Program #600

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE RUTLES . . . . . Let’s Be Natural . . . . . The Rutles
OASIS . . . . . I’m Outta Time . . . . . Dig Out Your Soul
SEAN LENNON . . . . . Parachute . . . . . Friendly Fire (CD+DVD)
HONEYDOGS . . . . . Stonewall . . . . . Here's Luck
BECK . . . . . Nobody’s Fault But My Own . . . . . Mutations
ALL SMILES . . . . . All Tomorrow’s Parties . . . . . All You Are Is A Human Sir
THE BEATLES . . . . . You Never Give Me Your Money . . . . . Abbey Road (Remastered)

JOY DIVISION . . . . . Love Will Tear Us Apart . . . . . Love Will Tear Us Apart
THE HELIO SEQUENCE . . . . . Keep Your Eyes Ahead . . . . . Keep Your Eyes Ahead
NEW ROMAN TIMES . . . . . Smoke In Your Disguise . . . . . On The Sleeve
BLACK WHALES . . . . . Running In Place . . . . . Origins
VAMPIRE WEEKEND . . . . . Walcott . . . . . Vampire Weekend
SPARKS . . . . . This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us . . . . . Kimono My House
ST. VINCENT . . . . . Actor Out Of Work . . . . . Actor
PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION . . . . . Baby I’m A Star . . . . . Music from the Motion Picture "Purple Rain"
PATRICK WOLF . . . . . The Magic Position . . . . . The Bachelor

SPOON . . . . . Got Nuffin . . . . . Got Nuffin
THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES . . . . . Shake Some Action . . . . .
ELVIS COSTELLO . . . . . (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes . . . . . My Aim Is True
EELS . . . . . My Timing Is Off . . . . . Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
THE PERNICE BROTHERS . . . . . Discover A Lovelier You . . . . . Discover a Lovelier You
THE SANDALS . . . . . Theme From “ Endless Summer” . . . . . The Perfect Day: The Music from 40 Years of Surfing Magazine
THE WIPEOUTERS . . . . . Nubbie Boardsmen . . . . . P' Twaaang!!!
THE TRASHMEN . . . . . Surfin’ Bird . . . . . Grandson of Frat Rock!, Vol. 3
THE B-52’S . . . . . Rock Lobster . . . . . Time Capsule

WILCO . . . . . Bull Black Nova . . . . . Wilco (The Album)
DAR WILLIAMS . . . . . Highway Patrolman . . . . . Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
DAVID BROMBERG . . . . . Dehlia . . . . . David Bromberg
BLIND WILLIE MCTELL . . . . . Three Women Blues . . . . . Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1927-1931)
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND . . . . . Statesboro Blues . . . . . The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East

Allen Klein passed away on July 4th; he was a business manager who had a major impact on the business of rock & roll, although more for what he told his clients than what he actually did for them. His pitch was that he could extract more money from record companies by scouring the books and renegotiating contracts, and he managed to convince some major artists—Bobby Darin and Sam Cooke early on, then most prominently the Rolling Stones and eventually the biggest prize of all, the Beatles—to use his services. To his credit, he made it possible for naive musicians who knew nothing of the record business to eventually be ripped off less by the major companies. What all of them eventually discovered, however, was that Klein always placed his interests above those of his clients, even as he did manage to secure them more favorable returns on their work. His style was to bully everyone he wasn't trying to sign to a contract, which inevitably left him with few friends and plenty of enemies. When I read of his death, I immediately thought of the perfect satirization of Klein in the Rutles film, where John Belushi as Ron Decline (flanked by his henchmen, Tom Davis & Senator Al Franken) left employees quaking under their desks after he entered the Rutle Corps headquarters for the first time. And then, of course, there was the tune Paul McCartney wrote after leaving the meeting where he was the only Beatle to not sign the management contract with Klein, which really was the final straw that broke that camel's back. In between we heard one from Oasis that mixes in a John Lennon interview snippet, Sean Lennon working within territory originally staked out by his dad's band, Honeydogs with a nod to the Walrus, Beck looking back through the haze to those days as well and All Smiles exhibiting a fondness for Fab Four-like harmonies.

This set began with Joy Division's alternate take of what proved to be their final single while Ian Curtis was still alive. Apparently the other three band members had asked him to sing the song like Frank Sinatra, and although the result is not as despondent as the true A side, the tune still retains its irresistable sense of momentum. Everything that followed here keyed off of that, with the Helio Sequence galloping into new music from New Roman Times and Black Whales, both of which are new to me. Vampire Weekend put the emphasis on piano with one that recalls an old favorite from Sparks; then we had St. Vincent cranking up the synths and building to a place where Prince & the Revolution took over before Patrick Wolf closed it out with some thoughts on what makes that certain someone so appealing.

Spoon recently put out a three-song single and here we began with the A-side, which has nice prominent drums bashing out a big beat and a bit of guitar that reminded me of an old Flamin' Groovies track. Following that was Elvis Costello with my favorite from his 1977 debut, and that led to one from the new disc by Eels with a great pop feel. A trio of instrumentals was next, starting with the Pernice Brothers offering some more pop melodicism into the Sandals with their track from the primordial surfing movie The Endless Summer, which led to the Wipeouters skewed yet affectionate take on the "surfing sound." From there it was the Trashmen with their 1964 hit, and then the B-52's with the original 7-inch version of the song that caught everybody's ear in 1978.

The final section began with one from Wilco's latest that apparently has Jeff Tweedy inhabiting someone who's just murdered his girlfriend. It conjured up an old Bruce Springsteen track, but here we heard Dar Williams version from a Springsteen tribute disc that goes back several years. David Bromberg followed with a traditional number that has been described as "the saddest song ever written"; in it he mentions a Blind Willie McTell version that he'd heard, so that's who was up next before the Allman Brothers Band covering one of McTell's best-known songs closed this one out.

Here are two bits featuring Ron Decline from the Rutles film


Program #599

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS . . . . . New Day I Hate . . . . . I Think This Is
THE BUZZCOCKS . . . . . I Don’t Know What To Do With My Life . . . . . Operators Manual
BRENDAN BENSON . . . . . I’m Easy . . . . . Lapalco
SUPERGRASS . . . . . Rush Hour Soul . . . . . Life on Other Planets
ARLO . . . . . Too Sick To Tango . . . . . Stab the Unstoppable Hero
EELS . . . . . What’s A Fella Gotta Do . . . . . Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
R.E.M. . . . . . Living Well Is The Best Revenge . . . . . Accelerate
DEER TICK . . . . . Easy . . . . . Born On Flag Day
THE SEEDS . . . . . Pushin’ Too Hard . . . . . Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

THE THREE DEGREES . . . . . When Will I See You Again . . . . . When Will I See You Again: Best of The Three Degrees
JENS LEKMAN . . . . . Sipping On The Sweet Nectar . . . . . Night Falls Over Kortedala
THE TOYS . . . . . A Lover’s Concerto . . . . . The Best of the Girl Groups, Vol. 2
STUART MURDOCH . . . . . Come Monday Night . . . . . God Help The Girl
THE CURE . . . . . Friday I’m In Love . . . . . Galore
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . Go Jetsetter . . . . . Go Jetsetter
CAMERA OBSCURA . . . . . Swans . . . . . My Maudlin Career
PETER & GORDON . . . . . A World Without Love . . . . . The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 1
MOJAVE 3 . . . . . Breaking The Ice . . . . . Puzzles Like You
THE BEAU BRUMMELS . . . . . Laugh Laugh . . . . . Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

WILCO . . . . . Sonny Feeling . . . . . Wilco (The Album)
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND . . . . . Blue Sky . . . . .
RYAN ADAMS . . . . . Rosalie Come And Go . . . . . Gold
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 . . . . . Up To Our Necks . . . . . Goodnight Oslo
THE BAND . . . . . Rag Mama Rag . . . . . Rock of Ages
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR . . . . . Hey Now Baby . . . . . New Orleans Piano
LONG JOHN BALDRY . . . . . Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll . . . . . It Ain't Easy
BOOKER T. . . . . . Hey Ya . . . . . Potato Hole

THE MINUS 5 . . . . . The Lurking Barrister . . . . . Killingsworth
WARREN ZEVON . . . . . Lawyers, Guns And Money . . . . . Excitable Boy
THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR . . . . . I Fought The Law . . . . . Son of Frat Rock { Various Artists }
THE CLASH . . . . . Police And Thieves . . . . . The Clash (U.S. Version)
WILLIE WILLIAMS . . . . . Armagideon Time . . . . . The Best of Studio One, Vol. 2: Full Up
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS . . . . . Redemption Song . . . . . Uprising
BOB DYLAN . . . . . When The Ship Comes In . . . . . No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7)
BETTYE LAVETTE . . . . . A Change Is Gonna Come . . . . . Change Is Gonna Come Sessions

It doesn't get much better than two guitars, a bass and drums, and the new Young Fresh Fellows disc is swimming in just that. From there we traveled down a path full of high-energy stuff, with the Buzzcocks from the glory days leading to a Brendan Benson track that always recalls the punk-pop pioneers from Manchester. Supergrass added a retro touch of glam to the mix, and then Arlo snapped us right back into the guitar pop. The energy kept rolling out with a new one from Eels followed by one of the many excellent rockers from R.E.M's last one, which led to Deer Tick and a track that builds to a great release before the Seeds took us home with their big hit from 1966. That also enabled us to bid farewell to Sky Saxon, the man who wrote that tune and also sang lead vocals, who passed away a few weeks back.

Another recent music world death to acknowledge was that of Fayette Pinkney, who was one of the Three Degrees from their beginnings in 1963 up through the late '70s. At their peak in the early and mid-'70s they were one of the prime examples of the Gamble & Huff Philly Soul sound; we heard their big hit from 1974 and followed it with Jens Lekman, who clearly is a Philly Soul fan. After that it was the Toys with their big 1965 hit based on a Bach minuet, which fed nicely into an R&B infused number from Stuart Murdoch's latest project. Then we heard the Cure explaining why Friday is their favorite day of the week, and followed it with a new track from the Postmarks that has a similar forward momentum. Camera Obscura offered one of the poppier tracks from terrific recent release, which segued quite nicely into Peter & Gordon doing a Lennon/McCartney tune that was their first big hit in America. Then we had Mojave 3 reaching back to those British Invasion days followed by the Beau Brummels first big hit—they really only had two, but the timing  was such that it earned them the label of being the first American band to crack the British hegemony of the American charts in 1964.

Although the lyrics to both songs have little in common, the sound of the new Wilco track that opened this section conjured up the Allman Brothers Band classic that followed, so we went with it. From there stream of consciousness took over and brought us Ryan Adams with a nice roots rocker followed by Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 adding a bit of the Bo Diddley beat accented by a horn section. Therefore it only seemed natural to bring in the Band from New Years Eve 1971, who were followed by the one and only Professor Longhair. Rhythm having firmly taken over, we finished with Long John Baldry letting the boogie woogie flow followed by Booker T. accompanied by the Drive-By Truckers and Neil Young covering Outkast to put the capper on.

In addition to the new Young Fresh Fellows disc that opened this show, Scott McCaughey also has a fresh Minus 5 release that's just come out; the litigious mood of that one worked just fine with the favorite from Warren Zevon that followed. Then it was the Bobby Fuller Four with their classic, a tune the Clash also recorded, although here we heard them covering one originally done by Junior Murvin. The mood edged closer to the Apocalypse with Willie Williams before Bob Marley offered some hope and positivity with a song that has always sounded to me like it could have been written by Bob Dylan. A track from Dylan followed with a vow to the narrow-minded many that they will get what's coming to them one day, and then it was Bettye LaVette covering Sam Cooke's powerful vision of what the future would bring to end this one in a stirring fashion.

Here's another one from the Postmarks


Program #598

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
LUNA . . . . . 4th of July . . . . . Luna Live
SONIC YOUTH . . . . . Anti-Orgasm . . . . . The Eternal
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS . . . . . We Call Upon The Author . . . . . Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
TALKING HEADS . . . . . Warning Sign . . . . . More Songs About Buildings and Food
GRIZZLY BEAR . . . . . Ready, Able . . . . . Veckatimest
ST. VINCENT . . . . . The Strangers . . . . . Actor
THE WIZARD OF OZ . . . . . Optimistic Voices . . . . . The Wizard of Oz: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

WILCO . . . . . You Never Know . . . . . Wilco (The Album)
GEORGE HARRISON . . . . . My Sweet Lord . . . . . All Things Must Pass [BOXED EDITION]
M. WARD . . . . . To Save Me . . . . . Hold Time
THE MINUS 5 . . . . . I Would Rather Sacrifice You . . . . . O Brother, Where Art Thou?
THE SOGGY BOTTOM BOYS . . . . . I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow . . . . . O Brother, Where Art Thou?
THE BYRDS . . . . . You Don’t Miss Your Water . . . . . The Byrds
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Far Away Eyes . . . . . Some Girls
JOHN DOE & THE SADIES . . . . . Help Me Make It Through The Night . . . . . Country Club

BOB DYLAN . . . . . Spirit On The Water . . . . . Modern Times
A BAND OF BEES . . . . . This Town . . . . . Sunshine Hit Me
ALL SMILES . . . . . The Ones I Want To Live . . . . . The Ones I Want to Live
NEIL FINN . . . . . Rest Of The Day Off . . . . . One All
SQUEEZE . . . . . If I Didn’t Love You . . . . . Argybargy
EELS . . . . . In My Dreams . . . . . Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
ROY ORBISON . . . . . In Dreams . . . . . Black & White Night

THE WATSON TWINS . . . . . Only You . . . . . Fire Songs
ANDRE ETHIER . . . . . Easiest Game . . . . . Born of Blue Fog
BETTYE LAVETTE . . . . . ’Round Midnight . . . . . Change Is Gonna Come Sessions
JOE HENRY . . . . . Love Is Enough . . . . . Civilians
ELVIS PERKINS . . . . . How’s Forever Been Baby . . . . . Elvis Perkins in Dearland
VAN MORRISON . . . . . Almost Indepence Day . . . . . Saint Dominic's Preview

The opener from Luna seemed a reasonable way to kick off a program that was available on Independence Day. That tune always reminds me of fellow New Yorkers Sonic Youth, who then gave way to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds searching for answers to some big questions. The slightly ominous tone in the refrain of that one was echoed in the Talking Heads track that followed, which led to Grizzly Bear trying to stay positive and St. Vincent full of anger on a tune that opens and closes with etherial choral voices. From the very first listen they brought to mind the short piece from The Wizard of Oz that ended this set, which was played for Iz the Wiz (Michael Martin), a legend in the New York City graffiti world who passed away recently. He died a few days before Michael Jackson, who played the Scarecrow in the film version of The Wiz; it was a poster for the original Broadway production that provided Martin with inspiration for his at one time ubiquitous tag.

The next section opened with a track from the new Wilco disc that gives a big nod in the direction of George Harrison, who was followed by M. Ward wondering whether or not his Day of Reckoning will eventually come. From there we heard the Minus 5 unwilling to let anything prevent them from finding the way, and the country flavor of that one brought on the Soggy Bottom Boys flowing nicely into the Byrds with Gram Parsons on lead vocals during the peak of their immersion in that sound. The Rolling Stones offered a sardonic take on your typical country ballad, and we finished with John Doe & the Sadies providing an appealing version of an old Kris Kristofferson song.

Bob Dylan's softly swinging shuffle set the tone for much of what followed in this section, with A Band of Bees slowing the rhythm down followed by a new one from All Smiles that features some spare yet carny-like keyboards. Neil Finn offered one with a relaxed feel that reflects its title, and then it was Squeeze adding a bit of syncopation leading to Eels with a lovely ballad and Roy Orbison on the same subject to finish up.

The final set began with one from the Watson Twins that seems to be about obsessive love, and then it was Andre Ethier adding a bit of urban evening atmosphere to the sound followed by Bettye LaVette doing up Thelonious Monk's old tune. Joe Henry hoping for the best led to Elvis Perkins in a decidedly less upbeat mood and then Van Morrison took us to the end with one of his mystical specialties that happens to have a title that brought the whole shebang full circle.

Here's another one from George Harrison (and friends)


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