Thought I would tee up a fresh episode as I have stockpiled some tracks over the past several weeks to give you a winter lift (particularly if you live in the midsection of the US). You are getting this episode before the Super Bowl and a mere 1 day after Episode 135 so you will have two new episodes to listen to this weekend! Tales From The Drop Box Episode 136 is still a mix of new and old tracks and has a couple of familiar artists thrown in for fun. One of those artists is Bob Mould who, as the leader of Husker Du and Sugar, was amazing in those bands, and still is rocking on his latest and 13th solo LP, Sunshine Rock. What is completely unexpected is that this new record is filled with . . . sunny songs . . you know, happy even. Sunshine Rock is a different music experience if you are a Bob Mould fan. Although the album is released next week (February 8) you get to hear some of it early! Also of interest in this episode is the new FIDLAR album. You will not believe where this band’s sound is now. It looks like they discovered the Beastie Boys records and found out how great that band was. The new record is leaps and bounds different, unexpected, and completely lovable. Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 136 also has a few more surprises in store for you….
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #136:
T-Rextasy – “Girl, Friend” (Prehysteria)
Bob Mould – “I Fought” (Sunshine Rock)
FIDLAR – “Alcohol” (Almost Free)
Axis: Sova – “New Disguise” (Shampoo You)
The High Divers – “Making Me Want You” (Chicora)
Papercuts – “How To Quit Smoking” (Parallel Universe Blues)
Singing Lungs – “Flow” (Groan)
Makari – “No Longer” (Hyperreal)
Lusts – “True Romance” (Call Of The Void)
Matt Nathanson – “Gimme Your Love” (Sings His Sad Heart)
Buttertones – “Stray Dog Strut” (Stray Dog Strut 8”)
3upfront – “Heritage” (Puppets and Psychiatrists)
Press Club – “My Body’s Changing” (Late Teens)
The Specials – “It’s You” (Guilty ‘til Proved Innocent)
Dani Bell and the Tarantists – “Driving Me Crazy” (Wide Eyed)
Shakin’ your tail raisin’ some hell rollin’ with the pack on the wrong track into the sail . . . I’ve been swimming in shallow water trying to forget it all I’ve been staring at walls for hours trying to be better off gimme your love
Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 135 is about old and new. That is, this episode brings you some current music from this brand spankin’ new year but also gives you a smattering of some older stuff but not so old that it is dusty. I am not sure why this society is so preoccupied with “new” because there is just simply too much recorded musical output to be dismissive of a band, an album or a song because it is more that a year old. In that regard, I am going to try better this year to uncover some gems from the past (few) year(s) and shine a little spotlight on them. Some have had brief moments of publicity (mostly on the regular blogs you likely read periodically) but for some reason or another you just didn’t catch on to how good the track sounded. Some will be familiar names such as the Smashing Pumpkins or Rhett Miller. These artists are included because they bring a different element to this show. You might argue that they have been played on radio ( I am confident that neither of these tracks have received airplay) but that is not the point of this exercise. This show is to bring you interesting and entertaining music no matter the source. In some cases the critics killed the album but I still found something worthwhile. My goal this year is to change all preconceived notions about an artist or an album and perhaps help you discover a new band, or an old band with a really good album, that you accidentally missed or never heard. Sure, I’m going to play new stuff. After all, I know that is why many of you took a chance on this podcast in the first place. I am not changing the direction of this podcast. Tales From the Drop Box will always be somewhat eclectic and my humble effort to give you a glimpse to the breadth and potentials of amazing music that exists and hopefully I will capture lightning in a bottle a few times per episode and play something you’ll find truly amazing. My hope is that I create opportunities for you to become a fan such that you’ll search out for your own pleasure or to share with someone else. Music is truly magic.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #135:
Angelic Milk – Helluva Dr. “ (Angelic Milk)
We Are The Union – “Self Care” (Self Care)
Shotty Horroh – “Dirty Old Town” (Salt Of The Earth)
Weakened Friends – “Good Friend” (Common Blah)
Film School – “Waking Up” (Bright To Death)
Generationals – “Keep It Low” (State Dogs: Singles 2017-18)
Rhett Miller – “Close Most Of The Time” (The Messenger)
Smashing Pumpkins – “Seek And You Shall Destroy” (Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1)
Monovine – “Throw Me A Bone” (D.Y.E.)
Claw Boys Claw – “Red Letter” (It’s Not Me, The Horse Or Not Me)
Nerd School – “Time” (Blue Sky For White Lies)
Tallies – “Have You” (Tallies)
It’s For Us – “Red Light” (Come With Me)
Sahara Hotnights – “Keep Callin’ My Baby” (Kiss & Tell)
Cherry Glazerr – “Daddi” (Stuffed & Ready)
Screwed up badly the last time didn’t take the chance to make it right, right, right figured there was no next time ’cause I’d been kicking up a storm I’d been starting up a fight . . . I got a girl who didn’t get me when I withdrew, she’d put me down heartbroken but still hopin’ love would fall in line
So it has been a month since the last episode of Tales From The Drop Box was posted. I think the break was just long enough to be enjoyable and definitely long enough to re-charge my batteries for the upcoming year. In short, I am glad to be back! I am truly excited about the prospects for music in 2019 as there are a number of new releases that preorders have just gone up including new albums by Teenage Bottlerocket, Pup, TameImpala, Lemonheads and finally last week a hint of a new King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard release shortly. We were truly spoiled by their 5LPs released in 2017.
What was missing from last year’s episodes that I didn’t get to play for you? Well, I’m glad you asked! Before we get to this year’s new music releases, this episode is a look back in order to pick up a few tracks from the end of last year that you might have missed. Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 134 is as usual filled with a pretty broad spectrum of music encompassing some folk, pop, indie rock, punk rock. The true surprise however is this episode’s throwback track which is from The Kids, who are a European first wave punk rock act that never made any impact in America. That said, for most listeners this will be your introduction to a terrific rock act that are still playing hook filled punk rock for 40 years. Honestly, they are a band that should not be forgotten and if you missed them you can run right out (or stay home and download) and buy their reissued back catalog.
Finally, this episode is also dedicated to the memory of Teresa Ryan, better known as Lorna Doom, the bass player of the Germs who passed away last week. I only caught the Germs live once (I think in 1979) but the memory of that performance is indelibly etched in my memory. That show was sloppy, funny, and chaotic. Simply, magical. Lorna was an important figure in Los Angles punk rock and a role model for many who followed her in the early L.A. scene. Her contributions to the scene were never truly given their due but hopefully history will be kind and recognize her important role is the growing punk pantheon as well as her contributions to the legendary Germs.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #134:
Wargirl – “How You Feel” (Wargirl)
Bad Nostalgia – “Patricia” (Silent Through The Fall)
Welshy Arms – “Wild” (No Place Is Home)
Smokescreens – “Falling Down” (Used To Yesterday)
Spirit Animal – “BST FRNDS” (Born Yesterday)
Blood On Wheels – “Don’t Wanna” (Blood Money)
Civic – “Pleasure” (Those Who No EP)
Boygenius – “Bite The Hand” (Boygenius EP)
Kælan Mikla– “Skuggadans” (Nótt eftir nótt)
Choke The Pope – “Fuck You” (Who Cares?)
C.I.A. – “Pleasure Seeker” (C.I.A.)
Big Bliss – “Constants” (At Middle Distance)
Sports Bar – “Is It Strange? (Stranger In My Mind)
The Kids – “The City Is Dead” (Naughty Kids)
Sister Sparrow – “Ghost” (Gold)
I can’t hear you, you’re too far away I can’t see you, the light is in my face I can’t touch you, I wouldn’t if I could . . . Lights out on this endless sunny day (You trippin’, you trippin’, you trippin’) Plastic queens and palm trees on parade . . .
Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 132 returns this week with a punk-pop flavored episode. Normally, I would inform you of my perspective on developments in the real world. This week, I am in a bit of a holding pattern as what we are learning about the Mueller investigation into Trump and his cronies starts to get very interesting. I’m hoping the full report drops in time for Christmas as a gift to America. Like both music and life – timing is everything and I’ll bet Mueller’s timing will be impeccable.
A passing of note – Pete Shelley, the leader of The Buzzcocks died last week at age 63. For regular followers of this podcast, you know that The Buzzcocks were the most influential band of my youth and their music changed my life. How much? Listen here: Tales From The Drop Box Episode 69 – The Buzzcocks . RIP Pete.
As for musical timing, this episode is about one hour long and filled with mega hit songs – at least to me.
Have a terrific week!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #132:
Arctic Flowers – “In Silence” (Straight To The Hunter)
Weathers – “Problems” (Kids In The Night)
Trust Fund – “Carson McCullers” (Bringing The Backline)
Belmont – “Write Me Off” (Belmont)
Lucero – “For The Lonely Ones” (Among The Ghosts)
The Wombats – “Black Flamingo” (Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life)
The Illustrator – “Settle The Score” (This One’s For You)
Spring King – “Ready For War” (A Better Life)
Happy – “Fishtank” (Cult Classic)
The Pretty Littles – “Overtime” (Skeleton Run)
Guster – “Look Alive” (Look Alive)
Astro Mutt – Yr Song” (Escape From Earth)
With Confidence – “Dopamine” (Love And Loathing)
The Raincoats – “The Void” (The Raincoats)
Alien Boy – “Somewhere Without Me” (Sleeping Lessons)
When I looked at the streets and when they looked at me – the void, when I’m trying to think . . . The sun came up the world began to shake fault lines exposing all my own mistakes
This first episode of October is filled with tales by talented songwriters from a variety of perspectives. I think Tales From The Drop Box Episode 121 is a good reminder of the power of music to make you feel. From the vitriol of the Petrol Girls track “Strike” to the heartache and regret of San Cisco’s “When I Dream”, this episode is sure to trigger some emotion in you. I believe that the emotional connection is the point of this podcast i.e. my central mission is to provide you with a powerful emotional experience as a reaction to the music. Music trigger emotional response. That is, music should connect with you on both a physical and emotional level. I believe we’ve lost that connection because the mass produced music that permeates our daily lives no longer connects – it is soulless and just noise. I want this music to strike with clarity and leave you emotionally spent. I know that not every track will connect with you. My goal, each episode is merely one. One song that will lift you up, move you to cry, make you smile.
This is also a very good episode for headphones! Episode 121 is filled with late night music – the kind of music that you used to listen to when you were young – when you were lying in your bed with the lights off, just listening. I remember distinctly the excitement I felt as a kid when I discovered a new band or new song on the radio. In the later 70’s the best new music was actually played on radio and always late at night. From Rodney on the ROQ to John Peel, music was experienced with only the glow of the radio. A wave of pleasurable new sounds blasting through the headphones, all experienced eyes closed. So, if you have hesitated listening to this podcast because you don’t recognize any of the bands, take a chance. I think you’ll find that this is the rabbit hole you will want to explore, once a week, every week and re-discover the missing part of your life – when music meant something, connected, mattered and brought you . . . joy.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #121:
Massage – “Crying out Loud” (Oh Boy)
Petrol Girls – “Strike” (The Future Is Dark EP)
Sudakistan – “Caminos” (Swedish Cobras)
The Trews – “The New Us” (Civilianaires)
San Cisco – “When I Dream” (When I Dream (Single)
Satellite Stories – “Sunglasses” (Cut Out The Lights)
Sister Disorder – “Delayed” (Away)
Joyce Manor – “Silly Games” (Million Dollars To Me)
1000 Gram – “Daydream” (By All Dreams Necessary)
The Contestants – “It’s Not” (Twelve Of Your Earth Years)
Damper – “Panic” (Damper EP)
Laser Tusk – “Mother Iron” (Traveling Light)
Blue Haze – “Bloodmagic” (Nightdive)
The Stranglers – “Golden Brown” (La Folie)
Slothrust – “Some Kind of Cowgirl” (The Pact)
Golden brown texture like sun lays me down with my might she runs throughout the night no need to fight . . . are you waiting to storm the winter palace, bro? picture yourself on the front page? do you want a fucking monument or are you here to make change?
Let us all take a moment to regain our composure. Things will get better. The playlist I have created for Tales From The Drop Box Episode 118 is calculated to brighten your day! Truly, this episode is mostly filled with sunshine. As you know, there is always a little darkness in these podcasts, but as I hope you will discover, this episode is filled primarily with sunny and bright indie pop and punk pop music. I should also probably note that Episode 118 is also mostly filled with a solid bunch of very new releases including the latest from Idles, Menace Beach and The Primals.
Now, I digress. Rather than weigh in on the clowns chasing their own tails in the current NYT Op-ed administration crisis ( which would be an easy target, unless you already had deduced that General Kelly was the primary author of what is a composite work), I thought this week, I would focus on an issue that may be significantly more consequential to America. The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In case you were not keeping track as to the happenings of the inquisition of the candidate for the Supreme Court, I was particularly taken with one aspect of those hearings. Sure, there is a ton of posturing, and Kavanaugh has revealed little in not answering any questions as to cases that might come before him as a judge. However, one small bit of testimony gave me pause as to whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is actually qualified to be a justice on the Supreme Court. I think Kavanaugh is willing to disregard facts in reaching decisions which he believes are against his value system. That is, I believe Kavanaugh’s bias interferes with his ability to serve. We all have biases. The problem with Kavanaugh’s bias is that he is willing to create “facts” in order to confirm his bias. i.e. recognize as statement as a fact when no evidence exists supporting that fact.
During his testimony Kavanaugh referred to some forms of birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs.” You might think this statement is relatively innocuous. Certainly not a statement that should disqualify a candidate for the Supreme Court. Regardless of your views on abortion – pro-life or pro-choice, the adoptive use of this phrase reveals a complete disregard for science and fact based inquiry and portends, perhaps, that as a Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh will decide cases not on fact but on his beliefs. This is dangerous because it requires transforming his opinion as to what he believes to be true into a fact to be relied upon in reaching a decision. There is not one bit of scientific support for his statement that some forms of birth control induce abortions. None.
You can already find stories trying to limit the harm created by Kavanaugh’s use of the term. (See Contraception Confusion: Judge Kavanaugh and Priests for Life.) Although, various commentators are currently engaged in some debate about what precisely Kavanaugh was testifying to at that time he responded with abortion-inducing drugs, the use is consistent with Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion in the case Priests for Life v. DEPT. OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERV’S, 808 F.3d 1 (2015). The reference was given in response to Ted Cruz’s questions about the case. My impression of his testimony was that he was not discussing it from the litigant’s viewpoint, but rather my impression was that Kavanaugh has adopted the litigation position of Priest’s For Life, a pro life advocacy group who, along with a number of other groups including Catholic hospitals, clinics, universities, schools, and social services, challenged the contraceptive mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act on religious liberty grounds.
Why do I believe my impression is valid? An examination of the case itself lends support that Kavanaugh adopted Priest’s For Life’s position. Kavanaugh, dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc wrote:
In my respectful view, the panel opinion misapplies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and contradicts the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 2751, 189 L.Ed.2d 675 (2014), Wheaton College v. Burwell, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 2806, 189 L.Ed.2d 856 (2014), and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 1022, 187 L.Ed.2d 867 (2014). I would grant rehearing en banc and rule for the plaintiff religious organizations. (Id. at 14. (emphasis added).)
Kavanagh’s dissent is lengthy and worth the read because his reading of the religious freedom cases cited above weighs very heavily in protecting religious freedom (I believe a good thing) but, if Kavanaugh’s opinion was the law of the land, it would alter the carefully constructed balance between individual rights and a religious organization’s ability to interfere with those individual rights. Further, Kavanaugh wrote that HHS mandate would “substantially burden the religious organizations’ exercise of religion” (i.e. filing a form) and that “requiring the religious organizations to submit this form is not the Government’s least restrictive means of furthering its interest in facilitating access to contraception for the organizations’ employees.” This is where the rubber meets the proverbial road. One way of altering the balance between individual rights and freedom of religion is to impose limits on an individual’s right of access. What has become obvious in the wake of Roe v. Wade, is that for anti-abortion advocates, the best way to limit access to abortions is to impose governmental restrictions making it more difficult to obtain access, such as requiring hallways in clinics to be 8 feet wide (about double the width of a traditional office hallway. See Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016) (striking down primarily two portions of Texas HB-2 (1) the “admitting privileges requirement” provides that a “physician performing or inducing an abortion … must, on the date [of service], have active admitting privileges at a hospital … located not further than 30 miles from the” abortion facility and (2) the “surgical-center requirement” requires an “abortion facility” to meet the “minimum standards … for ambulatory surgical centers” under Texas law).
The erosion of various individual rights is perhaps is a discussion left best for another day. In the context of this post, Kavanaugh’s use of the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs” represents Kavanaugh’s shorthand for a position he has already adopted, i.e. a belief that there are forms of contraception that induce abortions. This is a reiteration of a pro-life belief that a fertilized egg is a person and that disrupting a fertilized egg’s ability to attach to the uterus is abortion which is “the moral equivalent of homicide.”
This “belief” has no scientific support. None. Kavanaugh’s adoption of the phrase is troubling because it represents an uniformed view of how birth control operates to prevent pregnancy and more distressingly is further stated as a “fact.” The law depends on actual facts and if a “belief” is declared a fact, then Kavanaugh should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, because a holder of this lifetime appointment should not be able to create facts from his beliefs to decide cases and controversies.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, America needs judges who rely on facts not on alternate facts. We have Trump to rely upon for those already.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #118:
Best Coast – “When I’m With You” (Best Kids)
Big Mouthers – “Stupid War” (Wishes)
Fourbanger – “Get Back Up” (Never Let Go)
Me & Marie – “Sad Song To Dance” (Double Purpose)
The Over Unders – “ One Fine Day” (One Fine Day)
Vacationer – “Magnetism” (Mindset)
Chistophe Deschamps – “This Is Time For Love” (Flower Power)
Railway Gamblers – “Save Me” (Lover)
Menace Beach – “Mutator” (Black Rainbow Sound)
Idles – “I’m Scum” (Joy As An Act of Resistance)
The Primals – “Dead Predators” (All Love Is True Love)
Woolen Men – “Shadowline” (Post)
Mowgli’s – “I Feel Good About This” (I Was Starting To Wonder)
The Jags – “Back Of My Hand” ( Back of My Hand b/w Double Vision 7’’)
Bad Moves – “One Thing” (Tell No One)
The world is lazy but you and me we’re just crazy so when I’m with you, I have fun … you’re not unreadable, you’re not unbeatable, I know just what you are, don’t push your luck too far you’re not untouchable, not just another girl
Hopefully you enjoyed your long weekend. I am just getting back from 5 days in Las Vegas attending a legal convention where I had a chance to ponder why I still practice law when I would rather produce episodes of this podcast. I selected the songs for Tales From The Drop Box Episode 117 while listening to a seminar on harassment cases. The topic itself was compelling and a rather serious subject concerning the introduction of #MeToo evidence, i.e. the introduction of other similar incidents as evidence of a pattern or practice of sexual harassment. However, the speaker left me cold and consequently, I looked for a diversion, and you – my faithful listeners – are the beneficiary of that diversion.
Episode 117 is fifteen catchy tracks covering the gambit of the rock pantheon. Okay, not really. The episode is mostly a selection of catchy indie pop and rock, with some punk rock at the end. And it has a Pavement classic track. That is just how it all worked out by the end of the seminar. A good analogy is that you are getting the sweetness of desert at the beginning, and the meat and potatoes at the end. In short, the perfect way to eat a meal. I start with a few tracks that I have had kicking about (and playing repeatedly) from April and May of this year but add a couple of new tracks such as the latest from Interpol, Murder By Death, and Personality Cult. In short, your usual solid lineup of music from the fringe.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #117:
Say Sue Me – “Old Town (Radio Edit)” (Where We Were Together)
Peace – “Power” (Kindness is the New Rock and Roll)
Belly – “Stars Align” (Dove)
The Lulu Raes – “Slow Ride” (Lulu)
Lady Legs – “Bottomless Pit” (Holy Heatwave)
X-Wife – “Monday Tuesday” (X-Wife)
Personality Cult – Brazen” (Personality Cult)
Murder By Death – “New Old City” (The Other Shore)
Interpol – “Complication” (Marauder)
Lydia – “Tourist” (Liquor)
Exit – “See You Around” (Too Little, Too Late)
Turnstile – “Generator” (Time & Space)
The Longest Hall – “Punch A Nazi In The Face” (Don’t Panic!)
And she’s eating her fingers like they’re just another meal and she waits there in the levee wash mixing cocktails with a plastic-tipped cigar . . . Hey, wake up and smell the lavender of my flower power, technicolor massacre just rolled into your ends dismembered all your friends…