Razorcake Podcast #26: with Russ Van Cleave
Russ Van Cleave’s Third Podcast
1. The Effigies "Below The Drop" from Remains Nonviewable (Touch & Go)
2. The Remains “Don’t Look Back” from Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (Rhino)
3. Cleveland Bound Death Sentence “Between The Lions” from Cleveland Bound Death Sentence (THD)
4. Ofo The Black Company “Allah Wakbarr” from Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story Of 1970’s Funky Lagos (Afrostrut)
5. Squirrel Bait “Sun God” from Skag Heaven Plus 8 Bonus Tracks (Homestead)
6. The Preachers “Who Do You Love?” from Pebbles: Original Artyfacts From The First Punk Era Volume One (BFD)
7. Modern Machines “Bus Stop” from All The Hits By The Ergs! & Modern Machines split 7” (Grateful…)
8. Fay Wray “Dead Flowers” from No Idea 100: Redefiling Music (No Idea)
9. Graham Parker & The Rumour “I Want You Back” from “Local Girls” b/w “I Want You Back (Alive)” (Arista)
10. Jesus & Mary Chain “Darklands” from Darklands (Blanco Y Negro/Rhino)
11. The Dukes Of Hillsborough “Freedom Fight Her Beer” from Telling Time By Our Vices (A.D.D.)
12. Crash Mitchell Quartet “All My Best Friends Are Assholes” from Come And Get It! (Uncommon Cause)
13. The Because “Unbearable Lightness Of Being” from Blotto / The Because split 7” record (Snuffy Smiles)
14. Don’s Ex-Girlfriend “Chesapeake” from Big Pants Waste Precious Fabric: No Idea Fanzine #11 (No Idea)
15. Old Crow Medicine Show “Wagon Wheel” from Old Crow Medicine Show Nettwerk America
THE EFFIGIES: This is probably my favorite track from the classic Chicago band and a fine way to start another show, in my opinion.
THE REMAINS: One of the many, many great tracks from the Rhino Records Nuggets box set. The Remains were a Boston band from the ‘60s who have the notable distinction of having opened for The Beatles on their last tour (as indicated in a very roundabout way via some incessant babbling). Listening to this, it amazes me they were never more popular. As for the Nuggets box sets, these are CD box sets out by Rhino that amass a lot of the great garage rock from the ‘60s. All of which was a big influence on the early punk bands like The Stooges, New York Dolls, Patti Smith Group, etc. Heartily endorsed, especially if you’re like me and not old enough to have been around to get all these records when they came out back in the ‘60s.
CLEVELAND BOUND DEATH SENTENCE: Now that I’m going back and trying to verify facts and the like, I really can’t tell you where I got my info on the members of CBDS. But, I do know that is definitely Paddy (D4, Arrivals, etc.) on the vocals and bass duties and definitely Aaron Cometbus behind the drums. Not sure where I got The Salteens thing from but it seems right. Regardless, during their intermittent existence, this band has put out at least three great 7” records and some one-off songs here and there, much of which was compiled onto a collection CD by Lookout! Records. This song is from their first 7” recorded in 1998.
OFO THE BLACK COMPANY: When I worked at Vinyl Fever a few years ago, a friend of mine got me into a lot of the funk and rock music that came out of West Africa in the 1970s. The most famous artist from this era was Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the scene itself attracted a lot of attention in the U.K. Nonetheless, most groups from the time had recorded outputs that were limited to just a couple songs and little is known about most of them. The compilation from which this song was taken is full of such bands and this cut from Ofo The Black Company is one of my favorites.
SQUIRREL BAIT: My old roommate, Bean, made an awesome mix tape for me years ago with a bunch of obscure bands that started an avalanche of obsession with a lot of underground music. This song, “Sun God,” from their first EP was one of my favorite songs off that tape. While Scott and I musing about subsequent bands these guys played in didn’t amount to much at the time, the internet now tells me that members went on to play in Slint and Bitch Magnet.
THE PREACHERS: Much like the Nuggets compilation, the Pebbles compilations chronicled a lot of garage rock of the time, but on a smaller, regional scale. The song from L.A.’s The Preachers also serves as a tribute to Bo Diddley.
MODERN MACHINES: I’m unclear on whether the MoMacs “broke up” and reformed as the Used Kids or whether they just changed their name, but they are a favorite amongst many Razorcakers I know and this cover is just the tip of the iceberg.
FAY WRAY: One of my favorite bands of all-time. Just like the MoMacs, this is really just the tip of the iceberg with regards to this critically underrated Gainesville band. No offense to the Karl Hendricks Trio because it’s a hell of a song, but this version lays the original to absolute waste.
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR: Graham Parker has always worn his soul influence on his sleeve and I think this Jackson 5 cover is nothing but good times.
THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN: I’ve been having somewhat of a Jesus & Mary Chain renaissance of late and recently decided to pick up Darklands for the first time. This is a little bit of what I’d been missing out on for all these years.
THE DUKES OF HILLSBOROUGH: This is one of my favorite songs from what, I think, is the best Dukes Of Hillsborough record to date. The “Hillsborough” in the name comes from HillsboroughCounty, the county in which Tampa has urbanly sprawled.
CRASH MITCHELL QUARTET: Much like the Dukes, Crash Mitchell is another mainstay of Tampa area. Crash is known for his witty, well-crafted, and oftentimes comical songs (“Satan Moved to Nashville,” “Glad She’s Gone,” and “Boobies for My Birthday” to name just a few). I couldn’t really count the number microphones that have been crashed in the name of drunken sing-alongs at a Crash Mitchell shows in this area.
THE BECAUSE: In a country full of amazing bands, The Because, from the little town of Ise, Japan, have got to be one of the absolute best. I’ve been fortunate enough to see them live many times and they have always put on a mind-numbingly amazing performance.
DON’S EX-GIRLFRIEND: Another branch of the very large and incestuous Gainesville Band Family Tree. Actually, I think both Jimmy and Alex from Pathro UK United 13 were members of this band. They also put out a now out-of-print 7” that I never picked up for some stupid reason.
OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW: Mike Paul got me into these guys a little while back. Apparently, these guys managed to impress legendary bluegrass musician Doc Watson (a personal guitar hero of this Razorcake podcaster) enough to be included in his annual MerleFest several years back. The song here was an outtake from Bob Dylan’s soundtrack work on the film “Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.” Apparently, Ketch Secor (guy in the band) added some verses around Dylan’s original chorus to create what we have here.