Saturday, June 01, 2024

Atomizer: Steve Albini and His Influence & Shows # 1041, 1040, 1039, 1038, 1037

Steve Albini is known for a number of things, he was a member of pioneering noise rock/punk bands Big Black and Shellac. Albini also had been recording albums and music since the mid-80s and was the recording engineer (he preferred this title over producer) on approximately 3000 records. He was very outspoken about the music industry and his essay “The Problem with Music” that was written in 1993 for The Baffler, emphasized many of these things in detail. It is still talked about. Albini also refused to take royalties from bands that he recorded, viewing it as unethical.

As part of Big Black, they played a brand of punk and noise rock that featured a drum machine (often seen as a precursor to industrial rock). The abrasive clanky guitars that the band were known for were combined with the use of a drum machine (which received a credit on their releases as Roland) and the lyrics which were viewed as controversial, but also loaded with political and cultural commentary on things ranging from murder, sexual abuse, racism and misogyny. It explored the dark side of American culture and acknowledged having no taboos. They pushed boundaries with the sounds they created, which would in turn influence other musicians. The brainchild of Albini, Big Black started out with the Lungs EP, featuring a drum machine and instruments recorded by Albini, with the exception of saxophone on one track. The band formed in Evanston, Illinois, not too far from Chicago where at the time Albini was studying journalism and art at Northwestern University. He recruited Santiago Durango to play guitar and Jeff Pezzati to play bass (both from the band Naked Raygun) so the band could play live. Albini played guitar and sang vocals. After releasing two full-length albums and several EPs the group disbanded in 1987.

Albini’s next notable band would be the noise rock band Shellac, who released six full-length albums in their lifetime. Shellac released a limited edition album that was given to friends and acquaintances of the band only called The Futurist in 1997. The names of the friends were listed on the front cover of the album, along with a blank space for anyone that felt left out. Although it goes for a pricely sum online nowadays, this largely experimental album can be found some places online to hear. Shellac formed in Chicago in 1992 with Albini on guitar/vocals, Bob Weston on bass and Todd Trainer on drums. Their sound has been described as post hardcore and math rock, but the band once described their sound as a “minimalist rock trio.” Regardless of how they were described, Shellac were another influential group in the underground and alternative rock scenes. The band’s latest and final album To All Trains was recorded prior to Steve Albini’s untimely death at 61 due to a heart attack. It was released on May 17th, 2024.

As a recording engineer, Albini recorded so many records that would go on to influence alternative rock music over the years. In addition to recording Nirvana’s 1993 album In Utero, he recorded the highly influential Surfer Rosa by Pixies in 1988, PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me in 1993, The Breeders Pod, several albums by The Jesus Lizard, albums by Superchunk, Jon Spencer’s Blues Explosion, Cloud Nothings, Mcklusky, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, The Sadies, Veruca Salt, to artists such as Ty Segall, to name a few. Albini was an advocate for analog recording. He also had his own unique way of getting drum sounds. Primarily interested in capturing a band as they sound in a room, a lot of his albums were recorded this way, having a certain ambiance to them and as a result have a lot of character. Although he recorded albums prior to 1997 (such as Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet’s Sport Fishin’ album), Albini opened his own recording studio in 1997 called Electrical Audio in Chicago. Albini offered to record anyone, not just bigger bands. He was supportive of underground and independent music, throughout his lifetime and helped to shape the future of alternative and underground music with the sounds he made and captured.

On May 11th, Revolution Rock did an entire episode devoted to music that Steve Albini has created with his bands and music that he has recorded by other bands. Scroll down to find the archive link to listen (Episode 1038).  

Show 1041 (Originally Aired On June 1st, 2024)(The Gun Club Las Vegas Story, John Lurie, Sloan, The Red Elvises, Mad Ones):

1.  Guppy - Don’t Choke 
2.  Bad Hoo - Old Outch
3.  Aluminmum - Pulp 
4.  Mad Iris - Name Tag
5.  Sloan - Median Strip
6.  Sloan - Sugartune 
7.  Sunglaciers - Right Time 
8.  Bog Moss - Red Sun 
9.  The Gun Club - Walkin’ with the Beast 
10. The Gun Club - My Dreams 
11. The Gun Club - Secret Fires
12. MJ Lenderman - Toon Town (Live and Loose)
13. Custard Flux - Equinox 
14. John Lurie - These are not the Dots that Connect to it… 
15. John Lurie - My Little Garden Gnome 
16. John Lurie - John Gun Walk 
17. The Red Elvises - Boogie on the Beach 
18. The Ar-Kaics - Dawning
19. Nap Eyes - Ice Grass Underpass 
20. The Lemon Twigs - Peppermint Roses
21. Astral Swans - The Coward 
22. Dion Lunadon - Goodtimes 
23. Mad Ones - She Talks 
24. Anxious Pleasers - Street Where Nobody Lives 
25. Private Lives - Misfortune
26. OMBIIGIZI - Connecting 
27. Fishmans - Part 4 
28. The Scientists - Set it on Fire

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the June 1 file to download/stream the episode.

Show 1040 (Originally Aired On May 25th, 2024)(David Bowie Diamond Dogs, La Luz, Cindy Lee, Cosmic Club, The Gruesomes):

1.  Closers - Raincheck
2.  Motorists - Call Control
3.  Wine Lips - Lemon Party
4.  Hot Mud - Birthday in Rehab
5.  Laughing - Will She Ever Be A Friend of Mine
6.  Bluffing - Fragile Ego
7.  Dog Day - Silver Bowl
8.  Kosmetika - Pictures Are Gone
9.  Cindy Lee - Stone Faces
10. David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
11. David Bowie - Dodo
12. Tegan and Sara  - Rebel Rebel
13. La Luz - Blue Moth Cloud Shadow
14. Jessica Pratt - By Hook or by Crook
15. Mount Eerie - & Sun (Early)
16. Clever Hopes - Clyde Barrow
17. Theresa Michelle - In Spring
18. Cosmic Club - Don’t Dream at Night
19. The Gruesomes - Girl in Time
20. Bo Diddley - Mumblin’ Guitar
21. The Bell Peppers - Drapes N’ Squares
22. Danny and the Darleans - Don’t Ask the Question
23. The Dirtbombs - If You Can Want
24. Dirty Cheetah - Can’t Sit Still
25. Eye Ball - Kick You
26. The Wesleys - Great Big Smile
27. Ramones - Chain Saw (Demo)
28. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Tick

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 25 file to download/stream the episode.
Show 1039 (Originally Aired On May 18th, 2024)(Shellac, The Garys, Weezer, Deadbeat Beat,, Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, The MC5):

1.  Shellac - I Don’t Fear Hell
2.  Brainiac - Nothing Ever Changes
3.  Fold Paper - Nothing to Report
4.  Sham Family - Community Service
5.  Run Coyote - No More Running
6.  The Garrys - Cake Walk
7.  The Painted October - Champagne Dress
8.  Antenna93 - Waiting
9.  Mad Ones - Hydra Head
10. Brainrust - Band Manager
11. Weezer - My Name is Jonas
12. Mac DeMarco - Undone (The Sweater Song)
13. Teresa Cowles - In the Garage
14. Deadbeat Beat - You Lift Me Up
15. Deadbeat Beat - When the Sun Soaks in
16. Corridor - Camera
17. Shannon and the Clams - Big Wheel
18. Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds - Silver For My Sister
19. The Sylvia Platters - Severance
20. Temps - Magpie
21. Still House Plants - Headlight
22. Jon McKiel - Lady’s Mantle
23. The MC5 - Gotta Keep Movin’
24. The MC5 - American Ruse
25. The MC5 - Shakin’ Street

To hear this program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and click the May 18 file to download/stream the episode.
Show 1038 (Originally Aired On May 11th, 2024) (Steve Albini Tribute Show):

1.  Big Black - Kerosene (Atomizer - Homestead - 1986)
2.  Shellac - The Idea of North (At Action Park - Touch and Go - 1994)
3.  Shellac - Compliant (Dude Incredible - Touch and Go - 2014)
4.  Big Black - L Dopa (Songs About Fucking - Touch and Go - 1987)
5.  Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Spy School Graduation Theme (Sport Fishin': The Lure of the Bait, The Luck of the Hook - Cargo Records - 1993)
6.  Phono-Comb - Burnt Down with Feedback (Fresh Gasoline - Quarterstick Records - 1996)
7.  The Sadies - Clear a Path (Precious Moments - Bloodshot Records - 1998)
8.  The Sadies - I Tried Not To (Pure Diamond Gold - Bloodshot Records - 1999)
9.  The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - The Feeling of Love (The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Caroline Records - 1992)
10. Jarvis Cocker - Angela (Further Complications - Rough Trade - 2009)
11. Ty Segall - Papers (Ty Segall - Drag City - 2017)
12. Pixies - Break My Body (Surfer Rosa - 4AD - 1988)
13. The Breeders - Fortunately Gone (Pod - 4AD - 1990)
14. The Jesus Lizard - Mouth Breather (Goat - Touch and Go - 1991)
15. PJ Harvey - Me-Jane (Rid of Me - Island - 1993)
16. Thrush Hermit - Every Morning I Reread the Postcards (The Great Pacific Ocean - Murderecords - 1995)
17. Just Ducky - New Metro Stomp (Without Warning: Early Montana Punk, Postpunk, New Wave + Hardcore 1979-1991 - Lost Sounds Montana - 2022)
18. Big Black - Racer-X (Racer-X - Homestead/Touch and Go - 1985)
19. Shellac - Movement 3 (The Futurist - 1997)
20. Low - Jack Smith (Transmission - Vernon Yard - 1996)
21. Palace Music - The Brute Choir (Viva Last Blues - Drag City - 1995)
22. The Cape May - Spring Flight to the Land of Fire (Glass Mountain Roads - Flemish Eye - 2006)
23. Mcklusky - To Hell with Good Intentions (Mcklusky Do Dallas - Too Pure - 2002)
24. Metz - Dig A Hole (Strange Peace - Sub Pop - 2017)
25. Superchunk - Throwing Things (No Pocky For Kitty - Matador - 1991)
26. Nirvana - Tourette’s (In Utero - DCG - 1993)
27. Big Black - Bombastic Intro  (Songs About Fucking - Touch and Go - 1987)

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

Show 1037 (Originally Aired On May 4th, 2024)(Duane Eddy, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bloodshot Bill, Olinda, Sunglaciers):

1.  Ty Segall - Repetition 
2.  Charles Moothart - Timelapse Choke 
3.  Beebomb - Heat Death
4.  Nettle - Hard Pass
5.  Fruit Tones - Trashed 
6.  The Lemon Twigs - They Don’t Know How to Fall in Place 
7.  Camera Obscura - Big Love 
8.  Sparks - Thank God It’s Not Christmas
9.  Siouxsie & The Banshees - This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us 
10. Echo & The Bunnymen - The Yo-Yo Man 
11. Pavement - The Killing Moon 
12. Duane Eddy - Movin ‘N’ Groovin’ 
13. Duane Eddy - Three-30-Blues
14. Duane Eddy - Trash 
15. Bloodshot Bill - Tres Tacos 
16. Los Straitjackets - Space Mosquito
17. The Volebeats - Desert Song
18. Shadow Show - Vertigo 
19. Hot Garbage - Erase My Mind 
20. Jessica Pratt - Life Is 
21. Cindy Lee - Wild Rose
22. Dirty Beaches - True Blue 
23. U.S. Girls - Peotone 
24. The Sweet Kill - Forbidden 
25. Olinda - Reverie 
26. Spectres - Chain Reaction 
27. Sunglaciers - One Time Or Another 

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