Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Too Much Fighting on the Dance Floor

Good morning boys and girls and welcome back to Wednesdays With Andrew #wwa. Buckle in, you're in for a bumpy ride. As always, feel free to read along as you listen to below's playlist, and share, like, comment, whatever. I am open to requests! So if there's something you wanna hear in the weeks to come, let me know. 

Web Player link:

The Specials – Ghost Town

We kick off this week with an infectious anthem from English ska band The Specials. Fronted by founder and primary songwriter Jerry Dammers, The Specials are credited for leading the ska revival and 2 Tone scene in the UK during the late 70s and early 80s. Ghost Town was originally released as a single in 1981, and spent three weeks at number one in the UK’s Top 40 list. You may also remember this haunting melody and chill backbeat being featured in the movie Shaun of the Dead.

Screeching Weasel – Stupid Girl

Stupid Girl is off Chicago-based band Screeching Weasel’s 8th studio album, Bark Like a Dog. Screeching Weasel, through a career that spans decades and has produced 13 full-length albums, remains highly influential, often being cited for ‘muse-like’ qualities by commercially and critically popular artists. This track highlights their tendency to focus lyrics on girls and love, and get people hooked on that Ramones-eque style of glaze-y pop punk.

Good Riddance – Static

Up next we have another longstanding member of the Fat Wreck Chords family, Good Riddance. Static is off their 1996 sophomore release, A Comprehensive Guide to Moderne Rebellion. Good Riddance quickly rose to prominence during the 90s through their commitment to fast rhythms, hooky melodies and political and social commentary. 

The Kinks – (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman

Formed in London in the early 60s by brothers Dave and Ray Davies, The Kinks were one of the most influential bands of its time, and you can still hear their impact on today’s pop, rock and punk sounds. For their own part, the Davies brothers incorporated many different styles they were exposed to at a young age, ranging from dance hall to rhythm and blues to jazz to good ole rock n roll. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman comes off their 1979 album Low Budget, and the disco feel of the song was The Kinks’ sarcastic response to their label’s insistence on recording a “club-friendly” album.

Capdown – Ska Wars

This next song is a punch to the face, showcasing the energy, rage and musical diversity that encapsulates British skacore band Capdown. Ska Wars is from their debut album, Civil Disobedients, released in 2000 through Household Name Records. Capdown is as well known for blending genres (influences ranging from punk to reggae to metal to drum+bass to hardcore) as they are for their aggressive tour schedule; reportedly, they played almost 250 live shows a year in the early 2000s.

MxPx – Weak

This is MxPx’s track Weak, off their 1994 debut album Pokinatcha. Released through Christian rock label Tooth & Nail Records, this showcases MxPx’s earlier, rawer sound. Although they eventually found their niche writing more melodic, pop-driven songs, Pokinatcha draws more from earlier hardcore and punk influences, a la Black Flag, Descendents and Minor Threat.

The Dictators – Baby Let’s Twist

Baby Let’s Twist comes from Rock n Roll Hall of Famers and proto-punk legends The Dictators. The song is from their third album, Bloodbrothers, which was hailed positively by critics as a turning point for the band, focused on a more mature and refined sound. Like their previous albums, Bloodbrothers features ‘secret weapon’ and band mascot Handsome Dick Manitoba on lead vocals. If you ever find yourself in East Village, go say hey to him at the bar he owns, Manitoba’s; I hear he’s often around and fun to chat with.

Teddybears ft. Iggy Pop - Punkrocker

If you read my first blog, you may remember me issuing a warning about playing Iggy Pop in excess…this particular manifestation features Mr. Iguana Pop as guest lead vocalist for Swedish electronic band Teddybears. Aptly named Punkrocker, this song is off their 2006 album Soft Machine, released as a collaboration of Big Beat and Columbia records. This whole album is great, and I definitely recommend taking a listen if you get the chance. Originally a grindcore/metal band, Teddybears is now best known for their eclectic mix of musical genres, and for wearing giant bear masks, like all the time.

The Vandals – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape

This next track is The Vandals’ Ape Shall Never Kill Ape, off their fourth studio album Live, Fast Diarrhea. A huge driving force of the 90s punk revival scene, Huntington Beach’s The Vandals preferred to use their music as a vehicle for comedy and sarcasm, as opposed to the more serious political and social stances their contemporaries were staking out.

Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

We are now transported to the streets of Queens, aimlessly (and unsuccessfully) looking for the right food for the mood, with this stoner saga by New York’s Parquet Courts. Stoned and Starving is off their 2nd full length, Light Up Gold, released through frontman Andrew Savage’s record label Dull Tools.  Light Up Gold proved to be a breakout success, garnering hugely positive reviews and propelling Parquet Courts’ brand of musical stream of consciousness into the national spotlight.

New York Dolls - Trash

We end this week’s episode with another early influencer on the American punk scene, the New York Dolls. Trash comes off of the band’s 1973 eponymous album, released on Mercury Records. Although the New York Dolls had attracted a huge following in lower Manhattan, it took them a few years to land a record deal; labels weren’t eager to take on what they viewed as a huge liability in the cross-dressing, vulgar-laden Dolls. Mercury finally decided to take a bet on them, but ended up losing - although the album was a critical success, and helped pave the way for many bands to come, it was a commercial flop, selling only about 100,000 copies.

Hope you enjoyed the playlist! Share with friends, make requests, let me know what you think, etc.  Until next week...

No comments:

Post a Comment