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DJ: Hello again and welcome to another round of Feel Me Flow! The UN released a report earlier this week regarding poverty and inequality in America and how it has grown to unacceptable sizes. The report also pointed out that the US healthcare system is unique in that its the only first world country with privatized healthcare, a caveat that has fueled the economic disparity of the nation. That got us here at FMF thinking about all of those doctors and nurses and hospital songs out there and we thought we’d throw together a HealthCare episode!
We’ve got quite the unhealthy show for you today! There’s gonna be some sick people, some ambulances, some doctors and nurses, a whole set devoted to a pill trip, some insurance talk, and a whole lot of complaining about broken hearts. Behind us, opening the show up, is former of Montreal violinist Kishi Bashi. Kishi Bashi’s music is whimsical, magical, and mystic and this synth-driven soundtrack cut is right up there too. From the Red Bull Snowboarding movie The Fourth Phase, Kishi is playing “Surgery”.
Leading off the first set is the King of Soul, The Big O, Otis Redding. Otis recorded Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul in early 1966 with Booker T. and Issac Hayes backing him, among other fantastic musicians. Isaac will come around again later, but in the meantime, we’re gonna here Otis tell us about how sick he is over losing his girl. From 1966, and what would be Otis’ final album released before his death, here is “I’m Sick Y’all”.
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DJ: Mick Jagger had this knack for using a “hick” voice during the Stones’ bluesy, country tunes. While prominent in “Dear Doctor”, the voice would make a return throughout the 70s, most famously perhaps on the Some Girls televangelism trash-talker “Far Away Eyes”. “Dear Doctor” uses the age-old broken-heart must be repaired by a doctor” idiom that soooooo many other songs use. A few of which you’ll be hearing today.
Prior to the Stones’, we heard the Lips. The Flaming Lips to be exact. The Rolling Stones actually use a logo titled “Tongue And Lip Design” made by artist John Pasche. The Flaming Lips landed a smash album with Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots in 2002, and the follow up At War With The Mystics kept that fame fire burning. Led by the singles “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power)” and “The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat)“, the LP has sold over 200,000 units so far. We heard “Mr. Ambulance Driver” from that album.
The Replacements pleaded with us to take them down to the hospital before the Lips showed up with the ambulance. The tune comes from the band’s 1983 LP Hootenanny, the last one before their breakout smash of an LP Let It Be. At the end of “Take Me Down To The Hospital” you can hear Paul Westerberg proclaim “I’ve got blisters!”. The quote is a reference to Ringo Starr screaming “I got blisters on my fingers” at the end of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” on their self-titled “white album”. The Replacements referenced the Beatles twice on Hootenanny, the second time being on their song “Mr. Whirly” which is a direct homage to The Beatles’ “Oh Darlin'”.
Queens Of The Stone Age got the blood flowing with the Era Vulgaris single “Sick, Sick, Sick”. Forming after the downfall of Kyuss, Queens would come to be Josh Homme’s legacy band. He played guitar in Kyuss, but afterward would lead QOTSA, Them Crooked Vultures, and Eagles of Death Metal. That guy just doesn’t stop. QOTSA released Villains in 2017.
Coming up in our next set, we’ll hear some songs about being stuck in the hospital and a few songs about those oh-so-ever-important carers known as nurses. Gainesville, Florida band Hot Water Music took their name from the Charles Bukowski collection of short stories of the same name. The collection deals with drinking, women, gambling, and writing – topics we commonly find in the music world. From the band’s 4th LP A Flight And A Crash, here’s “Paper Thin”. “Bright, white walls and hospitals…”
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DJ: Whispering their way to the end of the track is the Detroit garage band Compulsive Gamblers. The Gamblers were the original band of Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber, both of whom would go on to form Oblivians after the demise of Compulsive Gamblers. When Oblivians disbanded in the late 90s, CG reformed and started recording music again. Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing was released in 2000 and would be the band’s final studio album before breaking up again. Look for more references to that “rock and roll nurse” in our next set.
More Detroit garage rock came from Jack and Meg White, or as they were known then – The White Stripes. The now-divorced couple would crank out some of the greatest rock and roll albums of this generation in the early 2000s. In fact, I’d be proud to say, Jack White, as easy as he is to hate sometimes, is one of the few real rock and roll revolutionaries of this generation. I mean, who else is there that pulls that kind of following but still holds their roots close? Grohl, Auerbach, etc. Just sayin’.
Los Angeles grunge punks Cherry Glazerr chimed in with “Nurse Ratched” from their sophomore LP Apocalipstick. The album was produced by Joe Chiccarelli who actually recorded and mixed The White Stripes’ final LP Icky Thump. Keep an eye on this band, even if you know who they are now I fully expect their next effort to blow up.
Burger Records artist Apache played “Hospital Bed” before Cherry Glazerr. Apache developed in the late 2000s in San Francisco by way of El Paso transplant Carlos Palacios. After signing with Birdman and then Burger Records, the band released Radical Sabbatical in 2010. The raunchy alternative/garage rock sound brought us “Hospital Bed, a tune in which lead singer Apache talks about living in one.
The aforementioned rock and roll nurse is about to make another appearance. Bo Diddley starts off our “Pills” set with his b-side of the same name. Recorded in 1961 and never put on an LP, the tune would get a resurgence of fandom in 1973 after the glam punks New York Dolls covered it for their debut. From the b-side to 1961’s “Call Me” here’s “Pills”.
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DJ: How much fruit can YOU balance? Yes, technically that song wasn’t very healthcare related, but the band is named Pill and that song is just too groovy. Pill released their debut and sophomore EPs on the Dull Tools record label. Dull Tools is the creation of Parquet Courts frontman Andrew Savage. Pill moved on to Mexican Summer and released Convenience via them in 2016. From their 2nd EP Aggressive Advertising, that was “Piña Queen”.
Chris Denney comes from Nashville, Tennessee and sure sounds like it. Forming Denney And The Jets in 2009 with Jake and Jamin Orrall of JEFF the Brotherhood and Wes Traylor of Natural Child, Chris would go on to record a couple of EPs for Infinity Car Recordings and his full-length album Mexican Coke for Burger Records in 2014, from which we played “Pain Pills”.
Did you like our little mid-set “trip”? Noah Lennox’s music is always dripping with weird sounds and distorted imagery that when blended with his melodies make for an enjoyable journey. The Animal Collective frontman known as Panda Bear released Person Pitch in 2007 after the AC guitarist Deakin took a leave of absence. Now moving toward a sample-based sound, the band would borrow from Panda Bear’s experimentation and incorporate it into their biggest selling LP, 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavillion. We heard “Take Pulls” from Person Pitch.
White Reaper played us “Pills” from their debut 2015 LP White Reaper Does It Again. The band released a split single with Set 4 Score artist Daddy Issues back in 2015 on Infinity Cat Recordings, the same label Denney And The Jets recorded for. Infinity Cat is actually owned and operated by JEFF the Brotherhood, too.
Coming up in Set 4, we’ve got doctor issues. We’ll hear about a few different doctors, including a song about “Dr. Freeman” from our Set 4 Score featured artists Lunatics On Pogosticks. First, though, let’s get to Mary Wells. We talked about the King of Soul earlier, no let’s discuss the Queen of Motown. Maybe you know her from her signature hit “My Guy”? Mary left Motown and struggled to find the previous fame. Her final hit single of the 60s would be 1968’s “The Doctor”. Let’s hear it!
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DJ: After Drive Like Jehu broke up, John Reis committed himself full time to Rocket From The Crypt. Reis would then form Hot Snakes in 1999 and release three blistering LPs before disbanding yet another great band. In 2018, though, the band came roaring back out or seemingly nowhere to release Jericho Sirens. We heard the album opener “I Need A Doctor” from the Snakes.
We heard from Ty Segall and the third album he released in 2012, Twins. Apparently, Ty wanted the album to sound like “glam Stooges-meets-Hawkwind or Sabbath”. I get it. Although this track definitely sounds more early Stooges than glam or prog, we dig it nonetheless! From Twins, that was “You’re The Doctor”.
Our Set 4 Score this week goes to Melbourne garage rockers Lunatics On Pogosticks. Love the name, by the way! The Aussie band released their first EP back in 2012 and put out their third full-lenght effort last year. Leave Your Worries At Home, They’ll Be There When You Get Back fits nicely into any collection alongside Wavves and Howler. From that third release, we heard the pulsating “Dr. Freeman”.
The Beatles brought another doctor into the set with “Doctor Robert” from the band’s mind-blowing 1966 album Revolver. In a 1967 interview with Paul McCartney, Paul basically stated that Dr. Robert was this pseudo-dealer that could get you anything you want, perhaps even just alluding to the endless possibilities of New York City.
Moving on to our fifth set today, we’ll talk a bit about insurance and medication. Steve Winwood, Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood formed Traffic after the break up of Blind Faith. You may remember Traffic from “Dear Mr. Fantasy”, or “Feeling Alright” which Joe Cocker would go on to famously cover. From Traffic’s 1969 LP Last Exit, we’re gonna hear about that “Medicated Goo”.
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DJ: Jimmy Reed had so much influence on The Rolling Stones that they covered a song of his on their 1964 self-titled debut (England’s Newest Hitmakers in the US) and on their 2016 LP Blue & Lonesome. 52 years apart! 52! Man, that’s wild. From Jimmy’s second LP, 1959’s Rockin’ With Reed, that was “Take Out Some Insurance”.
On their 1965 sophomore LP, Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs would cover songs from Jimmy’s fellow bluesmen Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. Their Second Album wouldn’t live up to the debut that featured their biggest hit “Wooly Bully”, but you can definitely hear them going for that “sound” again in this track. From Their Second Album, that was “Medicine Man”.
The Ramones pushed us through the middle of the set with the album closer from 1979’s End Of The Century. in his review for the album, Robert Christgau hinted at “High Risk Insurance” and “This Ain’t Havana” being the worst songs the Ramones have ever done. I don’t know, maybe I guess. Things definitely got worse in the later days, though. Either way, the Phil Spector produced LP generated classics like “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” and “The Return Of Jackie And Judy”.
We played a super relative and fun ska song called “Health Insurance” from the Tulsa, Oklahoma band The Last Slice. The song talks about avoiding all possible diseases, bug bites, and any other accidents to avoid having to go to the doctor and being bankrupted. Way to relevant today. From The Last Slice’s 2012 album Fresh Cuts, that was “Health Insurance”.
Our last set deals with some ambulances and hospitals, that is, before we visit the optometrist. Toronto, Ontario band Pink Mountaintops had their fourth LP Get Back longlisted as a nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize. Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis makes an appearance later on in the album, but let’s hear the Motorik beat intro tune “Ambulance City” to get us going.
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DJ: Jackson Browne is just such a great songwriter. In the Eagles two-part documentary History of the Eagles, Glenn Frey talks about how when he was living above Jackson he would hear him playing the same song over and over and over again for hours before he finally got it right. Glenn learned then that that was how a song is written, practice and working it until its perfect. Jackson would co-write the Eagles’ first single “Take It Easy” with Glenn just a short time later. We played “Doctor My Eyes” from Jackson’s second album.
When Pete Doherty set The Libertines into hiatus, he formed Babyshambles as an avenue for music. Babyshambles released two albums during that hiatus, but would itself take a break when the Libertines reunited again in 2010. Babyshambles returned in 2013 with Sequel To The Prequel, from which we played “Picture Me In A Hospital”.
Patrick Murphy or Murph from Dinosaur Jr. played drums on all but one of the tracks of The Lemonheads’ 1996 LP Car Button Cloth. The band also took a hiatus shortly after the release of the album and lead singer Evan Dando released some solo material. From their final LP before reuniting in 2005, that was “Hospital”.
It wouldn’t be an ambulance ride without some turbulent trauma, would it? Things got wild with The Blood Brothers doing their 2003 single “Ambulance vs. Ambulance”. Taken from the 2003 LP Burn, Piano Island, Burn, the single would introduce the band to a more mainstream audience and even get their music onto video game soundtracks within a couple of years.
Alright, everyone. Stay healthy! Unless of course, you live in a country that takes care of its citizens. Regardless of your stance on the matter, it sure was fun talking about all that healthcare jargon today! Thanks for visiting and join us next time on Feel Me Flow!