Program #671

There were a couple of music world deaths that occurred just before this program went out—singer Johnny Maestro and photographer Jim Marshall. Maestro originally hit it big with the Crests (16 Candles) in the late '50s, and then it was a decade later that the Brooklyn Bridge had a huge hit with tune that opened this show. As I mentioned during the program, I had a student music teacher in grade school whose claim to fame was that he sang on this song; the Brooklyn Bridge had a lot of vocalists, but I can't recall if he was a full-fledged member of the band or somehow was added in for the recording session. He was student teaching around the time that this song hit it big, so perhaps that was his fallback if the singing career didn't work out. After following with a flurry of songs examining some of the negative sides of romance, we closed with a trio of photography-related tracks from the Cure, Wilco and the Kinks. Jim Marshall's career began in the early '60s, and by the time rock & roll became rock he was one of the preeminent photographers out there. A number of his photos have taken on iconic status as the decades have passed, with one of the most famous showing Jimi Hendrix kneeling by his guitar after setting it on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Marshall was in New York for a gallery show connected to a new book of photos when he passed away in his sleep at age 74.

Among the many bands that Jim Marshall photographed were the Who, so we began again with one more photo-related tune from them before moving on to a new rocker from the upcoming New Pornographers disc. Then we heard one from Visqueen with some crunchy guitar juxtaposed with horns; the combination brought to mind the similarly unusual result that occurred when Talking Heads added horns to one of their tunes from the early days of their career. From there it was on to Inara George and Langhorne Slim reaching the same end from opposite beginnings, which brought on a new one from She & Him that conjured up the Essex and their 1963 hit record. Finally, all the romantic advice ended with the infatuation of Art Brut and Joey Ramone for a couple of very special women (at least to them).

This part of the show was all about the rhythm and the groove, starting with an appropriately titled tune from the Rascals and slowly shifting through Neil Finn and All Smiles to land on a new one with a bit of an electroclash feel from the upcoming Broken Social Scene disc. Next up was one of the first examples of that kind of thing that I ever came across—a 1979 single by Lori and the Chameleons, who only made one more 7-inch before calling it quits. The remainder of the set slowly moved into more of a pop direction (with synths) with tracks from Vampire Weekend, Holly Miranda and Pulp.

Mose Allison has just released his first disc of new material in over a decade; he's 82 now, but still sounds vital and his piano playing is as assured and creative as ever. We began here with a tune he wrote that seems to be suggesting that God could use a vacation now and again from all the goings on here down on Earth. Randy Newman, XTC and John Lennon offered there thoughts on the Almighty, and then we heard National Lampoon's wicked (at the time) parody of Lennon using his own words from various interviews to make up most of the song's lyrics. Dan Bern, Josh Ritter and Bob Dylan then broadened the scope as this program sailed off into the sunset.

Here's the complete playist.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE . . . . .Worst That Could Happen . . . . . Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge - The Greatest Hits
TINDERSTICKS . . . . . No Place So Alone . . . . . Falling Down a Mountain
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND . . . . . Femme Fatale . . . . . The Velvet Underground & Nico
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS . . . . . Seduced and Abandoned . . . . . Realism
ROXY MUSIC . . . . . More Than This . . . . . Avalon
THE CURE . . . . . Pictures Of You . . . . . Disintegration
WILCO . . . . . Kamera . . . . . Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
THE KINKS . . . . . Picture Book . . . . . The Village Green Preservation Society

THE WHO . . . . . Pictures Of Lily . . . . . Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS . . . . . Your Hands (Together) . . . . . Together
VISQUEEN . . . . . Hand Me Down . . . . . Message To Garcia
TALKING HEADS . . . . . Love Goes To Building On Fire . . . . . The Best of Talking Heads
INARA GEORGE . . . . . Can’t Say No . . . . . Can't Say No
LANGHORNE SLIM . . . . . Say Yes . . . . . Be Set Free
SHE & HIM . . . . . Don’t Look Back . . . . . Volume Two
THE ESSEX . . . . . Easier Said Than Done . . . . . The Best of the Girl Groups, Vol. 2
ART BRUT . . . . . Emily Kane . . . . . Bang Bang Rock & Roll
JOEY RAMONE . . . . . Maria Bartiromo . . . . . Don't Worry About Me

THE RASCALS . . . . . Groovin’ . . . . . Anthology (1965-1972)
NEIL FINN . . . . . Rest Of The Day Off . . . . . One All
ALL SMILES . . . . . The Ones I Want To Live . . . . . Oh For The Getting and Not Letting Go
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE . . . . . All To All . . . . . Forgiveness Rock Record
LORI AND THE CHAMELEONS . . . . . Touch . . . . . Zoo Label: Uncaged
VAMPIRE WEEKEND . . . . . Run . . . . . Contra
HOLLY MIRANDA . . . . . Sweet Dreams . . . . . Magician's Private Library
PULP . . . . . Bob Lind (The Only Way Is Down) . . . . . We Love Life

MOSE ALLISON . . . . . Modest Proposal . . . . . Way of the World
RANDY NEWMAN . . . . . God’s Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind) . . . . . Sail Away
XTC . . . . . Dear God . . . . . Skylarking
JOHN LENNON . . . . . God . . . . . John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
NATIONAL LAMPOON . . . . . Magical Misery Tour . . . . . Greatest Hits of the National Lampoon
DAN BERN . . . . . Visit In My Dream . . . . . Breathe
JOSH RITTER . . . . . Change Of Time . . . . . So Runs the World Away
BOB DYLAN . . . . . I Shall Be Released . . . . . Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
Here's another one from the Rascals


Program #670

Health care reform was passed while this program was coming together, so we heard relevant tunes from the Kinks and Marble Tea to start off. (As a self-employed person who buys his own health coverage, I'll be curious to see how these changes will affect me, i.e., will my costs go up or down.) The Marble Tea is an ongoing project of Knight Berman, Jr., and at times his singing recalls Lou Reed's, so the Velvet Underground track that followed worked on at least a couple of levels. Next was a quartet of songs from bands that at various times show a clear VU influence, and brought us to a Big Star tune that came to mind after I read and heard the many tributes to Alex Chilton in the days after his untimely death.

The Big Star show that was scheduled for last Saturday at SXSW did in fact take place, with a whole slew of special guests joining the three remaining band members for what turned into a memorial for Chilton. Among those present was M. Ward, and the lush, dreamy title track to his last disc kicked off this section and seemed to flow nicely into one with a similar feel from the Real Tuesday Weld. Much of Holly Miranda's new disc has a gauzy feel as well, and the synth horns on the track we heard evoked Bunny Wailer doing it up dub-wise on a version of his own track. That in turn led to Bebel Gilberto with a mid-tempo tune followed by Paul Simon and a favorite from his last disc segueing quite naturally into Vampire Weekend to finish up.

Broken Social Scene will release a new disc in early May; a track from it has been made available for downloading, and that's what started this set down a path full of tunes with varying rhythms. Highlights include Brian Eno from his final "conventional sounding" album of the '70s (featuring Phil Collins on drums, when that was still his primary role in Genesis) into one with an upbeat, bouncy feel from Charlotte Gainsbourg's recent disc, and then towards the end we heard the Belgian band Sukilove with a track featuring some winding guitar followed by Eric Lichter offering an atmospheric tune from his only solo disc into Badly Drawn Boy with a suitably titled song from his first album, considering it is the final song in that set (not to mention this one).

The Unthanks is a band led by two sisters, Rachel and Becky Unthanks, and they create a sound that's based in the evocative sounds of British folk music from the Northeast of England, where they are from. Their music has a certain severe appeal that at times recalls Fairport Convention, so we heard Groove Armada with a track built around a sample of Sandy Denny's voice from an old Fairport song. The haunting quality of that one was echoed in the Brasstronaut and John Cale tunes that followed, and then it was on to a heartbroken Findlay Brown fading into the second Beatles track created back in the mid-'90s from an old John Lennon demo tape. Finally, one from the brand new She & Him disc that can best be described as a lovely lullaby sent this show off to dreamland.

Here's the complete playlist.

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
THE MARBLE TEA . . . . . My Analyst Told Me . . . . . A Blizzard/A True Storm
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND . . . . . I’m Beginning To See The Light . . . . . The Velvet Underground & Nico
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS . . . . . Albert Goes West . . . . . Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
WIN WIN WINTER . . . . . We Came From Stereos . . . . . A Brief History Of
LUNA . . . . . Friendly Advice . . . . . Luna Live
MARAH . . . . . Angels Of Destruction . . . . . Angels of Destruction
BIG STAR . . . . . Thank You Friends . . . . . 3rd

M. WARD . . . . . Hold Time . . . . . Hold Time
THE REAL TUESDAY WELD . . . . . Blood Sugar Love . . . . . The London Book of the Dead
HOLLY MIRANDA . . . . . Joints . . . . . Magician's Private Library
BUNNY WAILER . . . . . Worly Gorly Dubby . . . . . Dubd'sco Volumes 1 & 2
BEBEL GILBERTO . . . . . Ela (On My Way) . . . . . All in One
PAUL SIMON . . . . . Another Galaxy . . . . . Surprise
VAMPIRE WEEKEND . . . . . Diplomat’s Sun . . . . . Contra

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE . . . . . World Sick . . . . . Forgiveness Rock Record
THE HELIO SEQUENCE . . . . . Back To This . . . . . Keep Your Eyes Ahead
BRIAN ENO . . . . . No One Receiving . . . . . Before and After Science: Ten Pictures
CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG . . . . . Greenwich Mean Time . . . . . Irm
SHEA SEGER . . . . . Walk On Rainbows . . . . . May Street Project
SUKILOVE . . . . . As Long As I Survive Tonight . . . . . Sukilove
ERIC LICHTER . . . . . Wildly Polite . . . . . Palm Wine Sunday Blue
BADLY DRAWN BOY . . . . . Epitaph . . . . . The Hour of Bewilderbeast

THE UNTHANKS . . . . . Nobody Knew She Was There . . . . . Here's the Tender Coming
GROOVE ARMADA . . . . . Remember . . . . . Lovebox
BRASSTRONAUT . . . . . Hearts Trompet . . . . . Mt. Chimaera
JOHN CALE . . . . . Gravel Drive . . . . . Black Acetate
FINDLAY BROWN . . . . . I Had A Dream . . . . . Love Will Find You
THE BEATLES . . . . . Real Love . . . . . Anthology 2
SHE & HIM . . . . . If You Can’t Sleep . . . . . Volume Two

Here's two more from Bunny Wailer


Program #669

This show was available immediately after the news that Alex Chilton had died, so much of it grew out of a need to hear his music. DMCA rules severely limit the number of tracks I can play during a single three-hour period from any particular artist, but fortunately, in addition to his solo work Chilton was also a member of a couple of bands that made some damn fine music. The more important of those was BIg Star, and as I mentioned during this broadcast, my love of rock & roll was rekindled in the '80s when I, like so many others, discovered the three albums that had been recorded a decade or more before. Prior to that I'd been spending a lot of time exploring reggae, which I quite enjoyed and still do, and a major reason I traveled down that path was my lack of interest in much of the rock music being produced in those years. So Big Star lit a fire that spread in all sorts of directions, and we heard a selection from each of their three discs in this opening section. The rest was filled with tunes by influences on Big Star and those they influenced in turn, including an old one from Wilco that I've always thought merges perfectly with my favorite Chilton song.

This next section was bookended by the Box Tops two huge hits from the late '60s. They are classic examples of the blue-eyed soul sound from that time, and their defining feature is Alex Chilton's voice, which he purposely lowered in order to achieve the kind of soulful feel that Dan Penn (a co-writer and producer on both tunes) naturally achieved when he played the song for the group. Chilton was only 16 when "The Letter" was recorded, but everyone assumed he was much older because of the success he had in approximating his producer's voice. The remainder of this set was given over to various soul music sounds from across the decades, ranging from those who preceded the Box Tops, such as Otis Redding, to the title track from the upcoming disc by Sharon Jones & the Dap-KIngs.

The final set devoted to Alex Chilton contained three of my favorites from his solo years mixed in with tracks by others that he either produced or influenced, plus one from the Seeds that Chilton covered in a great version that bears a strong resemblance to the original. I had to include the Replacements (Did you see Paul Westerberg's heartfelt remembrance in The New York Times?) before finishing up with a Chilton tune and a title that seemed to offer some appropriate words with which to bid adieu.

Spring has finally sprung, and to celebrate we heard some appropriate tunes to close the program, highlighted by some remastered Beatles, a favorite by the Cleaners From Venus, and a trio of baseball-related songs (Opening Day is approaching fast) by Dave Frishberg, the Baseball Project and Orchestra Luna madly reworking a tune from the Broadway musical Damn Yankees.

Here's the complete playlist.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
BIG STAR . . . . . September Gurls . . . . . #1 Record/Radio City
THE BYRDS . . . . . Lady Friend . . . . . The Byrds
CHRIS STAMEY . . . . . Summer Sun . . . . . D.I.Y.: Come Out And Play - American Power Pop (1975-78)
WILLIE NILE . . . . . Asking Annie Out . . . . . Streets of New York
JAMES MADDOCK . . . . . Chance . . . . . Sunrise on Avenue C
BIG STAR . . . . . Thirteen . . . . . #1 Record/Radio City
THE BEACH BOYS . . . . . God Only Knows . . . . . Pet Sounds
ELLIOTT SMITH . . . . . Everything Reminds Me Of Her . . . . . Figure 8
WILCO . . . . . The Lonely 1 . . . . . Being There
BIG STAR . . . . . Nightime . . . . . 3rd

THE BOX TOPS . . . . . The Letter . . . . . The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep
CAMERA OBSCURA . . . . . Honey In The Sun . . . . . My Maudlin Career
OTIS REDDING . . . . . I Can’t Turn You Loose . . . . . Live in London and Paris
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR . . . . . Hold Back The Night . . . . . Ultimate Collection
BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS . . . . . I Can’t Quit Her . . . . . Blood Sweat & Tears - Greatest Hits
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KNGS . . . . . I Learned The Hard Way . . . . . I Learned The Hard Way
THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS . . . . . (You’re My) Soul And Inspiration . . . . . Anthology 1962-1974
THE BOX TOPS . . . . . Cry Like A Baby . . . . . The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep

ALEX CHILTON . . . . . Bangkok . . . . . 19 Years: A Collection
THE CRAMPS . . . . . Denim . . . . . Off the Bone
DUANE EDDY . . . . . Rebel Rouser . . . . . Forrest Gump
THE SEEDS . . . . . Can’t Seem To Make You Mine . . . . . Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968
ALEX CHILTON . . . . . Hey! Little Child . . . . . Like Flies on Sherbert/Feudalist Tarts
SPOON . . . . . Got Nuffin . . . . . Transference
THE BREEDERS . . . . . It’s The Love . . . . . Mountain Battles
THE REPLACEMENTS . . . . . Alex Chilton . . . . . Pleased to Meet Me
ALEX CHILTON . . . . . Rock Hard . . . . . Like Flies on Sherbert/Feudalist Tarts

THE BEATLES . . . . . Here Comes The Sun . . . . . Abbey Road (Remastered)
THE CLEANERS FROM VENUS . . . . . Mad March Hare . . . . . Golden Cleaners
THE HIGH LLAMAS . . . . . The Old Spring Town . . . . . Can Cladders
CLUB 8 . . . . . Spring Came, Rain Fell . . . . . Spring Came, Rain Fell
THE CLIENTELE . . . . . Here Comes The Phantom . . . . . Bonfires on the Heath
LILY FROST . . . . . Is It Just Spring? . . . . . Cine-Magique
DAVE FRISHBERG . . . . . Van Lingle Mungo . . . . . Dave Frishberg Classics
THE BASEBALL PROJECT . . . . . All Future And No Past . . . . . Free Download
ORCHESTRA LUNA . . . . . Heart . . . . . Orchestra Luna

Here's another one from Big Star


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