Program #618

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE JIM CARROLL BAND . . . . . People Who Died . . . . . Catholic Boy
JARVIS COCKER . . . . . “Further Complications.” . . . . . Further Complications
THE JAM . . . . . Private Hell . . . . . Setting Sons
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS . . . . . Hold On To Yourself . . . . . Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
JONI MITCHELL . . . . . Trouble Child . . . . . Court and Spark
ST. VINCENT . . . . . Black Rainbow . . . . . Actor
BILLIE HOLIDAY . . . . . Things Are Looking Up . . . . . The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol.5: 1937-1938

M. WARD . . . . . Stars Of Leo . . . . . Hold Time
TIM BUCKLEY . . . . . Happy Time . . . . . Blue Afternoon
YO LA TENGO . . . . . I’m On My Way . . . . . Popular Songs
RICHARD HAWLEY . . . . . I’m On Nights . . . . . Lowedges
RICK NELSON . . . . . Lonesome Town . . . . . Rick Nelson - Greatest Hits
GIRLS . . . . . Hellhole Ratrace . . . . . Album
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . Backstreets . . . . . Born To Run: 30th Anniversary 3-Disc Set (CD/2DVD)

PATRICK WOLF . . . . . Hard Times . . . . . The Bachelor
THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA . . . . . Hey Boy Blue . . . . . Eldorado
THE SLEEPY JACKSON . . . . . Good Dancers . . . . . Lovers
THE BEATLES . . . . . I’m Only Sleeping . . . . . Revolver (Remastered)
OASIS . . . . . Falling Down . . . . . Dig Out Your Soul
DAVID BOWIE . . . . . V-2 Schneider . . . . . Heroes
SISTER VANILLA . . . . . Jamcolas . . . . . Little Pop Rock
THE CAESARS . . . . . Strawberry Weed . . . . . Strawberry Weed

NEIL YOUNG . . . . . On The Beach . . . . . On the Beach
SONIC YOUTH . . . . . Malibu Gas Station . . . . . The Eternal
WEST INDIAN GIRL . . . . . Beach . . . . . We Believe
THE HELIO SEQUENCE . . . . . Just Mary Jane (Calypso) . . . . . Com Plex
ZEEP . . . . . Light Your Touch . . . . . People & Things
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE . . . . . Lather . . . . . Crown of Creation

The death of New York CIty poet Jim Carroll triggered an immediate memory of his first album, which came out during the end of my time as a college radio DJ. It's one of those that's become lost in the foggy areas that seem to occupy more and more of my brain—except for the track we heard to open this program, which was my (and many other folks) favorite. His recounting of the horrible deaths at a young age of so many people he knew combined with his own difficult experiences opened the gate to a set of tunes filled with struggling people. So we had Jarvis Cocker looking over his life from the very beginning; the Jam painting a pictue of middle-aged pain and angst; Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds offering some valuable advice in times of stress; Joni Mitchell taking on those special neuroses that Southern California seems to provide; and St. Vincent trapped in the stifling world that everyday life can become. Finally, and a bit ironically, we heard Billie Holiday in an oh-so-rare upbeat mood.

This section began with M. Ward literally singing about the highs and lows of life, which led to Tim Buckley feeling good about making his way back to the homestead and a new one from Yo La Tengo that seems more about finding a way to make a positive change in a relationship. From there we heard a love song from Richard Hawley with some nice trebley guitar, which brought to mind an old Rick Nelson track that had him feeling a little blue. A new one from Girls starts out in a similar place before it builds to a finish that this time around flipped a switch to raise a door that revealed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

The seed of this set was a tune that didn't make the final group, which happens on occasion, and so what remained begain with one from Patrick Wolf's last disc that flowed nicely into the Electric Light Orchestra. Next up was the Sleepy Jackson with a tune that has a bit of George Harrison-like slide guitar, and from there we heard the remastered Beatles featuring George on the backwards guitar. Oasis followed with a track from what appears to be their final disc that features Noel Gallagher on lead vocals and a rhythm that bears more than a passing resemblance to another Revolver track, "Tomorrow Never Knows." David Bowie maintained the momentum with an instrumental that uses two German sources for its title and only lyrics—the rocket weapons produced by the Nazis in World War II and the last name of Kraftwerk member Florian Schneider. The distorted production on that one gave way to first Sister Vanilla (the Reid Brothers with sister Linda essentially picking up where the Jesus and Mary Chain left off) and then the Caesars creating some noisy effects of their own.

The last portion of this program began with an old favorite from Neil Young that I hadn't pulled out in a long time; from there we moved to Sonic Youth with one from this year's disc that kept the California coast locale intact, and then it was West Indian Girl's summer release that maintained a connection to what preceded it even as it paved the way for the Helio Sequence tune that followed. The pschedelic feel of that one was echoed in the new Zeep tune we heard next, and some of the lead guitar on that one conjured up an old Jefferson Airplane tune, which seemed like a suitable place to call it quits.

Here's another one from the Jam


Program #617

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE KINKS . . . . . National Health . . . . . Low Budget
MONTY PYTHON . . . . . Spam . . . . . Another Monty Python Record (Expanded Edition w/ Bonus Tracks)
JARVIS COCKER . . . . . Fat Children . . . . . Jarvis
RICHARD THOMPSON . . . . . Fast Food . . . . . Mirror Blue
THOSE DARLINS . . . . . The Whole Damn Thing . . . . . Those Darlins
LOUIS ARMSTONG . . . . . Struttin’ With Some Barbecue . . . . . Louis Armstrong - Greatest Hits
BILLY JOEL . . . . . Root Beer Rag . . . . . Streetlife Serenade
NRBQ . . . . . Girl Scout Cookies . . . . . Message for the Mess Age
LARRY GROCE . . . . . Junk Food Junkie . . . . . Junk Food Junkie

JAMES MADDOCK . . . . . When The Sun’s Out . . . . . Sunrise On Avenue C
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . Be True . . . . . Tracks (4CD)
EELS . . . . . What’s A Fella Gotta Do . . . . . Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
NEKO CASE . . . . . This Tornado Loves You . . . . . Middle Cyclone
VISQUEEN . . . . . Ward . . . . . Message To Garcia
THE RASPBERRIES . . . . . I Wanna Be With You . . . . . Capitol Collectors Series
THE BEATLES . . . . . Please Please Me . . . . . Please Please Me (Remastered)
LANGHORNE SLIM . . . . . Say Yes . . . . . Be Set Free
THE ORANGE PEELS . . . . . You’re So Clever . . . . . So Far

THE POSTMARKS . . . . . Gone . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
NOUVELLE VAGUE . . . . . Friday Night Saturday Morning . . . . . Nouvelle Vague
FUN BOY THREE . . . . . Our Lips Are Sealed . . . . . Waiting
ZEEP . . . . . Ghost Town (Isso Não Da) . . . . . People & Things
HENRY MANCINI . . . . . It Had To Be Tonight . . . . . The Pink Panther
BOB DYLAN . . . . . This Dream Of You . . . . . Together Through Life
JOE HENRY . . . . . Suit On A Frame . . . . . Blood from Stars

DAVID BYRNE . . . . . Home . . . . . Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
YO LA TENGO . . . . . By Two’s . . . . . Popular Songs
THE VELVET UNDEGROUND . . . . . Pale Blue Eyes . . . . . The Velvet Underground
TINDERSTICKS . . . . . The Hungry Saw . . . . . The Hungry Saw
PATTI SMITH . . . . . Redondo Beach (Demo) . . . . . Land (1975-2002)
TAKEN BY TREES . . . . . To Love Someone . . . . . East of Eden
JULIAN PLENTI . . . . . H . . . . . Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper

The day after the president's televised speech on health care I read this article on the food industry and the contributions it makes to the unhealthy status of many Americans. The writer believes that for all the back and forth about ways to reduce the cost of health care while at the same time making it better, the most important portions of any legislation are three changes that everyone seems to agree must be there—health insurers must "take everyone at the same rates, provide a standard level of coverage and keep people on their rolls regardless of their health." Why is that so important? Well, the short answer is that hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year on treatments for chronic diseases that have been linked to the foods most of us eat. To see how those three provisions connect to better health care, you need to read the article. As for the opening set of this program, after an appropriate tune from the Kinks we heard a selection of food-related tracks that ranged from the silliness of Monty Python to the exuberance of Louis Armstrong and on to admissions of addiction by Larry Groce.

About 10 years ago an English band called Wood put out an engaging first disc and then promptly disappeared (a second album had been recorded and was all set to go until their record company dropped it and them). James Maddock was the main guy in Wood, and after moving to New York and working through the kind of personal issues that can derail a music career he's back with a new solo disc. One of its standout tracks opened this section, and its romantic anthemic appeal immediately brought to mind Bruce Springsteen. One from Eels latest voiced a frustration that Neko Case seemed to be feeling as well, and then we heard from the rocking new Visqueen disc (with Neko lending some background vocals, as Visqueen's main singer/songwriter Rachel Flotard did for the past couple Neko Case albums). An old favorite from the Raspberries led to the remastered Beatles from their very first LP, which was followed by Langhorne Slim from the brand new disc with a hooky tune that has a similarly beseeching tone to the Orange Peels song that finished up.

Zeep is a band that I've just come across; on their new disc they cover an old Specials tune, and this set grew in both directions after I first heard it. The new Postmarks album has quickly become a 2009 favorite, and the tune that opened up brought to mind Nouvelle Vague's cover of another Specials track. Fun Boy Three came along after the Specials splintered apart, and we heard their version of a tune that lead singer Terry Hall co-wrote with the Go-Go's Jane Wiedlen while they were enjoying some intimate times during a Specials/Go-Go's tour in 1980. The accordian on the Zeep track conjured up a slice of Henry Mancini's soundtrack for the original Pink Panther movie starring the amazing Peter Sellers, and from we heard Los Lobos' David Hidalgo setting an evocative mood with that instrument on one from Bob Dylan's latest before Joe Henry from his new disc closed it out.

David Byrne produced the Fun Boy Three record, and here we heard him with Brian Eno from last year's disc with a tune that seemed to flow nicely into a moody piece with a dreamlike quality from the excellent new Yo La Tengo record. The Velvet Underground offered a painfully vivid song about an affair, and the same adjectives can be applied to the Tindersticks tune that followed. From there we heard songs from Patti Smith and Taken By Trees that each seemed to be about relationships that end in a permanent loss, and Julian Plenti brought down the curtain with an instrumental that certainly seemed to suit the mood.

Here's another one from Louis Armstrong


Program #616

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE BEATLES . . . . . Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds . . . . . Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Remastered)
JOHNNY RIVERS . . . . . Summer Rain . . . . . Johnny Rivers: Greatest Hits (Capitol)
KITES WITH LIGHTS . . . . . Sound Of The Rain . . . . . The Weight Of Your Heart
THE BALDWIN BROTHERS . . . . . Dream Girl . . . . . Cooking with Lasers
TAKEN BY TREES . . . . . Watch The Waves . . . . . East of Eden
THE DIRTY PROJECTORS & DAVID BYRNE . . . . . Knotty Pine . . . . . Dark Was the Night
XTC . . . . . Garden Of Earthly Delights . . . . . Oranges & Lemons

SAM COOKE . . . . . Another Saturday Night . . . . . The Man and His Music
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR . . . . . Fool’s Gold . . . . . Heat Treatment
EELS . . . . . Beginner’s Luck . . . . . Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
CAMERA OBSCURA . . . . . The Sweetest Thing . . . . . My Maudlin Career
THE FOUR TOPS . . . . . I Can’t Help Myself . . . . . 50th Anniversary Anthology
YO LA TENGO . . . . . If It’s True . . . . . Popular Songs
JENS LEKMAN . . . . . A Postcard To Nina . . . . . Night Falls Over Kortedala
JOE COCKER . . . . . The Letter . . . . . Mad Dogs & Englishmen
LOU RAWLS . . . . . Bring It On Home . . . . . The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS . . . . . Loose Translation . . . . . Electric Version
T. REX . . . . . 20th Century Boy . . . . . T. Rextasy: The Best of T. Rex, 1970-1973
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS . . . . . Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) . . . . . Fit to Be Tied: Great Hits by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
VISQUEEN . . . . . Hand Me Down . . . . . Message To Garcia
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 . . . . . Up To Our Necks . . . . . Goodnight Oslo
JULIAN PLENTI . . . . . Unwind . . . . . Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD . . . . . I Only Want To Be With You . . . . . The Very Best of Dusty Springfield
MARY WEISS . . . . . My Heart Is Beating . . . . . Dangerous Game
THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS . . . . . Anything You Want . . . . . Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS . . . . . Hungry . . . . . Paul Revere & The Raiders - Greatest Hits

BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS . . . . . Trench Town . . . . . Confrontation
BUNNY WAILER . . . . . Ballroom Floor . . . . . Rock'n'Groove
GREGORY ISAACS . . . . . Mi Come Again . . . . . The Definitive Collection
YELLOWMAN . . . . . Zungguzungguguzungguzeng! . . . . . Zungguzungguguzungguzeng
MICHAEL PROPHET . . . . . Emanuel Road . . . . . Cease-Fire
STEELY & CLEVIE (WITH DAWN PENN) . . . . . You Don’t Love Me . . . . . Play Studio One Vintage

This one debuted on the Day of Nines, which was also the peak of Beatlemania, 2009 style, so we began with one from the remastered Sgt. Pepper and followed it with a Johnny Rivers tune that quoted a little bit from that disc's title track. Next up was an appealing slice of Electro Pop from Kites With Lights debut EP, which fed nicely into the Baldwin Brothers sensuously rhythmic sounds. Taken By Trees were next with a new one that showcases just how recording in a studio in Pakistan can influence your music; the Dirty Projectors (here with some help from David Byrne) also like to mix and match a variety of sounds and styles, and the energy of the track we heard led us to XTC celebrating life's possibilities on this planet we all inhabit together.

A hankering for some Sam Cooke resulted in this section's opener, and from there we heard Graham Parker & the Rumour, Eels and Camera Obscura with their interpretations of that sweet soul music. Then we heard the real deal from the Four Tops, which brought on a new track from Yo La Tengo that incorporates a similar bass line. Jens Lekman incorporates a little of the Philly Soul sound into his distinctive tale of a man posing as his friend's boyfriend so her father won't find out she's a lesbian, and then it was another mail-related tune Joe Cocker's cover of a Box Tops tune. Finally, we heard from Lou Rawls with another Sam Cooke tune, one that he was more than familiar with since he sang on the original with Cooke in 1961.

The New Pornographers track that began this set always brings up an old favorite by T. Rex, which led to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts covering a Gary Glitter tune, speaking of '70s Glam Rock stars. Then we heard from Visqueen, whose new disc is full of high-energy rock & roll, and the horns on that one made for a fine connection to the Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 track that followed. The Julian Plenti and Dusty Springfield tracks featured a similar use of brass, and then we heard from Mary Weiss, a contemporary of Dusty's from back in the day who put out a disc full of excellent garage tunes a couple of years back. Then it was the Cocktail Slippers working in the same vein from their Steve Van Zandt-produced album before Paul Revere and the Raiders finished it off with a favorite from way back when.

I read of Wycliffe Johnson's passing a few days before this program went up; he was much better known as Steely, one half of a duo along with Cleveland (Clevie) Browne who were the leading producers in Jamaica in the mid-to-late '80s when dancehall was making the move to incorporate digital sounds. Before that (and during, as well as after) he was a session guy, and by some estimates he played on more of them than any other Jamaican musician. That's how I was most familiar with his work, especially from the time he spent in the Root Radics, one of the great reggae sessions bands of all time. They accompanied Bunny Wailer on the track we heard here, which followed the Bob Marly and the Wailers song that contains an uncredited appearance by a still teenage Steely. We also heard a trio of sessions he participated on that resulted in excellent discs from Gregory Isaacs, Yellowman and Michael Prophet. The final piece comes from a 1991 Steely & Clevie disc that reworks some classic Studio One tracks from the past; this Dawn Penn song was a big hit in Jamaica in the late '60s and did very well for a much wider audience in the early '90s after the Steely and Clevie version was picked up and released by Atlantic Records.

Here's another one from Graham Parker & the Rumour (covering the Jackson 5)


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