Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Famines Interview & Show # 683

The Famines formed in 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta as a two-piece band featuring singer/guitarist Raymond Biesinger and drummer Garrett Kruger. The band employs a minimalist approach to their music which draws on fuzzy garage sounds and 70s protopunk, and have described themselves as being “an art cult noise garage duo”. Now based out of Montreal and featuring drummer Drew Demers, who joined the band in 2014, The Famines released several seven inch singles via the Mammoth Cave Recording Co. and a variety of other labels from 2008-2011.  The singles were eventually collected on a full-length LP as The Complete Collected Singles: 2008-2011. A cassette was released in 2008 titled 14 July 2008, which captured the band in their first live performance. The cassette was released with a companion booklet that was 268 pages. All of the band’s artwork has been designed by Raymond Biesinger, who in addition to being in The Famines is an accomplished illustrator.

In 2014, The Famines recorded a full-length album that was to be released on Mammoth Cave Recording Co., but that label which started in 2009, announced they would cease operations as a label in February of 2015. Instead of leaving their album’s pending release in limbo, The Famines came up with the concept of a “paper LP”. They tested out this concept with a “paper single”, 2015’s “Stay Home Club/Who Wants Disarmament”. The idea was relatively simple, the release would be a digital download coupled with a large 20X30 newsprint poster. They applied this concept to what would become the full-length album Too Cool & Other Songs, which was released July 2015. It was also released on their own label Pentagon Black.

Too Cool & Other Songs marked the band’s full-length album return after four years, it was also the first release that featured artwork that was in colour and not in black and white, as all previous Famines related releases had been. The artwork also features images on the cover that correspond with lyrics that are found on this nine-track album. Recorded at Drones Club in Montreal by Christian Simmons, Too Cool & Other songs captures the band in a new re-energized state. The album starts off with driving drumbeats and moments of feedback before launching into a fuzzy riff driven tale inspired by the fashion industry. With lyrics such as “Put on your dark glasses so you can’t see shit”, “You got a capsule collection of tanks, tubes and tops/supernatural selection via pricey shops” and a chorus of “Too cool/Too cool/Under fashion rule/The way the world’s going/Too cool to live”, this song contrasts warlike imagery describing the battle of being involved with this industry, while at the same time contrasting it with the contradictions and problems found within it. This viewpoint could also be applied to other mediums such as the music industry, or to someone who views themselves as being really cool or hip by mainstream standards. “Hail To The Taxman” picks up the pace and intensity, as “Attack Machine Blues”, described as a dismal hop in the album’s liner notes, lyrically rallies for finding your own voice amongst values that are forced upon citizens in our everyday environment that come from political forces. “Five Ways” is even more frenetic while “Who’s Next?” brings the pace down a bit and drifts into Kraut-rock territory.

“Fast Times” fades in with a guitar riff sounding like a radio distress signal that gets louder as the drums shuffle towards the first verse of the song. This track takes a critical look of our modern culture dominated by the immediacy of the Internet. With lyrics such as “Dear the internet/Look what you’re doing to us/Making things so fast we cannot keep up” and “That feeling of inadequacy is spread around so well it can kill I can tell” and lines such as “Not check my email 700 times a day”, this song illustrates the quickness of technology and how we lose something in the process. “Zero Sum” is a hard hitting track with lyrics such as “If you want one thing/You cannot have another” that contrasts the theory of the zero sum game to life choices such as loans and being a home owner, while “I’ll Save My Sympathy” attacks in a barrage of drum fills and deep cutting guitar riffs in which Biesinger proposes saving his sympathies for someone worthwhile as opposed to someone who isn’t. With words such as “I’ve got plenty of tears/But I have none to lose” and “I’ve got plenty of tears/But where they go I choose”, this song bites and cuts deep into the listener’s subconscious with an undeniable conviction. The album ends with the six minute and twelve second epic, fiery song “The Rumour Mill (Has A Name and Face)”, which has been The Famines live set ender for many years.

In the liner notes found on the artwork it states: “Listen, enjoy, reflect and seldom stop.” This could take on many meanings not just in the context of The Famines, but in general. With Too Cool & Other Songs, The Famines question what surrounds them as the lyrics are expressed in vivid and engaging ways, finding space amongst the musical chaos that surrounds them.

Since the release of Too Cool & Other Songs, The Famines label, Pentagon Black has released three paper LP compilations. Pentagon Black No. 1 & 2, which compiles previously unreleased studio recordings by bands across Canada, were released in 2016 and 2017. Compilation No. 3 followed in June 2017, which was a compilation of rough sounding live recordings made by smart phones of bands from Canada. It was released on a postcard. An album was also released by the Montreal band Priors, featuring Famines drummer Drew Demers in March 2017.

For more info on Pentagon Black and The Famines, visit

Check out my interview with Raymond and Drew of The Famines here:

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. !Action Pact! - Times Must Change
2. Chain & The Gang - What Is A Dollar?
3. LCD Soundsystem - Change Yr Mind
4. Laura Sauvage - You're Ugly When Cry
5. The Courtneys - Mars Attacks
6. The Bad Signs - Love Lock
7. Thee Rum Coves - Tell Me Something I Don't Know
8. Les Wild Ones - Mon Amour
9. Simply Saucer - Bullet Proof Nothing (CJSW Session)
10. No Aloha - Sway (CJSW Session)
11. Psychic Void - Morning Anxiety (2017 Demo)
12. Cellos - Bury Me On Highway 3
13. The Famines - Attack Machine Blues
14. The Famines - Free Love Is A Sales Technique


15. The Famines - The State of Music
16. Lee Ranaldo - New Thing
17. Gord Downie - Wolf's Home
18. Bonny Doon - Relieved
19. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Fish N Chips Paper
20. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Why Don't You Live Me (Like You Used To Do)
21. Nick Lowe - Cracking Up
22. Leonard Cohen - My Oh My
23. Howlin' Wolf - Moanin' At Midnight
24. Lou Reed - The Last Shot

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 18.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fred Cole, George Young, Fats Domino & Shows # 680, 681, 682

We lost the following three musicians recently. All are different in their own way and left their imprint on rock music in different forms. Each of the three episodes of Revolution Rock included in this post features music from these artists in some way. They can be downloaded in the link after the playlists at the end of this post.

Fred Cole (Lollipop Shoppe, Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows):

Fred Cole was born in Tacoma, Washington, but lived in Las Vegas, Nevada while growing up. He began his career in music at a very young age playing with a band in Vegas called The Lords. They released a single in 1964, before Deep Soul Cole, his next band, released a single in 1965. The Weeds, formed in 1966. The band attempted to drive to the Canadian border in order to avoid the draft, but didn’t make it that far. Rumoured to run out of funds and or gas, the band found themselves in Portland, Oregon. It was here where the band gained a following and after signing to Uni Records, changed their name to The Lollipop Shoppe. The band recorded one album, Just Color and released their now well-known 1968 single, “You Must Be A Witch”. It was also here, where Cole met his future wife and band mate, Kathleen “Toody” Connor. After the Lollipop Shoppe disbanded in 1969, and The Weeds released one more single in 1971, Cole and his wife headed for Alaska to raise their children.

Cole re-emerged to form the hard rock band Zipper, who released an album on his and Toody’s label Whizeagle in 1975. Cole then formed and released music by a variety of other bands such as King Bee, The Rats, the country band Western Front, The Range Rats and Dead Moon. It was with the band Dead Moon, in which Toody played bass and Andrew Loomis played drums that Cole’s music would gain a devout cult following. Known as a garage punk band, Dead moon blended elements of garage, punk and country into their stripped down sound. They released ten full-length albums, not counting singles, live albums and compilations and lasted from 1987-2006. Many of the band’s early recordings were engineered and released on Fred and Toody’s own label, Tombstone Records. Their early recordings were mastered by Cole himself on a mono lathe that was originally used to cut The Kingsmen’s “Louie, Louie” in 1963.

Cole and Toody then formed The Pierced Arrows with Kelly Haliburton on drums and released two albums in 2008 and 2010. Recently, Cole and Toody had been performing acoustically. Fred Cole passed away at the age of 69 in November 2017 due to cancer. The music that he created spanned decades, and while it wasn’t a mainstream success, it is beloved amongst underground music communities in the US and Europe. When Dead Moon split up in 2006, Cole provided this quote which emphasizes the effect his music had on underground, DIY music communities and in general: "It's been a journey we will always treasure and feel that a worldwide family has emerged in its place".

George Young (Australian Easybeat, producer and songwriter):

At the end of October of this year, George Young passed away. An important figure in the Australian music history, George’s journey into the music world began in 1963 when he met future band mate and collaborator Harry Vanda at the VIllawood Migrant Hostel in Sydney, Australia. Young’s family, just relocated from Glasgow, Scotland at the time. George Young and Harry Vanda would be part of the Australian garage rock band, The Easybeats, who were Australia’s answer to The Beatles. Along with Stevie Wright (vocals), Dick Diamonde (bass) and Snowy Fleet (drums), the band had singles like “She’s So Fine”, “Sorry” and “Friday On My Mind” were charting hits in Australia, while “Friday On My Mind” was a hit in the US as well. Along with the Bee Gees, The Easybeats were among the first Australian artists to have international success. They split in 1969, Young and Vanda would then enter the production world writing songs for other musicians and taking on more of a producing role in music.

George Young and Harry Vanda relocated to London, England shortly after this and in addition to producing and writing songs for others and bands including themselves, they also produced music for George Alexander. His real name was Alexander Young, George Young's eldest brother, and when the Young family relocated to Australia in 1963, Alex stayed in London to pursue music. Signed to The Beatles, Apple Music Publishing Inc. label, Alexander was in the psychedelic rock band Grapefruit. They released two albums and some singles. After Grapefruit had broken up, Alexander joined Vanda/Young and collaborated on a series of releases under different band names and on one final Grapefruit single in 1971 titled “Universal Party/Sha Sha”. George and Harry returned to Australia in 1973 and formed Flash And The Pan in 1976, a synthpop band who had their share of hits from the mid 70s to the 90s.

In addition to their own musical efforts and in the production role, Young also had a big role in a band that featured his two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm Young. The two would be a part of the band AC/DC and their first five albums were produced by George Young and Harry Vanda. It was George Young’s suggestion to have Bon Scott join the group as their singer, after Dave Evans exited the group. Scott’s previous band The Valentines had released some singles in the 60s that were written by Vanda/Young. In addition to this, George played bass on some of their early recordings and even filled in on bass for live gigs for the band in their early days. George Young retired from the music industry in the 90s, but would produced AC/DC’s 2000 album, Stiff Upper Lip on his own. George Young often refused interviews later in his life, but the imprint he left on music is vast. He helped shape and change Australian music and let the music do the talking.

Fats Domino (New Orleans Rock and Roll Music Pioneer and Icon):

Fats Domino was born Antoine Dominique Domino Jr in 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was one of the pioneering musicians in rock and roll music and has sold over 65 million records. By the age of 14, Domino was performing in bars in New Orleans. In 1947, he was invited to a backyard barbecue by New Orleans bandleader Billy Diamond. Domino was then asked to join his band, The Solid Senders where he was said to have earned $3 a week to play piano with them. He also earned the nickname “Fats” by Diamond because Domino reminded him of pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon. He was signed to Imperial Records in 1949 where instead of being paid a for each song he recorded, he would be paid in royalties based on sales for the songs he recorded. Joining up with producer and co-songwriter Dave Bartholomew, they wrote the song “Fat Man” which was based on a version of the song “Junker Blues”. The song featured Domino’s unique, rolling piano style, combined with his vocals over a strong backbeat. The result was what is widely considered the first successful rock and roll single. It sold a million copies.

What followed next was a string of successful singles, often both the A-side and B-side would chart. In 1955, “Ain’t That A Shame” became his first crossover pop hit, it charted on the Billboard pop singles charts. His biggest hit proved to be “Blueberry Hill”, a song written in the 1940s by Vincent Rose, Larry Stock and Al Lewis. It reached number two on top 40 Billboard charts where it stayed for two weeks and number one on the R&B singles charts where it stayed for eight weeks. Some of his other well-known songs include “I’m Walkin’”, “Blue Monday” and “Walking To New Orleans”. Fats hit streak came to an end in 1964 as the British Invasion took over. Domino continued to record until the 1970s. He left his record label in 1963 for ABC-Paramount Records. Imperial Records was sold in 1963 to Liberty Records. Fats famously said in a 1979 interview that “I stuck with them until they sold out”. 40 of the songs that he recorded for Imperial charted in the top 10 of the R&B charts of the day and 11 of them cracked the top ten in the pop charts. Fats continued to tour until 1995. He would intermittently make appearances in the time after this, but rarely ventured out to perform in public. His last public appearance was on May 19th, 2007 in New Orleans. The concert was filmed and played on TV as Fats Domino: Walkin’ Back To New Orleans. A documentary entitled Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll premiered on PBS in 2016.

Fats Domino was an icon and pioneer in rock and roll music alongside others, such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard. He sold more records than any other 50s era rock musician, with the exception of Elvis Presley and his music contained an undeniable rhythm and groove. Dr. John had this to say of Fats Domino back in 2010 for Rolling Stone Magazine: “Anytime anybody plays a slow blues, the piano player will eventually get to something like Fats. I can't tell you the number of times I played sessions and was asked specifically to do Fats. That innocence is there in his music. He's a good man, and people respond to that goodness. I don't think it was about anything other than the tradition of working the house and what felt good to Fats."

Show 682 Playlist (Originally Aired On November 11th, 2017):

1. Lollipop Shoppe - It's Only A Reflection
2. Lollipop Shoppe - You Must Be A Witch
3. Dead Moon - I Hate The Blues
4. Pierced Arrows - Caroline
5. The Easybeats - She's So Fine
6. The Easybeats - No One Knows (Outtake)
7. Flash And The Pan - Welcome To The Universe
8. Thee Rum Coves - Behind Your Smile
9. Deja Voodoo - Lonesome Train (Live at The Backstage Club)
10. Tough Age - Me In Glue
11. Beef Boys - Drink=
12. Lost Durangos - Evil Town
13. Modernettes - I Can Only Give You Everything
14. Safe Word - You & Me
15. The Replacements - Red Red Wine
16. The Replacements - Alex Chilton (Alternate Version)
17. The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait (Alternate Version)
18. Fergus & Geronimo - No Parties
19. Parquet Courts - Tears O'Plenty
20. Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts - Soul and Cigarette
21. A.Savage - Phantom Limbo
22. Tea Leaves - Selfish
23. Rusty - Warm House (Demo)
24. Flip City - Exiles Road (1974 Demo)
25. Aron D'Alesio - Answer To A Question
26. The Stoves - Can't Slow Down
27. Chad VanGaalen - Pine And Clover

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 11.

Show 681 Playlist (Originally Aired On November 4th, 2017):

1. Deer Tick - Card House
2. Deer Tick - Look How Clean I Am
3. The Radiation Flowers - Sunrise
4. Rolling Blackouts C.F. - Wither With You
5. Andreas - November Gales
6. The Replacements - I'll Buy
7. The Replacements - Left of The Dial
8. The Replacements - Kiss Me On The Bus (Demo)
9. JD McPherson - Undivided Heart & Soul
10. Motorhead - Jumpin' Jack Flash
11. The Outcasts - Love You Never
12. Menace - Screwed Up
13. Alternative TV - Life
14. The Famines - Fast Times
15. Coufleur Dessin - The Bad Thing
16. Destroyer - Tinseltown Swimming In Blood
17. Wolf Parade - You're Dreaming
18. Prime Junk - Dreams
19. Snake River - Dear Franklin Gabriel McCrebee
20. Neil Young - Human Highway
21. Paul the Tailor - She Said
22. The's - Highschool Witch
23. The Black Lips - Time of the Scab
24. The Scientists - Nitro
25. Violent Femmes - Gimme the Car
26. The Replacements - Waitress in the Sky

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 4.

Show 680 Playlist (Originally Aired On October 28th, 2017):

1. The Tragically Hip - Blow At High Dough
2. Gord Downie & The Sadies - Budget Shoes
3. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Silver & Gold
4. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - I Live My Life
5. Fats Domino - Ain't That A Shame
6. Fats Domino - Don't Blame It On Me
7. Fats Domino - Before I Grow Too Old
8. Screamin' Jay Hawkins - You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To)
9. Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkey Birds - Spider Baby
10. Dead Moon - Fire In The Western World
11. Mark Sultan - Let Me Out
12. Flat Duo Jets - I'm Sorry
13. The D4 - Evil Heart
14. Ornament & Crime - Academy of Birds
15. Ray Dafrico/Cait O'Riordan - Rejected
16. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Pressure
17. Cub - The Day I Said Goodbye
18. The Potatomen - The Beautiful & The Damned
19. The Courtneys - Virgo
20. The Courtneys - 25
21. Depruse - Caught Off Guard
22. Kim Gray - 90's Baby
23. Tough Age - Ghost
24. By Divine Right - Soul Shakedown Party
25. U-Men - Trouble Under Water
26. Ty Segall - Big Man
27. Revo - Too Much Paranoias (Live At The Press Club)
28. The Ride Theory - The Piper
29. Ricked Wicky - I'll Let You In

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 28.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

CJAM FM 2017 Pledge Drive & Show # 679

Every year CJAM FM holds an annual pledge drive that runs for one week. Being a non-profit based campus/community radio station, CJAM relies on donations and support from the community to help make up 30% of their annual budget. It has been on the FM dial since 1983, and this website that you are currently visiting is for a radio program entitled Revolution Rock, that has been airing on the station since June of 2004. This year the station’s goal is to raise $30,000 to help update their website and general things in the studios we have there. In addition to upgrading the website and the online stream, there are plans to integrate the website site with a new app to make it easier for people to listen to the station on their mobile devices. CJAM has a large online listenership, in addition to the people that listen throughout the Windsor/Detroit areas at 99.1 FM on the FM dial. You can stream the station live anytime online and download program archives from any program that airs on the station, but as we move further into the digital age, there is a need for upgrades and improvements.

CJAM celebrates the alternative to the mainstream. In terms of music and spoken word content, there are things that are heard on stations like CJAM FM that you just won’t hear anywhere else. Revolution Rock in particular digs deep into the musical past often pulling up some very obscure gems that you may not know have existed, but it also blends that element of musicality with new music as well. This program provides a weekly mix of music from the garage rock, 70s punk/new wave, surf, alternative and indie genres. Whether you listen online via downloads/streams or on 99.1 FM in Windsor/Detroit, CJAM FM is a great station to listen to and to support.

If you would like to show your support for CJAM FM you can donate, here are the ways. We also offer incentives as a thank you for your support.

Any amount – CJAM sticker
$10-20 – music prize pack (CDs/vinyl)
$20 – vintage CJAM Pledge Drive t-shirt
$50 – CJAM 2017 Pledge Drive t-shirt
$100 – CJAM prize pack (including 2017 t-shirt and gift certificates)

Individuals looking to donate can call in during Pledge Drive week at 519-971-3630 (Windsor) // 1-855-344-2526 (toll free from Detroit and around the world). Donations are also accepted via a secure online at or through my individual page for the pledge drive at

2017 Pledge Drive Playlist:

1. Protomartyr - A Private Understanding
2. Cawama - Belladonna
3. Beliefs - Swamp Core
4. Chad VanGaalen - Mind Hijackers Curse
5. Chad VanGaalen - Freedom For A Policeman
6. Julie & the Wrong Guys - I Wanted What You Wanted
7. Wolf Parade - Who Are Ya
8. Ariel Pink - Dedicated To Bobby Jameson
9. The Cramps - Five Years Ahead of My Time (Demo)
10. Tanz Der Youth - Mistaken (1978 Peel Session)
11. Dee Dee Ramone & The Chines Dragons - Ace of Spades (Feat. Lemmy)(1992 Demo)
12. Mudhoney - Sonic Infusion
13. Mick Futures - Cold Emotions
14. Danny & The Darleans - Don't Get into The Car
15. Reigning Sound - Is It True?
16. Oblivians - Come A Little Closer

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 21.

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.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Dion Lunadon Interview & Show # 665

For the past seven years, Dion Lunadon has been playing bass in New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers. Prior to exploring the noisy world of A Place To Bury Strangers, Dion played in numerous bands. The D4 are now known as garage legends from New Zealand and were part of the garage revival of the late 90s/early 2000’s. Dion played guitar in this band and would take lead vocals on several tracks at times, trading off with Jimmy Christmas, The D4’s other singer/guitarist. Following the end of this band, Dion relocated to New York, where he started a new group, The True Lovers. This band adopted a more soulful approach, but after about a year and one album they ended too. Beneath the noisy waves and bass grooves in A Place To Bury Strangers, something was rising to the surface. For Dion and was a raw, unbridled blast of songwriting. During a recording/touring break with A Place To Bury Strangers, Dion wrote fifty new songs and from this list he culled eleven tracks (twelve if you count the B-side to 2016’s Com/Broke single) to create what would become his first self-titled and debut album. The songs that make up Dion Lunadon are filled with a certain raw, visceral aesthetic.

Released on the Agitated Records label, the first track on this release is a fuzzy and a distorted exploration in sound, something that is present throughout this release in various forms. “Insurance, Rent and Taxes” is less than a minute and a half, but establishes a noisy beginning to the album reflecting an uncompromising attack. “Reduction Agent” is a stop and start song with a blend of garage and punk influences. With lyrics such as “Much too young to get any older/drop the microphone cry on your shoulder” and a chorus that echoes the words “Feel the pain”, this song displays a sense of determination and fearlessness. “Fire” burns with intensity as drums, dizzying organ and fuzz-driven bass bring us into the song. The guitar leads simmer with a wild intensity as lyrically the song brings forth smoky, vivid metaphors with words such as “You fill it smoke/Behind it you hide/I can’t ever see the whites of your eyes” and other lines like “It sounds like the truth but you know it’s a lie”.

“Com/Broke” was first released as a single back in 2016 on Infinity Cat Recordings. The song features guitar with walls of feedback and intense basslines that suck the listener in. “Com/Broke” musically combines a mix of 70s punk and bands such as Toy Love, Supercar, Gestalt and The Gun Club. When originally released as a 7 inch single, Lunadon described the song as “being anti- what’s expected of someone entering their mid-life. Most people mellow out, but I don’t want that. I want to create music that is even more ugly and more real.” This song is one of the many that stand out on this release. “Hanging By A Thread” is for the most part an instrumental post-punk/industrial influenced track and serves as a good interlude to the chaos that preceded it. “Eliminator” a noisy garage track, seeming to draw on a frustration with lyrics such as “I got a little howl in my heart”. It leads into the next track on this album, “Howl”. This song was the first song written for this album and this spunky song draws on a galloping/danceable drum rhythm, organ, chugging guitars and well, howling screams. Lunadon told Consequence of Sound earlier this year that “Howl” is about finding and being able to freely use my voice literally and creatively”.

Two shorter tracks follow before the album’s final track. “Ripper” is a song drawing on frantic Chuck Berry rhythms and harmonica coming off with an almost early Replacements feel and “White Fence”, which cuts into an angular post-punk/punk direction. Fittingly, the final and eleventh track on Dion Lunadon is a song called “No Control”. The song builds with a slow and hollow sounding bassline as psychedelic guitars and echo-laden vocals swarm the listener’s subconscious. The song ends with a swirling of guitar, vocals with effects, the same penetrating bassline and the haunting lyrics “Never fall in love again/No Control”. With this release, Dion Lunadon explores a noisy world encompassing a variety of influences drawing on punk, garage, psychedelic, post-punk and others while lyrically it taps into urban life and the frustrations and determinations that come along with it. Dion Lunadon is an album that was created within a certain moment in time and it is something that not only grabs, but demands your attention.

Check out my interview with Dion Lunadon here:

The Playlist:

1. The Fads - Dead End Town
2. The Haunted - 1-2-5
3. Painted Ship - Frustration
4. The Ape-ettes - Bless This Mess
5. TOPS - Dayglow Bimbo
6. The Thin Cherries - Dorian Gray
7. The Rainy Days - Uh-Huh!
8. Nothing At All - Get Some
9. Dion Lunadon - Reduction Agent


10. The D4 - Ladies Man
11. The True Lovers - Obsession
12. A Place To Bury Strangers - Straight
13. Dion Lunadon - Howl
14. Teengenerate - Dressed In Black
15. Guitar Wolf - Can Nana Fever
16. Toy Love - Squeeze
17. Teenanger - Dawn
18. The Modernettes - Confidential
19. Dead Ghosts - Girl Across The Street
20. Young Rival - Black Popcorn
21. Betrayers - Hand O' Glory
22. Kevin Morby - 1234
23. The Adverts - One Chord Wonders
24. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - O'Anvil
25. Paul The Tailor - Gold
26. The Cramps - The Way I Walk
27. The Gories - Let Your Daddy Ride

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 8.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

The Diodes John Catto Interview, Canada Day Special & Show # 664

The Diodes formed in Toronto in 1976 and were part of the burgeoning Toronto punk music scene. Before this there wasn’t really a scene there. Inspired by UK bands such as The Clash and US bands such as Ramones, The Diodes blended these influences with a touch of 60s British Invasion sounds and power pop for a sound that was completely their own. The Diodes featured Paul Robinson (vocals), John Catto (guitar), Ian Mackay (bass) and John Hamilton (drums/keyboards). Along with manager Ralph Alfonso, The Diodes opened Canada’s first punk club called the Crash ‘n’ Burn. Many bands within the scene and outside the scene played and hung out there. The Nerves (from LA) along with The Diodes were the first to play the Crash ‘n’ Burn when it opened its doors. Despite now being seen as an iconic venue within Toronto’s music history, it closed in the summer of 1977. Following the demise of the short lived punk club Crash n’ Burn, The Diodes were signed to CBS Records Canada, being the first Canadian punk band to be on a major label.

The Diodes first single “Red Rubber Ball” was a punked up version of the 1966 hit single by The Cyrkle, a song that was co-written by Paul Simon. According to vocalist Paul Robinson, they decided to cover this song after hearing Simon slag punk/new wave music. The Diodes took this love song about looking into the bright future full of a new potential after a break up and gave it a twist musically. In the context of 1977 when it was released, The Diodes first single symbolized something new while not forgetting the past. This was also the first track on their 1977 self-titled release.

Released in October of 1977, The Diodes was recorded in about a week and produced by Bob Gallo, who had previously worked with ? And The Mysterians, The Rascals, Solomon Burke and Ben E. King in the 60s. The sound of the record is immediate and to the point. The band’s power pop sounds seep through their US/UK punk and 60s influences. “Child Star” is a song with rolling drum fills, synthesizers and Ramones influenced power chords. The song is based on the true story of Anissa Jones, who a character named Buffy on the TV show, Family Affair. She died of a fatal drug overdose at the age of 18. “Tennis (Again)” with its back and forth guitar riffs and melodic basslines features lyrics wrapped around a metaphor telling of a doomed/fleeting relationship. “Blonde Fever” plays on the stereotype of blondes having more fun in between stop and start guitar riffs, “Plastic Girls” with lyrics such as ”Plastic girls are so pathetic/Plastic girls with that new aesthetic” is a satirical look at the plastic or “fake” person who tries to be something they’re not. The song can also be seen as a reflection of the mainstream vs. the underground punk/new wave music scenes happening at the time.

“Death In The Suburbs” attacks with a cinematic paranoia lyrically, “Behind Those Eyes” features an almost mod-punk aesthetic musically and lyrics such as “While smiling like a crocodile/Avalanching style/But behind those eyes/Who is watching/What is waiting” which seems to emphasize an eerie determination. The song tells the story of a character that is different than what people think on a surface level. This is something that could be reflecting the outside view that others had of the people involved in the punk music scene at the time, but is also still relevant today in many different contexts. “Midnight Movie Star” addresses late night TV cult movie stars contrasted against more “studio music and lots of tricks”. With ringing guitar leads, creeping synthesizers, sliding guitar and basslines, the song addresses an underground lifestyle and aesthetic. “Shapes of Things To Come” is another cover song found on this album, but like “Red Rubber Ball” it is rearranged in The Diodes own style. The song itself comes from the 1966 counter culture exploitation film, Wild In The Streets. In the movie a fictional band was created called Max Frost & The Troopers, a full-length album was even released featuring members of the 60s surf instrumental band Davie Allan & The Arrows. The song like “Red Rubber Ball”, takes on a different meaning when executed by The Diodes here. The song deals with the future and how it is going to happen regardless of the other factors surrounding it.

“Time Damage” is a more heavy hitting song with strong harmonies and aggressive guitar sounds. I imagine that this song if it were being played live would end in waves of feedback. This is the feeling you get at the end of this album. It was recorded live off the floor and really has the effect of a live show. There is a certain energy in the early recordings found on this album. The Diodes were popular in the Toronto punk music scene at the time, but aimed for something bigger, which also caused some conflict within the music scene. But, The Diodes emitted a large influence. The lyrics that would make up the band’s songs dealt with elements of suburban turmoil and the suburban psyche. They took a look at a different side of the culture at the time, that of the life in the suburbs. These themes permeated their lyrics, amongst other themes/topics in a way that set them apart from the rest.

Continue reading for an interview that I did with Diodes guitarist John Catto.  He talks of the first Diodes album, guitars, recording and the Diodes vinyl box set:

RR:  The music scene in Toronto in 1977 when the first Diodes album came out was a very different time. How would you compare playing in the early Toronto punk music scene as opposed to the way it is now?

JC: Well, very very different. For one thing there was no independent scene as we understand it now, or even as someone living in London or New York then would understand it. While there had been one in the 60's, live music in Ontario had come under the iron grip of the musicians union and the cover band agencies. So you had an entire generation of musicians AND audience who'd never even seen (local) bands playing original material and had even less interest in it happening.

So all this came about outside of the existing music scene. So when we started the ONLY place we could even conceive of playing was OCA (Ontario College of Arts) which led to the rather convoluted solution of booking the Talking Heads so we could open for them. I suppose, that if that opportunity hadn't presented itself to us and another month had gone by we would have looked into playing the Beverley Tavern down the street (where the Dishes and Zoom were getting going) or something similar. Then we would have had a quieter less auspicious debut but it never worked out that way.

RR:  What inspired you to play guitar and who are some of your favourite guitarists? What is your guitar of choice and why?

JC: When I was in High School off the top of my head at least 6 of my best friends played guitar so it was all around me, it was you know, the early 70's. Unlike them I didn't take lessons, I just got Mel Bay book 1 and took on teaching myself and got my friends to show me stuff. I think the first couple of rock things I learned were "Sunshine of Your Love" and Rhinoceros's "Apricot Brandy”.

If quizzed I'd probably always say my favourite guitarists are Townshend, Hendrix and Leslie West, especially Leslie when it comes to actual sound/tone. Over the years I've also been interested in Santana, James Williamson, Brian May and as far as soloing is concerned Robert Fripp's solo on Eno's "Baby's on Fire" has a pretty disproportionate influence that probably no one could ever discern ! Everyone get’s a look in for a moment!

But, right at the very beginning I think it was Jorma Kaukonen. Early on I had this huge fascination with the Jefferson Airplane yet I don't think I've ever tried to play like him, I DO try to play like Jack Casady every time I pick up a bass though!!

Overwhelmingly though it’s the Who. They’re the band I’ve seen more than anyone else and you know circa “I can see for Miles” into “Live at Leeds” is my template for the way I like things to sound.

Guitar of Choice:

I’m a Les Paul guy pretty much all the way, at least that’s where I started and where I ended up! First of all I had the homemade one (basically a body I made with the neck from a Japanese 335 copy and Gibson pickups and hardware) then a number of Les Paul Customs and Juniors. After the second album I started to want a change so I went out and got a Strat which was for me a huge frustration since I never could get it to sound right, stock anyway! Eventually like a lot of people in the late 70’s I settled on this Strat with a humbucker concept, the first one I made was late ‘78, then I had a great Walnut Tele that I built which is the foundation of the 3rd album wherever there wasn’t a tremolo bar or the solos which I cut with a late 50’s junior (Leslie West again!), that album btw I did all of with a 50’s Ampeg "Reverb-o-Rocket” with a greenback Celestion speaker stuffed in in it, great amp! I carried on playing those Strats right through to the early 90’s then had a rethink and put them away forever.

When I got back into playing I went right back to the Les Paul thing where I started. These day’s you may or may not know I build guitars a lot and they are exotica predominantly influenced by Les Paul’s and also similar things like Zemaitis and the Arts & Crafts aesthetic. Many are very fancy with etched metal parts, fancy inlay and so on but at core … it’s a Les Paul.

RR:  Where/when was the first Diodes album recorded and how did you get connected with Bob Gallo to produce it?

JC: The first album was all recorded at Manta Sound (as were the demos for the second). It was Bob's favourite studio and he had a favourite engineer there Hayward Parrott who he worked quite closely with.

Bob came from CBS, he was I suppose our assigned A&R man, in those days the A&R would more often than not produce unless there was some conflict of time. Bob of course had this long and pretty glorious history in both R&B and garage. Which really he'd never talk about, he'd mention 16 candles and 96 tears but to me that was whatever, now if he'd talked about James Brown that's a whole other thing! :)

RR:  What do you remember of recording/working on any of the songs for this album?

JC: Well, especially on the first album Bob gave us a whole lot of guidance and a very long leash. To me it was this incredibly exciting thing and I took to doing stuff in the studio pretty much straight off. I found out for one thing that many of my instincts as to what to do or add were correct and Bob encouraged that the whole way. He was also a guitar player so he'd show me stuff, everything for the fastest route to an end. We hired in a bunch of different Marshall's and I had my Ampeg V4 there and a little Epiphone, sort of like Fender Deluxe size. I had my homemade Les Paul copy and I think Bob didn't trust it so we also hired in a Wine Red custom, but they're about 50/50 on the bed tracks same with the Marshall/Ampeg mix. What they did establish and I think a lot of this was Hayward was a really definitive guitar sound. There are lots of outtakes from the first album, "Noise", "I've Got a Headache" and so on and the thing that is amazing is that guitar sound is right there on the tape in everything. There's a thing there that sounds like it's running through a short decay plate reverb right on the verge of feedback and it's always there. Whatever they did it nailed it, everything has this huge sound and its even there on stuff that wasn't really finished. I really should ask Hayward, he's on my Facebook friends!

There's quite a bit of "unfinished" work that went on and lyric changing. We had a pretty quirky range of song subjects, it wasn't all about getting drunk or dungeons and dragons! China Doll was delivered as a song about Jerry Hall the model and Bob really couldn't work out "why" anyone would even write about that! If only it had stayed and of course for a often accused "poppy" band we had one hell of a lot of songs about murder and suicide! So that was a constant source of discussion and a filter when it came it choosing what would be there.

The second album was a different thing. We'd recorded Tired at Manta in a one off one day session but then Manta wasn't available. So I think rather reticently Bob booked us into Eastern Sound. Probably a mistake for him but we really enjoyed working there. What did happen was that we walked in with all this very disparate material ranging from a sort of John Entwistle type number to these sort of "teen anthems" and lots of science project stuff!! It all sounded amazing while we were working on it but towards the end I think Bob started to get uncomfortable finishing it. So he brought Hayward in to mix it even though he hadn't been there for the recording. Common practice now but perhaps not then. I actually think it would have been better if Hayward had taken the tapes back to Manta and mixed them there in a known space. Still a lot of things still shone, especially the quirky ones which are in the majority anyway. The rockier stuff suffered a bit which we attended to a bit with the choice of versions at the time of the 1999 CD release.

RR:  A lot of the songs on the first album deal with subjects relating to the “suburban psyche” lyrically as stated in the linear notes to your 1998 release Tired of Waking Up Tired: The Best of The Diodes. Was this something consciously that the band wanted to address in their lyrics or was it more of a reflection of what you were going through at the time?

JC: Umm, you write about what you know and sometimes what you don't. Punk was in many ways the tail end of the glam thing and most people involved had emerged out of that whole thing of being attacked on the street or at school or whatever. So when we were writing those songs a lot of the focus really was our past high school days, that feeling of being outsiders constantly under threat. Maybe amusingly, in the earlier punk days up though the summer of '77 it wasn't "that" public a thing so the divisive threat was low since we weren't running around in lurex and platforms. But, by the time we were recording the first album it was now a identified, labeled thing so the trouble with the denim hordes returned with a vengeance. I can remember being attacked on the bus going out to Etobicoke at the end of the day during the recording of the album. It was all this nonsense about "punkers", all coming from people who hadn't even the faintest idea what it was all about.

RR:  The song “Tired of Waking Up Tired” from your 1979 album Released is perhaps The Diodes best-known song. It charted on US alternative radio as an import only release. How did you come up with the idea for this song and what do you think it is about this song that people respond to so much?

JC: Well, the feeling seems to be universal, I can't actually remember much about how I wrote it other than the fact I had almost everything at once, there wasn't this long developing curve where it changed dramatically over a period of time. The song was there, pretty much fully imagined from the beginning, then as soon as we started playing it everyone jumped on it.

In the end it lost a verse and got a bit shorter, and it lost some of the very "Power-pop" inflections it had in the demo. It's about a certain world weariness which is obvious but is also this sort of strutting "I'll take on anything you throw at me" sort of boasting thing like one of those talking blues records, that's more evident in the demo with all its verses.

RR:  The Diodes have a new vinyl box set coming out in September. What can you tell us about this box set and some of the unreleased tracks featured in this set?

JC: Over the years we'd recorded a pretty enormous amount of material, much more than anyone would expect with the number of albums we released. And over time what we "did" changed a fair bit as we went along as well, we always had a prominent experimental edge.

With the box set we've aimed to do two things. One was to present idealized vinyl examples of the 3 albums presented how they should have been, minus any of the compromises that went on.

Then there's the rarities disk. There was so much to pick from here. Part of that is unreleased and even unfinished material especially from the first album period, plenty of which will be familiar to people who saw us at the end of the Crash 'n' Burn period and the first shows after. That's about 2/3 of side one. So you've got stuff like Parasite and Lawnboy Lover and there's also things like the first demo of Tired of Waking up Tired. Then there's demos for all sorts of things. I've often heard comment, especially about the first album, that it's very worked on, that perhaps we didn't sound like that. Well here you get the first demos that we recorded at the Crash 'n Burn (one week after dropping to a 4 piece) and you can hear it's all there, I think a lot of people will get a kick from that. Plus there's some live stuff from the second era of the band, and demos from the very end of all that, I revisited a couple of things that were previously released and remixed them since I didn't think they put their best foot forward. And so on, there's lots of stuff no one has heard before, especially on the CD/download version and then the vinyl version of the rarities is a complete album in its own right that I think gives any of the official ones a run for it's money!

Get a copy of The Diodes vinyl box set by clicking on this image:

Show 664 - The Diodes Canada Day Special

1. Bloodshot Bill - Love Me Twice
2. James OL & The Villains - Foolsome Tourist
3. The Locusts Have No King - Is it or Ain't It
4. Shotgun Jimmie - Used Parts
5. Daniel Romano - Modern Pressure
6. The Diodes - Red Rubber Ball
7. The Diodes - Child Star
8. The Diodes - Tennis (Again)
9. The Diodes - Blonde Fever
10. The Diodes - Plastic Girls
11. The Diodes - Death In The Suburbs
12. The Diodes - Behind Those Eyes
13. The Diodes - Midnight Movie Star
14. The Diodes - We're Ripped
15. The Diodes - China Doll
16. The Diodes - Shapes of Things To Come
17. The Diodes - Time Damage
18. Zoom - Schoolgirl Hitchhiker
19. Johnny & The G-Rays - Put the Blame On Me
20. The Grapes of Wrath - The Weight (Brave New Waves Session)
21. The Band - Jawbone
22. The Sadies - Reward Of Gold
23. The Gruesomes - Whirlpool
24. Deja Voodoo - New Kind of Mambo
25. Deja Voodoo - Pig Fat Papa
26. The Inbreds - Any Sense of Time
27. Trout - High Score
28. Cellos - White Lines
29. Pointed Sticks - New ways (Demo)
30. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - I Know A Guy Named Larry
31. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Exit From Vince Lombardi High School

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 1.