Friday, April 21, 2017

REMEMBERING PRINCE: ONE YEAR LATER

This is what it sounds like...

This is what it still feels like...

I still cannot believe that it is true. Or better yet, I just do not want to. Even after one year, none of this feels real to me even though I know only too well that it is indeed so terribly true. On Friday, April 21st, we will mark the one year anniversary of when Prince Rogers Nelson passed away from an accidental drug overdose. It remains so unbearably awful to think of and even to this day, I find myself still tearing up on occasion realizing all over again that he is gone.

Yes, yes, I know. We have his music. We have the breadth and depth of his artistic legacy, which we can continue to discover, re-discover, introduce and further cultivate for generations to come should we choose to do so. But, even so, the world doesn't feel right with his absence, because in my mind, Prince was an individual and artist that simply was not finished. And to that end, he should still be here in the material world with us, creating to his heart and spirit's content and furthermore, to our complete benefit. So sadly, that hope is an impossibility. But, I hope that you do not blame me for harboring such a wish, simply because he meant that much to me and I loved him so very, very much.

I would think that his biggest fans and most importantly, his friends and collaborators would feel the same as I do--the sheer disbelief and the ever continuing sense of mourning. Frankly, how could we not for the force of life that was contained in every single piece of art he created and shared with the world.

Over this past year, and especially during the first few months after his death, I can only offer my biggest words and feelings of gratitude towards those who did hold the keys to Prince's musical kingdom, at least as far as the internet is concerned.

On You Tube, where once was quite a barren landscape as far as Prince's music and videos were concerned, those floodgates opened powerfully after his passing and surprisingly without any obvious litigious blowback. It was as if whomever held those aforementioned keys knew that the fan community needed to grieve and heal together. And so, a tremendous amount of material appeared, from official releases to bootlegs--some of which I had never heard or seen before--were viewed and heard over and again, with comment sections overflowing with condolences, memories, overwhelming sadness and love for this idiosyncratic artist, who confirmed to us more than ever that there will never be another like him again.

I said that I have found myself tearing up at times since Prince's death. Even as recently as last month, while I watched footage from his sensational and ridiculously underseen concert film fantasia "Sign O' The Times" (1987) which he also directed, I found myself beginning to cry all over again during the "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night" sequence, where his skills as a singer, composer, dancer, musician (he even takes to the drums for a spell), and bandleader re-define "titanic," as it is as intricate and impossible as it is playful, energetic, (ahem) delirious and soul lifting. It is a sequence that leaves me spellbound within a movie that remains one of the best concert films I have been blessed to witness, and my tears began to well up in my eyes because of the fact that this man is gone and there will never be anything like this ever again.

I know that I should simply be grateful that I was alive and of the age to have experienced the majesty of Prince right as it happened. I was not born too soon or too late to experience him fully. I was here for him at the right time unquestionably. Don't get me wrong. I am grateful, more than I could ever completely express in words or actions. But, yes, I am powerfully sad when I think of him and the tragic ending to his life, and also, as I ponder just how much pain he possibly could have been in to die in the manner in which he did.

I have to also say that I have no interest whatsoever in any of the salacious details concerning his death. Additionally, and despite my curiosity, I feel that I even need to keep his first wife Mayte Garcia's newly released tell all book out of my reach. I feel this way because Prince is not here to defend himself and also, those stories only exist and persist in order to distract from what I believe is what he would want for us to concern ourselves with regarding his life: the music. The music that has challenged me as much as it has entertained. The music that has amazed me, enriched me, sustained me, perplexed me, soothed me, enlivened me, and in its own way, possessed me for over 30 years of my life, and will continue to do so for the rest of my days.

I guess that is the most important thing to take away from the tragedy. Just bask in the glory of Prince's music and artistic life, that for all of his intentional mystery, this is indeed what he wanted to reveal to us the most explicitly. Next month, I will be seeing The Revolution, Prince's former and possibly his most iconic band, whose core members--Wendy Melvoin (guitar/vocals), Lisa Coleman (keyboards.vocals), Dr. Fink (keyboards/synthesizers), Brown Mark (bass guitar/vocals) and Bobby Z. (drums)-- re-formed after his passing. I'm not sure what kind of an experience seeing this show will turn out to be (how could I?) but even so, it feels imperative to be present to share in the emotion and the music on that night with the musicians who helped to create a portion of it as well as the fans who have adored it ever since.

Yes, it is all about the music and the masterful skill in which he created it, and for that, I will forever rejoice...

...even when there are still tears in my eyes.

Friday, April 7, 2017

FISHBONE with COWBOY WINTER-LIVE AT HIGH NOON SALOON: MARCH 31, 2017

FISHBONE
"CHIM CHIM RISES: THE RETURN OF THE MONKEY TOUR"
with COWBOY WINTER
LIVE
HIGH NOON SALOON
MADISON, WI
MARCH 31, 2017

It just never--and I mean, NEVER--gets old!!

For the second time in just under one year, I was blessed to see the legendary, iconic, dare I say, revolutionary yet criminally under-heard, under-represented, under-appreciated 30 year plus veteran band Fishbone perform live at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI. Yes, the show was an outstanding one, definitely even better than the blistering show I witnessed last year in the exact same venue and I'll get to those details shortly.

On a larger note, this night unquestionably held a greater weight for me, a grander significance that not only felt as if I was seeing the band for the first time all over again, as now five members of the classic Fishbone lineup have reunited and are performing together for the first time in 25 years--a sight I never imagined would have been possible before. In addition, these men joined forces with three of the more recent members to form an unstoppable eight man coalition to perform the entirety of "Chim Chim's Badass Revenge" (released May 21, 1996), what I feel is the band's most incendiary, unrepentantly militant release in their staggering discography (as one gobsmacked, and more importantly, Black concert goer said to me after the show concluded well past 1 a.m. "These folks just don't know what they heard tonight!" True dat!). And again, I will get to those details shortly as well.

Overall, it was a night that brought my love of Fishbone full circle, completely to the moment in time when I first fell in love with them and have ever since considered them nothing less than heroes. Tall words, certainly. Hyberbolic? Not at all. Yet, before I reach the culmination, let me go back to the beginnings of the night.
I feel it necessary to first explain to you what specifically never gets old. Of course, there is the wonderment of seeing a brilliant live show. Yet, when you are in a location like the High Noon Saloon, an establishment small yet comfortable enough where you are able to literally rub shoulders with the performers, especially ones you have held in the highest of regards for so very long, the sensation is spectacular.

Just as last year, I stood outside the High Noon Saloon awaiting entrance as the bands of the evening were going through their respective soundchecks. And just as last year, I was amazed to see various members of Fishbone--from co-founder/bassist Norwood Fisher, the flamboyant lead vocalist/saxophonist Angelo Moore to even the astonishing co-founder/ returning drummer Phillip "Fish" Fisher--just casually walking around the area. And again, as always, I was starstruck, just wishing to try and approach them but ultimately, feeling otherwise due to extreme nervousness coupled with the fear of disrupting their artistic headspace before the show itself.

Additionally, as I waited entrance, I found myself in the position of again being a Black face in a predominantly White space as some concert goers' eyes curiously regarded me, wondering if I happened to be a member of either the band or their entourage...just as last year. No folks. I'm just here to see the show. I'm not in the show.

If there was any element that was initially different than last year it was the fact that I happened to know a member of one of the evening's two opening acts. Kevin L. Willmott II, lead singer of the Madison based band Cowboy Winter, is a figure that I have met and seen a little bit here and there in my Madison concert travels and I have also forged a virtual friendship with him upon Facebook. I was thrilled and amazed that his band had been chosen to perform that evening and for Fishbone no less! I said as much to Kevin as we stood outside the High Noon Saloon as he awaited his band's turn for soundcheck, and he was himself more than touched and grateful for this priceless and unprecedented opportunity for himself and his band. Excitedly yet very quietly, he expressed to me, "I feel so blessed. I feel blessed to be a part of this. To be a part of a Black show in Madison like this and for Fishbone." Deeply felt words to be said, as well as to be heard and felt because, as previously expressed, the significance of the night was certainly in the air.
With all due respect to Mr. Jackson, the first of the evening's opening acts, who bridged the gap between classic soul and current hip hop with a collection of synthetic slow jams, I primarily spent the time during his performance ensconced in precious conversations, one of which was held with Mr. Angelo Moore himself (!), whom I first met last year at the merchandise table of all places. This year, there he was again, promoting his own copious solo material released under his Dr. Madd Vibe moniker as well as his Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step project. Just as before, Moore was warmly gregarious and loquacious, excitedly chatting up his artistry, signing autographs as well as answering any and all manner of questions.
The original members of Fishbone reunited Fall 2016
originally posted by Phillip "Fish"  Fisher

When I remarked to him about how amazed I was that Phillip "Fish" Fisher and guitarist John Bigham had returned to the fold, a reunion foreshadowed by a miraculous group photo posted on the internet last fall by Fisher himself, Moore remarked to me that he was feeling very positive about the current tour, which by this point had been active for "a couple of weeks." Regarding anything further, in reference to Fisher and Bigham's participation after the tour, "We'll see," he said, offering me his trademark Cheshire Cat smile as he gave me a firm handshake and fist bump.

COWBOY WINTER:
Andrew Greenwood: Guitar, Vocals
Zachary Greenwood: Bass Guitar
Hart Miller: Drums
Kevin L. Willmott II: Lead Vocals

By the time Cowboy Winter took to the stage, I made my way straight to the lip, anxious to catch all of the action up close and personal, just as is my wont in recent years. Without question, Fishbone could not have asked for a better warm-up attraction to excite and hype the crowd as the band blasted from the starting gate with a feverish flurry of songs that fused garage rock, power pop, and punk rock effortlessly and was executed with a palpable force that made me instantly think of nothing less than The MC5!
 
With his extensive, natural afro and adorned in an Obama '08 T-shirt with brilliant star spangled pants, Kevin L. Willmott II made for a commanding, compulsively watchable presence, one that was equal parts explosive and exuberant as he nearly carried the nearly 45 minute set through his sheer enthusiasm.
What their performance proved to me was that Cowboy Winter is exceedingly another Madison band worthy of your attention as Willmott II, augmented by the furious power trio of guitarist Andrew Greenwood, bassist Zachary Greenwood and drummer Hart Miller, propelled themselves through roof raisers that were as melodic as they were raucous. I was told that the band had not performed live since July 2016 and the time away from the stage was not evident in any way to my eyes and ears. This was a band completely in sync with each other and the audience as well as being fully adrenalized with a spirit that was aggressive and infectious.

Cowboy Winter treated their small patch of the modest High Noon stage as if they were performing in a much larger arena, taking their blessing of an opportunity and making it a blessing of an opportunity for all of us in the audience, especially those of us who were previously unfamiliar with their output. So, at this time, I excitedly urge you to visit the group's Bandcamp page, just as I did afterwards. I am certain you will be as happily surprised as I.

FISHBONE:
"Flyin'" Jay Armant: Vocals, Trombone
John Bigham: Guitar, Vocals
Norwood Fisher: Bass Guitars, Vocals
Phillip "Fish" Fisher: Drums
Rocky George: Guitar
Paul  Hampton: Keyboards
"Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II: Vocals, Trumpet
Angelo Moore: Vocals, Saxophones, Theremin

By 11:00 p.m., it was time for the main event, one the eight members of Fishbone owned completely mere moments after hitting the stage. As Phillip "Fish" Fisher took to his drum kit, which faced sideways instead of straight into the audience, he immediately launched into an astonishing and beautifully fluid drum solo that instantly set the tone for the following two hours of music that was hurled our way passionately and brilliantly.

It is a difficult thing to fully explain but seeing and hearing Fisher behind those drums, delivering a solo that segued richly into the band's dancehall reggae groove of "Unyielding Conditioning," an inexplicable rightness that was not apparent in the Fishbone show I saw a year ago regardless of its excellence, became exceedingly undeniable.
As previously stated, this night's performance felt akin to seeing the band for the first time all over again. All of the so-called disparate parts fit together seamlessly as the full story of the band was displayed so poignantly and powerfully. To my right, there stood bassist Norwood Fisher and guitarist John Bigham, pictures of intense stoicism and concentration with the menacing figure of trumpeter/singer "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II prowling in the background. To my left, stood the equally stoic keyboardist Paul Hampton and guitarist Rocky George (whom I had no idea was once a member of Suicidal Tendencies).
 
And dead center contained not only the aforementioned Fisher, but of course, the virtuoso, peerless frontman that is Angelo Moore, who himself was flanked by the diminutive powder keg of trombonist/singer "Flyin'" Jay Armant who matched Moore's intensity and delirious energy beat for beat and note for note. Trust me folks, when Armant valiantly took over the rap section of "Psychologically Overcast," a section originally recorded by no less than the indomitable Busta Rhymes, he won me over tremendously, demonstrating to me beyond measure that he has more than earned his stripes to be an essential part of this iconic collective.
While I have no idea if this set up was intentional or not, having the classic members on one end of the stage while the newer members claimed the opposite side, it felt that we were all being given the history of the band, where the past and present flowed back and forth evenly, and entirely serving to keep their music as up to the minute as when it was first written and recorded. The connection between the band members and from the band to the audience was electric!!

As advertised, the night found Fishbone performing "Chim Chim's Badass Revenge" in its entirety, (save for two of the albums brief cacophonous and poetic interludes) and all sandwiched in between a hefty serving of classics and rarities, from "Freddie's Dead," "Swim," "Pray To The Junkiemaker," and of course, their game changing debut "Party At Ground Zero."

While "Chim Chim's Badass Revenge" is conceptual, this night's performance really made the work stand out as not just a rock opera but a work that simultaneously serves as an impassioned manifesto decrying all forms of institutionalized and internalized racism as well as functioning as an intensely personal story of the band circa 1996 and for that matter, 2017.
Opening with the album's introductory spoken word poem, which serves as the prelude to the speed metal of the title track, Fishbone superbly relayed the extended subterranean funk of "In The Cube" and "Sourpuss," the blinding white light fury of "Rock Star" and "Riot," the roaring freight train of "Beergut," the Zappa-esque ska of "Alcoholic," the whiplash time shifting thrash of "Monkey Dick," the jazz inflected funk of "Love...Hate" (featuring Norwood Fisher's jaw dropping spiral staircase bass work) and the ten minute plus anthemic molten lava of "Fight For The Nuttmeg."
Fishbone was nothing less than superlative, again announcing themselves as true sons of Funkadelic, again proving themselves to being a band that truly possesses no equal. With their trademark musical stew which blends rock, funk, punk rock, ska, reggae, jazz, hip-hop, gospel and more, they re-confirmed to their passionate fan base and the audience of the High Noon Saloon that while there are bands that perform music within a variety of genres, Fishbone is one of the rare breeds that have spent their career inventing their own musical genre...and such as it so often is for Black artists, the band has never fully received the proper credit and respect for their ingenuity, inventiveness and seismic influence.
Progressive, meticulous, furious and filled with graceful virtuosity, all eight of the members of Fishbone displayed their musical agility and dexterity with a skill that would put bands decades younger to shame. Seeing Fish behind the drum kit for the very first time was thunderous poetry in motion as he possessed a powerful wallop that arrived via a jazz/funk inflected flair much like Rush's Neil Peart, The Smashing Pumpkins' Jimmy Chamberlin or the masterful, majestic Billy Cobham. It was just impossible playing made to look so, so easy and to see him alongside his brother again--it was undeniably beautiful to behold.

Additionally, it was truly a wonderment to see not only the five individuals who created the original album together performing in solidarity again. It was an evening where Paul Hampton, Rocky George and especially "Flyin'" Jay Armant took material created before their arrival in the band and fully made it their own, often to the point where it felt as if they had been a part of Fishbone all along. The sense of brotherhood on stage felt pure and authentic.
And then, of course, there was Angelo Moore, frontman extraordinaire, stylish and sinister, revelatory, refined and ruthless. With copious dollops of Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway at one point and waves of Joe Strummer and Gil Scott-Heron at others, Moore's superb vocals continuously revealed its power as it seemingly has not aged even one day in nearly 40 years of usage. Furthermore, his own musicianship, upon a plethora of saxophones remained stunning. And trust me again, you ain't never heard a theremin performed in the way Moore fully re-invented it.

Remember the gentleman I spoke of earlier in this piece who professed that the bulk of the audience most likely had no idea of precisely what messages were being conveyed through the music this evening? Fishbone has a full history of crafting lyrical and thematic concepts via socio-political outrage and satire that merge the philosophical with the scatological while promoting a racial unity and also delving into the harsh realities of our racist society via a uniquely Black perspective. "Chim Chim's Badass Revenge" is Fishbone's vision at its most uncompromising, musically and most definitely, lyrically.

Certainly, for those just wishing to have a thrashing good time at a club show, Fishbone more than delivered the goods and then some (as evidenced by the more belligerent attendees who drunkenly bashed around members of the audience--myself included). But, generally, who knows how the band's intended messages are received for those who were either unfamiliar with the original album or even perhaps those who just happened to be White and may not catch certain nuances that are weaved into the Black experience. To be clear, this observation is not to suggest that White Fishbone fans are unable to understand or empathize, but the music of Fishbone-especially from this album--truly goes to the core of what it means to be Black in America, and that even includes being Black in Black America where the prejudices are especially multi-layered.
All of these musing go directly into why this night's performance was so significant to me, as a passionate fan of music, and of Fishbone and existing as a Black man regarding both. Honestly, to take cartoon characters and truly "naz-tee" toilet imagery in some cases and utilize them as enraged metaphors decrying the racism inherent within the music industry, which itself can be seen as a metaphor for American society is "brick through a window" provocative and it meant the world to me to see those eight Black men fully in unison on that stage in Madison, WI roaring their music for our benefit.

The members of Fishbone have always been heroes to me because they demonstrated a fierce independence and individuality from the very beginning that destroyed boundaries. It lifted my spirit at the age of 16 to see this collective of Black men who looked like they were "not supposed" to look, playing music they were "not supposed" to play and vibrantly thrusting a proudly extended middle finger at any and all detractors. To me, this is a band that should be on top of the world, especially as they created "Truth And Soul" (released September 13, 1988), what I feel to be one of the best albums of the 1980s as well as "The Reality Of My Surroundings" (released April 23, 1991), "Give A Monkey A Brain And He'll Swear He's The Center Of The Universe" (released May 23, 1993) and "Chim Chim's Badass Revenge," all three being some of the finest albums the 1990's offered to anyone, in my humble opinion.
Yet, through interpersonal tensions, music industry tribulations, and all manner of challenges, obstacles, and crushing disappointments, Fishbone has remained intrepid. Fishbone has endured. They were, and remain, a band that has infuenced and changed the game for countless others while not receiving the full credit that they have so long and richly deserved. The imprtance of this night for me is how the band has also mirrored and reflected the Black experience in America, how we as a people have remained intrepid and have endured regardless of the mountain of obstacles that are continuously thrown our way and designed to eradicate us. They have remained and so have we and that reality spoke to the power of the night.

Furthermore, it also made the reunion with Phillip "Fish" Fisher and John Bigham so special. Never mind the future, so to speak, but knowing that they are here NOW gives me the feeling that their fan community, and Black fans in particular, will indeed show up and reciprocate genrously. From the Black faces I saw at the Madison, WI show, during the performance and even afterwards as as audience members, including myself, excitedly shook hands and held  open and casual conversations with several of the band members, including Mr. Norwood Fisher himself, a figure who truly intimidated me but gave me a warm smile and handshake at the merchandise table before engaging more fans with extended conversations about his own influences as a bassist. If it wasn't already 1:30 a.m., I would have stayed longer to just listen to him.

But here's hoping that this current tour provides Fishbone with more energy, solidarity and an even stronger sense of purpose as they soldier onwards. And here's hoping that they make their way right back here to Madison.
All photos by Scott Collins except Phillip "Fish" Fisher's band photo

WSPC'S SESSION NOTES FOR APRIL 2017: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RECORD STORE

FROM THE DJ'S STUDIO DESK:

With the world still revolving and yet feeling as if we are spiraling into darkness, it's imperative to hold onto any beauty that we are able to find and hold onto each other any which way that we are able. I mention this because I have a short story to share with you that I haven't written about as of yet.

On the rainy morning of Monday, November 28, 2016, my friend and B-Side Records proprietor Steve Manley was riding his bike his way to the store when his bicycle tire became lodged in between some train tracks causing him to slip and fall, thus breaking his hip in two places and fracturing his elbow. As Manley is the sole employee of the store, this most unfortunate event presented itself as a frightening setback as he was facing surgery and would be forced to remain out of the store for the duration of the winter months, obviously threatening the store's survival.

Unbeknownst to Manley, his son Brendan (songwriter/drummer/guitarist of three Madison based bands, Post Social, Dash Hounds and Squarewave) began a Go Fund Me page as a fundraiser to help support the store for the three months Steve would be convalescing at home. The desired financial goal was $6000. Within a mere 24 hours, the Manley family and B-Side amassed three times as much in donations, culminating in a final total of $25,000 by the time the fundraiser concluded.

This money not only allowed the store to remain open, it allowed the Manley family to hire and pay support staff (from former employees to even the members of Dash Hounds, including singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist Alivia Kleinfeldt), pay the bills and even have a taste left over for Steve to perhaps take a day off in the future if need be.

All of this occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and certainly the entire Bedford Falls/George Bailey sentiments were more than apparent to everyone whose spirits felt supremely lifted by the news, mostly, I would imagine, Steve Manley himself, a man who is undeniably humble and would probably shun all of the attention.

But, what made my heart swell was how an entire community came together to share the the news of the fundraiser and to also find ways to contribute to this cause. It saved a store but it was about so much more than brick and mortar. It was about a man, his family and his livelihood and how his passion and efforts provided a service to countless people for over thirty years (myself included), and how that service provided music and most importantly, priceless memories for every person who walked through the B-Side door.

I am telling this story because this month on Saturday, April 22nd, the annual Record Store Day event will grace us once again and as always, I wish for you to try and carve out some time our of your busy lives to just visit a local business, a place of musical discovery, a place that invites you to venture inside and create some new memories within a public space where everyone is creating new memories.

I really believe that the outpouring of support for Steve and B-Side came from something much deeper inside everyone who contributed and I believe further still that if any of our other local record stores--Mad City Music Exchange, Strictly Discs, Sugar Shack--found themselves in similar dire straits, the community would race to their aid in a most similar fashion. I know that I would because of the memories I have from each place that entirely stemmed from my on-going search for new music.

As of now--April 2017--Steve Manley is firmly back upon his two legs and feet and it is a sight that I could not have wished to see more!! Steve is a longtime friend of mine and yes, if I had the means and were able, I would have saved the store single-handedly solely because of what this store has meant to me ever since I was 18 years old and entered it for the very first time, a journey that I have continued to make ever since...and blessedly so.

Support the establishments that allow us all to discover new music and create new, lasting memories in the process. And with whatever you discover...

...PLAY LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 31, 2017

WSPC PLAYLIST MARCH 2017

March 1, 2017
"After The Fire" performed by Roger Daltrey

"Rattlesnake" performed by St. Vincent
"Boogieman" performed by Childish Gambino
"Can You Get To That" performed by Funkadelic
"Down The Dolce Vita" performed by Peter Gabriel
"We Disappear" performed by Ryan Adams-WSPC PREMIERE

March 2, 2017
"International Feel" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Ooh La La" performed by The Faces
"Every Picture Tells A Story" performed by Rod Stewart
"Perfect Day" performed by Lou Reed
"Goodbye To Love" performed by The Carpenters

March 3, 2017
"The Middle Of The World" composed by Nicholas Britell
"Bibo No Azora" performed by Ryuchi Sakamoto
"Morning Passages" performed by Philip Glass

"My Baby's Gone" performed by Gary Clark Jr.-WSPC PREMIERE
"Breakout" performed by Swing Out Sister
"Steppin' Out" performed by Joe Jackson
"The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment" performed by Father John Misty
"Erase/Replace" performed by Foo Fighters

March 4, 2017
"Going Underground" performed by The Jam
"A Message To You Rudy" performed by The Specials
"Girls And Boys" performed by Blur
"Time Has Come Today" performed by The Chambers Brothers

"King Kong" performed by Babe Ruth

March 5, 2017
"The Man Comes Around" performed by Johnny Cash
"The Loner" performed by Neil Young
"Vigilante" performed by Tony Carey
"Bad" performed by Kirsty MacColl
"The Wanderer" performed by U2 with Johnny Cash

"The Unforgiven II" performed by Metallica

March 6, 2017

HAPPY 71ST BIRTHDAY TO DAVID GILMOUR
"Today"
"Untitled Instrumental" with Gilmour on drums
"Mihalis"
"Let's Get Metaphysical"
"Red Sky At Night" (live-with Gilmour on saxophone)

March 7, 2017
"I Miss You" performed by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
"For The Good Times" performed by Al Green
"Walk On By" performed by Isaac Hayes

"Dinosaur" performed by Dweezil Zappa-WSPC PREMIERE

"Black Lipstick" performed by Chicano Batman-WSPC PREMIERE
"Third Of May/Odaigahara" performed by Fleet Foxes-WSPC PREMIERE
"Chompy's Paradise" performed by BADBADNOTGOOD
"Lone Wolf And Cub" performed by Thundercat
"Cosmic Perspective" performed by Mndsgn

March 10, 2017
"Patient Zero" performed by Aimee Mann-WSPC PREMIERE

"Breaking Us In Two" performed by Joe Jackson
"I've Seen That Movie Too" performed by Elton John
"Shiver And Shake" performed by Ryan Adams-WSPC PREMIERE
"I Know It's Over" performed by The Smiths
"Forget Her" performed by Jeff Buckley

"Cold War Kids" performed by Tony Carey

March 11, 2017
"Time The Avenger" performed by Pretenders
"Time" performed by Sly and the Family Stone
"Time" performed by Pink Floyd
"Time (Clock Of The Heart)" performed by Culture Club
"Time Shift" performed by Jimmy Chamberlin Complex

March 12, 2017
"Book Of Love" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Russian Hill" performed by Jellyfish
"Riding To Vanity Fair" performed by Paul McCartney
"Blue Motel Room" performed by Joni Mitchell
"Home At Last" performed by Steely Dan

"The End Of The World" performed by Sean Lennon-WSPC PREMIERE

March 14, 2017
"Pi" performed by Kate Bush

"There Should Be Unicorns" performed by The Flaming Lips-WSPC PREMIERE
"I Wanna Be Your Mirror" performed by Temples-WSPC PREMIERE
"Avalon" performed by Foxygen-WSPC PREMIERE
"Weekend Wars" performed by MGMT
"All I Do Is Nothing" performed by Disq

March 16, 2017
"Getting In Tune" performed by The Who
"Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking" performed by His Name Is Alive
"Some Kinda Love" performed by The Velvet Underground
"Wildest Dreams" performed by Ryan Adams
"Drown" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

"Feels Like Summer" performed by Weezer-WSPC PREMIERE

March 17, 2017
"Back Stabbers" performed by The O'Jays
"Take That Knife Out Of My Back" performed by Filter
"How Do You Sleep?" performed by John Lennon
"Don't Tell A Lie About Me And I Won't Tell The Truth About You" performed by JAMES BROWN
"Liar" performed by The Sex Pistols

HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY TO BILLY CORGAN
all songs performed by The Smashing Pumpkins except where indicated
"Siva"
"Tiberius"
"Thirty Three"
"Riverview" performed by Zwan
"I'm Ready" performed by Billy Corgan
"Age Of Innocence"

March 18, 2017
CHUCK BERRY
OCTOBER 18, 1926-MARCH 18, 2017
"Rock And Roll Music"
"You Never Can Tell"
"Johnny B. Goode"
"Nadine"
"Mean Old World"
"I Love You"
"Maybelline" (line 1958)

March 19, 2017
"Broken" performed by Gorillaz
"Nefertiti" performed by Miles Davis
"Ball And Chain" performed by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company

March 20, 2017
"Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid" performed by Hall and Oates
"All Flowers In Time Bend Toward The Sun" performed by Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser (unreleased)
"Tee" performed by Tony Williams

"Shaman's Blues" performed by The Doors
"Two Arrows" performed by Real Estate-WSPC PREMIERE
"Las Vegas Basement" performed by Julian Cope

March 21, 2017
"Mr. Reed" performed by Dave Stewart and the Spiritual Cowboys
"The Man's Too Strong" performed by Dire Straits
"America" performed by Prefab Sprout-WSPC PREMIERE
"Paranoid Android" performed by Radiohead
"Fade Into You" performed by Mazzy Star

"Is This The Life We Really Want?" (spoken word poem) performed by Roger Waters-WSPC PREMIERE

"That Could Have Been Me" performed by Todd Rundgren featuring Robyn-WSPC PREMIERE

"Big Boys" performed by Chuck Berry-WSPC PREMIERE

March 23, 2017
"Show Me The Way" performed by Peter Frampton
"Too Much Heaven" performed by The Bee Gees
"Oh Candy" performed by Cheap Trick
"Magic Dragon Theater" performed by Utopia
"Lowdown" performed by Boz Scaggs

"Saturnz Barz (Spirit House)" from Gorillaz-WSPC PREMIERE
"Trapped" performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band

March 24, 2017
"Bad And Boujee" performed by Migos with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots-WSPC PREMIERE
"You'll Lose A Good Thing" performed by Barbara Lynn
"The Heart Part 4" performed by Kendrick Lamar-WSPC PREMIERE

"Pinball Wizard/Drowned/Won't Get Fooled Again" performed by Pete Townshend LIVE at The Secret Policeman's Ball-June 30, 1979

"Hitch A Ride" performed by Boston
"5150" performed by Van Halen
"Something To Hold Onto" performed by Trevor Rabin
"Tomorrow Never Knows" performed by Living Colour
"Money" performed by Andre Cymone-WSPC PREMIERE

March 26, 2017
"Me" performed by Erykah Badu
"Jimi Was A Rock Star" performed by Common
"The Placebo Syndrome" performed by Parliament
"I'll Stay" performed by Funkadelic
"Babyhead" performed by Fishbone

March 28, 2017
"Maybe I'm Amazed" performed by Paul McCartney

March 29, 2017
"Haven't Got Time For The Pain" performed by Carly Simon
"King Of Pain" performed by The Police
"Take Your Pain Away" performed by Eurythmics
"Taste The Pain" performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Sketches Of Pain" performed by Tears For Fears
"I Just Can't Help But Feel The Pain" performed by The Spinners

March 30, 2017
"Now I'm Gone" performed by Juliana Hatfield
"Falling" performed by Susannah Hoffs
"Extraordinary" performed by Liz Phair
"Give Me Back My Man" performed by The B-52's
"Caroline" performed by Concrete Blonde

"Halfway Home" performed by Broken Social Scene-WSPC PREMIERE
"End The Reign" performed by Fishbone
"Little Wing" performed by Derek and the Dominoes
"Pharoah's Dance" performed by Miles Davis

"HUMBLE" performed by Kendrick Lamar-WSPC PREMIERE
"It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night" performed by Prince from the "Sign O' The Times" movie

March 31, 2017
Intro to "Zoom" season 1
"The Electric Company"--Morgan Freeman as the DJ
"Another Day" performed by Paul and Linda McCartney
"I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" performed by The Partridge Family
"Smile Please" performed by Stevie Wonder
"Everyday Sunshine" performed by Fishbone
Closing Credits to "Zoom" season 2

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SAVAGE RADIO PLAYLISTS MARCH 2017: WVMO 98.7 FM-THE VOICE OF MONONA

SAVAGE RADIO EPISODE #68 "HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY"-MARCH 8, 2017
1. "Take It Off" performed by The Donnas
2. "Strung Out" performed by Wendy & Lisa
3. "Accident" performed by Rachael Yamagata
4. "Not With Me" performed by The Cold And Lovely
5. "Prince Johnny" performed by St. Vincent
6. "I Want It Now" performed by Esperanza Spalding
7. "'97 Bonnie And Clyde" performed by Tori Amos
8. "The Acid Queen" performed by Tina Turner
9. "Rocket's Tail" performed by Kate Bush
10."Honey" performed by Erykah Badu
11."Who Am I" performed by Lily Frost

SAVAGE RADIO EPISODE #69: "JOHN HUGHES BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE"-MARCH 15, 2017
1. "Happy Birthday" performed by Altered Images
2. "Modigliani (Look In Your Eyes)" performed by Book Of Love
3. "Do Wot You Do" performed by INXS
4. "Thieves Like Us (instrumental version)" performed by New Order
5. "Love Of The Common People" performed by Paul Young
6. "The Edge Of Forever" performed by The Dream Academy
7. "The Shyest Time" performed by The Apartments
8. "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" performed by The Smiths
9. "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" performed by Kirsty MacColl
10. "If You Were Here" performed by The Thompson Twins
11. "Can't Help Falling In Love" performed by Lick The Tins

SAVAGE RADIO EPISODE #70: "1977-40 YEARS"-MARCH 22, 2017
1. "Elo Kiddies" performed by Cheap Trick
2. "In The City" performed by The Jam
3. "See No Evil" performed by Television
4. "Sheer Heart Attack" performed by Queen
5. "Shock Me" performed by KISS
6. "Uh Oh, Love Comes To Town" performed by Talking Heads
7. "The Secret Life Of Arabia" performed by David Bowie
8. "Wizard Of Finance" performed by Parliament
9. "Abandon City" performed by Utopia
10."Moribund The Burgermeister" performed by Peter Gabriel
11."You Make Loving Fun" performed by Fleetwood Mac
12."Birmingham Blues" performed by Electric Light Orchestra
13."Juke Box Music" performed by The Kinks

SAVAGE RADIO EPISODE #71: "WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION"-MARCH 29, 2017
1. "Volcano Girls" performed by Veruca Salt
2. "Friends" performed by Meshell Ndegeocello
3. "Bone Chaos In The Castle" performed by Kaki King
4. "Aganju" performed by Bebel Gilberto
5. "Possibly Maybe" performed by Bjork
6. "Late Bloomer" performed by Jenny Lewis
7. "Glory" performed by Liz Phair
8. "Black Crow" performed by Joni Mitchell
9. "Invisible Ink" performed by Aimee Mann
10."Turn To You" performed by The Go-Go's
11."Hello (rock remix)" performed by Poe

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

NOW PLAYING IN THE SAVAGE JUKEBOX MARCH 2017

"DECEPTIVE BENDS"
10cc
Released April 1977
"GAME THEORY"
THE ROOTS
Released August 29, 2006
"PETER GABRIEL"
PETER GABRIEL
Released February 25, 1977
"FUTURE GAMES"
FLEETWOOD MAC
Released September 3, 1971
"BARE TREES"
FLEETWOOD MAC
Released March 1972
"MIRAGE"
FLEETWOOD MAC
Released June 18, 1982
"APOCALYPSE"
THUNDERCAT
Released July 9, 2013
"untitled.unmastered"
KENDRICK LAMAR
Released March 4, 2016
"FLOWERS IN THE DIRT"
PAUL McCARTNEY
Released June 5, 1989

Saturday, March 25, 2017

THE LOW-FI SEDUCTION AND DARK ALLURE OF SLOW PULP: "EP2" SLOW PULP

"EP2"
SLOW PULP

SLOW PULP:
Alex Julian Leeds: Vocals, Bass Guitar
Emily Massey: Vocals, Guitar
Teddy Matthews: Drums
Henry Stoehr: Vocals, Guitar

with 
Nathan France: Saxophone on "Preoccupied"

All Music and Lyrics by Slow Pulp
Recorded at Mama Stoehr's 
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Henry Stoehr

Released March 9, 2017

First, I wish to send my apologies to the band for being unable to capture their live performance on the evening of March 9, 2017 as life had grown so complicated with its busyness to even accommodate one more thing to fit into it.

But even so, I had to stop by and grab the disc!

Dear readers, it has been nearly two years since the world has received any new music from the Madison, WI. based band Slow Pulp. Granted, the members of the band are extremely busy young people, juggling all manner of responsibilities from schooling, jobs and even having one band member living entirely out of the state in Minneapolis. But, much has changed since their debut release "EP1" (released June 8, 2015), back when the band existed under the name of Barbara Hans and this very collection of music went by the name that the band is now utilizing as its new, official moniker.

Singer/guitarist Henry Stoehr, bassist/vocalist Alex Julian Leeds and drummer Teddy Matthews, the trio of the newly christened Slow Pulp, have added a fourth member to their ranks in the form of singer/songwriter/guitarist and former Modern Mod frontwoman Emily Massey, and the addition has made for an absolutely perfect fit, allowing the band to unearth a previously untapped sultriness to combine with their specialized brand of low-fi bedroom pop and dream punk on their freshly unveiled second release entitled simply, "EP2."
Slow Pulp, performing live at The Frequency March 9, 2017

The night of March 9th was a celebratory one for the band as their live performance live at The Frequency (with their compatriots in Dash Hounds as openers) served as the official "EP2" release party and from what I have heard and seen on-live, the night turned out to be a triumphant one for the band, and rightfully so, as "EP2" is a clear winner, showcasing the band evolving and expanding upon the garage psychedelia of their debut release.

1. The dream punk aesthetic is on full display on "Brett Favre," the opening track on "EP2." While named after the Wisconsin Green Bay Packers football legend, the brief instrumental zig-zags from languid to full throttle power  chord assault on a dime as television announcements from an unknown Rugby match cheer loudly in the background. The significance of merging one sports hero with others from a completely different sport, as if one is appearing in the other's athletically enhanced fever dream? Only the dream weavers of Slow Pulp know for certain...

2. Opening "EP2" in earnest is the previously released "Bundt Cakes," originally part of a  2016 joint digital single alongside the Madison based band Trophy Dad, in which Stoehr also performs as a guitarist. Just as I wrote upon this site last year, the track is a punchy slice of power pop that provides more than enough left-of-center sonic curve balls to keep you on your toes while also delivering an instantly addictive melodic/vocal hook to keep you singing along as you thrash your air-guitars and drums.

3. Emily Massey's first vocal appearance upon "EP2" is truly audacious as the band raises their own game with the stunning lovelorn blues of "Die Alone." Many months ago, Stoehr was very gracious to send me an early version of the song, and even back then, I was struck with the track's meloldicism while also the fact that it sounded so...downright strange. Now, in its final version, both aspects of the song remain strongly as the sleepy purr of Massey's vocals merge brilliantly with the seemingly dilapidated instrumentation, all of which perfectly conjures up the image and feelings of what it means to be freshly heartbroken and romantically wounded to the point of near paralysis. Like I said, it is a strange sounding song as if the rich almost '70s AM radio melodics were combined with indie rock crunch. It's like The Ozark Mountain Daredevils' classic "Jackie Blue" as if the song was performed by the depressed heroine of the title.

4. Stoehr returns to the mic on "Husband Pillow," an aggressively jaunty affair that immediately snaps the band back into fighting mode from the despair of the previous track. As with "Bundt Cakes," this selection again showcases the band's fearless approach with their songwriting, ensuring the listener will be unable to predict where they will musically head next from verse to chorus or even from measure to measure, all the while packing as much music as possible into the song's scant two and a half minute running time and happily leaving you breathless in the process.

5. Slow Pulp brings the bedroom pop to the forefront with "Houseboat," on which Massey's seductive, breathily sung "Yeah" near the song's opening sold it COMPLETELY.  Somehow weaving The Andrea True Connection to my mind, the band sounds breezy, hazy, and more than a little drugged out, as if we have caught a  '70s era ingenue daydreaming. But, here comes that terrific unpredictability as the band shape shifts again, beautifully merging a speedier garage punk mid-section with its more languid opening and closing, anchoring Massey's newfound presence in the band as a spellbinding move.

6. "EP2" comes to a gorgeous close with "Preoccupied," a track where the band sticks tightly with its erotic daydream groove, again perfectly sung by Massey and augmented by the slinky saxophone by Nathan France.

With name changes and band additions, it would not be unfair to infer that Slow Pulp is a band still in search of itself while also existing as an exciting musical force capable of mixing styles and genres to their heart's content while armed with a continuously impressive skill and power. With "EP2," the band has richly expanded upon their musical palate, making me even more curious and excited as a listener to see and hear where the band will head in their future music whenever that may arrive. As of now, as excitingly so,  Slow Pulp is a band that is unquestionably difficult to pin down and that makes their presence in the Madison music community that much more vital and vibrant and deserving of your attention inside and outside of Wisconsin.

Aside from their songwriting and instrumental performances, all of which are first rate, the band has truly left me scratching my head with their sonic delivery. As with their local contemporaries in Post Social, Dash Hounds and Disq for instance, all of these band are proudly independent and low-fi. But unlike those aforementioned bands, who have all somehow made their low-fi recordings sound as lush as if they were realized in million dollar studios, Slow Pulp has gleefully remained with a scrappier aesthetic, as if they didn't wish to make their music sound too pretty, despite the glowing melodics that shine through their specialized, idiosyncratic pop songs. Whether by necessity or design, this aspect only enhances the band's identity as well as their mystery. Again, you just cannot pin them down.

Additionally, Slow Pulp's "EP2" is the sound of a band growing up to a degree. If there was something almost innocent or adolescent captured upon "EP1," this latest effort sounds as if the members have emerged from the garage and are heading up to the bedroom. Nothing salacious or prurient. But something that sounds more adult in intent and content.

Emily Massey in particular, sounds as if she especially has left the adolescent innocence of Modern Mod far behind in favor of exploring a more emerging womanhood musically, as also evidenced in her work with her other Madison based band Melkweed, which has yet to record and release material but have performed extremely well received live sets of some exquisitely realized soulful pop songs.

Whatever led to this combined effort of forces from the band's past and present, the results are captivating, beguiling and often filled with a dark allure that is inescapable. All in all, the very best thing that I can say after hearing the release of Slow Pulp's "EP2," six tracks combining in a brief but musically packed 17 minutes can be summed up in the following two words:

More please!!!!

SLOW PULP

https://slowpulp.bandcamp.com/