#395 with Russ Van Cleave: Razorcake Podcast

#395 with Russ Van Cleave: Razorcake Podcast

As I type out these words, we are four days into a post-Lemmy world. Losing “God” – that’s a tough one. We also lost Dickie Hammond in October. That was worse and hit close to home with a lot of friends who knew him personally. This podcast didn’t start out (nor is it intended to be) any sort of memorial or tribute to anyone. But with some of these songs I can’t help but think about the people who left them here for us or the now departed people with whom I associate said tunes. I couldn’t play that J Church song without thinking about when Lance passed. I can’t listen to The Flamin’ Groovies without thinking of my long-gone friend, Jeff Wood, who first got me into them. I can still hear him enthusiastically recounting his chance visit with Roy Loney. I could keep on but I’ve already molded a rather morose landscape over something that is nothing more than a collection of great songs I’ve tried to put together. I suppose I could get started on a series of “tribute” podcasts, but that would be bunk. We shouldn’t be acknowledging great art just because the artist is recently deceased. Most of the folks who put together these tunes are alive right now and are worth your time. As for the ones that aren’t, thank Lemmy we still have their records.

–Russ

Tracklisting:
Royal Headache, “My Own Fantasy” from High (What’s Your Rupture?)

Anklebiter, “Planetstruck” from Anklebiter(No Idea)
Moving Targets, “Answer” from The Taang Years (Taang!)
The Chantey Hook, “Second Line” from Self-titled (Persistence Of Sound)

The Figgs, “The Trench” from Badger(Hearbox)
Radon, “Science Fiction” from 28(No Idea)
The Flamin’ Groovies, “Love Have Mercy” from Supersnazz (Soooo Knee)

Angelic Upstarts, “Last Night Another Soldier” from 2,000,000 Voices (E ’em Eye)
Todd Rundgren, “Wolfman Jack” from Something/Anything? (Bearzzzzville)
Lenguas Largas, “Worlds Destroyed” from Sister Series IV (Razorcake)

Leatherface, “Do The Right Thing” from Minx (Roughneck)
J Church, “Why I Liked Bikini Kill” from Prophylaxis (Allied)
Lee “Scratch” Perry, “Throw Some Water In” from Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread(VP)

Dark Rides, “Walk The Floors” from Walk The Floors (Do You Hear We)
Chris Bell, “I Am The Cosmos” from I Am The Cosmos (Rye Co.)
Your Pest Band, “You Were The Rebel” from Time To Go (Snuffy Smiles)

The Invisible Teardrops, “Shoaly” from Your Pest Band / The Invisible Teardrops split (Snuffy Smiles)

Royal Headache: My fiend recently turned me on to these Australian rockers. Looking around on the internet, it seems that this record has made a few best of 2015 lists. I don’t feel qualified to put together such a list but, if I did, this record would probably be on it. So I made track 1, side 1 song #1 for this podcast.

Anklebiter: These guys are an old Gainesville outfit. I first heard this song on the Back To Donut comp that No Idea put out oh so many moons ago. I recently adopted a copy of the Anklebiter LP and decided to play this one for the world to hear – not that I expect anyone other than you, gentle reader, to listen.

Moving Targets: Classic Boston-area rock from the mid ‘80s/early ‘90s. This song originally appeared on Fall which I don’t have, but the collection The Taang! Years has served me well. I don’t think that this band is as well-known these days as they probably should be and that is a shame.

The Chantey Hook: Those of you who were familiar with the musical stylings of SuperChincillaRescueMission may be interested to know that Seth Swaaley is back at it with this group. I’m sure there’s even a few of you out there who heard about The Chantey Hook and eagerly anticipated their recordings as much as I have. Both this release and the 7″ that came out on Razorcake/ADD are great and I’ve recently noticed that they have a digital full-length that I will soon be looking into as well.

The Figgs: I could (and probably should) dedicate an entire podcast to The Figgs. But for now, here is my favorite tune from the Badger EP. Some of you may also recognize that this song appeared on Slow Charm.

Radon: I had been saving the Radon book that Travis Fristoe (RIP) and Aaron Cometbus wrote for the proper time. For manifold reasons, I decided that last month was that time. This song has always been one of my favorite Radon songs (heck, it’s one of my favorite songs) and it was great to see it so prominently discussed in the Radon book. It’s also the best (and only) song I’ve ever heard about the fiasco that is the phosphate mining industry in Florida.

The Flamin’ Groovies: The same friend that turned me on to Royal Headache also recently said “I don’t know how I’ve gotten this far in life without the Flamin’ Groovies.” Indeed!

Angelic Upstarts: I first heard Angelic Upstarts on a tape that someone made for me way back when. This was the first song I heard, but it was a different version from Kids On The Street. I found this LP awhile back and decided to play the version from 2,000,000 Voices. It’s probably also fitting to mention that Dickie Hammond apparently played for Angelic Upstarts for awhile in the 2000s.

Todd Rundgren: I’ve been dealing with a Todd Rundgren thing lately.

Lenguas Largas: I don’t know much about Lenguas Largas except this Sister Series thing they did with Mind Spiders, but I like it.

Leatherface: Unfortunately, we now live in a post-Dickie Hammond world. Dickie was one of my favorite guitar players in one of my favorite bands. Minx seems to be overshadowed by the near-perfect Mush in the Leatherface discography, but Minx is a wonderful stand alone record and has some great songs. This is one of my favorites.

J Church: This has always been one of my favorite songs from J Church’s extensive discography.

Lee “Scratch” Perry: This is my favorite song from this album. Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread was a very experimental set of songs, even by Lee Perry’s standards, and was the first album to consist entirely of songs sung by him. Island rejected the album but fortunately it eventually found the light of day on Perry’s own imprint, Upsetter Records.

Dark Rides: I’ve been looking forward to hearing this album ever since the first few seconds after the needle found the grooves on the Dark Rides, self-titled 7”. I finally found and snagged the only copy that Basement Benders had on their merch table at Fest. In a city that has produced some amazing music (and Chattanooga, TN has certainly done that), Dark Rides rank high on the list. Eric and Amy Nelson singing together is just as wonderful as the people from which the voices originate.

Chris Bell: December marks the 37th year since the death of Chris Bell. Chris was one of the original members of Big Star. Disillusioned with the commercial failure of #1 Record, he left the group and began to record his own material. This song was one of just a few singles to be released in his lifetime, but this full-length record was finally posthumously released in 1992.

Your Pest Band: YPB are one of Japan’s finest bands in my opinion. This track is from last year’s album, Time To Go, but they also just recently released a split with…

The Invisible Teardrops: …these guys who feature Jamie from Pine Hill Haints. The two tracks from The Invisible Teardrops on this split are all that I know of them, but I really like the songs.