Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rancid - The Brothels

This is one of those tracks that appeared on compilations and as a B-Side. I first heard it live at a festival show, when we got to shout out which of two songs we wanted to hear. I can't remember the other choice, but The Brothels won out. Or at least Lars said it did, and his vote was the one that counted.

It's got this great Ramones backbeat to it, and I can't imagine why it wasn't a main album track for them.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cock Sparrer - England Belongs to Me

Cock Sparrer was one of those bands I'd heard of back in the day but did not get to hear. I eventually heard them years later most thanks to watching MMA - this was Dan Hardy's walk-in song.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sham 69 - Borstal Breakout

First note to end, this song is pure angry crunch. But like a lot of rage-fueled 70s English rock, it just makes me happy.

I once had the privilege of singing this side-by-side with Lindsay Anderson aka Kitty Kowalski at a SUX show. I think of that every time I hear this song.

Friday, December 23, 2016

NOFX: Radio & Rancid: Radio

I do this posts called "I like the cover better." Love the original, like the cover better.

This is not one of them.

The song is Radio. The original is by Rancid, the cover is by NOFX.

The Rancid original is amazing. It's one of the best tracks on the slamming Let's Go - the first Rancid CD I heard and owned. If you've seen them live, you know what this song means. It's generally a few songs into the set. It starts slow, but builds. When Tim screams "YOU KNOOOOOOWWWWWW!" the mosh pit just explodes into motion. The song kicks off the show even more than whatever they actually open with.

Along comes NOFX on the BYO Split Series CD they did with Rancid. They cover Radio.

And they turn it into a slow, rhythmic reggae song.

Yesterday I was driving in my car and flipped over to the BYO Split and listened to the NOFX cover. Then I quickly flipped over to Let's Go and listened to the original. I like to hear them back to back. NOFX really takes the song and does something else with it, but with love of the musical influences on Rancid. You can't hear a lot of reggae in Radio, but you can hear it elsewhere in the Rancid canon.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jimi would be proud

I heard this last night on a New York Rangers radio broadcast. Luckily, the NHL put it up on their website:

Manning rocks MSG with national anthem on guitar

It's part of the Garden of Dreams Foundation week celebration, which will explain all the kids on the ice, behind the bench, etc.

Like I said, Jimi Hendrix would be proud.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

God Save the Sex Pistols

Over on the Observer, there is an excellent article about the Sex Pistols:

The Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the U.K." is More Relevant Now Than Ever

It's a really good look at the classism that drives the song

Plus if you always wondered who the MPLA, UDA, IRA and the "the enemy" (the NME, I found out many years on) are it discusses that too.

It's not my favorite version of the song - I love this live version more:


Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Best Thanksgiving EVER!

If you don't have time for the Arlo Guthrie classic this Thanksgiving, here is a 3:47 Thanksgiving song for you. With a shout out to Public Enemy!

The Dead Milkmen. Half punk band, half storytime with Rodney Anonymous.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Attery Squash - DEVO Was Right About Everything

Thanks to Brian Train for posting this . . . I never heard it before, but I like it.

I knew I was onto something good even back in the day. One of the first albums I ever owned was Oh, No! It's DEVO. I still love that one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Alice Cooper - Elected

Some Election Day Alice Cooper, because it's Election Day where I live and because I've been listening to a lot of Alice Cooper.*

* And Cheap Trick. They go together.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Records - Starry Eyes

I heard a snippet of this tonight in the background of a hockey game broadcast. I'd forgotten about this power-pop classic.

Fun song. I need to listen to more of The Records.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Weird Al - Radio, Radio

This is for one of my clients, who brought up Weird Al Yankovic this morning.

When something goes wrong at a Weird Al show - server crash for the special effects, messed up lighting, whatever - they play a straight-up cover of "Radio Radio" Elvis Costello & the Attractions.

Here is a pretty good one:

You can skip ahead to Radio Radio, if you prefer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Reverend Horton Heat - Let Me Teach You How to Eat

One of the best live bands I've ever seen are The Reverend Horton Heat.

This song is from a recent album. It's got a racy video, double-entendre lyrics, and a smoking rockabilly beat.

If you ever get a chance to see them, take it. They really wail live.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Metric - Help I'm Alive

I had this song stuck in my head this morning:

This song reminds me of all the things I enjoy about The Breeders, yet slightly twisted off to the side.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rob Zombie - Dragula

When White Zombie came along, they were a revelation. They felt like a big change from what came before, with songs like Thunder Kiss 65 and Black Sunshine.

My favorite might actually be a Rob Zombie solo song, "Dragula." Great workout song, save it for your top working set.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner

I've mentioned before that a co-worker got me into a lot of music, mostly by introducing me to bands I'd heard of but not heard. But also some bands I'd never heard of nor heard.

One of the was The Modern Lovers. I'd heard a snippet of the Sex Pistols partial cover of Roadrunner, but not the original.

So I got to borrow the original Modern Lovers album. Here is Roadrunner, the first track:

The whole album is good. Two of the band members went on to much larger bands - Jerry Harrison took his keyboard skills to Talking Heads, and David Robinson co-founded The Cars.

Jonathan Richman went on to learn Spanish and sing quirky but amazing songs about vampires and girls and ice cream and dancing, some in English and some in Spanish. Also, he's the singer that has a very prominent role in There's Something About Mary, alongside his drummer Tommy Larkins. I remember watching that with a friend, hearing his voice and saying, "Hey, that's Jonathan Richman. HEY THERE HE IS!" as the camera pans across him at the opening.

I saw those two - Jonathan Richman and Tommy Larkins - at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ, years back. It was a great show, and it's a very small setting. As soon as the show ended, Jonathan was just standing there directly in front of me. So I stuck out my hand and said, "Great show, Jonathan." He shook my hand and said, "Thanks!"

Great venue, great show. And Jonathan Richman is rock-and-roll to his very soul. If you get a chance, go see him live.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Alice Cooper - School's Out

Probably my favorite Alice Cooper song is "School's Out."

These lines get funnier every time I hear it.

"And we've got no class,
and we've got no principles,
and we've got no innocence,
we can't even think of a word that rhymes!"

It's just perfect.

and why not, here he is on The Muppet Show:

I remember seeing that on TV. Loved the show.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Birthday Dave Blood, RIP

Dave Blood of The Dead Milkmen would have been 60 today.

Dave Schulthise

Thanks for the tunes man.

There is also a full tribute show up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The White Stripes - City Lights

I heard this previously unreleased track by The White Stripes on the radio a week or so back.

I just sat there and listened until it was all done. It's a great song, and it just reminds me how much I miss The White Stripes. They are one of my favorite bands of all time. As much as I like Jack White's other work - and I do - I just wish Meg White would team back up with him and release more songs. Songs like Fell In Love With a Girl, Icky Thump, and gems like this one:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Easybeats - Friday On My Mind

So what kind of Rock and Roll needs to be saved?

This kind. The Easybeats:

Equal parts The Zombies, The Dave Clark Five, The Beatles, the Yardbirds, and undefinable excellence. . . this is 1960s pop-rock at its best.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Dire Straits - So Far Away

Just sharing my favorite Dire Straits song. I love the guitar work - how loose and relaxed it sounds - and the lyrics are just plain gold when your significant other is a significant distance away.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Who Killed Liddle Towers?

Yesterday, I heard this song for the first time in a really long time:

Justifiable Homocide, by Dave Goodman and Friends. Dave Goodman was closely connect to the Sex Pistols, if that name seems very familiar. If you've heard either Spunk or No Future UK, you've heard early Pistols recordings produced by Dave Goodman. Two of the "Friends," uncredited, are Paul Cook and Steve Jones of Sex Pistols.

In any case, this song mentions Liddle Towers, a man who died after abuse in police custody:

This reminded me that there is another song I like about the same man: The Murder of Liddle Towers by the Angelic Upstarts:

The Dave Goodman song seems to directly refer back to the Angelic Upstarts song. Both are really good, and both remind me of the other song. Can't hear one without hearing the other, basically.

I wasn't aware until today of the Tom Robinson Band's song "Blue Murder," though. And that's not even the end of the songs about Liddle Towers.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Whores of Babylon - Two Hearts

Whores of Babylon was a collaboration project between:

Stiv Bators (The Dead Boys, The Lords of the New Church)

Johnny Thunders (The Heartbreakers)

Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones)

They didn't get much done before it all came apart. One track that features - at the very least - Stiv and Johnny Thunders is this one, Two Hearts.

Since I love, love, love everything Stiv Bators ever did and I love The Ramones and Johnny Thunders as well, well, this was a cinch to like.

Sadly they didn't do much else, and all three of them died too fast, too young.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lords of the New Church - Open Your Eyes

I can't believe I haven't posted about this before.

I saw this video, embedded below, when I was an impressionable kid watching MTV. I loved the song, the band, and the video immediately.

Video games train the kids for war,
army chic in high fashion stores . . .


I never stopped loving the Lords of the New Church. Lucky for me, my sister liked them, too, and bought their albums. I don't think she appreciated me listening to her LPs, but I did it over and over. I remember playing their S/T LP for a friend of mine. He wasn't as impressed, but either way. It just goes to show how much I loved it.

About six months back I finally got all of the Lords of the New Church stuff on CD and/or MP3. Surprise, surprise, I knew every single song by heart. It's all thanks to this one.

Naive - Tanks-Punks (Наив Танки Панки)

The video I posted a while back the Russian punk band Naive - Наив in Cyrillic - doing their song Tanks-Punks - seems to be down forever.

Here is a fan-made replacement, complete with:

- tanks

- punks

- Russian girls in Bikinis

- an SU-122 Assault Gun

This song never fails to make me smile.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Odd Japanese band names

I swear these are real Japanese band names. For every "Blue Hearts" or "Hi-Standard" there are others with names that . . . sound odd in English.

These aren't necessarily bad bands. I really like a lot of Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, for example. But they're still kind of odd names to a native English speaker.

Maximum the Hormone

Bump of Chicken (do they mean goosebumps? Maybe.)

Thee Michelle Gun Elephant




At least if you go maximum Japanese, like Arashi or AKB48, you're in the clear. Personal names, too, just naturally work. It just sounds foreign. Or if you go one-word English, like Exile or The Pillows, you're generally okay, too. It's the more creative choices that often sound so, so strange. They aren't names aimed at English-speakers but rather Japanese - but like oddly-chosen words on t-shirts, the English-speaking world still consumes this stuff.

What saves a lot of these bands (and others, with equally odd names) is that they are totally sincere and enthusiastic about the music. They're really into it, and they really want to entertain you. They aren't necessarily rock-and-roll like I like it, but they do try, and that counts for something. A band like Babymetal might not really be metal as much as metal-tinged J-Pop, but it's still music with good intentions behind it.

But yeah, you do get names like "Bump of Chicken." Better than Ezra and the Goo Goo Dolls must high-five each other over their name when they hear that one.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Ramones in The Guardian

There is a pretty good article in The Guardian about the re-issue of the first Ramones album.

Also, a link in that article goes to this even better article:

"They were the smartest dumb band you ever heard."

That's Handsome Dick Manitoba of The Dictators. There is also commentary by Paul Cook (Sex Pistols), the lead singer of Penetration, Suicide, and the Buzzcocks.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Dickies - Manny Moe & Jack

Nothing says "anti-commercial" like SoCal punk.

Or maybe not. Here is the incredibly catchy song "Manny Moe & Jack" by The Dickies. Manny Moe and Jack? You know, the Pep Boys.

It's the best commercial tune since, oh, Mars Bars by The Undertones.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mott the Hoople: All the Way From Memphis

This was one of those "love at first hearing" songs. I have vivid memories of hearing it in the car with my sibling, who cranked it up.

I couldn't get the words the first few times, but they're excellent. Long story short: rock star leaves his guitar behind, has to go and get it. It's one of those "life on the road" songs that bands love to record, despite the fact that only other bands really experience that.

I'm a sucker for:

- piano in rock songs;
- a good guitar hook;
- quotable lines;
- saxophone;
- long jammy song endings.

This song has it all.

I cringe a little at the ethnic slur in the song, but it's in the best part, when the protagonist of the song get scolded for mistreating his guitar.

"Well I got to Oriole, man, it took a month.
And there was my guitar, electric junk.
Some spade said, 'Rock and rollers, you're all the same.
Man that's your instrument!'
I felt so ashamed."

They later change it to dude, but the more generic term makes it just a little less easy to visualize. I sing along to this and point accusingly off into space while I sing the lines.

Good stuff, and a song I only recently tossed back into my car playlist . . . and it popped up unexpectedly as I'd forgotten I'd grabbed my Mott the Hoople along with some assorted T.Rex.

Friday, June 17, 2016

I Like the Cover Better: My Back Pages

This cover of Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" is why I like the song "My Back Pages."

I'd heard the original, but it took The Ramones (here fronted by C.J. Ramone on vocals) to make it more than just a Dylan song that I didn't pay much attention to.

Going back to any of Dylan's versions (like this all-star one) and the cover by The Byrds, yes, I like it a lot. I love the lyrics, every single one of them, especially the refrain ("Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now") and this:

"In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow."

That last couplet, especially - it's a line that sticks with me when I can't see my way forward, and reminds me it's all going to look like foolishness or wisdom once I see where I've ended up. Plus it's flat-out fun to sing. Especially when it's C.J. Ramone singing.

I only ever saw The Ramones live with C.J., and they performed this. It's probably when the song really slammed into me and said, pay attention, these are words you want to hear.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tomoyasu Hotei

So I'm taking a trip this year, and I'm leaving town the day before Tomoyasu Hotei comes around to play a gig.


I first discovered Hotei thanks to Kill Bill, v1, which is also where I first heard the 5,6,7,8's as well, who are seen wiggling and rocking (but not yet heard) in this clip:

Here he is playing the same tune live:

I liked what I heard, and I kept an eye out for his stuff. While taking a slow train trip across Japan, I stopped at a used CD shop in the train station at Shimonoseki and found three of his CDs for like 350 yen a pop. I bought all three.

Later, I saw him in Samurai Fiction. It was a good movie, and I liked Hotei's music in it. Plus, like me, he's 背が高い.

When I visted the states, I loaned those CDs to a friend of mine . . . same guy who told me about Hotei coming to town. I think I made him watch Samurai Fiction with me, too. I'll have to give Tomoyasu Hotei a miss this time but I'll make it out to a show eventually.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Wire - Dot Dash

So there is a new Wire album out.

I'm pretty sure this is the first song I ever heard by Wire:

Dot Dash, Don't Crash.

My coworker GB back when I was an intern introduced me to them. I was way into punk from when I first heard it, but GB really helped expand my access to music. Wire, the Stiff Little Fingers, the Undertones . . . so many bands.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blind Faith - Can't Find My Way Home

Another I heard first in my sister's collection. I'm 100% certain I was interested because of the cover, not the musicians.*

But it's Cream plus Steve Winwood. Lots of good stuff on it, but this song is what pulled me in:

In the Presence of the Lord has gotten a lot of airplay in the past year or so around where I live. I'm not sure why, but I'll take it for whatever reason.

By the way, check out this cool version - Steven Winwood and Tom Petty, live.

* That's how I heard The Guess Who the first time - they had a cartoon album cover with them as hockey players with the Stanley Cup. So I checked it out. Blind Faith was a better discovery.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Maximum the Hormone - Koi no Mega Lover

My friend Ahn* in Japan introduced me to this band. He figured, I liked MMA (we were MMA training partners) and I liked Jackass (I kinda did, sort of), so I'd like this band. Also, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, who need a post of their own.

Maximum the Hormone (マキツマム ザ ホルモン)

He was right.

Sadly, the mix CD of tracks he burned for me got scratched to unreadability by the crappy CD player in my old Dodge, so that's that.

But I can still track down their song videos for you, like my favorite song of theirs:

Maximum the Hormone - Koi no Mega Lover

The band has everything. A death-metal voiced singer, a female drummer with a voice like a J-pop idoru, slamming guitar, you name it, they have it.

What I found odd was that my punk rocker students were totally nonplussed by this band. They didn't even like that I liked them, which is kind of funny. But didn't seem that out of place in Japan, either - there are rules, and I sat on both sides of the divide.

* It could have been a nickname - we had so many people with the same last name I knew them by their first names and nicknames. If you've deal with Japanese folks, you get how weird that is. I lived in a Sato-heavy prefecture. He could have been one of the half-dozen guys named Satto who all showed up at class.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Infra-Riot - Catch-22

I've mentioned before that I borrowed an unlabeled mix tape off of a co-worker of mine when I was an intern. I found so, so many bands from that one tape. Some I'd heard of, many I hadn't. I couple I just didn't get into, but others I just loved.

One of the ones I loved was Infra-Riot, based on this one song, Catch-22.

Trouble on the streets means trouble in the home. Trouble in the home means there is no where to go.

Short and angry and awesome. It sounds like The Stiff Little Fingers crossed with Sham 69 fronted by Mick Jones.

Here I am twenty years on, and it's still a chore finding their stuff. I've found a full album video, which is excellent:

But for a long, long time I almost felt like I was imagining this band. Couldn't find them. Record store owners didn't recognize the name (clearly, I went to the wrong places.) The one that did didn't have any (The Record Exchange). Years later I found a mention of them in a punk-related book and thought, "Yes, I'm not crazy! That guy wasn't just humoring me!" Then I found "Emergency" and "Catch-22" again, finally.

But it was Catch-22 that grabbed me.*

* Probably didn't hurt that I love punk and loved the Joseph Heller novel. It's why I know what Callypigian means.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Beat Crusaders - Japanese Girl

Some of my punk-rock loving students turned me on to the Beat Crusaders. Same kids who introduced me to Hi-Standard and Ken Yokoyama, actually.

The Beat Crusaders are way poppier, in the way that The Pillows are poppy.

There seems to be an official, totally weird video:

Got to love that Angus Young-ish outfit and headbanging-while-dancing bit, too.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Plasmatics - Butcher Baby

Just some pre-bed relaxing music tonight . . . one of the best songs by The Plasmatics.

And why yes, Wendy O Williams' top consists of shaving cream (or whipped cream) and two clothespins.

The crescendo of on-stage destruction is pretty tame by their standards, but it's still fun watching WOW stick out her tongue as she saws a guitar in half with a chainsaw.

Actually, last year I was at Irving Plaza and there was a band scheduled to play the next week called "Butcher Baby." There is a Plasmatics cover band? Apparently.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Killdozer - One Tin Soldier

Yet another song I heard thank to my older sister's record collection. Why she had For Ladies Only, I don't know, but I'm glad she did. I put it on because, hey, the band is named Killdozer.

Can a band named Killdozer possibly be bad?


No, they can't.

Maybe not good, in the classic sense of a nice voice and smooth guitar, but good in the sense of holy crap turn that up right now.

This is probably my favorite Killdozer song.

That's a tough call, though - Burnin' Love and their cover of Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (with Alice Donut - aka Kill Donut) were both contenders.

And just because Killdozer:

Fresh Young Fellows, "My Boyfriend's in Killdozer"

Monday, May 30, 2016

Stiff Little Fingers: Suspect Device

The first song I ever heard by the Stiff Little Fingers was on an unlabled mix table given to me by G.B., one of my co-workers when I was an intern in DC.*

It was eye-opening.

Who was this? It sounded like a harsher, harder version of The Clash, yet had this incredibly catchy riff and great lyrics. And much like The Clash, there was social commentary in there.

Suspect Device has this "no one is to wholly trusted with power" message.

How do the SLF feel about the people in power?

"Don't believe them, don't believe them"

Not a surprise, growing up and living in Ulster in Northern Ireland.

But how do they feel about revolution?

"Why can't we take over and try to put it right?

Please don't believe us
Don't believe us
Don't be bitten twice"

The "a pox on both your houses" feeling runs through a lot of SLF material. They're on the side of the people caught up in the conflict of others.

By the way, there is a single version - but I really prefer the album version. Probably because I heard it first.

* Also on that tape were The Undertones, The Vibrators (from whom the SLF took their name), Television, and Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, amongst others. All of those skyrocketed right to the top of my "why did no one tell of these bands before?" list. I knew a lot of bands, but I hadn't heard much of (or any of) them before that tape. Television, yes, of course, because I knew Richard Hell & the Voidoids from a collection of punk 45s, but the others . . . never.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Neil Young: Unknown Legend

One of those songs that paints a picture.

Plus there is nothing I don't like about Neil Young's guitar playing.

A good song for a slow, hot, sunny day like we've got where I am now.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Silversun Pickups: Lazy Eye

I'm aware that this is an older song, but I heard it the first time at least a year after I first heard this band on the radio playing "Panic Switch."

I really liked what I heard, but this is the song that pushed me from "I like that song" to "I like that band."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Andrew W.K. - Party Hard

I first discovered Andrew W.K. thanks to a commercial. I told a cousin I liked the song, and he identified it for me. I got this album as a result. This is not that song - that was "Time to Party." This is better, though:

I have an Andrew W.K. t-shirt. No one in my family likes it - it's the album cover, blood streaming down his face.

So I wear it to MMA, which I'm not sure everyone in my family is really that excited that I do.

Seems fair. My MMA coach liked the shirt.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rancid - Fall Back Down

These guys can't go back on tour fast enough for me.

I've seen them a bunch of times.

Actually, one of my big regrets was that I missed them in Japan. I happened to be in Tokyo one night that they played. I didn't know it until afterwards. My girlfriend said the show was sold out, so it wouldn't have mattered. But I'm sure I could have somehow found a way in . . . the instant friendship of fellow foreigners in Japan would have helped. Sucks that missed them. I had to pass up a show right after I moved back to the states, too, when they opened up for a band on their label. I was just getting my career rolling and I couldn't afford to take time off of work to go see them. That's not going to happen again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

11 Songs: The Darkness

Time for another 11 songs. The best? My favorites? Some are here. It's more like . . . the first 11 songs I felt I needed to include on this list. Why 11 songs? If you don't know why "this one goes to eleven" spells rock and roll, I can't explain it.

1) Barbarian. Last year I got a hankering to hear The Darkness again, and found this track off their brand-new album. It totally blew me away. I had put it on and figured, they might be comparable to their original stuff. No, it was better. And I'd missed a progression of great music in between. I quickly snapped it up, and went to see them live.

2) One Way Ticket to Hell (And Back). Needs more cowbell, which is why fans bring their own to the show. Perfectly, awesomely hyper-smart lyrics about cocaine with a great smart-stupid refrain.

3) Is It Just Me? Is it just me or am I all on my own again? Yes. Very AC/DC riff here, too.

4) I Believe In a Thing Called Love. This is the first song by The Darkness that I heard. At the time I liked this woman, I can't recall her name offhand - just her face, that probably doesn't help - and she also liked The Darkness. That didn't go anywhere, but my interest in this band sure did.

Best YouTube comment on this video? "Best Star Trek episode ever." Might be.

5) Girlfriend. This is extremely catchy, fun to sing along to, and has funny lyrics. Plus, the video. Yeah. You can't unwatch it, but you can re-watch it.

6) Open Fire. This is pretty close to being to the best song I ever heard by The Cult. It's like they distilled The Cult into The Darkness and did both. Remember that line in Almost Famous about "incendiary" guitar? This is it.

7) Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End). The link tells it all. I actually play this a lot around Christmas.

8) Love on the Rocks (With No Ice). I didn't really love this song until I saw them live - and they did a smoking version of it with Justin Hawkins being carried around the crowd. Great show, great song.

9) Givin' Up. Another drug related song, like One Way Ticket. Singalong refrain.

10) Every Inch Of You. Got to give it up for a mentioned of TDK 90 cassettes. That's how I listened to so, so many bands.

11) Hammer and Tongs. Just because I can't ever skip over this song, no matter what. I love the Georgia Satellites feel it has.

And if I can close this out with a recommendation - see these guys live at least once. They're one of the best live bands I've ever seen.*

* Their drummer when I went was Rufus Taylor, which I'm counting as a half-credit towards seeing Queen.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Izzy Stradlin & Ju Ju Hounds: Pressure Drop

I first heard this song done by The Clash, but I like this version a lot:

I wish Izzy Stradlin and Juju hounds put out more stuff than they did. This is a nice ripping cover into a pure reggae kind of version. I'm not a big reggae fan, beyond some Desmond Dekkar and Eddie Grant stuff. The original is mostly interesting to me because, well, The Clash and Izzy Stradlin.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Alice Cooper - Clones

It's Friday the Thirteenth. If that doesn't say Alice Cooper, what else does?

Here is a pretty unusual song - it's like Alice Cooper meets Gary Numan.

Damn catchy too.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Soft Boys: I Wanna Destroy (with a bonus)

Here is a song I can barely resist singing along to as loud as I can. It just makes me feel better when I hear it.

Soft Boys "I Wanna Destroy You"

The lyrics are so harsh but it's catchy like anything. I was never into Robyn Hitchcock, but this is a winner. It sounds like he was channeling Iggy Pop while writing it.

It's been covered a number of times. One of them is how I first discovered the song - the Circle Jerks cover.

This is a real thing - the Circle Jerks with Debbie Gibson. Debbie Gibson is just about the least likely person to save rock and roll. But she sure makes an effort here, and it's just a kick ass cover.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Liz Phair: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo by Liz Phair. Seems on topic for today.

It's off of Whip-Smart, the album that got me started on Liz Phair.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Covers: Out of Time by Chris Farlowe

Until about 5 minutes ago, I had no idea this existed. But then I saw Chris Farlowe is an upcoming guest on Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine on 91.1 WFMU, and so I took a look:

I still like the Stones original better, but man, what a cool cover. So is this cover by The Ramones, from the outstanding Acid Eaters.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dirt Bike Annie

Back in '04 and '05, I went to a lot of shows. Part of the reason was that I was introduced to a few really excellent bands - specifically, True Love, The Kowalskis, and Dirt Bike Annie. The other reasons was that I secretly was planning to move to Japan, and I wasn't sure I'd be coming back. So I had to see shows because the clock was ticking.

I saw Dirt Bike Annie a number of times - maybe five? Six? Every show I could make, from one at Uncle Joe's in Jersey City (my first) to a few places in NYC, I went to. Sadly they broke up, first losing one member and then the whole band came apart shortly after a second member left. I saw their next-to-last show in NYC, playing with The Ergs and MC Chris.

My friend A.V. had seen them open for True Love and told me about them, and I went to their website and saw this video (or at least, the grainier original), and I was hooked:

Just the day before yesterday I was reloading my USB key of songs for my commute and piled all of my DBA on it. Then I took a look - maybe the first time in 8-10 months? - to see if there was anything new up about them. Turns out they're back to together. Way to fail me, internet. Subscriptions on YouTube, news alerts, etc. and somehow I still missed one of my favorite bands getting back together . . . well, I'll keep track of them now, and I just bought the split reunion album they made with The Unlovables.

Friday, April 22, 2016

I Like the Cover Better: Little Red Corvette

I was thinking about posting this earlier in the week, while listening to this song and then some Warren Zevon covers from "Enjoy Every Sandwich." I didn't. Today I am, as a memorial to Prince.

I wasn't a big fan of Prince's music, although it was inescapable when I was growing up. I liked 1999, Little Red Corvette, and a few others. I didn't really seek him out to listen, but I liked what I heard on the radio. I deeply respected his name change to deal with a contract issue, too.

But like I said, I like Little Red Corvette.

I love the cover by Hindu Love Gods better, though.

I can't link either, both are not available online because all of Prince's work is locked down to a couple of services. But I can talk about the cover.

Hindu Love Gods is, basically, REM headed up by Warren Zevon. REM really isn't for me, three songs aside. But I love Warren Zevon and miss him every time I hear one of his songs. It's worth finding their cover of Prince's song and giving it a listen. To me, it's better, just in that it's stripped of the R&B drum machine snap of the 80s and played as a straight-up rock song. Plus it's Warren. Can't go far wrong with Warren.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

God Save the Queen

Thanks to WFUV for reminding me, with this song, that it's the Queen's birthday day.

Some songs change your life. This is one. I remember hearing it playing from my sister's room when I was a young teenager. I snuck into her room when she wasn't home (sorry, sibling - but also, thank you) and looked for the album with the song on it. I found The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and listened to that, but it wasn't what I was looking for. Eventually I'd get my own copy of Never Mind the Bollocks and listen to it (and many tapes of it) repeatedly. To this day, this song gets me going. I blast it, I play it once and then again a second time. I crank the radio all the way up. I sing loudly along with it, because there's no future for you, no future for me. We're the flowers in the dustbin, we're the poison in your human machine.

Enjoy, but enjoy LOUD.

Kitty Kowalski on WFMU (Postponed)

(Nevermind, the interview has been reschedule to next Thursday, 4/28. Enjoy the tunes anyway!)

Just a public service announcement:

Lindsey Anderson, aka Kitty Kowalski of The Kowalskis, will be on Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine on WFMU today. The show runs 12-3 pm, but guests normally get on at 1 pm. The shows are archived if you miss them - she had Richard Hell of Television/The Voidoids on last week.

Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine

You can listen online at the website:


and if you aren't familiar with The Kowalskis, you should start with this playlist of their first album:

All Hopped Up On Goofballs

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Jam: In the City -> Sex Pistols: Holidays in the Sun

Same riff. I never realized it until I read this article on Diffuser.

The Jam: In the City

Sex Pistols: Holiday in the Sun

(video is the album track, but set over concert video)

Great artists steal, they say. I love both songs - that song by The Jam really rips. It has a very The Clash-like feel to it, more than other Jam songs. And I love how abruptly it seems to end.

Holidays opens up with that same riff but it's powered up. It really sets the tone for Nevermind the Bollocks.

It's hard to not hear the In the City riff and I'm kind of surprised I didn't notice all these years.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Dictators: I Live For Cars and Girls

The first time I heard The Dictators it was this song.

My older sibling had a collection of 45s of punk songs. This was one, along with ones by The Saints, The Ramones, and other bands. This one I really liked, and eventually I'd borrow someone's copy of Go Girl Crazy and make a tape of it. I almost wore that tape out.

That's the song that kicked it all off. I need more of these guys - I named the blog for one of their songs, after all.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Big Pink: Dominoes

I remember the first time I heard this song - it was on the radio on the way home from my MMA class. I immediately cranked it up. It sounded totally familiar but very new at the same time - like a long lost 80s hit I'd heard but forgotten.

I was listening to a couple tracks by Pulp and they brought this to mind.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Dickies - Stukas Over Disneyland

This is indirectly Blue Tyson's fault for reminding me of this . . . although my friend Tom and I were talking about how it's a shame The Dickies don't tour our area.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dave Edmunds - Queen of Hearts

I heard this track by Dave Edmunds on my ride home today:

I'd already had the radio up loud because Loser by Beck was the song before, so I didn't turn this up - but I didn't turn it down, either.

It's a cover, and I like the other big hit version of this song, too. He doesn't have Juice Newton's voice, but I like Dave's guitar on this better than that version.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Big Audio Dynamite: Rush

Pretty much, if someone from The Clash is involved in a project, I like it. Terry Chimes with The Lords of the New Church, Joe Strummer's solo stuff, and of course, Mick Jones and Big Audio Dynamite.

Here is my favorite track, Rush.

Single Version:

Album Version (the one with the long bridge):

Monday, February 8, 2016

Japanese Boy - Aneka

The other day I heard a song that reminded me of this one by Aneka:

I missed that song when it came out, but lucky for me, Rockstar Games put it on the radio in Vice City. It's still weird to hear it without driving around in a stolen car, shooting out the window or doing crazy jumps. Might be time to hook the original Xbox back up and go for a twirl around Miami, er, Vice City.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Happy Birthday John Lydon

John Lydon turns 60 today.

Happy Birthday!

Here is what's probably my favorite P.i.L. song, to celebrate. May the road rise with you, Mr. Lydon. Thanks for all of the music.

And here is a shot of him much earlier, in some recently unearthed shots of the Pistols playing in Caerphilly.

(left to right - Glen Matlock, John Lydon, Paul Cook, Steve Jones)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

265 Motorhead songs at the same time

This is pretty stunning.

And loud.

And yet listenable and fascinating.

I actually really like it. But then again, I love Lightning Bolt, so this just might be in my wheelhouse of melodically horrifying noise.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men

Pictures of Matchstick Men.

I probably heard this song first as a cover by Camper Van Beethoven (my second favorite Beethoven!). My sister listened to a lot of Camper Van Beethoven and I certainly heard it first thanks to her. They do an excellent version, with a violin doing that amazing guitar riff from the original.

Ozzy Osborne and Type O Negative did a version for the Howard Stern movie. I like that one as well.

But the original?

Fucking hell. That guitar riff is amazing.

If you were thinking, I had no idea who did this, then Status Quo is probably one of the best bands you've never heard of.

Check out Ice in the Sun (which might be better than Pictures, even) and Technicolor Dreams:

They transformed a little later into more of a 70s/80s rock band than a late-60s psychedelic group. I just wanted to highlight some of the early stuff I like so much.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ozzy Osborne: All The Young Dudes

Thanks to an amazing two and half hours of Bowie and Bowie covers on station manager Ken's show on WFMU this morning, I heard this:

Ozzy covering "All the Young Dudes" - written by David Bowie, and given to Mott the Hoople by Bowie.

Pretty amazing.

The WFMU show is streamed, if you want to hear Ozzie's cover, weirder ones like the Langley Schools Music Project doing Space Oddity, and more. This was my workout music this morning - unexpected but great.