Saturday, May 20, 2023

Anne, If: An Interview with Evan Uschenko of Ghost Woman & Show # 988

Ghost Woman’s Anne, If was released in January 2023 on the Full Time Hobby label. Following 2022’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut, Anne, If picks up where that album left off. The music was written/recorded/performed by multi-instrumentalist Evan Uschenko on a Tascam 388 tape recorder in a large, expansive house. The press release states that when recording the album there was not much to do “except record music, watch old VHS movies, and cook meals over an open fire in the backyard.” Recording songs at different times of day also influenced the sounds and nuances present on Anne, If. Influences such as songs from 60s garage Nuggets compilation, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Love, Safe As Milk-era Captain Beefheart, Can, Neu!, and 60s Kinks/The Creation all float around in the musical atmosphere of these songs, however, these all add to the chemistry of the songs to expand Ghost Woman’s sound.

“Welcome” offers a short introduction to the album before “Broke” starts with its dusty, yet fuzzy grooves. As the bass and drums roll in, crunchy guitars and Uschenko’s ethereal vocals sit atop with lyrics such as “Oh, there was some I would call on/You exist on the phone,” and “Another day gone/What if I lose it all/Another day alone/And if I lose it all,” themes of disconnection, loneliness, self doubt and a sense of yearning present themselves, in between searing guitar solos. “3 Weeks Straight” continues with the 60s sounding guitars, heavy drums and deep bass grooves hold down the beat, while lyrically the song searches for meaning in the complex glow of the light and darkness of a relationship. The chorus of “I can feel you under my skin” creeps and crawls with an eeriness emphasizing a presence that is omnipresent. “Anne, If” pulls from the large pool of garage psych sounds of the Nuggets compilation with a touch of The Yardbirds as lyrically, “Anne, if you're lonely/Listen to your words/There's nothing I can say/Living yesterday” deals with nostalgic complications that are hard to break free of, while the chorus juxtaposes this with the words “I am yours/I am yours too.” “Street Meet” offers a short instrumental break as is moves forward with propelling, Can and Neu! influenced rhythms, “The End of a Gun” was the lead off single for Anne, If. With its chiming 12-string guitar growing out of The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane mould, garage rhythms from The Kinks and flashes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young harmonies, this driving track seems to operate like a time warp while also peering into the present. 

“Lo Extrano” is another highlight featuring acoustic guitar, sparse drums and bass, psychedelic guitar and reflective lyrics that also emphasize a longing. The song’s languid nature is also elevated by the stunning pedal steel country guitar work provided by musician Ryan “Skinny” Dyck. "Arline” is an unhurried psych track with acoustic guitar, otherworldly sounding electric guitar parts and strong vocal harmonies. Lyrically, with words such as “Will this world keep on turning/My ear’s always burning,” “Arline, I can hear you/Try my best to feel you/Tired of black and white,” and a chorus of “I don’t know,” the song seems to question the unknown workings of the universe around us, while “Down Again” brings a heavy 60s psych groove with touches of 70s Krautrock ala Can and cryptic lyrics. “Tripped” features vocals by Nick Hay (the bassist from the Ghost Woman live band) that evoke a Mark Lanegan howl as the bass, guitar, drums and background harmonies (all supplied by Evan Uschenko) offer a hypnotic psychedelia groove. The lyrics conjure up themes of haunting isolation and contemplation. “So Long” ends out Anne, If with trippy sounding electric guitar and vocal harmonies.

On Anne, If we are presented with music that was described as being created during a “strange new chapter” in Uschenko’s life. The songs that we gravitate towards on this album feature lyrics that are sometimes cryptic and open ended. It is something that travels with you after and during each listen. If this was a strange new chapter for Uschenko, then we are also a part of it by extension of this album. With Anne, If the music is saturated with an analog warmth and feel that provides nuanced musical moments that pull you into the world that it creates.

Continue reading for an interview that Revolution Rock did with Evan Uschenko:

RR: The press release for Anne, If said the album was made “living in a large, expansive house with nothing to do except record music, watch old VHS movies, and cook meals over an open fire in the backyard.” What type of movies did you watch on VHS and do you feel that recording in this way (sort of isolated) informed the songwriting at all for this album? Did it differ from how you recorded the 2022 self-titled album?

EU: “Cannibal Holocaust” on repeat. 

RR: How do you approach songwriting in general? When you come up with songs is it usually in the same way or does it differ from track to track?

EU: I basically have mini-strokes and psychotic episodes. I always keep microphones placed around any room I inhabit for longer than 48 hours.

RR: You mentioned during interviews salvaging and replacing instruments from various spaces, including burned down rehearsal spaces and broken down vans. What sort of equipment were you able to retrieve?

EU: You ever play that game called “telephone”? It’s kinda like that. 

RR: Where did you come up with the name for the project? Does the idea of hauntings influence the way you write lyrics or record your sounds?

EU: “Ghost woman” is probably the worst band name ever conjured. Any name replacement recommendations are welcomed. 

RR: How did you assemble your touring band? What do they offer to the sound of Ghost Woman? What do you see being the most noticeable difference in the project's live sound and sound on record?

EU: The most noticeable difference is: Live, the music actually sounds good. 

RR: Another aspect of Ghost Woman that isn’t talked about as much is your music videos. Maybe you can talk about what inspired you to make the videos for “Broke” from Anne, If and “Behind Your Eyes” from the first album? Perhaps you could tell us a bit about these songs origins?

EU: "Broke" was produced by Bruce the Rabbit, who is in the music video actually. He was passed out in front of our Belgian home when we found him. We brought him in and tried to nurse him back to health. He ended up just raiding the cupboards and draining all our bottles. The video is something that he made when we had gone out to see some friends. I guess he had access to my computer and found a way send the video to various buyers. Safe to say, we don’t keep in contact with him much anymore. 

“Behind your eyes” video was a single roll of exposed Kodak film stock that was mysteriously left in my family P.O. Box somewhere in western Canada. I had access to a dark room and processed the film one evening as a means to avoid drinking. I shelved it because of the horrific nature of the film. There are about 10 mins of footage on that reel that should never see the light of day, but instead I figured I would use the band as a platform to release the less disturbing footage. If anyone has any information on anybody in that video, please contact the band at

RR: Anne, If features a few contributions from other musicians. Nick Hay appears on lead vocals for “Tripped” and Ryan “Skinny” Dyck provides pedal steel on “Lo Extrano.” How did they become involved in these tracks in this way?

EU: They wouldn’t leave the house when I asked them to. So naturally I figured they wanted to stay. I had a windowless room that I would keep them in and feed them a bowl of unwashed chickpeas a day until they performed the take I was pleased with. 

RR: Ghost Woman has toured Europe quite a bit. Are there any plans for any US/Canadian dates in the future and what is next for Ghost Woman?

EU: Yes. What’s next? I wanna know who’s on first.

Show 988 Playlist (Originally Aired On May 20th, 2023)(Ghost Woman, James Brown, The Smiths):

1.  PONY - Sucker Punch 
2.  Knitting - Fix 
3.  Amos the Kid - Under Thin Eye Lids 
4.  King Krule - Seaforth
5.  James Brown - Introduction/I’ll Go Crazy
6.  James Brown - Lost Someone
7.  The Smiths - This Charming Man (John Peel Session) 
8.  The Smiths - London 
9.  The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make? (John Peel Session) 
10. The Smiths - Oscillate Wildly 
11. Bob Dylan - Watching the River Flow (Live) 
12. William Tyler & The Impossible - Our Lady of the Desert
13. Ryan Hicks - Surf Rider 
14. Tea Leaves - Creature on a Stage 
15. Atomic 7 - Skynyrd 
16. Olivia Jean - Raving Ghost
17. Pretty Matty - Harder 2 Smile
18. Ghost Woman - The End of a Gun 
19. Ghost Woman - Lo Extrano 
20. Ghost Woman - Down Again 
21. Ghost Woman - Dead & Gone
22. Mudhoney - Flush the Fascists 
23. Subway Sect - Ambition 
24. Osees - Intercepted Message

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 20 file to download/stream the episode. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Link Wray's Rumble & Shows # 987, 986, 985, 985, 983, 982

Link Wray is known as the first guitarist to use the power chord in a song. The song was “Rumble.” Originally released in 1958 on the Cadence label, the song had its origins at a Record Hop (an event that would feature live music and dancing popular in the 50s). In 1957, at one of these Record Hops in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Wray and his brother Doug were playing when they were asked by the announcer to play a stroll. “The Stroll” was a popular song at the time by The Diamonds made to accompany the dance of the same name. Link Wray didn’t know how to play the song, but his brother Doug said he knew the beat to a stroll on the drums and Link Wray made up the chords to what would become known as “Rumble.” Upon playing the song, the crowd went crazy for the song. It was played 3-4 times that night.

Originally under the working title “Oddball,” the song was recorded (like many of Wray’s early songs) with his brothers Doug and Vernon, with the addition of their cousin Shorty Horton on bass. Vernon (Known Ray Vernon and Vernon Wray) would produce/manage Link Wray’s early output. He himself has recorded quite a lot of music on his own, many of which feature the other Wray’s on the recordings. Prior to this, Wray and his brothers had a background playing music starting out with country and western music. Link Wray served in the US Army during the Korean War and contracted Tuberculosis, which led to him being hospitalized and then later having a lung removed. Doctors at the time predicted at he would never sing again. This of course would not be true, Wray would sing on many tracks in addition to performing instrumentals. 

But, back to the song “Rumble.” It would go on to have a lasting influence throughout the future generations of rock music influencing everyone from Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page and The Kinks to Iggy Pop (to name a few). The edgy track, which featured power chords, distortion and attitude quickly, climbed up the top 40 singles charts of the day reaching #16. It would also be banned because DJs thought it would incite gang violence. In 1959 “Raw Hide” would reach #23 on the US singles charts. Other unhinged, tense and raw sounding tracks such as “Jack The Ripper,” “The Sweeper,” “Run Chicken Run,” “The Shadow Knows,” "Ace of Spades," “Deuces Wild,” and “I’m Branded” would be released throughout this early part of Wray’s career. Wray went on to create numerous instrumentals, but also perform tracks with vocals and branch out into different styles. Also of Shawnee Native American heritage, growing up Wray’s family would be subject to racial discrimination. Including times when his family would have to go into hiding. Link Wray would pay homage to his heritage to honour it in songs such as “Comanche” and “Shawnee.”

In the 1960s Link Wray retired from music and went to work on his family’s farm in Maryland, after tiring of the music industry and their attempts to clean up his music. He did around this time build his own recording studio and would record music again, but it would not be released until the 1970s. Recorded in a converted chicken shack on his brother Vernon’s property, Wray would reinvent himself upon his return to music. In 1971 he returned with a country, gospel, folk and blues influenced album simply titled Link Wray. This roots rock album still featured a primal-ness that was present on Wray’s early recordings as he branched out. The album cover to 1971’s Link Wray also pays homage to his Shawnee background in addition to several of the lyrical content of songs found on the album. It would be the first in a series of albums where Link Wray experimented with sounds in this way, Mordicai Jones followed in 1972 and Beans and Fatback in 1973. In between these albums Be What You Want To Be was released in 1973, featuring several guest musicians such as Jerry Garcia and David Bromberg.

Wray would go on to play and record albums with Robert Gordon in the 70s (Robert Gordon with Link Wray (1977), Fresh Fish Special (1978)) and he continued performing live and recording up until his passing in 2005. The impact of the sounds of Link Wray have been reverberating throughout different decades and genres of music since the first opening notes of 1958’s “Rumble.” In May of 2023, it was announced that Link Wray would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The sounds he embraced when creating music of distortion, fuzz, tremolo, intensity and attitude continue to be heard.

Show 987 (Originally Aired On May 13th, 2023)(Link Wray, Via Mardot, Sloan, Protomartyr):

1.  Spider Bite - Human Body Human Brain
2.  Dumb - Quarter Stereo
3.  Mason Lowe - Plastered
4.  Iceage - Sociopath Boogie
5.  Biker Priests - Dodge Babylon
6.  Westelaken - Fixed Up By Orange Light
7.  Slim Harpo - Shake Your Hips
8.  Link Wray - I'm Branded
9.  Link Wray - Raw-Hide
10. Link Wray - The Shadow Knows
11. Link Wray - Commanche
12. Link Wray & The Raymen - Big City After Dark
13. Link Wray - Falling Rain
14. Link Wray - Hidden Charms
15. Link Wray - Son of Rumble
16. Via Mardot - Static
17. Via Mardot - Towers
18. Gris Gris - Cuerpos Haran Amor Extrano
19. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Here I Am, Here I Always Am
20. The Courettes - Hop the Twig
21. Shadow Show - Radiant Hue
22. Spooky But Nice - Everytime
23. Priors - Optimizer
24. Plastic Act - What's in the Water
25. Sloan - Keep On Thinkin'
26. Sloan - On the Horizon
27. Preoccupations - Zodiac
28. Uh Huh - Citrus Song
29. Sneakpeak - Strawberry Reality
30. The Particles - The Trumpet Song
31. Protomartyr - Elimination Dances

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 13 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 986 (Originally Aired May 6th, 2023)(PJ Harvey, New Order, Gordon Lightfoot):

1.  PJ Harvey - Man-Size
2.  PJ Harvey - 50 ft. Queenie
3.  Wednesday - Hot Rotten Grass Smell
4.  Divorcer - Tiny Devil
5.  Yessica Whoaneil - Again Again
6.  Orange Juice - I Can't Help Myself
7.  Pulp - Something Changed
8.  New Order - Age of Consent
9.  Destroyer - Leave Me Alone
10. Broadcast - Michael A Grammar
11. Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain
12. Gordon Lightfoot - Negotiations
13. Gordon Lightfoot - Spin, Spin
14. Century Palm - If You Could Read My Mind
15. Datblygu - Casserole Efeilliad
16. Psychedelic Furs - Heaven
17. La Securite - Try Again
18. Steve Adamyk Band - Do You Wanna Know
19. The Golden Shitters - CIty of Doom
20. SQURL - Berlin 87
21. The Hives - Bogus Operandi
22. The Jackets - Life's Not Like the Movies
23. The Routes - A Day in Hell
24. Link Wray - Deuces Wild
25. The Horrors - Primary Colours
26. Wax Mannequin - Love is a Hunter
27. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Gimme Hell

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 6 file to download/stream the episode. 

Show 985 (Originally Aired On April 29th, 2023)(David Bowie's Aladdin Sane 50th Anniversary):

1.  Tea Leaves - Cicada Song
2.  Twin Rains - You're The Only One
3.  Olinda - World Within
4.  Mononegatives - Testing Capability
5.  Priors - Daffodil
6.  Tunic - Indirect
7.  B.A. Johnston - You're Like a Steve Miller Band Song
8.  Buddie - Worried
9.  David Bowie - Watch That Man (Live)
10. David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
11. David Bowie - Drive-In Saturday (German Single Edit)
12. David Bowie - Panic In Detroit (Live in Detroit 1974)
13. David Bowie - Cracked Actor
14. David Bowie - Time
15. David Bowie - The Prettiest Star (1970 Single Version)
16. David Bowie - Let's Spend the Night Together Llive)
17. David Bowie - The Jean Genie (Live)
18. David Bowie - Lady Grinning Soul
19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date with the Night
20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (Four Track Demo)
21. The Replacements - Color Me Impressed
22. The Replacements - Take Me Down to the Hospital
23. Minor Threat - Think Again
24. Minor Threat - Cashing In
25. The Government - Real Computer
26. Harry Belafonte - Brown Skin Girl
27. Harry Belafonte - Go Down Emanuel Road

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

Show 984 (Originally Aired On April 22nd, 2023) (R.E.M.'s Murmur 40th Anniversary):

1.  The Pop Group - She is Beyond Good and Evil 
2.  The Pop Group - Words Disobey Me 
3.  R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe 
4.  R.E.M. - Pilgrimage (Live Toronto 1983) 
5.  R.E.M. - Laughing (1982 RCA Demo) 
6.  R.E.M. - Talk About the Passion 
7.  R.E.M. - Moral Kiosk (Live Holland 1987) 
8.  R.E.M. - Perfect Circle 
9.  R.E.M. - Catapult (Stephen Hague Demo 1982) 
10. R.E.M. - Sitting Still (1981 Demo) 
11. R.E.M. - 9-9 (Rough Mix) 
12. R.E.M. - Shaking Through (1982 RCA Demo) 
13. R.E.M. - We Walk 
14. R.E.M. - West of the Fields 
15. Tough Age - Give It A Day 
16. Eddie Current Suppression Ring - Our Quiet Whisper 
17. By Divine Right - How Soon Is Now 
18. Leather Rose - Space Girl 
19. Julie Doiron - Back to the Water 
20. Apollo Ghosts - Pink Tiger 
21. Whitehorse - I Miss the City 
22. Packs - Smallest One 
23. Love Language - New Power 
24. Cat Clyde - Mystic Light 
25. The Beths - Watching the Credits 
26. R.E.M. - There She Goes Again 

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

Show 983 (Originally Aired On April 15th, 2023)(Uh Huh, Olinda, David Lynch, Home Front, The Specials):

1.  Tee Vee Repairmann - Time 2 Kill
2.  Mononegatives - Television Funeral
3.  Uh Huh - Rain (In the Afternoon)
4.  Universal Cleaner - Her Mind Was A Psychic Slaughterhouse
5.  Chain of Flowers - Serving Purpose
6.  The Tubs - Wretched Lie
7.  Sniffany and the Nits - Good Boy
8.  Es - Swallowed Whole
9. The GN Band - The Bell Song
10. Olinda - Dreams in Transit
11. The Jellies - Jive Baby On A Saturday Night
12. Yellow Magic Orchestra - Pure Jam
13. The Scarlet Ribbon - Four in the Morning
14. Breanna Barbara - Rise
15. The Ketamines - Midnight Dawn
16. Messer Chups - Blue Velvet
17. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - 3 Piece Suit
18. The Waterheads - WAHWAHWAH :(
19. Good Throb - Slick D***s
20. The Rebel - Why Must I May?
21. The Ex - The Rise of the Dutch Republic
22. You’ll Never Get To Heaven - Exquisite Tension
23. David Lynch - Star Dream Girl
24. Home Front - Focus
25. Kim Gray - No Moonlight
26. Carol Kim - Saigon
27. The Mob - Witch Hunt
28. Milk Music - No, Nothing My Shelter
29. The Specials - Do Nothing

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 15 file to download/stream the episode. 
Show 982 (Originally Aired On April 8th, 2023) (Violent Femmes 40th Anniversary):

1.  Sloan - Nice Work If You Can Get It
2.  Alvvays - Pressed
3.  Mad Ones - Molly Moth
4.  Hotkid - Letters
5.  The Leather Uppers - You Know I Do
6.  The Gruesomes - Won't You Listen (Live)
7.  The Gruesomes - My Dad's A Ho-Dad (Live)
8.  Violent Femmes - Promise
9.  Violent Femmes - Prove My Love
10. Violent Femmes - To the Kill
11. Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone (live)
12. On Film - Blister in the Sun
13. The Dandy Warhols - Kiss Off
14. Yo La Tengo - Add It Up
15. Beck - Painted Eyelids
16. Shana Cleveland - Gold Tower
17. The Courettes - Misfits & Freaks
18. Ghost Woman - Tripped
19. The Ichi-Bons - Show Me the Ropes
20. Bloodshot Bill - Vertigo
21. Calvin Johnson - Pink Cadallac
22. Deerhoof - And the Moon Laughs
23. Amos the Kid - Enough as It Was
24. Doctor Mother Father - Act Like I Like You
25. Mister Rabbit - Anyone
26. A Certain Ratio - Samo
27. Kosmetika - Psycho Tv
28. Dragnet - Strike
29. Husker Du - Do You Remember? (Live)
30. Mudhoney - Move Under

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the April 8 file to download/stream the episode.