Razorcake Podcast #144: With Russ Van Cleave

Jan 28, 2011

Razorcake Podcast #144: With Russ Van Cleave

Flamin’ Groovies, “Love Have Mercy” from Supersnazz (Sony)
Sloppy Seconds, “The Mighty Heroes” from Knock Yer Block Off (Taang!!)
The Bottle Rockets, “Indianapolis” from 24 Hours a Day (Atlantic)
Sick Sick Birds, “Your Machine” from Heavy Manners (Toxic Pop)
ADD/C, “Say It All Together” from Do Ya Hear We - By All Means (Do Ya Hear We)
The Raspberries, “I Wanna Be With You” from Fresh (Capitol)
Dwarves, “That’s Rock And Roll” from Free Cocaine (Recess)
Hot New Mexicans, “I Made The Doubt” from Hot New Mexicans (Recess/Houseplant)
The Faces, “Richmond” from Long Player (Warner Brothers)
Waterdigger, “Hoopdy” from Welcome to Seminole Heights (Bleak & Black)
Grabass Charlestons, “Dale” from Grabass Charlestons / Toys That Kill (No Idea)
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, “Electricity” from Safe As Milk (Buddha)
Suicide, “Rocket U.S.A.” from 1976 Max’s Kansas City (Ram)
The Arrivals, “Envelope Song/Small Pleasures In America” from Volatile Molotov (Recess)

FLAMIN’ GROOVIES: These guys, with their straight-away rock’n’roll style, were an odd fixture in the late 60’s, peace and love, San Francisco hippie scene. Many would probably argue they hit their peak with their classic 1971 Teenage Head record, but I feel that the rest of their discography (at least the parts I’ve been privy too) are peppered with other truly impressive bits of pure rock goodness. This song, the opening track from Supersnazz, seemed a nice podcast opening and also ties in nicely with my recent Flamin’ Groovies revival.

SLOPPY SECONDS: I once had the pleasure of watchin’ a Sloppy Seconds show at the Brass Mug here in Tampa. It ended with ten or so “punk kids” pummeling a 6’8” overzealous, roid-raged, Steve Austin-worshipping bouncer who had decidedly provoked the enthusiastic crowd. After he managed to shake his attackers, he performed the classic Austin crotch-motion™ and informed the audience to “suck it!” Witnessing that event was almost as awesome as the Sloppy Seconds show itself. I wonder why they haven’t come back? These guys are from Indianapolis which is the perfect segue way into…

THE BOTTLE ROCKETS: I love these guys and I really don’t think they get enough credit. Formed in the ‘90s, The Bottle Rockets are St. Louis alt-country rocker contemporaries of Uncle Tupelo. They’ve crafted some amazing songs over the years and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve since learned that Drag The River covers this song on a live album? But Drag The River probably doesn’t get enough credit either. Who does these days?

SICK SICK BIRDS: I was excited to see these guys recently featured in Razorcake #59! The roots of Sick Sick Birds go back to The Thumbs, at least, but Heavy Manners is a good reason not to get too hung up on the past.

ADD/C: I really wanted to see these guys at FEST 9, but the line outside of Boca Fiesta insisted I wouldn’t get the chance. ADD/C has been around for a long time, but I think they’re really hittin’ their stride especially with this song form this equally awesome compilation of amazing Chattanooga bands that everyone should own.

THE RASPBERRIES: These guys hail from the heyday of ‘70s power pop…something I’m an outright sucker for on most days. They also serve as a great segue way into…

DWARVES: …covering an Eric Carmen song! Nothing to not like here. Moving on…

HOT NEW MEXICANS: Another crown jewel of the Recess Records discography. This record was just released, but was one of two amazing records I carried away from FEST 9 (we’ll get to the other later). In truth, I’m way into Hot New Mexicans and have been looking forward to this guy for awhile. It has not disappointed. Buy, buy, buy.

THE FACES: I recently watched this documentary of Ronnie Lane. I’ve always been a Faces and Small Faces fan, but that documentary gave me a whole new appreciation on the Ronnie Lane thang. So, I went with “Richmond” here. Anyone got any Slim Chance records they wanna send my way?

WATERDIGGER: I’m both proud and ashamed of Tampa—proud of the fact that the forces of nature in and around the Bay area blessed us with a band like Waterdigger; ashamed that there were not weekly parades and formal ceremonies showering them with accolades and praise of their genius.

GRABASS CHARLESTONS: The Grabass Charlestons have received more attention than any other band in this pitiful podcast venue I host here (actually, The Arrivals will have tied them by the end of this ish). But I think I have good reasons. For ten years now, the Grabass Charlestons have produced consistently honest and impressive music. This song, form their recently released split with Toys That Kill contains some of their best songs. That ain’t no small statement—one of the best records of 2010.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND: I actually started putting this together before Don Van Vliet’s passing. Unfortunately, it seems to have turned into a eulogy of sorts. This song is from Safe As Milk, Captain Beefheart’s first release.

SUICIDE: I don’t know a whole lot about Suicide, but the internets says that Suicide was the first band to ever use the phrase “Punk Rock” to advertise a concert. So play this song, for your mohawked, Exploited t-shirt wearin’, non-shower takin’, Mongoloid friends. Videotape their blank, expressionless, quizzical response and send me a copy of the footage.

THE ARRIVALS: This is the other “amazing record” I carried away from FEST 9. The Arrivals are also tied with Grabass for the most-attention-received-by-band-via-this-pitiful-podcast-forum or what have you. If you listen to this…I mean really listen…and don’t think this is one of the best songs of the past ten years then don’t ever listen to a podcast I do ever again…ever. We just ain’t gonna get along.