FMF Episode #43 – Kids

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DJ: Hello everyone and welcome to another round of  Feel Me Flow!  This week (past year and a half, let’s be honest) has been a tumultuous and news-filled week for America.  Nearly every one has been talking about children being separated from their families after seeking asylum at US borders.  Photos and audio recordings have been trickling out of these buildings that should make any human being’s skin crawl, yet America still fights over what should be done.

The news brings a heart-aching reminder that kids are the future of this world and it is our duty as adults to set them up for success, not hold them back.  Today’s episode is all about the kids.  Rock and roll wouldn’t exist without the youth, in fact, its probably more relative to youth than anyone.  Everyone experiences some rebellious tendencies growing up, whether it be to skip school and throw stuff off of a bridge or to not write your name in cursive on your finals test, everyone fought the power at some point.  We’re gonna hear all kinds of tunes about problem children, hungry children, wild children, cool kids, bad kids, good kids, stupid kids, sinister kids and a brand new Set 4 Score from The Trust Fund Kids out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kicking off our show, which is filled with some great punk rock today, is the pioneering English punk band Sham 69.  The band’s name is said to have come from a worn-down piece of graffiti that read “Walton and Hersham ’69”, a reference to the football club that won the Athenian League Premier Division in 1969.  Bay Area punks Rancid would go on to cover this track for Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records compilation series Give ‘Em The Bootfeatured on the second installment in the series.  From Hersham, England here’s Sham 69 with “If The Kids Are United”.

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DJ: We featured San Diego beach punks The Frights on our Surfing episode last year with a track from their debut EP.  Their 2016 sophomore LP You Are Going To Hate This was produced by FIDLAR’s Zac Carper and definitely sounds like it.  The neo-surf punk sound of mixing in electronic drums and noises is present throughout the entire release and represented well in “Kids”.  The Frights are releasing Hypochondriac on August 24, 2018.

Jersey Oi! punks the Bouncing Souls did what they usually do and referenced an 80s movie for their song “Kid”.  The lyric starting the second verse, “Is it true when we get old our hearts die?” comes from the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club.  “Kid” comes from the Souls’ Hopeless Romantic LP, one that also features the soccer chant homage song “¡Olé!”.  If you’re keeping up with the World Cup right now, you’re probably tired of hearing “¡Olé!”, seeing as how it’s basically the sport’s theme song!

Before the Souls told us about being a good kid, the Black Lips sang their ode to “Bad Kids”.  The mainstream’s introduction to Black Lips was perhaps their 2007 album Good Bad Not Evil, with at least a few songs from the album making it onto movies around that time.  “Bad Kids” and “Veni Vidi Vici” were both featured in (500) Days of Summer and “O Katrina!” was featured in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  We played Scott Pilgrim’s fictional band Sex Bob-omb in our FMF Summer Solstice episode, something of relevance considering yesterday was the Summer Solstice!

NOFX questioned why kids were so damn good these days on their 1996 LP Heavy Petting Zoo.  “What’s The Matter With Kids Today?” finds the band asking why kids aren’t drinking, smoking, fighting, and fucking, instead opting for staying home, going to school, and listening to their moms.  The tune would gain a sequel in 2000 when the band released Pump Up The Valuum would feature the track “What’s The Matter With Parents Today?”; an equally perplexing question.  Rancid not only covered Sham 69’s “If The Kids Are United”, but also 6 NOFX songs for their NOFX/Rancid BYO Series split album.

In our next set, we try a little kid empathy.  The next track has made a comeback in the last few years being featured in SNL skits and commercials for multiple brands.  The Five Stairsteps were a family band made up of Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis, Kenneth “Keni”, and briefly, Cubie Burke.  The Burkes were originally known as the first-family of R&B, that is until little Michael and The Jackson 5 would change the world.  If you’re a parent struggling through some of these trying times involving kids, maybe let them know that “someday, things are gonna get easier; things will be brighter”.  Here’s The Five Stairsteps with “O-o-h Child”.

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DJ: Vampire Weekend completely rejuvenated the indie rock world with the release of their 2008 self-titled debut album.  Featuring clean guitars, echoey-but-tight drum hits, and poppy, light sounding songs, the band appealed to a broad range of people.  From that debut, we played the album closer and fifth single released from the LP “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance”.

Ian North formed Milk ‘N’ Cookies in New York in 1973.  The band had a pre-punk, glam rock sound that was somewhere on the rock spectrum between T. Rex and the New York Dolls but wasn’t able to gain traction with their debut self-titled album.  After the Sex Pistols broke through a bit later, Island Records wanted to push Milk ‘N’ Cookies’ material and hoped for more recordings, but the ship had sailed and the band’s steam fizzled out.  From that only release, one that would get a 3xLP re-release from Captured Tracks, we heard “Just A Kid”.

Bass Drum of Death jumped into the set for a bit with “Heart Attack Kid”.  The cut comes from the FMF staple album GB City, one we’ve featured a few cuts from.

“Kids” was one of the first tracks MGMT recorded, appearing on 3 EPs prior to also appearing on their debut album.  The song would eventually bring the band into a legal dispute with former President of FranceNicolas Sarkozy.  Sarkozy’s UMP party used the song without permission on several occasions before offering the band a €1 gesture. MGMT sued and eventually squeezed about $38k out of them for the use, but what the hell?!  Some people.

We’ve got one hell of a set coming up now.  Kicking things off for our set titled What Are The Kids?, we’ll have The Who playing “The Kids Are Alright”.

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DJ: The Kids Are Alright. The Kids Are Alt-Right. The Kids Aren’t Alright. The Kids Are All Wrong. The Kids Are The Future.  Part of me wants to do a playlist entirely on what the kids are.  Wrapping up that set was pro skater Steve Caballero and his band The Faction.  The Faction was an all skater punk band formed in the early 80s, only sticking together for a few years at a time.  Steve invented a grip of skateboarding tricks, most notably the ‘Caballerial‘ or ‘Cab’.  Steve knew that kids were the future and with their 1986 mini-LP Epitaph, he proclaimed in song.

Lagwagon’s “The Kids Are All Wrong” proceeded “May 16” on their 1998 LP Let’s Talk About Feelings.  “May 16” is known as one of the golden cuts from the Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game series soundtracks.  The Lagwagon gem made its way onto the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 soundtrack, joined by the likes of Bad Religion and Naughty By Nature whom we borrowed our namesake from.

Before Lagwagon, we heard The Offspring doing a tune from the same year.  Americana brought the band from the rock scene to the mainstream pop scene with the release of their single “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)”.  “The Kids Aren’t Alright” was released as a single almost a full year after “Pretty Fly” debuted and although it isn’t their highest-selling single of all time, to this day it remains one of the highest regarded fan favorites.

Bad Religion put out a brand new single on June 20, 2018 titled “The Kids Are Alt-Right”.  I’m kinda surprised it took so long for someone of this caliper to hit that pun right.  There are a few tracks by lesser-known bands on Spotify with the same title, but this will be the one people remember.  Channeling The Who’s “My Generation” for the verses’ aural accompaniment, the cross-busters are back with perfect social commentary on the sad state of today’s affairs.  Glad to see punk’s smartest pioneers back in the game!

Next is The Replacements with a track from their EP Stink (Kids Don’t Follow Plus Seven).  The band included a recording from one of their shows in Minneapolis that was shut down due to noise at the beginning of the album’s opener.  Have a listen!  Here’s “Kids Don’t Follow”.

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DJ: Morristown, Pennsylvania’s Kevin Connor released The Trust Fund Kids first demo in December of 2016.  The band’s official debut single “Waiting On You” was released in February of 2018, and the second single leading up to the new album was “Mercy Me”.  “Mercy Me” pulls from the neo-surf groups like Wavves and Cloud Nothings while still holding a strong sense of originality.  You’ll hear faint horns in the background, synths, and a yearning lament coming from Kevin’s vocals.  Keep an eye on this band, we’re expecting big things from this great new sound!

King Khan has been releasing solo EPs and singles for the last couple of years.  During our FMF Trees episode, we played “A Tree Not A Leaf Am I” from the Never Hold On single.  For his third single in the series, Khan focused on human rights and the abusive powers being used against them.  According to Khan, “Children Of The World” was written about police brutality.

Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel (Foster) has had plenty of run-ins with controversy, including the 2011 SXSW incident that involved him punching two women in the face.  Apparently, a woman in the crowd spit, thew ice cubes, and a beer bottle at Ben, to which he slugged her.  Then another woman thought to be known as the club owner, approached him from behind trying to prevent the attack which in turn had Ben slugging her too.  Yikes.  The incident prompted Fat Wreck Chords owner Fat Mike to say they had no interest in releasing future Screeching Weasel records.  From their Fat Wreck Chords debut Bark Like A Dog, that was “Cool Kids”.

Bleeding Knees Club hails from the Gold Coast of Australia.  Their debut 2012 album Nothing To Do was recorded in New York City with Dev Hynes. The band released a new EP in April of 2017 called Chew Gum, which they toured Australia for throughout May 2018.  From their debut LP, though, we played “Problem Child”.

Coming up in our fifth set, we bring the soul.  Two of the greatest soul/r&b albums of all time were released to the public within a year of each other.  Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin On and Curtis Mayfield’s Super Fly soundtrack were groundbreaking not only in their sound and progressive conceptual album nature but also for bringing more attention to the violent and crime-filled lives of inner-city minority children.  These albums are pristine, superfluous, just down-right top notch.  First up is Curtis with the lead track from that Super Fly soundtrack, “Little Child Runnin’ Wild”.

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DJ: From the 2013 comeback album Desperation by Oblivians, that was “Little War Child”.  The Oblivians had broken up by the end of 1998. Jack Oblivion and Greg Oblivian reformed their original blues-rock band Compulsive Gamblers to fill the rock void.

Night Beats referenced one of our previously played bands The Who with the naming of their third LP Who Sold My Generation.   Clever, no?  After recruiting a new bass player in 2014, the band signed to London-based label Heavenly Recordings and released their third album in January 2016.  Who Sold My Generation features throwback blues riffs piled onto a garage punk aesthetic, a perfect concoction for our palette here at FMF!

In the 1980s, Iggy Pop was struggling to generate some decent music and would be dropped by Arista Records.  In 1983, longtime Iggy Pop collaborator and friend David Bowie would begin his 1980s comeback and release the megahit LP Let’s Dance.  Bowie covered his and Iggy’s “China Girl” on that album and five more collaborations on the next LP Tonight significantly upping Iggy’s income and pushing him back into music.  Bowie produced Pop’s 1986 album Blah-Blah-Blah, featuring Iggy’s highest charting track, a cover of the Johnny O’Keefe 1958 single “The Wild One” which Iggy would rename to “Real Wild Child (Wild One)”.

Capping off the one-two punch of soul cuts was Marvin Gaye and his “Save The Children”.  The track comes from the 1971 concept album What’s Goin On, a story told from the perspective of a Vietnam veteran returning home to see the suffering, injustice, and inequality that plagues America.  Marvin was depressed at this time in his life, partially because of singing love songs while all of this was happening, partly because of the failure of his marriage to Anna Gordy, but also because of the death of his longtime singing partner Tammi Terrell.  Tammi had been diagnosed with brain cancer just a couple years before.

Our last set today slows things down a bit for us to really stop and think.  We’ll blast off with a loud-fast song from Alkaline Trio and then descend into a folky, bluesy set finished off by one of the most heartbreaking and truth-seeking songs I’ve ever heard.  From the Chicago trio’s 2002 LP From Here To Infirmary, here is Alkaline Trio with “Stupid Kid”.

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DJ: Becoming a parent sure does change your perspective on a lot of different things, at least one hopes so.  The early 70s singer-songwriter folk explosion was littered with “how can we treat Mother Earth this way?” type of music.  Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” is a perfect example of this.  Cat Stevens posed the question of “Where Do The Children Play?” with the 1970 release of Tea For The Tillerman.

Dan Auerbach channeled his inner James Dean, rebel-without-a-cause alter ego with “Sinister Kid” from 2010’s Brothers.  The song talks about those types of people who live life dangerously, or as Dan puts it someone who “runs to meet his maker”.  Brothers was a soulful blues throwback through and through.  Not only was it recorded at the amazing Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, but the band also pays homage to legends Muddy Waters and Jimmy Smith.  I mean, compare the LP covers of Jimmy Smith’s Hobo Flats and The Black Keys’ Brothers. That’s some influence!

Before The Black Keys, we played previous Set 4 Score champs The Treetops.  The Treetops’ 2018 release All Year Round was that rare find you stumble across while floating through the abyss in search of the perfect score.  Their first single “Fat Travelin’ Man” landed on our FMF Trees episode and maybe our favorite discovery this year!  We’re in talks with the band to do an InFlowences segment, so keep an eye out for that to learn more about how they got their sound!

The Ramones covered Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” for their fourteenth and final album, 1995’s ¡Adios Amigos!.  Tom would return the favor in 2003 when Johnny Ramone and Rob Zombie would get a bunch of artists to cover Ramones songs in honor of the band and Joey – Joey had died just two years before.  The covers compilation was one of the last things Johnny did before he died in 2004.  Tom covered The Ramones’ “The Return Of Jackie And Judy” for that collection.

Alright, everyone, that brings us to the end of our episode!  As a friendly and humble, humane reminder, the situation at the Mexican/U.S. border shouldn’t be left to fade into the media mess that is today’s status quo. If an imaginary line and its connotations are justification for separating a child from their mother or father, it might be time to seriously stop and ask yourself, “Is this something I would want my family to go through?”.  We tend not to get too political around here, although it’s been obvious what side of the spectrum we fall on, but this issue hits too close to home and was important to recognize.  Let’s get these kids back to their families.

And on that note, we’ll wrap it up and step off the soapbox. Until next time, adios amigos! We’ll see you next time on Feel Me Flow!

Check out ourDiscogs_logo.svgList for all of the releases featured!


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FMF Episode #42 – Hair

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DJ: Walk right in, sit right down, baby let your hair hang down!  Welcome to another round of Feel Me Flow! Today we’re all about that dead fur that’s laying on your head, or maybe there’s nothing on your head?  Either way, we’ve got a song for you!

Hairstyles have evolved over time through countless cycles of fads, from long to short, up to down, wild to bland, and everywhere in between.  We’ll go over a few of those fads today, including some tunes about mohawks, the Native American hairstyle that was adopted by punk rockers in the 80s.   We’ll hear a set about shampoo, a set about being bald, and other random hair-related themes like the one in our first set; a comb.

Kicking things off today is perhaps the song you thought of when you saw the theme.  Stephen Malkmus and the legendary Pavement from Portland, Oregon broke through onto the mainstream in 1994 with the release of their most accessible and melodic album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.  Led by the single “Cut Your Hair”, the band would end up performing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and receiving rotation on alternative radio and MTV.  We’ll get to a few “comb” tunes post-Pavement, but here’s that classic haircut song from ’94, “Cut Your Hair”.

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DJ: When The Orwells were discovered by Aquarium Drunkard blogger Justin Gage in 2011, they were making grades in high school.  In fact, when the band released their debut album Remember When on Justin’s Autumn Tone record label in 2012, they were still in high school.  They would graduate early in 2013 to pursue their music career and sign with Atlantic Records shortly after that.  We heard “Painted Faces And Long Hair” from that debut.

The Beatles recorded their first song while in high school as The Quarrymen.  Early Beatles demos and recordings show strong influence pulled from Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Carl Perkins.  They would cover Carl’s final Sun Records single “Lend Me Your Comb” during the Pop Go The Beatles radio show on BBC in 1963 adding their famous harmonies to the tune.

Ted Hawkins faded in and out of obscurity and legality throughout his life but turned to music after hearing Sam Cooke’s voice in the early 60s.  Ted recorded a few cuts in the 70s but wouldn’t have them released until the 1982 LP Watch Your Step compiled them.  Watch Your Step failed to sell, but Rolling Stone gave it a five-star review.  We heard “Where’s My Natural Comb?” from that five-star masterpiece.

Ty Segall put out a second self-titled album in 2017 (his first was his debut in 2008), this time recorded by Steve Albini.  In the Nardwuar interview with Steve, apparently, Steve tells Nardwuar that Ty and the band smashed a toilet in the studio just for the hell of it.  Later in that interview, Nardwuar gives Steve the Pansy Division EP Manada to which Steve reminisces about their cut “Hockey Hair”.  We’ll hear more from Nardwuar and Pansy Division a bit later, but here we heard Ty’s “Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)”.

Up next is David Crosby’s ode to his “freak flag”, “Almost Cut My Hair”.  Jimi Hendrix had referenced hair being a “freak flag” in his 1967 song “If 6 Was 9”, but Crosby is credited with writing the anthem of the hippies’ hair rebellion.  The song is one of the only tracks on Déjà Vu that features a solo singer instead of maximum melodic harmony per the usual style of CSNY.  Here’s the paranoia-laden locks ballad “Almost Cut My Hair”.

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DJ: The Vandals were perhaps the first silly punk band to hit the scene.  Joe Escalante’s wordplay lyrics like “if you want to be free, order yourself an anarchy burger (hold the government please)” were just the start of a long career of jokey tunes and fun puns.  The 1998 song “I’ve Got An Ape Drape” makes a subtle reference to Billy Ray Cyrus, name drops Queensryche and pokes fun at guests on Jerry Springer all with the same common theme between them; the mullet.  I’m sure “hockey hair” will come up again later this episode.

AFI has truly become one of the most evolutionary punk bands in existence.  Their debut LP Answer That And Stay Fashionable was co-produced by Tim Armstrong of Rancid and is described as “East Bay hardcore” punk rock.  The band moved toward a more grunge/alternative rock sound in the late 90’s when guitarist Jade Puget joined and eventually would grow to sound close to 30 Seconds To Mars or Depeche Mode with their most recent work.  It’s like digital punk rock-opera, in a way.  From that debut LP, we heard “I Wanna Get a Mohawk (But Mom Won’t Let Me Get One)”.

That darn Nardwuar made a presence again, this time singing about “Mohawks & Dreadlocks” with his band The Evaporators.  John Ruskin, Vancouver’s most knowledged musichead, began his run as Nardwuar the Human Serviette on CITR 101.9 FM in 1987 and has been digging deep into the archives of rock every Friday since then.  We wouldn’t be here without him and his style.  The type of music journalism and love for the art that goes with Nardwuar’s radio program and interviews is unmatched by so many, even outside of the music world.

Swedish neo-garage rockers Caesars smashed onto the international scene back in the early 2000s when their single “Jerk It Out” was featured on an iPod Shuffle commercial.  You remember, the ones with the all-black silhouettes and white headphones dancing like crazy?  The band was known as Caesars Palace then but had to rename for obvious reasons once growing in popularity.  Referencing the 60s hippie counterculture and rebellion, the band played us “Let My Freak Flag Fly” from the same album as their Shuffle single, Love For The Streets.

Bald women, bald men, it doesn’t matter to us if you have hair or not!  This next set is all about the absence of hair.  We’ll hear a few songs about bald women, a proud proclamation of baldness, and an ode to wondering if you’re losing your hair.  From 1967’s Smile replacement, Smiley Smile, here’s The Beach Boys with “She’s Going Bald”.

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DJ: Rush’s Caress Of Steel is somewhat known as their nerdiest, least accessible album from the early years.  As if Rush wasn’t nerdy and inaccessible enough, especially for the female rocker scene.  In their documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, the band even mentions how male-dominated their fan base seemed to be for the longest time, up until their more synth-driven sounds of the later 80s.  From 1975’s Caress Of Steel, that was “I Think I’m Going Bald”.

Members of Chicago’s Alkaline Trio and The Lawrence Arms decided to form a somewhat of a supergroup called The Falcon back in 2004.  AK3’s Dan Adriano and LA’s Brendan Kelly had previously played together in the ska band Slapstick before going their separate ways into each respective band.  Coming back together in the early 00s with The Lawrence Arms’ drummer Neil Hennessy, the band would record an EP and two LPs for Red Scare Industries.  Red Scare put out a compilation in 2014 with the exclusive track “We Are The Bald” from The Falcon.

Memphis’ Oblivians chipped in a little b-side from their Best of the Worst: 93-97 compilation.  “Bald Headed Woman” isn’t the old blues track, nor is it The Kinks’ debut album deep track either, but rather a simple tune recorded in Memphis in 1995 that never made it to an official album.

John Sebastian and The Lovin’ Spoonful played us a deep cut from their Daydream LP.  The singles “Daydream” and “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice” carried the album to #10 on the Billboard 200, their highest charting album.  We heard “Bald Headed Lena” from that chart-topper.

We’re featuring a double Set 4 Score this week.  Chicago garage rockers Flesh Panthers and Minneapolis wrecking crew Scrunchies will give us some ear candy after we get super weird with The Cowsills.  The family band, known for their bubblegum pop hits like “The Rain, The Park, And Other Things”, had an incredibly successful single with a cover of the title track from the musical Hair.  Listen for a reference to your favorite Bay Area jam band, too!

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DJ: I’ll have to ask the band for confirmation of this, but there sure seems to be some influence pulled from Nirvana in Scrunchies’ music.  Nirvana’s debut album Bleach featured some of their most raw sounding songs, save for the smash hit “About A Girl”.  “Floyd The Barber” showcased their choppy, gritty, chugging punk guitars and marking the slower, heavier sound of punk rock.  Those three snare hits sound perfect paired with Scrunchies’ single “Wichita”.

Borrowing members from Kitten Forever, Bruise Violet, Double Grave, and Tony Peachka, Scrunchies turns up the volume on what rock and roll could sound like.  Their debut single “Wichita” features a menacingly catchy earworm in the “ha ha ha” of the chorus and a left-to-right headbang throughout the track.  The debut album Stunner lives up to its name and was released on June 1, 2018, on the Twin Cities coolest cassette cartel Forged Artifacts.  So good!

Chicago’s Flesh Panthers‘ sound ranges from garage punk madness to a country-tinged taste test with dabbles in between.  Their latest album Willows Weep perfectly accompanies the Black Lips’ more country-esque songs, if that’s your jam.  It’s ours, too!  Earlier on, though, they rocked a more bluesy, garage punk sound.  From their 2014 Nice Things EP, we heard “Charged Hair”.  Keep an eye on this band!

Rock music’s most infamous Scientologist, Beck Hansen, donated one of his “do” ditties for our Hair playlist.  “Devils Haircut” comes from the album that made Beck a household name, 1996’s Odelay.  The single samples Pretty Purdie‘s “Soul Drums” along with Them’s “Out of Sight” (a James Brown cover) and a replay of “I Can Only Give You Everything”.

While Beck was supporting the release of his album in 1996, blink-182 were in the midst of recording this next song.  Starting off our Shampoo set is blink-182 with “Apple Shampoo” from their 1997 album Dude Ranch.

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DJ: Bleach Bath is a brand new band out of Toronto, Ontario.  They formed in early 2017 and immediately recorded the demo EP It’ll Get Worse If You Let It.  They put out two more singles in the spring of 2017 and have been playing shows since to support.  We played one of their first tracks, “Shampoo”.  Look for more music from them in 2018!

The Barreracudas put out Can Do Easy in 2015 to positive critic reviews.  By the end of 2016, the band had ended.  If you hadn’t gotten the chance to see the Ramones style garage rock of the Atlanta quintet, you’re out of luck.  Luckily, the bands that come and go will sometimes record music for us to listen to forever and ever, as is the case with these guys.  From that romper of an album Can Do Easy, we heard “Shampoo”.

FMF favorites Peach Kelli Pop played us their garage pop perfection with “Shampoo”.  PKP is touring the summer of 2018 to support their new LP Gentle Leader.  The album title is perfectly fitting for a band led by Allie Hanlon, who fosters rescue dogs in her free time.  Girl Gang TV did an interview with Allie about her foster care back in 2015, check it out here.

The Lurkers’ 1978 debut album Fulham Fallout earned them the nickname the British Ramones due to the style and vibe of the music.  The Lurkers were one of the pioneering British punk bands of the mid-late 70s.  They had broken up a few times by the time 1990’s Powerjive hit the shelves but still managed to create raucous punk rock.  From that 1990 LP, we heard “Lipstick And Shampoo”.

Coming up in our final set, we’ll hear a vacation-gone-awry biography, some long hair love, and that Pansy Division track we were talking about earlier.  Leading things off is 10cc with their track about trying to score weed in Jamaica and being hassled by a traveling street gypsy with dreadlocks.  He don’t like cricket, he loves it.  Here’s “Dreadlock Holiday”.

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DJ: Paul and his wife Linda recorded Ram over the winter of 1970-71 while The Beatles were amidst a legal battle after breaking up.  Ringo was actually the first Beatle to release a solo album post-breakup, even though John and George had released solo works earlier.  All four Beatles put out solo albums in 1970; Paul’s McCartney, John’s Plastic Ono Band, George’s All Things Must Pass, and Ringo’s Sentimental Journey released in March.  Both Ringo and Paul’s albums were released before Let It Be.  We heard “Long Haired Lady” from Ram.

The Aquadolls are led by La Mirada, California native Melissa Brooks.  After recording bedroom demos of her songs she would eventually connect with Burger Records and have her debut EP We Are Free released through them.  Burger also released The Aquadolls’ debut LP Stoked On You.  From that debut full-length we heard “Long Hair Don’t Care”.

Pansy Division was the first queercore band to gain a national audience after being asked by Green Day to open for them during their 1994 Dookie tour.  Formed in San Francisco by Jon Ginoli in 1991, the band has maintained a focus on LGBT issues and relationships with witty humor thrown in since its conception.  When Nardwuar handed Steve Albini the Manada EP in his interview with him, Steve recalled the tune “Hockey Hair”. “Hockey Hair” was also featured on the 1999 Puck Rock Vol. 2 compilation; a comp focused on punk hockey songs.

Gun Hill Road scored a number 40 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in June 1973 with the release of their lone pop hit, “Back When My Hair Was Short”.  Kenny Rogers produced the self-titled sophomore album in 1972.  The following year, three songs were re-recorded, including “Back When My Hair Was Short”.  The new version was slightly sped up and replaced all of the drug references with more family-friendly lyrics.  What a bunch of shit!  Stick to your art!  It was just a couple of lids!  Haha.

Well, it’s time for us to get our ears lowered.  We hope you enjoyed our hairy escapades today and look forward to seeing you next time on Feel Me Flow!

Check out ourDiscogs_logo.svgList for all of the releases featured!


InFlowences: The Persian Leaps

After featuring them as the Set 4 Score in our Truth & Lies episode and previously in our World Press Freedom Day episode, we figured its high time we chat with the band to discuss some of the artists and songs that influenced them throughout their music career.  Check out the playlist and read The Persian Leaps’ reasoning behind each influence below, as well as a Discogs link featuring all releases on the playlist.

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Drew Forsberg: My parents were primarily interested in classical music. The only two non-classical records they owned were “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” and “Bookends” by Simon & Garfunkel. Those LPs were my first musical crush and I literally wore them out with repeated listens in grade school. I could have included just about any song from either album, but “Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall” is a favorite. I don’t know if any aspects of Simon & Garfunkel come out in my music, but I’ve always loved harmonies, which must be partially influenced by their songs.”

Drew Forsberg: “Although I’d heard of the Velvet Underground when I was in high school, I didn’t actually get a chance to listen to them until college circa 1987 or 1988. It’s all great music but “What Goes On” is the song that made the biggest impact on me. Even back then, I think I realized that I’d never become a lead guitarist so I’d better focus instead on getting really good at rhythm guitar. That song is ALL ABOUT rhythm guitar, especially past the 3-minute mark when the song transforms into what I call a “rhythm guitar solo.” That chiming, 16th note rhythm part kills me. It probably doesn’t show in our recorded output but back then, I was trying to figure out how I could add a guitar part like that to any song I wrote.”

Drew Forsberg: When I was a kid, I’d spend several weeks each summer visiting my grandparents, who lived in a city and had cable TV (my family did not). The summer of 1982 was especially memorable because I probably spent most of that visit watching a brand new oddity called MTV. I loved it all but I still remember being bowled over by the video for U2’s “Gloria”. The song as a whole is fantastic but I’d never heard anything like the Edge’s guitar playing. The percussive, delayed strumming, the chiming lead lines in between verses, and the way his guitar comes in like a thunderclap at the close of the bridge… man. I went back to my small town raving about my new obsession and favorite band for the next five years or so. I lived and breathed U2. These days, I’m a little embarrassed by U2. I’ve lost interest in them and can only listen to their 1st two albums. Nevertheless, they made a huge impact on me. The Edge and Johnny Marr are probably my biggest influences as a guitarist. The chiming, delay and reverb-heavy guitar sound I favor definitely was inspired by the Edge. The song “Permission” from our 2nd EP (2014’s “Drive Drive Delay”) is pretty much a U2 song, in my opinion. Or perhaps we should play it safe and call it an “homage.” In any case, I’d be honored if they decide to cover it someday.”

Drew Forsberg: “New Order (with Echo & the Bunnymen and Gene Loves Jezebel) was my first proper rock concert in 1987. “Power, Corruption & Lies” remains my favorite New Order album by far. That cassette was on repeat circa 1985-1987. “Age of Consent” is a great way to start the album. It’s such a happy, upbeat sounding song and always improves my mood whenever I hear it. Also, it’s another one of those songs with a “rhythm guitar solo” near the end. Guitar is used sparingly but when the rhythm part does come in, it’s very effective. Personally, I’ve never used guitar sparingly in my life but I’m sure that New Order is etched into my musical DNA somewhere.”

Drew Forsberg: “At this point, I can’t recall which I heard first–My Bloody Valentine’s song “Honey Power” (from the “Just Say Anything” compilation) or their album, “Loveless.” It would have been about the same time in 1992. In either case, I fell hard for the guitar sound and they’ve been a favorite band ever since. I always wanted to play in a shoegaze band, but my power pop sensibilities just win over every time. Around the time of our 1st or 2nd EP, I liked to describe our sound as “My Bloody Valentine meets Big Star.” Looking back, that was wishful thinking and/or hubris. Nevertheless, I do think that MBV has influenced my songwriting in at least one regard. They’re famous for often writing songs without proper choruses–just verse, instrumental guitar riff, verse, guitar riff. I’ve ended up writing a number of songs like that and I think MBV is the band that made me realize it’s perfectly OK not to have a chorus.”

We at Feel Me Flow want to thank Drew and The Persian Leaps for taking the time to chat with us about their InFlowences.  The Persian Leaps released a cover of The Shangri-La’s “Then He Kissed Me” in early 2018 and are recording new material for a full-length scheduled for release fall 2019.  Look out for an anthology later this year!

Check out our Discogs_logo.svgList for all of the releases featured!

http://thepersianleaps.com


FMF Episode #41 – Cars

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DJ: Drivers; start your engines!  Welcome to another lap of Feel Me Flow!  Today we’re all about cars, well mostly about cars.  Cars are one of those topics we could do multiple episodes about and may well do so someday.  The live fast-die young lifestyle of rock and roll pairs well with the high speed and power of the automobile.  In the early days of rock and roll, the hot rod was written about tirelessly.  From Chuck Berry to The Beach Boys, cars were the focus of concept albums, rock and roll movies, and other avenues of expression.  We’re going to feature a Chevy set and a Ford set to signify the ongoing “who’s better?” battle, as well as tracks about low riders, hot rods, race cars, and a bunch of songs about asking the parents to borrow the car.

Leading off the first set is the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet (Quintet), a.k.a. NRBQ.  Originally forming in 1966, the ever-evolving band has released over 20 albums in their career.  Their 1977 LP All Hopped Up featured the lead track “Ridin’ In My Car”, a song that would go on to be covered by songwriter M. Ward and crossover actress-to-musician Zooey Deschanel as their duo She & Him.  From the year punk broke, here’s NRBQ with “Ridin’ In My Car”. Roll those windows down…

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DJ: So out of the dozens of songs that the Beach Boys recorded about cars, we decided to go with the one that had a house cleaning product named after it.  Just kidding, well kind of.  There are multiple claims as to how it got its name, ranging from it being the inventor’s wife’s birthday (April, 9th), to the 409th chemical compound tested that worked.  Some even think the engine theory is plausible.  From the Beach Boys’ debut 1962 album and the B-side to their second-ever single “Surfin’ Safari”, we heard the song that launched the hot rod craze; “409”.

The Dictators and their early brand of punk rock played before the Beach Boys.  The “oohs” and “aahs” heard in the background of “(I Live For) Cars And Girls” are clearly influenced by the Beach Boys, something the Ramones would mimic almost menacingly just a year later.  Ross “The Boss” Friedman, a founder of the band, would go on to form Manowar, the 1980s metal band that holds multiple Guinness World Records for loudness and length of play.

How many of us have experience with cars that are just unfixable, or as we call them, “lemons”?  Ty Segall’s sophomore LP Lemons featured a cover of Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band’s “Dropout Boogie” as well as Ty’s first-ever single “Cents”.  We played the choppy cut “In Your Car” from the 2009 album.

SWMRS posed “D’You Have A Car?” from their Drive North LP.  Originally known as Emily’s Army, the band renamed themselves and sought a new producer for their “third” album Drive North.  Zac Carper of FIDLAR stepped in to complete the production sound, branching out from Billie Joe Armstrong’s trademark pop-punk aesthetic.

The bonus 7″ that came with some pressings of Alabama Shakes’ debut album Boys & Girls featured three non-album tracks recorded at the time of the album.  The Heavy Chevy EP as its known gave us the title track plus “Pocket Change” and “Mama”.   Kicking off our Chevy vs. Ford sets, here’s the title track from that EP.

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DJ: In the 70s, the Chevy Van was the place to bring your date.  Nothing like dinner, a movie, and a van sesh to cap off the night, eh?  Ha!  Seriously, though,  Vansploitation was a real movie genre and thanks to Sammy Johns’ single “Chevy Van” they were suddenly “cool”.  Due to the success of the song, Sammy would be asked to produce a soundtrack for the 1977 film The VanFads are weird.

The Nude Party were “discovered” by newest Black Lips drummer Oakley Munson at a Night Beats show in Charlotte and Oakley helped them get their career started.  Whilst living with Oakley in the Catskills of New York, the band recorded their debut album which is to be released on July 6, 2018.  From that album, we played another chevy van song; “Chevrolet Van”.

Originally recorded and written by Lonnie and Ed Young, “Chevrolet” would be covered by countless blues musicians throughout the years.  One of those blues musicians is Taj Mahal.  Taj incorporated many world styles into his music, from zydeco and cajun to reggae and African tribal sounds.  His 1971 LP Happy Just To Be Like I Am brought a soulful mix to things, generating this groovy cover of the Youngs’ classic tune.

London band The Barracudas had mild success in 1980 with their surf rock throwback “Summer Fun”.  The intro to the single started with an excerpt from a 1960s spoof advertisement for the Plymouth Barracuda and the narrator trying to pronounce “barracuda”.  “Summer Fun” is a perfect summer tune, one we might even have to work into another Summer episode sometime, but the B-side “Chevy Baby” makes its way into our Chevy set with its surfy car vibes.

Another pioneer in the rock and roll car scene is none other than Chuck Berry.  In fact, you could easily make the argument that everything the Beach Boys did was because of Chuck Berry, right down to stealing his songs and having to give him credit for them.  Chuck has a plethora of car tunes, like “No Particular Place To Go”, “Maybelline”, and of course his ode to Ford’s most popular muscle car, “My Ford Mustang”.  Let’s kick off the Ford set with that one.  Here’s Chuck Berry.

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DJ: Jerry Reed made a name for himself after writing and recording “Guitar Man” a tune Elvis Presley would cover soon after its release.  Mostly sticking to the country genre, some of Jerry’s tunes would crossover into the funky, Cajun, or rock and roll worlds.  He was also an actor, some of you millennials might recognize him as the asshole coach in The Waterboy.  Jerry’s tune “Amos Moses” was a huge crossover hit and made it onto the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack.  We’ll hear more from that video game series a bit later.  With his Ford-slamming tune, that was Jerry Reed and “Lord, Mr. Ford”.

Jim Heath a.k.a. The Reverend Horton Heat has been fueling the psychobilly circuit since his Sub Pop debut in 1991, Smoke ’em If You Got ’em.  From that debut, the track “Psychobilly Freakout” would find its way onto the Guitar Hero II video game soundtrack.  Tthe band’s third album, Liquor In The Front featured a tune that would also make it to the video game scene with “I Can’t Surf” landing a spot on the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 soundtrack.  From Liquor In The Front, we played “Five-o Ford”.

Perhaps the sexiest song ever written about a Ford Mustang would be Serge Gainsbourg’s “Ford Mustang”.  Serge was France’s artistic Troubador throughout the 20th century, expanding into international territory and bringing French pop to the world.  His 1967 song written for Brigitte Bardot “Je t’aime… moi non plus” would be re-recorded in 1969 with Jane Birkin and would be dubbed “Interdit aux moins de 21 ans” (forbidden to those under 21 on the single’s cover.

“Mustang Sally” has seemingly been covered by every blues guitarist in every smokey bar across the country for over 50 years now.  The chorus of the song sings “Ride, Sally, Ride”.  In 1983, a woman by the name of Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger.  Yes, the same Challenger that would disastrously explode just 3 years later.  In a small related coincidence, The Challengers (a surf rock group from the early 60s) released their LP The Challengers’ Hot Rod Album on Record Store Day 2016 after over 50 years of being on the shelf, an album themed on cars. Sally Ride. Challenger. Cars. Get it? I guess its a connection…

Coming up in our Set 4, we’ll have a double Set 4 Score sandwiched between some classic “cars” tunes.  Ric Ocasek would work his production chops while with The Cars and begin to produce some of rock’s most memorable groups’ albums including Weezer’s Blue & Green albums.  In turn, Weezer would cover The Cars’ “You Might Think” for the Disney Pixar film Cars 2 in 2011.   We’ll hear a bit more about that movie franchise later.  Here’s “Let’s Go” from The Cars’ 1979 sophomore LP Candy-O.

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DJ: Beep beep beep beep, yeah!  How many of you hear that sound clip before your morning traffic report on the local classic rock radio station?  How original, haha.  It’s hard to avoid such a great tune, though, so we get it.  The album artwork for The Beatles’ 1965 LP Rubber Soul was chosen only after the band was cycling through shots on the photographer’s carousel slide projector and the backdrop slipped down distorting the picture a bit.  The band immediately wanted that look for their new album and with that, they helped launch a new form of music known as “psychedelic rock”.  “Drive My Car” would appear on the British version of Rubber Soul.

Nashville, Tennessee’s finest “space-trash” band Penicillin Baby played us a banger of a track with their 2012 cut “Daddy Drove A Hearse”.  The song comes from their Mega/Baby split EP with Megajoos.  The band released the Who Cares EP in 2017 and is playing supporting shows throughout 2018, including a stop at the East Centric Pavillion opening for Okey Dokey on July 4.  We love this sound, keep up the good work and we hope to see you in Minnesota soon!

The Prefab Messiahs are a band that’s technically been around longer than I have, but not consistently active.  Beginning in the early 80s new wave/punk scene in Worcester, Massachusetts, The Prefab Messiah’s would split before releasing any proper albums, that is until their resurgence in the 2000’s.  Burger Records has been instrumental in helping the band put out new music, releasing the last three of their albums in some form or another.  From the Burger Records 10″ min album Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive, we heard “Bobb’s Psychedelic Car”.

Buzzcocks were England’s poppier punk brats opposite other acts of the time like Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Damned.  Their debut album Another Music In A Different Kitchen yielded the single “I Don’t Mind” which made it up to #55 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1978.  The lead track from the album, which, by the way, blended so damn well with The Prefab Messiahs’ track, “Fast Cars” was written by rhythm guitarist Steve Diggle after being involved in a car crash.  The ending of the song’s sped-up tape noise is supposed to mimic a speeding car.

This next set is all over the place.  So how about you take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip with me? Here’s War with “Low Rider”.

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DJ: Martin Newell worked with Lawrence “Lol” Elliot as The Cleaners From Venus in the early 80s, recording, and self-releasing their albums.  Much like its fellow lo-fi companions, the 1982 release On Any Normal Monday was recorded on a 4-track in Martin’s dining room with no amplifiers.  The resurgence of lo-fi in the 2010’s brought Martin’s work back into the limelight.  We heard “A Girl With Cars In Her Eyes” from that effort.

Danish duo The Raveonettes moodied up our set with a track from their 2009 album In And Out Of Control.  The band recently announced a hiatus due to guitarist Sune Rose Wagner’s pursuit of a solo album release.  Their debut album is also notable for all of the songs being in the key of b-flat.  “Breaking Into Cars” played from before Martin Newell, a song from the aforementioned 2009 LP.

The Dirtbombs recorded the soul covers album Ultraglide In Black in 2001 as “an attempt to show that those were valid rock songs, that it didn’t matter what the source was — anything can be made a rock song.”  Ten years later, they attempted the same vibe only instead of soul songs they covered Detroit-based techno and electronic artists. Dirtbombs’ Mick Collins quipped, “Party Store was actually an experiment to see if those songs could be done in a different context. ‘Ultraglide’ was a statement, whereas ‘Party Store’ was a question.”.  From that techno covers LP, we played The Dirtbombs’ cover of the Cybotron track “Cosmic Cars”.

In our last set, we talked about Ric Ocasek and the Cars soundtrack.  While Weezer donated their Cars cover to the 2nd movie in the series, the third movie in the series was rewarded with a cut from The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.  So far in 2018 alone, Dan’s produced two of our Set 4 Score artists’ latest albums; La Luz’s Floating Features and Shannon & The Clams’ Onion.  Dan has also taken Shannon Shaw under his wing in Nashville and is producing her solo efforts, which are laden with Amy Winehouse vibes if crossed over into Dan’s world.  Perfect!  Dan played “Run That Race” from the Cars 3 soundtrack.

Our last set of the episode features some country crossovers and bass-heavy indie cuts.  Kicking it off is one of the earlier hot rod tunes that would go on to be covered by many artists, most famously by Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen.  All would cover it on their 1989 Allroy’s Revenge LP, and Les Claypool of Primus would cover the track on the (NASCAR On Fox) Crank It Up compilation in 2002.  Here’s the original version by Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders, “Hot Rod Lincoln”.  Listen for Charlie to mention a certain Southern California city that another set 6 artist is from…

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DJ: Dog will hunt!  The genre-defying 90s trio Primus caps off our show with the story of “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”.  Another cut to be featured on those pesky video game soundtracks, “Jerry” was featured on the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack as well as ATV Offroad Fury and Rock Band 3.  The song tells the story of Jerry being reckless and crashing into a telephone pole, something way too many rock stars and people, in general, have done.  Slow down, people!

Minutemen’s D. Boon fatefully joined the 27 Club in December 1985 after being thrown from the back of the van he was sleeping in on Interstate 10.  The van was being driven by his girlfriend when the rear axle broke sending the vehicle off the road and projecting D. outward.  Minutemen’s magnum opus, 1984’s Double Nickels On The Dime was a loosely based car concept album.  The album artwork and title were counters to the Sammy Haggar track “I Can’t Drive 55”.  The band felt that it wasn’t as rebellious as Sammy had made it out to be to drive so fast, so they insisted they would drive the speed limit and instead make crazy music.  The artwork features Mike Watt driving down Interstate 10 (The Dime) at exactly 55 MPH (Double Nickels).  In a weirdly ominous twist, with D. Boon dying on “the dime”, the old Greek act of placing coins on the deceased’s eyes as a toll to get into heaven becomes a bit more surreal.  Rest in peace, D.

Wisconsin’s Violent Femmes enjoyed a “discovery” like few others enjoy.  When The Pretenders came to Milwaukee in 1983, the Femmes were out in front of the venue busking for change.  Pretenders’ guitarist James Honeyman-Scott heard them and introduced Chrissie Hynde to the sound.  Chrissie invited them to play a short acoustic set that night after the openers took the stage.  The B-side to their UK single “Ugly”, “Gimme The Car” features another teenage yearning for the keys to the parents’ ride.

Both “Hot Rod Lincoln” and “Get Outta My Car” are early car tracks that seem to wave in and out of beat and tempo.  Hasil Adkins’ reasoning for such sporadic play would most likely be because he’s playing guitar, singing, and drumming on the track all at once.  Hasil was absolutely a wild man of rock and roll, being arrested multiple times for gun charges, sexual assault charges, and countless other stories I’ll never get to hear.  “Get Outta My Car” was originally recorded in 1966 for Avenue Records, but we played the rerecorded version featured on the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto V.  Hasil died in 2005 ten days after being run over by a teenage neighbor on an ATV.  That’s some true offroad fury, there.

That about wraps us up today for our Car episode.  We hope you get your automobile fix and got your engines revved up.  Join us next time on Feel Me Flow!

Check out ourDiscogs_logo.svgList for all of the releases featured!