Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Off with his head, man

Happy diez de mayo, culeros, and welcome to another #WWA playlist! Boy, do we have songs! Good songs? Yea, sure! This week features classics from bands like Screeching Weasel, The Clash, Germs, El Ten Eleven, Millencollin and more.

While you're listening to the playlist, do me (and you, and everyone except Verizon really..) a favor and let the FCC know you support the concept of Net Neutrality, backed by title ii oversight of ISPs. Simply go to (thanks Jonny O!), hit the 'express' button and leave a comment. Also let your senators and congressperson know you're not down with this shit. It will take you under 2 minutes and could help ensure your future internet experience doesn't look like this:

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Alright with that, music time.

Annnd here's the web player link for all you browser shnecks.

We'll kick off the week's shitskrieg of a playlist with those skankin' and rockin' Swedes of Millencollin. No Cigar is the first track off of their 4th studio album, Pennybridge Pioneers, which marked a time where skate and pop punk was getting a makeover and making big commercial waves. Indeed, No Cigar was featured on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2....fittingly, the name Millencollin is derived from a skateboard trick the guys dick around with, the 'melancholy'.

The Clash's English Civil War is a glossy and fucking awesome derivative of the famous American Civil War song, When Johnny Comes Marching Home. A single off their 2nd full-length, Give 'Em Enough Rope, Joe (brilliant) Strummer (of guitars) wrote this track to denounce the state of affairs in English politics, with the rise of the British National Front and disagreements around the direction of that great little island nation.  Give 'Em Enough Rope is one of my favorite Clash albums; this one also features 'Julie's Been Working For the Drug Squad' and 'Tommy Gun'.

Hot Cakes is a dope little tune from Los Angeles art rock duo El Ten Eleven. Purely instrumental, these guys specialize in crafting layered works, featuring heavy doubleneck guitar and oppressive bass tones, with a lot of emphasis on looping around a leitmotif. Let's boogie.

Cool Kids is a sugary pop anthem off of Screeching Weasel's Bark Like a Dog album, which is essentially a compendium of how to make a commercially and critically successful punk rock record. This marked Ben Weasel and co.'s first collaboration with Fat Wreck. I am also throwing on Baby Fat's Got a Girlfriend, which is off the first half of their (apparent) 2-part punk rock opera, Baby Fat: Act 1. Still waiting on the follow up from that 2015, 27-song (!) release.

Communist Eyes is the second track off old school punk rockers Germs' only album, GI. Released in 1979, and produced by godmother of punk Joan Jett, GI is oft cited as one of the earliest and most influential hardcore albums to come out during that era of LA punk. Singer Darby Crash, who formed the band with guitarist Pat Smear, is often credited with setting the Germs apart with eclectic and impressionist-styled lyrical content.

In the early 80s, on the heels of the Germs' success, came a wave of punk and hardcore bands out of the suburbs of Orange County. Bands like Social Distortion, Agent Orange, Legal Weapon...and these guys, the Adolescents. Unlike about 95% of punk rock songs ever written (with some notable exceptions, cough cough The Decline), this track clocks in at over 5 minutes, which pretty much makes it a punk rock chef-d'œu·vre.

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OK, it may be a good time to pump the brakes a bit and get into something a bit more soothing. Easy Star All-Stars' cover of Paranoid Android should do the trick. Off their 2006 OK Computer tribute album, Radiodread, this is a brilliant reggae version of an already beautiful song. Besides the addition of horns, which provides a more hopeful sound to somewhat dark subject material, and a few lyrics changes ('Jah loves his children..'), Easy Star keeps most of the original feeling intact.

Melodic punk anthem Spine is served up courtesy those hooligan motherfuckers of DC's Curse Words. Playing a flavor of fast, pop-first punk, with plenty of sing-along chorus and cheeky half-time breakdowns, these guys are reminiscent of acts like PUP, The Dopamines and the Flatliners. If you're local, go check these assholes out tomorrow night at Clarendon Grill.

We end today's playlist like we began, with a rocking tune written by a band of Swedish skaters. Black City is the title track for Division of Laura Lee's  2002 album, which was released through Burning Heart and Epitaph. Self-described as a "musical tornado" from Gothenburg, Division of LL writes (seemingly) simple and hard hitting fuzzpop, while evoking a complex timbre in their compositions.

Alright, Spicey out. Thanks for listening and be sure to tune in next week for some more punk rock lovin'

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