J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Extra Mayhem - 30th June 2009

[Tonight's Extra Mayhem was a fun, but honestly underwhelming theme set, but a great Wholesale album. Who knew? I wanted to do something Michael Jackson related for the theme, so I went with "The King of Pop" as the theme - unfortunately, I don't think it worked as well as I'd hoped. The songs are great, I just don't think they tie in as well. I think "Green" has been the best theme week so far. I need to get back to that level.

Extra Mayhem next week will be on at 10 PM instead of 12 AM. Eric, the DJ in front of me, is going to be out of town, so I'm bumping up so I can get home a bit earlier. Any thoughts on whether the Wholesale album should be during the 10 PM or 11 PM hour?

Now, while I'm still awake, onward.]

J's Extra Podcast: 30th June 2009 Show

the Jackson 5 - "I Want You Back" [the theme is bookended by jackson songs - this is my all time favorite jackson 5 song, so it seemed fitting.]
the Heads with Michael Hutchence - "The King is Gone" [from no talking, just head. if you've never heard this record..well..i don't know that i'd recommend it. this was in the immediate aftermath of the talking heads breaking up and there was an ongoing fight about use of the name. so the band (minus david byrne) released an album as 'the heads' with various singers filling in for byrne. this isn't a bad song by any means - in fact, i quite like it - but the record on the whole is meh.]
Pavement - "No More Kings" [available on the wowee zowee: sordid sentinels edition, but also originally from the schoolhouse rock! rocks tribute album. pavement's take on an educational tune.]
Josh Ritter - "Leaves and Kings" [from his self-titled debut. that album has never won me over terribly, but there are some solid songs on it - this one included.]
Golden Smog - "Radio King" [from down by the old mainstream - the title phrase is included in this song. this is one of tweedy's sung songs.]
Luna - "Rhythm King" [from penthouse. a really amazing record if you haven't let it grace your ears. you'll thank me later.]
Blur - "Pop Scene" [from modern life is rubbish, an album i've seriously considered playing for the wholesale feature some week. i love the guitar work in this song.]
Okkervil River - "Pop Lie" [from the stand ins. a gem of a catchy song from a gem of a great band.]
the Smithereens - "Top of the Pops" [from blow up. not the best smithereens song ever - i agree with the all music review that says it's about a minute too long - but it certainly gets at the point.]
Greg Dulli - "King Only" (live) [from live at triple door. a take on a song from the twilight singers' first album. it sounds much better here - i love the twilight singers, but have always been lukewarm on that first album.]
Randy Newman - "Lonely at the Top" [from sail away. i know there's a snarky nature to any randy newman song, but there's something genuine to the narrator's despair - something i have to imagine jackson felt as well.]
Michael Jackson - "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" [from off the wall. this is, quite possibly, my favorite jackson solo song. it's just ridiculously well put together and catchy.]

[Tonight's Wholesale album is one of those 'genre' defining albums you hear about from time to time. The 80s were an interesting time in country music that began to see the slow commercial dissolution of traditionalist country and the rise of the more pop-oriented sound that now dominates commercial country radio. But there were a handful of songwriters who refused to go down that road and they all began to emerge from places as expected as Texas (Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams) and as unexpected as California. Although that's a touch misleading - Bakersfield, California had long been a hotbed for artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. So it makes sense that this place would draw a hotheaded songwriter originally from Kentucky, by way of Ohio, named Dwight Yoakam.

But it wasn't just the country lineage that drew Yoakam in after a disheartening stay in Nashville. It was the fact that the local scene was packed with not just bands drawing on the 50s traditions of country, but also the classic traditions of rock and roll as well. X, the Blasters and Los Lobos (as well as other bands like the Dead Kennedys) played in the same clubs that Yoakam would frequent and this cross-breeding of traditionalist country and the snotty, outlaw attitude of punk and post-punk would end up growing a fearsome songwriter and musician in Yoakam.

Although the initial demos for his debut were recorded in 1981, it wouldn't be until 1986 that his debut album would drop on Reprise Records and help kickstart the "new traditionalist" movement that still has devoted followers today and segued perfectly with the budding "alt-country" movement that was about to see its most well known and influential band, Uncle Tupelo, get its start in just a few years. Tonight's Wholesale album is...]

Track Listing

1. Honky Tonk Man
2. It Won't Hurt [click here to listen]
3. I'll Be Gone
4. South of Cincinnati
5. Bury Me
6. Guitars, Cadillacs [click here to listen]
7. Twenty Years
8. Ring of Fire
9. Miner's Prayer
10. Heartaches by the Number

That'll do it for this week. Make sure to tune in two hours early next Monday night for Extra Mayhem and I'll be back this Wednesday with J's Indie/Rock Mayhem. Until then, take care.

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