I’m The Man

 

Joe Jackson’s second helping served up in the fall of 1979 was more of the same. Released 6 months after his debut Look Sharp, Jackson firmly establishes himself as one of the angry young punks that occupied a segment of the fledgling New Wave movement. Smart, sophisticated 3-4 minute songs packaged tightly within catchy pop melodies “on your radio”…enjoy!

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The Replacements For Sale: Live at Maxwells 1986

 

If you ever saw the Mats back in the 1980s you would know that it was hit or miss as to whether you would see a good show, or a adolescent drunken shebang. Either way it was always exciting. The Replacements for sale: live at Maxwell’s 1986 catches the band on a particularly good night. Paul Westerberg’s vocals and lyrics are somewhat coherent and comfortably, at home live on the small stage in this bar room setting. Bob Stinson’s guitar is electric, uncharacteristically sober. The Mats run through all their “not-so-greatest” hits up to that point. From Hayday to Fuck School, this hootenanny is a Dose of Thunder. Color Me Impressed. Enjoy!

 

More on The Replacements – Let It Be

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The Big Beat 12-26-86

 

Set the wayback machine to December 26, 1986. The place? “A place called space”, Chicago Illinois. Nope, there are no tweets, no Snapchat or Facebook, no Internet (Al Gore hasn’t invented it yet), not even email, hey there’s not even Grunge. You want to know what’s going on? What bands are playing where and when? You pick up a Reader or an IE (Illinois Entertainer) and/or on Thursday night at 10 o’clock you tune into WXRT’s the Big Beat hosted by a young (or somewhat younger) Johnny Mars, the man who at the time, for a time, had a finger on the pulse of alternative music scene in Chicago.

This year I thought I would dust off and serve up this treat, from the ghost of Christmas past. Pulled from old cassette tapes of the show, I would pop one of these into my Sony Walkman (make sure it’s rewound) strap it to the belt, and head out the door to catch the (L) red line into town. Yes, what’s old is indeed new again. See how many you can name, but don’t worry if you can’t guess them all. Mars will fill you in with names, titles and some enjoyable banter along the way. I always loved the show’s opening theme, with the commercials and the club listings, it’s like an audio time capsule from 30 years ago. Enjoy the tape and Happy Holidays from your friends at soundtrax.mobi

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Ramones

ramones

 

Throwing all the way back to the Bicentennial with this one. Three cord rock was perfected and Punk was born on the Ramones self titled debut. Two sides, 14 fast and furious 2 minute songs. 40 years later Rhino has released a massive Deluxe Anniversary Edition including demos, outtakes and a West Hollywood Roxy performance that highlights Joey’s ability to count to four at the beginning of each and every song. Great stuff! I highly recommend picking it up, but for now, here is the original platter.

Enjoy.

ramones_40th_deluxeedition

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Everywhere At Once

plimsouls-eao

 

There is a good chance my surfing Soundtrax partner David saw these guys back in the early eighties. Regretfully, I never did, although I did catch Peter Case solo a few years later, a vastly different style and experience to say the least. The LA post punk garage band, The Plimsouls brief run lasted 5 years. Their second album, Everywhere at Once, sports their two biggest hits Million Miles Away and Oldest Story in the World which gained air thanks to the 1983 movie Valley Girl in which the band appeared. It is a classic soundtrack, definitely dated and oh so much fun! Enjoy.

Everywhere At Once
Shaky City
Magic Touch
Oldest Story in the World
Lie, Beg, Borrow and Steal
Play The Breaks
How Long Will it Take?
A Million Miles Away
My Life Isn’t Easy
Inch by Inch
I’ll Get Lucky
Everywhere At Once

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Stiff Little Fingers – No Going Back

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Here is something to ring in the New Year, it’s best served loud! For anyone thinking this is a band that has passed its expiration date then No Going Back is evidence that there is still a ton life left in Stiff Little Fingers. It’s been 30+ years since these punk pioneers SLF released their seminal debut album Inflammable Material (a favorite on mine). With a new record that’s been 10 years in the making, the working class warriors are still representing why the over-50s are doing it right – with just as much brazenness as ever.

Lyrically SLF are as politically charged as ever and it’s a crying shame that nothing has changed since the 70s and 80s; indeed with queues for food banks growing and public sector wages frozen whilst politicians agree a massive wage rise for themselves, the inequality in the country is worse than it ever was. We need bands like SLF to put our anger into coherent words, whatever your opinions about preaching to the choir, it’s important that we know we aren’t alone in our horror at the world around us. They attack individual selfishness I Just Care About Me, corporate greed a brilliant song Full Steam Backwards, politicians Liars Club, the Catholic Church Guilty As Sin, “a beautiful, angry song about the child abuse scandal:  “suffer little children and by Christ they did””, bigotry One Man Island and a personal song from Jake Burns about his struggles with depression My Dark Places. Musically it has the sound of the album Nobody’s Hero and is easily their best work in a long time.

The album ends with When We Were Young. Jake Burns (vocals and lead guitar) tells a story of how he was sitting in a bar with Phil Lynott (bassist) and they were both bemoaning how everybody was telling them they shouldn’t bother making records anymore, that nobody would be interested, and they realized it was exactly what they were told when they were first starting out. Keep it coming SLF, you have a lifelong fan.

Best Served Loud – David

Track List – No Going Back

  1. Liar’s Club
  2. My Dark Places
  3. Full Steam Backwards
  4. I Just Care About Me
  5. Don’t Mind Me
  6. Guilty As Sin
  7. One Man Island
  8. Throwing It All Away
  9. Good Luck with That
  10. Trail of Tears
  11. Since Yesterday Was Here
  12. When We Were Young

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