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DJ: “It’s night time in the big city…” Remember that? Ellen Birkin introducing the legendary Theme Time Radio Hour? I sure do. Hello everyone and welcome to Feel Me Flow’s Nights episode.
Whether it be in the long, cold, dark nights of the Winter or the short, hot summer nights, the nighttime brings out all kinds of attitudes for people. You’ve got the night owl, one who thrives on darkness and enjoys the sunless situations. Then you’ve got the early birds, who are up before the dawn and have completed half their day’s duties before you eat breakfast. For those of you who thrive during the night, this episode is for you!
“Nights” are quite possibly one of the most fruitful and readily available topics to create a theme about. You’d be hard-pressed to find any artist who hasn’t composed some sort of ode to the nocturne. I mean, consider going back hundreds of years to classical composers like Chopin doing his solo piano nocturnes or Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. The night inspires across generations and today we’re going to sample a bit of it.
Leading the show off is the 1980 cut from The Scientists. The Perth, Australia band’s 1980 self-titled EP features a lead off track that fits in somewhere between early AC/DC and Deep Purple with a splash of The Raspberries thrown in. Perfect early punk rock before punk rock took off. Let’s get to the music now, with The Scientists doing “Last Night” from 1980.
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DJ: The first single released from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ debut 2003 album Fever To Tell was that disco-y punk jam we just heard; “Date With The Night”. The album was produced by TV On The Radio top talent Dave Sitek and was met with critical acclaim. The band exploded onto the international scene when the single “Maps” was released nearly 10 months later. “Maps” made it onto people’s prom night playlists back then. “Date With The Night” should have.
The Black Lips dropped by with a take on the Nazi’s antisemitic night of destroying everything Jewish. Kristallnacht, the night in November 1938 where Nazi forces smashed so many windows of Jewish businesses and synagogues that the glass shards reminded citizens of “crystal”, was just one of many atrocious acts committed by the German forces. The Black Lips music video for “Crystal Night” showcases an interracial couple being separated by armed forces at a high school dance. As bizarre as the song and video (directed by Sean Lennon) might seem, this tune breaks my heart every time I hear it.
Just 29 years after that night, the world would see a more “loving” vibe enter the atmosphere with the 1967 Summer of Love. Released on January 4th of that year, The Doors’ debut album would be the first in a surge of love-centric, psychedelic-soaked LPs that would submerse the Summer of Love in sunshine. The debut single “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” featured the b-side “End Of The Night”, a spooky sounding cut that blended well with “Crystal Night”.
Another debut smash album, 2001’s Is This It by The Strokes, would catapult a whole new wave of sound in the new millennium. Many “The” bands would follow after the band debuted on SNL that year. Although The White Stripes and The Black Keys were there first, The Strokes would be the band that made garage cool again. One of their best known hits from that debut was “Last Nite” which we heard earlier.
The Growlers are part of yet another new generation of garage rock with their signature beach-goth sound helping push surf-garage back into the spotlight. Their 2016 album City Club was co-produced by Strokes’ front-man Julian Casablancas. If you’ve heard Julian’s solo work, you’d know why City Club sounds so…neon? Either way, good stuff. Let’s get to “Night Ride” from The Growlers.
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DJ: Holy Wave are agreat neo-psych band out of Austin, Texas. They released Adult Fear in 2018 through Reverberation Appreciation Society, but their 2014 Relax still sticks out to us as a gem. Though, Adult Fear is excellent, too. From Relax, we played “Night Tripper”, which is perhaps a slight homage to Dr. John The Night Tripper? I mean, you’d think so, right?
The Night Tripper, himself, showed up with the second single released from his 1973 album In The Right Place. The album features New Orleans funk group The Meters on rhythm and percussion as well as the legendary Allen Toussaint on piano, production, arrangement, and many other credits. “Such A Night” was also featured on The Band’s live epic The Last Waltz.
Allen Toussaint worked behind the scenes with many artists, including The Wrecking Crew alum Glen Campbell. Glen ventured into a solo career in 1965, and in 1977 recorded Allen’s song “Southern Nights”, albeit in a disco-fied version. The original version was feature on Allen’s 1975 album of the same name.
Another Southern-inspired act played before Allen with the Nashville garage rockers Kings of Leon. Before hitting mainstream success in the modern rock world, Kings recorded two amazingly innovative and unique Southern Garage Rock albums to showcase their Southern heritage. Aha Shake Heartbreak even made it into the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The lead track from that album, “Slow Night, So Long” played in our set.
Coming up on FMF, we’ve got one of two songs that claims to be the origin of “doo-wop”. “I Still Remember (In The Still Of The Night)” was recorded in a church basement in Connecticut in 1956 by The Five Satins. Unbeknownst to the group at the time, the song would spark an entire genre of vocal groups singing rhythm and blues in a slowed down, almost a capella, style. Here’s that legendary track now.
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DJ: The Moving Sidewalks formed in the mid-60s in Houston, Texas and were led by local guitarist Bill Gibbons. Bill would write the group’s first three releases, but had help with b-side to their second single “Need Me”. The b-side, “Every Night A New Surprise” brought in producer Steve Ames for a bit of help. After two members of the group were drafted into the Army, Bill would reform the group with new members and start going by the name Billy. That new group was ZZ Top.
Atlanta, Georgia had a nice surge of garage punk happen in the mid-to-late-2000s, with The Black Lips helping fuel the fire. One of the groups that was constantly around then but didn’t gain the national audience that the Black Lips did was Carbonas. Carbonas even shared releases with the Black Lips, like the Live At…Rob’s House EP that we took the track “Day Turns Into Night” from.
Canada’s Deadly Snakes dropped by with an insomniac anthem about staying awake. “I Can’t Sleep At Night” was the second track off of their 2003 LP Ode To Joy. The band has worked with within the Detroit garage scene a bit too, garnering help from Oblivians/Reigning Sound mastermind Greg Cartwright.
We mentioned The Wrecking Crew earlier when we were talking about Glen Campbell. In 1962, when Sam Cooke went into the studio to record an album of “twist” themed songs to capitalize on the dance craze twirling around the nation at the time, the producers enlisted in the Wrecking Crew to record the music for Sam. “Twistin’ The Night Away” features some of the most prominent members, including Tommy Tedesco on guitar and Earl Palmer on drums. Gotta love those Wrecking Crew jams, every one of them is so solid.
Speaking of studio musicians, this next track features a musician who did some studio work in the late 60s before starting his own band where he could really shine. Van Morrison and Them would launch their careers after the success of the single “Gloria” from their debut LP, but on their second single, “Here Comes The Night”, the very first guitar strum you hear is played by Jimmy Page. Jimmy has a ton of credits on other people’s work throughout the late 60s, including that amazing guitar sound heard on the beginning of Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” cover. Here’s Jimmy, Van, and the rest of Them with “Here Comes The Night”.
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DJ: When the Stones were asked to perform “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend The Night Together” on the Ed Sullivan Show, Ed personally told the group the lyrics needed to be sang as “let’s spend some time together” or the band wouldn’t be on the show. Jagger finally acquiesced and can be seen rolling his eyes while singing the altered lyrics.
Giles, Miles, and Niles Strange of The Strangeloves were three brothers from Australia who were raised on a sheep farm and struck it rich after inventing a new form of sheep crossbreeding. Bullshit. Sheepshit, rather. The backstory was itself the invention of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer, three songwriters from New York looking to capitalize on the British Invasion. They were able to pull the story off for a bit, until “I Want Candy” made it big which forced the three to recruit a touring band that would act like the Aussie concoction. Another hit single for them, “Night-Time”, followed our Set 4 Score of the episode.
“Night-Time” bears a striking resemblance to our Set 4 Score, Mrs. Magician’s “Nightlife”. Well, the genre, the pulsing drumbeat, and the two-hit chorus line are about as much as they have in common, but nonetheless characteristics are shared. The San Diego, California band released the single “You’ll Fall In Love” in 2016 along the the full length album Bermuda, both of which are really f’in fun releases. But their 2012 LP Strange Heaven has held a place in our hearts for so long that we wanted to give it a proper feature. “Nightlife” may have well been the best song to come out that year. Check out their bandcamp and pick up some great surf rock anthems for this summer!
More SoCal garage rock played before Mrs. Magician with their Los Angeles counterparts together PANGEA. The band’s third LP Badillac and titular single accompanying it garnered attention from MTV when it was released in 2014. With good reason, too. Badillac is a badass album, and fits in perfectly among the sun-bleached-yet-oil-stained floors of LA’s garage rock scene. One of the deeper cuts from that LP, “Where The Night Ends” graced our set.
Up next is some more Canadian garage rock followed by some sweet soul music. We played Regina, Saskatchewan band Surf Dads on our California epsiode with a track from their debut EP, and today we’re playing the lead track from their debut LP. From Surf Dads’ 2017 debut album All Day Breakfast (perhaps an homage to their debut Denny’s EP), here’s “Up All Night”.
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DJ: La Luz was the Set 4 Score featured artist of our California episode. The band’s 2018 LP Floating Features was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and helped the band dive further into the broader audience pool. Lead singer Shana Cleveland has her debut solo LP slated for release in April of 2019, so keep an eye out for that! We heard “Clear Night Sky” from their Damp Face EP.
Some lesser-known psychedelia gallivanted its way through the set with the 1967 cut “Night Sounds Loud” by Clear Light. Clear Light had minor success before disbanding after just the one album. Bass player Douglass Lubahn, however, would go on to be invited to play bass as a fulltime member of The Doors, but declined. Drummer Dallas Taylor found success playing with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and even sat in with The Doors accompanying John Densmore in 1970. Dallas died January 18th, 2015, exactly 4 years ago today.
Philly soul singer Billy Harner dropped by with the only single he released via Parkway Records, “All Through The Night”. Well, technically “All Through The Night” was the b-side to “Let’s Get In Line”, but we’ll take it. Harner never found the success he pursued, but persisted hard through the 60s. After finally calling it quits, Billy opened up a barber shop in Camden, New Jersey.
Wilson Pickett stopped by with the b-side to his 1970 single “Hey Joe”. Though “Hey Joe” came from the 1970 LP Right On, the b-side “Night Owl” came from the previous album Hey Jude. Hey Jude, of course is famous for catapulting what is now known as Southern Rock due to Duane Allman’s epic guitar solo in the song.
The final set of our Nights episode begins and ends with The Beatles, much like many rock and roll discussions. Swedish band Mando Diao covered The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” for their 2006 single TV & Me. Giving the track a fresh spin and real garage vibe, here’s Mando Diao.
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DJ: Ahhh. How peaceful. The finale to the Beatles’ best album (in my opinion), “Good Night” closes out our Nights Pt. 1 episode. Twelve violins, three violas, three cellos, one harp, three flutes, one clarinet, one horn, one vibraphone, and one string bass accompany Ringo Starr on vocals. John Lennon wrote the tune as a lullaby for his son Julian and wanted it to sound real cheesy. It worked. Sure was pretty, though.
Spooner Oldham, Roger Hawkins, and Jimmy Johnson of Muscle Shoals notoriety showed up again, this time backing up Aretha Franklin on her 1968 Aretha Now LP. “Night Time Is The Right Time” had been recorded by Ray Charles a few years prior, but the origination of the song dates back further than 1938. Roosevelt Sykes recorded “Night Time Is the Right Time” in 1937, and more versions than we can list have morphed their way along the charts throughout the years, including versions by CCR and The Sonics.
Melbourne, Australia’s Drunk Mums dropped by with a brand new track off of their Urban Cowboy release. “Rockin’ All Night” not only encapsulated Drunk Mums persona as a band but also projects a perfect image of the guitar god era of rock and roll. The track rips like a b-side off of Exile On Mainstreet impregnated someone from the KISS army. Great rock and roll!
The Greenhornes’ debut 1999 album was a true-to-form effort out of Detroit’s thriving garage rock revival scene. The Greenhornes, The Gories/Dirtbombs, The Go, and Oblivians were just handful of amazing bands that rocked the 90s in Detroit. But it wasn’t until a furniture upholsterer named John Gillis started a little duo-band called The White Stripes that the world would finally recognize the Motor City’s garage mecca role. The lead track to that debut LP, “The End Of The Night” played before Drunk Mums.
Well everyone, the sun is coming up soon and it’s nearly day time. We really enjoyed spending the night with you tonight, and hope you’ll join us on our Nights Pt. 2 whenever that may be. Until next time, thanks for listening!