Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Pack A.D... Unpersons & Show 371


I first heard of and saw The Pack A.D. when they were performing in Windsor, Ontario at The Phog Lounge. Since then I have come to see them perform on numerous other occasions. Initially known as The Pack, The Pack A.D. are a two piece female Garage/Blues Rock duo that has just released their third full length album Unpersons. The band originates from Vancouver and features Becky Black on guitar/vocals, and Maya Miller on drums. The bands first full length album Tin Type was self released in April of 2007, and then re-released when the group were signed to Mint Records. A second full length followed quickly titled Funeral Mixtape also in 2008, which showed the band broadening their sound. Tin Type their first album featured seventeen Blues Rock songs that also contained elements of Garage Rock and Punk Rock. Songs such as “Gold Rush” and “All Damn Day Long” reflected their raw Garage/Blues inflections, which along with the rest of the album generated strong reviews and acclaim.

The band has toured heavily behind their albums and gained the reputation as being an explosive live act. In 2010, The Pack A.D. released the album We Kill Computers, an album which took two years to make, but one that was recorded live to analog tape in under two weeks, it was also the longest gap between releases for the band. But this does not deter or take away from the album, one that was essentially born on the road and one that focused more on the bands Garage and Punk influences and it reflects that. The album featured songs such as “Deer’, “B.C. Is On Fire”, and “Catch” all add to the overall heavier Rock dynamics of We Kill Computers.

In September 2011, The Pack A.D released Unpersons. This album further displays the bands evolving sound and adds different elements into the mix. Unpersons elevates the Pack A.D’s sound making them sound bigger most likely due to Detroit producer Jim Diamond, who adds edge to the bands sound. On this album the band truly have evolved at a sound that is both different and as fascinating as their past. The albums title originates from the novel 1984, which is a form of “newspeak” meaning someone who has been stripped of rights, identity or humanity. While The Pack A.D have not been stripped of their musical identity, they do venture into new and different music territory and lyrically the songs reflect a dystopian view and plays into the titles meaning. Unpersons finds the band exploring the very elements of their sound, reconstructing themselves with their brand of raw Blues, Garage and Punk which have made them a Mint Records artist to watch. The Pack A.D. play the Phog Lounge again on Wednesday October 19th, with The Locusts Have No King.

This Week's Play List:

1. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Luxembourg
2. The Drums - Book of Revelations
3. The Stranglers - Sometimes
4. Ringo Deathstarr - Some Kind of Sad
5. Norbiton Surfers - Ivor The Engine
6. Public Image Limited - Lou Reed Pt.2
7. The Rings - I Wanna Be Free
8. The Spy's - Been Through The Mill
9. The Pack AD - Seasick
10. The Pack AD - 8
11. Canadian VIPs - I Know
12. Big Town Boys - August 32nd
13. Missing Links - Don't Give Me No Friction
14. Thee Oh Sees - Corprophagist
15. Les Jaguars - Shake
16. The Centurions - Surfin' at Mazatland
17. Eddie Angel - Casbah
18. Link Wray - 5 and 10
19. Wydle Rattz - Hollow
20. The Androids - Roller Derby Queen
21. Mix - Break Up, Shake Up
22. The Paperboys - Looking For Sharon
23. Sloan - Oh Dear Diary
24. The Boys - First Time
25. The Ettes - The Pendulum
26. The Sonics - Strychnine

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 27. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Wear White Jeans Fill In


On Friday I filled in for the I Wear White Jeans program which usually airs every Friday night from 6:30 to 8 PM on CJAM FM. with host Jan Blondin.  The program can be downloaded below.

The Play List:

1. The Rezillos - Mystery Action
2. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Baby Talk
3. The Pack AD - Sirens
4. The Polymorphines - Anna Lee
5. Invasions - Atlantic Blvd
6. The Nightcrawlers - Little Black Egg
7. Thee Dueces - You've Gotta Try
8. Blitzen Trapper - Might Find It Cheap
9. The Living Kills - My Gun's A Fist
10. Disband - One Man Army
11. The Government - Flat Tire
12. The Verdix - Lookin' Around
13. Dee Dee Ramone & the Chinese Dragons - What About Me?
14. Bok Bok - Come Back To Me
15. The Fall - Stepping Out
16. Terrorways - Never Been To Borstal
17. The Primmers - You're Gonna Get Done
18. Wreckless Eric - Reconnez Cherie
19. The Beachnuts - Cycle Annie
20. Dik Van Dykes - Garage Sale
21. The Stomach Mouths - Wild Trip
22. Painted Ship - And She Said Yes
23. Brazilian Money - Give Up That Dog
24. Thee Oh Sees - I Need Seed
25. The Hentchmen - Yesterday's Trash

The show can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AK79 & Show # 370


The UK Punk scene of the late seventies inspired numerous bands all around the world to pick up their instruments and create their own music playing into the attitude and DIY ethic. One such place that is perhaps not always mentioned is the New Zealand Punk scene of the late seventies, specifically the Auckland, New Zealand Punk scene. There were numerous bands that popped up, many short lived that would only last what seemed like a second before moving onto different bands and expanding into different genres. A compilation album was compiled of this scene by Bryan Staff and released on Ripper Records in 1979. The compilation which was tilted AK79, was released just in time for Christmas of 1980, but as the New Year approached and the compilation was released the local Punk scene was evolving and changing thus having AK79 serve as a document of the New Zealand scene that lasted from roughly 1977 to 1980.

The compilation had its birth when Bryan Staff, a local Auckland radio DJ started developing a growing interest in the local scene at the time. Since there was hardly a recording industry in New Zealand then, Staff came up with the idea of compiling an album of these acts and releasing it. Bands were encouraged to bring in their own recordings and several recorded at radio NZ, Bryan would form his own label Ripper Records. The albums cover was designed by Terence Hogan and the picture on the cover is a close up shot of one of the members of the band Terrorways. The album was initially pressed in a limited 500 edition run. The albums sold quickly and as a result AK79 moved its distribution to CBS in 1981 where it was re-pressed on vinyl and cassette. By 1983 the album went out of print, following this point the album became greatly sought after and copies sold for a considerable value. In 1994 the album was re-issued and re-mastered by Simon Grigg (of Suburban Reptiles) with an expanded track listing and was released via Flying Nun and Propeller Records.

The result of the album is a collection of bands such as The Scavengers, The Swingers, Terrorways, Proud Scum, The Primmers, The Features and Toy Love. The expanded re-issue featured additional tracks from these group including previously unreleased tracks from bands such as Suburban Reptiles, The Scavengers and Toy Love. Several of the bands on this compilation would go onto form other groups one example is The Scavengers who are featured in two incarnations on this album first as The Scavengers and then as Marching Girls. When the band moved to Australia in 1980 they renamed themselves Marching Girls. One of the band members Brendan Perry would also briefly play with Nick Cave's The Birthday Party before forming Dead Can Dance, which was quite different from his previous groups. While many of the bands from this short Auckland, New Zealand era from about 1977 to 1980 would move on along with the scene, AK79 serves as a document of a interesting and short lived time in Auckland’s music history. The album features songs such as "Mysterex" a song about working in the nine to five world, the anthemic Reggae/Punk of The Primmers "You're Gonna Get Done" a song addressing street violence in New Zealand, music from The Spelling Mistakes, Toy Love and more that are worthy of being all time Punk classics. A reunion gig was held on November 21st and 22nd of 2008 that reunited several of the bands found on the AK79 compliation, many of which hadn't played together since 1980. A special two LP limited edition of AK79 was sold at the shows featuring additional unreleased tracks. More info on the album and the bands featured on the album can be found at http://www.simongrigg.info/AK79.htm

This Week's Play List:

1. The Litter - Action Woman
2. The Magicians - An Invitation To Cry
3. Cold Coffee & Salty Boots - Lost In Material
4. The Last Assassins - Bad Crystal
5. White Cats - Second Time Around
6. The Demics - I Won't See You No More
7. The Hi Fi's - I Don't Know Why (You Love Me)
8. The Nocturnals - Because You're Gone
9. Magic Hall of Mirrors - Helicopter (Live Phog Phest 2010)
10. Witnesss Inc. - Not You Girl
11. The Horrors - I Can See Through You
12. The Features - Content
13. Suburban Reptiles - Saturday Night, Stay At Home
14. The Scavengers - Mysterex
15. The Primmers - Funny Stories
16. Dik Van Dykes - Curling
17. Wire - I Am The Fly
18. Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty (BBC Session)
19. The Teardrops - Colours
20. Nothing At All - Busted
21. Dirty Pretty Things - Last of the Small Town Playboys
22. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Can't Keep My Eyes On You
23. Ed Kuepper - Told Myself
24. Bob Dylan - Visions of Johanna (Alternate Take)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 20. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pearl Jam's No Code & Show # 369


The recording of Pearl Jam's No Code took place at a strange time in the bands career. After a tour for their 1994 release Vitalogy, Pearl Jam headed into the studio amongst other factors that all added to what was become the album No Code. At the time the band were going through difficulties due to the constant touring, arguments in the creative process and an on going battle with Ticketmaster.  To further add to matters the albums recording sessions first began in the infamous 1995 Chicago heat wave, during a break in the bands touring schedule. Tensions would build amongst the band and as a result many of the songs began as jams according to Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready. The rest of the album would be recorded over the course of six weeks in 1996 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Seattle, Washington, and Atlanta, Georgia. No Code which would be Pearl Jam’s fourth full length album, was recorded with producer Brendan O’Brien

When No Code was finally released in 1996, it went to number one on the Billboard 200 album charts (it would be the last Pearl Jam album to go to number one until 2009's Backspacer), but despite this it alienated several Pearl Jam fans. While the record did not initially sell as well as their previous studio efforts No Code would be one of the first of many albums in which the band ventured on in a different direction separate from their early heavier “Grunge” associated sounds. The songs on the album incorporated elements of Garage Rock, Worldbeat and elements of experimentation that resulted in a truly unique album from Pearl Jam. The album contained hard hitting Rock songs such as “Hail, Hail”, “Habit”, “Lukin”, as well as other tracks such as “Sometimes”, “Who You Are?”, “Present Tense”, “I’m Open”, “Mankind” and “Around the Bend”, which initially started out as a lullaby written by Eddie Vedder for new Pearl Jam drummer Jack Irons’ son, all of which jumped into different territories musically. The album was panned by several critics, despite its good sales people reacted negatively to No Code.

Some people were perplexed by the different direction that Pearl Jam ventured into on this album, but was it really that different? The songs seem to be a reflection of the times and the bands ongoing tensions during the recording process and that point in their career, but it is still a Rock album. It is ironic that the album was titled No Code and packaged with photograph based artwork symbolizing its lack of adherence to the typical codes of music at the time. The truth is for Pearl Jam No Code had no rules or no “codes” for lack of a better term and while there was a lot of tension and turmoil that began during that first heat wave of July of 1995 in Chicago where the album began its life, the result was a strong original release from the band and the beginnings of Pearl Jam’s long career in music. As vocalist Eddie Vedder has stated “Making No Code was all about gaining perspective”, the trouble that initially surrounded the sessions in the long run produced out a stronger band.  It was during the period follwing this albums release that Pearl Jam stepped out of the mainstream spotlight so to speak and the albums leading up to recent 2009 release Backspacer where Pearl Jam found a new voice for their music and a devout and die-hard fan base that remains strong to this day.

Recently Pearl Jam is the subject of a documentary titled Pearl Jam 20, which is about Pearl Jam, it also marks thier 20th anniversary. A soundtrack also accompanies the film and you can download a new Pearl Jam song called "Ole" via http://www.pearljam.com/

This Week's Play List:

1. Magnificent Bastards - Famous When I Die
2. Luke & The Apostles - Been Burnt
3. The Coasts - Handshakers
4. Deja Voodoo - Lonely Motel
5. Neon Boys - High Heeled Wheels
6. Boy With A Fish - I Wish I Had A Plan
7. Ry Cooder - Quick Sand
8. James OL & The Villains - Both To Blame
9. Orphan Choir - Untitled
10. The Polymorphines - Poor Sicko
11. Crocodiles - Summer of Hate
12. Fire Engines - Hungry Beat
13. Pointed Sticks - The Witch
14. Mudhoney - Into Yer Shtik
15. The Wipers - Is This Real?
16. Pearl Jam - Lukin
17. Limes - Into A Tree
18. Young Rival - Another Nobody
19. Talking Heads - Stay Hungry (1975 CBS Demo)
20. Subway Sect - Nobody's Scared
21. Undertones - Smarter Than You
22. Ramones - Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio (Live US Festival 1982)
23. Motorhead - No Class
24. Private School - Rock & Roll Radio
25. The D4 - North Shore Bitch

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 13. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fire of Love ... The Gun Club & Show # 368


The Gun Club were a very unique band that blended elements of Roots Rock, Blues, Country, Rockabilly and Punk for a style completely their own. Starting out in 1980 in LA, the band was formed by singer/guitarist Jeffery Lee Pierce, Brian Tristan on Lead Guitar, Don Snowden on bass and Brad Dunning on drums. The band initially started out as The Cyclones with Pleasant Gehman on vocals and played Rockabilly, but the singer left after one show and the group continued on as The Creeping Ritual. It was around this time during the bands early beginnings where Don Snowden and Brad Dunning left the group, they would be replaced by Rob Ritter (bass) and Terry Graham (drums) from the band The Bags. After growing tired of their band name they changed it to The Gun Club upon suggestion from Keith Morris of Black Flag/Circle Jerks. The bands first album came out in 1981 and it was titled Fire of Love, but before it came out there yet another line up change. Brian Tristan would leave the group to join The Cramps where he would remain for three years and gain the new name Kid Congo Powers. Following his time with The Cramps he rejoined The Gun Club, but when his first departed Ward Dotson replaced him on guitar.

When the band headed into the studio to record Fire of Love, what was captured on tape was a stripped down primal, original classic album that redefined a genre of Punk. Fire of Love was recorded with Chris D of The Flesh Eaters and Tito Larriva who applied a stripped down, live sounding production style to the songs that made up Fire of Love. The album mixed a haunting voodoo like intensity of American Roots, Blues and Country with Punk Rock for something completely original. The Gun Club is captured in top from the upbeat opener “Sex Beat” to the album closer “Goodbye Johnny”. The album features reworked versions of “Preaching the Blues” a song originally by Robert Johnson, that at howls and roars with the haunting vocals and the energetic guitar bursts of Dotson, while “Cool Drink of Water” is a soulful reworking of a Delta Blues song originally by Tommy Johnson. The album is also fuelled by the addictive Punk-Blues classic “She’s Like Heroin To Me”, the terrifying “Ghost On The Highway”, and “For The Love of Ivy” a song co-written with original Gun Club guitarist Kid Congo Powers. All of the eleven tracks on this album contribute to its atmosphere, whether you refer to "Sex Beat" or the steam engine driving drums and vocals of "Black Train". 

Fire of Love was the debut album of a band that helped rejuvenate the LA Rock music scene and album that stands on its own as an underground classic. The music has been called a number of things such as Punk Rock Blues, Tribal Psychobilly Blues and many other things falling into a number of subgenres. The album has also been said to have been fuelled not only by the sum of its parts, but by the soulful tormented voice of its wild man lead singer Jeffery Lee Pierce which cannot be avoided. The band would continue to make albums until the mid 90s, until lead singer Jeffery Lee Pierce passed away at the age of 37 in 1996. The album and bands spirit live on and Fire of Love continues to burn with a gritty intensity that was first ignited when it was originally released in 1981. 

This Weeks Play List:

1. Jacuzzi Boys - Cool Vapors
2. The Hentchmen - Some Other Guy
3. Supergrass - What Went Wrong (In Your Head)
4. Richard Hawley - Tonight The Streets Are Ours
5. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - I'm Your Man
6. Iceage - Collapse
7. Rotten Tropics - The Commissioner of Sewers
8. Anagram - Those Were The Days
9. The Government - Following You
10. The Ted Clark Five - No Respect To Lose
11. Johnny Cash - Big River
12. Lonesome Lefty - Texas Blues
13. Locusts Have No King - Anna's Smoke
14. Box Car Guitars - My Love Is Blue
15. Free Boat Rentals - Fourth Thrice
16. Indian Wars - 20,000 Cans
17. Iggy Pop & James Williamson - Lucky Monkeys 
18. Sex Pistols - Did You No Wrong 
19. Radio Birdman - What Gives?
20. Lip Service - Jimmy Brown
21. The True Lovers - Masters Apprentice
22. The Gun Club - Sex Beat 
23. The Gun Club - For The Love of Ivy
24. The Gun Club - Fire Spirit

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 6. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.