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!


Heard To Find: The Jon-Lee Group – “Pork Chops”

Artist: The Jon-Lee Group
Track:“Pork Chops”
Release: Bring It Down Front / Pork Chops (7″)
Year: 1967
Duration: 2:10

I found this buried in a box of beat up and thrown out 7″ records from a former coworker of mine. Most of the records he gave me were part of a lot sold on eBay from an old diner in California coupled with some books. The coworker wanted the books, the records came with them. So, naturally, he gave the wax to his record-loving pal; yours truly. 

Now for a little backstory on the band.

John Finley would seem like just another revolving member of The Checkmates by the time he met with the band in 1964. The Checkmates formed as Lee Jackson & The Checkmates in 1962, before experiencing a few lineup changes throughout the next few years. As Jon and Lee & The Checkmates, the band would snag some mild local scene success and even score a few huge opportunities to perform for national audiences (opening for the Rolling Stones and some ABC TV slots), but both chances fell apart. By 1967, now evolved into The Jon-Lee Group, the band would record 4 songs, two of which made it to wax. The instrumental B-side from the debut single, “Pork Chops” is the featured track today. 

The track has a down-up-down strum pattern similar to a sped up version of Otis Redding & Carla Thomas’ “Tramp“, “Good Stuff” from The B-52s’ 1992 LP of the same name,  and among many others, another Paul Rothchild connection – The Doors’ “The Changeling”. Rothchild was one of the first to offer the Jon-Lee Group a contract with his “indie” label, Elektra Records. The band declined and would shortly thereafter break up. John Finley and Paul Rothchild would continue their relationship, though, with Paul recruiting John and fellow Checkmate Michael Fonfora to form his new super-group Rhinoceros.  

As far as I know, this cut and it’s A-side companion, “Bring It Down Front”, never saw a re-release, even after The Checkmates reformed in 1999. Even though it’s a bit obscure, maybe someday a repress will happen. With it being distributed by a large label like ABC Records, there could be hope. It’s not like this was just some small private pressing, someone knows where those tapes are! In the meantime, all we have are some hard-to-find 7″ records (which I luckily landed a copy of) and the glorious YouTube rips from vinyl heads across the world. Enjoy the “Pork Chops”, bon appetit!

Check out a full bio and history of the band as well as some insight into Rhinoceros at http://www.rhinoceros-group.com/checkmates.html!