FMF Episode #37 – Truth & Lies

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DJ: Hey hey hey! Welcome to another episode of Feel Me Flow! Today we dig into the back and forth concept of Truth and Lies. What is true? What’s considered a lie? In the current events section of the newspaper, you might read terms like “false truth” or “fake news”. In honor of the trending topic of fact versus fiction, we built today’s show like an argument. Every song is a truth, then lie, then truth, then lie, and so on. If you didn’t pick up on the artwork reference this week, that’s the statue of Veritas, the Greek goddess of truth.

Kicking off our binary battle is the Minnesota garage rock group The Castaways. Never actually releasing a full-length LP, the band found major success with their hit “Liar, Liar”. The song made it to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965 and was the money-maker for them from then on out. Believe it or not, The Castaways are still touring to this day, albeit in two separate forms. The original songwriters have their differences and are both milking their credit for all they can. James Donna tours with the band under The Castaways name while Denny Craswell tours under The Castaway. Both acts play central and Northern Minnesota enough where we might be able to catch them this summer. Here’s that big number 12 hit, “Liar, Liar”.

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DJ: Monophonics are no strangers to the Feel Me Flow library. We’ve featured them on other episodes, including our Fools show featuring their epic funk jam “Foolish Love” and on our Spring Cleaning premiere. We heard “Lying Eyes” from Monophonics’ latest LP Sound Of Sinning.

New Wave-Reggae mashers The Police called in with “Truth Hits Everybody” from their 1979 debut Outlandos D’Amour or love outsiders translated. The band had trouble promoting their first two singles from the album “Can’t Stand Losing You” and “Roxanne” reportedly due to the lyrical nature of the tracks (suicide and prostitution, respectively). Undeterred, Sting and the crew would go on to be one of the most popular rock acts of all time, including his solo material.

The Shelters’ debut album was co-produced by legendary Floridian Tom Petty. Tom had Chase Simpson and Josh Jove of the band help with the recording of his 2014 LP Hypnotic Eye. With the clout of Petty and 60s-esque grooves to fuel their success, the band released the debut to much critical acclaim. Look for new music from The Shelters sometime in 2018…

Speaking of recording studio clout, The Soledad Brothers scored help with another rock pillar in Jack White. Jack began producing other artists very early on in his career and continues to do it very well to this day. Jack not only engineered their debut but was roommates with lead singer Ben Swank for a time. Guitarist Oliver Henry dated Meg White for a while after she and Jack divorced in 2000. From their fifth effort, The Hardest Walk, we heard the lead-off track “Truth Or Consequences”.

Coming up in our next set is the one-hit wonder The Knickerbockers. The Knickerbockers were trend slaves and followed any possible type of music trend they could in order to achieve fame. The plan worked with their one and only real hit “Lies”. Their distributor couldn’t keep up with sales of their second single “One More Time”, but the band chugged through and kept playing. Encumbered by their label’s woes, the band struggled to keep the fire going and began fizzling out by the late 60s. Not before we got this sweet Beatles-esque jam, though! Here’s “Lies”.

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DJ: Big Star ran into similar distribution problems with the release of their debut album #1 Record. Apparently, Stax Records couldn’t keep up with the demand of the initial release and after 6 months sales capped at 10,000 units. After a repress, though, traction was regained and the band kept moving on. The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg would pull major influence from guitarist Alex Chilton, so much so that he wrote a song about him on The Replacements’ 1987 LP Pleased To Meet Me. Big Star recorded three full-length LPs before the death of bassist Chris Bell. Chris died unexpectedly in a car crash on December 27, 1978. Due to the timing of that horrible event, he is a member of the 27 Club.

If we didn’t already have a jam-packed Set 4 Score this week, this band deserves to be in it. Mrs. Magician released one hell of a surf/garage album back in 2012 and we just discovered it recently. The San Diego group released new music in 2016 with the LP Bermuda, another smash hit, and the You’ll Fall In Love single. We’ll be featuring them in a Set 4 Score soon enough so keep an eye out. In the meantime, please go buy their records! We heard “True Blues” from 2012’s Strange Heaven.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s The Cynics released their debut album way back in 1987. The production value on that debut, Blue Train Station, is so far removed from what was “hip” at that time in music. No big gated reverb drums, no made-for-arena guitar licks. Just simple garage rock with simple techniques. The 80s should’ve taken a cue from these guys and rolled that excess back a bit, no? Prior to Blue Train Station, the band recorded a few singles including 1986 Lying All The Time / Summer’s Gone 7″ Single, which we featured here.

Cynics founder Gregg Kostelich was once asked about the “new wave” of garage rock sweeping through America in the early 2000s. The Cynics were releasing a new album after an 8-year hiatus and Entertainment Weekly prodded about the White Stripes/Strokes phenomenon. Gregg quipped, ”I’d say the word garage is being very loosely applied these days. The White Stripes are great, but they’re more like a really raw blues band to me,”. I mean, he’s probably right. From The White Stripes’ sophomore 2000 release De Stijl, we played “Truth Doesn’t Make A Noise”.

Moving into our next more soulful set, we have JD MacPherson. JD is another one of those revivalists like Jack White, taking old sounds and dusting them off for our new generations. Growing up in small-town southeastern Oklahoma might do that to you, what with the isolation and all. We’re thrilled that JD got into those old 50s records, though. With “Mother Of Lies” from his sophomore album Let The Good Times Roll, here’s JD the Okie.

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DJ: It may be inevitable that a Black Lips song makes it on to our show. We just friggin’ love them so darn much! From the FMF staple of an LP Arabia Mountain, that was the Black Lips with “The Lie”.

Benjamin Booker put out a stellar soul blues album in 2017. From a music history perspective, the album calls forth so many ghosts of past that it brings you tears at some points. Over 50 years past the signing of the Civil Rights Act, these songs echo the early soul days of James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone and other pragmatic political pioneers. That album yielded a plethora of amazing tunes, and we played “Truth Is Heavy” keeping with the theme.

? Mark And The Mysterians hit it big in the mid-60s with “96 Tears” and “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby”. Smash Mouth covered the latter of those on their 1999 neo-garage pop album Astro Lounge. You know, the one with “All Star” on it? From the 96 Tears LP, we heard “You’re Telling Me Lies”.

His fifth posthumous album, Otis Redding’s Tell The Truth, would be the last proper studio album released under the Otis Redding name. Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival was released almost two months later featuring a split record between Otis and Jimi’s Monterey Pop Festival performances. It’s a great album and hearing Otis live and full of life is something humbling. We heard the title track from that final posthumous LP.

Coming up in Set 4 is a triple, yes TRIPLE Set 4 Score. Sorry, folks, but we had so much great music we couldn’t resist. That, AND we had to leave our Mrs. Magician for this. We’ll also be revamping an old discovery that never got their due. Look for The Persian Leaps a bit later in the set. To start us off is another FMF staple, Bass Drum Of Death. The band scored it big when a track from their eponymous sophomore LP landed on the Grand Theft Auto V Soundtrack. From that same album, here’s track two; “Fine Lies”.

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DJ: In proper FMF fashion, our previous conversation about Big Star was alluding to this moment. The Replacements played us “Asking Me Lies” from their final 80s release Don’t Tell A Soul. That album featured the official debut of the new Bob of the band, Bob “Slim” Dunlap. Slim hails from the tiny midwestern town of Plainview, Minnesota. I think I have an aunt and uncle who live there…

Another St. Paul alternative rock band led into The Replacements. The Persian Leaps were featured in one of our earliest episodes, World Press Freedom Day. Like we did with Wimps last week, we wanted to give the band a proper slot and feature. The band has released a five-song EP every autumn since 2013, breaking tradition only to release a cover of The Crystals’ Phil Spector-era single “Then He Kissed Me” in early 2018. While anticipating the next release, we played “Truth = Consequences” from their sophomore EP Drive Drive Delay.

The middle of our Set 4 Score triple play featured Seattle rocker Mark Palm’s newest venture Supercrush. Hailing from the halls of sound that hold acts like Teenage Fanclub, Bob Mould, The Byrds, and many other jangly-pop icons, Supercrush falls in line perfectly with the three-chords and a half-truth pop-rock aesthetic that us garage rock fans yearn for. Mark played in bands Go It Alone, Devotion and the Modern Charms as well as Supercrush. Check out this super well-done interview with Ice And I that Mark did back in 2016 for a deep dive.

Our third, or first depending on how you look at it Set 4 Score artist is Halifax, Nova Scotia band Outtacontroller. These guys wail. Perfect punk/garage rock from the coast, albeit the opposite coast you’d expect. From their 2012 debut LP, we rocked “It’s True”, though I’d recommend digging through their entire catalog. Their newest release, No Echo, brings all the weaponry of the band’s vibes to the frontlines and gives you a reason to crank the volume.

Up next is a side project from Wavves frontman Nathan Williams. Spirit Club was started as a vent for Nathan’s more pop-expressive tendencies. Formed with his brother Joel and Jeans Wilder, Spirit Club released their debut in 2016. Let’s hear “Your Eyes Tell Lies” from that LP.

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DJ: The 2003 self-titled LP from The Go was their first without their original lead guitarist Jack White and their last before making the jump to those amazing people over at Burger Records. Lead singer and guitarist Bobby Harlow produced another FMF staple artist King Tuff’s self-titled and Black Moon Spell which we’ve played music from both of.

Things got a bit spacey when Beach Fossils dropped in. Their sophomore 2012 LP Clash The Truth halted recording when Hurricane Sandy flooded the studio. Damn, global warming even affecting the music industry!

Yet another sophomore album rings in the third track with Green Day’s Kerplunk!. The first album recorded with new drummer Tre Cool set the band in motion for what would be an explosive follow-up. Kerplunk! sold 10,000 copies on DAY ONE and yet the band still took off on tour in a converted Book Mobile. A few years later, Dookie hit the shelves and the rest is history.

Feel Me Flow wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the incredible journalistic work of Nardwuar, The Human Serviette. Nardwuar has been interviewing the best of the best in the music world since the late 80s, conducting highly extensive research on his subjects to take them out of their “mode” when interviewing. A large portion of guests are very impressed with his knowledge and love the records he brings by, although there are a few who don’t appreciate his character and style. Nardwuar also sings for The Evaporators, whom we played in this set.

Coming up in our last set is one of those Nardwuar guests you just weren’t sure about. It seemed like they were happy, but it also seemed like they were annoyed an wanted to leave. Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian of The Damned were interviewed by Nardwuar during their 2000 tour and true to form it was awkward at times. From The Damned’s 1979 magnum opus Machine Gun Etiquette, here’s the track that led into their smash hit “Smash It Up”; “Liar”.

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DJ: Henry Rollins has also had is run-ins with the fantastic Human Serviette. Henry’s been rather critical of Nardwuar’s character and style but yet still has managed to be interviewed by him over 7 times. I love watching those two go back and forth in their character. On screen, it seems like there is hostility, but I really think these guys are buddies. Henry’s albums with Rollins Band were evident of throwing the Black Flag sludge into a blender with Miles Davis. Their big hit from Rollins Band’s sophomore album was “Liar” which closed us out.

Jr. Walker and his summertime sensation set of songs Shotgun lit up the charts in 1965, surpassing Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke to reach number one. Quite the feat. The closeout track from that album “Ain’t That The Truth” played before Henry’s jazz fit.

Garage punks Death Lens from Los Angeles brought us “Warm Lies” in the middle of the set. The original cut of the song comes from their Trashed EP released in 2013 via Sin Verguenza Records. The band would re-record the track three years later for their Fuck This LP.

Generation X played a pivotal role in the UK punk scene of the late 70s. As surprisingly un-punk as it was, many of these bands were about hitting it big. The frontman for Generation X, Billy Idol, was one of those destined for pop stardom punks. After the band broke up due to disappointing sales of what are now considered great albums, Billy ventured out into a solo career that MTV could have only dreamed of. Music videos and Billy Idol were like peanut butter and jelly in the 80s, and everyone knew who he was because of it. From “White Wedding” to “Flesh Or Fantasy”, that snarly upper lip was everywhere.

Well, the time has come for us to part ways once again. This episode was fun and we’re super thankful you joined us today! My son Rigby loves the Stones’ song “The Spider & The Fly” and I’ll quote his favorite part for our farewell. “My, my, my, don’t tell lies… ‘  See you next time on Feel Me Flow!

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