abp: work

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“The Work Song”The VenturesWild Things!1966

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to ABP’s surfing episode! Today we’ll be hearing songs from all walks of the world all united in one common goal; work. Do you just love your job? Good for you. Do you just hate your job? Well, get ready to lament in like company because most of today’s songs are fairly anti-work.

01:10 Humans have been working since the dawn of their existence. Throughout most of their existence, though, a paycheck wasn’t always waiting for the laborer. The majority of human life has been exploited for someone else’s gain and it wasn’t until the past 100 years or so that employees began to gain real rights in the workplace.

01:40 What started as an ancient form of labor, artisan masters at the top with journeyman laborers studying them, started to turn into a more organized form of work right around the time the industrial revolution occurred. Many years of bloodshed and trampled human rights had to pass by for workers to be represented in a somewhat fair way, though even today there isn’t equal pay for equally qualified individuals.

02:10 In spite or because of all of that, I want to celebrate the act of work. Whether you own your own business, or are an entry level paper pusher, we all gotta serve somebody. Art Brut tells stories in their songs, and on their 2009 masterpiece Art Brut vs. Satan, they hired a legend in the storytelling punk scene, Frank Black, to produce them. The album would feature an homage track to Minneapolis band The Replacements, along with this next cut about those sweaty summer work days. Here’s “Summer Job”.

Set 1: To Work, Or Not To Work

2“Summer Job”Art BrutArt Brut vs. Satan2009
3“The Dreaded Day Job”Thee VicarsBack On The Streets2008
4“I Wanna Get A Job In The City”The KidsThe Kids1978
5“Don’t Need No Job”The A-BonesDon’t Need No Job / Wah-Hey! – 7″ Single1993
6“The Working Man”Creedence Clearwater RevivalCreedence Clearwater Revival1968

00:10  (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 The Golliwogs changed their name after reuniting during a hiatus in which two of the members were drafted by the US Army. During their reunion, they tossed around a few names, but liked the idea of somehow incorporating their friend Credence Newball’s moniker. What started as Creedence Nuball and the Ruby would evolve into Creedence Clearwater Revival and an album would follow in 1968. From that debut, we heard “The Working Man”.

00:40 The A-Bones covered an old rare rock and roll b-side from Jerry Parsons & The Blue Jeans. Jerry and the group would release Undecided / Don’t Need No Job in 1959 on Amp Records but that’s all you’ll find from them. The A-Bones covered “Don’t Need No Job” in 1993 and released it as a single backed by “Wah-Hey!”.

01:10 Belgium’s best-known punk band The Kids dropped in with an ode to getting a job in the big city. The Kids formed in 1976 and true to their name recorded their debut album when bassist Danny De Haes was only 15! “I Wanna Get A Job In The City” comes from that debut self-titled album.

01:40 Thee Vicars hailed from Bury Saint Edmunds, UK and brought that wild energy to their garage rock sound. As is the case for many stars that burn so bright, they would disband after the death of vocalist Chris Langeland at just 22 years old. Chris left us with some amazing music, though. Including “The Dreaded Day Job” from their debut LP Back On The Streets.

02:10 In the next set, we go job hunting. The stress of being out of work can eclipse even the sharpest of minds when you’re up against the wall. Minneapolis garage rock veterans The Blind Shake are here to sing about being out of work.

Intermission

7“Trip To Work”Smoke Trees.Into The Deep2017

Set 2: Wanted Help

8“Out Of Work”The Blind ShakeSeriousness2011
9“God Damn Job”The ReplacementsStink (“Kids Don’t Follow” Plus Seven)1982
10“Workin'”Black LipsLet It Bloom2005
11“Work”Frankie & The Witch FingersZAM2019
12“New Job”Dry CleaningSweet Princess EP2018

00:10  (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 London’s Dry Cleaning released their debut EP Sweet Princess before they had even played a show. While the band resents the descriptor, they do fit in nicely in the early 80s first wave post-punk sound a la Magazine, Joy Division, and the like. I played the spoken-word laden “New Job” for you today.

00:40 Indiana-born psychedelic rock group Frankie & The Witch Fingers swooped in with an ode to work. The genesis of the band came with some members collaborating with guys from Triptides. While Triptides ride the psychedelic wave a bit more, Frankie turns up the distortion.

01:10 Distortion and psychedelia are ingredients for many of the bands played on abp, including one of the more infamous groups, Black Lips. If you’ve never seen the Black Lips perform live, you’ve probably got more wholesome imagery in your head than someone who has. The band is known to get wild. From their 3rd LP Let It Bloom, the Lips’ contributed “Workin” to the show.

01:40 Before the Lips’ we heard a two-fer from Minneapolis. The Replacements released their 1982 EP Stink in a first batch of pressings that included cover art stamped from potatoes. In fact, the first 3 pressings of Stink were potato stamped, the 2nd pressing being in red ink. We heard “God Damn Job” from that EP.

02:10 Up next is the big boss set. Jimmy Reed wrote so many blues songs that inspired a new generation of artists, you could possibly crown him as rock and roll royalty. In fact, maybe we should. The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Elvis Presley, The Grateful Dead, hell, even Bill Cosby threw is interpretation of “Big Boss Man” on an album. So here’s to Jimmy Reed with The Headcoatees covering “Big Boss Man”.

Intermission

13“Boss”The RumblersBoss1962

Set 3: Pay The Cost To Be The Boss

14“Big Boss Man”Thee HeadcoateesHave Love Will Travel1992
15”You’re Not The Boss Of Me”The GruesomesCave-In!2000
16”Boss”NeckingCut Your Teeth2019
17”My Boss”Heroine SheiksSiamese Pipe2002
18“Who’s The Boss?”The DewtonsKill Bozy2016

00:10  (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 If you’re going to play rock and roll in the USA, starting a band in Detroit might be a good idea. Home to the godfathers of punk rock The Stooges, the city generates some of the best, hardest rock and punk America has to offer. The Dewtons fit right in. Their call-and-response anthem “Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss)” can overcome every crowd member with an urge to yell out the 80s TV star’s name.

00:40 Heroine Sheiks frontman Shannon Selberg is another Minneapolis musician arguing against work. More acutely, Selberg is fed up with his boss. Selberg hails from Minneapolis art-noise outfit The Cows and started the Sheiks after moving to NYC. Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes took them on tour as well. More from him later.

01:10 Vancouver band Necking tells it like it is. With their debut 2019 LP Cut Your Teeth, the band channels unfiltered biographical experiences and lays it all out on the table. “Boss” appears like a tongue-in-cheek lashing about “the man in charge of my livelihood”, when in turn the power comes from this song’s attitude. Well done.

01:40 The Gruesomes reunited in 2000 after a ten year hiatus. They band broke up in 1990 after achieving what they felt was the most success a group like them could achieve. Luckily for them (and us), garage rock is timeless. From their 200 reunion LP Cave-In!, that was “You’re Not The Boss Of Me”.

02:10 Unfortunately for us plebs, working multiple jobs is no longer a reflection of a go-getter or someone in a rut, but is rather reflective of the typical middle-class worker. What once was something rare has since become the norm. Erik Nervous explains his situation relative to the status quo in the next cut. “Do one job, and then do another”. Sounds about right. Here’s Erik Nervous with “Eight Jobs”.

Intermission

19”The Spanish Job”Cookin’ On 3 BurnersBlind Bet2014

Set 4: Just To Get By

20”Eight Jobs”Erik NervousAssorted Anxieties2018
21”Hard Workin’ Man”Natural Child19712011
22”The Way That You Work”Les SexareenosOut To Sea EP2001
23”My Job At The Hive”CoachwhipsDouble Death2006
24”Friday On My Mind”The EasybeatsGood Friday1966

00:10  (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 While the single was released in October of 1966, the debut album from The Easybeats, Good Friday, would be the one to host the international pop hit the following year. Each verse starts in a minor key with a new day in the week, culminating in a weekend rush of major key bliss. That was “Friday On My Mind”.

00:40 Oh Sees frontman Jon Dwyer turned up the distortion on every single instrument, including the vocals, for his side project Coachwhips. The band was known for their raw, dirty, noisy garage punk sound and executed it masterfully. They sound like the Kinks run through a megaphone, then through a fuzz pedal. From the b-sides compilation Double Death, that was “My Job At The Hive”.

01:10 Mark Sultan and Les Sexareenos popped into the middle of the set with a cut from their 2001 Out To Sea EP. The Sexareenos are one of many, many groups that Mark contributed to over the years. That was “The Way That You Work”.

01:40 Natural Child channeled their inner-Stones with the release of 1971. The Rolling Stones released Sticky Fingers that year, which nearly every Natural Child song on this album pays homage to. It’s a vibe, a style, that the Brits-turned-Southern Blues rockers perfected and Natural Child cooks with those ingredients zestfully.

02:10 In the next set, the time has come for celebration. What’s everyone’s favorite part of a job? The paycheck of course! Swedish punkabilly band The Accidents are members of the Burning Heart Records family. Burning Heart is closely affiliated with Brett Gurewitz’s Epitaph Records, and Epitaph releases Burning Heart albums in the US, including major releases from The Hives, Millencolin, and the Refused. Here’s “4 Days Til’ Payday” from The Accidents.

Intermission

25”Lazarus Goes Back To Work”The Mercury FourCodename: Aurora2007

Set 5: Pay Day

26“4 Days Til’ Payday”The AccidentsPoison Chalice2005
27”Just Got Paid”SHINERSNow EP2017
28“Just Got Paid”BNLXEP #32010
29“Just Got Paid”The NaturalsWe Are The Naturals2017
30”Paycheck”FIDLARFIDLAR2012

00:10  (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 FIDLAR spawned from the settled ashes of the late 80s punk movement in an incredibly natural way; with half the band members being literal spawns of a local legend. Greg Kuehn is an accomplished keyboardist and started his career with SoCal punks T.S.O.L.. Greg’s sons Max and Elvis play in FIDLAR. FIDLAR played “Paycheck” from their debut LP.

00:40 The Jolly brothers from Philly, PA recorded their debut LP completely on their own, full DIY style. After releasing it online in 2017, the Melbourne label Popboomerang Records picked it up for distribution. From that debut, we heard the brothers’ take on what they’d do when they “Just Got Paid”.

01:10 BNLX was the brainchild of Minneapolis musician Ed Ackerson. Ed made a big name for himself in the scene by fronting the band Polara in the 90s. After Polara, Ed took up production and manned the boards for bands like The Replacements, Motion City Soundtrack, Soul Asylum and more. Ed died in 2019 somewhat unexpectedly as he had hidden his cancer diagnosis from the public. Pete Townshend wished him well on stage when he played at the Xcel Center in Saint Paul, only to learn Ed would die a month later. Ed and BNLX contributed “Just Got Paid” to the playlist today.

01:40 SHINERS hail from London and are possibly one of the more “polished” garage rock acts on the show. There is definitely a garage rock vibe going on in “Just Got Paid”, but the production quality seems to push it into pop territory. Do with that information what you will. SHINERS put out Now 2017 in, well, 2017.

02:10 As the end of the work week nears, the level of production tends to wane a bit in the average worker bee. Maybe even to the point where you’d want to quit. Let’s hear a set of songs that could inspire you to walk off the job. Starting it off is Austin, Texas band the Butthole Surfers with a deep cut demo from their earliest days. Here’s “I Hate My Job” from Gibby and the gang.

Intermission

31”Easy Job”The Dead RocksOne Million Dollar Surf Band2008

Set 6: Who’s Comin’ With Me?

32”I Hate My Job”Butthole SurfersHumpty Dumpty LSD2002
33”I Hate My Fucking Job”M.O.T.O.Eternal Standby EP1998
34”Quit Your Job”Chixdiggit!Born On The First Of July1998
35”Quit Your Job”WimpsRepeat2013
36”Take This Job And Shove It”Dead KennedysBedtime For Democracy1986

00:10  (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 With a name like Johnny Paycheck you’d better have a song or two about work. In 1977, Johnny recorded the David Allan Coe-penned tune for his comeback album of the same name. Dead Kennedys covered it on their final LP Bedtime For Democracy in 1986.

00:40 Seattle’s Wimps repeated the call to leave work with “Quit Your Job” off of their debut LP Repeat. Guitarist and lead singer Rachel Ratner founded Seattle radio station KEXP’s volunteer program while working there as a DJ. The band has since become a member of the Kill Rock Stars family.

01:10 One of the shortest songs you’ll ever hear on abp, Chixdiggit’s “Quit Your Job”, played before Wimps. The track comes from their sophomore LP Born On The First Of July but also was featured on the Fat Wreck Chords ambitious compilation Short Songs For Short People. The comp hosted 101 bands doing 30 seconds or less songs.

01:40 Masters Of The Obvious, or M.O.T.O. for short, formed in New Orleans in the early 80s by Paul Caporino. Paul would record songs by himself over the course of two decades, sometime enlisting band members for live shows. The first proper album came from Paul and the group in 2003; Kill Moto. Paul seems to really hate his job, though I can’t imagine he’s talking about playing rock and roll.

02:00 I suppose the glitz and glamour of being a rock star may wear off for some over time. For others it might be the only job they’ll ever know or want. For most, it seems, though, work is just another part of life, no matter how many songs or albums you’ve put out. Because of that, we get an entire library of music devoted to that dreaded 9-5. Thanks for joining me today, see you next time!

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Work Tapes”Magic In Threes32016

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

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