FMF Episode #29 – Pirates

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DJ:   What did the ocean say to the pirate?  Nothing, it just waved.  Welcome to Feel Me Flow’s Pirate episode! September 19th is traditionally known as International Talk Like A Pirate day, so we decided to serve up a bounty of pirate songs.  We’ll hear songs about pirates, mutiny, peg legs, the sea, sunken treasure, and much more.  

Starting things off, is the theme to the massively successful Pirates Of The Caribbean franchises, Klaus Badelt’s “He’s A Pirate”.  The movies are noted for Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow as a near doppelganger to  Keith Richards.  Depp’s Richards impersonation was so spot on that they even asked Keith to be apart of the film franchise, to which he obliged.  

Our first set begins with my favorite pop punk pirate track, “Aargh…I’m A Pirate” from Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer.  Maritime to rock and roll!

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DJ:  Blur’s Damon Albarn started electrofunk side-project Gorillaz after him and co-founder Jamie Hewlett each transversed a breakup with their respective significant others in the late 90s.  Blur’s “On Your Own” has been mentioned as one of the first Gorillaz tracks due to its sound but was never officially released as a Gorillaz track.  The debut Gorillaz single was “Clint Eastwood” in 2000, and is still perhaps their best-known track.  

Florida’s Against Me! screamed about “Mutiny On The Electronic Bay” with a track from 2003’s As The Eternal Cowboy.  

More punk came out of the West Coast with The Vandals doing “Pirate Life” from their 1982 debut EP.  

Modest Mouse helped kick off the set with a maritime-themed track from their maritime-themed album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank.  

Keeping to the punk aesthetic, we’ll hear Minneapolis punks Dillinger Four followed by Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers in our next set.  Prepare yourselves for a little easy listening as well…

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DJ:  Weezer lamented on a broken heart with “Across The Sea” from their Pinkerton LP.

Before Rivers crossed that sea, Bobby Darin wrote about what was beyond it.  From his massively successful 1959 album That’s All, Bobby Darin swooned us with “Beyond The Sea”.  

Swamp Dogg wanted to be the “Captain Of Your Ship” on that sea, giving us a soul jam from 1972.  Jerry Williams Jr. became Swamp Dogg in 1970 after almost two decades of being ripped off for his song credits.  After some LSD trips and Frank Zappa-like lyric writing, Swamp Dogg began releasing his own brand of soul music, complete with Muscle Shoals musicians.  

After leaving the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders formed The Heartbreakers with Richard Hell and Jerry Nolan.  Hell left due to fighting and formed the Voivoids. but the Heartbreakers recorded one full-length album titled L.A.M.F. in 1977.  We played “Pirate Love” from that LP.  

Our next set is a stormy sea of genres ranging from indie to rhythm and blues to post-hardcore to reggae/ska.  We start with Panic! At The Disco’s homage to Sgt. Pepper, here’s “Behind The Sea” from Pretty. Odd.

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DJ:  Some rare early 70s ska to wind down our 3rd set, with “Pirate” from The Ethiopians. 

Before that, we played “Chips Ahoy!” from The Hold Steady.  We know the song is about horse racing, but “Ships Ahoy!” is one of the most famous pirates/maritime phrases around, so why not squeeze it in?  

We played an intense tune from The Blood Brothers, one which will eventually make our playlist of “Songs Named After Bands That Played Them”.  “Mutiny On The Ark Of The Blood Brothers” comes from the band’s debut album This Adultery Is Ripe.  

Jerry Lee Lewis chimed in with his 1959 single “I’ll Sail This Ship Alone”.  Lewis had a massive following built after the success of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On”, but lost that following after marrying his 13-year old cousin-once-removed.  Incest AND underage?  Like, come on, dude; there are a million people out there.  Either way, if you haven’t heard his 1964 LP Live At The Star-Club, Hamburg, do yourself a favor and hear the riot that happened that night.  SO MUCH ENERGY!  

Coming up in our next set is a Set 4 Score from Tacocat.  Seattle’s best palindromic rock band has been featured on FMF before but never given their proper Set 4 Score dues.  

Starting off our set is Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears doing “Booty City”.  What does a pirate love more than booty?

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DJ:   British psychobilly act Demented Are Go are veterans to the horror scene and have been donning gruesome makeup onstage since the mid-80s.  Their debut LP In Sickness & Health is regarded as a staple in the genre and gives most young zombies-to-be a base on which to plant their dead feet.  

Seattle’s Tacocat jammed on “Time Pirate” from their 2014 album NVM.  We played Tacocat in our surfing episode and will continue to play the band with all that awesome garage rock available for us.

James Mercer and The Shins played us “Sea Legs” from the band’s third album Wincing The Night Away.  

Before them, we played a one-minute track from FMF staples Minutemen.  The band broke up in 1985 after losing frontman D. Boon to a car accident at age 27.  Look for more from him in our 27 Club playlist.  

What would it be like if Captain Jack Sparrow and Calamity Jane had a baby?  Let’s find out in our next set with some country-flavored pirate music, including a track by The Deadly Snakes called “Pirate Cowboy”.  Here’s The Felice Brothers with “Plunder”.

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DJ:   Life’s a bitch until you find your sea legs; you’ve gotta find your footing.  Killer Mike and El-P aka Run The Jewels closed off our 5th set with “Sea Legs” from the group’s debut.  

Prior to that, we played the original recording of “Sea Of Love” from Phil Phillips & The Twilights (no, not that Phil Phillips).  The track would go on to be covered by Robert Plant’s Honeydrippers in the mid-80s, as well as Cat Power in 2000.  

After Holly Golightly started dating Thee Headcoats’ drummer Bruce Brand, Headcoats’ lead singer Billy Childish enlisted her in their backup band The Delmonas (who would go on to be called Thee Headcotees).  Thee Headcoats and Thee Headcoatees are extremely similar in sound and often interchanged songs and members as often as they pleased. We played “This Ship” from Holly’s 2003 effort Truly She Is None Other.  

Toronto garage rockers The Deadly Snakes played us “Pirate Cowboy” before Holly.  The band’s first two LPs were produced by Greg Cartwright of Oblivians.  

Leading off the set was New York’s The Felice Brothers.  While the band has yet to explode on the national stage, they’ve shared plenty of stage with the likes of Bright Eyes, Dave Matthews Band, and Old Crow Medicine Show.  

Our last set focuses on the infamous pirate radio.  Try to regulate our music? We’ll find another way to play it!  Here’s Mojo Nixon with Skid Roper doing “Pirate Radio”.

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DJ:  Mike Skinner’s laptop rap project known as The Streets caps off our show.  The track “Turn The Page” comes from his debut LP Original Pirate Material.  If you liked that track, check out his sophomore release A Grand Don’t Come For Free.  It’s a concept album that details a day in Mike’s life in which he lost a grand and was dumped by his girlfriend. 

The National gave us “Sea Of Love” from their 2013 LP Trouble Will Find Me.  Before them, we played a super deep track from New Zealand’s Human Instinct.  Peg Leg was recorded in 1975 but shelved until just recently when it was finally released, and we played the title track from that album. 

The Toasters rounded our Pirate Radio set off with an aptly named track.  “Pirate Radio” comes from their 2002 LP Enemy Of The System

We close out today with a special instrumental track from John Butler.  Originally released on his debut EP, “Ocean” was re-recorded last year for an official single release.  Enjoy the acoustic bliss while we sail into the sunset.  Drink your rum responsibly today, you don’t want to end up in the bottom of Davy Jones’ locker…  Join us next time on Feel Me Flow!

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