Program #674

I went to see Wilco at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ, and thought they gave a superior performance. In a three-plus hours set they covered material from throughout their career, offering a full range of the varied styles and sounds that have come to define what this band is all about. The rockers rocked, the quiet tunes were intimate and affecting, and all I can say is I'm glad as I was there to see and hear it. I thought the track we heard here sounded particularly good, and it was preceded by a trio of recent songs that also share common roots in the late '60s/early '70s music that most definitely includes Traffic as part of that mix.

A couple of months from now Teenage Fanclub will be releasing their first disc in five years; the track that opened this next section is an advance from that album, and it certainly has whet my appetite for what's to come. The Searchers were one of the first bands to perfect that jangling, chiming guitar sound that TF uses so well, and Richard X. Heyman's first disc also owed a debt to that British Invasion band. On their debut the Singles looked to the original British Invasion band, and then we heard one from the alternate universe Fab Four (I'll be seeing Neil Inness on Sunday and will have more on that in the next show's wrap-up) that seemed to flow nicely into a new one from She & Him. The School also have a new album that exhibits many '60s influences among its tracks; the one we heard had a bit of an edge that reached out to some early Rolling Stones working in a more melodic Pop place than was normally the case in those days. Finally, Jarvis Cocker feeling good about the return of his girl fed into Findlay Brown still shattered by his loss.

We began this set with a Beach Boys track that originated with the Smile album, which remained unfinished and unreleased until Brian Wilson came back to it some 40 years later. I liked the way it worked here with the melancholy track from the High Llamas that followed, which in turn gave way to one from the new Unthanks album that sets a similar mood. Somewhat counter-intuitively, Nick Drake turned that around with one of his marvelously flowing tunes, which brought on Tim Buckley with one that achieves a similar effect and is a particular favorite of mine. Headless Heroes covering the Jesus and Mary Chain provided one of a more recent vintage, and then we finished with Donovan remaking himself—his original of that tune saw him doing a terrific imitation of the early Bob Dylan, but when it came time for a greatest hits LP Donovan updated the arrangements on some of those first tracks to reflect the influence that late '60s culture was having on his music.

One from the very enjoyable new Mose Allison disc kicked off this final section, and it was followed by a Pink Martini instrumental that introduced a Latin feel and brought on War with their irresistable mid-'70s hit. Booker T. working with the Drive-By Truckers offered a cover of an Outkast track, and then we heard a new Janelle Monae tune that features an appearance by Big Boi. That one's rhythmic intensity gave way to the cooler beats of Gnarls Barkley, which was then followed by a soulful new one from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings that perfectly set up James Brown to close this one out.

Here's the complete playist.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
SPOON . . . . . Before Destruction . . . . . Transference
BECK . . . . . Chemtrails . . . . . Modern Guilt
TRAFFIC . . . . . Every Mother’s Son . . . . . John Barleycorn Must Die
DR. DOG . . . . . Shame, Shame . . . . . Shame, Shame
WILCO . . . . . Handshake Drugs . . . . . A Ghost Is Born

TEENAGE FANCLUB . . . . . Baby Lee . . . . . Baby Lee
SEARCHERS . . . . . When You Walk In The Room . . . . . The Very Best of the Searchers
RICHARD X. HEYMAN . . . . . All For The Girl . . . . . Living Room!!
THE SINGLES . . . . . Until You Came Along . . . . . Better Than Before
THE RUTLES . . . . . With A Girl Like You . . . . . The Rutles
SHE & HIM . . . . . Thieves . . . . . Volume Two
THE SCHOOL . . . . . The One Who Left Me . . . . . Loveless Unbeliever
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Blue Turns To Grey . . . . . December's Children (And Everybody's)
JARVIS COCKER . . . . . Baby’s Coming Back To Me . . . . . Jarvis
FINDLAY BROWN . . . . . Holding Back The Night . . . . . Love Will Find You

THE BEACH BOYS . . . . . Surf’s Up . . . . . Sunflower/Surf's Up
THE HIGH LLAMAS . . . . . The Walworth River . . . . . Beet Maize & Corn
THE UNTHANKS . . . . . Living On The Water . . . . . Here's the Tender Coming
NICK DRAKE . . . . . Northern Sky . . . . . Bryter Layter
TIM BUCKLEY . . . . . Buzzin’ Fly . . . . . Happy Sad
HEADLESS HEROES . . . . . Just Like Honey . . . . . The Silence of Love
DONOVAN . . . . . Catch The Wind . . . . . Donovan's Greatest Hits

MOSE ALLISON . . . . . I Know You Didn’t Mean It . . . . . Way of the World
PINK MARTINI . . . . . Ohayoo Ohio . . . . . Splendor in the Grass
WAR . . . . . Low Rider . . . . . The Best of War and More
BOOKER T. . . . . . Hey Ya . . . . . Potato Hole
JANELE MONAE . . . . . Tightrope . . . . . Archandroid
GNARLS BARKLEY . . . . . Charity Case . . . . . The Odd Couple
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KEYS . . . . . Better Things To Do . . . . . I Learned The Hard Way
JAMES BROWN . . . . . Soul Power, Pts. 1&2 . . . . . Star Time (4CD)

Here's another one from Wilco (from the show I attended).


Program #673

I'm enjoying the latest disc from Dr. Dog; many folks hear quite a few '60s pop/rock influences in their sound, and they certainly are there, but the tune that kicked off this program conjured up an old Genesis track for me (beyond the subject similarities title-wise) from the days when Peter Gabriel was out front on lead vocals and Phil Collins was the drummer. The synthesized sound and bouncy rhythms of that song segued nicely into one from Holly Miranda's debut that bears a rhythmic resemblance to the Beatles tune that first came out as the B-side to "All You Need Is Love" in 1967. The beat became more straight forward with Super Furry Animals, and then started to gain momentum with the Postmarks tune that followed. Guitars became prominent with the Jessica Fletchers track that owes an obvious debt to the Kinks, and then we finished with the Caesars and a track with some falsetto vocalizing that bears more than a passing resemblance to the recurring synthesizer in Lene Lovich's remake of a Tommy James and the Shondells original.

Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions started us out here with some nice languid guitar floating in a pool of reverb, which also features prominently in the Glasvegas track that followed. The romantic despair in that one was echoed in the Walker Brothers' British Invasion hit from the '60s, and then we had another gem from those days from Dusty Springfield that seemed to flow well into a new one from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, which expresses a similar sentiment (although with a little less self-confidence) to that found in the Irma Thomas classic we heard from 1964. In their early days the Rolling Stones covered that tune, and here we heard Solomon Burke covering a later Stones original. Then it was another track from early in the Stones' career, one best associated with Otis Redding, who then offered another of his classics to close it out.

We began this section in three-minute pop song territory with Mojave 3 setting us off down a path full of romantic disillusionment that featured more of the same from Herman's Hermits and Tracey Ullman. A new one from the School seems to have a bit of the Shangri-Las in it, and the connection to the Quadron track that followed was through that duo's use of the one-word refrain "Remember." The spare sound of that one signaled a shift that was picked up by the XX, and then it was on to the building intensity of Radiohead that was matched by Joy Division from their final single and Broken Social Scene on the recent digital single from their forthcoming album.

The finale opened with tunes from the Real Tuesday Weld and Benoit Charest that clearly owe a debt to the music of Django Reinhardt. Then we heard one from Mose Allison's terrific new disc that has him taking an old Willie Dixon tune and reworking the words to reflect how he feels about the gray matter residing in his skull. Little Walter followed with the original of the song Willie Dixon wrote, which brought on Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers with their own variations on that classic Blues sound. Win Win Winter offered a nice track with a similar feel from their debut EP before the Yardbirds covering Muddy Waters brought the curtain down.

Here's the complete playist.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
DR. DOG . . . . .Where’d All The Time Go? . . . . . Shame, Shame
GENESIS . . . . . Counting Out Time . . . . . The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
HOLLY MIRANDA . . . . . Forest Green Oh Forest Green . . . . . Magician's Private Library
THE BEATLES . . . . . Baby You’re A Rich Man . . . . . Magical Mystery Tour (Remastered)
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS . . . . . Helium Hearts . . . . . Dark Days/Light Years
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . My Lucky Charm . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
THE JESSICA FLETCHERS . . . . . Let’s Go . . . . . What Happened to The?
THE KINKS . . . . . All Day And All Of The Night . . . . . The Singles Collection
THE CAESARS . . . . . In Orbit . . . . . Strawberry Weed
LENE LOVICH . . . . . I Think We’re Alone Now . . . . . The Stiff Records Box Set

HOPE SANDOVAL AND THE WARM INVENTIONS . . . . . Trouble . . . . . Through the Devil Softly
GLASVEGAS . . . . . It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry . . . . . Glasvegas
THE WALKER BROTHERS . . . . . The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore . . . . . The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 7
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD . . . . . All Cried Out . . . . . The Very Best of Dusty Springfield
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS . . . . . I’ll Still Be True . . . . . I Learned The Hard Way
IRMA THOMAS . . . . . Time Is On My Side . . . . . The Best of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 1
SOLOMON BURKE . . . . . I Got The Blues . . . . . Make Do with What You Got
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . That’s How Strong My Love Is . . . . . Out of Our Heads (US)
OTIS REDDING . . . . . I’ve Been Loving You Too Long . . . . . Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul

MOJAVE 3 . . . . . Puzzles Like You . . . . . Puzzles Like You
HERMAN’S HERMITS . . . . . No Milk Today . . . . . Very Best of Herman's Hermits
TRACEY ULLMAN . . . . . You Broke My Heart In 17 Places . . . . . Best of Tracey Ullman
THE SCHOOL . . . . . The Who Left Me . . . . . Loveless Unbeliever
THE SHANGRI-LAS . . . . . Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand) . . . . . The Best of the Girl Groups, Vol. 1
QUADRON . . . . . Tone . . . . . Quadron
THE XX . . . . . Heart Skipped A Beat . . . . . XX
RADIOHEAD . . . . . These Are My Twisted Words . . . . . Free Digital Download
JOY DIVISION . . . . . Love Will Tear Us Apart . . . . . Love Will Tear Us Apart (Album Version)
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE . . . . . Forced To Love . . . . . Forgiveness Rock Record

THE REAL TUESDAY WELD . . . . . I Believe . . . . . The London Book of the Dead
BENOIT CHAREST . . . . . Belleville Rendezvous . . . . . The Triplets of Belleville
DJANGO REINHARDT . . . . . I’ll See You In My Dreams . . . . . The Best of Django Reinhardt
MOSE ALLISON . . . . . My Brain . . . . . Way of the World
LITTLE WALTER . . . . . My Babe . . . . . His Best :(Little Walter)The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Someday Baby . . . . . Modern Times
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND . . . . . Trouble No More . . . . . Eat a Peach
WIN WIN WINTER . . . . . Baker Ave. . . . . . A Brief History Of
THE YARDBIRDS . . . . . I’m A Man . . . . . Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: 1964-1966

Here's one more from the Yardbirds


Program #672

This program opened with a tune that materialized after I read of June Havoc's passing at age 97; she was the sister of Gypsy Rose Lee, whose memoirs provided the basis for the Broadway show Gypsy, considered by some to be the greatest musical of all time. So we heard Faith Dane, Chotzi Foley and Maria Karnilova as three strippers offering some advice to Louise just at the moment she's metamorphosing into Gypsy Rose Lee. Tom Waits followed with a salute to the ladies who, among other things, made him harder than Chinese algebra, and then we heard the Bonzo Dog Band with the tune that they played in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour while a stripper did her thing alongside them. The romantic tragedy at the heart of that track brought on Findlay Brown with one that looks back to '60s romantic ballads for inspiration, and then it was Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs with one from the new disc that has plenty of twangy guitar, which fed quite naturally into the Doors from a long time ago. Finally, the Cramps taking a sad Rick Nelson hit even lower were followed by Rick operating in a much more casually confident place.

A set all about the ups and downs of romance began with a trio of Kinks tunes, with one by the band sandwiched between covers from Yo La Tengo and the Pretenders. One more cover brought the Postmarks doing a Ramones tune, and the classic '60s teen tragedy feel of that one fed quite nicely into a new one from the School, who like to merge a number of pop influences from that decade into their music. That's why it was for more than similarities in song titles that Dusty Springfield was up next, and then the flow continued with one from the new She & Him disc that's actually an NRBQ tune, which is why we heard one of my favorites from that band to follow. Finishing it off was Wilco with the bouncy take of a track that actually appears in two versions on the disc, followed by Neko Case's very satisfying cover of an old Harry Nilsson tune.

There is a new double-disc set that's full of New Order songs as done by contemporary bands that has a number of nice takes, including the one we heard to kick off this section by Flight. After a suitable follow from Vitesse, it was on to Air from their most recent disc with a tune that features some guitar that is probably as close as that duo will come to ever recording surf music—so we heard a trio of surf-influenced tracks (some more than others) by the B-52s, the Wipeouters and the Soft Pack. The Buzzcocks brought us back to more of a Pop-Punk place, and while we remained in that general vicinity the distortion level continued to grow as we wound our way through Girls, Star and the Jesus and Mary Chain at the finish.

New tunes from Quadron and the Black Keys each conjured up an old Motown track, so they were interspersed to begin this final section. The Black Keys track ends in a place that recalled the Beatles B-side (to Get Back) that features Billy Preston on organ, and the anguish of that one was countered by the empathetic reassurance of Gil Scott-Heron from his excellent new disc. To close out the show we heard Bettye LaVette with her take on a tune recorded by many others, including Charlie Parker, which is how we ended up with Joe Henry.

Here's the complete playist.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
FAITH DANE, CHOTZI FOLEY, MARIA KARNILOVA . . . . . You Gotta Have A Gimmick . . . . . Gypsy - A Musical Fable (1959 Original Broadway Cast)
TOM WAITS . . . . . Pasties And A G-String . . . . . Small Change
THE BONZO DOG BAND . . . . . Death Cab For Cutie . . . . . Cornology [3CD Set]
FINDLAY BROWN . . . . . If I Could Do It Again . . . . . Love Will Find You
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY & THE BROKEOFFS . . . . . Forget It . . . . . Medicine County
THE DOORS . . . . . The Spy . . . . . Morrison Hotel
THE CRAMPS . . . . . Lonesome Town . . . . . Off the Bone
RICK NELSON . . . . . Travelin’ Man . . . . . Rick Nelson - Greatest Hits

YO LA TENGO . . . . . Fancy . . . . . This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies & The Kinks
THE KINKS . . . . . Waterloo Sunset . . . . . Something Else by the Kinks
THE PRETENDERS . . . . . Stop Your Sobbing . . . . . Pretenders: Live In London
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . 7-11 . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
THE SCHOOL . . . . . Hoping and Praying . . . . . Loveless Unbeliever
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD . . . . . Wishing And Hoping . . . . . The Very Best of Dusty Springfield
SHE & HIM . . . . . Riding In My Car . . . . . Volume Two
NRBQ . . . . . Rain At The Drive-In . . . . . Grooves in Orbit
WILCO . . . . . Outta Mind (Outta Sight) . . . . . Being There
NEKO CASE . . . . . Don’t Forget Me . . . . . Middle Cyclone

FLIGHT . . . . . Your Silent Face . . . . . Ceremony - A New Order Tribute
VITESSE . . . . . Out Under Stars . . . . . You Win Again Gravity
AIR . . . . . Be A Bee . . . . . Love 2
THE B-52S . . . . . Private Idaho . . . . . Wild Planet
THE WIPEOUTERS . . . . . Rocket-ful Of Power . . . . . P' Twaaang!!!
THE SOFT PACK . . . . . More Or Less . . . . . The Soft Pack
BUZZCOCKS . . . . . What Do I Get? . . . . . Operators Manual
GIRLS . . . . . Morning Light . . . . . Album
STAR . . . . . Champion Of Love . . . . . Devastator
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN . . . . . Never Understood . . . . . Psychocandy

JIMMY RUFFIN . . . . . What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted . . . . . Motown: The Classic Years
QUADRON . . . . . Slippin’ . . . . . Quadron
SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES . . . . . Tears Of A Clown . . . . . Motown: The Classic Years
THE BLACK KEYS . . . . . Tighten Up . . . . . Brothers
THE BEATLES . . . . . Don’t Let Me Down . . . . . Past Masters (Remastered)
GIL SCOTT-HERON . . . . . I’ll Take Care Of You . . . . . I'm New Here
BETTYE LAVETTE . . . . . ’Round Midnight . . . . . Change Is Gonna Come Sessions
JOE HENRY . . . . . Parker’s Mood . . . . . Civilians

Here's another one from NRBQ


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