abp: tv

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“Theme From T.V.”Shadowy Men On A Shadowy PlanetSavvy Show Stoppers1988

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

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s TV episode! Today I’m all about that boob tube, the silver screen, the couch potato’s companion, that lovely television set. What once was the focal point of many a living room in the post-War USA, has since become completely remote and mobile with the wave of streaming services and TV apps that exist.

01:10 In the early days of television, families would gather around the living room with their microwaved TV dinners and TV trays and ogle at the screen displaying black and white fuzzy imagery of comedy hours, music specials, straightforward news reporting and sports games.

01:40 After the internet gave cable companies a run for their money, they adapted and put their content online. By the year 2020, people could watch live TV on a cellular phone in the middle of nowhere in HD quality. So in honor of the incredibly popular invention, I’ve got a show stacked with TV songs.

02:10 Kicking things off is one of the most well-known, if not the most well-known punk rock songs about TV. Black Flag was on singer number three by the time Henry Rollins joined the band. Their first vocalist, Keith Morris, sang on the band’s debut EP Nervous Breakdown. Keith quit and went on to form the Circle Jerks with Greg Hetson. Hetson played in Redd Kross, which featured Ron Reyes on drums. Ron sang on Black Flag’s 2nd EP, Jealous Again. After Ron left due to violence at the shows, Dez Cadena would join and tour for the year. After Dez quit, the legendary Henry Rollins joined and recorded their 1981 debut LP Damaged. Here’s their ode to television from that album, “TV Party”.

Set 1: The Silver Screen City

2“TV Party”Black FlagDamaged1981
3“TV Love”SimpletonesBeach Blvd Compilation1979
4“TV Set”The CrampsSongs The Lord Taught Us1980
5“TV Luv Song”WavvesLife Sux EP2013
6“T.V. California”CosmonautsCosmonauts2010

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

00:15 Like all of the bands in this first set, Cosmonauts hail from Southern California. The band dubs themselves “drug punk” and splashes in droney, shoegazey guitars on top of their garage sound. Their debut album was first released as a cassette-only Burger Records exclusive, but has since been repressed. From that debut, we heard “T.V. California”.

00:40 Nathan Williams and Wavves were three LPs in before releasing the EP Life Sux. The EP included 6 songs exclusive to the release and the CD version had two bonus tracks, one of which we just listened to. “TV Luv Song” was released as a digital single as well, but was included on that 2013 EP.

01:10 Things got a bit spooky in the middle of the set with The Cramps dropping in. Lux Interior and Poison Ivy Rorschach formed the group in the mid-70s and were apart of the CBGB scene in New York. Their debut record Songs The Lord Taught Us paved the way for an entire subgenre coined by Lux himself, psychobilly. Though, Lux thought The Cramps weren’t psychobilly at all.

01:40 Simpletones never put out a proper album as the original incarnations of the band, but did squeak out a couple of EPs in the late 70s on Posh Boy Records. It’s rather unfortunate, too, becuase they had a great sound. The Vandals would cover “I Have A Date” in the 90s and labels in Germany and Italy have compiled all of their tracks on an import LP with that very same title. We heard “TV Love” from the Beach Blvd compilation.

02:10 2015 curiously spawned a handful of great TV songs. Starting things off for the next set is the Philly, PA group Remember Sports. Bringing a pop-punky vibe mixed with what comes off as a Southern twangy crooner vocal style gives this band a uniquely bright sound. Great harmonies, great tune. Here’s Remember Sports, FKA Sports, with “Reality TV” from All Of Something.

Intermission

7“T.V. Song”Blue Man GroupAudio1999

Set 2: Total Victory

8“Reality TV”Remember SportsAll Of Something2015
9“TV”Colleen GreenI Want To Grow Up2015
10“T.V. Wedding”PillPill EP2015
11“TV”Summer CannibalsShow Us Your Mind2015
12“TV”Negative ScannerNose Picker2018

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

00:15 Yesssss, that was so good. 2018 saw the release of Negative Scanner’s sophomore LP Nose Picker and further advancement of their assault on the state of punk rock. Lead singer Rebecca Valeriano-Flores and the band mash together motorik and monotone in a succinct mix of power. The Chicago band released their debut self titled album in 2015 on Trouble In Mind Records.

00:40 I’d like to think that Summer Cannibals’ founder and lead singer Jessica Boudreaux named the band after the 90s Patti Smith song. I mean, it has to be that, right? Regardless, great move. Their 2nd album Show Us Your Mind launched them into national light and scored them a spot at SXSW and CMJ in 2015. “T.V.” closes out that LP and is the only sign of the band letting up after a forceful set of songs.

01:10 Brooklyn band Pill put out there 2015 debut EP on Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts’ Dull Tools label. The EP kicks off with “T.V. Wedding” walking down the aisle into your living room. Pill put out two great LPs and compiled their early recordings on The Dull Tools Tapes, but ultimately disbanded in 2019.

01:40 Colleen Green’s debut release paid homage to the Descendents when she titled it Milo Goes To Compton. She even covered their tune “Good Good Things” on it. Two albums later, we got I Want To Grow Up, possibly another Descendents reference. Colleen also covered blink 182’s Dude Ranch in its entirety in 2019 with just a bass guitar, which was very pleasing to hear. With her single “TV”, Colleen laments about how that silver screen has always been there for her through thick and thin, something I think many people can align with.

02:10 Naked Giants’ debut LP Sluff housed the single “TV”. While the first single off of the album didn’t quite gain traction, their second single “Everybody Thinks They Know (But No One Really Knows)” kicked their popularity up a notch. “TV” may have more depth and make for a more entertaining listen, but “Everybody” definitely has a poppier hook that can reel you in. Here’s that first single, though, “TV”.

Intermission

13“T.V. Dream”La LuzBrainwash – 7″ Single2013

Set 3: Crummy Commercials

14“TV”Naked GiantsSluff2018
15”Television”IDLESJoy As An Act Of Resistance2018
16”TV Adverts”The NervesTV Adverts – 7″ Single1978
17”Television’s Over”The AdvertsTelevision’s Over – 7″ Single1978
18“Television”R.M.F.C.Hive EP2018

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

00:15 R.M.F.C. is the brainchild of Buz Avenue, a young punk-trepeneuer out of Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia. The project formed into a full band and added members and influence out of Sydney. With “Television”, Buz lives up to his name with a fuzzy scuzzy buzzy tune mixed with driving, tight drums.

00:40 The Adverts are an aptly named band for today’s theme. Adding to the fun, the lead singer’s name is T.V.! Tim (T.V.) Smith formed the band with Gaye Black in 1976 and they put out two LPs and a few EPs before calling it quits at the end of the decade. “Television’s Over” shows up on their 2nd and final LP Cast Of Thousands.

01:10 The Nerves were a three piece formed in Stafford, England in October of 1977. Not to be confused with the other Nerves, the band that wrote “Hanging On The Telephone” which would later be covered by Blondie. These Nerves put out one 7″ in 1978 featuring the song “TV Adverts” and watched it climb up the UK Alternative charts, but that’d be it for them. Great tune, nonetheless, and it fit in well next to The Adverts.

01:40 Now from Stafford over to Bristol. British band IDLES slapped their own style of rock and roll onto the set with some more motorik beats. With 2018’s Joy As An Act Of Resistance, the band channeled a new style of self-reflection, a positive one. It’s all in the album name. Find joy in life, because it seems that negativity at some point took over partnership power, and that’s just not right. “Television” comes from that joyous album.

02:10 Well now that we’ve had a delectable delve into British rock and roll, let’s take a flight back to California. Together Pangea formed in 2009 and reached new heights with the release of their third LP Badillac. The band would then tour opening for The Replacements during their final reunion tour as well as have bassist Tommy Stinson produce their EP The Phage. From 2019’s EP Non Stop Paranoia, here’s “Hi-Fi Television”.

Intermission

19”TV Troubles”BoxcutterThe Dissolve2011

Set 4: Shitcoms

20”Hi-Fi Television”Together PangeaNon Stop Paranoia EP2019
21”Television Sets Are Going Cheap”Alien Nose JobSuddenly Everything Is Twice As Loud2020
22”TV Life”The SoaksLoser EP2016
23”I Wanna Be On TV”FangWhere The Wild Things Are1984
24“TV Casualty”MisfitsStatic Age1978

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

00:15 The Misfits suffered one of the rare instances in the music industry that prevents quality material from being released due to record contract issues. Glenn Danzig founded Blank Records to put out the band’s debut single Cough/Cool. In 1977, Mercury Records wanted to use Blank Records for one of their subdivisions and offered to buy it from Glenn, to which he countered with a request for studio time. They recorded 17 songs, but no one wanted to put the record out. They released the songs in various ways throughout the 80s, but Static Age wouldn’t see daylight as a whole until 1997.

00:40 Fang sprouted up in the East Bay area around Oakland, California in 1980 and would go through some lineup shifts before putting out their 1982 debut Landshark. Green Day covered “I Wanna Be On TV” in 1995 when recording Insomniac and put the song on the Japanese version of the release and the “Geek Stink Breath” single.

01:10 The Soaks hail from California as well, albeit a full generation or two after Fang. The San Diego group was one of many bands Jordan Clark would play with. Jordan also played bass in Mrs. Magician, Hot Like (A) Robot, and Tape Deck Mountain. From their 2016 EP Loser, that was “TV Life”.

01:40 Alien Nose Job is the moniker of a self-proclaimed bedroom recorder Jake Robertson from Clunes, Australia. Jake plays in the other bands Ausmuteants and School Damage, but sticks to his abode while recording ANJ. “Television Sets” was the first single released from the 2020 LP Suddenly Everything Is Twice As Loud, which is a perfect album title for a project that seemed to feel a whole lot more punk rock this go around.

02:10 Sticking around down under, Moses Gunn Collective hail from Brisbane. The group put out one fantastic psychedelic rock album in 2015, but only a few years later many of the members formed a new indie dance pop group called Confidence Man. Its amazing how different these two acts sound. Nevertheless, here’s “Colour Television” from the 2015 release Mercy Mountain.

Intermission

25”Television Fission”Man Or Astro-Man?Experiment Zero1996

Set 5: Technicolorvision

26”Colour Television”Moses Gunn CollectiveMercy Mountain2015
27“Colour Television”Eddy Current Suppression RingPrimary Colours2008
28”Colour Television”Dune RatsSexy Beach EP2011
29“Colour TV”Two-Bit SisterRoad Gore: The Band That Drank Too Much1985
30“Color TV”Answering MachineColor TV EP2018

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

00:15 Answering Machine comes from NYC and happens to share their name with a Replacements song. Perhaps that’s why lead singer Samantha Campanile and guitarist J.D. Fetcho were asked by Two Minutes To Late Night to participate in their bedroom cover of the ‘Mats’ “Kids Don’t Follow”? Perhaps it’s just ’cause they rock? From their 2018 EP Color TV, that was the title track.

00:40 Two-Bit Sister is an unsigned band out of Margate, Kent, England. The band released their debut EP Radiator in 2020 and claims to be Margate’s number one sneez-core rock duo. Bless you. “Colour TV” comes from that debut.

01:10 Dune Rats are another Brisbane group from the Australian garage rock scene. Their debut EP Sexy Beach featured a lo-fi production sound fit for any literal garage. They’d evolve to a more alternative rock sound in later releases, but “Colour Television” remains a garage favorite.

01:40 The set started with Aussie band Moses Gunn Collective and bled into Melbourne act Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Their sophomore 2008 album Primary Colours garnered an A- rating from the legendary rock critic Robert Christgau. They took a hiatus in 2016 but returned with a new LP in 2019. “Colour Television” comes from Primary Colours.

02:10 Big Boys were apart of the early 80s Austin, Texas hardcore punk scene. Along with local legends The Dicks, Big Boys were pioneers in queer punk with both Big Boys’ singer Biscuit Turner and Dicks singer Gary Floyd being among the first openly gay singers, especially in the genre. Turner could often be seen in a pink tutu and cowboy boots when performing. Let’s let Biscuit charge us up with the Big Boys tune “T.V.”.

Intermission

31”Television in 1.5$ Room Sucks”Delicate Circumstances2019

Set 6: Channel Surfin’

32”T.V.”Big BoysWhere’s My Towel / Industry Standard1981
33”Watching T.V.”The BeetsStay Home2011
34”Dr. TV”The EatGod Punishes The Eat EP1980
35”T.V. Blues”UK SubsAnother Kind Of Blues1979
36”Television”Bad ReligionStranger Than Fiction1994

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

00:15 Bad Religion bookends the episode with their LA hardcore counterparts Black Flag. The band was seeing a peak in popularity in the mid 90s with the emergence of punk rock in the mainstream. Guitarist and songwriter Brett Gurewitz’s Epitaph Records housed The Offspring and Rancid, two of the biggest punk bands around in 1994. Tim Armstrong from Rancid even stops by to sing a bit on “Television” from 1994’s Stranger Than Fiction.

00:40 UK Subs were one of the first punk bands and formed in 1976 as the UK Subversives. Vocalist Charlie Harper is supposedly the nephew of Cesar Romero, the actor who played the original Joker in the Batman TV series. The Subs’ debut LP 1979 Another Kind Of Blues was both a play on the new sound of punk rock and the drastically different sound of the album when compared with Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue. “T.V. Blues” comes from that debut.

01:10 The Eat is a band out of Miami, Florida whose 7″ singles and lone LP would haunt punk record collectors for years due to their scarcity and rarity. That’s what happens when great songs get limited to small presses. Luckily Jello Biafra picked up the discography and released it all as a compilation in 2007. From their 1980 sophomore EP, God Punishes The Eat, that was “Dr. TV”

01:40 The Beets were a Queens, New York band in the mid 2010s that put out some great lo-fi garage. Not to be confused with the band from the cartoon Doug, the real Beets put out a few albums including one for Hardly Art in 2011 and one for Captured Tracks that same year. “Watching T.V.” comes from the Captured Tracks one, Stay Home.

02:10 Stay home indeed, folks. That’s where the TV is. Of course, you could go screengaze anywhere else these days, but nothing feels like your own couch. In honor of that rerun machine, that LCD imagesystem, that media mumbler, thank you for stopping by for a celebration of television! I’ll see you next episode, same bat time, same bat channel…

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Television Snow”Johnny JewelWindswept2017

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!


Heard To Find: Zap – “Football Stomp”

Artist: Zap
Track:“Football Stomp”
Release: Don’t Wanna Play / Football Stomp (7″)
Year: 1975
Duration: 3:14

Side B: “Football Stomp”

Back in 1975, Walter Kahn was riding the success of his Grammy-winning production of the single “Love Me Like A Rock” by The Dixie Hummingbirds. The Dixie Hummingbirds had recorded the Paul Simon-penned track with Paul at Muscle Shoals in 1973, but wanted to record their own version. Shortly after recording the original with Paul, they did just that. The Hummingbirds’ version won them a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance in 1974, with Walter getting an award for producing it. In 1975, Walter wrote, arranged, and produced a few singles for Grand Prix Records featuring studio musicians under fake band names like QVRS and Zap. A couple of these singles were sports themed, including the disco dance novelty tune “Phillies Fever” featuring 5 players of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt, David Cash, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox. Another single, “Don’t Wanna Play”, was backed with the sporty B-side “Football Stomp”. That single flopped, but had very minor success in the Philadelphia area.

Later in Kahn’s career, he hit #1 on the Billboard Top Dance Singles chart with his production of The Movement’s 1992 Jock Jams-destined hit “Jump!“.

Continuing on with the hip-hop/dance inspired work, he would end up earning another Grammy nomination in 1995 for producing rapper Skee-Lo’s single “I Wish“.

Back to the “Stomp”, though. The song is a power pop ode to the NFL and that’s about as much as you can squeeze out of it. Towards the end of the song, Zap sings aloud all of the current NFL teams at the time, many of which sound like made up teams considering all of the expansion and city-hopping the league has done over the years. The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would arrive the following year in 1976, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans in the years to come, but this 1975 snapshot serves a nostalgic glimpse into the days of yesteryear.

Side A: “Don’t Wanna Play”

The A-side, “Don’t Wanna Play” is a standard mid-70s pop rock song and isn’t nearly as remarkable as “Football Stomp”. There’s pretty much no way to market “Football Stomp” as a single, though, so it’s understandable.

Regardless of my or your opinion of the songs, I’d like to thank Walter and the rest of the production crew for putting this out. It was well worth the listen!

abp: school

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#TitleArtistAlbumYear
1“First Day Of School”Michael GiacchinoInside Out Original Soundtrack2015

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

00:15 Happy day and welcome to abp’s school episode. Today we’re gonna take a journey down the squeaky, waxed halls of the public education system. From high school, to graduation, to college, it’s all here.

00:40 Education has been a focal point for many advanced nations for centuries, with many more underdeveloped nations joining the school force with the boom of technology. While the internet may at times seem like nothing but a destructive web, thanks to the ability to transfer information instantaneously across the world, the internet has opened up a grip of opportunities for those in more remote locations. At this point, it seems you could do anything from anywhere via satellite.

01:15 All of that aside, today is all about that typical 13-year jaunt of schooling in grades Kindergarten through your Senior year. It seems that right around the time kids get to high school, their rebellious nature kicks in and out come the punk songs.

01:45 Kicking things off with a classic, we’ve got the Ramones doing their End Of The Century track “Rock And Roll High School”. The song also scored the soundtrack to the 1979 film of the same name in which the Ramones played themselves. It’s not Scorsese material, but a fun watch if you’re a Ramones fan. Here we go with the Ramones and “Rock And Roll High School”!

Set 1: Back To Class

2“Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”The RamonesEnd Of The Century1979
3“Going Back To School”The FleshtonesTake A Good Look!2008
4“Back To School”Cheap TimeCheap Time2008
5“I Don’t Wanna Go To School”The DonnasDa Doo Ron Ron EP1996
6“Time Bomb High School”Reigning SoundTime Bomb High School2002

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

00:15 That was Greg Cartwright and Reigning Sound chiming in with the title track to their 2002 LP Time Bomb High School. In true garage rock fashion, the song clocks in at under two minutes, almost 90 seconds really. What more do you need? Verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, goodnight!

00:45 Speaking of straight-forward, no-nonsense garage rock, how about The Donnas?! In the early 2000s, The Donnas broke into the mainstream riding the pop-punk explosion wave that the late 90s had created. In the 90s, though, The Donnas were paying homage to the Ramones in their early days right down to their aesthetic. Their song “I Don’t Wanna Go To School” fits in perfectly with that Ramone attitude, and with the rest of the episode.

01:10 Cheap Time got straight to the point in “Back To School”. Their debut LP was released on In The Red Records, home to garage punk icons like Mark Sultan and Ty Segall. The band has gone through countless lineup changes over the years, but founder and frontman Jeff Novak has remained the constant. Their sound has been compared to Redd Kross many times.

01:30 The Fleshtones, although not nearly as famous as the other 70s New York City punk and rock bands, cut their teeth at CBGB’s. They debuted at the club on May 19, 1976. Although that sounds like the early days of punk rock, the Ramones had already played over 100 shows at CBGB’s by then. The Fleshtones contributed “Going Back To School” from their 2008 LP Take A Good Luck!.

02:00 San Francisco garage throwback pioneer Ty Segall is up next with fellow garage head Mikal Cronin to play a track off of their first officially shared credits collaboration together, Reverse Shark Attack. Ty’s production has been everywhere since he started making waves in the scene in the 2000s, including Ex-Cult’s debut album which we’ll get to a little later. Here’s Ty and Mikal with “High School”.

Intermission

7“After School”Brock BeatsSilent Talk2019

Set 2: Hi-Skool

8“High School”Ty Segall & Mikal CroninReverse Shark Attack2009
9“High School”The BratAttitudes EP1980
10“High School Girls”The GearsRockin’ t Ground Zero1980
11“High School Girl”The FrightsFur Sure EP2013
12“High School (Don’t Like Them)”Naked GiantsThe Shadow2020

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

00:15 Seattle’s Naked Giants released their debut LP SLUFF on New West Records in 2018 to positive critical reviews. The real challenge was following it up with an equally, if not better, album. As is with every band. With their 2020 sophomore release The Shadow, the band continues their dance-the-stress-away vibe albeit with a slightly more down to earth vibe. From The Shadow, that was “High School (Don’t Like Them).

00:50 Southern California’s The Frights originally formed as a garage rock/surf punk band, but evolved more towards a pop-punk sound in their later records. From the band’s early-on Fur Sure EP, we heard their ode to their crush, “High School Girl”.

01:20 The Gears sang about their high school girl crush too, although in a little more of an aggressive tone. While I really do like this song, something about “You’re gonna get an education/I’m gonna get your ass” just seems so…off. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, what teenage boy isn’t thinking about sex? From their 1980 debut LP Rockin’ At Ground Zero, that was LA legends The Gears.

01:45 The Brat was a nice counter-attack to The Gears’ testosterone-fueled horned up anthem. Led by Chicana powerhouse Teresa Covarrubias, The Brat were also children of the LA punk scene in the late 70s/early 80s. The difference here, is that while most of the West LA punks were children of coastal royalty rebelling against the culture they were supposed to embrace, the East LA punks were generally not the wealthy class. BIPOC bands fit in with the punk scene because of the anti-establishment, DIY, struggling through life similarities. We heard “High School” from the band’s only official release, the 1980 EP Attitudes.

02:15 Now about that love/hate relationship with school. Let’s hear it in full effect. Starting things off is Nirvana with “School” from their debut album Bleach. As we move towards the middle of the set you’ll hear some very poppy and positive school tunes before we get back to hating it again. Let’s hear Kurt Cobain scream “No recess” a few times, here’s Nirvana.

Intermission

13“Middle School”Blue Wednesday Ft. Magnus KlausenChillhop Essentials – Winter 20182018

Set 3: School Spirit

14“School”NirvanaBleach2012
15“High School Roaches”Bass Drum Of DeathHigh School Roaches EP2010
16“Be True To Your School”The VeteransThe Veterans2008
17“Be True To Your School (’til You Get Kicked Out)”The White WiresII2010
18“School Days”Paint FumesUck Life2012

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

00:15 The Charlotte, North Carolina band Paint Fumes reminisce about those notorious “School Days” with a cut from their 2012 LP Uck Life. Lead singer Elijah Von Cramon helped fuel the resurgence of garage punk in the Charlotte scene by not only owning the house that hosted garage rock and punk band house parties, but also actively sought out national acts to book. That’s scene devotion.

00:40 Canadian garage rockers The White Wires sang the anti-devotion school anthem with a cut from their 2nd LP WWII. The song was the first single released from that LP. “Be True To Your School (’til You Get Kicked Out)” calls upon that faux patriotism that schools insisted you held during the post-War days of the late 50s/early 60s. Peach Kelli Pop frontwoman Allie Hanlon drums for The White Wires, too!

01:10 The Veterans covered the most famous school spirit song, doing their rendition of “Be True To Your School”. The Beach Boys released the song as a single backed by “In My Room” which featured a harp. A harp.With Andrea Manges and The Veterans covering this one, we get a fresh sound for some taste-tested melodies. The cover comes from The Veteran’s self-titled 2008 debut.

01:40 “High School Roaches” was released by Bass Drum Of Death as an EP in 2010. The also featured “Get Found” from their upcoming album GB City. “Get Found” is the song that began their rise in popularity, but that also might be due to their songs being in so many video games. “Get Found” was in MLB2K12, and other games that have featured their songs include GTA V, Forza 2, Forza 4, and Sunset Overdrive.

02:10 The Rydells claim to be New Hampshire’s finest Ramones inspired rock and roll band. Now, I definitely don’t know enough New Hampshire bands to protest this claim, so for the sake of continuity I’ll agree. In fact, if you couldn’t pick up from the first song of the episode, many of these songs and artists are Ramones-inspired. Three chords and a message. The Rydells play to that perfectly, and on their debut LP Go Mental they proclaim their disdain for school, much like the Ramones did thirty years prior. Here’s Jimmy Rydell and the Rydells doing “School Sucks”.

Intermission

19“Spy School Graduation Theme”Shadowy Men On A Shadowy PlanetSport Fishin’: The Lure Of The Bait, The Luck Of The Hook1993

Set 4: School Sucks

20“School Sucks”The RydellsGo Mental2005
21“I Hate School”Suburban StudsSlam1978
22“I Hate My School”NecrosI.Q. 32 EP1981
23“I Hate My School”Redd KrossRed Cross EP1981
24“Fuck School”The ReplacementsStink (“Kids Don’t Follow” Plus Seven) EP 1982

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

00:15 So, Paul Westerberg wasn’t really a fan of school.  The second release from The Replacements was an EP titled Stink (“Kids Don’t Follow” Plus Seven). When the band went to press the album, they went straight for DIY punk ethic and pressed blank white sleeves. The first batch of pressings were stamped with hand carved potatoes dipped in ink! Love it! We heard “Fuck School” from that EP.

00:45 I mentioned Redd Kross earlier in the episode when talking about Cheap Time. The LA punk band is famous for being the starting point of musicians Greg Hetson and Ron Reyes of Bad Religion and Black Flag, respectively. After their debut EP and the departure of those two, the band put out their first LP Born Innocent named after the Linda Blair movie. “Linda Blair” was the first song on that release, and the band was named after the scene in The Exorcist where the character Linda Blair plays masturbates with a cross. A red cross. “I Hate My School” comes from their debut EP.

01:15 Touch and Go Records put out some Midwestern punk rock staples in the 80s, including releases from bands like Big Black, Scratch Acid, and even a Nirvana split single in the 90s. Necros bassist Corey Rusk joined Touch and Go founder Tesco Vee to help run the label and in turn released Necros’ debut EP. Their follow-up EP, I.Q. 32 featured the bass-heavy sounds of “I Hate My School”, another ode to anti-institutionalization.

01:45 Suburban Studs put one album out in 1978 after spending 1977 opening for acts like The Clash and the Sex Pistols. The band comes from Birmingham, England and toured extensively in their short lived career. They were like punk rock Van Halen, in a way, with driving guitar licks leading the sound. I played their 2nd and final single released, “I Hate School”.

02:15 The Lords of Lonesome are out of Kent, England and kick off the graduation set. The next song talks about the status of England in the 80s and the changes brought upon by unions protesting their rights. This song is super catchy and has old school UK oi punk vibes to it, although it was recorded in 2014 by what some might claim as…older rockers. Age is relative. Anyway, here’s the Lords of Lonesome singing about buying a cap and gown on graduation day.

Intermission

25“Play School”Syd DaleHappy Novelties Compilation1970

Set 5: Graduation Day

26“Graduation Day”The Lords Of LonesomeThe Arse Of England Compilation2015
27“Post Graduate”Ex-CultEx-Cult2012
28“I Shoulda Graduated”The Catalogs¡Viva Los Muertos!1996
29“Schools Out”The SpitsVol. IV2009
30“School’s Out”45 GraveSchool’s Out EP1984

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

00:15 45 Grave formed in LA in 1979 right around the time the city was peaking in punk. The Germs, Black Flag, Adolescents and so many more bands were tearing up the city at their shows and word was spreading fast thanks to Rodney Bingenheimer on KROQ. Germs drummer Don Bolles drummed for 45 Grave and the band is considered one of the first American Gothic Rock bands. That darkness in rock wasn’t pioneered by them, though. Bands like Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper had that vibe early on. Makes sense that they would cover Alice here, too.

00:45 The Spits released their fourth self-titled LP in 2009, though some platforms call it School’s Out. Whatever the actual title is, the title track is great and sings of burning down the teacher’s car so that they don’t have to go to school. Failing school? No worries, just burn the teacher’s car.

01:15 The Catalogs were a short-lived 90s punk band out of Honolulu, Hawaii. The band released just one LP in 1995, ¡Viva Los Muertos!, and one EP in 1998. Although they never achieved success out of state, member Les Hernandez went on to form The Quintessentials, a fairly well-known horror punk band. Les died in 2019 after getting diagnosed with prostate cancer the previous year. They sure did one amazing parody of “I Wanna Be Sedated” though, with “I Shoulda Graduated”.

01:45 Ty Segall discovered Ex-Cult when they were still called Sex Cult before helping them with a band name re-brand and producing their debut. The punk band channels Ty’s dirty garage sound while adding their own gritty, hardcore flavor. “Post-Graduate” comes from that debut LP.

02:15 For some humans, after high school comes college. Before the Chicago, Illinois punk band Dwarves became the extreme and provocative band they are today, they started as a dirty garage rock band reminiscent of The Sonics out of Seattle. In fact, the band even spent some time on Seattle label Sub Pop before pissing them off on a hoax that the guitarist was stabbed resulting in them being dropped from the label. From their 1986 debut album Horror Stories, here is “College Town”.

Intermission

31“School’s Out”Sandy NelsonBe True To Your School1963

Set 6: Off To College

32“College Town”The DwarvesHorror Stories1986
33“Terminal Preppie”Dead KennedysPlastic Surgery Disasters1982
34“Uninversity”The Woolen MenTemporary Monument2015
35“Art School”The JamIn The City1977
36“Campus”CheatahsSunne EP2015

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

00:15 Cheatahs are another shoegaze-y throwback sort of band coming out of London. This band also channels that My Bloody Valentine aesthetic and plays a sort of indie rock that’s washed in dream pop. From their Sunne EP, we heard “Campus”.

00:45 1977 ushered in so much more punk rock than most people understand. It wasn’t just The Ramones or the Sex Pistols who put music out, but rather hundreds, if not thousands of punk bands all channeling the same fast, three-chord style. Perfection. The Jam took inspiration from the Mod movement and The Who, but fit in very well in the early days of punk before branching off into their own sound. From their first LP In The City, that was “Art School”.

01:15 The Woolen Men hail from the Pacific Northwestern United States. Portland, Oregon to be exact. Woolen Men play short punk songs with clean styles and a knack for the obscure. They fit in well with Seattle’s Wimps, which is where I first discovered them. “University” from their 2015 effort Temporary Monument played during the college set.

01:45 Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys jumped in with “Terminal Preppie” from their 1982 LP Plastic Surgery Disasters. The song still stands true today calling out yuppie lifestyles in the lyrics. “I’m not here to learn/I just want to get drunk/And major in business/And be taught how to fuck” is the MO of many a college preppie. Sometimes they are jocks who are there not for education but for partying and football, or sometimes they’re the rich kid whose never known a consequence. They exist, and the Dead Kennedys want you to know how much they suck.

02:15 Well students, I’m afraid that bring an end to our lesson today. I hope you’re outlook on schooling isn’t as jaded as many of the writers of the songs played today. While institutional learning has it’s downfalls, the lack of education our world is experiencing is showing some pretty nasty colors. Don’t hate, ED-U-CATE! Thank you for joining me today, I’ll see you next time.

Outro

37“Slideshow At Free University”Le TigreLe Tigre1999

Check out myList for all of the releases featured!


One-Man Johnson – ’54 Chevrolet Panel Truck Blues

Just looking at this cover brings forth memories of a Northern Winter I’ve never experienced. It’s not that I haven’t experienced Winter in Minnesota or Wisconsin (I have, I live in MN), but the Winter pictured on this LP is clearly before my time.

The needle drops and resonator guitar sounds start bouncing through the speakers followed soon by a high-hat and some weird type of bass sounding thing. After turning the cover over, I start to unravel what it is I’m listening to.

I knew this would be a Midwestern artist just from the LP cover, which also features a Wisconsin license plate, but turning it over confirmed that suspicion. There isn’t a concrete description of where this was recorded, but two towns are listed after production credits; Chippewa Falls, WI and Cushing, MN. I’ll assume it was recorded at one of those towns and as the cover states it was recorded live with no overdubs.

That bass sounding thing is a 13 string acoustic foot piano; whatever the hell that is. I’m guessing Robert made it himself in order to give his one man band act depth. He simultaneously plays guitar, harmonica, kazoo, a high-hat cymbal, and the foot piano. Not bad, Bob!

The actual music is great. Resonator slide guitar blues, ragtime jingles, songs about pot, what’s there not to like? While the album is packed with catchy blues tunes, I have to imagine this act was more fun to watch live than listen to on record.

I don’t want to discredit any of the work put into this album, though. As simple as the recording may have been, that is what makes most recordings stand out. Overproduction ruins so many otherwise great songs, there’s just no need for it. A couple of mics and a mixer and we’ve got ourselves gold!

After scouring the internet for more information, I’ve learned that Robert recorded at least 10 albums over his career as a solo one man band. He was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2014, and below is a performance celebrating that in 2015.

One-Man Johnson is still active and plays live music, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to catch a post-pandemic blues party at some point. Here’s a video of him performing in 2019 in Sutliff, Iowa. You can learn more about him at House Dog Music, his own record label used to release his albums.

Spotify has Robert One-Man Johnson’ ’54 Chevrolet Panel Truck Blues album available for streaming, check it out below.

Thanks for reading!