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DJ: “I’m not superstitious, I’m just a little stitious”. Has your paraskevidekatriaphobia kicked in yet? Welcome to another round of Feel Me Flow! Today is Friday the 13th, one of many instances where someone might think bad luck is destined to come around. In honor of that superstitious day, we’re doing an episode on Luck!
There are three aspects to the idea of luck. It can be good or bad, it’s the result of chance, and it applies to a sentient being. Most of us have claimed how unlucky we are at times, but those of us who can claim to be lucky truly are, well, lucky. Maybe your bad luck involved getting splashed with water while walking on the sidewalk or some sort of unfortunate accident. Maybe your good luck involved meeting someone you admire on the street or hitting a jackpot. The thing about luck is that you never really know if you’re lucky or not. The Irish claim to be lucky, or maybe its everyone else who claims that the Irish are lucky.
There are a ton of songs about luck, so much so that we had to leave out many of the well-known ones to make room for these other unlucky bastards. Emerson, Lake, And Palmer? Not today, friend. We’re gonna start things off with King Khan And The Shrines and a song from their 2013 LP Idle No More. The Berlin-based frontman Arish Khan (aka King Khan) got his start with The Spaceshits and would go on to acts like King Khan & BBQ Show, The Almighty Defenders (with the Black Lips), and of course King Khan and The Shrines. Let’s get lucky with “Luckiest Man” from the King.
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DJ: It’s not listed on their online menu, but Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis sells (or sold) a donut named after Night Moves. The donut features a blackberry cake batter, Hennessy glaze, and brown sugar crumbles. Oh, such a mystical donut to go with the mystical band that is Night Moves. From Pennied Days, that was “Kind Luck”.
Seattle’s Minus The Bear played prior to Night Moves with the opening track off of their 2007 LP Planet Of Ice. “Burying Luck” leads off an album that continued the uptempo technical work of Dave Knudson and Jake Snider while also bringing in the more slowed down jams the band has come to master over the years. The album’s finale, “Lotus”, is a near-9 minute swirl of sound worth putting the time aside for.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released Gumboot Soup on New Year’s Eve 2017. The LP was their fifth, yes FIFTH album released that year. Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder Of The Universe, Sketches Of Brunswick East, and Polygondwanaland all preceded it beginning in March of 2017.
Pointed Sticks out of Vancouver, British Columbia, were the first band signed to the legendary Stiff Records, although the label was going through money troubles early on and didn’t release any Sticks material until their 1979 EP Out Of Luck. Stiff’s first single ever released was Nick Lowe’s “So It Goes“, and their first LP was The Damned’s Damned Damned Damned. Wow. From Out Of Luck, that was Pointed Sticks and the title track.
Alright, let’s jump into set 2 with Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys. Minus The Bear and King Gizzard both had lucky lead-off songs in the first set. From 2016’s Ping Pong, this is the Jacuzzi Boys’ offering with “Lucky Blade”. Goin’ out with my lucky blade…
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DJ: The Garden is so bizarre. I mean that as a complete compliment. Crossbreeding the dark elements of bands like Bauhaus and Swans with the light elements of surf and garage rock, The Garden has grown into their own sound by playing what they love. With their 2018 Epitaph Records album, Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, the band continues to push the boundaries of whatever music framework was laid down before them. We played “Voodoo Luck” from that LP.
Portland, Oregon’s Heatmiser played us “Get Lucky” before The Garden. Did you recognize the voice in that band? Heatmiser was Elliot Smith’s band before he ventured into his fateful solo career. The band released Mic City Sons in 1996 but were on the verge of breaking up. Virgin Records released the album on subsidiary label Caroline after hearing the news that Heatmiser would be calling it quits.
Betty Mabry became Betty Davis in 1969 after marrying the legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Betty is credited with helping Miles discover the “hippier” side of things in those tumultuous late 60s, including introductions to Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix. Miles would record some soul demos with Betty in New York but the couple would divorce after about a year together. Betty’s first official eponymous LP would hit shelves three years later. We heard the lead single from that album “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up”.
James Snyder formed Beach Slang 13 years after the breakup of his former band Weston. Weston was signed to Go Kart Records, a label that housed other successful punk acts like Anti-Flag and Down By Law. Beach Slang takes elements from Weston’s pop-punk style but blends them with a more contemporary sound. From the debut 2014 Beach Slang EP Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?, that was “Filthy Luck”.
Coming up in our Lucky Charms set, we’ve got The Postmarks followed by The Marvelettes. The Marvelettes’ biggest hit is perhaps “Please Mr. Postman”. Postmarks. Postman. The Postmarks hail from Jacuzzi Boys territory, Miami, Florida. Their album covers are all throwbacks to 60s aesthetic, something we love around here. From the band’s final album, 2009’s Memoirs At The End Of The World, here’s “My Lucky Charm”.
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DJ: Did you know that in 2018 General Mills added a unicorn shaped marshmallow to Lucky Charms cereal? You do now. The Apples In Stereo’s debut LP Fun Trick Noisemaker was recorded in Robert Schneider’s (at the time) portable Pet Sounds Studio in Los Angeles. Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel played bass on the track “Glowworm”. This makes sense, of course, when you know that both bands are part of the legendary Elephant 6 group. From that 1995 debut, we heard “Lucky Charm”.
Scott & Charlene’s Wedding took their band name from the Tsuper couple’s big event on the Australian soap opera Neighbours back in the late 80s. In 2013 the band teamed up with fellow Aussie’s Fawn Spots to release a double A-sided 7″ featuring “Lucky Charms”. Fawn Spots’ contribution was titled “Basin”, another great track.
The Spaceshits recruited Mark Sultan aka BBQ because they needed a vocalist. At the time, BBQ’s future collab buddy King Khan was playing bass in the band and going by Blacksnake. After The Spaceshits pissed off enough people to be blacklisted in Montreal, the band would break up knowing Blacksnake didn’t want to tour Europe. The Spaceshits were great, but I’m glad we were able to get more music from King and Mark. That was “She’s A Bad Luck Charm” from the 90s garage rockers.
The Marvelettes’ 1962 LP Smash Hits of ’62 sold for over $1,200 on Discogs in 2016. Apparently, the first pressing is pretty rare and someone was willing to pay for it. Keep your eyes peeled if you’re ever at a yard or estate sale. From that incredible Tamla release, we played “Good Luck Charm”, an Elvis cover from the same year.
Coming up in set 4, we have a double Set 4 Score starting with The Pinheads. The Wollongong, Australia garage punks released their self-titled debut album in 2017 with a limited yellow wax pressing of only 200 worldwide! The Pinheads opened for Bleeding Knees Club on a previous tour, another one of those Australian/New Zealand garage punk bands that we love from the scene. They sure know how to rock down there! Alright, from their eponymous 2017 debut, here’s The Pinheads with “Tuff Luck”
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DJ: Our second Set 4 Score artist is Columbus, Ohio’s Bummers. The band released their eponymous debut album in September of 2014 after an EP the previous year. A new EP Dolores hit their Bandcamp page in 2017 with a slew of shows to support through 2018. Viceland’s skater-scavenger hunt show King Of The Road played their tune “1967” in the season 3 premiere. 2018 is looking up for these guys, keep an eye out! We played “Lucky” from the self-titled LP.
JD McPherson’s third throwback album arrived in 2017 with the debut of the lead single “Lucky Penny”. At first listen, I thought this was a Black Keys song. More acutely, the intro guitar/organ combo is a dead ringer for the combination used in “Gold On The Ceiling”. Nothing wrong with that, man! Awesome sound.
The Strokes were at the head of the garage rock revival of the early 2000s. Their debut album Is This It was an instant success in the Summer of 2001, fueled by the successful smash single “Last Night”. “Last Night” still is the band’s highest charting song to date, making it to #5 on the US Alternative charts. We played a deep cut from the debut LP, “Trying Your Luck”.
Tom Petty stopped by with a cut from the only album of his in the 1980’s that didn’t go platinum in America; Long After Dark. It went gold, though. The LP was the first to feature new bassist Howie Epstein and churned the big MTV hit, “You Got Lucky”.
We’re gonna do a little set about the unfortunate people, the unlucky. Bad luck seems to plague everyone from time to time, some more than others. Jimi Hendrix perhaps suffered from some bad luck by unwillingly joining the 27 club in 1970, just as he and Miles Davis were starting to really connect. Just imagine the music that could’ve come from those two! The recordings featured on the 2012 posthumous LP Valleys Of Neptune were tracked around the time Jimi and Miles were talking. Here’s “Mr. Bad Luck” from that LP.
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DJ: The self-proclaimed “Queen of Blues”, Dinah Washington, dropped by with some “Bad Luck”. The track comes from her 1959 LP The Queen. I’d like to assume the album is named as such due to her nickname. Dinah was cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the ’50s”.
A few years prior to The Queen, a little-known blues guitarist by the name of Riley B. King, aka B. B. King, released his debut album on the Crown label. Singin’ The Blues kicked out five singles over the next few months after the album’s release, and “Bad Luck” charted at #3, the second highest single.
Shonen Knife delved into the heavier side of their influences with the aptly titled 2014 LP Overdrive. The precursor 18th LP Pop Time dabbled in the poppier side of things, leading the band to turn up the metal on this one. We heard the album opener “Bad Luck Song”.
Mike Ness proclaimed his favorite number as “13” in the highest charting single of Social Distortion’s career, “Bad Luck”. The song comes from the 1992 LP Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell. Hard to believe it’s been over 25 years since that album arrived.
Our final set of the day starts with Duluth, Minnesota band Cloud Cult. The Denver Post ranked Cloud Cult’s 2007 LP among the best albums of the decade with the likes of Modest Mouse and Radiohead. We’ll hear more from the latter a bit later, but now let’s get to a song that was featured in an Esurance commercial. Here’s “Lucky Today” from Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus.
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DJ: As is the tradition around here, we had to break the mold and play something outside our garage rock world for the finale. What better than the Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and Daft Punk collaboration MEGA-hit “Get Lucky”? So groovy.
Radiohead’s OK Computer changed music forever when it booted up in 1997. Taking the new technology boom and channeling it into the studio, Radiohead blew minds with the combination of sampling and live playing. There was a time where you couldn’t find a musichead who hadn’t heard the album, but the new generation of geniuses was busy being born when this album came out. From 1997’s OK Computer, that was “Lucky”.
Eels channeled their garage rock souls with a deep track from 2012’s Hombre Lobo. The LP was one of three in the trilogy of emotions that Mark Oliver Everett put out in the 2010s. Hombre Lobo focused on desire, End Times was about divorce and death, and Tomorrow Morning dealt with moving on. We heard “Beginner’s Luck” from Hombre.
Betty Wright scored herself a legendary soul single with the release of her 1972 LP I Love The Way You Love Me. “Clean Up Woman” resides in the halls of hip-hop history being one of the most sampled tracks of the genre. Before that big LP, Betty recorded an R&B album and a few one-off singles. One of those singles, “Mr. Lucky” made it’s way onto our show today.
Well, everyone, the time has come to change our luck. It’s been fun to take a chance with you today, hopefully, you can land yourself some good luck sometime soon. Join us next time on Feel Me Flow!