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DJ: Yeah yeah yeah! Welcome to another yeah-tastic episode of Feel Me Flow! Today we’re digging into one of the most used lyrics of all time; “Yeah”. One of the best phonetic sounds to lend its use to modern music, “yeah” is typically used to help build up crescendos, fill bridge gaps, kick off a powerful intro, or stress the importance of the lyric. We’re gonna hear all kinds of uses for it in our show today.
Leading things off is a song that’s sure to get your blood flowing. Taken from their 1978 debut LP, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, the Side-1 Track-1 kick-off “Uncontrollable Urge” starts you on a weird new wave journey through a Brian Eno-produced romper. Known for this track, and their cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, the album would be just a taste of what’s to come. I’ll give you a hint; it involves a bit of BDSM and some funny red hats.
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DJ: What would YOU do with all that power? Great question! Wayne Coyne proclaims that power is like money in that is should be earned and not given to you. True words, Wayne.
Speaking of mony, Tommy James & The Shondells played us “Mony Mony” from their album of the same name. The song features plenty of “yeahs”, and the unique chorus lyric comes from the Mutual of New York logo that was on top of the building located at 1740 Broadway in New York City. Tommy was struggling with finding a hook for the chorus and wanted something catchy like “Sloopy” or “Boney Maroney“; the latter of which was written by our previous man of topic Larry Williams. He walked outside the building he was staying in only to look up to see the MONY logo. A wedding dance staple was born that day.
After starting their career as seminal Celtic punk pioneers, The Pogues would move towards a more generic rock sound later in their years. With the release of the 1988 EP single Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah and subsequent album Peace And Love, they’d even dabble in jazz-inspired tracks.
Let’s here that rock sound with Shane MacGowan and The Pogues doing “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”.
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DJ: Hell yeah! Spiritualized played us out on that last set with quite a departure in sound for them heading down the garage rock alleyway. Usually, they’re so much more…chill. Great tune, though, featuring Mick Collins and The Dirtbombs on backing vocals.
Austin, Texas band Greyhounds played us “Yeah Yeah Yeah” from their 2014 Ardent Records debut Accumulator.
Detroit legend Jackie Wilson gave us a little tune from his 1963 album Baby Workout. What an album title. At first glance, I would expect toddlers doing aerobics to this music. Luckily its just a classic R&B album! One and two and fwee and foah…ha!
New Zealander Liam Finn is the son of one of New Zealand’s most famous musicians, Neil Finn. Neil formed Split Enz as well as Crowded House and would bring New Zealand into the world arena for music. Liam began his solo career around age 17 and has toured with bands like Wilco, The Black Keys, and Pearl Jam. We heard “Lead Balloon” from Liam’s debut 2007 album I’ll Be Lightning before Jackie.
Next up, we have Rufus Thomas doing an early b-side track “Yeah, Yea-ah”. Rufus was a pioneer in soul music and his daughter Carla was anointed the Queen of Memphis Soul. Carla sings with her dad on this tune but would make a name for herself when she teamed up with Otis Redding for the King & Queen album in 1967. Let’s hear the father and daughter Thomas duo take us to soul town.
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DJ: Latch Key Kid had a hit with “Good Times” back in 2009. The song was featured in the film I Love You, Man. I was also a latchkey kid growing up, in case you were so needing to know. These days it seems more and more kids are latchkey kids due to parents having to work more and more to keep up with the bills.
We played a rare demo from The Ramones. The band recorded “Yea, Yea” in 1981 for their album Pleasant Dreams, but eventually left it off the album.
Our Set 4 Score this week comes from garage punkers The Bloody Hollies. The band formed in Buffalo, New York and released Fire At Will in 2003 before relocating to San Diego. They’ve given us a few albums since then, but haven’t released anything since 2011’s Yours Until The Bitter End. They do still tour, though! Maybe we’ll get a show up in the North country someday.
We also heard a little-known tune by a little-known band from Liverpool, England. The Beatles played us “She Loves You”, their 5th single ever released. Behind us, we hear a super catchy garage rock tune from the soundtrack to anime series to Yuri on ICE!!!. In this year’s Winter Olympic Games, several skaters chose selections from this soundtrack to skate to. Makes sense, considering that’s what the show’s characters do.
Our fifth set starts off with the velvety Sam Cooke. We lost Sam early on after he was shot and killed by Bertha Franklin in 1964. His final words are said to have been, “Lady, You Shot Me”. Sad as hell, man. Here’s Sam doing the dance track “Yeah Man” from his first posthumously released album Shake.
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DJ: R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe told NPR last year that he struggled writing lyrics to “Man On The Moon”. Subsequently, he took a stroll in Seattle with a Walkman on and decided what to write about. He liked the idea that Kurt Cobain would add “yeah” to so many of his songs, so Michael added many, many more yeahs to his tune (and counted them at the end). We smilingly listened to that example with “Lithium” capping off the 5th set.
Before Nirvana, we heard Little Steven’s favorite band The Maharajas. Well, at least that’s what their website claims! I mean, he has featured them on multiple episodes of Underground Garage so I’ll take it.
Indiana bedroom-dream-pop-rockers Hoops chilled us out a bit after a raucous cut from The Wedding Present. “Yeah” comes from Hoops’ self-titled 2016 EP. They put out their debut album Routines last year as well as a compilation of their first three tapes.
The Wedding Present released Watusi in 1994 on Island Records. We featured the Leeds, England band on our Pachyderm Studios episode, as they recorded their prior album Seamonsters there. You may have noticed Sam Cooke sing about the “Watusi” in “Yeah Man”. I mean, how can you sing about the 60s dance craze without mentioning it?!
Coming up on our final set is FMF favorite Billy Childish and his band Thee Mighty Caesars. You might’ve heard Billy featured with Thee Headcoats, or The Milkshakes, or just solo work. Great UK garage rock! Oh yeah!
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DJ: In the UK, LCD Soundsystem released that single as “Yeah – Crass Version”, but in the States, it was released as “Yeah – Stupid Version”. I love that! I wonder if it happens often that bands change their “versions” of song titles when released in other countries? Maybe we’ll do a show on it?
Before James Murphy and crew we played Pennsylvania’s craziest hip-hop/rock band Bloodhound Gang. I got a chance to see them play back in 2006 and let me tell you; wow. The crowd was requested to spit on them, the bass player Jared beer bonged a bottle of Jagermeister, and the crowd….oh boy the crowd was wild!
We heard “Hell Yeah” from their breakthrough smash album, 1999’s Hooray For Boobies. “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals…”
Garage rock staples The Fuzztones played us their b-side “Yeah Babe” from their 1990 Action EP. We featured the A-side in our Action episode.
Although more of a pop-rock band, Lake Street Dive gave us a great garage pop throwback tune with “Hell Yeah”. As a former resident of Minneapolis, I have to give a shout out to a band that named themselves after our precious Lake Street.
Well “yeah” fans, its time to get outta here. I’ve got some “no” people to see. Find us next time on Feel Me Flow!