Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tom Petty Tribute & Show # 678

This episode paid tribute to Tom Petty, who passed away on October 2nd, 2017 at the age of 66. A selection of songs from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were featured on the program along with a selection of songs from Mudcrutch, who were the first band in which Petty played with. He reformed this band in 2008, decades after being with The Heartbreakers, recording two more albums with them. Born in Gainesville, Florida on October 20th, 1950, Tom Petty was a lover of rock music from a young age. He headed for Hollywood with Mudcrutch in the early 70s, in hopes of a record deal and he got one. In the process, despite making some recordings and releasing a single, the band dissolved. He joined a group of musicians shortly after this that included Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench (from Mudcrutch) and they became Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Their first album, a self-titled album, would be released in 1976. In addition to the songs that they produced, it was also the lyrics that attracted many fans to the band. For example, the lyrics on “American Girl”, the last song on their first album is a song about promises and the American dream. Words such as “Well, she was an American girl/Raised on promises/She couldn't help thinkin'/That there was a little more to life somewhere else” and “God, it’s so painful when something that’s so close is still so far out of reach” engaged audiences on many different levels. This occurred throughout the music he was a part of in some way. Petty had many hits during his career and continued to record music throughout his life, his way. The last recording he was a part of was Mudcrutch’s second full-length album, 2.

Here are some quotes from Petty that seem relevant to this post and reveal a bit more about the music that Tom Petty has made over the years:

“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.”
The Telegraph – October 2017

“Music really isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s all about people relating to each other and doing something that’s really from the soul. It must come from the soul.”
Sound City documentary - 2013

The Playlist:

1. Mudcrutch - On The Street (Demo)
2. Mudcrutch - Don't Do Me Like That (Mudcrutch Version)
3. Mudcrutch - Six Days On The Road
4. Buick McKane - Downtown … When It's Dark
5. Looping - Disintegrate
6. Cellos - Shooting Star
7. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Rockin' Around (With You)
8. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Century City
9. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Even The Losers
10. Tom Petty - I Feel A Whole Lot Better
11. The Radiation Flowers - Colours
12. Parkay Quarts - Slide Machine
13. Ritual Howls - Perfume
14. Lychii - Perceive
15. The Fall-Outs - Worthless
16. NNB - Listen
17. Dynamos - Woh Woh Yeah Yeah
18. Wes Dakus & The Rebels - Sour Biscuits
19. Wes Dakus & The Rebels - Las Vegas Scene
20. The Mighty Swells - Runaway
21. The Surfaris - Point Panic
22. Atomicos - Don't Call It A Comeback
23. Paul The Tailor - She Said
24. Paul The Tailor - Hey Girl
25. Young Rival - The Haunt
26. The Barracudas - We're Living In Violent Times
27. Chain & The Gang - Devitalize
28. Chain & The Gang - Certain Kinds of Trash
29. King Khan - Winter Weather

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 14.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The 40th Anniversary of 1977 & Shows # 675, 676, 677

To celebrate two things, Revolution Rock did an entire show made up of albums that were released in the year of 1977. 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of punk, new wave, etc. and this episode marked the 677th episode of the program. Me and my co-host Adam decided to do an entire show focusing on the 40th anniversary of 1977 and played a large selection of mostly punk/new wave and garage albums from this year. 1977 was a year when several releases in the underground brought rock back down to its basics with a new sense of rawness and attitude. View the playlist below and the playlists for two other episodes that aired recently.

Show 677 Playlist - (40th Anniversary of 1977)(Originally Aired On October 7th, 2017):

1. Buzzcocks - Boredom (Spiral Scratch - 1977)
2. The Damned - Neat, Neat, Neat (Damned, Damned, Damned - 1977)
3. The Clash - Career Opportunities (The Clash - 1977)
4. The Real - Kids She's Alright (The Real Kids - 1977)
5. Elvis Costello - Blame It On Cain (My Aim Is True - 1977)
6. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Roller Coaster By The Sea (Rock 'N' Roll With The Modern Lovers - 1977)
7. David Bowie - Breaking Glass (Low - 1977)
8. David Bowie - Joe The Lion ("Heroes" - 9177)
9. Iggy Pop - Funtime (The Idiot - 1977)
10. Iggy Pop - Sixteen (Lust For Life - 1077)
11. Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express (Trans-Europe Express - 1977)
12. Suicide - Ghost Rider (Suicide - 1977)
13. The Stranglers - Goodbye Toulouse (Rattus Norvegus - 1977)
14. Neil Young - The Old Country Waltz (American Stars 'N' Bars - 1977)
15. Neil Young - Winterlong (Decade - 1977)
16. Leonard Cohen - Fingerprints (Death Of A Ladies Man - 1977)
17. The Diodes - Red Rubber Ball (The Diodes - 1977)
18. The Viletones - I Hate You - Without You (A Taste Of Honey - 1977)
19. The Dishes - Monopolies Are Made At Night (Fashion Plates - 1977)
20. Ramones - Commando (Leave Home - 1977)
21. Ramones - Rockaway Beach (Rocket To Russia - 1977)
22. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Chinese Rocks (L.A.M.F. - 1977)
23. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Love Comes In Spurts (Blank Generation - 1977)
24. Television - See No Evil (Marquee Moon - 1977)
25. Talking Heads - Uh-Oh, Loves Comes To Town (Talking Heads 77 - 1977)
26. Brian Eno - Kings Lead Hat (Before And After Science - 1977)
27. Wire - 12 X U (Pink Flag - 1977)
28. Ian Dury - Sweet Gene Vincent (New Boots and Panties! - 1977)
29. The Saints - Kissin' Cousins ((I'm) Stranded - 1977)
30. Radio Birdman - Murder City Nights (Radio's Appear - 1977)
31. The Jam - In The City (In The City - 1977)
32. Sex Pistols - Liar (Never Mind The Bollocks - 1977)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 7.

Show 676 Playlist (Originally Aired On September 30th, 2017):

1. The Modern Lovers - Modern World
2. The Pixies - The Holiday Song
3. The Side Eyes - Don't Talk To Me
4. METZ - Mr. Plague
5. Naomi Punk - Yellow Cone Hat
6. Protomartyr - Windsor Hum
7. Paul The Tailor - What Do You Want Me To Say
8. Paul The Tailor - Going Away Blues
9. Tea Leaves - Everybody and the Machine
10. Women - Black Rice
11. Chad Vangaalen - Faces Lit
12. Ariel Pink - Dreamdate Narcissist
13. Lounge Lizards - Do the Wrong Thing
14. Dan Rico - Flesh and Bone
15. Ray Condo & His Ricochets - Shadow My Baby
16. Dragsville - Suitcase
17. Hank Williams - Setting The Woods On Fire
18. Running From Daylight - Devil's Night Dance
19. The Replacements - Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
20. The Replacements - Temptation Eyes
21. Fingerprints - Where The Beat Goes On
22. The Hypstrz - 6654321
23. The Student Teachers - Christmas Weather
24. The Idols - You
25. The Diodes - Time Of Your Life
26. Chris Stamey - The Summer Sun
27. No Museums - We had Museums
28. Down Town Boys - I'm Enough I Want More
29. Queens of the Stone Age - Domestic Animals

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 30.

Show 675 (Charles Bradley & Grant Hart Tribute Show)(Originally Aired On September 23rd, 2017):

1. Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming
2. Grant Hart - 2541
3. Chad Vangaalen - Golden Oceans
4. Nap Eyes - Night of the First Show
5. Rolling Blackouts CF - Heard You're Moving
6. The Safes - Disposable Outcome
7. By Divine Right - Stretch
8. Husker Du - Never Talking To You Again
9. Husker Du - Pink Turns To Blue
10. Husker Du - Books About UFOs
11. Papermaps - The Memory Song
12. Phono Pony - Tattoo of My Face
13. Alvvays - Your Type
14. Chain & The Gang - Certain Kinds of Trash
15. Charles Bradley - Changes
16. Charles Bradley - You Put The Flame On It
17. Prince Phillip - Another Fool Like Me
18. Obits - Machine
19. SpaceSlave - Yeah!
20. The Gruesomes - No More Lies
21. Atomicos - Zombie Vs Ninja
22. Leonard Cohen - The Captain
23. The National - Turtleneck
24. The Fall - I Feel Voxish
25. Husker Du - Green Eyes
26. Husker Du - Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 23.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Interview With DJ Bonebrake of X & Show # 674

DJ Bonebrake is perhaps best known as the drummer for the Los Angeles punk band X. Prior to joining X, DJ was in a band called The Eyes, who featured Charlotte Caffey (who would later join The Go-Go’s). He joined X in late 1977 and completed their classic lineup, which still performs today. In addition to X, DJ has been part of many recordings as a session musician, played briefly with The Germs, and was part of a group of LA musicians that recorded with Chris D’s band The Flesh Eaters on their second full-length album, A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die in 1981. In 1982, John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Dave Alivn, Johnny Ray Bartel and DJ Bonebrake formed The Knitters. This country and rockabilly oriented group released two albums, 1985’s Poor Little Critter On The Road and The Modern Sounds of The Knitters in 2005. DJ has a background in jazz as well, he played vibraphone in the Latin-jazz flavoured band Orchestra Superstring and in the Bonebrake Syncopators, who performed early era jazz.

Check out my interview with DJ Bonebrake below:

The Playlist:

1. The Fads - Tony’s Twang
2. The Eroders - Searching For You
3. Dusty Mush - Johnny Cactus
4. The Ape-ettes - Safety Strands
5. The Fuzzy Undertones - Le Voyage Du Soleil
6. Faith Healer - Might As Well
7. Bonebrake Syncopators - Three Little Words
8. X - Under The Big Black Sun


9. X - Hungry Wolf
10. The Knitters - Someone Like You
11. The Sadies - Sunset To Dawn
12. Tire Swing Co. - Bridge Mic
13. The Monkeywrench - From You
14. Charlie Pickett & The Eggs - But I Didn’t
15. This Machine Kills Robots - Dry Land Is For The Dead
16. Cellos - Ghosts In The Sky
17. Shimmer Demolition - Let It All Go
18. So Many Wizards - Sic Boys
19. The Replacements - Hayday
20. The Replacements - Color Me Impressed
21. The Replacements - Treatment Bound (Alternate Version)
22. The Necessaries - You Can Borrow My Car
23. Al Brown & The Tunehoppers - Take Me Back
24. King Khan - Run Doggy Run

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 16.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Black Lips SGOGA & Shows # 671, 672 & 673

In May of 2017, Atlanta’s The Black Lips returned with their eighth studio album entitled, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? The album brings forth a new era of the band, which has gone through a shift sonically and within the band itself. In 2014, shortly after the release of Underneath The Rainbow, an album produced mainly by Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, guitarist Ian St Pe left the band. He had been with the band since 2004, leaving at the ten-year mark. He went on to play/record with Diamond Rugs and with his new musical venture, Saint Pe. In addition to this, longtime drummer of the group Joe Bradley also left the band prior to the recording of Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? This would deter most bands, but The Black Lips moved forward adding guitarist Jack Hines back into the group (he was featured on the band’s second full-length album We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow), and completing their lineup with new members Oakley Munson on drums and saxophonist Zumi Rosow. Sonically, the band delves into a form of psychedelic garage rock that is both chaotic and apocalyptic at times.

SGOGA boasts 18 tracks (if you count, intros, outros and interludes) and was produced by Sean Lennon. The album really does tie in with the sounds that were first experimented with on 2004’s We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow, which also featured Jack Hines on guitar. On that album, which was originally released on Bomp! Records, the band explored, fuzzy, noisy landscapes blending in many psychedelic elements. What’s interesting to note is how that album ends and this one begins. Their 2004 release ends with a hidden jazz song entitled “Hope Jazz” with a looming fuzzy bass sound amongst other jazz and lo-fi ramblings. This album too pulls in some of that hope jazz, having the band project previous reflections of earlier sounds they experimented with, while at the same time mixing in what they have learned musically since then. “Overture: Sunday Mourning” comes in with a smoky Jazz groove before launching into the fuzzy crunch of “Occidental Front”. This song gallops with country grooves and apocalyptic fuzzy garage riffs. It also features guest-backing vocals (or screams might be a more appropriate title) from Yoko Ono and is sung by guitarist Jack Hines. The title is a reference to the early western world, so it is also appropriate that this song also attacks with an undeniable swampy primitivism. “Can’t Hold On” comes in next with psychedelic guitar arpeggios, organ, saxophone and hoarse-sounding vocals by guitarist Cole Alexander. The song is also undeniably catchy amongst its psychedelic musical acoustics with lyrics that reflect the song’s title, in which the songs character sounds as if their about to lose whatever they are holding onto. “The Last Cul De Sac” sounds as if it could be from an undiscovered mid-sixties garage band as lyrically the song tells of a desire to have no more dead ends. “Interlude: Got Me All Alone” has been said to have a Twin Peaks sound, as it features smooth, yet creepy saxophone like music that was found in the 90s cult-classic TV show.

“Crystal Night” sung by bassist Jared Swiley and saxophonist Zumi Rosow is a 50s rock and roll influenced ballad. The song transports the listener into a fictional tale of a forbidden love that takes place during World War II. This strikingly bittersweet song is one of the highlights of this album and one of the strongpoints found on SGOGA with a message of love conquers hate, regardless of the ending. “Squatting In Heaven” begins with trippy sounding guitar and haunting sounding saxophone parts. This song further establishes the band’s sound on this album as filthy, yet smart. “Rebel Intuition” blends garage rock with Bob Dylan Highway 61 rhythms. Sung by guitarist Jack Hines, with lyrics such as “I don’t like impositions/You can let me be”, “I ain’t striving for position”, and “I don’t waste my time wishing/You can let me be”, this song questions preconceived notions of what a person should be doing in their everyday lives. In the end it portrays a person doing what they want within their own means and on their own terms. “Wayne” is a more low key song found on this release reflecting an almost Sweetheart of the Rodeo-Byrds influence. “We Know” is a scuzzy, sludgy rock track, “In My Mind There’s A Dream” displays an unnerving creepy tone, while “Lucid Nightmare” is an unhinged, call and response track from another dimension.

“It Won’t Be Long” originally released by The Beatles in 1963 is featured on this album, however, it is re-imagined by The Black Lips. The song sounds as if it is from the mid-to-late 60s, rather than 1963 with added scuzz. “Loser’s Lament” is an acoustic based pop song that is the second last track found on this album. This song leans in a waltz influenced direction with a Beatles touch. With lyrics such as “He gave up everything/Just to hear his freedom ring/And he hoped for better things/For tomorrow”, this song evokes a tale of someone who risked everything in order to achieve his dreams, but one who got lost within the process before this could happen. The album ends with “Finale: Sunday Mourning”, which is the same musically as the overture that begins this album, however, the finale features a spoken word segment done by Saul Adamczewski (of Fat White Family) in which he talks of “magic beans” and “being a miserable man”, however it is done so with a nonsensical approach to end this album. Throughout SGOGA, The Black Lips venture into a more psychedelic world, while at the same time branching out into other directions sonically and lyrically. They also poke fun at the idea of a concept album, while treading in concept album waters to some extent. With Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? The Black Lips balance in-between two musical worlds, one of the past and one of the present. They may be a little bit different this time around, but The Black Lips sure haven’t lost their sleazy charms.

Show 673 Playlist (Originally Aired On September 9th, 2017):

1. King Loser - Surf Lost
2. King Loser - 76 Comeback
3. L.A. Witch - You Love Nothing
4. Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel - Right Where You Ought To Be
5. Suicide Commandos - You're Not The First One
6. The Suburbs - Urban Gorilla
7. Prime Junk - Dude
8. Strange Relations - Orbit
9. Mogwaii - Party In The Dark
10. Safe Word - Wasted Youth
11. Motorhead - God Save The Queen
12. The Replacements - Shiftless When Idle
13. Oh Sees - The Static God
14. Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song
15. The Yipes - The Ballad of Roy Orbison
16. Peter & The Wolves - Boy Who Cried I Love You
17. Tav Falco's Panther Burns - Bourgeois Blues
18. Deja Voodoo - White Sugar
19. Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - Search Party
20. The Tarantulas - Tarantula
21. The Treasures - Minor Chaos
22. The Motions - Big Chief
23. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - The Last of My Hiccups
24. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Talk 2 Her
25. Mark Sultan - Calloused Hands
26. The Black Lips - We Know
27. Husker Du - In A Free Land
28. The Replacements - Takin' A Ride
29. The Replacements - Careless

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 9.

Show 672 Playlist (Originally Aired On September 2nd, 2017):

1. Outrageous Cherry - I Believe In Sunshine
2. A Passing Fancy - I Believe In Sunshine
3. Actual Water - Sleeping In The Garden
4. Neil Young - Ride My Llama
5. Radiohead - Lift
6. Waxahatchee - Hear You
7. Black Pudding - Sci-Fi Si
8. Thin Lizzy - Dancing In The Moonlight
9. Thin Lizzy - Southbound
10. Iggy Pop - Some Weird Sin
11. Iggy Pop - Neighborhood Threat
12. CAN - Don't Say No
13. Atomicos - Hotdog!
14. Aron D'Alesio - Long Way Gone
15. Trout - Easy Breezy Easy
16. Lychi - Meandering
17. Ryan Joseph Anderson - Molly The Flood
18. The Yawpers - Mon Dieu
19. Wooden Sky - All Apologies
20. Nirvana - Dumb (Alternate)
21. Teenanger - N.O.B.L.O.`
22. B-52's - Private Idaho
23. The Boys - Living in the City
24. Chrome - Chromosome Damage
25. Paul Jacobs - Quarter To Eleven
26. Duotang - Bastard Five
27. The Black Lips - Lucid Nightmare
28. The Black Lips - It Won't Be Long

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 2.

Show 671 Playlist (Originally Aired On August 26th, 2017):

1. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Voicemail
2. The Fresh & Onlys - Impossible Man
3. The Fresh & Onlys - Wolf Lie Down
4. Sunglaciers - H.C.M.
5. Slates - Yellowknife
6. Guided By Voices - How To Murder A Man in Three Acts
7. Reigning Sound - Stick Up For Me
8. The Detroit Cobras - (I Wanna Know) What's Going On?
9. The Dirtbombs - I Can't Stop Thinking About It
10. The Gories - You Don't Love Me
11. Danny & The Darleans - Can't Kill The Rooster
12. King Khan - Discrete Disguise
13. The Fuzzy Undertones - Sharks!
14. The Count Ferrara - Toxic Fog
15. The Black Angels - Grab As Much As (You Can)
16. Christian Bland & The Revelators - Diddley Stomp
17. The UFO Club - Bo Diddley Was The 7th Son
18. Bo Diddley - Rock 'N' Roll
19. Hurricane & Able - The Novel
20. The Hi-Fi's - Look What You've Done
21. Randy Rampage - Don't Be Afraid
22. Uubbuurru - Living In An Angel's Corpse
23. Dion Lunadon - Move
24. Cellos - White Lines
25. The Standells - Mr Nobody
26. The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 26.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Revolution Rock: Radio Brain Drain - LA Punk Special & Show # 670 & 669

As part of CJAM FM’s Radio Brain Drain, a week's worth of programming devoted to punk rock and all its forms, Revolution Rock hosted a program featuring music made up from the early LA punk music scenes. The play list was also inspired by the book Under The Big Black Sun, a book written by John Doe with Tom DeSavia about the LA Punk music scene. In addition to playing a selection of music from the early LA punk music scenes, the show also featured part of an interview that I did with X’s John Doe in 2016.

You can listen to the interview that I did with John Doe here:

Radio Brain Drain 2017 (LA Punk Special):

1. The Descendents – Suburban Home (Milo Goes to College - 1982)
2. Bad Religion – We’re only Gonna Die (How Could Hell Be Any Worse? - 1982)
3. The Dickies – Paranoid (The Incredible Shrinking Dickies - 1979)
4. The Eyes - Don’t Talk To Me (The Eyes/The Controllers/The Skulls - Don't Talk To Me/(The Original) Neutron Bomb/Victims - 1978)
5. The Screamers - Vertigo (Demos 1977-1978 - 2013)
6. X - Los Angeles (Los Angeles - 1980)
7. X - Adult Books (Wild Gift - 1981)


8. The Flesh Eaters - River of Fever (A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die - 1981)
9. The Blasters - She Ain’t Got The Beat (American Music - 1980)
10. The Gun Club - Sex Beat (Fire of Love - 1981)
11. The Alley Cats – Nightmare City [Nightmare City - 1981]
12. The Go-Go’s - We Got the Beat (Original 1980 Stiff Records Version) (We Got The Beat/How Much More - 1980)
13. The Weirdos – Destroy all Music (Destroy All Music - 1977)
14. The Dils – You’re not Blank (I Hate the Rich/You’re Not Blank - 1977)
15. The Zeroes – Don’t Push Me Around (Wimp/Don't Push Me Around - 1977)
16. The Brat - Attitudes (Attitudes EP - 1980)
17. Black Flag - Rise Above (Damaged - 1981)
18. Circle Jerks – Deny Everything (Group Sex - 1980)
19. FEAR – Let’s Have a War (Paradise Studios Demos - 1982)
20. Wasted Youth – Problem Child (Reagan’s In - 1981)
21. Germs – Manimal ((GI) - 1979)
22. The Nerves - You Found Out (The Nerves EP - 1976)
23. The Plugz – A Gain – A Loss (Electrify Me - 1979)
24. Suburban Lawns - Janitor (Suburban Lawns - 1981)
25. Black Randy and the Metrosquad – I Slept in an Arcade (Pass the Dust, I Think I’m Bowie - 1979)
26. Bags – Survive (All Bagged Up..The Collected Works 1977-1980 - 2007)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 19.

Show 669 was a repeat of show 668, which was an episode featuring an interview with the drummer from Toronto's Teenanger. You can view that post here.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Teenanger Steve Sidoli Interview & Show # 668

Toronto’s Teenanger returned with their fifth full-length album, Teenager earlier this summer. The album’s title is a reference to the error from others when pronouncing their band name, whether in articles or on band posters, its something that has been happening since they first began as a band back in 2007. The album was created over a year period beginning in 2016 and produced by the band’s own drummer Steve Sidoli and guitarist Jon Schouten. The album pulls in a lot of elements of previous Teenanger albums, $ingles Don’t Sell and EPLP come to mind, but at the same time this album is different from its predecessors.

Teenager starts with the instrumental track “The Middle Fingers” perhaps titled this way as a jab to people who might want to criticize this track for going full synth. This track sounds like it was lifted from an obscure 80s B-horror movie soundtrack. The track creeps around, roams and infiltrates your speakers and/or listening devices with an undeniable mood. The track drifts into the album’s first track with vocals, “Dawn”. This song establishes a feeling with its steady, Public Image Limited influenced bassline, as watery guitar lines, filter in and out of the bass and in the pocket drum groove. Chris Swimmings sings a vocal that is more laid back, but one that is also tense with his trademark snarling attitude. On a lyrical level words such as “Lost days and I’m feeling awake/This town is gonna suffocate/Price tags are never going down” and a chorus of “A child at 4 AM/The streets are rather tame/At Dawn/Always at dawn”, the listener finds themselves in a reflective, contemplative mood, trying to pin down a feeling, that can’t really be defined by the eerie, empty streets at dawn. “Emoji Kush” brings together several emotional strands into a single musical output. Teenanger attack this song and its subject matter with a cynical look at nightlife, social media, vanity and the like with a mellow tempo juxtaposed with the track’s jagged Gang of Four-like guitars and 80s drum rhythms. “Just Drop It” ups the tempo with vocals from bassist Melissa Ball, as lyrically she addresses a situation, expressing a desire to move forward, despite the protagonist this song employs who has their own ideas, “Media Overload” follows with slower lucid tempos amongst lyrics such as “Hey Siri table for four”, and “Media overload/Taking Too much” that address the immediacy of social media, its many flaws and the sensory overload that can be caused from it.

“Wychwood Heights” starts off with creepy electronic rhythms before launching into an intense clanging groove. The song tells the story of a coward hiding out in this Toronto suburb, amongst its other subtle themes. It is one of a few songs found on Teenager that addresses urban/suburban themes. “It Works With My Body” is a drum and bass dominated track featuring twisting sounding guitar lines, “Weird Money” features biting vocals and heavy basslines, as “The Night Shift” offers up something else entirely. Dominated in industrial post punk sounds, with echoing drums and dominating synthesizers, this track features vocals from drummer Steve Sidoli. The lyrics reflect late night thoughts dealing with employment in a way similar to the song “Dawn”, found earlier on this album. This song employs a synthesizer induced otherworldly feeling. “Pay It Forward” brings up the intensity, while “Fun Forgot” is one of the strongest songs found on this album. With lyrics such as “I like a lot of stuff/But I’m not into much”, Swimmings tells the tale of an uninspired summer, that embodies a slacker rebelliousness and an unexpected realization amongst the songs sprawling guitar-lines that splash in between the crashing drumbeats and unrelenting, sunbaked basslines.

“N.O.B.L.O” ends Teenager. Standing for North of Bloor, Life Onwards, this track addresses the suburban dilemma of Toronto’s real estate situation and being an artist in that area of the city. Sidoli recently stated in Now Toronto: “Now, being forced to move north of Bloor is like a new frontier because you’ve been priced out or you want a bigger place. There’s an analogy there between having to do that and moving into adulthood and other phases of life.” This quote can be utilized to show the general consensus brought forth on this album, but with this album there are a lot of subtle layers that all add up to a greater whole. With the sounds found on Teenager, we see that Teenanger haven’t changed drastically into some unexpected, over-bloated version of what they once were that can be found at a shopping mall. Teenanger isn’t trying to be something that they’re not, but they’re also not repeating themselves here. With the album’s title, Teenanger poke fun at themselves. At the same time they mess with the people in the world that surrounds them on different levels that don’t read between the lines to see what’s actually there.

Check out my interview with Teenanger drummer Steve Sidoli here:

The Play List:

1. The Belle Isles - Summer Song
2. Greg Cartwright - Love Won't Leave You A Song
3. The Oblivians - Bad Man
4. The Stooges - Real Cool Time
5. The Yardbirds - Psycho Daisies
6. The Rolling Stones - Now I've Got A Witness
7. The Beatles - Long Tall Sally (BBC Session)
8. Teenanger - Dawn
9. Teenanger - Just Drop It


10. Teenanger - Fun Forgot
11. Teenanger - The Night Shift
12. Cellos - Demagogue
13. The Birthday Party - Sonnys Burning
14. The Psychic Alliance - I Saw An Aquatic Rat Today
15. Aron D'Alesio - Destroyer
16. Sprinters - What's Done Is Done
17. Dale Crover - Little Brother
18. Guided By Voices - Just To Show You
19. Paul The Tailor - Two Brains
20. Mise En Scene - Light In The Night
21. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Down On Me
22. David Bowie - Shapes Of Things
23. Daniel Romano - Sucking The Old World Dry
24. Johnny West - Spider Ventriloquist
25. Ramones - Ramona
26. Ramones - It's A Long Way Back To Germany

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for August 5.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tom Waits: Frank's Wild Years Trilogy & Shows # 666, 667, 668

I first discovered the album Rain Dogs by Tom Waits in a record store, amongst a pile of other records. I decided to pick up this record for several reasons, I heard that Keith Richards played on it and one of the songs was featured in the 1986 Jim Jarmusch film Down By Law, which Waits also starred in. Upon listening to the record, I soon learned that it was part of a trilogy from Tom Waits that is often referred to as The Frank’s Wild Years Trilogy, or the Island Trilogy (since the albums were released on Island Records). A “rain dog” is believed to be a stray dog that wanders around because it cannot find its way home, the rain has washed away the scent. This is a fitting description of many of the characters found not only in this trilogy, but to characters found in the songs of Tom Waits

In 1982 Waits released the soundtrack to the Francis Ford Coppola film, One From The Heart. Despite being an Oscar nominated soundtrack, the album Swordfishtrombones, which was produced in the same year and was to follow the One From The Heart soundtrack, was deemed not so great by his then record company Elektra-Asylum. The label thought that this would cause Waits to lose fans and not respond well with new audiences. He was dropped from the label. Island picked up the album and released it in 1983. It should also be noted that in 1980, Waits started moving towards a new sound with his album Heartattack and Vine, but it was nothing compared to the level of experimentation on Swordfishtrombones. This album marked a shift in Waits songwriting approach and sound. Swordfishtrombones featured unusual instrumentation and a more abstract approach to songwriting, as opposed to the style Waits had been known for in the 70s, which was a more piano/jazz crooner and string orchestra based style. The songs delve into a dirty blues style with odd instrumentation and features poetry segments. There is also an undeniable Captain Beefheart influence found here. This album not only marked a new style for Waits, but it was also the first album that Waits produced himself. Throughout the album’s tracks we find a world of seedy characters that drift amongst themes of being homesick, deteriorating hometowns and fading into obscurity and myth in some form or another. It is also important to note the influence of Waits wife Kathleen Brennan during this time and even more so in his later songwriting. They would often collaborate with one another, even during this trilogy.

“Underground” starts off Swordfishtrombones with a sideshow growl and is symbolic in terms of the characters that would be brought forth on this album. Musically, it also showcases a change in direction. We are introduced to Frank, a character that shows up within this album and the two the follow it. The song talks of a world going on beneath the surface. It is symbolic for the journey that Frank the sailor will take and the listener. “Shore Leave” is a bizarre, yet vivid blues inspired song laying down another blueprint for the world that Frank has found himself in. Along with “Johnsburg, Illinois”, we find a character lamenting in homesick territory. “16 Shells From a Thirty-Ought Six”, is now perhaps one of the best-known songs in Waits catalogue. It drifts with a steamship-like off kilter blues groove, as Waits growls with an undeniable confidence. The lyrics tell the tale of a man determined to kill a crow, but instead he captures it and tortures it instead for his own amusement “Town With No Cheer” and “In The Neighborhood” display a more morose vibe of a character who has vanished. In these songs we find that there are only myths and rumours of who this wild character was and where he has gone. Musically, “Town With No Cheer” features bagpipes, harmonium and a creepy eeriness to it, while “In The Neighborhood” has a marching band feel. “Frank’s Wild Years” is a humorous spoken word segment. With lyrics portraying Frank “Hanging up his wild years”, but then he burns down his house and “Torched it/Parked across the street/Laughing” before he gets on the Hollywood Freeway and heads north. The title track “Swordfishtrombones”, further tells the myth of Frank, who “Came home from the war with a party in his head” and brings forth strong imagery as the tale of Frank, unpacks itself even further.

Rain Dogs was released in 1985. A loose concept of the “urban dispossessed” finds its way through the songs found on this release. The album features a broad range of musical styles from pre-50’s rock sounds (Brecht often appears in reviews of this album) to blues and even New Orleans funeral brass, combined to make its own unique sound. Rain Dogs also features a variety of instruments such as marimba, accordion, trombone, pump organ, double bass and banjo to help achieve its plethora of sounds. In addition to this, Keith Richards appears on some tracks, Marc Ribot and even Robert Quine (of Richard Hell & The Voidoids), among other musicians. “Singapore” has been described as a grim nightlife memoir, with its off-kilter sounds and lyrics taking the listener into a dangerous world of being a sailor. “Clap Hands” displays a sense of delusion and melancholy amongst its electric guitar, and cold marimba rattles. “Cemetery Polka” features a humorous/fascinating collection of bizarre aging relatives along with the songs polka syncopation. “Jockey Full of Bourbon” is notable for Waits smooth vocals, exotica conga rhythms and steamy, Cuban music inspired guitar lines provided by Marc Ribot. This mood-setting piece appears in the opening of the 1986 film Down By Law. With its vivid film noir dynamics, the lyrics portray a troubled crime induced world and features lyrics such as “Hey little bird fly away from home/Your house is on fire/Your children are alone” which represent a desire to escape, to do nothing, fear and the unknown. The gritty blues of “Big Black Mariah” features Keith Richards undeniable slithery grooves amongst Waits growling Howlin’ Wolf inspired vocal as lyrics tell a tale of a police chase by a “Big Black Mariah” which is actually the name used for an old fashioned police car.

“Hang Down Your Head” is a melodic track that has drawn comparisons to Tom Waits earlier work, while “Time” echoes street corner philosophies (as stated on Tom Waits website), “9th & Hennepin” was inspired by actual events in Minneapolis. Apparently Waits was in an all-night donut shop and found himself stuck in-between a pimp war that involved ammunition fire, this is alluded to in the lyrics to this track that is intense in its instrumentation. “Gun Street Girl” is a rustic folk/blues number relating to small time hustlers, as “Blind Love” features guitar work by guitarist Robert Quine, along with “Downtown Train”. This song is perhaps mentioned the most when referring to this album. It has been covered by many artists, including Rod Stewart, who made it a top ten hit in 1989. “Anywhere I Lay My Head” ends Rain Dogs drawing on the New Orleans funeral jazz influence mentioned earlier. With lyrics such as “The wind is blowing cold”, “I don’t need nobody/Because I learned to be alone”, and “Anywhere I lay my head is home”, Waits evokes a certain melancholic, drunken, epiphany-like atmosphere.

1987’s Frank’s Wild Years is the third album found in this trilogy. The songs featured in this set tell a rags-to-rags story. The songs found here are based on a stage play that Waits and wife Kathleen Brennan wrote of the same name. Several of the songs from that play were rearranged and put on this album. The tale subtitled Un Operachi Romantico in Two Acts, follows Frank on a hazy, ill-fated Orphic journey as musically, Waits gets even more adventurous. The music and themes emphasized here are more theatrical, building on the atmospheric soundscapes that started on 1985’s Rain Dogs. “Hang On St. Christopher” starts off the album with its locomotive like bassline, traffic sounding brass instruments and watery guitar sounds. It paints a picture of a mythic landscape surrounding the automobile and the wild ride that is about to occur. “Straight To The Top” appears in two versions here, first as rhumba, then later subtitled Vegas. Both juxtapose Frank’s journey towards fame in two similar and different ways.

"Temptation”, one of the standout tracks on this album, tells the tell about a character that is surrounded by dizzying temptations and intoxicating imagery before a downward spiral leaves him humbled. Musically, the song is a skewed rhumba of sorts with touches of the blues, as Waits sings in a gruff falsetto throughout this engaging track. “I’ll Be Gone” is a frenetic accordion driven ballad, “Telephone Call From Istanbul” features booming percussion, arpegiated guitars and a smoky, gravely vocal from Waits as he tells us to “Never trust a man in a blue trench coat/Never drive a car when you’re dead” in this tale of the showbiz world, “Cold Cold Ground” is an acoustic based ballad featuring a hazy vocal. In an interview from 1987 with Rip Rense of the New York Post, Waits stated that this song is “Just kind of a hardening back to his earlier times; a romantic song thinking about home, and all that.” “Train Song” is a nostalgic trip with a musical piano/accordion accompaniment, as “Innocent While You Dream (78)” ends the album. This song, is repeated in a different musical form, as was “Straight To The Top”, found earlier on this album. This song with an old timey arrangement repeats a moral that the character Frank learned earlier on this album, but it is one that doesn’t come to realization until the end of this album.

In addition to these three albums, Big Time was a soundtrack released in 1988 that accompanied a film of the same name. This film features performances of songs from this trilogy as well as older songs in Waits catalogue. It is not generally considered as part of the trilogy, but definitely connects with it on some level. Overall, the Frank’s Wild Years Trilogy is a journey on different levels. If Swordfishtrombones found Waits branching out into new experimentations musically, Rain Dogs was where Waits found his voice. Frank’s Wild Years the album shows Waits at top creative form and even more so adventurous. This trilogy of albums revitalized Waits’ career. It has been called a junkyard trilogy, but each album stands on its own and is effective whether separate or together, as part of this trilogy. In a trilogy of self-discovery, it is interesting that the album Rain Dogs wanders around record shops and finds people. Within a pile of records, you never know what will find you. But, the unique atmosphere and mood created within this trilogy is something that hovers over listeners that find themselves in this world that was created by Waits in the 80s. Like Frank, it is a mood that is unpredictable and finds us and leaves a lasting impression in more ways than one.

Show 668 (Frank's Wild Years Part II) (Originally Aired On July 29th, 2017):

1. Tom Waits - Hang On St. Christopher
2. Tom Waits - Temptation
3. Stompin' Tom Connors - Sudbury Saturday Night
4. Stompin' Tom Connors - Luke's Guitar
5. Harry Nilsson - Let The Good Times Roll
6. The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow
7. Thee Grinch - Each Side
8. Dusty Mush - Couch Potato
9. The 14th Wray - Your Face Is In My Mind
10. Times New Viking - Faces On Fire
11. Titus Andronicus - Titus Andronicus Forever
12. The Courtneys - Frankie
13. Broken Social Scene - Vanity Pail Kids
14. The Scenics - I Killed Marx
15. The Diodes - Play With Fire (Live)
16. Tom Waits - Straight To The Top (Rhumba)
17. Tom Waits - Telephone Call From Istanbul (Big Time Version)
18. Tom Waits - Way Down In The Hole (Big Time Version)
19. The Replacements (With Tom Waits) - Date To Church
20. Paul Westerberg (With Tommy Stinson & Tom Waits) - Low Down Monkey Blues
21. Paul Westerberg - Dead Sick Of
22. Prehistoric Cave Strokers - Sold Out (Live At The Coach n' Horses 1991)
23. The Ronald Regan Story - (Your Love Has Turned My Heart Into A) Hand Grenade
24. Revo - Uncontrollable Urge
25. Ancient Shapes - I Wanna Put My Tears Back In
26. The 427's - The Score
27. Tom Waits - Falling Down

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 29.

Show 667 (Frank's Wild Years: Part I) (Originally Aired On July 22nd, 2017):

1. Tom Waits - Underground
2. Tom Waits - 16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought Six
3. Tymon Dogg - Low Down Dirty Weakness
4. The Cramps - Can't Hardly Stand It
5. Catl. - 5 Miles
6. Elvis Costello - I'm Not Angry
7. Elvis Costello - No Action (Demo)
8. Elvis Costello - Mystery Dance (Honky Tonk Demo)
9. Mise En Scene - Closer
10. No Aloha - Work Shirt
11. The Psychic Alliance - No Fixed Address
12. Port Juvee - Mania
13. Tom Waits - Frank's Wild Years
14. Tom Waits - Cemetery Polka
15. Tom Waits - Jockey Full of Bourbon
16. Mogwai - Punk Rock
17. Secret Bad Boy - Chicken
18. Carbonas - Lost Cause
19. Shocked Minds - You Want Me To Stay
20. Durango 95 - Forget About Me
21. Tandoori Knights - Dress On
22. Light Bulb Alley - Cut Me Loose
23. Betrayers - Spit Hood
24. The Fall - Craigness
25. Howlin' Wolf - Mister Airplane Man
26. Tom Waits - Big Black Mariah
27. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 22.

Show 666 (An almost all horror themed episode) (Originally Aired On July 15th, 2017):

1. The Mummies - The House On The Hill
2. The Sadies - Friendly Devil
3. Pow Wows - Shock Corridor
4. Suspicions - Nocturne
5. No Museums - This Western
6. Comet Gain - Ripped Up Suit!
7. Dusty Mush - I Ate Your Dog
8. The Stones - At The Café
9. Damaged Bug - Mood Slime
10. Ty Segall - Black Magick
11. The Belle Isles - Detroit Sound
12. Cat Wranguleur - Little Witch
13. Cub - My Chinchilla
14. The Mockers - Madalena
15. Buddy Lee & The Satellites - Countdown
16. Deja Voodoo - (Some Things Just Don't) Wash Off
17. Deja Voodoo - Monsters In My Garage Got Married
18. Beat Happening - Bury The Hammer
19. Soft Serve - Phantasm
20. Adam Strangler - Crossed
21. The Wooden Sky - Swimming In Strange Waters
22. Dion Lunadon - White Fence
23. 13 Engines - Dirty Little Rat (Brave New Waves Session)
24. Walrus - Later Days
25. Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkeybirds - Psychic Future
26. X - Devil Doll
27. Mission Of Burma - Red
28. Misfits - I Turned Into A Martian
29. Black Lips - Occidental Front

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 15.