Friday, April 11, 2014

The Deep End: Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio!

The Wipers and the Neo Boys kick off our latest edition of The Deep End. We dig repetition, we dance dance dance dance dance to the radio, so come on down to personnel, give us ten thousand pounds, sing this all together and see what happens.

The Deep End - Show 3.9 - April 9, 2014 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Deep End: To the rescue

In this edition of The Deep End, the Monks and the Granite Countertops air some grievances, the Maytones and the Mighty Diamonds give us a dose of some reggae reality, Laurie Anderson walks the dog, Thomas Mapfumo tells the story of his life and struggle, and Laverne Baker calls on the superhuman powers of Jim Dandy.

The Deep End - Show 3.8 - April 4, 2014 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A side of Jon Stewart we never knew

Now it all makes sense!

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for March 2014

It's always a pleasure to check back in on Ear Candle Radio. Over the next couple weeks, we'll be overhauling the playlist and adding loads of new tracks! Our rent at Live 365 is due in August, and we're looking for change under the sofa cushions to keep this station going, so if you love what we do, don't forget to click our Paypal button and send us a little something to keep the music playing.

Keep listening, dear friends! Our tenth anniversary as a station is coming this October! That's a lot of rocking, and we don't wanna stop yet!

1. Shorty Long - Night Fo' Last - Essential Collection
2. Tara Key - No Reason Now - Ear and Echo
3. The Granite Countertops - Atlas Wept - Crashing Into The Future
4. Dr. Spaceman - Well, Why Not? - Zwanzig Kilometer Stau
5. Cibo Matto - Blue Train - Stereo Type A
6. She - Outta Reach - Wants A Piece Of You
7. Jah Wobble & Keith Levene - Within You Without You - Yin & Yang
8. Roni Size & Reprazent - Ballet Dance - New Forms
9. Shan-I Benjamen - Look After Your Structure - Holding Up Half The Sky: Women In Reggae/Roots Daughters
10. Impact All-Stars - Last Of The Jestering - Forward The Bass: Dub From Randy's, 1972-1975
11. Ed's Redeeming Qualities - Another Song In Celebration Of Chickens - Big Grapefruit Clean-Up Job
12. Spring Heel Jack - Double Edge Dub - Macro Dub Infection, Volume 1
13. The Mothers Of Invention - Ian Underwood Whips It Out (Live On Stage In Copenhagen) - Uncle Meat
14. Julie Ruin - Breakout A-Town - Julie Ruin
15. Husker Du - Somewhere - Zen Arcade
16. Chastity Belt - Seattle Party - Seattle Party (single)
17. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - We Are Normal - The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse
18. X-tal - Long Dark Night - Everything Crash
19. The Subtonix - Vertigo - Tarantism
20. The Small Faces - Afterglow (Of Your Love) - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake

Monday, March 31, 2014

KK Barrett Changed My Life

(Another cross-post with the KSFS blog. Hope ya like it.)

Say what you like about Spike Jonze's movies; one thing you can expect when you step into his world is uncanny production design. Last year's Her is no exception, and it earned longtime Jonze collaborator K. K. Barrett his first-ever Oscar nomination. Barrett has been doing production design for Jonze for a long time, even before Being John Malkovich, when he was still known mainly as a music video director. But I never actually noticed until my wife and I stuck around to watch the credits roll at the end of Her. A familiar name popped up, and I thought, "K. K. Barrett...where have I heard that name before?"

Come join me now as we turn back the hands of time. It's early 1978, I'm underage, and the people I carpooled with to see Patti Smith at Winterland have dragged me to the Mabuhay Gardens on Broadway. Miraculously, I avoid being carded and slink into the early San Francisco punk mecca like the wide-eyed Santa Cruz hippie kid I am, where I am confronted with this:

Check out the baby-faced blond kid on the drums. Yes, that was K. K. Barrett, powering the astounding Screamers, LA's first real punk band. Four guys, not a guitar in sight, yet they had a ferocious intensity that no ordinary rock and roll band could match. I was floored. I didn't fully understand what I was seeing and hearing, but I knew that this was the future, this was what was needed, and this was where music had to go to matter anymore. A week later, I was back home, watching a fast-rising new band called Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Previously, I'd been excited about this show; Petty had a fresh new sound that echoed the spirit of rock and roll from back when it still meant something. Now...I shrugged my shoulders and thought, "ehhh, they're OK I guess." I had just seen a revolution, and I was feeling the wind with a brand new skin. The Screamers had just raised the bar for weirdness, and I would never be quite the same.

The Screamers had a good run, doing things their own way. They never released a record because they were holding out for video as the next artform and thought that merely putting out vinyl was too much of a compromise. (Now, of course, their recorded output has been lovingly compiled for old and new fans.) Singer Tomata DuPlenty passed away from AIDS in 2000. Synth player and main songwriter Tommy Gear has vanished into his private life. Electric pianist Paul Roessler is still a well-regarded and very active LA musician. And K. K. Barrett is creating the visual environments for some of the trippiest movies that mainstream Hollywood has to offer these days. But even if none of them had ever been heard from again, they were responsible for one misfit kid's epiphany in a seedy little North Beach bar he had no business hanging out in. Bless 'em, one and all.

Lush Is The New Lo-Fi

(Just submitted this to the KSFS blog. A little bit of history for the young'uns.)

In his book How Music Works, David Byrne puts forth the theory that new forms of music develop, not merely through inspiration, but as a direct result of the architecture of the buildings where they're performed and the limits of the technology used to record them. When I think of music this way, the last 25 years of indie-rock make loads of sense.

In the 80s and 90s, cheap 4-track cassette recorders and a D.I.Y. aesthetic led to the inventive, fuzzy lo-fi sounds of bands like New Zealand's Tall Dwarfs, who used primitive overdubbing, crazy tape loops and inspired songcraft to create crude-yet-subtle music a four-piece punk rock band couldn't quite pull off:

One of my favorite artists in the lo-fi home recording scene was Baltimore's Linda Smith, whose recordings were like miniature paintings full of detail, melody, and quiet wit. (Nowadays, Linda has mostly retired from music and actually DOES create miniature paintings!)

John Darnielle's earliest Mountain Goats recordings took the idea of instant creation and accessibility even further as he bashed out freshly-written songs on a cassette boombox to capture the inspiration instantly, as it happened. Darnielle's work was infectiously spontaneous, and his natural gift for songwriting was oddly complemented by the imperfect sound, like a field recording from a mythological past:

But in the 21st century, with digital recording more accessible than ever and tape harder to come by, the old lo-fi sound no longer carries the feeling of "I have this idea and I have to get it down RIGHT NOW!" When sounds are reproduced with mathematical accuracy and the electronic tones that once required synthesizers can now be done on your own computer with a piece of plug-in software, the fuzzy sounds of the 80s and 90s sound like an affectation. The urge to reinvent the Velvet Underground for the 2000th time has not exactly gone away, but now, people in their own home studios also have the option of imagining they're Brian Wilson falling down the rabbit hole of Smile and landing in the middle of a disco with Philip Glass. Case in point: another artist from Baltimore who had a bit of a breakthrough not long ago:

In the end, what we create is not only a result of, but is directly altered by the tools available to us. It's hard to believe now that a clear, widescreen sound used to come off as "selling out" to underground ears. Now, instead of drowning in cruddy-sounding recordings that could be either works of genius hidden in atmospheric murk or just mediocrities posing in grubby clothes, we're confronted by new artists grappling with the urge to cover everything in reverb and use 100 tracks when four would do. What hasn't changed, though, is that a unique musical vision will emerge with each new set of tools that comes along. Right now, this is hitting the spot for me:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Deep End: It's Raining

We're a bit under the weather here at the Deep End, so what is there to do but play with it? We find ourselves gifted with an extra hour of blank canvas due to spring break at SFSU, and we've filled it with rain songs, sun songs, and much, much more. Let's bundle up, shut the windows, and enjoy the roar.

The Deep End: We are gonna make it through this year

More KSFS podcasts! Here is last week's. We roam from vintage keyboard-driven punk to sizzling garage classics to deep and weird dub grooves to tragic folk ballads to progressive political baby-makin' music. Your sonic guide J Neo Marvin takes you on another trip through the Everests and Marianas Trenches of sound and emotion, shows you that you're everywhere, and gets you home for tea.

New video: Rainy Night In Florida

From our upcoming documentary on the Granite Countertops' album, Planets Don't Twinkle. The song is not over yet.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Deep End: Super Duper Rescue Heads!

I've got an electric guitar and half a bottle of warm beer. I've got some funny ideas about what sounds good.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Deep End: Making plans on sure things that aren't.

And with this one, you are fully caught up. Join us for the next Deep End this coming Wednesday at 9 PM Pacific time on KSFS!

The Deep End: The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly!

I don't know how I missed hearing Pearls Before Swine's hilarious Dylan parody before, but now that it is part of my life, I must make it a part of yours as well.

The Deep End: This is the story of Johnny Spud

More than a touch of Neil Young in our second show of 2014, and a shout-out to the Global Neil Young Professional Society. Also, check out the Roger McGuinn PSA I found. I'm going to find it hard not to play this on every single show.

The Deep End: There ain't no kings at the Insect Lounge!

Yes, I have been back on KSFS for a while now, as I hit the home stretch in my return to higher education. And what a ride it has been. But let's catch up with some podcasts. Nothing like a little bit of Love to kick off a new semester. What is happening and how have you been?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for February 2014

1. Pulp - Joyriders - His'n'Hers
2. Grant Hart - Is the Sky the Limit - The Argument
3. Steve Mackay - The Prisoner (featuring Iggy Pop) - Sometimes Like This I Talk
4. David Bowie - Always Crashing In The Same Car - Low
5. Paul Revere & The Raiders - Louie, Go Home - Midnight Ride
6. The Julie Ruin - Lookout - Run Fast
7. Patrick Simpson and Family - When The Vote Catches On - Voting Songs
8. Ovarian Trolley - Microscope - Ciao Meow
9. Ken Nordine - Gold - Colors
10. The Mountain Goats - Commandante - Devil in the Shortwave 7"
11. The Dirtbombs - Strings Of Life - Party Store
12. Chastity Belt - Seattle Party - Seattle Party (single)
13. The Trade Winds - Mind Excursion - Excursions
14. Naahant - Uhh...Yeah - (nei-haent) EP
15. Swell - Forget About Jesus - 41
16. Lou Reed - Cremation - Magic And Loss
17. The Julie Ruin - Cookie Road - Run Fast
18. The Mothers Of Invention - Ian Underwood Whips It Out (Live On Stage In Copenhagen) - Uncle Meat
19. Thee Outside - Empty Mind - Deaf Disco
20. Kristin Hersh - When The Levee Breaks - Strings

Thanks for your feedback and keep listening, dear ones.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blow Down This House Of Cards

During the long wait between Seasons 1 and 2 of House Of Cards on Netflix, I was inspired to watch the entire seven-year run of The West Wing, which I had never seen before. Watching the two shows back to back gives you an interesting perspective on how differently the same political system can be portrayed in fiction.

First, The West Wing. I had caught a few more recent Aaron Sorkin shows in various classes here at SF State; BECA professors love Sorkin, probably because both Studio 60 and The Newsroom do such a thorough job of showing the inner workings of television production. There are certain tics in every Sorkin show, though, that both charm and annoy me: cynical/neurotic/idealistic heroes with an endless supply of wit riding from crisis to crisis; Very Special Episodes pointing the finger at Big Important Controversies; and the inevitable Epic Rant That Hits The Nail On The Head, Shames All The Right People And Convinces Everyone.

What made West Wing work most of the time was a) Sorkin’s shtick seemed a lot fresher at the turn of the century (the mostly great ensemble cast didn’t hurt either) and b) the historical context was palpable. It must have been a tonic during the Bush-Cheney era to tune in to Martin Sheen’s goofy-yet-righteous President Bartlet or Alan Alda as a decent, avuncular ideal of reasonable Republican opposition. The message was “all of us are good (and sexy, and funny) people at heart, working hard to do the right thing for our country. The news may drive you to despair, but this system will work if you put power in the hands of honest, responsible people.” The tone helped you overlook some of that alternate-universe government’s more questionable acts (a rather creepy “education reform” bill and a constant series of military interventions in every corner of the globe are two that come to mind) and root for the heroes. It was as effective as it was corny.

House Of Cards turns that whole world upside down. With few exceptions, these are vile people. I don’t just mean our protagonists, the scheming Machiavellian Underwoods. Washington DC is a world of predators, jockeying for power, gaming the system, and cultivating their images for a gullible press and public. The characters scheme, con, and shift alliances like the nihilistic aristocrats they are. Star/producer Kevin Spacey loves to break the fourth wall and mug for the camera with sly asides for our benefit, the most of telling of which is, “democracy is sooooo overrated”, delivered in a honey-sweet Southern drawl. Spacey’s deadpan scenery-chewing is entertaining as hell, and the show, with its convoluted royal intrigues, is a thrill to immerse yourself in. But unlike other great recent TV antiheroes like Walter White or Don Draper, you never get a sense of inner conflict or twisted humanity; Frank Underwood rarely comes across as anything more than a hyper-intelligent shark.

What is House Of Cards’ version of American civics? Spacey loves to boast in interviews about how his character, unlike real-life politicians, knows how to “get things done.” But what does Frank Underwood accomplish? So far, his two major legislative achievements in the show are yet another dodgy “education reform” bill in Season 1 (both shows present an alternate-universe America where teachers’ unions have as much power as the oil industry, and it takes a truly bold politician to defy their formidable might) and this season’s “entitlement reform” bill. Frank is a “center-right” Democrat who makes Joe Lieberman look like Elizabeth Warren in comparison, and that crashing sound you hear is the Overton Window hurtling off a cliff. If West Wing was a mirror of earnest progressive idealism growing in the midst of a neoconservative decade, House Of Cards is the apathetic reaction to five years of thwarted hope and change. At its worst, it tells us, “Stop caring about politics; they’re all equally corrupt!”

Oddly, the show is at its most perceptive when it comes to feminist issues. Claire Underwood, like her husband, is a monster in many ways, none of which have anything to do with why she becomes a target of national hatred. Why does Claire receive death threats? Because she went public about having an abortion, campaigns actively against rape in the military, and is accused of having an extramarital affair. The fact that these, not any of the truly awful acts we watch her commit, are what make her a target speaks volumes about the misogyny that pervades our politics. Other women who lack Claire’s cold expediency fare less well, like the traumatized rape survivor she enrolls in her cause, then abandons when it’s politically convenient. One character who may be more than a victim in the end is Rachel, the ex-prostitute who spends the entire season under virtual house arrest because she knows too much, until she takes control of her destiny with a shocking, decisive act in the final episode. I really hope she turns out not to be another mere speedbump in the Underwoods’ unstoppable path, but the player who finally knocks down the house of cards that has been meticulously assembled for the first two seasons. We shall see.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Downtown SF street performers

Cool audio verite recording of downtown buskers from the BECA 510 class. This was done by Mikhail Alexander, Bryan Castaneda, and Temba Kamara, and it's one of my personal favorites. You are there! Nice interview at the end.

Live At The Hemlock, 4/21/13

I'm managing the KSFS Media Mixcloud site this year. Here's a show I taped last year for the Live Music Recording class (BECA 510). Much more to come.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for January 2014

Our listeners seem to be on a Zappa-back-when-he-was-good binge. Every time I sneak an old Mothers track into the playlist, it pops up on the charts. Elsewhere, we get a spacy smoocher from George Faith, a soulful garage stomp from Can (we saw Malcolm Mooney perform this live last year), Sandie Shaw's answer song to "Run For Your Life", David Bowie channeling Scott Walker on his new album, and much much more. This is the time, and this is the record of the time. Keep listening, luvvies!

1. George Faith - So Fine - To Be A Lover
2. Can - Connection - Unlimited Edition
3. Sandie Shaw - Run - The EP Collection
4. The Mothers Of Invention - Directly From My Heart To You - Weasels Ripped My Flesh
5. David Bowie - Heat - The Next Day
6. Burning Spear - Vision - The Fittest of The Fittest
7. Laurie Anderson - From The Air - Big Science
8. Naahant - Uhh...Yeah - (nei-haent) EP
9. The Mothers Of Invention - The Dog Breath Variations - Uncle Meat
10. Fuxa - Electric Sound Of Summer - Electric Sound of Summer
11. Walt Kelly And Others - Go-Go Pogo - Songs Of The Pogo
12. Sun City Girls - The Vinegar Stroke - Torch of the Mystics
13. The Dave Clark Five - Any Way You Want It - The History of the Dave Clark Five
14. Sound Dimension - Congo Rock - Studio One Roots
15. PJ Harvey - You Came Through - Uh Huh Her
16. The Persuasions - I Could Love You If You Let Me - Right Around the Corner
17. The Mothers Of Invention - Who Needs The Peace Corps (Instrumental) - The Lumpy Money Project/Object [Disc 3]
18. The Ophelias - Mr. Rabbit - SF Unscene
19. The Dub Syndicate - Hi-Fi Gets A Pounding Pt. 3 - Pounding System
20. The Spades - We Sell Soul - I Have Always Been Here Before: The Roky Erickson Anthology

Friday, January 24, 2014

Planets Don't Twinkle: Sneak Preview

The new Granite Countertops album will up and running and available to buy in about a month. In the meantime, feast your tender ears on what we've been up to.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: December 2013

Last chart of the year! Congratulations to our charting artists and our discerning listeners. Tune in and join us on our quest for the good groove.

1. Manfred Mann - Do Wah Diddy Diddy - Complete Greatest Hits of Manfred Mann
2. Spider Heart - Book of Poems - Under the Gun
3. Lizzy - Love Is A Treasure - Trojan D.J. Box Set [Disc 1]
4. Zap Mama - Africa Sunset - 7
5. Prickly - Hedgeclipping Song - The Long Secret: A Harriet Records Compilation
6. The Cult Inside My Head - Pacifica! - Omnipowerless
7. Bob Dylan - The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll - The Times They Are A-Changin'
8. Rip, Rig & Panic - Hunger (The Ocean Roars It Bites) - I Am Cold
9. Lord Tanamo - I'm in the Mood for Ska - The Trojan Story
10. Jeffrey Horn - Gemini - Infinite Love
11. Country Joe And The Fish - Eastern Jam - I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
12. Was (Not Was) - Zaz Turned Blue - Born To Laugh At Tornadoes
13. Jeffrey Lewis - Back When I Was 4 [Version Three] - It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through
14. Frankie Rose - Night Swim - Interstellar
15. The Fall - Mike's Love Hexagon - The Real New Fall Album: Formerly 'Country On The Click'
16. The Demilos - Misogyny - Naked Brunch
17. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - We Are Normal - The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse
18. T.Rex - Ride A White Swan - 20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection
19. Bryan Ferry - The 'In' Crowd - Another Time, Another Place
20. Darlene Love - A Fine, Fine Boy - Phil Spector Back to Mono (1958-1969)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The three rules of life, according to Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

1. Do not be afraid of anyone. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you weren't afraid of anyone?
2. Have a great bullshit detector, and learn how to use it, and how to apply it.
3. Be tender: Be open to the world, and in love with everything and everyone in it.

Bonus fourth rule: Practice how to feel sad without being sad.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Deep End: Difficult Listening Hour

The last Deep End of 2013 promotes a local gig, offers two existentialist looks at Jesus, showcases the first couple of difficult listening, and throws in a lot of J Neo Marvin and Ear Candle Productions' own music in the mix. It's been a glorious ride, and we'll be back next year!

The Deep End - Show 2.13 - Dec. 14, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud

The Deep End: Punk Singers and Mis-Shapes

The penultimate Deep End of 2013. We pay tribute to new documentary "The Punk Singer", move into some songs about radio itself, veer into a couple of dub weather reports, and explode into jungles of howling feedback and pounding drums.

The Deep End - Show 2.12 - Dec. 9, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud

New video - Jean Paul Sartre

New Granite Countertops video up on YouTube for "Jean Paul Sartre". (This one doubles as a final project in video editing class, so scroll past the bars and tone for maximum enjoyment.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Song Of The Six Pack

Angel Corpus Christi has done it again. This video brings out the disturbing undertones in Maati's song.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Deep End: Five Years Ahead Of Our Time

An extended edition of The Deep End, including several sneak previews of the upcoming Granite Countertops album, a visit to the darkest corners of the Beach Boys story, some garage classics, some local submissions, and much, much more.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for November 2013

1. The Granite Countertops - Beyond Belief - Planets Don't Twinkle
2. Roger Ruskin Spear - Make Yourself A Happiness Pie - Electric Shocks
3. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Gamma Ray - Global A Go-Go
4. Cream - What A Bringdown - Goodbye
5. Mama Mia d'Bruzzi - Redistribution of Wealth - Redistribution of Wealth
6. Sandy Bull - Carnival Jump - Re-Inventions
7. Neil Young - Motion Pictures - 5/16/74, The Bottom Line, New York City, NY
8. Esquivel - Latin-Esque - Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
9. X-tal - Long Dark Night - Everything Crash
10. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Safe As Milk - Strictly Personal
11. Romeo Void - Present Tense - Nvr Say Nvr 12" ep
12. Prickly - Hedgeclipping Song - The Long Secret: A Harriet Records Compilation
13. The Love Dogs - Universal Indians - The Love Dogs
14. The Blue Orchids - A Year With No Head - The Greatest Hit
15. Bjork - Mouth's Cradle - Medulla
16. Alex Chilton - Dalai Lama - High Priest
17. Robert Wyatt - I'm A Believer - His Greatest Misses
18. Stephen Marley - Mind Control - Mind Control
19. Roni Size & Reprazent - Ballet Dance - New Forms
20. The Action 13 - More Bread To The People - Rebel Music - Songs Of Protest And Insurrection

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Beyond Belief

Time for a new song by the Granite Countertops. Davis Jones tells a heartfelt story and you will listen.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Deep End: I Wanna Holler, But The Town's Too Small

Another two hour edition of The Deep End, where Leonard Cohen walks up to the tallest and the blondest girl, Gil Scott Heron reminds us all he was hard to get to know but impossible to forget, and Arthur Lee tells another story about an animal called man. Lean with us and hang on tight, because we're not a big motorcycle, just a groovy little motorbike. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: October 2013

We are feeling the love from our listeners with not one but two Granite Countertops tracks in our charts this month. The new album, Planets Don't Twinkle, is coming along nicely and will, if all goes well, blow your minds when we finish it around Christmas time. Lou Reed gets honored (oddly enough, in a song sung by Doug Yule, but the sentiment still applies), and new music by the Cannanes and old/new music by Mecca Normal revisit our charts. And say, isn't that Deerhoof track one mighty earworm? Keep listening, dearest darlings!

1. The Granite Countertops - Shiny Objects - Crashing Into The Future
2. Singers & Players Feat. Prince Far I - Autobiography - Staggering Heights
3. Link Wray - Alabama Electric Circus - Wray's Three Track Shack
4. Blumfeld - Verstarker - L'Etat Et Moi
5. Mister Rogers Remixed - Garden of Your Mind - Mister Rogers Remixed
6. Mecca Normal - I Walk Alone 2013 - I Walk Alone by Mecca Normal 2013
7. Fuxa - 3cp - Very Well Organized
8. Deerhoof - New Sneakers - Milk Man
9. The Cannanes - Bumper - Small Batch
10. Bjork - Where Is The Line? - Medulla
11. Bad Brains - Big Takeover - Bad Brains
12. Amadou & Mariam - La Paix - Dimanche a Bamako
13. The Velvet Underground - I Found A Reason - Peel Slowly & See
14. The Sonics - Keep A Knockin' - Here are the Ultimate Sonics
15. The Pretty Things - I See You - S.F. Sorrow
16. Pavement - In The Mouth A Desert - Slanted & Enchanted
17. The Jesus & Mary Chain - My Little Underground - Psychocandy
18. Helium - Lucy - Hole In The Ground 7"
19. The Granite Countertops - Lullaby For Hamza - Crashing Into The Future
20. Love - With A Little Energy - Reel To Real

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Deep End: That's The Story Of A Life

A tribute to Lou Reed.

Here is the script I was working from. Sometimes the segments from Metal Machine Music compete with my voice a bit (hey, that's why I'm back in school, to improve my audio production skills!), so here's what I'm saying (ad libs aside):

So what you are hearing right now in the background is the album Metal Machine Music, Lou Reed’s controversial experimental music album released in 1975. Lou Reed just passed away this weekend, aged 71, and on tonight’s Deep End we’re going to spend the entire hour paying tribute to his life and work, both solo and with his groundbreaking band from the 60s, the Velvet Underground. We’re going to start quietly with the very first song from the Velvets’ debut album. I first got the news about Lou when I woke up yesterday, and had to immediately reach for this. How strangely appropriate that we find out the bad news on a Sunday morning.

“Beginning To See The Light” from the Velvet Underground’s 1969 Live album, probably the most influential record ever for me. I was 20 when I first heard it, and it just swept away everything else I had ever heard. It was like folk-rock but with the power and directness of punk. The music wasn’t showy; it got straight to the point, while the lyrics had this sly, deadpan wit that made me want to be as cool and worldly wise as that guy singing. Becoming a Velvet Underground fan then was like joining a secret society where everything was smart, dark, sexy and a little bit scary. What more does a kid growing up want? And Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison elevated the rhythm guitar at a time when everyone else thought guitar playing was about doing the fastest solos possible. It was a different way of looking at music that ultimately changed everything. More Velvets and solo Lou coming up.

“Real Good Time Together”, a great, slightly insane remake of an old Velvets song from Lou Reed’s album Street Hassle from 1977, when the CBGB’s scene was helping to bring him a whole new audience. We started with “Some Kinda Love”, from the third Velvet Underground album, an oddly quiet record from a band who often made a lot of noise. I think this album in particular is the source of the whole twee indie-pop sound, but Lou’s lyrics come from another place entirely. We’re gonna break for a promo, and then showcase more of Lou’s solo work, starting with a great one from Transformer, his first hit record, produced by David Bowie.

Intense. That was “Waves Of Fear”, from The Blue Mask by Lou Reed, with some great guitar from the late Bob Quine. Before that, “Vicious”, from Transformer. That song makes me think of certain former friends who claimed to be flower children but were really just vicious. Next in our special Deep End tribute to Lou Reed, a song from the album New York, where Lou started branching into social commentary, in his own wonderfully abrasive style.

Lou Reed just gave us “The Last Shot”, a song from the 80s that could be about giving up any number of bad habits. Before that we had “Dirty Blvd.”, which featured a little guest cameo at the end from doo-wop legend Dion DiMucci. You’re listening to The Deep End with J Neo Marvin as we continue our tribute to the late Lou Reed. Coming up, one of my favorites, the opening track on Lou’s very first solo album, “I Can’t Stand It”.

The most important thing is “Work”! That’s from Songs For Drella, an album by Lou Reed and his former Velvet Underground comrade John Cale where they told their version of the life of Andy Warhol, who actually managed the band for a while. This is a song that shows another side of Warhol than we usually hear about, namely his relentless work ethic. Next we have something special from one of Lou’s final albums, the double CD The Raven. It’s special because Lou Reed had a lifelong love for avant-garde jazz, and in this song he got to collaborate with free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, on a little psychodrama called “Guilty”. It’s a terrible thing to be consumed by irrational guilt, and Lou nails that feeling here.

Another less-celebrated track from the 80s, “High In The City”. Lou captures the paradox of being swept up with a loved one in a state of public intoxication, and at the same time being wary of all the other intoxicated people around you! Like all great writers, Lou’s genius was in his attention to detail. We started with “Guilty” from The Raven, and in between we had another gem from the 3rd self-titled Velvet Underground album, “That’s The Story Of My Life”. We’re approaching the close of this take on the story of the life of the great Lou Reed, but before we turn it over to Matt Freitas and Good Times Are So Hard To Find, we’re going to hear one final song by the Velvets, Lou Reed’s hymn to the redemptive power of “Rock & Roll”.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Deep End: What's Your Take On Cassavetes?

Another two-hour edition of The Deep End on KSFS. Let the body rock! Keep the arms moving in circular motion!

The Deep End - Show 2.7 - Oct 21, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud