Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"I left my home in Norfolk, VA, California on my mind." -- Chuck Berry - The Promised Land
Me too, Chuck. In 1998 I pulled away from Norfolk, Virginia in my Isuzu Trooper with California on my mind. I spent six nights on the road (mainly Hwy 40) between VA and my aunt and uncle's house in Phoenix, AZ and it was one of the best and most important weeks of my life. I remember it being a hot summer so I would drive only in my shorts--no shirt, no shoes--and I was listening to a lot of Bad Religion at the time. Specifically Suffer and How Could Hell Be Any Worse. I had a case of Mountain Dew and a multiple bags of pretzels and my camera. And that's how I drove 'cross country solo for the first time in my life.
Reading Kerouac's Dharma Bums while drinking wine in my tent next to the French Broad River outside of Asheville, NC on the first night of my trip threw me into the road trip/adventure mentality that would fuel the rest of my voyage. When a slow moving train chugged by on the other side of the river, I could barely hold myself back from hopping aboard and hobo-ing it to wherever the train was heading. I just may have done it if the train wasn't heading East. I was Westbound and down.
On Beale St. in Memphis I felt the need to completely immerse myself in the culture so I ordered some gumbo while I watched a 3-man blues band wail in front of me. Not thinking that gumbo usually is filled with some kind of shellfish (my archnemesis) I spent the rest of the night sucking on ice cubes to make my throat swelling go down.
The next day at Graceland and Sun Studios I saw where many of the most listened-to and important tunes were imagined and laid down to wax. I also saw where many of the fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches were made and consumed.
A few days later, I saw the plateaus and buttes of New Mexico for the first time with my own eyes and I knew that I was headed in the right direction. Seeing the sun rise over the Grand Canyon on the last morning of my voyage was the perfect way to ease my way off of the road and to my new home.
Below are some great songs that I played this week on the show and if I'd known about them ten years ago, I may have listened to them on my road trip. Or maybe I would have stuck with Bad Religion.
Of the below tunes, I'm currently most excited about Musikanto. He's a Chicago rocker about whom I don't know much, but I do know that I love the two songs that I played. Search the blogs to find copies for yourself or, better yet, go to CD Baby and buy a copy to help him out.
1. Have Love Will Travel -- The Sonics -- Here Are The Sonics!!
2. Misty Morning -- Musikanto -- Ghost Pain
3. Ain't Your Rock -- Musikanto -- Ghost Pain
4. Old Man Jude -- Red Cortez
5. World At Rest -- Red Cortez
6. Seven Mile Island -- Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit -- Seven Mile Island
7. Trouble Weighs A Ton -- Dan Auerbach -- Keep It Hid
8. One More Cup of Coffee -- Roger McGuinn & Calexico -- I'm Not There (Disc 1)
9. I Won't Be Found -- The Tallest Man on Earth -- Shallow Grave
10. The Promised Land -- Chuck Berry -- Reelin' And Rockin'
11. Maybellene -- Chuck Berry -- The Anthology
12. Dear Dad -- Chuck Berry -- Chess 1926
13. Red River Rock -- Johnny And The Hurricanes -- Yesterday's Gold
14. Come On Let's Go -- Ritchie Valens -- Richie Valens
15. Rave On -- Buddy Holly -- Baby Love Vol 2
16. Maybe Baby -- Buddy Holly -- American Graffiti Soundtrack
17. That's All Right -- Elvis -- Platinum: A Life In Music (disc 1)
18. I Met Him On A Sunday -- Shirelles
19. You Send Me -- Sam Cooke -- Greatest Hits
Thursday, January 22, 2009
"It's a wonderful time to be here. It's nice to be alive." -- Devo - Beautiful World
"There are nights that I think that Sal Paradise was right. Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together." -- The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations
"How you get a rude and a-reckless? Don't you be so crude and a feckless. You been drinking brew for breakfast." -- The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail
"The weekend is coming soon. Well it's time to pick yourself up off the floor. Well let's grab a case of lager and some old beat up shoes." -- Dr. Dog - The Weekend
"Someday some morning sometime, sometime. I'd like to hold your hand in mine." -- Billy Bragg and Wilco - Someday, Some Morning, Sometime
1. Disintegration -- The Ready Men
2. Beautiful World -- Devo -- Duty Now For The Future
3. Cool, Cool River -- Paul Simon -- The Rhythm of the Saints
4. Let's Go Crazy -- The Clash -- Sandinista
5. Stuck Between Stations -- The Hold Steady -- Boys And Girls In America
6. Long Distance Call -- Phoenix -- It's Never Been Like That
7. East -- Marah -- 20,000 Streets Under The Sky
8. Salga La Luna -- Mano Negra -- Patchanka
9. Rudie Can't Fail -- The Clash -- London Calling
10. Kids -- MGMT -- Oracular Spectacular
11. Will You Return? -- The Avett Brothers -- Emotionalism
12. Wagon Wheel -- Old Crow Medicine Show -- O.C.M.S.
13. Weekend -- Dr. Dog -- We All Belong
14. What Am I Living For? -- Danny and the Velairs
15. Someday Some Morning Sometime -- Billy Bragg & Wilco -- Mermaid Avenue Vol 2
16. Summer Breeze -- Jackie Mittoo -- The Keyboard King at Studio One
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
"You can have all the diamonds. You can have all the gold. But someday you're still gonna get old. You've gotta learn to get happy along the way." Diamonds and Gold by Langhorne Slim
I had a blast on the show last night. Thanks for listening.
Quick tidbits on the show:
Henry Clay People list their influences as Neil Young, Pavement, and Dire Straits. Definitely hear the Pavement influence. I also hear a bit of The Hold Steady, Ted Leo, and The Thermals. This is an excellent straight up rock and roll band--the kind that plays to a beer-soaked crowd in a small bar. Surprisingly they come from Los Angeles, but don't hold that against them.
Dan Auerbach is the singing/guitar-slaying half of The Black Keys. He's got a solo album coming out called Keep It Hid. The song I played is from that album. He also produced the much heralded band, Hacienda. If you're a fan of Dr. Dog then you'll be a fan of this San Antonio based band.
"Restless" by Langhorne Slim is an exceptional song. His s/t album that recently came out is much fuller and more complete than any release he's had to date. "Diamonds and Gold"s lyrics are the truth. If you didn't like his earlier stuff, this album is still worth listening to as it may change your mind.
I played two tunes by a couple local dudes. One was Kelly Ravin's "Those Days" and the other was Paddy Reagan's cover of John Prine's "My Mexican Home". If you live in the Burlington area, do not miss a chance to see these guys. They play a lot at the Skinny Pancake and also the Monkey House. Paddy is the booking guy at The Monkey House and he's really turned that place around and has put on some incredible shows there over the past year. The songs I played came from Jonah's website of live locally recorded tunes www.VermontLivemusic.com. He records a ton of shows around town and makes the mp3s available to download for free on this site, so go check it out. There is a great show of Paddy Reagan, Kelly Ravin, and Lowell Thompson all playing an acoustic set together that is worth your first download.
1. I Live For Cars And Girls -- Untamed Youth -- Untamed Melodies
2. Working Part Time -- The Henry Clay People -- For Cheap or For Free
3. Something In The Water -- The Henry Clay People -- For Cheap or For Free
4. This Ain't A Scene -- The Henry Clay People -- For Cheap or For Free
5. I Want Some More -- Dan Auerbach -- Keep It Hid
6. She's Got A Hold On Me -- Hacienda -- Loud Is The Night
7. Restless -- Langhorne Slim -- Langhorne Slim
8. Diamonds and Gold -- Langhorne Slim -- Langhorne Slim
9. Radio Song -- The Felice Brothers -- The Felice Brothers
10. Frankie's Gun -- The Felice Brothers -- The Felice Brothers
11. Wonderful Life -- The Felice Brothers -- The Felice Brothers
12. Early In The Morning -- Bobby Darin -- The Bobby Darin Story
13. Your Love (Outfield Cover) -- Bon Iver -- Live at Music Hall of Williamsburg
14. Blood Bank -- Bon Iver -- Blood Bank EP
15. Those Days -- Kelly Ravin Trio -- 5/2/08 Skinny Pancake
16. My Mexican Home -- Paddy Reagan -- 5/13/08 Monkey House
17. River Song -- Dennis Wilson -- Pacific Ocean Blue
18. Blue Ridge Mountains -- Fleet Foxes -- Fleet Foxes
19. Grace Cathedral Hill -- The Decemberists -- Castaways and Cutouts
Saturday, January 3, 2009
“If there’s something inside that you wanna say. Say it out loud it’ll be okay.” The Beta Band – Dry The Rain
Adios 2008. Hola 2009. Game on and get ready for a good year.
Surf rock started it off as it always does. “Pabst Blue Ribbon” (my pop’s go to brew) by the Untamed Youth (best surf rock band name ever) set off the last Caught on the In Between broadcast of 2008. I can truly say that this has been one of the best years of my life and there’s no reason that 2009 shouldn't be the same if not better.
Keeping the surf feeling alive on a cold night, we jumped into “Do You Wanna Dance?” by the So Cal boys, The Beach Boys, next. They are one of the great, unique American bands and about the best thing that you can listen to in the summer. It feels like a long way from summer on this cold, 8 degree January night.
Lowell Thompson is a local rocker that I’ve played many times on my show and is my favorite local artist. His list of influences on his myspace page reads like my iTunes. He has a full length s/t album out there that was my album of the summer of 2006 and has been in constant rotation since, but he’s finally coming out with a new one at some point this winter. For the next set of tunes, I played three that Lowell recorded with his band (Bill Mullins – lead guitar, Kirk Flanagan – Bass, and Steve Hadeka – drums) at Egan Media in Colchester, VT on 11/17/08. I got the recordings from local recording maestro Jonah’s website (www.vermontlivemusic.com), so go scoop them for yourself. The song names aren’t listed on the website, so I made up song names for each based on some of the lyrics. The one that I called “Black Butterfly” is actually a Bill Mullins song and is sung by him. Bill is now in yet another band, The Persian Claws, which I caught at Tick Tick’s White Wind last month and they are yet another great BM production.
After the set of Lowell, we jumped into the Akron, OH, artsy fartsy boys, Devo with a great, lesser known tune by them called Come Back Jonee off of their debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Next up was Les Sans Culottes with Poupee De Cire and rounding out the set was the Amherst, Mass, folk/rock/gypsy band Rusty Belle with Hellion Song off of their S/T album. I caught them this summer at the excellent Langdon St Café down in Montpelier and they rocked a packed, sweaty, beer soaked house. And it was awesome. Check them out whenever they come up, especially if they play to the great crowds at Langdon St.
For the next set of tunes I focused on The Beta Band. Beta Band were a band that started in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1996 and lasted until about 2004. They released 4 excellent studio albums (including the 3 EP’s compilation), my favorite being 3 EP’s, but most people probably know them from a scene in the John Cusack film High Fidelity. In the scene, Cusack is talking to Todd Louiso at the record store in which they work and says “I will now sell five copies of The 3EP’s by the Beta band” and then turns on the song Dry The Rain. And slowly you start to see heads bobbing. Here’s the link to the scene on youtube
We heard Dry the Rain and also heard two songs off of their Hot Shots II album – Broke and Quiet.
Closing out the show, I slowed it down a bit like I usually do. First off came Birds by Emiliana Torrini from her Me and Arminin album. The breakdown and subsequent rise back up with drums in this song is awesome. And lastly, I played the very appropriate “I Must Be In A Good Place Now” covered by Vetiver on their Things of the Past album. This song was originally done by Bobby Charles.
1. Pabst Blue Ribbon -- Untamed Youth -- Untamed Melodies
2. Do You Wanna Dance? -- The Beach Boys -- Sounds of Summer
3. Last Girl -- Lowell Thompson Band -- From 11/17/08 Egan Media
4. Black Butterfly -- Lowell Thompson Band -- From 11/17/08 Egan Media
5. More Than It Hurts Me -- Lowell Thompson Band -- From 11/17/08 Egan Media
6. Come Back Jonee -- Devo -- Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
7. Poupee De Cire -- Les Sans Culottes -- Fixation Orale
8. Hellion Song -- Rusty Belle -- Rusty Belle
9. Broke -- The Beta Band -- Hot Shots II
10. Dry The Rain -- The Beta Band -- 3 EP's
11. Quiet -- The Beta Band -- Hot Shots II
12. Birds -- Emiliana Torrini -- Me And Armini
13. I Must Be In A Good Place Now -- Vetiver -- Things Of The Past