Program #636

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
CALEXICO . . . . . Black Heart . . . . . Feast of Wire
GRIZZLY BEAR . . . . . Fine For Now . . . . . Veckatimest
JOSEPH ARTHUR & THE LONELY ASTRONAUTS . . . . . Temporary People . . . . . Temporary People
RICHARD BUCKNER . . . . . Spell . . . . . Meadow
EXENE CERVENKA . . . . . Sound Of Coming Down . . . . . Somewhere Gone
CLEM SNIDE . . . . . With All My Heart . . . . . Hungry Bird
NEKO CASE . . . . . Vengeance Is Sleeping . . . . . Middle Cyclone

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE . . . . . Cortez The Killer . . . . . Weld (2 disc set)
THE DECEMBERISTS . . . . . After The Bombs . . . . . Causes 2
JOSH RITTER . . . . . Girl In The War . . . . . Animal Years
THE IKE REILLY ASSASSINATION . . . . . Broken Parakeet Blues . . . . . We Belong to the Staggering Evening
STEVE EARLE . . . . . Ashes To Ashes . . . . . Jerusalem

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG . . . . . IRM . . . . . Irm
THE MODERN LOVERS . . . . . Hospital . . . . . The Modern Lovers
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Lovesick . . . . . Time Out of Mind
THE CLIMAX BLUES BAND . . . . . You Make Me Sick . . . . . Rich Man
RAY CHARLES . . . . . Unchain My Heart . . . . . Genius! - The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS . . . . . Giving Up . . . . . Daptone Gold
DIONNE WARWICK . . . . . Don’t Make Me Over . . . . . The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest Hits
DAN PENN . . . . . I’m Your Puppet . . . . . Do Right Man
ELVIS COSTELLO . . . . . My All-Time Doll . . . . . Secret, Profane and Sugarcane

THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Midnight Rambler . . . . . Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!
PAUL WESTERBERG . . . . . Drop Them Gloves . . . . . PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys (Amazon.com Exclusive)
LITTLE WALTER . . . . . Boom, Boom Out Go The Lights . . . . . Blues Masters, Vol. 6: Blues Originals
AL KOOPER & MIKE BLOOMFIELD . . . . . That’s All Right . . . . . Live Adventures Of Michael Bloomfield & Al Kooper
ELVIS PRESLEY . . . . . I Wanna Play House With You . . . . . Elvis: The First Live Recordings
SPOON . . . . . Well-Alright . . . . . Dark Was the Night
THE CLASH . . . . . Brand New Cadillac . . . . . London Calling
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . Pink Cadillac . . . . . Tracks (4CD)
THE BLASTERS . . . . . Long White Cadillac . . . . . Testament: The Complete Slash Recordings (1981-1985)

This program was the first to air after I saw Neko Case and Calexico in concert out here in Northern NJ. There was a bit of controversry with Neko's portion of the proceedings, as she cut her set short and didn't come back for an encore. The cause was consecutive electric shocks she received from her microphone while performing "Polar Nettles," which seemed to pull the plug on he enthusiasm for performing from that point forward. It didn't seem to affect her singing or the other members of her band, but you got the sense she didn't want to be up there near that mic any longer. So while I enjoyed her set, it was disappointing to find set lists from other shows on this tour and realize some of the tunes that were left out, which includes the one that closed this opener. Ah well, such is life. As for Calexico, it was just Joey Burns and John Convertino (except for a couple of tracks when they were joined by two members of Neko's band), but they were terrific. The tune that began today's show sounded much different coming from a duo, but it still knocked me out. In between we heard tracks from Grizzly Bear, Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts, Richard Buckner, Exene Cervenka and Clem Snide that traveled from the dislocation felt in the Calexico tune to the memories of a fractured relationship in the Neko Case track.

Calexico included a haunting cover of an old Neil Young favorite in their set; here we heard it in a live version that goes back to around 1990 featuring Neil with Crazy Horse. It is both amazing and sad to realize that at least as far back as the 1500's, when Cortez arrived in Mexico and slaughtered the Aztecs, humans have been consistently engaged in battle somewhere on this planet with fatal consequences for untold numbers of victims. The tunes from the Decemberists, Josh Ritter, the Ike Reilly Assassination and Steve Earle that followed in this set reflect each artists' reaction to the terrible toll that war inflicts on human civilization.

This section began with the title track from Charlotte Gainsbourg's upcoming disc, which if you read it backwards is the acronym for a test you might undergo in the hospital, say, after having a cerebral hemorrhage. Of course, that's what happened to Charlotte a little over two years ago, and on this new record she's reflecting back on that life-changing event. We followed that track with an old one from the Modern Lovers, and then it was Bob Dylan followed by the Climax Blues Band carrying us further into that special kind of sickness that love and romance can inspire. From there we heard Ray Charles begging to be set free, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings surrendering, Dionne Warwick pleading to maintain her sense of self, Dan Penn acknowledging the futility of of it all and Elvis Costello unable to shake free of what the memories.

The Rolling Stones have released another version of their 1970 live album, considered by many to be the best concert disc ever—and you can count me among them. But considering the tight money situation these days, I don't think I'll be springing for this new package, even though it contains the entire Madison Square Garden show from 1969, including opening acts B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner. The news did inspire me to pull out the original disc for the tune that kicked off this finale, which seemed to flow nicely into one from Paul Westerberg's new EP. The harmonica on both those tracks can be traced back to Little Walter, and from there we moved to Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield with a hot version of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's tune, which is still associated by most folks with Elvis Presley. After a very early live performance from the King we moved to a Spoon track that certainly has a rockabilly feel to it. That fed quite well into the Clash followed by Bruce Springsteen and the Blasters, with those three sent out to our friends at General Motors, who announced they would return a portion of the money we gave them earlier this year. It doesn't seem likely that we'll ever see a return on our investment, let alone get all of it back, but at least it's something.

Here's another one from Calexico


Program #635

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS . . . . . Blanchard . . . . . Through the Devil Softly
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE . . . . . Today . . . . . Surrealistic Pillow
HEADLESS HEROES . . . . . True Love Will Find You In The End . . . . . The Silence of Love
TIM BUCKLEY . . . . . Strange Feeling . . . . . Happy Sad
NICOLAI DUNGER . . . . . Where Harmony Is Heard . . . . . Soul Rush

THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Route 66 . . . . . December's Children (And Everybody's)
TEDDY BEARS . . . . . Punkrocker . . . . . Punkrocker Featuring Iggy Pop (Album Version)
GENERATION X . . . . . Wild Youth . . . . . Perfect Hits 1975-1981
GUIDED BY VOICES . . . . . Glad Girls . . . . . Isolation Drills
VISQUEEN . . . . . Forgive Me . . . . . Message To Garcia
MOJAVE 3 . . . . . Breaking The Ice . . . . . Puzzles Like You
ART BRUT . . . . . Emily Kane . . . . . Bang Bang Rock & Roll
BUZZCOCKS . . . . . Ever Fallen In Love? . . . . . Operators Manual
BRENDAN BENSON . . . . . I’m Easy . . . . . Lapalco
YO LA TENGO . . . . . Nothing To Hide . . . . . Popular Songs

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS . . . . . Roots, Rock Reggae . . . . . Rastaman Vibration
TOMMY T. . . . . . The Call . . . . . Prester John Sessions
CAIRO . . . . . I Like Bluebeat . . . . . 100% British Ska
JUSTIN HINDS & THE DOMINOES . . . . . Carry, Go, Bring, Come . . . . . Island 40, Vol. 1: 1959-1964 -- Ska's the Limit
THE BEATLES . . . . . I Call Your Name . . . . . Past Masters (Remastered)
SUPERGRASS . . . . . When I Needed You . . . . . Diamond Hoo Ha
A BAND OF BEES . . . . . Wash In The Rain . . . . . Free the Bees
A.C. NEWMAN . . . . . The Heartbreak Rides . . . . . Get Guilty
BECK . . . . . Think I’m In Love . . . . . The Information

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG . . . . . Heaven Can Wait . . . . . Irm
WHITE WHALE . . . . . The Admiral . . . . . WWI
THE KINKS . . . . . Where Have All The Good Times Gone . . . . . Greatest Hits
CRACKER . . . . . Where Have Those Days Gone . . . . . Greenland
PAUL WESTERBERG . . . . . Gimmie Little Joy . . . . . PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys (Amazon.com Exclusive)
THE HOLD STEADY . . . . . Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window . . . . . I'm Not There
JOSH RITTER . . . . . Next To The Last Romantic . . . . . The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
TOM WAITS . . . . . I’ll Shoot The Moon . . . . . Glitter and Doom Live
LITTLE JOY . . . . . Brand New Start . . . . . Little Joy
NEKO CASE . . . . . This Tornado Loves You . . . . . Middle Cyclone

This program began with a tune from the recent Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions disc that has a certain late '60s feel to it, which is why it worked well with the Jefferson Airplane track that followed. Headless Heroes' cover of a Daniel Johnston tune taps into the same vibe, and then it was back to that same late '60s time period for the mesmerizing Tim Buckley before Sweden's Nicolai Dunger embracing his inner Van Morrison finished up.

I recently read that the Route 66 Preservation Foundation has erected a sign at the Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles indicating the end of the trail for that historic highway. Although Route 66 didn't really end at that spot when it was alive (it was decomissioned in 1985), the thinking is that the pier offers more opportunties to raise funds from tourists stopping by. In other words, why let the facts get in the way of merchandising opportunities. Be that is it may, the article did provide the jumping off point for this set with the Rolling Stones captured live in March 1965, several months before "Satisfaction" finally broke them big in America. From there we heard Teddybears with guest vocalist Iggy Pop singing about the music genre that includes Generation X as part of its original wave. Guided By Voices put the emphasis on the guitars while introducing a bit of Pop into the mix, and then it was Visqueen following the same formula into Mojave 3, where the Pop aspect became more pronounced. Art Brut was next with one of my favorite tunes of the decade, which fed nicely into some prime Buzzcocks, who were followed by Brendan Benson borrowing more than a bit from that Manchester group and Yo La Tengo maintaining the energy to close it out.

The new album from Ethiopian bassist Tommy T. has a number of excellent reggae tracks, and we heard one coming out of the Bob Marley & the Wailers tune that opened this section. The Cairo song is actually a 30-year-old 7-inch that I've treasured since it first came out, and its title refers to another name for Ska that was used in England during the '60s. Justin Hinds & the Dominoes provided an example, and then we heard the Beatles with a track whose middle eight John Lennon once described as the band's attempt at Bluebeat. That tune also sent us off in a different direction, as Supergrass followed up on the theme of rejection and loss, as did A Band of Bees and A.C. Newman. Turning it around at the last minute was Beck, which led to . . .

. . . the latest project with which he's involved—Charlotte Gainsbourg's upcoming album, set to be released in the U.S. early next year. They produced the disc together, wrote songs together and on the track that opened this final set Beck joins her on vocals. The mood set by that tune seemed to work well with the White Whale song that followed, and that one features vocals that are very reminiscent of Ray Davies and the Kinks. Next up was Cracker looking for similar answers, and then Paul Westerberg searching for a bit of optimism brought on the Hold Steady covering an old Bob Dylan tune with a possible solution. Josh Ritter's tall tale about a guy with an insatiable thirst for women led to Tom Waits in a romantic mood feeding into Little Joy celebrating a second chance at love, which brought us finally to Neko Case needing meteorological metaphors to explain how strong her love is.

Here's another one from Tim Buckley


Program #634

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . Thundercrack . . . . . Tracks (4CD)
MARAH . . . . . My Heart Is The Bums On The Street . . . . . Kids in Philly
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR . . . . . Hold Back The Night . . . . . Ultimate Collection
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS . . . . . I Stand Accused . . . . . Get Happy!!
VAN MORRISON . . . . . Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) . . . . . Saint Dominic's Preview
JACKIE WILSON . . . . . (You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher . . . . . The Very Best of Jackie Wilson

BOB DYLAN . . . . . I Threw It All Away . . . . . Nashville Skyline
TOM WAITS . . . . . The Part You Throw Away . . . . . Glitter and Doom Live
LEONARD COHEN . . . . . The Gypsy Life . . . . . Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979
DEVOTCHKA . . . . . New World . . . . . A Mad and Faithful Telling
GRIZZLY BEAR . . . . . While You Wait For The Others . . . . . Veckatimest
NEKO CASE . . . . . Star Witness . . . . . Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Bonus Disc Version)
EXENE CERVENKA . . . . . Honest Mistake . . . . . Somewhere Gone
ISOBEL CAMPBELL . . . . . Something To Believe . . . . . Sunday at Devil Dirt

LOU REED . . . . . Wait . . . . . Street Hassle
BRYAN FERRY . . . . . It’s My Party . . . . . These Foolish Things
THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS . . . . . She’s A Fool . . . . . Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
THE PRETENDERS . . . . . Brass In Pocket . . . . . The Pretenders
THE BEATLES . . . . . That Means A Lot . . . . . Anthology 2
THE CLIENTELE . . . . . Tonight . . . . . Bonfires on the Heath
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . I’m In Deep . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
ANGELO BADALAMENTI . . . . . Falling . . . . . Twin Peaks (Season One TV Soundtrack)
AIR . . . . . You Can Tell . . . . . Love 2

NNEKA . . . . . Africans . . . . . The Uncomfortable Truth
PETER TOSH . . . . . African . . . . . Equal Rights
BUNNY WAILER . . . . . Hypocritical Dub . . . . . Dubdisco
TOMMY T. F/ GIGI . . . . . Eden . . . . . Prester John Sessions
TAKEN BY TREES . . . . . To Lose Someone . . . . . East of Eden
PAUL SIMON . . . . . Under African Skies . . . . . Graceland
TOUMANI DIABATE . . . . . Ismael Drane . . . . . Tracks (4CD)

This program was the first to air after my experience at the MSG Bruce Springsteen concert, which was covered in some detail in the previous program post. Here we began with the tune that he used as an opener, saying it was "an outtake from the Wild and Innocent sessions," and the set finished with the Jackie Wilson tune that Springsteen and the E Street Band, along with guest Elvis Costello, used to close out the show. In between we heard one from Marah, a band that at times recalls the E Streeters, followed by Graham Parker and the Rumour covering the Trammps, the aforementioned Mr. Costello along with the Attractions engaging in their own brand of soul music, and Van Morrison finding inspiration from Mr. Excitement for some hot R&B.

A tune from Tom Waits' new live set brought to mind an old Bob Dylan track, so that's where this set started, and after the Waits tune we heard from Leonard Cohen also in a live setting, although from 30 years ago. Both of those tracks have an Eastern European feel to them, and that was continued in the DeVotchKa song that followed. From there it was Grizzly Bear giving someone the heave-ho, Neko Case recounting an awful event she once observed, Exene Cervenka admitting it's time to move on, and Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan looking for a reason to keep going.

This section kicked off with an old Lou Reed number that looks back with evident pleasure to the Girl Group sound of the early and mid-'60s. Lesley Gore had much success during those years; here we heard first Bryan Ferry and then the Cocktail Slippers covering songs that were hits for her. The Pretenders followed with a favorite that goes back to their very first disc, and then it was the Beatles and a track that was abandoned in 1965 and not officially released until the Anthology series of the mid-'90s. The romantic mood set by that one was sustained through a song from the new Clientele disc, and then we closed with a trio of tunes from the Postmarks, Angelo Badalamenti with Julee Cruise, and Air that added a whole bunch of synthesizers to the mix, taking us to a much dreamier place as a result.

The finale began with an artist whose name is Nneka: she has a German mother and Nigerian father, and her music shows a wide range of influences. There will be a new record early next year; until then an EP of some earlier material has been put together, and the track we heard conjured up an old Peter Tosh tune with a title that differs by one letter. A dub track from another original Wailer, the great Bunny Wailer, followed, and then it was new music from Tommy T., an Ethiopian bass player with a great feel for the reggae beat. A tune off the new disc recorded in Pakistan from Taken by Trees led to Paul Simon and some very talented South African musicians, and then we finished with the sublimely beautiful music of Toumani Diabaté, who hails from Mali and is a master of the kora, a 21-string harp-like instrument native to West Africa.

Here's another one from Tom Waits


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