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DJ: Welcome welcome welcome to another episode of Feel Me Flow! We’re digging into crime and punishment today, so be on your best behavior. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world when compared to any other similarly sized country. Seychelles squeeks out first place by just a hair, but their total population is under 100,000. The United States sure does have a pining for their prisons.
In today’s episode, we’ll be breaking down the process of Crime & Punishment from start to finish. Each set will be a stage in the process. Our first set will be about crimes committed, i.e. murder, theft, etc. Each set after that will work towards putting you in jail, until the finale where we breakout! How exciting! We’ll also be doing a special tribute set to the only band that matters; The Clash.
Let’s kick it off with The Hellacopters plotting a crime. Here’s “Murder On My Mind” from their 2006 LP Rock & Roll Is Dead.
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DJ: I spent half a year in Hawaii in 2009 and got to see The Throwdowns play a few shows while there. A perfect band and perfect sound for my time on the island. Ska-influenced pop rock with a tendency to go punk rock once in a while? Yes! The Throwdowns put out one full length after their debut EP Don’t Slow Down and lead singer Erin put out another solo album in 2015. The band’s been quiet since then and the website is down so I’m not sure if they’re still going, but try to score that EP if you ever get a chance! “Kihei Town” is a banger (that’s what the kids are saying).
The Blood Brothers’ most accessible LP Crimes featured the single “Love Rhymes With A Hideous Car Wreck” as well as the title track played here.
Earlier this week, on Monday, Hutch Harris and The Thermals announced their breakup. Needless to say, we here have been devastated. We went to the last show the band played in St. Paul while my wife was pregnant and to this day our son, Rigby is a die-hard fan of the band. Feel Me Flow owes so much to the band and their stemmed projects, so thank you so much, Hutch and Kath! We played “Born To Kill” from their 6th album Desperate Ground which came out EXACTLY 5 years ago today!
Thee Headcoats and Mr. Billy Childish kept the crime theme rolling with “Murder On The Moors” from their 4th LP Beach Bums Must Die. Moving forward with our Crime & Punishment theme, it’s time you get caught for your crime.
Jane’s Addiction scored big with their debut single “Jane Says”off of Nothing’s Shocking. Their follow-up album Ritual de lo Habitual had album artwork that caused store owners to hold back from selling it, thus prompting the band to reissue artwork with just black text on white. and include the First Amendment in the footer. Unreal. With their third single from that album and most successful to date, here’s “Been Caught Stealing”.
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DJ: Supergrass burst onto the UK garage pop scene in 1995 with the largest selling debut album since The Beatles’ Please Please Me; their debut I Should Coco. Led by the 5th single from the album, “Alright”. We played the first single the band released with “Caught By The Fuzz”.
John Holt “got caught” in the wrong place, wrong time in his 1983 LP closer “I Got Caught”. John was perhaps most famous for writing and singing lead on the 1966 track “The Tide Is High” with his group The Paragons. Blondie covered that tune later, in 1980. I’m sure Blondie covering that track helped sales with his 1983 album Police In Helicopter, which is was a protest album against the marijuana crackdown in Jamaica at the time.
Before we got caught, we were on the run. Masked Intruder played us “Running From The Cops” form their latest release, 2016’s Love And Other Crimes. Madison, Wisconsin’s finest ski-masked pop-punk band has been cranking out 3-chord truths and love ballads for over 7 years now, and I’m excited to hear what comes next!
Garage rock champions Oblivians did “Call The Police”, a track from their most decent effort Desperation. Half the songs on that record probably could’ve made it on this playlist somewhere or other!
We’re hearing Anitek’s “Treason” behind us now. Something many of us Americans are hearing more and more about these days. Usually, if you commit treason or other crimes, that would make you a criminal. Moreover, once the authorities have been notified of your criminal activity, you’re usually placed under arrest. Let’s let the set do the talking.
Up next is a Grammy-winning track about exploiting your sexual prowess in return for something you want. I guess Fiona felt guilty about it? The song went on to be a smash hit for Fiona and has been covered by numerous artists including Erin Smith of The Throwdowns. From 1995’s Tidal, here’s Fiona Apple with “Criminal”.
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DJ: One of Minneapolis’ best garage rock bands, Howler, wraps up the legal process in Set 3 with “Indicted”. The Twin Cities didn’t give them much love so the band toured the UK constantly and built a great following. Unfortunately, however, they disbanded a few years ago but reunited for a special show last year when singer Jordan Gatesmith’s new band Wellness played First Avenue. Kinda mad I missed that show. Look for Wellness on our Slack playlist; they fit in perfectly.
With a similar drone like punk sound, Portland band Blouse played before Howler. Blouse put out their sophomore LP Imperium in 2013 but has been fairly quiet recently save for a tweet last year that mentioned a reformation of the band! Let’s hope so, Imperium was dope and I’d love another record.
Rancid chilled out with the Hammond B3 for “Arrested In Shanghai” from 2003’s Indestructible. In our last FMF episode, Guns, we played a Tim Timebomb set all focused on the theme. Today we’re going to do the same but with Tim’s favorite band; The Clash.
Red Simpson was known for writing truck themed country songs, which is why its no surprise he put out an album themed on police. I’m sure you see a whole bunch of police when driving a truck all day and night. From 1966’s The Man Behind The Badge, we played “You’re Under Arrest”.
Now onto that whole Clash thing we mentioned. Coming up, we’re gonna play 3 songs about police that The Clash covered, a cover of The Clash’s “Know Your Rights” by The Frisk, and a Set 4 Score Narcobilly cover from Los Angeles’ own The 454’s. In honor of the only band that matters, here’s The Bobby Fuller Four with “I Fought The Law”.
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DJ: I sure wish we had The Clash around these days. Wrapping up our 4th set is the Set 4 Score; The 454’s. Yikes, that was a lot of fours. Established in 2005, The 454’s unique sound is made up of their individual influences, including everything from 50’s rockabilly to 70’s punk rock, Mexican ranchera to Cumbia and more. The 454’s are playing the 1st Annual Rockabilly Festival at Turnbull’s in Whittier, CA tomorrow night, so stop by and be cool for a bit!
About two years prior to Joe’s death, Bay Area punks The Criminals split up. Feeling the need to keep playing music, Bass Cadet Mike Sexxx, Zach Attack, and Jesse Luscious sought out a drummer for a new band. That drummer ended up being fellow Bay Area punk Hunter Burgan of AFI fame. The band recorded one EP and one LP, with The Clash cover coming from their debut EP Rank Restraint.
During our three-song Clash cover set, we played of the songs The Clash famously covered, all talking about the law. First off, was The Bobby Fuller Four with the immensely popular “I Fought The Law”. If you were listening during the 3rd verse, you may have noticed Bobby sing about “robbin’ people with a six-gun” during which the drummer slams the snare six times. Perfect execution. That right there is what sets music apart from poetry. Fellow Bay Area punkers Green Day would cover the song for a Pepsi/iTunes Super Bowl commercial in 2004. Yes, I realize the irony of that sentence.
The Equals were one of the first if not the first mixed race rock band out of England in the 60s. They’re kind of like the British version of The Chambers Brothers. The Equals scored a hit with “Baby, Come Back” in 1968, but would break up after a terrible car wreck that shook them all up. Lead guitar player Eddy Grant would return to Guyana for a while before returning with a worldwide solo hit in 1982, “Electric Avenue”.
Junior Murvin rounded out the originals with his Lee “Scratch” Perry-produced title track to the 1977 LP Police And Thieves. The Upsetters played backing track to Junior for the production.
Alright, up next we have the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley. Our next set is all about being locked up. Where does that usually happen? Jail, or if you really screw up; prison. Here’s “Jailhouse Rock”.
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DJ: We typically don’t get too heavy on Feel Me Flow, but that song is just so good! Political metal madcaps System Of A Down played us their take on the privatized prison system of the USA. Here’s a hint; it’s not a great system. Maybe one could even call it the system of a downed nation? Yikes with the dad jokes. “Prison Song” comes from the band’s most popular album to date; Toxicity, which features the band’s logo in the style of the Hollywoodland sign in Los Angeles.
Speaking of LA, we heard “Prison Bound” from Mike Ness and Social Distortion. Technically from Fullerton, Social D formed way back in 1978 with Mike Ness, Frank Agnew, Rikk Agnew, and Casey Royer. The latter three left early on to form The Adolescents. As much as it may have sucked for Social D, it was amazing for us punk fans to have another So-Cal band brewed in the same batch as Social Distortion and Agent Orange.
Floridian band Jacuzzi Boys played us “Automatic Jail” from their 2010 Hardly Art release Glazin’. The boys are currently touring Europe in support of their latest effort Ping Pong.
We heard Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels with a song that wasn’t “Devil With The Blues Dress On” which is typically the go-to Mitch song. From their follow-up to the successful Breakout…!!! album, we heard “I’d Rather Go To Jail” from 1967’s Sock It To Me!.
Coming up on our final set, we’ll get a funky prison party before its time to break out of jail, or as we’ll hear it; “Jailbreak”. Minnesota’s own Har Mar Superstar opens it up with “Prisoner” from his fantastic 2013 LP Bye Bye 17.
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DJ: We’re out! We broke free! Thin Lizzy made it so! From their smash 1976 LP of the same name, Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” rounds out our episode. The song follows the typical lyrical nature of Phil Lynott’s “tough guy” image and the dueling guitars. Phil succumbed to a heroin overdose on January 4, 1986.
Operation Ivy frontman Jesse Michaels took a break from music after the band broke up in 1989. In 1994 he would form Big Rig which resulted in an EP and a few shows at Gilman, but it wasn’t until 1999 when he formed Common Rider that Jesse would release a proper album. It’s not like he wasn’t involved, though. Jesse contributed the artwork to Green Day’s debut album 39/Smooth, an album that celebrates its 28th anniversary today! Almost 30 years of Green Day makes me feel old, I tell you what!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Prison set without “Folsom Prison Blues”. Johnny Cash’s mega-hit from 1957 was sandwiched between the punky funk and breakout.
That punky funk comes from Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Austin, Texas’ finest blues-soul band formed in 2007 and their debut LP was produced by fellow Austinite Jim Eno of Spoon fame. We played “Prison” from their latest release Backlash which debuted at number 3 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart.
Sam Cooke super-fan Har Mar SuperStar launched our prison breakout set with “Prisoner”. Irving Jospeh is also doing a great job at making us feel manic during this breakout. We’re hearing “Prison Break” from his 1960 LP Murder, Inc. Well FMF fans, it’s time to go on the lam. “I lit up from Reno I was trailed by twenty hounds….” Join us next time on Feel Me Flow, and follow the law!