#306 with Russ Van Cleave: Razorcake Podcast

Mar 14, 2014

#306 with Russ Van Cleave: Razorcake Podcast

This is my 13th podcast for Razorcake. Most people think 13 is a number of ill omen but I like it because it’s the 7thprime number so that makes it sort of lucky. So, in honor of this occasion I picked 14 bands that have nothing to do with the number 13 and one that does. OK. For reals. There is no theme here. This is just another mish-mash of songs that have been floating around the homestead of late. Enjoy!

-Russ Van Cleave

Super Power Abuse, “Pacing" from V/A To Live And Die In TampaBay (ADD Records)
The Figgs, “Miss Velvet" from Miss Velvet b/w Powder King (Matt Label)
Gordon Gano's Army, “The Otherside" from Gordon Gano's Army (Art Of The Underground)
The Mountain Goats, “Woke Up New" from Get Lonely (4AD)
Trainwreck Riders, “World Got Round” from Trainwreck Riders / The Pine Hill Haints split 7” (Let’s Pretend)
Jason & The Scorchers, “White Lies” from Lost & Found (EMI)
DS-13, “I’m A Cop” from Code-13 / DS-13 split 7” (Havoc)
Pretty Boy Thorson & The Fallen Angels, “Don’t Call Me Anymore” from An Uneasy Peace (Kiss Of Death)
Devo, “Speed Racer” from Oh No! It’s Devo(Warner Bros.)
Barbara Mason, “Yes, I’m Ready” from Cooler Than Ice: Arctic Records And The Rise Of Philly Soul (Jamie/Guyden Records)
Highway 66, “Lake Merrit Moonlight” from Radon / Highway 66 split 7” (Goldentone)
David Dondero, “Samantha’s Got A Bag Of Coal” from This Guitar (N/A)
Sweet Baby, “Don’t Do That” from V/A Down In Front (No Idea)
Tenement, “ “Rock Eating People” from Napalm Dream (Mandible)
Henry Thomas, “Bull Doze Blues” from Worried Texas Blues: Complete Recorded Works 1927-1929 (Yazoo)

Super Power Abuse: It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to this comp of Tampa area bands from about the mid 2000s and I’d forgotten how great this track was. Unfortunately, this song and the other song on the comp are the only songs this band officially released as far as I know. These two songs are two of only six songs that I’m aware of them recording. The other four are on a demo.

The Figgs: Somehow I’ve gotten through all these podcasts without playing The Figgs. That doesn’t seem right so I’m here with the Miss Velvet single to fix all that. I’m not aware of the existence of this song on anything other than this single – one of the frustrating things about being a Figgs fan is that so many of their great songs are squirreled away on hard-to-find EPs and singles like this one (“Hi-Fi Dropouts” or “Rejects” anyone?). I found this one in some used 7” bin years ago.

Gordon Gano’s Army: Ostensibly made up of an army belonging to the dude from Violent Femmes, these guys have been around for a little while. They’ve had a few songs on comps and the like but I think this is the only full-length they’ve released.

The Mountain Goats: I don’t know too much about The Mountain Goats except that it’s pretty much just the one guy (John Darnielle) and that they have about a billion records. This is the only one I have though and I like it.

Trainwreck Riders: I’d never heard of these guys until they showed up on a split with The Pine Hill Haints. I guess they actually have a few records.

Jason & The Scorchers: I bought this on the recommendation of a friend and I haven’t been disappointed with the decision. These guys did have some success back in the ‘80s and had quite a reputation as a live band. Don’t know anything else about them musically except for this record, but I will say that this record was worth the three dollars.

DS-13: I forgot I had this split and, subsequently, had forgotten that I really like this song.

Pretty Boy Thorson & The Fallen Angels: These guys are nerds.

Devo: “I’m a doctor and here’s the bill! Like to steal, here’s your bill!” Also, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p07Pg5RZah0

Barbara Mason: This is probably the best known Barbara Mason song. It sounded familiar when I recently heard it on this Arctic Records comp, but I didn’t know who Barbara Mason was at the time. Mason was unique in that she wrote much her own material. As of 2007 she was apparently still active in the music world with the release of an album called Feeling Blue.

Highway 66: These guys were featured on a lot of the early No Idea comps which is where I first heard of them. This song is a favorite of mine that came from a split 7” they did with Radon.

David Dondero: I think this dude is one of the better songwriters out there. This song was a standout from when I saw him recently and happened to be on the record I brought home.

Sweet Baby: If there was ever a band that sounds exactly like its name would suggest, its Sweet Baby. “Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby I love you!!!!!”

Tenement: It took me awhile for this record to catch on with me, but now I’d have to say it’s probably one of the better records to come along in recent years, but you probably already know that don’t you?

Henry Thomas: I’m a sucker for old blues recordings and this is one of the best in my humble opinion. It’s actually probably not entirely fair to apply the generic categorization of “blues” to Henry Thomas though. Much like Leadbelly, his music was an eclectic mix of folk influences whose origins predate the simple marketing monikers that the recording industry used. Thomas was born in Texas in 1874 and spent most of his life as a train-riding hobo. The flute like sound you hear is from the “quills”, which is sort of like a pan flute. He recorded this song and several others between 1927 and 1929 and then disappeared although it’s speculated that he probably died in 1930.