went to the UK in March of 1972 to get a new band together to record an album. After failing to find suitable musicians, both Ron and Scott Asheton were brought back into the band. Raw Power was created in just a brief period of time in the UK at CBS Studios with engineer Mike Ross-Trevor and was produced by Iggy Pop & David Bowie. Recorded from September 10th to October 6th in 1972, Raw Power featured just eight tracks. It was not a commercial success. It would go on to become a cult classic and eventually regarded as an important and highly influential album. Bogged down with issues relating to the album’s mix, it was originally mixed by David Bowie, remixed by Iggy Pop in 1997 for a CD reissue and countless bootlegs and editions of this album were released. In 2023, a remastered mix of Iggy Pop's mix and David Bowie's mix were made available digitally. However, the songs that make up this album would go on to influence generations of musicians becoming one of the most important and influential albums in rock music history. Paving the way for punk, Raw Power displays an uncompromising furiousness fraught with emotion, anger, incendiary guitar and an omnipresent, biting viciousness.

On this episode of Revolution Rock we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Raw Power by playing the album in full, made up of different mixes of the album in addition to playing a selection of demos and outtakes from rehearsal sessions recorded around this time period.

Otto Motto: A By Divine Right Special
February 11th, 2023
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

Jose Contreras is a Chilean born, Toronto based artist best known for playing guitar and singing in the highly influential proto-indie rock band By Divine Right. Seen as one of the most vital bands within the Canadian alternative rock scene, they were founded in 1989. By Divine Right has released eight full-length albums to date in addition to a myriad of singles and EPs. Following 1995’s self-titled release and 1997’s All Hail Discordia, Bless This Mess was released in 1999 and the band toured with the Tragically Hip. 2010’s Mutant Message was long listed for a Polaris Music Prize. The lineup changes of By Divine Right throughout their early years occurred often and would feature future Canadian music stars Leslie Fiest, Brendan Canning (of Broken Social Scene) and Brian Borcherdt (of Holy Fuck), among others. The current lineup of the band featuring Jose Contreras on guitar/vocals, Geordie Dynes on drums and Alysha Haugen on bass has been the band lineup since 2010. 2022’s sprawling double album Otto Motto brought together this lineup once again. Over the last couple of records it hasn’t always been the full band, they were featured on some tracks on previous albums with other musicians and the full band is featured on BDR’s Depeche Mode cover album Speak & Spell from 2016, which was recorded in the band’s rehearsal space. In addition to By Divine Right, Jose Contreras has also released several solo albums starting with his critically acclaimed self-titled solo album in 2014. In 2019 he released At The Slaughterhouse, a sparse, direct and reflective collection of songs. Contreras has performed live with many different musicians and is an in demand record producer. In 2018 he released the debut self-titled album in collaboration with Shotgun Jimmie called The Heat Death.

On this program we will feature a selection of By Divine Right songs from their discography in addition to songs from Jose’s solo catalog and with other bands he has collaborated/recorded with. We will also be interviewing Jose Contreras for this episode discussing the making of Otto Motto, songwriting, playing the Phog Lounge in Windsor and much more. This episode will air on the day of By Divine Right’s show in Windsor, Ontario at the Phog Lounge as part of their current tour.

Punky Reggae Party II: Catch A Fire’s 50th Anniversary
February 18th, 2023
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

When People think of Reggae, Bob Marley often comes to mind. Before he became more famous, he had been involved in the Jamaican music scene as far back as 1962, when he was just a teenager. The Wailers was a group he formed early on with friends and went through a few different band name changes before becoming known as The Wailers. They first released an album in 1965 called The Wailing Wailers. The group featured Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, all of whom would be successful reggae artists on their own. Catch A Fire was the fifth full-length studio album released by The Wailers (on some editions credited as Bob Marley & The Wailers). This album was originally released in April of 1973 and was their first release for Island Records. It also featured the original lineup of the band of Bob Marley (guitar/vocals), Peter Tosh (organ/guitar/piano/vocals), Bunny Wailer (bongos/congas/vocals), Aston Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums). It would be the last album to feature Peter Tosh as tensions within the band and management were on edge at this time. It was recorded at three different studios in 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica, the tapes were then flown back to London, England with Marley and worked on with producer/label found Chris Blackwell. With Marley’s supervision, Blackwell remixed the tracks at Island Studios and overdubbed on the tracks with Muscle Shoals session guitarist Wayne Perkins. Featuring now classic track such as “Kinky Reggae,” “Slave Driver,” “Concrete Jungle” and two tracks by Peter Tosh (“400 Years” & “Stop That Train”), Catch A Fire was one of the first international roots/reggae records distributed and would set Marley on the path to superstardom. The original unreleased version of the album as recorded in Jamaica before session musicians overdubbed parts and remixes were done was released in 2001 as part of a deluxe edition of the album. Catch A Fire celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023.

On this edition of Revolution Rock we will be doing Punky Reggae Party II, a continuation of a theme month episode we did for Black History Month back in 2021. This episode will feature reggae that influenced punk focusing on sets with music from The Wailers Catch A Fire album, Toots and the Maytals, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, in addition to a selection of more reggae music, blues, soul, jazz music and more.

Revolution Surf 2023: Shake Five
February 25th, 2023
7-9 PM EST
CJAM 99.1 FM (

The Routes are a garage band based in Oita, Japan. Pulling in influences of 60s American psych, garage punk, surf, blues and British Invasion bands, they have been releasing music since 2007, starting with Left My Mind. They released their first instrumental album in 2012 comprised of instrumental and surf recordings. In recent years they have been releasing two albums, one instrumental, one with vocals. In 2021, they released Mesmerised in 2021 in addition to Instrumentals II and Shake Five (another instrumental based album). In 2022, The Twang Machine was released. This album was made up of rearranged surf rock cover versions of Kraftwerk songs. Later in 2022, The Routes released Lead Lined Clouds and the instrumental surf album Get Past Go! They are known as a no gimmick garage punk band. The Routes are fronted by prolific musician/songwriter Chris Jack and we will be featuring a selection of tracks from The Routes latest instrumental album Get Past Go! and their other releases. Chris will talking about the recording of The Routes two most recent albums, the formation of the band and recording early albums in Japan. He will also be talking about three of his favourite surf tracks and we will be playing them on the show. In addition to these things we will also be featuring a wide range selection of past and current surf songs for this year’s edition of Revolution Surf.

This episode will also feature an exclusive interview with Chris Jack talking about The Routes musical history, surf music and their surf influences and more.

Check out the most recent episodes/playlists of Revolution Rock below:

Show 972 (Originally Aired On January 28th, 2023)(Tom Verlaine, The Minutemen, Husker Du, Deja Voodoo, Bob Dylan, The Sons of Adam):

1.  Television - Marquee Moon
2.  The Minutemen - Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
3.  The Minutemen - Fake Contest
4.  Husker Du - Gravity
5.  Husker Du - From the Gut
6.  Deja Voodoo - Van Gogh's Ear
7.  Deja Voodoo - You're No Fun When Your Head's All Mushy
8.  Deja Voodoo - Surfing on Mars
9.  CLAMM - I Can Do It
10. Teleporters - Teleporters Go!
11. The Jackets - Misery of Man
12. Sons of Adam - Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
13. Fender IV - Everybody Up
14. Ghost Woman - Anne, If
15. Bob Dylan - Mississippi (version 2)
16. Bruce Springsteen - It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
17. John Cale - Night Crawling
18. Brock Pytel - Anemic Heart
19. Iggy Pop - Strung Out Johnny
20. Visitors - Empty Rooms
21. Diamondtown - Make It Back
22. King Tuff - Smalltown Stardust
23. Fucked Up - Found
24. Class of 91 - Little Fiction
25. Silver Jews - Tennessee
26. Mac DeMarco - Vancouver 2
27. Apollo Ghosts - Give Up the Dream

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the January 28 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 971 (Originally Aired On January 21st, 2023)(David Crosby, The Byrds, The Wipers, Dumb, The Users, Guided By Voices):

1.  Guided by Voices - Instinct Dwelling
2.  The C.I.A. - Inhale Exhale
3.  Self-Cut Bangs - Gibberish
4.  Blessed - Anything
5.  Wares - Tether
6.  The Fall - Cruiser's Creek
7.  Dylan - Tracers
8.  Bush Tetras - Snakes Crawl
9.  Uh Huh - Somewhere Beyond
10. The Byrds - Stranger in a Strange Land
11. The Byrds - What's Happening?!?!
12. The Byrds - Tribal Gathering
13. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Almost Cut My Hair
14. The Routes - Lead Lined Clouds
15. By Divine Right - Wild Ducks
16. Knitting - Throwaway Year
17. Julianna Riolino - Isn't It A Pity
18. Daniel, Fred & Julie - No One Knew My Name
19. Wipers - Over the Edge
20. Wipers - Romeo
21. Dumb - 77
22. Gloin - Work Patrol
23. The Users - (I'm) In Love With Today
24. The Kids - Do You Wanna Know
25. The Bags - Survive
26. Lost Patrol - In Your Eyes

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the January 21 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 970 (Originally Aired On January 14th, 2023) (Terry Hall, The Specials, The Clean, The Yardbirds, The Routes, Mark Sultan, King Khan):

1.  The Rolling Stones - Flight 505 
2.  The Yardbirds - Over Under Sideways Down 
3.  The 13th Floor Elevators - Reverberation (Doubt) 
4.  The Ugly Ducklings - Do What You Want 
5.  Les Sinners - Sinerisme 
6.  The Specials - Concrete Jungle 
7.  The Specials - Rat Race (BBC Session) 
8.  The Specials - Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) 
9.  The Specials - Friday Night, Saturday Morning
10. Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum 
11. The ColourField - The Colourfield 
12. Status/Non-Status - January 3rd 
13. Mount Eerie - Huge Fire
14. Packs - Abalone
15. Jeen - Mountain 
16. The Clean - Tally Ho! 
17. The Clean - Oddity 
18. The Clean - Slug Song 
19. The Clean - Anything Could Happen 
20. Strange Attractor - Dog Walker 
21. The Routes - Twist Each Word 
22. Ichi-Bons - The Dust of Life 
23. Richard Thompson - Pony in the Stable 
24. Robyn Hitchcock - The Sir Tommy Shovel 
25. The Grapes of Wrath - Good to See You 
26. Mark Sultan - Killing Time
27. King Khan - Snarling Lil' Malcom 

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the January 14 file to download/stream the episode.