funtime radio hour : songs and stories

It’s Friday then, how is everybody? The autumnal damp got into your bones yet? Here’s another of our sporadic online broadcasts. A surefire bunch of toe-tappers herein to keep you warm, possibly even get you moving about. We’ve got cover versions, nostalgia, weirdness, mid-western power trios, deep fried texans galore, english garage bastards and a decent amount of wonky diagonal electronic gear. I don’t usually go in for over explaining but I probably had too much coffee and there’s just a teeming web of interconnections going on here that’s put me off balance, so bear with me. First up while we were saddened by the recent losses of Holger Czukay and Harry Dean Stanton, they were pretty old guys. Grant Hart was still only in his fifties and had survived SST records, heroin and a mistaken HIV diagnosis only to get taken by cancer. This hardly seems fair, not that death ever plays fair, the news was thrown into harsh relief by the recent announcement of ‘Savage Young Dü’ a box set of early Hüsker Dü demos and live recordings arriving in a couple of months. So, yeah maybe we should have kicked off with something off ‘Intolerance’ or from his more recent solo records but the box set news had got me listening to old Hüsker Dü stuff already so there’s a couple of his songs to start with. I find a lot of live Hüskers stuff sounds pretty bad, particularly on Grant’s songs because he’s trying to drum and sing at the same time. This is a really good live version of ‘Green Eyes’ though. One of the other things tugging on my sleeve about this mix was a rolling stone piece about how Songs About Fucking is 30 years old.  ‘Warehouse: Songs and Stories’ is also 30 this year, something about the similarities in the titles and the fact it saw both bands bow out made me want to come up with some gruesome Frankenstein hybrid title but thankfully I though better of it. 1987 was a pretty bumper year looking back through my tinted shades, it also saw The Smiths bid farewell with ‘Strangeways Here We Come’ – three of the only legendary bands to have resisted the gaudy allure of reformation all quit in one year. There’s an ill thought out conspiracy theory hiding in there somewhere. Other 30 year old monsters of varying degrees of importance to us around here include ‘You’re Living All Over Me’, ‘Sister’, ‘Come On Pilgrim’, Yo! Bum Rush the Show’, ‘Locust Abortion Technician’, ‘Children Of God’, ‘The Young Gods’, ‘Scum’, ‘Darklands’, ‘Floodland’, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’, ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ and also The Triffids’, ‘Calenture’ – a concept that, as far as I know, has not troubled underground rock music in the thirty intervening years until Hey Colossus’ ‘Calenture Boy’ this year. It’s a tempting stack of tunes isn’t it? I managed to resist that particular wormhole but put I some Big Black in. I went with ‘Pavement Saw’ just because, although it probably should have been ‘The Model’ going into USA Nails‘ ‘The Robots’ which sticks it to Florian and Karl and their whole robot schtick. Casting our minds briefly back to Supernormal there’s some Hot Snakes and that cover from Death Pedals. I did kind of go off down the worm hole kicked off by Grey Hairs though. There’s their version of Roky Erickson‘s ‘I Think Of Demons’ from the new EP and his own of the other tune they do ‘If You Have Ghosts’ both from hallowe’en favourite ‘The Evil One’. Roky is currently on tour in the US, he’s playing a couple of nights in San Francisco at hallowe’en, that could be pretty cool although it’d be full of burnt out old west coast hippies in tie dye and greying manes of smug. Night of the living dead heads. To my great surprise ‘The Evil One’ can be found on the bandamp –

If any band could make a stronger claim than The Butthole Surfers to be Roky’s bastard muscial children I’d be surprised to hear it. They take a pretty faithful run at the 13th Floor Elevators’ ‘Earthquake’ kicking the tempo up a bit, a straight vocal with no gibbytronic weirdness and great guitar from Leary. I know some folks were pretty upset about them not making it over for Safe As Milk this year, so it goes. Apparently we’re getting a new record out of them at some point. Experience suggests this sort of thing can almost only lead to disappointment, we should all perhaps recall more clearly how patchy their recorded output was overall and adjust our excitement accordingly. On the other hand, Pinkus and Leary’s efforts as part of The Melvins were impressive and King Coffey seems to be on something of a roll. If it was always destined somewhere dank and unsettling that Craig ‘Shit & Shine’ Clouse would one day make a record with one of the Buttholes USA/MEXICO is none the less a perfectly named and brutal Rio Grande mudslide of filth, ‘Yard Of The Month’ takes its name from Coffey surprisingly taking this crown of civic pride and good citizenship a couple of years back. Concerning the band’s parentage, that smiling guy on the cover is Gibby’s dad, Mr Peppermint. Yep. Enslave The Zombie is a kid who makes music on garage band with a little help from his dad. This sweet, if subliminally disturbing, version of ‘Moving To Florida’ is from his album ‘The Magic Of The Butthole Surfers’ a thing that exists and if nothing else proves that the last thirty years have surely seen some changes. Drain is an older project of King Coffey’s, in this case dismantling the actual King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s ‘Crawfish’ over some thundering drums. Shit & Shine does something similar with a drawling Dave Lee Roth interview kicking off the last section which turned outto be a bunch of wonky business on Powell‘s Diagonal records, including star of Supernormal Container, as well as Not Waving and Prostitutes

 

Grant Hart with Chris Strouth
Hüsker Dü –  Green Eyes (live)  [Spin concert 8-28-85]
Hüsker Dü –  Pink Turns To Blue  [Zen Arcade]
Big Black –  Pavement Saw [Songs About Fucking]
USA Nails –  The Robots  [Shame Spiral]
Hot Snakes –  If Credit’s What Matters I’ll Take Credit  [Automatic Midnight]
Death Pedals – Plenty For All  [Rip This Joint Compilation Vol 1]
Grey Hairs –  I Think Of Demons   [On And Off EP]
Roky Erickson & The Aliens –  If You Have Ghosts  [The Evil One]
Butthole Surfers –  Earthquake   [Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye]
USA/MEXICO –  Yard Of The Month  [Laredo]
Enslave The Zombie –  Moving To Florida  [The Magic Of The Butthole Surfers]
Drain –  Crawfish  [Pick Up Heaven]
Shit and Shine –  Excess, Laziness, Egotism  [Total Shit!]
Holy Fuck – Bird Brains  [Bird Brains]
Powell – Jonny [feat. Jonny]  [Sport]
Not Waving –  I Know I Know I Know  [Animals]
Container –  Radiator  [Vegetation EP]
Prostitutes –  Ah Yeah  [Dance Tracksz]
Martin Rev  Concrete  [Demolition 9]

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