Saturday, June 30, 2012

Elvis Costello & The Attractions Trust & Show # 410

Released in 1981, Trust was the fifth full length studio album to be released by Elvis Costello, the fourth with The Attractions and with the exception of one song “Sister’s Big Clothes” was produced by Nick Lowe, it would also be his fifth album as producer with Costello. Trust is known for being a different album in The Attractions catalogue, in the 2003 Rhino Reissue linear notes Costello states that with this record he wanted to “cross the melody of Armed Forces with the rhythm of Get Happy!” The album was also according to Costello his most drug influenced album, the lyrics were a bit darker, deeper and cynical, addressing political issues from the time and as a result the title Trust is intended to mean just the opposite. Musically the album branches out into varying styles, one of the first albums for Costello to do so, while it features many catchy Pop hooks, there are also numerous ballads and other offerings including several songs that were written before the My Aim Is True album was released that help make this album different from the previous four albums that were released by Elvis Costello & The Attractions.

The albums sessions were started initially at DJM Studios in London, as opposed to Eden Studios where they attractions had made the majority of their last three albums. The studio was made for a lighter, dryer sound and after attempting some recordings there, they relocated to Eden Studios to complete the album, which was recorded between October-November of 1980. This album produced an eclectic mix of songs, something Costello would later develop in more detail, but also at the same time display a sense of refinement. Songs such as “Clubland” lyrically displayed a sense of gloomier nature in terms of a political nature, while musically it had the R&B groove of Get Happy! with Jazz elements and the influence of The Police guitar-wise, “Pretty Words” displayed a sense of music from Armed Forces, while lyrically it addressed the UK Prime Ministers enthusiasm for Cold War “posturing” as stated by Costello and “Luxembourg” was a R&B Rockabilly influenced track. Other stand out tracks from this release included “New Lace Sleeves” a strong building ensemble piece, “From A Whisper To A Scream” a New Wave/Pop offering featuring dual vocals between Costello and Glen Tilbook of Squeeze and Martin Belmont of Graham Parker and The Rumour on guitar, “White Knuckles” was influenced by The Pretenders, while “Big Sisters Clothes” the only track not produced by Lowe was based on a bassline from The Clash.

Despite all the surrounding factors, the mood altering drugs, the influences, guest appearances of other musicians, and the diversity and maturity displayed here, Trust did not enter the top 40, something that at the time had not happened for several years. The album would age well, some even it calling it one of Costello’s best from his period with The Attractions. The sounds on this album display a maturing song writer and a style that would continue to be developed especially on his next album with the Attractions Imperial Bedroom. The Linear notes to the 2003 Rhino Reissue of Trust features Costello regaling in a tale when while on tour one of the drummers attempted to pull a “party trick” by cutting the neck tie of one of the bar patrons that did not go smoothly due to drunkenness, that story proves rather fitting when describing this album. Costello cut the proverbial tie of his past and broke out into a developing song writing approach, at the time rather drunkenly, but unlike the attempt at this in the linear notes, Costello pulled it off successfully, making Trust an album that despite the intention of its title, one we could rely on.

The Play List:

1. The Chords – I’m Not Sure
2. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Pretty Words
3. Mystery Jets – Greatest Hits
4. Los Protones - El Verdugo
5. The Past Tense - Wolfman
6. Radio 4 – The Remedy (Live)
7 Golden Calgarians – Party In The Sun
8. Crash 80s – Nowhere To Hide (Live)
9. The Sturgeons – Noise For Youth (Yellow Sea Eel Hunt Demo)
10. Furious Frank – Whiskey Row
11. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Oh Susannah
12. Chang-A-Lang - Japanese Eyes
13. Iggy Pop & James Williamson – I Got Nothin’
14. Elvis Presley – Crawfish
15. Frank Evans & The Topnotchers – Gotta Get Some Money
16. Vince Taylor & His Playboys - Right Behind You Baby
17. The Hives – Without The Money
18. The Reverend Horton Heat - Drinkin' and Smokin' Cigarettes
19. Ty Segall Band – Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart
20. Dee Dee Ramone & Joey Ramone – I Am Seeing UFOs
21. Undertones – Here Comes The Summer
22. Mark Inside - House of Cards
23. The D4 – Outta Blues

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 26. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Diamond Rugs & Show # 409

The Diamond Rugs are made up of John McCauley (guitar/vocals), Ian Saint Pe (guitar/vocals), Hardy Morris (guitar/vocals), Bryan Dufresne (drums), Rob Crowell (bass/sax/keys) and Steve Berlin on horns/keys, they released their first self titled album on April 24th, 2012. Some of you may recognize the names listed above, John McCauley and Rob Crowell both play in the band Deer Tick, Ian Saint Pe is from Black Lips, Hardy Morris is from Dead Confederate, Bryan Dufresne plays in Six Finger Satellite and Steve Berlin plays in Los Lobos, this group of musicians were assembled in what originally started out as a solo project for John McCauley, but it quickly turned into something else that we can now call Diamond Rugs. The band combines elements of the Country Rock flavour we know from Deer Tick, but also a mixes in a drunken swagger of Garage, Punk, Blues and Folk.

The album starts of with the Jangly Garage Blues of “Hightail” a song sung by Ian Saint Pe. The song is sung with a country drawl, while lyrically it addresses a girl fleeing town. “Gimme A Beer” follows this track, being perhaps one the best tracks found here, the song loosely warbles along like a drunken walk home in the dark. Sung by McCauley, the song is the perfect blend of Country and Garage Rock, while horn sections jump in and out adding a Soulful element, lead guitar lines bleed in as the song combines the drunken swagger of The Black Lips and Deer Tick. Like many of the songs on this album they don’t require definition, they are just good songs by a good group of musicians, the song addresses a lot of things such as wanting a dog that pisses on your neighbours fence, but in the end its all thrown out of logic with the lines gimme a beer which come into fruition in the choruses.

“Big God” comes up next, a heavy track with guitar tones that sound like they could be from 70’s Punk album, the drums and bass drive the song with its drunken rhythm as the chorus pulses with its melodic and bittersweet lyrics “It hurts to watch what you love so much” sung by McCauley. “Out On My Own” is a powerful Soulful number that builds with 60s Garage and Country melodies with smooth guitar fills and dominant organ. “Country Mile” is placed in the middle of this album a song written and sung by Hardy Morris, the song is a strange blend of super heavy Psychedelic fuzzy riffs and strong melodic Country tinged choruses that sound straight of a Hank Williams album. Apparently added at the end of the recording sessions this song is a definitive song on this album as it combines styles so uniquely and effortlessly, it’s captivating.

Other highlights include the song “Totally Lonely” a very slow, yet low key track. The song sounds like an old phonograph record in the distance, it is a deliberately placed track on the album, one that adds to its dimensionality, being and the more retro melodic end of things. “Blue Mountains” is a laid back Garage/Country song sung by Ian Saint Pe, “Tell Me Why” is an upbeat song that combines heavier elements from Deer Tick’s Divine Providence and mixes in Soulful horns. The album ends with the dysfunctional Christmas ballad “Christmas In A Chinese Restaurant”, a song that first appeared in November of 2011.

Recorded in just about ten days, the album does not need the label that most critics tag onto this group, that of an Indie Rock super group or as some are calling them a Punk Drunk super group, the music stands out on its own. Critics have tried to look closely into the lyrics which are often label as dealing with sexual frustrations, but none of that really matters, the album isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The lyrics to “Gimme A Beer” best illustrate this, while there are many topics and elements of this album that could be dissected and analyzed it is not necessary, who cares gimme a beer, Diamond Rugs is just a good album that can be played over and over.

This Week's Play List:

1. Danny Ray - Revolution Rock
2. Scotty – Draw Your Brakes
3. Specials – Too Much Too Young
4. The Damn Choir – Virginia
5. Leland Sundries – Roller Derby Queen
6. White Fence – Long White Curtain
7. Light Bulb Alley – Eye In The Sky
8. Heavy Cream – ‘79
9. Carbonas – Journey To The End
10. Flesh Columns – Time’s Up
11. Active Dog - Rat Race
12. Red Squares – Ottawa Today
13. The Teardrops – Leave Me No Choice
14. This Machine Kills Robots – Salty Wave
15. The Bell Peppers – Tourettes
16. Stoves – Rollercoaster (Live)
17. Deja Voodoo – Stuff And Things
18. The Specials - Ghost Town (Extended Version)
19. 13th Floor Elevators – Thru The Rhythm
20. Neon Boys – (That’s All I Know) Right Now
21. Cold Warps - Let's Just Have Fun
22. Guided By Voices – Class Clown Spots A UFO
23. Diamond Rugs - Out On My Own
24. Diamond Rugs - Big God
25. Diamond Rugs – Gimme A Beer

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 19. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This Is PiL & Show # 408

While most people identify with John Lydon when he was a Sex Pistol and known as Johnny Rotten, he formed Public Image Limited after the implosion of Sex Pistols in 1978. There have been numerous Sex Pistols reunion shows since 1996, but his other band also intrigued audiences and there was always a possibility of a reunion. That happened in 2009, when Public Image Limited reformed for several live performances. The reformed group featured Lu Edmonds on guitar, Scott Firth on bass, Bruce Smith on drums and of course John Lydon on vocals. Edmonds and Smith had been in a later incarnation of PiL in the 80s, and Edmunds has been involved in numerous UK groups including The Damned, The Mekons and more, he is known as a Folk and Rock musician. Public Image Limited’s last full length album was released in 1992, an album titled This Is What Not. In November of 2011, PiL announced that they were working on a new album. The band travelled to Steve Winwood’s studio in Cotswolds in the UK, a secluded farm/studio landscape and began recording material for what was to become This Is PiL, Public Image Limited’s first full length studio album in twenty years. The band first released an EP, the One Drop EP for 2012 Record Store Day. In May of 2012, This Is PiL was released.

So what’s the difference between this album and other PiL albums? The album features the embodiment of what PiL initially stood for their Post Punk sound that was extremely influential, they were one of the first bands to be identified as Post Punk, in the late 70s following the release of their First Issue album. Their sound featured elements of Dub, Folk, what some people now call Noise Rock and other genres, all of which you can find on this album. The album has many strong points most notably the lead off single “One Drop” a song with a slow Reggae/Dub experimental groove that lyrically identifies with the youth of today, while at the same time Lydon reflects on his time as a youth in England. Other standout tracks include the title track “This Is PiL”, a song that features a predominant Folk like guitar rhythm mixed in amongst heavy Dub like bass, “Deeper Water” is a song that was done in one take, but one in which as John stated for Rolling Stone in May of 2012 is a song about “about bad influences, bad information, bad leadership”.

The album also features many experimental moments such as “The Room I Am In” and “Lollipop Opera” a song which is a Dance music track with Folk and Post Punk guitar stabs reminiscent of John McGeoch, a guitarist that was a later member of PiL as well as being in Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The albums artwork was done by John Lydon himself, it is a painting that he created for the cover that adheres to a complete DIY ethic and coincides with the albums release, which was NOT on a major label, but on Johns own PiL Official label. When released in May 2012, the album went to number 35 on the UK album charts. Overall This Is PiL is an album that has all the good qualities of previous Public Image Limited albums, but one that also features what many reviews are calling a “stylistic evolution”. This Is PiL has been called their best album in years, and it truly is. It has been twenty years, but the new Public Image Limited sound rejuvenated and fresh.

This week's play list:

1. The Aces – Why Should It Be Mine
2. Spits – Wait
3. Songs For Snakes – F.E.A.R.
4. Blonds – Run
5. The Schomberg Fair – Touched By Fire
6. Indian Wars – Tom Dula
7. The Cynics – I Need More
8. Captain Higgins – AM Radio
9. Skip Jensen – Done Tried
10. The Sinners – No Brain Required
11. Gentlemen of Horror – Overhead Projector
12. Animal Kingdom – Tension
13. Japandroids – For The Love of Ivy
14. Joey Ramone – Rock N’ Roll Is The Answer
15. Luger Boa – What Is Real?
16. Only Ones – The Happy Pilgrim
17. Public Image Limited – This Is PIL
18. Gang of Four – What We All Want (Live)
19. Crystal Swells - Kelly Bayside
20. Holograms – ABC City
21. Jaill - I'm Home
22. Modern Lovers – Government Center
23. The Black Lips – Sick Of You
24. The Black Lips – Dance With You

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 12. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Canadian Garage & X-Ray Crocodiles … Show # 407

Change of pace this week my blog will be featuring three music videos, the first from Mark Sultan.

Mark Sultan is a Canadian musician from Montreal, Quebec. He has been associated with many Garage Rock groups such as Spaceshits, Les Sexereenos and has been involved with numerous other bands. He is perhaps known more for his work with King Khan & BBQ Show (Sultan going under the pseudonym BBQ), but he has also been releasing music under Mark Sultan for quite some time. Playing as a one man band covering guitar, vocals and drums, Mark Sultan has released The Sultanic Verses in 2007, $ was released in 2010, and in 2011 he released two albums at once Whatever I Want and Whenever I want. Most recently Sultan has released a live album entitled War On Rock 'n' Roll, which is a live album that was recorded in one night in September of 2011. The video below is from a show he did in Philadelphia a few years ago.

X-Ray Spex were an English female fronted Punk Rock group. The video here is for the song "Identity" a song that comes from their Germ Free Adolescents album that was released originally in 1978 via EMI. The song features their classic Punk/Post-Punk sound with a horn section along with Poly Styrene's erratic vocal style. The Germ Free Adolescents album featured many Anti-Commercialism based lyrics, but the song "Identity" was a song that was about exposing realities in a different way, the song is partially based on Poly witnessing a girl slash her wrists in a club bathroom. This is a rare music video made for the song for promotional purposes. Poly Styrene passed away in 2011.

Crocodiles are a San Diego based band that have just released their third album Endless Flowers. This Noise Rock band has been compared to bands such a Jesus And Mary Chain, Spacemen 3 and Echo & The Bunnymen sound-wise, but they originally had their beginnings in other bands. The main members of this group Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell formed Crocodiles after their pervious two bands Some Girls and The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower split up. The band was initially a two piece band and now has become a five piece band featuring previous members of Blank Dogs and of the Punk Rock band The Slits. Endless Flowers continues the bands visualistic imagery based on love, life and death and features a more fleshed out sound with its noisy guitar sounds that waver in and out of organ riffs, drums and steady bass lines.

The Play List

1. Transistors – Abandoned
2. The Hunches – Lisa Told Me
3. Sleater-Kinney – Combat Rock
4. Kestrels – Decoder
5. The Pygmies - Don't Care About You
6. Mark Sultan – Song In Grey
7. Hooded Fang – Love Song
8. The Sonics – Like No Other Man
9. The Imperials – Flash And Crash
10. The Polymorphines – The Clean And The Dirty
11. Deer Tick – The Bump
12. The Fan Club – Going Mental
13. The Diodes – Polaroid?
14. X-Ray Spex – Identity
15. Erase Errata – Tongue Tied
16. Mode Monderne –Strange Bruises
17. David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging
18. Crocodiles – Sunday (Psychic Conversation # 9)
19. The Passengers – Face With No Name
20. The Hitmen – Didn’t Tell The Man
21. Brazilian Money - Can't Live In A Vacuum
22. Young Canadians – Well, Well, Well
23. Alternative TV – Action Time Vision
24. The Victims – Television Addict
25. The Hives – These Spectacles Reveal The Nostalgics

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 5. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.