Flashlite #12

The BirdinumnumsThe newest Flashlite edition of The Little Lighthouse brings home Melvins who have a smashing brand new album Nude With Boots. We also have two new names, The Surgens are finally in the playlist and we also have The Birdinumnums. They hail from Los Angeles and are brought to us by Pamita. She has her blog bot monitoring what we’re saying here, so “Hi Pam!”. Also, we have Tito and Tarantula with their new song as well.

Viva Glorio – Vuk;
The Victims – Television Addict;
Furlongs – Daddy’s New Car;
Dax Riggs – Wall of Death;
R.E.M – Wall Of Death;
Richard and Linda Thompson – Wall Of Death;
Frumious Bandersnatch – Paper;
Frumious Bandersnatch – Hearts To Cry;

Melvins – Nude With Boots;
The Surgens – Nappy Brown;
The Neptunas – Stephanie Miller Has Sand Crabs;
Cheap Trick – I Want You To Want Me;
Cheap Chick – I Want You To Want Me;
The Birdinumnums – Thirteen Steps;
Hana Zagorová & Flamingo – Svatej kluk;
Soeurs Malette РLa Premi̬re Fois;
Jeannie And The Big Guys – I Want You;
Tito And Tarantula – The End Of Everything.

The Birdinumnums – She Say Go

The BirdinumnumsThe Birdinumnums are coming from Los Angeles. It’s a new showcase for Pam Moore who used to be in The Neptunas, Cheap Chick (and several other bands) and Andrew Chojnacki from the Peachfuzz. It’s a power-pop deal with gorgeous melodies and vocal equally split between Pam and Andrew. Their first CD, She Say Go is a six-song ep available on their CDbaby page. The playlist is doubled, however, with the appendix containing the instrumental versions of the songs. Birdinumnums have an excellent balance between humor, disarming beauty of their melodies and a dense radiophonic vibe that’s impossible to ignore. Check them out at http://www.thebirdinumnums.com/.

Cheap Trick Live In New Orleans

(Written long time ago for the old site) Cheap Trick is one of the most entertaining bands on planet Earth. They started in 70’s but their roots go all the wat back in late 60’s when Rick Nielsen and Tom Peterson played together in a band called Fuse. They were one of those Americans who were heavily influenced by what was coming from England – Who, Kinks, Beatles, Small Faces. Their first album that came out in 1977 was some sort of an American belated and machoised version of British glam. With their contageous melodies, they soon became trend setters in beloved genre called power pop.

For the first few years of their existance they worked hard to gain some popularity and record sales in traditional markets such as USA and Europe, but the success was waiting for them in Japan. Japanese teenagers went crazy about the band and the end of the seventies there was marked as some sort of a Cheaptrickmania. The band went on a tour there and when they played at the packed Budokan theater
in Tokyo the tape was rolling too and soon they published their bestselling album Live at Budokan. Superior live version of I Want You To Want Me from that gig was also their biggest hit in the USA.

After this success the band attempted to add some keyboards and softer sounds on their albums keeping the sales up. The content of their eighties records is merely forgetable, but they remained a hot act live. At the end of the 80s they had a slight crisis, just to come back at the end of the 90s. Their second self titled album in 1997 was comeback to their original basic sound that proved its quality simply lasting this long.

On February 22 we were able to convince ourselves that Cheap Trick really are one of the most exciting live acts ever. The House of Blues was packed, they played about an hour of their greatest hits (excluding He’s A Whore on my sadeness). People were chanting along with the band especially during I Want You To Want Me and Surrender. It’s a Mardi Gras season, so few ladies in the audience decided to show their breasts, which in most cases disguisted the band, but they were still awarded thousands of pickups that Rick was generously throwing thruought the show. He is really the frontman of the band although Robin Zander is on vocals. Actually, that whole frontmanship in Cheap Trick is a really interesting topic. Two prettyones, Robin and Tom are on the covers always shown in their full rock’n’roll speed god-like fashion, whereas Rick and Boz with their goofy looks often take back sides of their record covers. The live shows are totally opposite, while Robin and Tom usually stay motionless, Rick is the king of the stage, spinning around, throwing pickups at the audience, making silly faces… Of course, the biggest thing is that he changes his custom-made guitars after each song. I’ll add that he is probably the only musician allowed to do that, as he leads this deed to sarcastic levels when he pick up his four-neck guitar! Yet his playing techinique reamains clean and simple.

Anyway, if you want pure rock’n’roll fun without any spices and additions, the way it was modeled by power pop pioneers, Cheap Trick is still the best band to check out.

Cheap Trick Website.

Flashlite #11

The BellraysWelcome to a new Little Lighthouse episode, this time full with interesting new (and not so new) records. Preparing one of my previous shows, I came across the news that Austin TX band Glass Eye had a brand new record in 2006. So, I promptly got it and here it is in the brand new Flashlite Lighthouse. News comes to us that Chick Graning’s old ’90s band Scarce is back in the studio. Their new myspace page pleasantly surprised me with several brand new demos, so we check that out in this show. Our contemporary favorites Bellrays and Jay Reatard are back with new stuff: The Bellrays have a new CD out called Hard, Sweet and Sticky and Jay has a new 45. And last, but not least, we introduce a brand new band from France, Jack of Heart.

Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con;
The BellRays – Coming Down;
The BellRays – Changing Colors;
Reigning Sound – You Got Me Hummin’;
Sam & Dave – You Got Me Hummin’;
Glass Eye – The Big Moment;
Glass Eye – Poison water;
Scarce – Dead Bleaux;
Scarce – All Sideways;

Jack of Heart – Tell Me Lyres;
Jay Reatard – See/Saw;
Jay Reatard – Night of Broken Glass;
Jay Reatard – In The Dark;
The Hellacopters – Gimmie Shelter;
The Hellacopters – Midnight Angels;
Dax Riggs – Dream or Be Dead;
The Mourning Reign – Satisfaction Guaranteed;
The Mourning Reign – Tales Of Brave Ulysses;
Screaming Trees – Tales of Brave Ulysses.

Flashlite #10

Klaus DingerSad news comes to us from Germany. Klaus Dinger, one of the founders of what we know now as kraut rock died on March 21st. He was a founder of Kraftwerk and before they went fully synth, he got out and found another big kraut rock band Neu. As a tribute to Dinger, we play some Neu songs but also a small Neu spoof by Ciccone Youth. New stuff in today’s show is Viva Glorio, a new name for an old band from Zagreb, one of the most mysterious yugo-rock groups Trobecove krusne peci. Cleveland rockabilly band Lost State of Franklin shakes things up with their own song Clint Eastwood Never Dies. We also played a song from a new ep by Pete Molinari. We continue browsing the Love is the Song We Sing by checking out an unusual girl band called The Ace of Cups.

The Neptunas – Chicken of the Sea
Kathy McCarty – City Song
Viva Glorio – Lassie
Trobecove krusne peci – Skrivac u magli
Laura Nyro – Blackpatch
The Ace Of Cups – Looking For My Man
The Ace Of Cups – Glue
King Louie & the Loose Diamonds – Lookin’ For A Heart
The Exploding Hearts – Throwaway Style
Lost State Of Franklin – Clint Eastwood
Jason & The Scorchers – Jimmie Rodgers’ Last Blue Yodel
The Nits – Moon Dog
Ciccone Youth – Two cool rock chicks listening to neu
Neu! – Super
Neu! – After Eight
Pete Molinari – One Stolen Moment
James and Lucky Peterson – Singing The Blues

Kathy McCarty – Another Day In The Sun

Once upon a time in Austin TX there was an extraordinary band called Glass Eye. Kathy and Brian were in it. Glass Eye had a timeless sound that was difficult to place. With full drum sound, heavy bass and Katy’s spacey vocals, they were completely different than any other 80s underground act. You could say they were ahead of their time. Kathy and Brian reunite for the new album in 2005 for the first time since the Glass Eye broke up with original songs, although Kathy and Brian published two cds of Daniel Johnston songs in the nineties. Another Day In The Sun is an incredibly strong LP. Had I heard it in 2005 when it came out originally, it would’ve been my favorite that year. Since I missed it then, it was by far my favorite spin this year.

Apparently, I’ve been out of touch for awhile – Glass Eye reunited in 2006 and put out an album that year which I still need to hear…

Flashliste #9

Riff RandellsSo, I went record shoping to the My Mind’s Eye record store in Cleveland and I bought two 45s pretty much randomly, one by Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson, and the other one by James and Lucky Peterson. They turned out pretty cool, so we get to check those two out in the newest Flashlite edition of the Little Lighthouse. We also get to hear brand new tunes for J Mascis band Witch and The Riff Randells. Also, we’re catching up with some rarities that we missed while the show was closed in 2006: Chick Graning demo Ded Bleaux and Kathy McCarty’s phenomenal record Another Day In The Sun.

The Dave Pike Set – Mathar;
Witch – Eye;
The Velvet Underground – Sister Ray;
Mona Lisa Overdrive – Poor Little Scene Girl;
Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson – Soulshake;

The Rolling Stones – Heart Of Stone;
The Rubes – Prescious Stones;
Chick Graning w/ Skinwalkers – Ded Bleaux;
Kathy McCarty – One Chord;
The Nits – I’m A Fly;
Nick Lowe – I Don’t Want The Night to End;
Riff Randells – Fun At The Beach;
Riff Randells – Parker Place;
John Mayall – Room To Move;
James and Lucky Peterson – All On Account Of You;
Robert Forster – Did she overtake you.

Mona Lisa Overdrive – The Up-Tight Sessions

As the google search indicates, Australian four Luke, David, Jess and Alex are among several bands that named their band Mona Lisa Overdrive after William Gibson’s novel. In todays alienating world, many readers seem to find a shelter in cyber-reality and super-powers of Matrix that in Gibson’s novels has god-like powers. So you’d expect some futuro-escapist crap from these guys… Contrary, Mona Lisa Overdrive echoes White Light White Heat era Velvet Underground and lists pretty much an alphabet of rock’n’roll on their myspace page.
The Up-tight Sessions, their impromptu EP is available over there for a free download and it contains five intense tunes to rattle your cold rock’n’roll bones. Finding a truly good band on myspace is like looking for a needle in a haystack so stumbling upon the Mona Lisa Overdrive is a real fortune.

Chick Graning

(Written long time ago for the old site) Chick Graning has one of those bizarre rock’n’roll biographies which make your head spin. He started in Boston and hung out there with all the great underground names in the late eighties. Then he formed his own band Anastasia Screamed that recorded a couple of singles and one lp (Laughing Down The Limehouse) in the season 1991/92. It was the time of grunge, and Anastasia Screamed was one of the best representatives of its softer, more contemplative side, the one that was coming from Boston area.

The band enjoyed a moderate success in Europe and England, but in the USA nobody paid too much attention. Nevertheless, Anastasia’s groves were some of the most interesting and most progressive tunes at the time. The sound was very emotional and the lyrics were clever. Chick Graning even made it to the pages of cheap magazines as husband of the rock’n’roll beauty Tanya Donnelly of The Throwing Muses and Belly.

The marriage was fine initially, but Chick met Joyce Rasin. He artistically got along with her much better than with Tanya so his marriage soon fell apart. He formed a new band with Joyce – Scarce.

Major distributors were very interested in Scarce. Their sound was very much nineties, complex and catchy. After a few singles, A&M signed them and they started working on their first album Deadsexy. Just before they finished it, Graning got a brain hemorrhage which not only postponed and jeopardized the release of Deadsexy, but it also caused amnesia to his memory. He had to relearn everything in life, starting with his own name to how to play guitar. Needless to mention, band stopped its existence.

Recent news are that Chick Graning is back as a solo artist. The new demos are very promising.

Wanda Jackson And The Rubes

Wanda JacksonWanda Jackson is one of the legends of rock’n’roll. Possibly the very first woman rocking out in the 50’s when the whole thing was a “man’s game”. With her raspy southern accent and attractive looks she definitely left a mark. Still, after all these years she is recording and touring. She recently put out an album dedicated to Elvis Presley and is on a busy schedule touring United States. She doesn’t have a steady band though. When she booked shows in Denver and Idaho, she sought for a good band to back her up. And she found
the right band in Salt Lake City’s own The Rubes. They could be her grandchildren, or even grand-grandchildren considering they’re from Utah where people have kids at a very young age compared to the rest of the world. I asked them how did the collaboration happen…

Our manager booked her appearance up at Idaho State. He books lots of shows up in Pocatello [in Idaho]. She didn’t have a touring band in the Mid-west so our guy pitched us as the back up band. Sort of random, really” says Greg, the pianist in the band. Themselves, Rubes seem to be more than great backup for Wanda as they are very young gents who are not afraid to underline their influences playing a medley of 50s rhythm and blues standards on their own live performances.”

Indeed, they seem extremely honored to play with Wanda… “Wanda is a good entertainer and most of the crowd was people who were young when Elvis blew up in 1955. We played mostly her rockabilly hits like ‘Let’s Have a Party’, ‘Rock Your Baby’, ‘I Gotta Know’ and some Elvis Presley Sun records tunes. Of course, Wanda wants to make a witness so we did ‘I Saw the Light’. On the footwear tip Wanda has fresh velcro shoes that cut our Anchor Bays from K-mart.

The RubesStill, band had to tune down their amps… “Lemmy [from Motorhead] was right when he said that only way to feel the noise is when it’s good and loud. We are used to playing louder and the sound guy [that was engineering the concert with Wanda] was used to Peter Breinholt. I think our amps were on half of
‘One’. So it was kind of challenging to get all shook up. We played in a very extravagant acoustically perfect concert hall; The first 12 foot Steinway I’ve ever played. This was the second time we’d backed her up with about an hour rehearsal. Our first gig (in Denver) was a little shaky; This time it went 10 times smoother.

The band definitely had a royal treatment in presence of rock’n’roll royalty. Greg says “I think the crowd had a good time. The Rubes most enjoyed the Del Taco delivered gratis to our dressing room. The fans are really cool in Pocatello, they paid for a cab so we could sing karaoke and bar hop after the show. I remember performances of ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Three’s Company Theme’.” And they would like to do it again: “If we can back up Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley next time that would be ideal.” No shit, Greg!!

Peter Breinholt is a family friendly folk musician beloved by the Mormons.

The Rubes profile
Wanda Jackson website