About time I got another one of these in the iTunes podcast bin. Tales From the Drop Box Episode #92 is all about the music. There is so much to discover this week as a bunch of these bands are playing around the U.S., so you might be able to see something live that you love and that is catchy as a cold (but without the side effects). This episode is also a little different. I have included a couple of things from 2015, 2016, and a couple of tracks from earlier this year. I have a stockpile of tracks to play and these suddenly popped up in that playlist. A couple of these tracks also appear because their digital releases were finally pressed on vinyl and I have been spinning the albums as I work. If you haven’t re-discovered the beauty of vinyl, stop what you are doing immediately and go get a turntable – now. The turntables today are beautiful, better, and the sound quality of modern vinyl is amazing.
Finally, in this episode you will experience first hand my love of power pop. A couple of these tracks strike at the heart of that genre and you should definitely check out the Tweeds track which dates back to 1980. Pure power pop genius. And can I tell you about Ryan Adams? The guy’s B-sides are better than many artist’s A-sides. The latest record Prisoner, I played in an earlier episode, but the trip through the B-sides is insane.
Don’t get carried away now….
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #92:
Fruit & Flowers – “Down Down Down” (Drug Tax)
Dead Coast – “Jenny Loves The Sun” (Shambolic)
Buttercup – “How To Think About Sex” (Battle of Flowers)
Star Tropics – “All The Way To Heaven” (Lost World)
White – “Living Fiction” (One Night Stands Forever)
Everything Everything – “Ivory Tower” (A Fever Dream)
Eagulls – “Velvet” (Ullages)
Sauna Youth – “The Bridge” (Distractions)
Fazerdaze – “Little Uneasy” (Morningside)
Ryan Adams – “Stop Talking” (Prisoner – End of The World Edition B-sides)
Balance and Composure – “Run From Me” (Slow Heart EP)
Lincoln LeFevre & The Insiders – “The Get Go” (Come Undone)
Tangerines – “Marlene” (Into The Flophouse)
Tweeds – “I Need That Record” ( The Tweeds: I Need That Record (The Tweeds Anthology)
Ellen & The Degenerates – “Milk” (Herb Alert)
Really don’t want let it all go but I really think I’m gonna, really think I’m gonna, bunch of pain but nothing to show . . . pin the bunting on the gallows, dance around it with your blackface on and we all made a vacuum, we all made a vacuum for this . . .
Tales From the Drop Box mourns the loss of the 58 people who died and the numerous others who were injured in the senseless, preventable, and unthinkably tragic event in Las Vegas. It is so very sad that a single person’s selfish act can have such devastating consequences to perfect strangers. The consequences are not confined to the victims but I fear they will be far reaching.
We also mourn the passing of Tom Petty who created some memorable tunes over the years. While Tom moved away from the more alt-rock power-pop sound of his early records, into a more traditional/americana flavored version of rock and roll, he was a fighter with a passion for music and obviously dedicated his life to his craft and in giving to others. “American Girl” is still a perfect exemplar of genius in 3:35. Recorded on July 4, 1976 and released in February 1977 it was never a “hit” record but released at a time when punk rock was breaking and its jangle pop/power pop based melody fit perfectly with the new musical direction and experimentation of the time.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #91:
Birthh – “Chlorine” (Born in the Woods)
Early Riser – “The Nevers” (Currents)
Punch Punch Kick – “Not My Problem” (Punch Punch Kick)
Pale Spectres – “Goodbye” (Pale Spectres EP)
Carl Barât and The Jackals – “Burning Cars” (Harder They Fall EP)
Sløtface – “Pools” (Try Not To Freak Out)
Onk Lou – “Beer on Wine” (Bogus)
Husky – “Cut The Air” (Punchbuzz)
Rocketboys – “Slow Down” (Certain Circles)
Ben Vaughn Quartet – “I’m Just Sayin’” (Pièce de Résistance)
Animal Youth – “Love You When You’re Dead” (Animal)
Here we are at Episode 90 of Tales From the Drop Box, and all I can say is last week seemed to go very quick – jam packed with new music and the same sad politics. The most interesting thing I learned from this week’s events includes the idea that the people of Puerto Rico may not be citizens of the United States. It is difficult to reconcile the true intent of the person who holds the office of the President. Even on the occasions I agree with a particular policy, he consistently manages to get in his own way, and consequently I’m forced to examine whether I actually am in agreement with the policy as I assume, correctly, that everything coming from the White House is a lie or designed to create division in order to divert attention. So, in the spirit of good will, I only ask that you share my love of music. We don’t have to share political views, eh?
N.B. If you are a Trump supporter/apologist, please be warned. The next couple of paragraphs are unfiltered, and contain an opposing viewpoint. Skip ahead. Really, keep your chin up, and just scan to the list of terrific music in this episode. Not sure why the Puerto Rico story bothers me so greatly. Hopefully, come election time, someone will read these notes, and remind themselves of the danger of electing someone wholly unqualified to hold the highest office in the land. Perhaps, my anger is because I am more than a little frustrated by a president who sits on his ass blaming people from this vantage point:
While the mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico has this view:
Oh, and how did I learn that the FPOS doesn’t actually know that Puerto Rico is part of the United States? Because he doesn’t treat them like citizens. Far from being engaged and concerned about those U.S. citizens on a storm ravaged island, the FPOS refuses to treat the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico in a similar manner to the people he actually pretends to give a shit about in Texas and Florida, i.e. the people who voted for him.
Rather than take action, show empathy or concern about Puerto Rico, from his golf course, he tweets about Puerto Rico’s debt, torments the mayor of San Juan with insensitive attacks, pokes his enormous penis at North Korea and continues to misdirect the American people with the whole NFL kneeling mess. Unlike any prior President of recent memory, FPOS, rather than focus humanitarian support for a U.S. territory – a territory that remains without power, food and fresh water, i.e. the necessities of life, he plays another round of golf and freakin’ tweets division and hate. There are currently 3.4 million people (a little more than Iowa) who risk disease and starvation, and FPOS observes the following:
“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble…”
I’m not sure that Florida and Texas are actually “doing great” as they rebuild but Puerto Rico is demonstrably not. Well, @realDonaldTrump get off your fat #^%#^ ass, and mobilize the United States effort to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
Oh, that would take leadership of which you have demonstrated none. . .
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #90:
Agent Blå – “Rote Learning” (Agent Blå)
Wyldlife – “Cowboys and Slutz” (The Time Has Come To Rock & Roll)
Vinyl Theatre – “Day In Day Out” (Origami)
See Through Dresses – “Glass” (Horse of The other World)
Afghan Whigs – “Light As A Feather” (In Spades)
Oblio – “Shunned” (Autophobia)
The Classic Crime – Wonder” (How To Be Human)
The National – “Empire Line” (Sleep Well Beast)
Küken – “Graveyard” (Küken 2)
Guttermouth – “A Punk Rock Tale of Woe” (The Whole Enchilada)
Frenzal Rhomb – “Organ Donor” (Hi-Vis High Tea)
Rusty Shipp – “Devil Jonah” (Mortal Ghost)
Tigerwine – “Spit” (Die With Your Tongue Out)
Let’s Active – “Waters Part” (Cypress)
Cayetana – “Am I Dead Yet?” (New Kind Of Normal)
Have I fucked up my head with all the books that I read was I too hungry for the truth to find you . . . The country’s getting wilder, a way that moon and tide comfort us, to tie it all together is the work of alchemists
Okay, I am fully aware that the break was a little lengthy. It is not like I was being lazy. I somehow was trapped in an endless cycle of work that interfered with play. I think it is under control for now, so I am glad to be back! Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 89 is filled with the kind of stuff that should make you realize how much you missed me. That is, plenty of solid musical offerings that should have you wondering as to why you switched on the radio rather than going back and re-examining prior episodes of this fine show. In scanning the list, you’ll find that this is a slightly pop oriented version of the podcast. I haven’t changed the “format” because there really is none. I just felt like some cheering, that all. This episode also features some new tracks from earlier in the year. Don’t fear, no one else has played them, which is truly unfortunate because some of these are just killer. I think is good to go back in time and discover gems that you missed along the way. Sometimes a visit to the past makes us appreciate the present. Sometimes not….
That said, there are millions of people who can utilize your help, now. The devastating hurricanes directly affecting the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and the eastern United States, as well as the deadly earthquake in Mexico have left relief agencies in need of your assistance. So give: American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
Now that you have donated and are feeling good about yourself, perhaps you should reward yourself with listen of this week’s episode and drop me a line telling me how much you love the music. Then, tell everyone that you know about this movement to broaden musical experiences by rejecting radio and its smothering soul crushing lack of variety. Tell everyone to listen to Tales From The Drop Box. Then tell them that if they free their asses their minds will follow.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #89:
Cable Ties – “Paradise” (Cable Ties)
Keaton Stromberg – “Won’t Give Up” (The Simple Life)
Tall Ships – “ Will To Life” (Impressions)
Hellbound Hearts – “We Are All Alone” (Film Noir)
The Stevens – “Cruiser” (Good)
Saint Etienne – “Out of My Mind” (Home Counties)
Dan Auerbach – “King Of A One Horse Town (Waiting On A Song)
Cende – “What I Want” (#1 Hit Single)
The Technicolors – “Fall Off The Moon” (Metaphysical)
Life – “Popular Music” (Popular Music)
Guantanamo Baywatch – “Video” (Desert Center)
Manchester Orchestra – “The Gold” (A Black Mile To The Surface)
Brand New – “Waste” (Science Fiction)
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – “Hot Wax” (Oddments)
Beth Ditto – “In and Out” (Fake Sugar)
Everyday is just a little white lie telling myself I’m gettin’ by I just stay in this room and cry . . . My whole world wrapped in a smile I stuck around with my heart wide open
Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 88 is filled with the rich creamy goodness of new music. A couple of highlights are the new Teenage Bottlerocket and the Wild Love records which are consistently good throughout. As always, you are only hearing tracks that I love and think are Drop Box worthy. It is easy to be negative in a time where being negative is the norm. More about that below. So, for these shows, I am solely focused on the positive. So, if you don’t agree with my politics, my opinions on the current leadership, social policies, or other subjects I cover in these notes – DO NOT FEAR – there is none of this “stuff” in the actual broadcast. The reasons for not “going negative” or utilizing the podcast to express a particular point of view have as much to do with my personal preferences i.e. I love music much more than I love politics, but as the two often intersect, I made a conscious choice to just play the music without the shading of my point of view. Music is the quintessential freedom of expression and my humble efforts are directed at exposing people to a larger world view than my own. Thus, I usually divide these show notes into two parts – a general introduction to the podcast, and (as I have noted in several of these essays) the latter portion is devoted to some social/political/legal issue that I find interesting and worth examining. For me, the exercise of producing these show notes is mostly creative – an outlet for my thought – but it is also an action, adding my voice to a particular issue hoping to influence others but more importantly to take a stand, a clear position on an issue of importance. DOA said it best: Talk – Action = Absolutely nothing. (“action” does not mean incite violence)
Today’s topic is I think timely and a little lengthy so be patient if you choose to read:
The Line of Free Expression in America
In earlier episodes, I have expressed my opinion on the meaning of freedom, but one important aspect that I have not covered related to the question of what it means to be “free” is that we must be able to defend a viewpoint once we have taken a particular position. That is, one element of being free is the public expression of a viewpoint knowing that others may object to your particular view. The unaddressed question by the “system” is that some viewpoints are so objectionable that the response is invariable violence and therefore how do we protect the line of free expression such that violence does not result? Thus, the line of free expression is the point where the viewpoint is so objectionable to most citizens that its mere expression results in violence. The Supreme Court’s answer to this question is that the government may not enact a prior restraint on free speech but may regulate the time, place and manner of such speech with different levels of regulation permitted depending on the forum the speech is to take place. In a public forum any such restrictions must be also be content-neutral, view-point neutral, and not burden speech no more than is necessary to serve an important government interest. What does this mean in application? It means that the government must issue permits to groups desiring to march expressing a viewpoint regardless of that view and do so in such a manner as to not restrict that free expression. For example, the government could not issue a permit for a rally to be held for 5 minutes at midnight is a dark alley and have the marcher’s wear bullet proof vests and signs with their full names on their chests.
The primary threat to free speech (which includes the right to free assembly) and our freedom is that the tolerance level of the objectors is so low that mere expression of some points of view results in violence. Paradoxically, this low tolerance for some viewpoints threatens our freedom of expression and therefore diminishes our freedom. Tyranny compels people to hide their true feelings, thoughts, and opinions, because the speaker fears recrimination and reprisal from the free expression. Another aspect that significantly distorts the line of free expression is speech that serves dual purposes i.e. expresses a viewpoint on a subject and is also designed to incite violence because the content is objectionable to a civilized society. The American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan have consistently engaged in marches for these dual purposes. As a nation, if free speech is to have any meaning at all, we need to find a method to freely permit such expression without the threat of violence. Even dual purpose expression must be permitted in order to preserve the essence of our freedom.
How did we arrive at where we were yesterday in Charlotte? There were numerous failures that lead to yesterday’s events, but a few are worth noting because these failures may seem inconsequential but upon reflection, are central to the violence yesterday and the attack on our freedom if these issues are not immediately addressed. No, I’m not transitioning to global warming). What needs to be recognized are the failures of the legitimate news media to guard the line of free expression. This sentence acknowledges that there are illegitimate news media i.e. those organizations who publish false stories or who advocate a particular viewpoint regardless of the viewpoint and fail to clearly announce their viewpoint. For example, to the extent that Brietbart actually publishes its news from its acknowledged fascist, white supremacists viewpoint and publishes factual content it is legitimate. The illegitimacy of Brietbart as a news organization arises from its publication of numerous false and misleading stories offered as the “truth” such that the reader is unable to distinguish between real and fake. Legitimate news organizations play a central role in guarding free speech because the publication of the truth without a particular viewpoint or from an acknowledged viewpoint preserves the line of free expression.
The legitimate news media has failed in its central mission as guardians of our freedom of expression and has altered the line of free expression by failing to correctly identify the players and changing the level of acceptability of certain types of behavior. That is, the media invents new politically and socially acceptable ways of describing abhorrent behavior in order to not lose money, attract certain advertisers, and to tacitly support a particular viewpoint. For example, why not call white supremacists what they actually are instead of utilizing this particularly objectionable description – “Alt-Right” or “Far-Right.” Simply put, these descriptions are not correct. These assholes are hate mongering Nazi sympathizers and racists and there is nothing “right” or good about them. Dressing up the language of hate to hide the viewpoint significantly distorts the viewers perception and moves the line.
Trump’s response to the events yesterday was also an abhorrent failure of the office of the President. Trump failed to acknowledge the racism, the white supremacy, that people are marching around with Nazi flags on American soil and doing so not solely to express their divisive and hate-filled viewpoint but with a singular focus – to incite violence. A legitimate President would have responded immediately and forcefully to reassure the nation that racist violence will not be tolerated and that the message of hate has no place in a civilized society. Unfortunately, among the numerous failures, this one may indirectly be the greatest threat to American society (and no, I have not forgotten about North Korea and Trumps stupid fire and fury remark). Trump’s “ on many sides” response will be interpreted by many as tacit support for hate by Trump. And that is a huge freakin’ problem. While we must ALL tolerate the free expression of hate speech, the leader of the greatest democracy in the world, shouldn’t give tacit approval to this type of hatred. To be clear, Trump is free to hold his own beliefs, and may be a supporter of the very type of speech promoted by these hate groups, the spawn of Hitler. However, for better or worse, Trump is the holder of the highest office in the land and in that capacity his fiduciary duty as holder of the office is to put the American people’s best interests ahead of his own beliefs and self-interest. That is the burden of being the President. Trumps abject failure to denounce hate and racism unequivocally when confronted with yesterday’s violence is a failure to properly exercise the office of President. It is not merely negligent. It is treasonous:
18 U.S.C section 2381: Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Trump’s inaction and failure to appropriately respond to yesterday’s horrible tragedy gives aid and comfort to our enemies – the American Nazi’s and White Supremacists who killed one person and injured many more. They are domestic terrorists, enemies of freedom and the American people, and hate mongering divisivists existing to tear down our democracy. Trump’s failure to denounce their policies and actions gives them strength and a voice. Trump’s inaction is betrayal of the office of the President and the people of the United States. It is simply an act of treason.
The third failure, and no lesser a failure, is the failure of the local government to protect both the Nazi’s and the protestors. Charlotte is no stranger to the racial divide debate. Yesterday’s violence was predictable. The local authorities not only anticipated the violence but knowingly permitted the Nazi’s to attack a much smaller group of objectors by either negligently or intentionally taking action to prevent the encounter. I’m sure more will come out later about this local official failure, but even today local officials are attempting to shift the blame for the violence away from their own operational failure to prevent an anticipated action by the Nazis. It is not unfair to expect more from a local authority who has advance knowledge of anticipated consequences.
The paradoxical result of yesterday’s failures is that the opportunities for free assembly and speech will be greatly reduced nationwide in the wake of yesterday’s violence. For example, Charlotte is authorized to enact a curfew limiting the ability of law abiding citizens to move about the city. The police will act with more force against citizens in order to prevent further violence. As we have learned in Los Angeles, when the police act with more force, the citizens tend to not react very well. See Rodney King.
If we want to look at the line of free expression, then yesterday’s White Nationalist (read Nazi, fascist, White Supremacist) rally in Charlotte NC is a case study in that line. Unfortunately, the failure of Trump, the news media, and the local government will have serious future consequences for us all. The most significant of these consequences will be that we will all be a little less free, evil will gain a foothold under Trump’s regime, and that evil will fill the void left by the repeated attacks on the line of free expression.
#Resist #Fight Hatred #words have meaning
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #88:
Alex Napping – “Get Used To It” (Mise En Place)
Starcrash – “Abortion of Leve” (Tarantula Wallpaper, Dracula Screensaver)
Algiers – “Animals” (The Underside of Power)
Teenage Bottlerocket – “Don’t Go” (Stealing The Covers)
Minutes ‘til Midnight – “Running From The Cops” (A Cold Blooded Calculation)
Tanks And Tears – “Jump Into Your Heart” (Aware)
The Sunset Spirit – “To Have It All” (From The Top)
Wurld Series – “Landslide” (From The Top)
Shytalk – “Try” (Seasons of Suffering)
Superchunk – “I Got Cut” (I Got Cut b/w Up Against The Wall)
Wild Love – “America” (Where Do We Go From Here?)
Public Eye – “I Won’t Go” (Relaxing Favorites)
The Classic Crime – “Wonder” (How To Be Human)
*Crisis – “White Youth” (UK ’79 b/w White Youth)
Serengetti – “Cracks and Creases” (Kaleidoscope EP)
So there is no mistake here are the (almost) complete lyrics to Crisis’ “White Youth”:
Your future lies when bosses die
Fall for the race charade and you will pay
Your race and nation is cause ______ mass murder sheep are now King’s Road Nazi chic
A sniff of Zyklon B, a flashback to the past a manicured hand smashing at our class the cultured mobsters of the bourgeoisie the noose gets tighter slowly by degree
We are black, we are white
Together we are dynamite
Thought I would drop some love on you as a surprise, and hopefully a pleasant one to brighten up your week. Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 87 picks up where Episode 86 left off – a little more poppy in flavor for yet another fine sunny SoCal day. The music is awesome so come on in.
I actually deleted a full paragraph that was so negative I had to take pause and press delete. I can’t believe how angry I become when I see that clown we call the President and observe stupid in action. Fire and fury, my ass. So, I’m going to chill out and instead of the screed I actually wrote, I have left a happy space for you to fill with happy thoughts below. I wish it was bigger, but you can use your imagination:
[ HAPPY SPACE ]
See, I’m now happy and hopefully you’re happy too!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #87:
Waxahatchee – “Never Been Wrong” (Out In The Storm)
Death Valley Rally – “Tick Tick Boom!” (Northern Lights)
In Wooden Sky – “Life Is Pain, Pain Is Beauty” (Swimming In Strange Waters)
Popguns – “The Outsider” (Sugar Kisses)
Shadowgraphs – “Hit Of The Truth” (Venomous Blossom)
Sextile – “Sterilized” (Albeit Living)
Daniel Romano – “Ugly Human Heart Pt. 1” (Modern Pressure)
Marshall Crenshaw & The Handsome Ruthless and Stupid Band – “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time” (Attack of The Killer B’s)
Bad Cop Bad Cop – “Warriors” (Warriors)
Here I am I’m playin’ daydreamin’ fool again you’re my favorite game and you are the one whose got my head in the clouds above you’re the one I love… Maybe you’ll go out of your mind you can lose it all if you wanna maybe you’ll go out of mine it’s been so long
I know that you all thought that I had abandoned you in your time of need. I have not. It only feels like a long time (Woah… a Bad Company reference. Very old school.) For the record, the last Dop Box Notes published was on June 22. See it is not really as long a gap as you thought.
As we approach the final turn in the year 2017, the list returns with the most interesting Tales From The Drop Box worthy albums and releases of this year – as of today! I have spent quite a bit of time culling the list to essentials only, so if you don’t yet own these releases, or haven’t heard of them, then you should definitely seek them out. If you are listening to the podcast (and you should because, in my less than humble opinion, it is the best freakin’ music podcast ever), then you already know that a bunch of these releases are available on Bandcamp. In the podcast, I have, for every track, also pointed out the various record companies for each release. Finally, if you are a vinyl lover, like me, then you should check out bullmoose.com, midheaven.com, or turntablelab.com for the more mainstream of these releases.
There is so much awesome stuff that I have broken the “list” into 5 parts. I will post a new part every two weeks so you can catch up. Don’t delay!
Here is the list – Part 1:
Deafcult – Auras 
Beach House – B-Sides and Rarities (Official) 
Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind [20th Anniversary Edition] 
Feral Ohms – Feral Ohms 
Male Gaze – Miss Taken 
Terry – Remember Terry 
John Wesley Coleman III – Microwave Dreams 
Melvins – A Walk With Love And Death 
Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder 
Peacers – Introducing the Crimsmen 
Boris – Dear 
Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet 
Jungle Giants – Quiet Ferocity 
Capital Cities – Swimming Pool Summer 
Americans – I’ll Be Yours 
Capitalist Kids – Brand Damage 
Fruit & Flowers – Drug Tax 
Flowers Of Evil – City Of Fear 
Ratboys – GN 
Coin – How Will You Know If You Never Try 
Jet – Get Born [Deluxe Edition] 
Sundowners – Cut the Master 
All American Rejects – Sweat 
Ramones – The Broadcast Archive 
Aquarian Blood – Last Nite in Paradise 
Teenage Bottlerocket – Goin’ Back to Wyoming 
Dears – Times Infinity Volume Two 
Sheer Mag – Need to Feel Your Love 
Ramones – Rock and Roll Radio 
Needles Pins – Good Night, Tomorrow 
Charmpit – Jelly 
Choir Vandals – Dark Glow 
Lorde – Melodrama [Japan Edition] 
Ariel Pink – Dedicated To Bobby Jameson 
Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm (Deluxe Version) 
Foster The People – Sacred Hearts Club 
Game Theory – 2 Steps from the Middle Ages [Expanded Edition] 
Mike Krol – Mike Krol Is Never Dead The First Two Records 
Radiohead – OKNOTOK Cassette 
SQÜRL – EP #260 
Downtown Boys – Cost Of Living 
Psychic TV – Pagan Day 
Ramones – Leave Home (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)