FMF Episode #22 – Action

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DJ:  Hello again and welcome to another round of Feel Me Flow!  Today, July 12th is the designated Day Of Action for Net Neutrality.  In an effort to save Net Neutrality, protesters are organizing and even getting large corporations involved to combat the US Congress on their push to privatize and commercialize the internet.  Net Neutrality keeps the internet a level and fair, keeps access open to anyone who wants, and celebrates the idea of open discussion/trade. By eliminating Net Neutrality, Internet Service Providers can throttle bandwidth, charge extra for “premium” content, and control advertisements on any website they want.  Since the internet is provided by them, they’d have full control over what the consumer views.  Imagine having someone standing over every conversation you have and telling you you’ll need to pay more if you want to continue on.  What. The. Fuck.  

In honor of fighting this empirical nightmare, we are playing all kinds of songs about action! You’ll hear songs about getting action, getting into action, taking action, and our Set 4 features an online theme to keep us focused.  If you want to participate in the event, check out the organizers’ web page for more details.  

Let’s jump right into it with Secret Affair proclaiming its “Time For Action”!  The band was part of the mod revival movement of the late 1970s led by The Jam.  After a few albums, the band split in 1982.  Get up and take action! Hit it!

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DJ:  As we’ll notice throughout the episode, actions speak louder than words.  At least that’s what Chocolate Milk says.  “Action Speaks Louder Than Words” comes from their 1975 debut album of the same name.  The band broke up in the early 80s after the disco era faded away.  

After the success of Tommy, Pete Townshend wanted to create another rock-opera phenomenon involving the teachings of Meher Baba and the audience.  After the project dissolved, Pete released a solo album compiling some of the demos from it.  One of them, which The Who had previously released as a single, was “Let’s See Action”. 

The Flamin’ Groovies played us their big hit “Shake Some Action” from the 1976 album of the same name.  That album was produced by new wave stalwart Dave Edmunds.  After Elvis returned from the Army in 1960, his music career was on the downward slope.  By 1962, he quit performing and gave way to the new bands of the sixties like The Beatles.  

In 1968, NBC set up a TV special for Elvis to perform.  They recorded a slew of new material for the special, including the Mac Davis/Billy Strange track “A Little Less Conversation” featuring The Blossoms on backing vocals.  Elvis would re-record the track two years later for the Almost In Love LP.  The version from the comeback special would be remixed by Junkie XL in 2002 and become yet another posthumous hit for Presley.  

Speaking of Elvis, let’s jump into another set led by the other Elvis.  Elvis Costello’s sophomore effort This Year’s Model is one of the few to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump.  The lead track “No Action” kicked off a blasting effort that landed Costello a performance on SNL; which he famously was banned for.  Here’s “No Action”.

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DJ:  Hey! You’re part of it!  Andover, MA band Piebald had some political commentary to share with this track from 2002’s We Are The Only Friends We Have.  I can totally relate to the line “this place has broken my American heart.” though, especially in these trying political times.  The track was also featured on the Take Action: Plea For Peace Vol. 2 compilation, hence the action connection.  

Blink-182’s “Feeling This” was first featured on the Madden 2004 soundtrack but was titled “Action”.  In the beginning of the song, you can hear a sound clip of a man saying “get ready for action” which is why the song had that working title.  When the time came to officially release the single, the title had been changed to “Feeling This”, and in some instances “Feeling This (Action)”.  

Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus has gone on record proclaiming his love for The Get Up Kids. Mark told Rolling Stone that the final track (“I’ll Catch You”) to their 1999 album Something To Write Home About was playing when he proposed to his wife.  We took “Action & Action” from that album.  

After Elvis Costello kicked off the set, The Fuzztones showed up to remind us once again that “Action Speaks Louder Than Words”.  The band has been garage rocking since 1980 and continue to tour.  The track comes from their 1990 EP Action.  

Leading our next set is Jeanette Jones.  Jeanette got her start in San Francisco’s Voices of Victory gospel ensemble and eventually made her way into the secular music scene.  She recorded about ten tracks around 1969 but only was able to release one single.  Jeanette sang for Mike Bloomfield on his Mill Valley Bunch session album, but all of the performers were given “Doe” as a last name on the album credits and no one really knew who she was.  We’ll play you a track she did receive credit for, however, went unreleased until 2016 when Playback Records released her full catalog.  Here’s “I Want Action” from the San Fran diva Jeanette Jones.

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DJ:  After years in the bar band circuit and a couple local hits, John Cafferty & The Beaver Band was offered the score to the movie Eddie And The Cruisers.  With a sound reminiscent of The Boss and other East Coast acts like Southside Johnny and of course Little Steven, the band helped catapult the film’ soundtrack to what is now triple platinum.  Crazy!  Of course, like with Jeanette, the original release of the soundtrack credited the music to Eddie And The Cruisers and not JC & the BB.  The record company quickly re-released it with proper credits due.  

Eugene McGuinness put out a six-track 10″ as Eugene + The Lizards in 2009.  The album features a lo-fi sound, and the track “I Want Action” which we played for you.  The Sweet chimed in with their 1975 single “Action”.  There are several versions of the song out there as the band recorded the song more than once for different releases.  

Franz Ferdinand played “Right Action” from the 2013 LP Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.  I just love the way that song ends on the same note that The Sweet’s “Action” begins in.  It blends so damn well!  Franz Ferdinand released their debut single “Darts of Pleasure” in 2003, but it wasn’t until the following year when their next single “Take Me Out” hit airwaves when the band jumped into the mainstream.  Mixing garage rock and disco elements, the song was a hit among rock purists and dance pop fans.  

Our Set 4 Score this week goes to Texas punkers Puke Fest.  The story goes that the band recorded an EP in 1981 in Carlton, TX.  Two of the members’ dad thought the music was horrible and lit the tape on fire.  Then in 2015, a second copy was found in their basement, which was released in 2016.  The album does reference all kinds of 80s nostalgia, but I’m not quite convinced the sound production is pre-2000.  Either way, the vibe rocks and it’s great to get some throwback punk.  Here’s Puke Fest doing “World Wide Web”.

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DJ:  Nashville’s All Them Witches played us the final track off their brand new LP Sleeping Through The War.  The song laments, “If I can’t live here, guess I’ll go live on the internet.” as if we aren’t already there.  ATW play a perfect blend of neo-psych and blues rock or what the kids these days call “stoner rock”.  

Cee-Lo Green and Danger Mouse dropped by with their Gnarls Barkley tune “Online”.  When their debut St. Elsewhere was released in 2006, the world went nuts.  “Crazy” topped Rolling Stones’ 2009 of the 100 Best Songs Of The Decade.  You can hear it anywhere from sports games to weddings these days.  

Alex Cameron portrays a failed entertainer as his shtick for live performances and albums.  He attracted the attention of Foxygen while playing at David Lynch’s club Silencio, and was signed by the Secretly Canadian label in 2016.  We played his ode to his means of discovery, “Internet”.  

Before Alex, we played the Stockholm, Sweden trio Magic Potion.  Magic Potion released their debut single “Deep Web” via the internet back in 2015 and it piqued the interest of bloggers worldwide.  The band released their debut LP Pink Gum last year via Punk Slime records; it fits in perfectly with other slacker pop artists like Mac Demarco. 

Now, let’s have Tim Armstrong get us into action with the lead single from his 2007 solo effort A Poet’s Life.  The Rancid frontman has gone from a heroin-addicted Bay Area gutter punk to a Grammy-winning songwriter and has produced songs from Pink to Jimmy Cliff to Joe Walsh.  Congrats on the success Lint, you deserve it! Here’s Tim with “Into Action”.

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DJ:   I can’t get no satisfaction, all I want is easy action, baby!  Marc Bolan had a knack for the innuendos and allusions, and they were almost always pointing to sex as is evident with “Solid Gold Easy Action”.  An article for Classic Rock magazine noted that the first two lines of the song, “Life is the same and it always will be / Easy as picking foxes from a tree”, appeared to predict Marc Bolan’s own death in 1977. The license plate of the car Bolan was in during the fatal collision with a tree was FOX 661L.  Yikes.  

The Action were a short-lived UK 60s band that had their dreams crushed by mismanagement and band turmoil.  Their album Rolled Gold would be recorded in 1967/68 but would never see a release until 1995.  We played “Something To Say” from that album.  

? & The Mysterians had two major hits in their day.  The first single they released was “96 Tears”, a song that would be covered by many major artists including Aretha Franklin, The Fuzztones, and The Stranglers.  The song was and still is huge in the garage rock genre.  Their second big hit, “Can’ Get Enough Of You, Baby” came from their sophomore album Action.  The 90s saw Smash Mouth cover the song for the movie Can’t Hardly Wait as well as their neo-garage pop album Astro Lounge.  

After Tim Armstrong, we played one of Tim’s idols; Desmond Dekker.  Tim sings about Desmond on Rancid’s big hit “Ruby Soho“.  We played Desmond and The Aces’ track “Keep A Cool Head” from their 1968 LP Action.  A reminder that while today’s Day of Action is necessary and worth fighting for, we all need to keep a cool head about how we act.  

Let’s jump into our final set with Freddy Cannon doing the theme song to the 1965 musical TV series Where The Action Is.  

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DJ:  Before the glorious power ballad “Winds Of Change“, or the stadium rockers “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, German metal band Scorpions were testing the waters of which genre to play.  They released six albums in the 70s, starting with their debut 1972 LP Lonesome Crow.  Other than “In Search Of The Peace Of Mind”, the band never played material from the album after 1976.  

Speaking of rare material, after The Replacements had pretty much whittled themselves down to just Paul, they released All Shook Down in 1990.  The promotional first single for “When It Began” came in the form of a five song EP titled Don’t Sell Or Buy, It’s Crap.  We played “Kissing In Action” from the crappy EP.  

The StingRays formed in Bristol in 1977 and are still touring today.  They released their debut single on Fried Egg Records in 1980 and the b-side featured “Action”.  The band plays some great new wave garage rock, and we’d love to get our hands on some more material!  

Johnny Dollar recorded “Action Packed” in 1958 but never saw the song’s release.  Fellow Texas country musician Ronnie Dawson had a hit with the song and became known for it even though Johnny recorded it first.  After four failed marriages and a battle with throat cancer, Johnny killed himself in 1986.  What a said story.  Even if you don’t achieve your goals in life, the journey itself is worth the effort.  

On that terrible low note, I’d like to remind you to speak up and voice your concern with Net Neutrality.  Do what you can to advocate!  Join us next time on Feel Me Flow, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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