Back in the groove after last week’s special episode highlighting the Jam. I had some good feedback, so there is another “special” episode in the works to be released next month. However, to keep the ball rolling, and because it is always a good time for a mostly punk rock episode, Tales From The Drop Box Episode 65 offers a slice of new and somewhat new dynamic punk rock that should give you a good feel for the current state of the punk-garage rawk nation. As nationwide political dissent ramps up for a 4 year fight, I should be able to bring you some other interesting goodies later this year. Hopefully the sun is shining wherever you decide to listen to this episode and there is good weather ahead …
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #65:
Dog Party – “Round ‘n Round” (‘til you’re mine)
Dr. Chan – SANnnnK$$$” ($outh$ide $uicide)
Audacity – “Counting The Days” (Hypervessels)
Black Doldrums – “Sidewinder” (People’s Temple)
Barbazons – “I’m in Luv” (Barbazonia)
Jim & The French Vanilla – “When You’re Down” (Afraid of the House)
Deadends – “Directions” (The Essence of Every Second)
F.O.D. – “American” (Harvest)
Career Suicide – “Cut and Run” (Machine Response)
Grit – “Rundown Town” (GRIT Ghost Estates 7’’)
Dude York – “Something In The Way” (Sincerely)
Uniform – “The Killing of America” (Wake in Fright)
J.D. Buhl – “Do Ya Blame Me” (Little Victories 1978-1985)
Buzzcocks – “Breakdown” (Small Songs With Big Hearts – Live At The Rainbow)
Ratboys – “Bugs” (AOID)
Under the weather looking for shelter inside the eye of the storm… I can stand austerity but it gets a little much when there’s all these livid things that you never get to touch
Tales From The Drop Box Episode 64 represents a first for this podcast. Instead of the usual mix of artists you’ve likely never heard of before, this special episode covers an artist that you might recognize if you are old enough, have cool friends, or an interest in the early days of punk rock (whatever that means to you). Part of the rationale for this episode is to address questions that some of my friends pose when they hear me play a track and ask who the #$^! is this? When did this come out? Why have I never heard of them?
For me, this episode, the first of hopefully a series of “occasional” special podcasts, is a chance to revisit one of a select group of bands and their music that not only changed my life in one way or another but formed a critical part of a musical education that had to be experienced live as well as on record. This episode is not intended to be a nerdy dissection of the band that is featured (although I am somewhat nerdy) but rather an introduction for some listeners and a reflection of the genius for other listeners of bands that influenced music and culture of their era and whose influence on music is felt today. So, with that in mind, Episode 64 represents my effort to pay homage to one of my favorite bands of all time – The Jam.
I was only able to see The Jam live twice – April 24, 1979 at the Commodore Ballroom and June 5, 1982 at the Kerrisdale Arena. Both venues are in Vancouver B.C. Even today, after more than 35 years, I can still vividly recall both shows. These two shows coincidentally highlighted the Jam’s live prowess at two different points in their career: on the rocket ride to the top of the UK charts in 1979 and a band breaking apart in 1982.
The 6 studio albums and 18 singles the Jam released during their existence from 1977-1982, were, I believe, one album short of what would have been a perfect career. The last offering, the under rated and under-appreciated The Gift, hinted at a more soulful direction of the band than prior records and if one more album was released under The Jam name I believe it would have been the perfect blend of punk aggression and soul. It certainly would not be the Style Council. But I’m digressing…
The Jam had a tremendous impact on me during my college years as I, like Paul Weller, had left a small town – For me, the journey was from the far reaches of northern Canada to the big city of Vancouver. The songs spoke directly and were unlike anything on the radio.
The Jam were also very much an anomaly in the punk scene of the time as they embraced the past – incorporating obvious Who, The Kinks, Small Faces and the Beatles influences and then spicing up with some Motown hooks. All of this “past” was then blended with punk energy and direction. It was not just “fire and skill” but also “direction, reaction, and creation” that gave The Jam their sound and for me a special place in rock history.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #64: (N.B. I put these in order from my favorite to my most favorite!) :
15. “It’s Too Bad (demo)” – On The Jam’s third album, All Mod Cons originally, this version is from Disc 5 of the Direction, Reaction, Creation Box Set.
14. “Funeral Pyre (Live)” – The Jam’s 13th single release May 29, 1981, this version is from the Hammersmith Palais show on December 14, 1981. Not released on an LP. All of the live shows that are mentioned below are contained on an amazing live box set entitled: Fire And Skill: The Jam Live [6 CD].
13. “The Modern World – The Jam’s 3rd single released October 28, 1977. This version appears on This is The Modern World which is The Jam’s 2nd album.
12. “Eton Rifles” – The Jam’s 9th single released October 29, 1979. This version appears on Setting Sons, the Jam’s 4th album.
11. “Ghosts (Live)” – Originally appeared on The Jam’s 6th and final studio album The Gift. This version is from the Wembley Stadium show on December 2, 1982.
10. “Strange Town” – The Jam’s 7th single released March 9, 1979. This is the single version. Not released on an LP.
9. “Slow Down (Live)” – Cover of the Larry William’s 1958 classic, the original version appears The Jam’s 1st album, In The City. This version is from the Music Machine show March 2, 1978.
8. “English Rose” – Appears on The Jam’s 3rd album All Mod Cons although neither the song title or the lyrics are printed on original issues of the LP due to Weller’s feeling that the song’s lyrics didn’t mean much without the music behind them.
7. “A Bomb In Wardour Street” – Released as the B-side to The Jam’s 5th single (A-Side was the cover of the Kink’s “David Watts”) released on August 18, 1978 and is found on side two of All Mod Cons.
6. “Man In The Corner Shop” – Appears on the Jam’s 5th LP, Sound Affects released on November 28, 1980.
5. “That’s Entertainment/Tales From The Riverbank (Live) – The Jam’s 12th single “That’s Entertainment was not released in the UK but charted as an import single from Germany (Metronome Label) released on February 7, 1981. The track appears on Sound Affects. “Tales From The Riverbank is the B-Side of The Jam’s 16th single. Although intended as the Aside, a pressing plant mistake made “Absolute Beginners” (not the David Bowie song) the A-Side. The single was released on October 16, 1981. The song was not released on an LP. This version is from the Hammersmith Palais show December 14, 1981.
4. “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight” – This is the single edit released as The Jam’s 6th single on October 13, 1978. Appears on All Mod Cons.
3. “Boy About Town” – There are two very different versions of this song. This version is the original which I prefer. This version is on the Sound Affects LP. Although the Peter Wilson fan club remix found on the Extras compilation is pretty cool “jazzing” the song up with horns I guess my sense memory always takes me back to the original.
2. “Butterfly Collector” – This was the B-Side to the Jam’s 7th single “Strange Town” released on March 9, 1979. This version was only released on the Canadian Polydor version of Setting Suns. This song was released in the U.S. in May 1979, as Polydor #14553. It did not even come close to charting although it was on brilliant gold vinyl in clear plastic sleeves.
1. “Going Underground” – This was The Jam’s 9th single and first UK #1 record released on March 22, 1980. The song was not released on an LP. It is my favorite Jam song.
And the public gets what the public wants but I want nothing this society’s got I’m going underground . . . You use your senses to suss out this week’s climber and the small fame that you’ve acquired has brought you into cult status but to me you’re still a collector
Haven’t done one of these types of episodes in a while. Tales From The Drop Box Episode 63 is …. an all-female vocal episode (the third such effort overall) highlighting some outstanding contributions to the musical world in several genres that you might have missed or might miss. Like everything else played here there is apparently little space on radio to play great music. Most of these tracks are fairly new but there are a couple from last year that I’ve been saving. A good mix on this show…it is all good…as usual.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #63:
Bombpops – “Marry.Fuck.Kill.” (Fear of Missing Out)
Crystal Fairy – “Crystal Fairy” (Crystal Fairy)
Pollen Rx – “Packaging” (Sunbelt Emptiness)
Chastity Belt – “Evil” (No Regerts)
The Courtneys – “Virgo” (The Courtneys II)
Vow – “Glow” (Kind Eyes)
Nectar – “Change Your Mind” (4 Songs)
Las Kellies – “Sugar Beat” (Friends & Lovers)
The Wind and the Wave – “Grand Canyon” (Happiness Is Not A Place (Acoustic) EP)
Stove – “Blank” (Is The Meat That Fell Out)
Orange – “Dose Of Heaven” (The Complete Recordings)
Empty Houses – “Better of Me” (Daydream)
Black Beach – “Nervous All The Time” (Shallow Creatures)
Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Helter Skelter” (The Scream)
Pie Face Girls “Fuck You, I’m Pretty” (Formative Years)
I’m in demand, I got a little bit of time on my hands If you wanna work something into your plans it might work out for me . . . When you look in my eyes what do you see? a darkness has consumed my soul and I’ve become . . .
I’m catching up a little bit on some older stuff that I’ve been fascinated with over the past couple of weeks. Tales From The Drop Box Episode 62 still has a bunch of new stuff as well as some upcoming goodies, but I do drift back to explore a couple of things at the beginning of this episode that I missed playing for you last year. As for the rest of the podcast and the music designed to transport you elsewhere, in the interest of transparency, this gaggle of goodies is open to all i.e. free enjoyment! I am not going to deny access to any media outlet or any individual who might share a difference of opinion as to whether any of this stuff is immediately enjoyable. Remember, in almost all cases, the artist’s parents will claim to you that they truly enjoy the songs performed by their children that I am playing in this episode. This would include presumably the parents of the guys in Cabbage and Meat Wave. The goal with each podcast is to explore, experiment, and discover just like PBS and NASA (for as long as those government funded agencies continue to exist). So share with your friends!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #62:
The Pack A.D. – “Teenage Crime” (Positive Thinking)
The Slow Show – “Breaks Today” (Dream Darling)
Call It Off – “Anesthesia” (Abandoned)
Clock Opera – “Cat’s Eye” (Venn)
As It Is – “Pretty Little Distance” (okay.)
Cabbage – “Uber Capitalist Death Trade” (Young Dumb And Full Of…)
Beach Slang – “ Bored Teenagers” (Here, I Made This For You – Beach Slang Mixtape Vol. 2)
Meat Wave – “Glass Teeth” (The Incessant)
Vant “Parking Lot” (Dumb Blood)
The Windowsill “Destroy The Rest of Me” (Make Your Own Kind of Music)
Souvenirs – “Float (feat. Davey Havoc)” (Posture of Apology)
The Pigeon Detectives – “ Wolves” ( Broken Glances)
Dollyrots – “Walking on Sunshine” (Whiplash Smile)
The Damned – “Smash It Up” (Machine Gun Etiquette [25th Anniversary Remastered Edition])
Sarah Bethe Nelson – “Hazy” (Oh, Evolution)
I want to cross stitch shut my eyes, wage a war on the world outside, brace the barricade in my mind, but that’s alright I stretch the truths ’til they lose shape . . . wait a minute cause your hearts not in it.
It must seem like bizzaro world sometimes when you listen to Tales From The Drop Box. Episode 61 continues this recent trend, but I think this specific compilation of relatively recent tunes pushes the envelope a little wider as the search for new sounds to expand my mind (and hopefully yours) takes me to new places. Heck, there is even a folk tune in this episode! I haven’t included a dance track yet but I’m getting close. Oh, and perhaps with what is becoming an established track record of providing you (my listeners) with mind altering awesome tunes, I should apply for a position as the nation’s musical director! I hear there is going to be an opening….
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #61:
Flora Cash – “And Ever” (Can Summer Love Last Forever?)
Title Tracks – “Not Enough Too Soon” (Long Dream)
Drive Like Maria – “I Wonder If It Goes” (Creator, Preserver, Destroyer)
Amber Run – “White Lie” (For A Moment I Was Lost)
Ten Fé – “Turn” (Hit The Light)
Colony House – “Remembered For” (Only The Lonely)
Republican Hair – “London Swings” (High And Tight)
Mother Mother – “The Drugs” (No Culture (Deluxe Edition))
Strand Of Oaks – “Radio Kids” (Hard Love)
Dune Rats – “6 Pack” (The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit)
The Orwells – “Black Francis” (Terrible Human Beings)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Sleep Drifter” (Flying Microtonal Banana)
Future Islands – “Ran” (The Far Field)
Refused – “Refused Are Fucking Dead” (The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts)
Emily Kinney – “Molly” (This is War)
And I can’t take it, I can’t take this world without . . . I can’t take it, I can’t take it on my own . . . beyond ability and control we could be weekend lovers steal a sentence and make a catch phrase parole for our revolution whispered all across the street about, about the new cool call
Here you go. Tales From The Drop Box Episode 60 returns with another odd ball assortment of songs about subjects not popularly found in contemporary indie-pop-punk-alternative music. A large bunch of tunes from foreigners in this episode should keep things interesting. As always a few punk nuggets but they are balanced with a remarkable bunch of catchy indie pop tracks and a couple of non-hipster cool throwbacks. Of particular note are tracks from Plumtree (whose album catalog is being reissued), Beachheads (formed by members of a black metal act Kvelertak who have put out a garage rock record that is uniformly excellent), and the sophomore record from LA’s Meatbodies. You should find something in this bunch of tunes that shakes your action. If not….check your pulse to see if you are not already dead.
Tokyo Police Club – “The Ocean” (Mellon Collie & The Infinite Radness Parts One and Two)
Talisco – “The Race” (Capitol Vision)
A Projection – “No Light” (Framework)
Beachheads – “Una” (Beachheads)
Steady Hands – “Grace” (Rude Boys of Bar Rock)
Uranium Club – “That Clown’s Got A Gun” (All Of Them Naturals)
Shivery Shakes – “Strange Houses” (Three Waves And A Shake)
The Poppers – “In The Morning” (Lucifer)
The Sherlocks – “Was It Really Worth It? (Was It Really Worth It?)
High Contrast – “Shotgun Mouthwash” (T2 Trainspotting (OST))
Meatbodies – “Creature Feature” (Alice)
Ryan Adams – “We Disappear” (Prisoner)
The Stooges – “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (Gimme Danger: The Story of The Stooges)
Sleater Kinney – “Dig Me Out” (Live In Paris)
You’re always right and I’m always wrong you’re always right and I’m always left holding on to the handles of excuses . . . yeah I had a little too much to drink yeah it goes down a little faster than I think.
As promised the all (most) all punk version of Tales From The Drop Box. Episode 59 is full of short sharp tracks designed to get your blood boiling, your feet stomping, and start a fight. Some pretty diverse stuff in this episode from the razor gargle of Aurélie from Cocaine Piss to the smooth vocal styling of T.S.O.L’s Jack Grisham. Oh, and there is some occasional swearin’ (see e.g. Ant-Flag ) and possibly socially inappropriate content (Dead Furies) in this episode. So, if you are sensitive, or have children listening to this thing that may be impressionable…then you’ve been warned, eh?
This should cure your post Super Bowl blues. As always…play LOUD!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #59:
Cocaine Piss – “Shiny Pants” (The Dancer)
Angel Du$t – “Upside Down” (Rock The Fuck On Forever)
The Menzingers – “Thick As Thieves” (After The Party)
Sleaford Mods – “Moptop” (English Tapas)
Remainders – “Two Twenty Two” (Remainders)
Noiise – “Passing Time” (The Real Enemy)
T.S.O.L. – The Right Side” (The Trigger Complex)
Dead Furies – “No Talkin’ All Action” (No Talkin’ All Action)
Stuck On The Bridge – “What’s Wrong With You” (Long Live Hard Decisions)
Wyldlife – “Bandida” (Out On Your Block)
Goodfella – “Exterminate” (Don’t Blink)
WSTR – “Nail The Casket (Thanks For Nothing) (Red, Green or Inbetween)
Anti-Flag – “Die For The Government” (Live, Vol. 1)
Hellacopters – “Television Addict” (Cream of the Crap! Vol. 1)
Ubik – “Shiver” (Ubik Demo)
I held up a liquor store demanded top-shelf metaphors with a sinner’s smile and open arms drop a line to charm the silent alarm… His lawyer said ‘this boy is sick’ ‘blame the ratings for his crime’ they say too much sex and too much violence on the idiot box spoiled his idiot mind.