Razorcake Podcast #108: With Russ Van Cleave

May 21, 2010

Razorcake Podcast #108: With Russ Van Cleave

1. Mean Jeans – “Born On A Saturday Night” from Are You Serious? (Dirtnap)
2. Allergic To Bullshit – “I’m Not Ashamed” from You & Me, This Is What We're for and What We're for Is What We'll Get (Left Off The Dial)
3. Bob Marley – “Judge Not” from Songs of Freedom (Island)
4. RVIVR – “Derailer” from Derailer b/w Real Mean (Rumbletowne)
5. Toys That Kill – “All I Care About Is Me, My Rum and You” from Razorcake Sister Series (Razorcake)
6. Tiltwheel – “Birds In Catsuits” from Razorcake Sister Series (Razorcake)
7. The Arrivals – “Ask Mark Twain” from Razorcake Sister Series (Razorcake)
8. Grabass Charlestons – “-1” from Razorcake Sister Series (Razorcake)
9. Future Virgins – “Easiest Years” from Easiest Years (Plan-It-X South)
10. Hidden Spots – “Identity” from Hundred Million Voices (Mauled By Tigers)
11. Buffalo Springfield – “Out Of My Mind” from Buffalo Springfield (Atco)
12. AC/DC – “Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation” from Powerage (Atco)
13. Averkiou – “Wasted and High” from Wasted and High (Sound Study)
14. Tom Waits – “San Diego Serenade” from The Heart of Saturday Night (Asylum)
15. Big Star – “The Ballad Of El Goodo” from #1 Record (Stax)

MEAN JEANS: I really gotta thank Aaron Lay for showing up in Tampa one night with a copy of this record on his persons. These guys write the most ludicrously fun songs about being…well…ludicrous and fun. This whole record is nothing but a party. The album title Are You Serious? along with the artwork depicting three giant cartoon serpent monsters emerging from a pile of garbage to eat the three cartoon members of the band (on tricycles no less) pretty much puts a ribbon on things.

ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT: I happened to run into one of the dudes who played in this band not too long ago and it reminded me of how much I loved this 7” record that came out back in 2003, particularly the Bobby Bland cover that is featured here. While I know that the folks in this band have all played in other groups, I’m not sure that Allergic To Bullshit ever put anything else out.

BOB MARLEY: Before Legend, before The Wailers (the Jamaican supergroup consisting of Bob, Bunny Livingston, and Peter Tosh), and even before the word “reggae” existed, Robert Nesta Marley was a desperate, poor teenager living the rough and tumble life of a “rude bwai” in the Trenchtown ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica. After practicing and writing a few songs, he walked into the office of a seedy Kingston record producer and convinced him to record this song. When the record was pressed and put in the jukebox of various rum bars and clubs in Kingston, he used to spend what little money he had to play this song over and over again while he stood outside to see if anyone noticed the music.

RVIVR: I read the interview with these guys in Razorcake #53 and decided to check out this 7”. I’m glad I did.

TOYS THAT KILL: Cover of a Tiltwheel song from the first Razorcake Sister Series!

TILWHEEL: Cover of a Toys That Kill song from the first Razorcake Sister Series! (PS – I’m actually a jackass…this song is from a split that TTK did with a band called Ragin’ Hormones.)

THE ARRIVALS: Cover of a Grabass Charlestons song from the second Razorcake Sister Series!

GRABASS CHARLESTONS: Cover of an Arrivals song from the second Razorcake Sister Series! (See how this works yet? You should probably buy these four records if you haven’t already. If you’re still not convinced, check out Razorcake Podcast #100)

FUTURE VIRGINS: I know I don’t have much say in these matters and I know these two bands share members, but my vote for the next Razorcake Sister Series would be Future Virgins (who put out one of my favorite 7” records last year and are supposedly working on a new record) and…

HIDDEN SPOTS: Who put out one of my favorite full-length records last year? C’mon Todd, that’s a no-brainer…

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD: I’ve been pretty obsessed with Neil Young over the past couple years, which has led me on a musical journey spanning a near five decades of rock music. It’s had its ups and downs, but this song from Buffalo Springfield’s first record is definitely an up. I think it’s about being a stoned rock star.

AC/DC: I was super excited to open the last Razorcake and see that Designated Dale had dedicated his column to the memory of one of rock and roll’s greatest assets. It was hard to pick only one song to play by one of the two bands (the other being Van Halen), that just about single-handedly spawned an interest in rock music, but at the end of the day, this first track off of Powerage seemed appropriate. This also coincides with a huge AC/DC and Van Halen revival for me. Perhaps I’ll drop some Van Halen in the next podcast? I’m sure there are those who may mock both these bands as somehow being the embodiment of everything that punk supposedly rebelled against, but I think that sentiment is probably pretty stupid and, for the most part, just not true.

AVERKIOU: These guys hail from Gainesville but really buck those expectations. They bite heavily from bands like Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine in the best of ways that I can tell by the little I’ve heard so far. But if this 7” is any indication, I’ll be checking out more from these guys.

TOM WAITS: I can’t believe that this is my ninth podcast and I’m just now getting around to putting some Tom Waits down. I know a lot of people tend to go for the Rain Dogs, Swordfish Trombones era-Tom Waits, but this is a song from the early Tom Waits discography (the stuff he recorded for Asylum Records), which I believe harbors some of his most well-written songs.

BIG STAR: Alex Chilton, who recently passed away, was one of the main creative drives behind this band and his (probably) better-known band, The Box Tops. He released a lot of solo material as well. In a sad sorta way, I’m hoping that his passing might bring more attention to some of the great music he recorded over the years.