Monday, July 31, 2006

Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows, Vol. IV: Where's the Party At? Peaches and Cream

I know, I should have had this playlist posted Friday morning AT THE LATEST, but y'know what? I had a cold. So there.
Here's what I played on Thursday, July 27, 2006 on CJTR.

Hour One
I Love Hot Nights - Jonathan Richman
Truth Be Told - Joel Plaskett
Summertime Thing - Chuck Prophet
Arrival - Radiogram
Wing Finger - Chad VanGaalen
This Heart's On Fire - Wolf Parade
Fatter Than Anything - Howling Hex
Clockwork Crows - Run Chico Run
Do the Robot - Bo Diddley
What Lies Beyond - King Kong
Your Eyes Are A Door - the High Dials
Who's Who - Weird War

Hour Two
Be First - Joel RL Phelps Downer Trio
The Difference Between Us (Live In Regina) - Cuff the Duke
Intruder (Demo) - Goldenmile
This Is The Way I Used To Be - The Neins Circa
All Because You Told Me - Shivaree
Mr. Golden Happiness - Lullaby Baxter
Other Girls - Eux Autres
Oh Oh Cherie - Francoise Hardy
Standing At the Bus Stop - Andrew Vincent
Blood Orange - Howe Gelb
Bentley to Clive - Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup
Lucky Dime - Calexico
End of Love - Clem Snide
What Else Is New? - Dinosaur Jr
Sleeping Through Everything - the Minders

Friday, July 21, 2006

I've come seeking pathos 'neath the halogen lights: Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows #3

What I played on July 20, 2006 on CJTR

Hour One
Streets of Baltimore - Bobby Bare
I Really Want to Help You - Cuff the Duke
Surrender - OX
Midnight Dream - Hacienda Brothers
Dream Feedback - Elephant Micah
Plastic Man, You're the Devil - Pink Mountaintops
Cisza, Ja I Czas - Hey
Snow Lion - Feist
I Love You - Asie Payton
Louder Than A Bomb - Tiga
Tokyo Drift - Teriyaki Boyz
Paris - mstrkrft
Le Laboureur - Masanka Sankayi feat. Kabongo Tshisensa

Hour Two
Senegal Fastfood - Amadou et Miriam
Out On the Rolling Sea - Olu Dara
Mambo Sinuendo - Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban
La Fin Du Monde - Hylozoists
Message Personnel - Francoise Hardy
No Sense - Paper Moon
Canadian Dreamz - Andrew Vincent
Somewhere Else - Jim Bryson w/ Jim Cuddy
I Just Walked Away - Tony Joe White
Dreams to Remember - Oh Susanna
Angel of the Morning - Charlemagne
Things to Remember - Willie Nelson
Country Song - The Idaho Falls
Honey Drips, Butter Runs - Andre Ethier

Friday, July 14, 2006

Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows, Episode II: Attack of the Scones

Here's what I played on July 13, 2006 on Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows on CJTR.

Hour One
Parties in the USA - Jonathan Richman
One, Two, Three - Andrew Vincent & the Pirates
Nora, Nora - The Neins Circa
Didn't It Rain - Jim Byrnes
Freedom Blues - Little Richard
You've Come A Long Way - Joe Tex
Bucket of Blood - Little Freddie King
Trouble's Gonna Stay Awhile - the Deadly Snakes
Rat's Revenge, Part 2 - the Rats
Street Justice - MSTRKRFT
Wa Muluendu - Masanka Sankayi & Kasai Allstars

Hour Two
Teenage Doors - Howling Hex
Ticket to Immortality - the Dears
The Blood In My Body - JF Robitaille
The Heart Is A Stone - Acid House Kings
Ant & the Pea - Precious Fathers
Drift Away - Ike & Tina Turner
My Mexican Home - John Prine
Carry On Heather/Rhapsody - Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup possibly my favourite band in the known universe, btw. they make me want to be a better writer so that i can write something good enough that everybody who reads it will fall in love with them the same way i have
Lying There - Howe Gelb
Four Strong Winds - Johnny Cash
Lasso the Moon - the Fake Fictions
Oh, My Friends - Blood Meridian
Recipe for Sick - Parkas

Friday, July 07, 2006

Parkas, Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs, Gnarls Barkley

a bunch of stuff I've written lately for the El-P:


A Life of Crime & The Scars to Prove It DVD & CD
Little Records of Concrete
4 stars

In the spring of 2004, Ontario’s Parkas embarked on a fateful cross-Canada toured punctuated on either end by triumphs. They launched the tour to a packed house at Toronto’s storied Horseshoe Tavern, and their penultimate show saw them, again in Toronto, deservedly win “Most Promising Band” at the North-By-Northeast Music Festival. What happened in between, and immediately afterward, however, was anything but triumphant. That’s what makes A Life of Crime, the documentary of the tour and its effects on the band by filmmakers Jon Eagan and James Loftus so compelling.
The film begins at the end, with the four Parkas, guitarist Michael Brown, drummer Greg Rhyno, bass player Mark Rhyno and guitarist Grady Kelneck driving home after the final show of the tour. They’re starting to plan the recording of the follow-up to their fantastic debut album, Now This Is Fighting. That’s when Kelnick drops the bombshell: he doesn’t want to be in the band anymore. As the other three Parkas absorb this news, the audience is taken back to the start of the tour.
Heading out to the East Coast after the Horseshoe gig, the Parkas face night after demoralizing night of playing to empty saloons, pizza parlours and even a Peanut Bar. They have to press venues to live up to the most basic parts of their agreements, namely to pay the band, feed the band, and sometimes, provide lodgings. Why do they put up with us? “There's too many bands,” Greg Rhyno tells the camera. “We're pretty expendable.”
The audiences generally improve as the band makes its way to the West Coast, though the gorgeously-shot Regina gig at the Easy Alibi (which shut down just days after the Parkas gig) had a pathetically abysmal turnout. Among those who did show up for brilliant set was a certain local music writer whose head looks freakishly huge from behind.
By the time the action returns to the long drive home and the band’s reaction to Kelneck’s announcement, we’ve certainly been convinced that he has good reasons to not want to go through that again. But at the same time, we share in the remaining three Parkas sense of betrayal. After all, they survived the ordeal of the tour, paid their dues, as it were, and most importantly, they made it through together.
Counter-balancing the depressing reality of touring as a band still making its name is the postively joyful music of the Parkas (even at their most melancholy, the Parkas’ songs are refreshingly life-affirming). Even when the audience is made up of little more than the self-described “baddest mother#&*$er east of Sussex” or people who would rather hear Jack Johnson covers, the Parkas still manage to thoroughly kick out their jams.
In many ways a coda to the documentary, the accompanying six-song EP The Scars to Prove It was recorded mere months after Kelneck’s departure. Where Now This Is Fighting presented the Parkas as cheeky adherents to the kind of catchy, fun, and distinctly Canadian rock promulgated by folks like Joel Plaskett or Cuff the Duke, The Scars to Prove It finds the former pranksters battle-worn and contemplative. And rivetingly so.
“Darling, the Wolves” and “Recipe For Sick” show off a new aggressive edge, while “Start Your Own Country” showcases the Parkas’ knack for bringing out the emotional oomph in geography. “Sweet Amputations” is melodically a follow-up to “My Life of Crime” from the first album (and also featured here as a live cut), but gets deeper and slower and more sophisticated. But the real masterpiece of the EP is “The Highway Divides”, a direct response to Kelneck’s departure from the group. It’s a slow-burn with an enormously rewarding pay-off that deliciously revels in bitter resentment. If only all break-ups sounded this good. (Emmet Matheson)

Under the Covers, Vol. 1
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
Shout Factory
4 stars

Under the Covers, Vol. 1 cheats. It’s just one more example of how the music industry has lost sight of traditional values like hard work, new ideas and challenging itself. Worst of all, it’s wonderful.
For starters, 90s alterna-popster Matthew Sweet and 80s Egyptian-like-walker Susanna Hoffs (of the Bangles) both have perfect pop voices. Throw those voices together in harmony? Hey, no fair! If Sweet was paired with someone less ideal, someone more ill-suited to his voice, someone like, oh, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas or one of those anonymous Pussycat Dolls, we could get behind that. That would be a challenge. And why should Hoffs have the benefit of commingling her dulcet tones with someone so vocally well-equipped and pop-savvy as Sweet? It’s just too easy and too obvious. A far more curious and daring vocal partner would Karl Marlden. Doesn’t anybody take any risks anymore?
Speaking of risk-taking and the lack thereof, can we really let Hoffs and Sweet get away with their selection of 15 of the 60s’ finest pop songs? Talk about performance-enhancing substances! Who couldn’t sound great singing songs written by the likes of Lennon/McCartney, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Brian Wilson and Lou Reed? Not to mention Michael Nesmith, Rod Argent and the Gibb brothers. How’s that for gutlessness?
The terrific arrangements and instrumental performances--like Richard Lloyd’s ringing guitar on “Cinnamon Girl”--only add insult to injury.
Appallingly, Sweet and Hoffs aren’t content with merely creating glorious new versions of one decade’s songbook. Under the Covers, Vol. 2 is already in the works, set to feature Hoffs and Sweet knocking out what are sure to be fantastic renditions of 70s pop songs. Rest assured, dear reader, that we’ll remain vigilant, ready to register our disgust. (Emmet Matheson)

Hell Is Eux Autres
Eux Autres
Grenadine Records
3.5 stars

Let’s get it Sartre in here!
References to French existentialism aside, Hell Is Eux Autres is a breezy indie-pop confection. Eux Autres winningly combines lo-fi jangles borrowed from the Raveonettes and Sleater-Kinney (whose Janet Weiss produced parts of the album) with the “ye-ye” sounds of 60s French pop singers like Serge Gainesbourg and Francoise Hardy into something almost original and wholly fun.
The brother-and-sister guitar-and-drums duo from Portland, Ore. charm their way through nine songs with an irresistible élan lined with laissez-faire. Sometimes they sing in the sort of French you might learn in the back pages of travel guides (“Pamplemousse, petit chien, ça ne fait rien,” on “Écoutez Bien”, sometimes in English that makes as little as sense (“Ten thousand lemons don’t make a renegade,” on “Le Projet Citron”). The refrain of “Carolina!”, which evokes Brian Wilson with its sophisticated, melancholy arrangement (and nominal reference to Pet Sounds’ “Caroline, No”) repeats, “I wanna, wanna, want to waste your time,” which, come to think of it, is sort of Ramones-y, too.
Hell Is Eux Autres, itself, is hardly a waste of time. It’s catchy, fun pop that even Albert Camus would approve of. (Emmet Matheson)

St. Elsewhere
Gnarls Barkley
4 stars

Though it’s got some stiff competition--Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater”, Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick Push”, Kardinal Offishall & Bedouin Soundclash’s remix of “Last Standing Soldier”, and even Paris Hilton’s surprisingly pleasant “Stars Are Blind” are all early contenders--Gnarls Barkley’s first single, “Crazy” is heavily favoured to be the song of Summer ‘06. With its indelible bassline, quirky lyrics, and vocals that sound like Al Green trying to be Nina Simone, “Crazy” is nigh unbeatable. Luckily, the rest of the album lives up to the single.
Fresh from his collaboration with MF Doom on the Saturday morning cartoon-themed The Mouse & the Mask, producer Dangermouse lays down 14 tracks of irreproachable hip hop soul. Cee-Lo, previously best known as a rapper with Atlanta’s Goodie Mob and solo hits like “Closet Freak” and “I’ll Be Around” or as the composer of the Pussycat Dolls hit “Don’t Cha”, emerges here as the full-fledged soul star his fans have always known he was.
While St. Elsewhere is as great as “Crazy” would lead you to expect, it’s by no means predictable. “The Boogie Monster” is a futuristic throwback to Boris Pickett’s “Monster Mash” that sounds like a mash-up between the Neptunes and Spike Jones & His City Slickers. “Transformer” owes as much to the Hasbro toys as it does to the Lou Reed album of the same name. And the Casio-toned cover of the Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone”--well, some things just defy explanation.
Individually, Cee-Lo and Dangermouse are two of the most exciting musicians on the scene. Together, they draw out the weirdo best in each other. With 14 potential hit singles, count on St. Elsewhere to keep the summer pumping well into 2007. (Emmet Matheson)

Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows #1

The News Is Out: For the duration of the summer (July & August), I'm the new Dave. While Monsieur Kuzenko enjoys his new BBQ, I'll be sweating it out to the oldies and newies in his Anyway the Wind Blows timeslot, 8 to 10 p.m., Thursday on 91.3 FM CJTR.
What I played on July 6, 2006:

Hour One
Citizens of Tomorrow - Tokyo Police Club - Kick ass Toronto band, with kick-ass handclaps on this track!
Summer Song Summer - Radiogram - One of those songs you've just gotta play once a summer from Ken Beattie & co. New Radiogram alb coming this year! I've already heard two songs and I really, really like "Arrival" and will probably play it soon.
That Summer Feeling - Jonathan Richman - Another SUMMER SONG that you can't not play
Everyday I Have to Cry - Arthur Alexander - killer country soul from Alexander's last album, produced by Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
It Tears Me Up - Hacienda Brothers - more country soul, also guided into existence by Penn & Oldham
Dead Dogs Still Love Us - Carbon Dating Service - would you believe that I first heard of this Saskatoon band from Matthew Perpetua's Hit Refresh blog/column originating in NYC? go figure
Crash Hard - Dustin Bentall - Features a reference to my favourite book ever.
Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me - the Pipettes - sweet girl group pop, with plenty o' handclaps
La Poinçonneur Des Lilas - Serge Gainsbourg - I'm 98% sure this song is lewd
La Maison Ou J'ai Grandi - Françoise Hardy - heartbreaking yeh-yeh
7 heures du matin - Jacqueline Taieb - Stone cold classic for the Who shout out, and the brosse-a-dents mystery
Girls Fight! - Vailhalen - This band kicks ass, and they've got a really, really terrif new song post on their website
New York - JF Robitaille - sorta Donavon-y indie folk from Mtl
All I Want - Kenny Brown - though it's probably supposed to evoke Bonnie & Clyde, this song reminds more of the Al Pacino/Gene Hackman buddy-tragedy Scarecrow
Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt - Bad Livers - What can I say about the Bad Livers that I haven't said a million times before? I love 'em.

Hour Two
Fruit Pickers (in Dubious Battle) - Ridley Bent - Based exactingly on Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. I haven't really come to terms with Ridley Bent--sometimes I think he's great, sometimes I think he's grating. Regardless, Chin Injeti's production is flawless
Cosmetics - Fight the Monster - You can't not admire these dudes
As A Ghost - The Cape May - brilliant
Helpless - Buffy Sainte-Marie - It really doesn't get more Canadian than this
Solid Gold - Chuck Prophet
Panic Open String - Calexico
Warning Against Judging a Christian Brother - Hylozoists
Energy - King Kong
Work on You - MSTRKRFT
Transformer - Gnarls Barkley
(Far from) Home The Speed Of Sexor Reprise - Tiga
Tighten Rap - Zoobombs

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Tales of Spo-Dee O'Dee Past

Am cleaning up my office today - what a wild long weekend!- and came across several playlists from Spo-Dee O'Dee episodes of yore. In the interests of HISTORY, here they are. Or at least, here they are as best as I can read my own handwriting.

Jan. 14/04

"You Don't Know" - the Chains
"Village Green Preservation Society" - Kinks
"All the Pretty Faces" - Joel Plaskett Emergency
"If You Know What I Mean" - Martin Zellar
"Spam" - Crunt
"I Don't Need My Friends To Tell Me Who My Friends Are" - The Evaporators
"Gratitude" - Neil Michael Hagerty
"Jacques + Madeine" - Run Chico Run
"Love Has Got Me Crying Again" - Denise James
"Fist City" - Loretta Lynn
"Sore" - Buck 65
"More Noise Please" - Steven Jesse Bernstein
"King Kong" - King Kong

Jan. 21/04

"When Will Happiness Find Me Again" - Frank Black & the Catholics
"Saddle Bum" - Wylie & the Wild West
"The Down Beat" - Sugarhill Gang
"Chloe" - Ry Cooder
"No Competition" - Eric B. & Rakim
"I Love the Unknown" - Clem Snide
"No Children" - Mountain Goats
"Sunken Waltz" - Calexico
"Sittin' On Top of The World" - Willie Nelson
"Potty Mouth" - Ugly Duckling
"The Snow" - Audio Bullys
"50 Gallon Drum" - Buck 65
"Put the Hurtin' Back in the Bottle" - Linda McRae & the Cheerful Lonesome
"Muhammed Ali" - Greg Trooper
"Monday Motion Shuffle" - the Goods (I have no idea if that's really the name of the song)
"60 Cycle Hum" - Bionic
"Stompin' at Le Savoi" - Kid Koala

Feb. 18/04

"On Green Dolphin St." - Eric Dolphy Quintet
"Lily's Veranda" - Almost Transparent Blue
"Duff" - Dirty Dozen Brass Band
"Yes" - Morphine
"Ballistics" - Junior Pantherz
"Futura Trance" - White Hassle
"Dreaming Man" - Neko Case
"Modern World" - Myracle Brah
"Banff Springs Hotel" - John Southworth
"Kalupa" - Tau Moe Family
"Greyhound" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"MTM Theme" - the Sin-Tones
"Fresh Horses" - Jim Byrnes
"I Just Had to Ask" - Rick Fines Trio
"Bucket of Blood" - Little Freddie King
"Bass Hump" - Dub Narcotic Sound System
"Go Junior, Go Senior" - Junior Senior
"One Shot" - Rascalz
"Hey Baby" - Holmes Brothers
"Tout Mais Pas Ca" - Lyne Tremblay
"I Was Born" - Unicorns
"Hula Blues" - Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Air Show
"Viper" - Wayne Hancock

(obviously, I was only doing an hour-long show during this period, with the above week being an extra hour long)

Feb. 25/04

"All the Pretty Faces" - Joel Plaskett Emergency (hey! didn't just play that 6 weeks earlier? wtf, Emmet?)
"Sweet Cherry Wine" - Tommy James & the Shondells
"Ei Ya" - Biz Markie
"Waiting for the DJ" - Talib Kweli
"Gentle Strength" - Heavy Blinkers
"Nothing Left Behind" - the Chains
"Wrong Idea" - Aaron Booth
"Come Home to Me" - Denise James
"Huckle-Buck" - Otis Redding
"Martha" - Andrew Vincent & the Pirates
"No Dancing" - Smog
"The News" - Raising the Fawn

Here the record ends. Maybe I moved to a different notebook, or, more likely, abandoned the process altogether. However, in my excavation, I almost came across three other playlists, dated merely, "Oct 20", "Nov 10" and "Nov 17". Possibly, the year will become obvious as I list the tunes.

Oct. 20/?? (the data suggests 2004)

"The Night" - Andre Ethier
"Speedball, Baby" - Speedball Baby
"Bite Down Hard" - Ron Hawkins & Rusty Nails
"The Way It's Meant to Be" - the Features (which seems to suggest 2004?)
"Stoked" - RTX (yep, 2004)
"Know That" - Neil Michael Hagerty
"When the Sun Returns" - More Plastic
"Hollywood Ending" - Hayden
"Grown Folks" - Raphael Saadiq
"Ice Cold Daydream" - Shuggie Otis
"Misty Water" - Kinks
"Same Thing Twice" - Flashing Lights
"Mean Streak" - Jim Bryson
"No Antenna in Ravenna" - Jason Trachtenburg
"Is She Weird" - Frank Black Francis
"Wishing Well" - Lorrie Matheson (no relation)
"Rock Me Gently" - White Hassle
"Powerdrive" - Andy Kim
"From Blown Speakers" - New Pornographers
"Had" - Portastatic, feat. Ken Vandermark & Tim Mulvenna
"Sex, Love & Money" - Mos Def
"They Live By Night" - Make-Up
"Lies, Ties & Battlefields" - Young & Sexy
"Girl, Inform Me" - the Shins
"Old World" - Modern Lovers
"Smile" - Wayne Omaha
"Oh, You Should Go to Canada" - Al Franken
"Giants in My Field" - Parkas
"Bring the Noise" - Public Enemy
"Beware the Boys" - Panjabi MC

Nov 10/?? (again, probably 2004)

"Bring the Noise" - Public Enemy (what, was I going through a phase?)
"Hot Gossip" - Blues Explosion (okay, I see what I was doing)
"Crucial" - k-os
"Translucent Sparrow" - the Sadies
"Medicine Ball" - the Sadies
"West Texas Sound" - Deadly Snakes (featuring Dallas Good of the Sadies on guitar--I bet the Sadies were in town that week)
"La Bastrinque" - Jughead (feat. Travis Good on fiddle, so, yep, Sadies were in town that week)
"The Tigers Have Spoken" - Neko Case (featuring...all the Sadies)
"Flash - the Sadies
"Oak Ridges" - the Sadies
"The Unseen Guest" - Jale (featuring Mike Belitsky, later of the Sadies, on drums)
"With A Splash" - the Sadies
"The Collapse" - the Unintended (Sadies + Rick White + Greg Keelor)
"UFO/IFO" - Jad Fair & Phono-Comb (more Dallas Good guitar)
"Bliss/Spokes" - Calexico
"The Feeling of Love" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"2 Kindsa Love" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Blues Explosion Attack" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"All Shook Up" - Jon Spencer
"Pant Leg" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Dissect" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"East St. Louis" - 20 Miles
"Do You Wanna Get Heavy" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Soul Trance" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"She Said" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Burn It Off" - Blues Explosion (the Damage album must have just come out, and probably I was lazy)
"Fed Up & Low Down" Blues Explosion
"She's A Clone" - Glowing Embers
"You Don't Know" - the Chains
"Let Me Drive Your Car" - White Hassle

Nov. 17/?? (most definitely 2004)

"My Heart is Black" - High Dials
"Knowing Me, Knowing You" - Volebeats
"Don't Get Around Much Anymore" - Willie Nelson
"The Little Things" - Northey/Valenzuela
"Don't Get Down" - Hayden
"You Are the Light (by which I travel...)" - Jens Lekman
"There's a Higher Power" - Louvin Bros
"A Good Flying Day" - the Sadies
"Yesterday is Here" - Tom Waits
"Mess of Love" - Bocephus King (remember what I said a few blogs ago?)
"Doing My Time" - Bad Livers
"Ac-cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" - Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Air Show
"Tracks Tonight" - the Buttless Chaps
"Things" - Jerry Lee Lewis
"I Love the Summer 'Cause I Love the Women" - Mayor McCa
"Jump Back" - Rufus Thomas
"Addicted to Cheese" - Evaporators
"Cold Blooded" - Ol' Dirty Bastard
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya" - Ol' Dirty Bastard
"The Finger" - the Leather Uppers
"Come On Now" - Kinks
"My Kung Fu" - UTD
"Ei Ya" - Biz Markie
"Warehouse Prayer" - Bruce McCulloch
"Ribbon of Red Taillights" - Lorrie Matheson (still no relation)
"Adios" - the Swiftys
"2 Fingers Cross'd" - White Hassle
"Blue Umbrella" - John Prine
"Cool Again" - Aaron Booth
"the MTM theme" - Sin-Tones
"Selling My Pork Chops" - Memphis Minnie McCoy


Note: Spo-Dee Returns this Thursday, 8 p.m. MDT, on 91.3 FM CJTR,