Saturday, August 24, 2019

“Rid of Me”, PJ Harvey

This way: Rid of Me

This appearance by PJ Harvey on the tonight show was really one of the greatest things i've ever seen. Just herself and an electric guitar, all that is needed. Powerful beyond words. Rid of Me is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey. It was released by Island Records in May 1993, approximately one year after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Dry. It marked a departure from Harvey's previous songwriting, being more raw and aggressive than its predecessor.

The songs on Rid of Me were performed by Harvey's eponymous trio, consisting of Harvey on guitar and vocals, Rob Ellis on drums and background vocals, and Steve Vaughan on bass. It was the last album they recorded as a group before disbanding in late 1993. Most of the songs on the album were recorded by Steve Albini.

[Spotify] Rid of Me

Friday, August 23, 2019

“Calling All Doctors”, Telekinesis

This way: Calling All Doctors (live)

Telekinesis is Michael Benjamin Lerner, an indie rocker based out of Seattle who is currently signed to Merge Records.  Recorded in September 2008, the album was produced, mixed, and engineered with the help of Chris Walla (guitarist for Death Cab For Cutie), who also played on most tracks. Lerner and Walla recorded one song per day on analog tape.

[Spotify] Calling All Doctors

Thursday, August 22, 2019

“Electricity”, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

This way: Electricity

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English electronic band formed in Wirral, Merseyside in 1978. The outfit is composed of co-founders Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), along with Martin Cooper (various instruments) and Stuart Kershaw (drums). OMD released their debut single, "Electricity", in 1979, and gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 anti-war song “Enola Gay”. The band achieved broader recognition via their album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its three singles, all of which were international hits. 

[Spotify] Electricity

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

“Barbed Wire Love”, Stiff Little Fingers

This way: Barbed Wire Love

Stiff Little Fingers are a punk rock band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They formed in 1977, at the height of the Troubles. They started out as a schoolboy band called Highway Star (named after the Deep Purple song), doing rock covers, until they discovered punk. They split up after six years and four albums, although they reformed five years later, in 1987. Despite major personnel changes, they are still touring and recording. This is a great example of a love song written in the time of trouble.

[Spotify] Barbed Wire Love (live)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“Male Model”, The Undertones

This way: Male Model

The Undertones are a rock band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. From 1975 to 1983, the Undertones consisted of Feargal Sharkey (vocals), John O'Neill (rhythm guitar, vocals), Damian O'Neill (lead guitar, vocals), Michael Bradley (bass, vocals) and Billy Doherty (drums). Much of the earlier Undertones material drew influence from punk rock and new wave. The Undertones released thirteen singles and four studio albums between 1978 and 1983 before Sharkey announced his intention to leave the band in May 1983. It is hard to pick one standout from their catalogue with Teenage Kicks getting most of the love. But this one always stood out to me. What a great band.

[Spotify] Male Model

Monday, August 19, 2019

“The Main”, Grant Hart

This way: The Main

Here is one of my favorite songwriters. Grant Hart (March 18, 1961 – September 13, 2017) was an American musician, best known as the drummer and co-songwriter for the alternative rock and hardcore punk band Hüsker Dü. After the band’s breakup in 1988 he put out this album, “Intolerance” as well as a fantastic EP, “2541”. He battled addictions for a large part of his life and this song about heroin is about as good as it gets. 

Hart died on September 13, 2017 of complications from liver cancer and Hepatitis C. A sad loss, too young.

[Spotify] The Main

Saturday, August 17, 2019

“Punks in a Disco Bar”, Beach Slang

This way: Punks in a Disco Bar

Beach Slang is an American punk rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in May 2013. The band comprises vocalist and guitarist James Alex, guitarist Aurore Ounjian, bassist Tierney Tough, and drummer Dan Crotts. They have 3 albums and a ton of EPs. 

[Spotify] Punks in a Disco Bar

Friday, August 16, 2019

“Kiss me Deadly”, Generation X

This way: Kiss me Deadly

Generation X were an English punk rock band from London in the late 1970s. Mostly remembered for being the musical starting point of the career of its frontman/vocalist, Billy Idol. But they put out a bunch of great records. 

[Spotify] Kiss me Deadly

Thursday, August 15, 2019

“1880 or So”, Television

This way: 1880 or So

Television is an American rock band from New York City, most notably active in the 1970s. The group was founded by Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Billy Ficca, and Richard Hell. 
Although they recorded in a stripped-down, guitar-based manner similar to their punk contemporaries, Television's music was by comparison clean, improvisational, and technically proficient, drawing influence from avant-garde jazz and 1960s rock.

Like many Television songs, the title doesn't appear in the lyric. "1880 or so" represents the year when the song takes place. It might not sound like it, but Television guitarist Richard Lloyd considers this some of his "angriest" playing. He explained to Songfacts: "The guitar never does what I want it to do. There's always a disconnect between what my hands are willing to perform on the guitar and what the guitar actually is allowing me to present through it. For instance, I may hit a wrong note that is out of the scale or out of the mode that I'm in. I will often then attack the guitar with a flurry of notes. It's like a man walking his dog, and the dog is held by a leash and the dog is unruly so he snaps at the leash. I do that to the guitar at times."

[Spotify] 1880 or So

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

“Levis Stubbs’ Tears”, Billy Bragg

This way: Levis Stubbs’ Tears

Billy Bragg (born 20 December 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist. His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, with lyrics that mostly span political or romantic themes.  "Levi Stubbs' Tears" is a great song. It was the first single released from Bragg's 1986 album Talking with the Taxman about Poetry. The songs title refers to The Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs, whose music remains a source of comfort to the protagonist through years of abandonment, injury, and domestic violence.

[Spotify] Levis Stubbs’ Tears

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

“Tell Me When It's Over”, Dream Syndicate

This way: Tell Me When It's Over

The Dream Syndicate is an American alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California, originally active from 1981 to 1989, and reunited since 2012. The band is associated with neo-psychedelia and the Paisley Underground music movement; of the bands in that movement, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Dream Syndicate "rocked with the highest degree of unbridled passion and conviction.  Though never commercially successful, the band met with considerable acclaim, especially for its songwriting and guitar playing. Bandleader Steve Wynn reformed the band in 2012, and a fifth studio album was announced in February 2017. Dennis Duck formerly of the Human Hands plays drums and Kendra Smith eventually left the band and joined David Roback to form Opal.

[Spotify] Tell Me When It's Over

Monday, August 12, 2019

“Hombre Secreto”, The Plugz

This way: Hombre Secreto

The Plugz (also known as "Los Plugz") were a Latino punk band from Los Angeles, California that formed in 1977 and disbanded in 1984. They and The Zeros were among the first Latino punk bands, although several garage rock bands, such as Thee Midniters and Question Mark & the Mysterians, predated them. The Plugz melded the spirit of punk and Latino music. Included on the soundtrack to the fantastic movie Repo Man. This version of Secret Agent Man is really one of the greatest things of all Rock and Roll.

[Not on Spotify] Hombre Secreto

The Original from 1966: Johnny Rivers

Saturday, August 10, 2019

“Some Velvet Morning”, Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra

This way: Some Velvet Morning

"Some Velvet Morning" is a song written by Lee Hazlewood and originally recorded by Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in late 1967. It first appeared on Sinatra's album Movin' with Nancy, the soundtrack to her 1967 television special of the same name, which also featured a performance of the song. What a great slice of oddball sixties.

[Spotify] Some Velvet Morning

Friday, August 9, 2019

“What It Means”, Drive by Truckers

This way: What It Means

Here is a great song about some of the things going down in the streets of America these days. The Drive-By Truckers are an alternative country/Southern rock band based in Athens, Georgia. Two of five current members (Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley) are originally from The Shoals region of northern Alabama, and the band strongly identifies with Alabama. A chilling song.

[Spotify] What It Means

Thursday, August 8, 2019

“Hiroshima Mon Amour”, Ultravox

This way: Hiroshima Mon Amour

Ultravox were a British new wave band, formed in London in 1973 as Tiger Lily. From 1974 until 1979, singer John Foxx was frontman and the main driving force behind Ultravox. Foxx left the band in March 1979 to embark on a solo career and, following his departure, Midge Ure took over as lead singer, guitarist and frontman in October 1979 after he and keyboardist Billy Currie worked in the studio project Visage. So this is really a tale of two bands. Ure revitalised the band and steered it to commercial chart success lasting until 1988, at which time the group disbanded. However the quality of the work with Foxx is unparalleled. From one of my all time fave albums.

[Spotify] Hiroshima Mon Amour

Interesting alternative take: Hiroshima Mon Amour (alt take)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

“Satellite of Love”, Lou Reed

This way: Satellite of Love

“Satellite of Love” is a song by Lou Reed. It is the second single from his 1972 album Transformer. At the time of its release, it achieved minor chart success, though it later became a staple of his concerts and compilation albums. Transformer is the second solo studio album by American recording artist Lou Reed. The album is considered an influential landmark of the glam rock genre, anchored by Reed's most successful single, “Walk on the Wild Side”, which touched on controversial topics of sexual orientation and drugs. Produced by David Bowie and arranged by Mick Ronson, the album was released in November 1972 by RCA Records.

[Spotify] Satellite of Love

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

“Civilization's Dying”, Zero Boys

This way: Civilization’s Dying

The Zero Boys are a hardcore punk quartet from Indianapolis, Indiana fronted by Paul Mahern. Other members include bassist Scott Kellogg, drummer Mark Cutsinger and guitarist Dave Lawson. The band formed in June 1980 and three months later released their first EP. Entitled Livin' in the '80s, it was a 7" EP released by the band on their home-brew Z-Disc label. Their debut full-length album, Vicious Circle, was released in 1982 with its distinctive bright yellow cover on the local label Nimrod Records. The Zero Boys managed to record a handful of tracks intended for a second LP, but broke up before the album could be finished.

[Spotify] Civilization’s Dying

Monday, August 5, 2019

“Up on the Sun”, Meat Puppets

This way: Up on the Sun

Meat Puppets are an American rock band formed in January 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona. The group's original lineup was Curt Kirkwood (guitar/vocals), his brother Cris Kirkwood (bass guitar/vocals), and Derrick Bostrom (drums). The Kirkwood brothers met Bostrom while attending Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix.

Meat Puppets started as a punk rock band, but like most of their labelmates on SST Records, they established their own unique style, blending punk with desert fried psychedelic rock. Meat Puppets later gained significant exposure when the Kirkwood brothers served as guest musicians on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance in 1993. I played on the bill with them several times when we were all starting out. One of the greats of Punk rock . . . . 

[Spotify] Up on the Sun

Saturday, August 3, 2019

“Summertime Blues”, The Flying Lizards

This way: Summertime Blues

The Flying Lizards were an experimental English new wave band, formed in 1976. They are best known for their deliberately eccentric cover version of Barrett Strong's "Money" featuring Deborah Evans-Stickland on lead vocals. The group disbanded in 1984. Formed and led by record producer David Cunningham, the group was a loose collective of avant-garde and free improvising musicians, such as David Toop and Steve Beresford as instrumentalists, with Deborah Evans-Stickland, Patti Palladin and Vivien Goldman as main vocalists.

Virgin Records extended the band's recording contract after the success of "Money". The group released their début album The Flying Lizards in 1980. The album included two songs – "Her Story" and "The Window" – written and sung by Goldman. Their single issues included their postmodern cover versions of songs such as Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" and "Money".

[Spotify] Summertime Blues

Friday, August 2, 2019

“The Dust Blows Forward 'N' The Dust Blows Back”, Captain Beefheart

This way: The Dust Blows Forward 'N' The Dust Blows Back

Trout Mask Replica is the third studio album by American rock band Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, released as a double album on June 16, 1969 by Straight Records. Combining elements of R&B, garage rock, and blues with free jazz, avant-garde approaches, and other genres of American music, the album is regarded as an important work of experimental music and art rock.

Most of the album was produced by Frank Zappa and recorded in March 1969 at Whitney Studios in Glendale, California, following eight months of intense rehearsals at a small rented communal house in Los Angeles. Beefheart played several brass and woodwind instruments, including saxophone, musette, and natural horn, and contributed most of the vocal parts, while Zappa and members of the band provided occasional vocals and narration. The well-rehearsed Magic Band recorded all instrumental tracks for the album in a single six-hour recording session; Van Vliet's vocal and horn tracks were laid down over the next few days.

In recent years Trout Mask Replica has been widely regarded as the masterpiece of Van Vliet's musical career, as well as an important influence on many subsequent artists. Its highly unconventional musical style, which includes polyrhythm, multi-octave vocals, and polytonality, continues to polarize audiences and has given the album a reputation as one of the most challenging recordings in the 20th century. 

One of my favorite albums of all time. From 1969, and please do not file under easy listening.

[Spotify] Why does Spotify exist if there is no Trout Mask Replica?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

“Let them eat Rock”, The Upper Crust

This way: Let them eat Rock

The Upper Crust is an American hard rock band from Boston, Massachusetts. The members adopt the personae of 18th century aristocratic fops and sing songs from that perspective. They use titles of nobility, wear powdered wigs and period costumes, and maintain a snobbish attitude both during live performance and on their albums. If not great and excellent, then debauched. This masterwork from 1995.

Their major music influence is Bon Scott-era AC/DC, along with glam rock band Kiss and fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap.  

[Spotify] Let them eat Rock

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

“Missiles”, The Sound

This way: Missiles

The Sound were an English band, formed in South London in 1979 and dissolved in 1988. They were fronted by Adrian Borland, and evolved from his previous band, the Outsiders. The Sound made their debut with the EP Physical World in 1979. It was favourably received by NME and received airplay from DJ John Peel. More of their early recordings were later released as the album Propaganda in 1999.

[Spotify] Missiles

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

“Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King of Rock and Roll”, Long John Baldry

This way: Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King of Rock and Roll

Long JohnBaldry (1941 – 2005) was an English-Canadian blues singer and voice actor. In the 1960s, he was one of the first British vocalists to sing the blues in clubs and shared the stage with many British musicians including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Before achieving stardom, Rod Stewart and Elton John were members of bands led by Baldry. Baldry was openly gay during the early 1960s, at least amongst his friends and industry peers. However, he did not make a formal public acknowledgement of this until the 1970s—possibly because until 1967 in Britain, male homosexuality was still a criminal offence that could lead to forced medication and/or jail time.

Monday, July 29, 2019

“Two Step”, Throwing Muses

This way: Two Step

The Real Ramona is a studio album by Throwing Muses, released in 1991. This is a great song from that record. 

[Spotify] Two Step

Saturday, July 27, 2019

“Typical Girls”, The Slits

This way: Typical Girls

The Slits were a British post-punk band formed in London in 1976 by members of the groups The Flowers of Romance and The Castrators. The group's early line-up consisted of Ari Up (Ariane Forster) and Palmolive (who played briefly with Spizzenergi and later left to join The Raincoats), with Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt replacing founding members Kate Korus and Suzy Gutsy. Their 1979 debut album, Cut, has been called one of the defining releases of punk.

[Spotify] Typical Girls

“Rid of Me”, PJ Harvey

This way:  Rid of Me This appearance by PJ Harvey on the tonight show was really one of the greatest things i'...