Razorcake Podcast #122: With Russ Van Cleave


Razorcake Podcast #122: With Russ Van Cleave

Tracklisting:
1. Archers Of Loaf – “Audiowhore” from Vs. The Greatest of All Time (Alias)
2. Fleshies – “Aphids” from Brown Flag (Recess)
3. The Middle Class – “Out of Vogue” from Out of Vogue (Joke – re-released on Frontier)
4. Gregory Isaacs – “Extra Classic” from Extra Classic (Echo)
4. Cheap Girls – “Hey Hey, I’m Worn Out” from My Roaring 20’s (Paper + Plastick)
5. Drive-By Truckers – “Sinkhole” from Decoration Day (New West)
6. Eddie And The Rods – “Do Anything You Wanna Do” from Life on the Line (Island)
7. Van Halen – “Fools” from Women and Children First (Warner Brothers)
8. Cheap Trick – “He’s a Whore” from Cheap Trick (Epic/Sony)
9. Motörhead – “Rock ‘ N’ Roll” from Rock ‘N’ Roll (Castle)
10. Good Luck – “Stone Cathedral Hill” from Into Lake Griffy (No Idea)
11. Game Theory – “Here It Is Tomorrow” from Big Shot Chronicles (Enigma)
12. Squirrel Bait – “Sun God” from Squirrel Bait (Homestead)
13. Jerry Jeff Walker – “Mississippi You’re on My Mind” from Ridin’ High (MCA)

ARCHERS OF LOAF: At this point, I don’t know whether people would be more familiar with Archers Of Loaf or singer Eric Bachman’s slower, mellower outfit Crooked Fingers. Either way, “Audiowhore” from these mid-‘90s Chapel Hill rockers second release seemed an ideal podcast intro.

FLESHIES: I’ve been into Fleshies for a good while, but their new album, Brown Flag, has been rockin’ my foundations. “Aphids” is the first song, first side on this super-duper solid record. Dare I say it is my favorite Fleshies record to date?

THE MIDDLE CLASS: Having only ever heard of The Middle Class before, I found a copy of the 1978 Out of Vogue EP awhile back, have been rockin’ it since then and, thus, decided to play the titular track from the record.

GREGORY ISAACS: This guy is known for pioneering a whole style of reggae called “Lover’s Rock” (The Clash paid homage to this style of reggae with a song called “Lover’s Rock” on London Calling). Extra Classic is one of the finest reggae LP’s I own, but it’s also tough to find.

CHEAP GIRLS: These guys have been rockin’ things lately with super catchy, great songs. This is these Michigan fellas second record (see Razorcake #56 for more details!).

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: I seem to recall some DBT believers amongst the Razorcake readership? I really think some of the best songwriters around today have been in this band and I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone around nowadays who’s written more poignant lyrics than Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and Jason Isbell. In our current era of bank bailouts and fountain pen bandits, “Sinkhole” seems relevant.

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS: I didn’t know this until I read the internets, but this is actually the biggest hit that Eddie & The Hot Rods ever scored. Even though their second album (from which this song is taken), Life on the Line, is often overshadowed nowadays by their debut album Teenage Depression, both are well worth the money; British proto-punk pub rock at its finest.

VAN HALEN: I probably would never have picked up a guitar if it weren’t for Eddie Van Halen. I know a thousand other yokels with mullets and meth habits in the same area code as you would say the same thing, but…well…I’m a yokel. I picked this song because it’s a song on my favorite album, by my favorite band of all all-time, and is one of a handful of songs that showcases all the essential elements of the band in their prime, working together, and at their best.

CHEAP TRICK: I was a late comer to Cheap Trick. Once upon a time, I thought “The Flame” sucked. I think it still kinda sucks, but, in a better way. Many years ago, my friend, Scott (a man whose legendary “Cheap Trick prowess” has been harnessed by such reputable “record nerd” publications as Goldmine) single-handedly changed my mind, mostly with this song.

MOTÖRHEAD: I once watched Lemmy Kilmeister cross a street to get on a tour bus. Seldom have I witnessed an event that has done so much to embolden my all-but-bankrupt faith in humanity.

GOOD LUCK: These guys are from Bloomington, IN and feature Matty Pop Chart, Ginger from One Reason, and a dude named Mike. The record is definitely one of my faves from the past year or so and especially worth checking out if you are into things these folks have done in the past.

GAME THEORY: I don’t know how many folks are into Game Theory and I honestly don’t really know too much else about them, but I’ve had this record (Big Shot Chronicles) for quite awhile and still really enjoy it.

SQUIRREL BAIT: These guys were a short-lived Midwest band from the ‘80s, the members of which ended up splintering off to be involved in all manner of things from Slint and Bitch Magnet to The Breeders and The Lemonheads. My buddy, Bean, put this song on a mix tape he gave me ten-plus years ago and I’ve been a Squirrel Bait devotee every since.

JERRY JEFF WALKER: This dude was associated with a lot of the Austin country outlaws, e.g. Willie and Waylon, Townes Van Zandt. I’ve been getting into some of his records lately and felt that this song should be heard.