J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem - alternate Friday mornings 10 AM - 12 PM EST at 90.9 FM!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Notes From Underground - #11
Randomocity

Since the shows are going to be lacking during July, I thought I'd do another Randomocity this week to fill in some gaps. I added a ton of new music to my mp3 player before my trip this week, so all sorts of new possibilities are there. I'll be on the air this Sunday night for Extra Mayhem with the Swell Maps album as the Wholesale album of the week. I'll be having my surgery next week, so I won't be on this coming Wednesday or next Sunday night. Thanks for understanding. I'll be updating the blog as possible during my recovery.

Here are the rules: 1) can't spend any more time typing than the track is long; 2) have to type based on my own knowledge - no consulting the internets for confirmation, so if I put my foot in my mouth, so be it; 3) no skipping tracks - even if artists/albums repeat, no skipping.

Let's go.

# 476 - Drive-by Truckers - "Feb 14" : This was the first track I heard off of their latest, A Blessing and a Curse. They played it at a two-night stand they did at the Cat's Cradle back in November of 2005. Though I was ultimately a little underwhelmed by the album, this song (which is also the album's opening track) still sticks with me as one of Patterson's best in recent time. I am looking forward to hearing what the band has up their sleeves now post-Jason Isbell. Apparently Mike Cooley is writing a whole lot more than usual and that can't be a bad thing. I'm also looking forward to seeing them live as well - they're playing here in Greensboro at Old Town Draught House on Sunday, July 22nd, which means that I won't be there due to my surgery. I'm so unbelievably upset. I'm missing Slint's playing of their Spiderland album at the Cradle on the 19th as well.

# 56 - Bloodkin - "Accounting" (live) : A live track from a show at Athens, GA's Caledonia Lounge back in April of 2005. I got this from the excellent Southern Shelter blog, which is dedicated entirely to legal bootlegs of live shows in Athens. I interviewed Daniel Hutchence of Bloodkin earlier this year, of course, and he and the band were extremely amiable folks. The live show when I saw them was also incredibly entertaining. I'm not sure which Bloodkin album this song is from. Hutchence is a great lyricist - and that this band follows on the heels of that Truckers song is pretty appropo - both literate bands very rooted in the history of classic/southern rock and roll.

# 4030 - Elastica - "Rock 'N' Roll" : From the really essential (if you're an Elastica fan) The Radio One Sessions collection. It's a great way to track the band's entire career from early barnstormers, to mid-period flailing to later quasi-redemption. This song is from somewhere in the middle - it's an okay song and aptly earns the Wire comparisons that Elastica always got during their career. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If you've never heard their self-titled debut..well..you're missing out.

# 3933 - Jay-Z and Danger Mouse - "Interlude" : From the infamous The Grey Album the legendary mash-up album to end all mash-up albums, combining lyrics from Jay-Z's The Black Album with music from the Beatles' self-titled (aka The White Album). This isn't one of the more really earthshattering songs on the collection, but the album as a whole is a trip. It's not legally available of course (if you know the story) but you can find it and it's worth tracking down.

# 3540 - Heartless Bastards - "Onions" : From their 2005 record Stairs and Elevators. It's easy to see why Erica Wennerstrom and crew were earning kudos at this point. Again, a band I interviewed earlier this year and had a great time talking with. Wennerstrom's singing is unique - she has a deeper voice (think, a blusier early Liz Phair in tone) that really makes the lyrics shine out over the power-trio rock and roll. It's just a good listen.

# 2089 - Public Enemy - "Louder than a Bomb" : Ah! One of my very favorite tracks from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. "Picture us coolin' out on the 4th of July / and if you heard we was celebratin' / that's a world-wide lie" shouts Flava Flav to open the track. A track celebrating the history of vocal opposition to corrupt government and oppression as being "louder than a bomb." "The CIA see I ain't kiddin' / Both King and X / They got rid of both," accuses Chuck D. "I'm even lethal when I'm unarmed / 'Cause I'm louder than a bomb!" It doesn't get much better.

# 4666 - Built to Spill - "The Wait" : From last year's You in Reverse. I listened to this record a little when I bought it, but then it kind of fell to the side. (Actually, admittedly, it sat on the floor, under my desk.) And while it doesn't carry quite the emotional or high-guitar impact of Keep it Like a Secret or others of that time period, it's impossible for Built to Spill to make a bad record. This song is subtle and textured and gorgeous in its slow moving, repetitive feel. Towards the end it sails off into guitar heroics and a booming, soaring bridge that makes the end of the song worth sticking around for, despite it being just a touch long at five minutes.

# 472 - Sifl and Olly - "The United States of Whatever!" : A show with sock puppets that used to be on MTV. Why is this not on DVD? This is a short skit about apathy. "I went down to the beach and I saw Kiki and she was all like 'Uhhh' and I said 'Whatever.'...'Cause this is MY United States of Whatever!!" The show was great absurdist nonsense. I miss it. For that matter, bring back Wonder Showzen.

# 1599 - Matthew Sweet - "Day for Night" : From the awe-inspiring Girlfriend album. If you listen to the records Sweet recorded before Girlfriend, much like this song, it's day for night. The production is light years better, so is the songwriting, even if hints of how good he would become (and, for the most part, still is) were there as well. This is an album that should be a staple of all rock fans collection. It's a record that deserves to be celebrated as completely as anything in the Stones, Beatles, Led Zepplin, Who, whatever canon. It's just that good and again, I'm repeating myself saying this, but if you've never heard it...jeez. Fix that.

# 228 - Guns N' Roses - "Patience" : This is a great song, but I'm actually going to use this space to talk about Appetite for Destruction, even though this song is from G N' R Lies album. I finally broke down and bought Appetite.. a few years ago and found that it really was as good and solid a record as people had often claimed - "Nighttrain," "Mr. Brownstone," "Welcome to the Jungle." "Mr. Brownstone" especially is just an incredibly structured song. Guns N' Roses fits into the many bands that craft blistering debuts and then fall apart after. They didn't stop writing good songs necessarily - everyone and their mother has heard the apt argument that a single-disc version of Use Your Illusion would've been every bit as good as the debut. I'm really not that interested in the forthcoming Chinese Democracy album, largely because Axl Rose was not what made Guns N' Roses what it was - and since aside from, maybe Dizzy Reed (?) who is still in the band. It was that cohesion of disparate, desperate hungry rock and rollers all together that made the original Guns N' Roses so incredible. And it's why I don't care about Velvet Revolver either. The fire's gone, guys. Why should we care?

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