Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 14 – “The Dancing of Politics”

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 14 – “The Dancing of Politics”


“Politics of Dancing” by Reflex

Set 1
“In a Free Land” by Husker Du
“You’ll Never Pay for the Farm” by Gang of Four
“I Was a Teenage Anarchist” by Against Me!
“Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” by Neil Young

Set 2
“Ready for the Floor” by Hot Chip
“F the CC” by Steve Earle (bad file, didn't work right)
“Politicians in My Eyes” by Death
“Orange Soda” by Little Red Rooster

Set 3
“Sumthin’” by Devo
“Kill the Poor” by Dead Kennedys
“Wreck My Flow” by the Dirtbombs
“The Minority Song” by Green Day

Set 4
“The New World” by X
“My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)” by the Ramones
“This is Radio Clash” by the Clash
“(What’s So Funny) About Peace, Love, and Understanding?” by Elvis Costello
“Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads

Set 5
“Fat Children” by Jarvis Cocker
“Dead Disco” by Metric
“Going Underground” by the Jam

Set 6
“Anarchy in the U.K.” by the Sex Pistols
“American Squirm” by Nick Lowe
“Think Locally, Fuck Globally” by Gogol Bordello

Set 7
“Redemption Song” by Bob Marley
“Into the Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
“My Dear Country” by Norah Jones
“Future is in the Future” by Electric Six

“Democracy” by Leonard Cohen

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 13 – It’s a Cover-Up

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 13 – It’s a Cover-Up


“Gloria” by Them
“Gloria” by Patti Smith

Set 1
“Day Tripper” by the Beatles
“Day Tripper by Otis Redding
“Nobody Told Me” by John Lennon
“Nobody Told Me” by the Flaming Lips

Set 2
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by Devo
“Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver
“Take Me Home Country Roads” by Toots & the Maytals

Set 3
“I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” by Tom Waits
“I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” by the Ramones
“Got to Give It Up (Part 1)” by Marvin Gaye
“Got to Give It Up” by the Dirtbombs

Set 4
“I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four
“I Fought the Law” by the Clash
“Hanging on the Telephone” by the Nerves
“Hanging on the Telephone” by Blondie

Set 5
“Move It On Over” by Hank Williams
“Move It On Over” by George Thorogood & the Destroyers
“Rave On” by Buddy Holly
“Rave On” by M. Ward

Set 6
“Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen
“Atlantic City” by the Hold Steady
“Raspberry Beret” by Prince & the Revolution
“Raspberry Beret” by Hindu Love Gods

Set 7
“Have Love Will Travel” by the Sonics
“Have Love Will Travel” by the Black Keys
“Handle with Care” by Traveling Wilburys
“Handle with Care” by Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins

“Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg
“Gin and Juice” by the Gourds

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 12: "The Art of the Long Song"

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 12: "The Art of the Long Song"


“Atlas” by Battles

Set 1
“When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin
“Kitti’s Back” by Bruce Springsteen

Set 2
“Heroin” by the Velvet Underground

Set 3
“Champagne Supernova” by Oasis
“Ball & Biscuit” by the White Stripes

Set 4
“Delaware Slide” by George Thorogood & the Destroyers
“I Don’t Wanna Go There” by Dinosaur Jr

Set 5
“Bop Gun (Endangered Species)” by Parliament
“Purple Rain” by Prince

Set 6
“Take Me!” by the Wedding Present

Set 7
“Thin Blue Flame” by Josh Ritter
“Nobody Girl” by Ryan Adams

Set 8
“Marquee Moon” by Television

“Brownsville Girl” by Bob Dylan
“Straight Edge” by Minor Threat

This episode of the Sonic Parthenon Show was followed by a reading of “Madame La Gimp”, written by Damon Runyon.

Happy Mother's Day

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Thermals @ le Poisson Rouge

The Thermals
@ le Poisson Rouge
New York, NY - May 5, 2011

It's hard to believe it's been 7 years since I first/last saw the Thermals live, when they opened for Sleater-Kinney. It's hard to believe that the Thermals have been a going concern for over 7 years and have as many as albums as they do. It seems like only yesterday they were young punk kids turning heads. They certainly still look the part - though they do play insanely well together as should be expected after all this time. And they're still turning heads because of it.

If the tight, fierce playing wasn't enough, the fantastically named Hutch Harris drives through the vocals with an off-kilter, discordant tone that nevertheless sounds like pop finesse. My show-going buddy Jason said Hutch sounds like John Darnielle, which is practically a revelation yet also makes perfect sense. That Mountain Goats-meets-Ramones, Nirvana-meets-the Buzzcocks mix also explains how the Thermals come from the Northwest, but specifically Portland, and plant their flag as Portland's truest hard rocking band.

"A Stare Like Yours", "St. Rosa and the Swallows", and "Now We Can See", three tracks from three different Thermals albums, as played live, show a steady devotion to the band's sound but also an evolution from their wound-up punk to pop (without ever sounding like a "pop-punk" band, as that label is exampled).

7 years. Woah daddy.

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 11 - “Not Your Sister's 1980's”

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 11 - “Not Your Sister's 1980's”


The Sonic Parthenon Show returns tomorrow with a look at the 1980’s. It’ll be the childhood you don’t remember having.

Special 5/1/11 Intro
“God Save the Queen” by the Sex Pistols
“Identity” by X-Ray Speks

“King of Rock” by Run-D.M.C.

Set 1
“Real Wild Child” by Iggy Pop
“That’s Good” by Devo
“D.C. Cab” by Peabo Bryson

Set 2
“Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You” by Spinal Tap
“The Boys Are Back in Town” by the Bus Boys
“Lookin’ Out the Window” by Stevie Ray Vaughan
“If I Should Fall From Grace of God” by the Pogues

Set 3
“867-5309” by Tommy Tutone
“Mexican Radio” by Wall of Voodoo
“88 Lines About 44 Women” by the Nails
“Mystery Achievement” by the Pretenders

Set 4
“Punk Rock Girl” by Dead Milkmen
“The Hungry Wolf” by X
“Too Many Creeps” by Bush Tetras
“Cables” by Big Black

Set 5
“I Will Dare” by the Replacements
“I Got You” by Split Enz
“A Million Miles Away” by the Plimsouls
“Some Candy Talking” by Jesus and Mary Chain

Set 6
“Radio Free Europe” by R.E.M.
“Town Called Malice” by the Jam
“Panic” by the Smiths
“Listen Like Thieves” by INXS

Set 7
“I’m a Rocker” by Bruce Springsteen
“Jockey Full of Bourbon” by Tom Waits
“The Boy in the Bubble” by Paul Simon
“Dirty Blvd” by Lou Reed

Set 8
“The KKK Took My Baby Away” by the Ramones
“Police on My Back” by the Clash
“People Like Us” by Talking Heads

Set 9
“Amplifier” by the dB’s
“I Apologize” by Hüsker Dü
“Glamour Boys” by Living Colour
“From Out of Nowhere” by Faith No More
“Kennedy” by the Wedding Present

“Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

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The Joy Formidable; The Lonely Forest @ Webster Hall

The Joy Formidable; The Lonely Forest
@ Webster Hall
New York, NY - April 29, 2011

Going by my Ipod and the history it contains, it appears I listened to a song called "Whirring" by a band called the Joy Formidable in January of 2010 and didn't think much of it. About 4 or 5 months later, I heard it again and thought it one of the greatest songs of the year. Now all these months later, I finally saw the Welsh band on their second big headlining tour in a year, on the march upward, and now equipped with a new LP, The Big Roar, that includes a more epochal version of "Whirring". The new version is more in keeping with the live sound alluded to on A Balloon Called Moaning.

The Joy Formidable are fans of, and masters of, intense, thundering, crashing riffs. Headbanging, fist pumping, crazed jumping riffs. A little grunge, a little Brit 90's, a little arena. But to get there and back, they obsess over long build-ups and send-offs, that showcase their unquestionable talent and ability to keep pace with each other. But the trade off for showcasing this skill to the degree that they do it, leads to "OK already where's the riff, where's the next song" questioning.

The songs other than "Whirring" include a couple of stand-outs, namely "Cradle" but nothing has yet to imitate or recast the unnerving power of "Whirring". But having a gong on stage helps (a gong amidst a strange set-up of furniture and a couch and lamps, and Chinese cats, including a blow-up cat brought out during "Whirring").

The Lonely Forest, out of Anacortes, Washington, have been on my radar for a couple of months now because of their song "Coyote". As it turns out, the Lonely Forest are everything that song hints at. They share with the Joy Formidable a love of the thundering riffs but the Lonely Forest care more to create pop songs with that love. Considering they come from the very tip of the Northwest, and considering their age, there is a healthy respectful ode to some of that Northwest sound we've come to known over the years but combined with some Buddy Holly style machismo to go with it. There is terrific songwriting at work here and the kind of talent it takes to convey it. This is a band to keep an eye on for the long haul.

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