Radio Helsinki Listener! As I have told you before, I write the notes for our shows in advance. Right now, it’s July 21, 2133 hrs., PST. It’s hot out. I am listening to Machine Gun Etiquette by the Damned and as always, it’s a perfect night time play. As I usually do, right before I settled in to write these notes, I listened to all the songs for this show, earlier. I think we have a great line up.
This is the start of what could be an incredible weekend of live shows. Tomorrow night, I will be at a venue called Zebulon, where Fushitsusha the brain damaging trio that features one of my favorite guitar players, Keiji Haino, will play a three hour set. That’s right, three hours. They are set to go on at 2130 hrs. and play until 0030 hrs. Once it starts, there is no way I’m leaving until it’s over. I have never seen Keiji Haino live and I am very excited. Three hours is a long show but I bet this won’t be happening again any time soon, so I’m in for the long haul. I will eventually get back to the house, fall out for a few hours and then get ready to go to the FYF, a yearly festival here in Los Angeles. I will be going to the backstage area with Iggy Pop’s band. I am hoping they want to get there a little early because before Iggy (The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rock and Roll) goes on, Ty Segall will be on the same stage. If I’m lucky, I will be able to catch Ty before Iggy. That would be amazing. No matter what, it’s going to be a great time.
One of the many great things about records is coming back to them. Sometimes, I go for years without hearing a record that I like. I’m trying to hear new stuff all the time and at this point, there are a lot of records I may never get back to again. Now and then, like when you’re hungry for a certain thing, you want to hear a certain record. If you’ve been listening to our show, you know that I’m a fan of Ian Svenonious, the man of many bands. I think we’re getting around to a fair amount of them but not all. One of his early releases, with his band The Nation Of Ulysses, is an album called 13-Point Program To Destroy America. It came out on the Dischord label in 1991. I liked this album as soon as I heard it. Besides a song here and there for radio shows I have been putting together for warm weather listening this year, I have not listened to the record from start to finish for a long time. I have played it twice in the last few days and am fighting the urge to put it on as soon as the Damned album finishes. It’s a great one. There is something you’ll find in a lot of the Washington DC area bands, they’re usually intelligent. It shows in everything from the lyrics and music to the layout of the records. Nation of Ulysses is a perfect example of this. They were sharp, young and idealistic. I think 13 Point Program sounds better than ever. A few years ago, Dischord Records remastered their catalog and unsurprisingly, they did an amazing job.
It’s a Friday night and I’m alone in a room with the record player on. It’s really all I need. This is been my kind of scene since I was young. People are great but a room full of music is, to me is a perfect situation.
The Damned album finished and now, I’m listening to the last solo album by an amazing artist that we have on our show this evening, track 21, Alan Vega. This legend in his own time artist passed away last year. Several months before he died, he recorded what would be his last solo effort, an album called IT. Not knowing the exact release date, I didn’t put a track from it into this show because I didn’t want get in front of the release. I have had the album for almost two years and have been waiting anxiously for this record to come out. I don’t know how much you know about Alan. He was one half of the legendary duo Suicide. Both he and the other member, Martin Rev recorded and released solo efforts with great frequency. IT is easily in the top three of Alan’s solo work. In a way, it’s like Bowie’s Blackstar, where both artists left some of their best work for last. Alan’s music is incredibly intense. That’s the only way he went at art. He was either on all the way, or he didn’t show up at all. I saw the last Suicide show in London two summers ago and they were completely hectic. What a night. Alan and Martin started the show by each doing a solo set and then came out for a Suicide set. It was an incredible night. Right now, I’m on my second listen to IT on vinyl. What a record. I became friends with Alan over the years and he was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Whenever I hung out with him, I was there but at the same time, kind of not there, just in awe of the man. I am sure that Alan’s solo work isn’t for everyone but if you find yourself digging the song you hear on this show, Sneaker Gun Fire, the rest of the album it came from, Deuce Avenue is as great. If you can find the US edition of the CD, I put that out, it has an extra track, called Whacko Warrior, an outtake from the Deuce sessions.
I’m not one with any hatred for the human race but I will say that we are an incredibly strange bunch and I have found that records are a great alternative to going out and getting frustrated with the comings and goings of people. I get along with my records really well. It’s such a great relationship we have. In a switch, I am now listening to a collection of Conrad Schnitzler, released on the excellent Bureau B label called Filmmusik 1. I just got this as well as the second volume. You wouldn’t be doing yourself any wrong by checking out his work. Thankfully, he made a lot of records for us. I’m no expert but I’ve heard a lot his work and there’s not one release that wasn’t worth the time. Right now, it’s just me and Mr. Schnitzler. The music is incredible.
We have been together now for about two months, gathering once a week to check out some music. I hope the shows have been compelling enough to get you to return every week. Beyond that, I hope that I have sent you to the record store at least once. Consider all of these tracks an introduction to something. With music, one record leads you into another and into another and after awhile, you’re running out of room. What a great problem to have!
We only have a few more weeks together and then we’re all on to other things. This is a great show we have here, starting with one of the best songs ever. The Idiot is one of my favorite albums. Many years ago, I was like a lot of other people in small bands, perpetually broke. It was all I could do to stay fed, much less get any records. I had a cassette of a few songs from The Idiot. It took me a long time to finally get my own copy and once I did, it became one of my favorites. I see Iggy play whenever I can and when he plays a track off this album, it always makes me happy. Track 20, the great Boozoo Chavis. He played one night in New York City. I lived only a few blocks from the venue. I think it was the S.O.B’s. I was hoping he would play Dog Hill, that’s one of my favorite songs of his. He did! It was so great. Damn, that was like twenty one years ago. He’s gone now and was lucky to see him play. Another reason why records are so great. They allow us to zoom around time. You put on the right record and you are right there. This Schnitzler record is incredible. Too bad I don’t have more shows with you, there is so much more I want you to hear. Until next week, I hope you like the music we have gathered for you on this show.
01. Iggy Pop – Funtime / The Idiot
02. Doctor Mix & The Remix - No Fun (single A side mix) / Wall of Noise
03. The Viletones – Rebel /single
04. Redd Kross - Annette’s Got The Hits / The Best Of Rodney On The ROQ
05. John Cale – Chickenshit / Animal Justice
06. The Vibrators - Judy Says . . . / single
07. UK Subs - Perfect Girl / Punk Singles of the UK Subs
08. Melt-Banana - Aquatic Bee / 13 Hedgehogs (MxBx Singles 1994-1999)
09. Shapes - Wot’s For Lunch Mum? (Not Beans Again!) / Songs for Sensible People
10. Glaxo Babies - Who Killed Bruce Lee / Dreams Interrupted
11. I Jog and the Tracksuits – Redbox / 7” Up!
12. Spizz - Cold City / Where’s Captain Kirk?
13. Newtown Neurotics – Hypocrite / Punk Singles Collection
14. Crisis – Frustration / Holocaust Hymns
15. Tumbleweed - Captain’s Log / The Waterfront Years 1991-1993
16. Slim Gaillard - Yip Roc Heresy / Laughing In Rhythm: The Best Of The Verve Years
17. Crushed Butler - High School Dropout / Uncrushed
18. The Planet The - Physical Angel / Physical Angel
19. Black Randy & The Metro Squad - Down at the Laundrymat / Pass the Dust, I Think I’m Bowie
20. Boozoo Chavis - Dog Hill / Boozoo Chavis
21. Alan Vega - Sneaker Gun Fire / Deuce Avenue
22. Soccer Team - Dinner With Derelicts / Real Lessons in Cynicism
23. La Hell Gang - So High / Thru Me Again
24. The Need / Let Them Eat Valium / single
25. Japandroids - Wet Hair / Japandroids
26. Adverts - Back from the Dead / Singles Collection
27. Electric Eels – Agitated / The Eyeball of Hell
28. The Fall – Kimble / Complete Peel Sessions
29. Performing Ferrets - Dut Dut Dut / No One Told Us
30. The Mob - Shuffling Souls / Let the Tribe Increase
31. Dum Dum Dum - Dum Dum Dum / Messthetics Greatest Hits
32. Deerhoof - We Do Parties / Breakup Song
33. The Mae Shi – Forecasting / HLLLYH
34. Television - Marquee Moon / Marquee Moon