Hate So Real – J Church
Nebraska – Bruce SpringsteenKeep Searchin’ – Del Shannon
Psycho – Beasts of Bourbon
Guns of Umpqua – Drive by Truckers
Outside of a Small Circle of Friends – Phil Ochs
Georgia Lee – Tom Waits
January 10, 2014 – The World is a Beautiful Place…
Jail Guitar Doors – The Clash
Your Home is Where Your Heart Is – The Lemonheads
Death Valley ’69 – Sonic Youth
i Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats
Let Him Dangle – Elvis Costello
Diane – Husker Du
Hate So Real – J Church
I love this episode.
Over the past few years, I’ve poured my heart into various episodes and worked to make the ‘perfect score’ for numerous books and comics. I’ve had a moderate and small amount of success and people seem to dig what The Novel Sound sets out to do. But this one, as they say, is just for me, folks.
Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang have created some kind of wonderful with Paper Girls. Once upon a time in the mythical land known as the 1980’s, the suburbs were ruled by packs of seemingly feral children roving the streets on BMX bikes (ugh, who would dare ride a 10 speed) and armored in jean jackets and multi-colored Converse sneakers. Or Nike if you were of that persuasion. The point is that the youth ran wild. Most summers were spent traversing miles of pavement for Slurpees, slices of pizza, and coin operated video game machines. How I myself loved greasy pepperoni cups and pouring quarters into Gauntlet…I still hear the electric vibrato of “Warning: Don’t Shoot Food” while I, as an adult, grocery shop for organic free range Kale at Trader Joe’s. Times change.
And that is, in a weird way, exactly what Paper Girls plays with. Sure, its got time travel, its got giant microscopic monsters, its got witty banter, beautiful art, and bold colors, but its also got characters battling with who they are, who they were, and what they are going to become. It’s the struggle many of us face on daily basis complicated with actually walking around with those versions of ourselves and trusting that each one shares a similar desire to fix things. I mean, would a sixteen year old me work well with a 42 year old me and could I handle myself as a retiree? Frankly, I wouldn’t trust us to get out of a unlocked, unbuilt, garden shed without it coming to blows. If I had to escape homicidal future teens and time cops, I’d be quickly relegated to a foot note in history that got edited out for lack of anyone giving a shit.
But I digress.
Episode 92 is another great chance for me to play some tunes (popular and not) from the 1980’s. And, since technology plays such an important role in the book, I decided that I’d invent a radio station (WTNS – The Novel Sound) and put on another fake broadcast (you’ll remember I did it once before). This time I wanted to exorcise the zeitgeist and I, for better or worse, incorporate the voice of Mr. Mark Klee.
Mr. Mark was radio broadcast hero in Allentown, PA. He was irreverent, wild, and told rambling tales of such glorious nonsense, that his fans would sit through hours of Brian Eno, live Roxy Music, and John Cage, for a Terrible Parable or warped PSA warning listeners about dinosaurs, UFO’s, and police. For one semester at WMUH, Mr. Mark’s show came on immediately after mine and we would chat in short mumbled sentences. But I would sit in in the studio and listen to him twist, bend, and splice words into wonderful shapes. I’m sad that Mr. Mark is dead. As are those who knew him better and those who looked forward to his tales. It’s a terrible thing when our heroes pass.
I’d been playing with the idea of mashing in some Mr. Mark dialogue for ages, but never felt I had the right output and worried I’d be set on by people thinking I’d committed a great sacrilege. For this episode, I wanted to create an anachronism. I wanted this to be a 90 minute ‘lost recording’ from the spirit of a long extinct radio show. It needed to fit precisely on a 90 minute Maxell tape because that is what I have left of Mr. Mark…a few clips pulled off the radio in an effort to record him and not the sustained noise he loved to play. And the best way I could work with the present was to incorporate the past. I hope those who knew him forgive me for this.
Part of why I podcast is to share the music and books I love with people and bring a little bit of positive noise to the world. It’s how I chose to push back against the closed minds and daily barrage of negativity and sorrow. There are some who deal with hostility, shaming, and battles many of us can’t even begin to comprehend. To those people, each day is a struggle. And to those who need extra help or feel they may be losing that war…please take the time to reach out. Find a friend. Find a family member. And if you need more than they can provide, reach out to crisistextline.org or another such suicide prevention agency.
You are important.
Episode 92 is not only a homage to Paper Girls, but to the 1980’s as a whole and the radios that provided soundtracks for the kids who ran amok. The streets will never be the same.
Kim Wilde – Kids in America
Joe Jackson – Sunday Papers
The Clash – The Leader
The Go-Go’s – This Town
The B-52’s – Cosmic Thing
The Psychedelic Furs – Run and Run
Sonic Youth – Silver Rocket
Devo – Freedom of Choice
Concrete Blonde – God is a Bullet
Love and Rockets – Ball of Confusion
The Cure – A Strange Day
Husker Du – She Floated Away
The Lemonheads – Die Right Now
Cyndi Lauper – Money Changes Everything
Adam and the Ants – Friend or Foe
Morrissey – Suedehead
Siouxie and the Banshees – Peek A Boo
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Victim of Circumstance
Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
Elvis Costello – Waiting for the End of the World
Bauhaus – All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.
There isn’t too much more to say about issue 1 of The Last Gang in Town that hasn’t been said in both podcasts. It’s a great book and, if it maintains its chaotic glory, it’ll go down as one of the great cult reads.
These shows were a blast to put together. Over the years, the shows that seem to work the best are ones where the genre isn’t stretched too far and the show seems to write itself. This month was no exception. The all-cover Clash show took days of sifting and the wretched realization that not enough people are covering the Clash.
This episode took a few hours to layer and the biggest hassle was deciding how best to order the tracks for the clearest listening experience (several ‘hits’ never made it in to the final copy and could very well be a third episode). If you follow the narrative of the show, you’ll hear a common theme of youth gone bored and angry. It’s common theme in punk, but true none the less: Angry and bored kids can move the world. Just look hip-hop before the money started rolling in.
I guess that leads me to the next logical progression. The one Cindy Lauper screamed about. Money changes everyone. I often wonder where punk and hip hop could have gone if the labels hadn’t decided to milk the bands for every liquid cent. What if the bands just said ‘no’ and went about making loud obnoxious noise? Would the world look any different if the kids were united?
Who knows? Maybe in some parallel universe Strummer became Prime Minister and Thatcher was stuck teaching remedial maths to a bunch of sub-literate troglodytes in a United Nations’ Ukrainian prison for repeat duck defilers. It’s a world I’d like to visit.
Although, it’d be a shame about those ducks.
The Clash – 1977
X Ray Spex – Art I Ficial
the Adverts – Bored Teenagers
The Jam – Saturday’s Kids
The Damned – Neat Neat Neat
Iggy and the Stooges – I Got a Right
The Boomtown Rats – Looking Out for No. 1
Gang of Four – Damaged Goods
The Dils – I Hate the Rich
Alternative TV – Urban Rich
The Undertones – Emergency Cases
The Dyaks – Gutter Kids
Nuns – Media Control
The Dickies – Banana Splits
Menace – The Young Ones
Buzzcocks – Oh S**t
Stiff Little Fingers – I Don’t Like You
The Saints – Know Your Product
The Wierdos – A Life of Crime
Vice Squad – Last Rockers
Cock Sparrer – Where Are They Now?
Roughly two years ago, Dylan Walshe released “Blind is Blind” on Germany’s Squoodge records. It was a limited single that introduced 300 lucky listeners to the depth and craftsmanship of a musician who not only understood heart-aching song-writing, but had the skill to pull it off.
While the world moved on and people slept amongst feelings of emptiness and loss, Walshe toured, wrote, and sharpened his skill into a weapon suitable for slicing emotions and carving into the soul. Walshe cut his swathe on local gigs, ultimately earning a place on the Muddy Roots circuit, and, all the while, working under the world’s radar.
Walshe’s knowledge and voice are his keenest weapons. Scroll through his Facebook page and read his insights into Blues and Folk or just grab a copy of his recorded live performance in Bremen, Germany, at the Soul Hell Café, and his place long musical legacy rolls out like an invading army. Within the originals on Soul Hell Café, there are hints of Billy Bragg’s vocals (“Luck is a Beggar, Luck is an Tinker”) scatterings of Springsteen harmonica slams (“Death Dance”), all centered around the controlled fury of Shane McGowan. The release a live recording over a studio effort was the only logical way to even begin to showcase the power and glory of Washe’s capabilities. Make no mistake, Walshe’s skills are razor sharp and he wields them with deadly accuracy.
It takes balls to release a live album as a freshman effort. And is if it wasn’t tough enough, it puts hair on those balls to cover one of the The Clash’s greatest songs and give it a voice of its own. There are a few Youtube clips of Walshe covering “Straight to Hell”, but they don’t come close to merging new life into Strummer’s universal concern for humanity contained in these five minutes. It’s a track of true beauty that shows, along with the acapella “Grinnin’ In Your Face”, Walshe’s comfort in the steps of those who came before him.
I’ve been toying with the idea of just letting my iPod choose the setlist for a long while now. For a piece of tech I never really wanted (and still am not madly in love with) it does DJ pretty well. Whomever wrote the algorithm for selecting songs seems to have a similar mix-creation mind. Rarely do I have to fast forward songs of skip tracks…of course, it could just be I love my music collection that much.
Either way, I got in late last night from Ogie’s Trailer Park and, not ready for a 2am visit to slumberland, decided this was the evening for a full force sonic assault. I’d like to think it worked.
This show is different from most in that it’s fairly popular stuff (there’s even some hip-hop) and I didn’t spend hours weighing each lyric for tone and mood. It just is what it is: an experiment.
Give it a listen. Play the home game and send me a copy of your set list.
Email – thenovelsound @ gmail (dot) com
Feel free to send review copies, photographs, recommendations, or general praise!
Jeffery Lee – The World/Inferno Friendship Society
Plan B (Adopt a Lapdancer) – King Automatic
You Make Me Sick – The Trouble
Wraparound – Cocktail Preachers
Let Me In – Flat Duo Jets
It didn’t Come Easy – Thee Headcoats
Public Service Announcement – DJ Danger Mouse
Boys on the Docks – Dropkick Murphys
Get Up Off That Thing – James Brown
Maxwell Murder – Rancid
Lockdown – Fugazi
Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine – The White Stripes
Ball and Chain – Social Distortion
Genesis 19:1-2 – The Mountain Goats
Garlic Chicken and Shots – Robert Johnson & The Punchdrunks
Sound System – Operation Ivy
Bankrobber – The Clash
Leaving Jesusland – NOFX
Come Back Lord – Reverend Beat Man & The UnBelievers
Come Back Down – small factory
Blue Jeans & White T Shirts – Gaslight Anthem
“I can’t understand a word of Naked Lunch. Except for the drug talk. That, shockingly, I do get.”
“Play with rats and you end up with bubonic plague.”
“If you were to give Ringo a job killing DJ’s, man, he’d be happy the rest of his life.”
The Clash – The Magnificent Seven
The Cure – 10:15 Saturday Night
New Order – Age of Consent
Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
The Pixies – Hey
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
The Dead Milkmen – Dean’s Dream
Agent Orange – I Kill Spies
The Smiths – Sweet and Tender Hooligan
The Plugz – Hombre Secreto
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
The Velvet Underground – Run Run Run
The Jam – Town Called Malice
The Psychedelic Furs – Danger
Siouxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
The Clash – Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad
Sonic Youth – Catholic Block
R.E.M. – Moral Kiosk
Adam & the Ants – Stand and Deliver
Here’s the antidote for the poison spilling from the world around you.
Tracks carefully sewn together to create a blanket capable of repelling the monsters of commercial radio and corporate constructed boogey-men bent on owning your every thought.
Break Free. Crank this up and fight the power.
10. Partytime (Zombie Version) – 45 Grave
If you grew up in the 80’s the odds are pretty good that you loves the punk zombie schlock of Return of the Living Dead. Since the world is brimming with zombie-philes, it is only fitting that this screamer starts off the list.
9. The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff
In The Harder The Come, Jimmy Cliff plays Ivanhoe Martin. In real life, he plays the song that make the whole world sing.
8. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) – The Pixies
Prior to its use in Fight Club, this redux appeared in the Christian Slater vehicle Pump Up The Volume. At the time, the film seemed like an aspiring punk-DJ’s dream – on the run from the FCC, telling it like it is, and taking over the airwaves. Now, we simply toss a couple tracks together, release a podcast, and hope for listeners. But, beyond it all, this melodic track stands against the tides like a Colossus of fuzz tone feedback.
7. She’s on it – The Beastie Boys
Back in 1985, The Beastie Boys weren’t quite the internationally renowned pioneers of funk and rap, but a bunch of punks from New York in tight jeans and leather jackets. This track originally appeared on the Krush Groove soundtrack and sorta fizzled until it was re-released in 1987. I guess the world wasn’t ready for snotty nosed punks who hadn’t yet figured out to fight for their right to party.
6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – The Pogues
From the Alex Cox film, Straight to Hell, with Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello, The Pogues, Zander Schloss, and numerous other talents of film and song (despite the inclusion a wretchedly caterwauling Courtney Love), this track is a literal remix of Ennio Morricone’s classic opening theme. It is a complete departure from standard Pogues Irish pub-fare and proof that they were a band to be reckoned with.
5. Golf Course – Michael Hutchence
Dogs in Space is one of my all-time favorite punk movies. It’s also one of the films I tend to avoid as it give me ‘all the feels’. Dogs in Space is a meandering walk through the final days of a bunch of Australian misfits as they drink, drug, and wait for Skylab to crash and wipe them all out. ‘Golf Course’ is a cover of the track from the real life band The Ears (who are fictionalized in the film) and always seemed like a companion song to Harry Chapin’s ‘Cats in the Cradle’. Do yourself a favor and check this film out, it’s melancholy window into the hedonistic restlessness of a bygone punk era.
Also of note is the killer track “Shivers” from The Boys Next Door which has the amazing line, “I’ve been contemplating suicide / but it really doesn’t suit my style / so I think I’ll just act bored instead.” This song will rip your heart out and keep it alive in an ashtray of burned photographs.
4. When the Shit Hits the Fan – The Circle Jerks
Forget every other pretender to the cinematic throne, Repo Man is the unequivocal king of punk movies. It also has one brilliant soundtrack and The Circle Jerks’ trashy blues infused redux of their satirical anthem is my personal favorite.
3. Trash City – Joe Strummer and the Latino Rockabilly War
Permanent Record may be the one Keanu Reeves film you never knew existed. It was an 80’s teen drama that dealt with kids coming to terms with their friend’s suicide in the face of a community that wishes to pretend it never occurred: Way heavier that Breakfast Club and slightly less intense than Reeves’ River’s Edge. This soundtrack featured several of Strummer’s first non-Clash tracks and was way more punk than anything the Clash did in their final years.
2. Pet Semetary – The Ramones
This is one of the best Ramones songs written. Lyrically it is significantly more complex than most anything they ever wrote and, following a film about a fresh from the dead 3 year old, it’s a welcome bit of B-movie silliness. In fact, they come dangerously close to writing a Cramps song here. The video is hilarious with its dramatic scene-grabs and Rocky Horror Picture Show-esq cemetery party sequence.
1.Who Did That to You – John Legend
The fact that this song was eligible for a Grammy and overlooked is a sign of a very broken system. This song is everything that cinema soundtracks of the last hundred years should be; its bold, vengeful, rebellious, soulful, and unbelievably kick-ass.
Feel free to DOWNLOAD a mix featuring these songs.
10. 12xU – Wire
This track has been covered by Minor Threat, Pink Cadillacs, and a legion of other bands thanks, in part, to the Wire’s satirical take on pop culture’s hypocritical stance on sex and violence. The title, 12XU, is one of rock’s most clever puns: The 1-2 replacing ‘want to’ and the X acting as a sort of ‘place naughty word here’.
9. 1,000,000 – REM
The number one million gets a bad rap. To many, it is the mythological monetary sum every Bond villain ransoms the world for or number of times some adult has told some kid to do some thing. To lyricist Michael Stipe, a million marks the number of years someone must wait for something lurking beyond the borders of the world. If H.P. Lovecraft wrote songs for college radio, he would have written this one.
8. Bad Luck – Social Distortion
13 is one of the most obnoxious numbers. It’s right up there with 420 and 69. These three numbers create an image of gawking teenagers punching each other’s arms and giggling whenever they appear on bills or graded papers. Yet, every rule has an exception and Social Distortion front man, Michael Ness, hits this number like it pissed on his shoes and stole his beer. It’s a great track about people who make their own bad luck by just being assholes.
7. Fight the Power – Public Enemy
When Chuck D tells us, “1989 the number. Another summer”, it’s enough to make us long for the 80’s again. Even though the track immediately dates itself, the aggression that follows is timeless. Change the date to any other year and the message still remains. But 1989 itself is much more than ‘just another summer’, it was a time when samples and bold statements like “Elvis was a hero to most / But he never meant shit to me … Motherfuck him and John Wayne” made rap both dangerous and insightful in the same breath. 1989 was when the genre produced some of its most potent statements.
6. 1969 – The Stooges
This is the second song on this list dealing with a decade closing slam dunk. In 1969, while people were packing up their VW buses, bugs, and bongs, The Stooges unleashed one of the first real punk albums of all time. In an America full of johnny-come-lately merry pranksters, naked body painters, and fringed jackets, The Stooges were building walls of distortion and singing about the mundane boredom of suburban life.
This is the magic number, the number of Beasties, and how high the water rises. And it comes in at number 5 on this list.
4. The Number of the Beast– Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden rocks. Lyricist Steve Harris’ nightmare induced track draws on images from the Bible, The Omen II, and the Robert Burns’ poem ‘Tam o’ Shanter’. Being well read is very metal.
3. 777 – Danzig
Glenn Danzig pulls a Spinal Tap by bringing metal’s love for the number 666 just bit higher. I mean, after all, what exists after Armageddon? Seven. That’s what exists. Add to that some slide guitar and Elvis-impersonation and you’ve got a brilliant song about, er, the things that seven brings. It’s like Sesame Street episode written by Satan encouraging us to ‘Lick the rose of Venus’ shame’.
2. Four Horsemen – The Clash
Since we’re on an Apocryphal roll, let’s forget the The Clash’s classic Magnificent Seven (a song which tends to overstay its welcome) and look at the glory of this track. Only ever played live once, this song was meant to take the piss out of London Calling and lighten the mood a bit. It’s a perfect bit of self-mockery in which Strummer and the boys set themselves up as the horsemen of the apocalypse.
1. Number One – The Rutles
Speaking of taking the piss, The Rutles deliver a fantastic spoof of the untouchable Golden Boys of rock, The Beatles, with a track about an anonymous lover being, you guessed it, Number One. It’s pop gold and really no more ridiculous than Eight Days a Week or Revolution 9.
This month of This Island Surf, DJ MORTON takes you to the open ocean. A vast sea of cover songs from some of the best surf rock bands around.
Understanding that most of the world doesn’t celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s best just to imagine this as an episode dedicated to one of the greatest summer films ever made: JAWS.
This drink for this episode is, appropriately, The Shark Bite, a delightful little number worthy of staying out of the water for. Now, I know what you are thinking, “Why not just tell me what a great beer Narragansett is and how Quint drinks it?” Well, if you listened to Episode 3, Kirsten Alewife covered that ground with her review of the Narragansett/Del’s Shandy.
To best experience this show;
Download the episode
Mix up a Shark Bite*
Crank up your stereo
Dance around your living room until you need a refreshing drink
*The Best Shark Bite Recipe
3/4 oz spiced rum
3/4 oz light rum
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 1/2 oz sweet and sour mix
3 drops grenadine syrup
Fill a shaker with ice. Add all your fixin’s. Shake the ingredients like it owes you money. Let the oceanic blue mixture cascade into a tumbler of choice. Let three drops of grenadine drip onto the ice cube and mix with the drink…You’re gonna be chummin’ for fun!
The Skurfs – Jaws Theme/Misirlou
Los Coronas – Paint It Black
Man or Astroman? – Destination Venus
The Crimson Ghost – Attitude
The Wet Tones – Surfin’ the Casbah
The Anacondas – Guns of Brixton
Dinosaur Ghost – Push It
Johnny Aloha – Last Resort
Retrofoguetes – These Boots Were Made for Walking
The Crimson Ghost – Some Kinda Hate
The Secret Samurai – Istanbul
Los Straightjackets – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Fabulous Planktones – Surfin’ Holiday in Cambodia
Los Tiki Phantoms – Kalifornia
Surf Report – The Trooper
The Metalunas – Scooby Doo
The Revelaires – Theme from Star Trek
Hawaii Samurai – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Man or Astroman? – Mystery Science Theatre 3000
Johnny Aloha – Gangster’s Paradise