Razorcake Podcast #63: With Scott Laval

Razorcake Podcast #63: With Scott Laval

Hey folks! If I didn’t scare everyone away the first time, I’m back again to test everyone’s patience. I’ve always been kind of a “flow” person when it came to music. I’m not a redline all-the-way kinda guy. If I play a record that’s all fast and hard, I’m gonna take it easy on the next round, and vice versa. It’s how I’ve been doing things for a long time. That being said, it’s pretty apparent that I find it virtually impossible to play track after track of aggressive punk music. I like all sorts of stuff. I’ve been happy to see some well-varied podcasts on the Razorcake site and hope I’m not too much of an oddball. It makes me feel good that I’m not the only one out there with these schitzophonic impulses. I hope you enjoy. Read on for the ramblings. Thanks to Russ for helping me get this thrown together and to Todd for not throwing it out!

-Scott Laval

Tracklisting:
1. The Saints – “River Deep, Mountain High” from Wild About You 1976-1978 (Raven)

For some reason, I rarely hear these guys mentioned as one of the most important punk bands from the ‘70s. Why do Australian bands always seem to get the cold shoulder? They had killer songs and a perfect sound (well, except that one live CD I bought… that sucked… be wary). Americans will assume that they stole this song from the Motown crowd. I’m guessing they heard the Easybeats version and went from there. Great guitar lick and one hell of a boogie.

2. Tommy Womack – “Whatever Happened To Cheetah Chrome?” from Positively Na Na (Checkered Past)

A great ode to the Dead Boys, which thankfully aren’t all dead! “We all know what happened to Stiv” (struck by a bus in 1990) but I found the rest of the information here (http://www.answers.com/topic/the-dead-boys). Tommy Womack used to sing for Government Cheese and is now a singer-songwriter fella working out of Nashville (who doesn’t write easily digestible pap for the masses) and apparently does his own podcasts!

3. Midnight Oil – “Is It Now?” from Head Injuries (Enormo-Records or somethin’)

Fuck, two Australian bands already. My bad. Anyway, this band didn’t reach the spotlight in America until they were a good 12 years or so into their existence. They actually had already released five full-lengths and two EP’s before we ever heard “Beds Are Burning”. This track is from a rambunctious band in 1979 that could absolutely blow the roof off of a venue. The proof is in the footage from “Saturday Night At The Capitol” which was recorded in 1982. No schticks… just five dudes and some amazing songs.

4. Bob Evans – “Not Working” from Drought EP (Skene)

For the longest time, I knew next-to-nothing about this band. I just had to assume they were from New Jersey with some of their song/album titles that showed up. On a recent trip to Japan, I was surprised to find two different people that owned some Bob Evans (when I only had one friend in the States who listened to them [and oddly enough, we were both from New Jersey]). Upon returning to the States, I did some research and yes, I was correct on the New Jersey thing, and they’re apparently playing again. They released three full-lengths and an EP during their initial run, of which Drought and Jersey Barrier were damn near perfect. If you like this track, you’re bound to dig some of their other stuff.

5. Flatt & Scruggs – “Shuckin’ The Corn” from Blue Ridge Cabin Home (County)

A nice little break. I did an instrumental last time and figured that I might as well throw in another one. This track pulled me out of an absolute daze one day at work and deserved it’s place on this here podcast. If anyone brags about how good they are at guitar, just ask if they can play some bluegrass. I’m convinced that the best musician in the world is some 80 year old toothless guy in Kentucky that only plays for the other 11 people in town when they have local horseshoe matches.

6. Sam & Dave – “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me” from The Best Of Sam & Dave (Atlantic)

Russ introduced me to Sam & Dave a while back (somewhere around the movie Tapeheads circulating around and the discovery that Sam Moore was half of the Swanky Modes [shit, Stiv Bators was in that, too… nice unintentional segue!]). I knew it was good stuff, and it was often at the top of my list if I was ever digging for some soul music. Then I witnessed the Stax/Volt Revue Tour of Norway from 1967 that aired on our local PBS and couldn’t believe my eyes. Two guys just strutting their stuff and singing their hearts out with Booker T & The MG’s providing the tunes. Totally badass! Do a search on YouTube and check out the black and white footage for the proof.

7. Sylvester Stallone – “Drinkin’ Stein” from Rhinestone Soundtrack (RCA… and I’m sure they regret it)

Every now and then I’ll get the itch to visit the local flea market and see what’s going on. The last time I strolled through, I dug through some bins and stumbled upon this “gem” for a buck. Keep in mind that I’m a firm believer that a good laugh is ALWAYS worth a dollar. Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone together in a movie?!? Singing?!? You bet yer ass I’ve got a dollar! Granted, I think old Dolly is awesome (especially the stuff with Porter Wagoner), but I’ve never been a huge supporter of Sylvester Stallone. I’m gonna bet some solid dough that he’s a Grade A douchebag! Here’s a song from the flick where Sly takes the lead and confesses the monster he becomes under the influence of Budweiser. Immediately, this made me think of The Dukes Of Hillsborough (which contains one Jeff Brawer who has an unabashed affection for Rocky, and therefore Stallone) and Phil (who very well may be the monster described in the song). I hope someday they’ll cover this song. If only they can muster up the passion that Stallone had in his vocals. And they said Frank was the talented musician in the family?!? [Not true… I’ve never heard that, thankfully.]

8. Naked Raygun – “Last Drink” from On The Nineties Tip Compilation (Caroline)

I’m pretty good at filing all of my records and CDs away in alphabetical order. Comps, though, are becoming an issue. I stumbled upon this the same day Russ asked me to do another podcast. Why, yes, I think I’ll be using that.

9. Mojo Nixon – “Beer Ain’t Drinkin’” from Gadzooks (Needletime)

I never realized that hearing the line, “If you don’t know Mojo Nixon, then your store could use some fixin’,” would lead to a hardcore dedication to this fucking nut! Mojo is awesome! A great entertainer with a big mouth! I hope someday that I’ll actually be able to seem him play live. When you listen to any Mojo Nixon song, you get the feeling that there are SOME words on the piece of paper in front of him, and then there’s shit that just sorta fell out of his mouth. I’d like to think that take 2 would be quite a bit different than take 1 of any song that he’s ever done. Nothing’s more rock’n’roll than that, and because of that, Mojo, I am a fan.

10. Hanson Brothers – “Brad” from Brad 7” (Wrong)

I’m a huge fan of hockey, and therefore a fan of Slapshot, and therefore a fan of the three bozos known as the Hanson Brothers. Then one day I found out that there was a band called the Hanson Brothers who write songs about hockey! Fuck yeah! But wait, that’s not all… the band is made up of members from Nomeansno! And on this particular track, they took a creepy Nomeansno song about an abusive parent called “Dad” and made a ridiculous song entitled “Brad”. God bless ’em.

11. Henry Rollins & The Hard-Ons – “Let There Be Rock” Single (Waterfront)

The Hard-Ons doing AC/DC with ol’ Hank singing. I initially was getting stuck on Mott The Hoople and wanted to play the song “Henry & The H-Bomb” (more on that below) and that’s when I remembered this single.

12. Wilco – “Henry & The H-Bomb (Live)” from some bootleg called Why Would You Wanna Live

So, like I said, I wanted to play this song by Mott The Hoople. It turned out that the day I was pulling my tunes for this, I read online that Jay Bennett had just passed away. I’ve become a person that loathes all new Wilco stuff, but I thought the stuff with Jay on it was pretty darn good (and Jay was in an excellent Midwest bar-band called Titanic Love Affair that had some good releases as well). So, yes, I know it’s very uncool to support Wilco, but this is more for Jay, and it covers the song that I wanted to play. Taken from a bootleg that I bought at Amoeba Records in San Francisco. I’m still developing a contraption that’s a webcam where I can record shop via some poor pawn that I sent to the record store and flip through the racks for me. Seriously, it’s a brilliant idea. Wait, I probably shouldn’t write about it then. Fuck… I blew it again!

13. Radio Faces – “I’m So Lucky” from Party At The Bushwick Hotel (Art Of The Underground)

Taken from one of my favorite records that’s come out recently. Fun, simple, reckless rock’n’roll. Jamie has one crazy guitar style and it’s just awesome in this band. He will be missed. If you like this, please check out Used Kids!