Flashlite #199 – Vinyl Junkyard 5

SpitballsToday is the time for the fifth edition of our occasional special called Vinyl Junkyard in which I represent one record that I’ve found laying lonesome in some dusty bargain bin for a ridiculously small amount of money, but that brings a lot of wonderful listening pleasure. Today’s record is put together back in 1978 by Beserkley Records, and indie label that employed at the time diverse bands such as The Modern Lovers, Earth Quake, Greg Kihn, Tyla Gang and The Rubinoos. One of the most precious releases by the Beserkley Records was a compilation record entitled Spitballs where all of the Beserkley roster joined forces and in ad hoc line ups recorded some of their favorite songs from the rock’n’roll past. The results are fun to listen and in this show, we will compare the covers with the original tunes.


Them – I Can Only Give You Everything;
Spitballs – I Can Only Give You Everything (Royse Adler of the Rubinoos);
Spitballs – Bad Moon Rising (Sean Tyla);
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising;
The Bobby Fuller Four – Let Her Dance;
Spitballs – Let Her Dance (Gary Phillips of Earth Quake);
Spitballs – I Want Her So Bad (Tommy Dunbar of The Rubinoos);
Spitballs – Telstar;
The Tornados – Telstar;
The Temptations – Way Over There;
Spitballs – Way over there (Asa Brebner of the Modern Lovers);
Spitballs – Chapel of love (Jonathan Richman);
The Dixie Cups – Chapel of Love;
Wilson Pickett – Knock on wood;
Spitballs – Knock on wood (Sean Tyla and Jon Doukas of Earth Quake);
Spitballs – Just like me (Jon Rubin of the Rubinoos);
Paul Revere and The Raiders – Just Like Me;
The Who – Boris the Spider;
Spitballs – Boris the Spider (Rubinoos drummer Donn Spindt);
Spitballs – Feel so good (John Doukas of Earthquake);
The Move – Feel Too Good;
Spitballs – Batman;
Disciplina Kicme – Betmen.

Flashlite #198

Trixie WhitleyToday we open up with our good friends Cheap Wine from Pesaro in Italy, one of the best Americana band outside America. We also represent the new album from the Australian singer songwriter Paul Kelly. Sarah Borges joined forces with Los Straitjackets for a cover of The Rolling Stones Let’s Spend The Night Together. Buddy Miller joined forces with Jim Lauderdale for a new album together. And Trixie Whitley visited Cleveland with her band and totally rocked the house. We hear a portion of her snow in Beachland in our segment Live in Cleveland.

The Mallard – Shallows;
Cheap Wine – Breakaway;
Cheap Wine – The Sea Is Down;
Green On Red – Cheap Wine;
Dan Stuart – Love Will Kill You;
Paul Kelly – Little Aches And Pains;
Paul Kelly And The Messengers – The Execution;
Guided By Voices – Skin to Skin Combat;
Los Straitjackets and Sarah Borges – Let’s Spend the Night Together;
The Rolling Stones – Let’s Spend The Night Together;
Trixie Whitley – Never Enough (Live in CLE);
Chris Whitley – I’m In Love With A German Film Star;
Ray Wylie Hubbard – Moss and Flowers;
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale – Vampire Girl;
Buddy And Julie Miller – Everytime We Say Goodbye.

Rich Hopkins And Luminarios – Buried Treasures

Rich Hopkins And Luminarios - Burried TreasuresNew American rock was a musical label worth carrying in the late eighties. Being a part of that scene meant that you belong to the most innovative group of musicians on the scene, and that you possess a direct link to more traditional rock roots. One of the bands that proudly carried the “new American rock” label back in the day was The Sidewinders from Tucson, AZ.

As it happened at the time, new American rock bands had excellent songs, even better live shows, but often somewhat thin albums. The groups that belonged to the genre were deeply aware of their quality and cared enough to make records accessible to the eighties market. As a result, those records often suffered from somewhat weak production. So, when Rich formed a new band Luminarius in the nineties, his music started having an edgier and a more appropriate production on the long plays.

Rich Hopkins and Luminarios is not the most obvious example to choose from when it comes to new American rock today, but they are one of the most consistent. Rich’s albums contain reliably great songwriting and sparking guitars, whichever you decide to pick.

Nineties was a great opportunity to ride on the alternative country wave, which definitely had its roots in the new American rock, but for some reason, there was not much interest in Rich’s native USA for the Luminarios. Yet, he struck a solid following in Europe, especially in Germany and Spain.

For his new album, Hopkins returns to Tucson. The record is a lengthy one, it goes on for an hour, but it will keep your attention. In fact, in a line of Hopkins’ consistent albums, this one stands as a crown achievement, without a filler, without a downer. Almost every song contains a catchy riff and climax is always reserved for Rich’s crunchy solo.

The central place in the album is reserved for Friend of The Shooter, an epic, disturbing story about a mind gone mad. It’s about someone Rich knew and who turned out be a mass murderer. Although Neil Young appears now and then as the strongest influence for Hopkins, on Friend of The Shooter, this is the most apparent.

Another interesting thing about this album is that is also contains an extra disc that goes for almost another hour, which contains various ambient and folky improvisations on two guitars, acoustic or electric which is the biggest sonic departure for Hopkins on any of his records. Although, I am usually not a fan of such lengthy experiments, Hopkins did a fantastic job bringing in the trippy desert sounds of Arizona and Mexico on a record. The second cd finishes on a very optimistic note, with an disarmingly beautiful and playful Ragged Hearts. The long but exciting record finally ends with a rooster- doodle-doo, bringing a definite smile on the listener’s face.

First published on rockxs.com.

Flashlite #197

Julie DoironSeveral new things today… John Wesley Coleman III has yet another record out this year, so when you add it all up together, it’s his forth this year: two solo, one duet and one with The Golden Boys (we reviewed it last week). Then we have a new band here at the Little Lighthouse, Kriz crvene fuxe from Zagreb, although the news comes to us that the band has already ceased to exists in the meantime. Julie Doiron, who used to be in Eric’s Trip is back with the new solo album. Talking about grunge, Soundgarden also has a new record. And finally, Holly Golighthly has another record with The Brokeoffs entitled Sunday Roll Me Over. We also pay a special homage in this show to Sandy Denny, who has a four CD box set filled with demos and other rarities.

Sandy Denny – Who Knows Where the Time Goes;
Nude Beach – Radio;
The Forty Nineteens – She’s Moved On;
Empire – Electric Guitar;
The Golden Boys – Older Than You;
John Wesley Coleman III – King and Cindy;
The Exploding Hearts – I’m A Pretender;
King Louie’s Missing Monuments – I’m A Pretender (Live in CLE);
Kriz crvene fuxe – Marioneta;
Eamon McGrath – Instrument of My Release;
Eric’s Trip – Listen;
Julie Doiron – Our Love;
Soundgarden – Attrition;
Ron Wood And Ronnie Lane – Just For A Moment;
Rumer – Just For A Moment;
Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs – Goddam Holy Roll;
Sam Philips – I Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye To You;
Sandy Denny – Autopsy.

The Golden Boys – Dirty Fingernails

The Golden Boys - Dirty FingernailsGolden Boys are a five piece from Austin, Texas. The best known name in the band is John Wesley Coleman III, who is known in Austin and elsewhere not only as one of the Golden Boys, but also as a singer songwriter, stand up comedian and a trash poet. But, according to what I could find about the band, it seems that Matt Hoopengardner and Bryan Schmitz, on two guitars and main vocals, are the main driving forces behind the Golden Boys.

Dirty Fingernails is their fifth album and it could be said that it’s the most mature of them all so far. One can find a wide berth of musical genres, from power pop, garage rock and punk rock. The rhythm is fast and the sound is amplified, drum and keyboard driven. Song Outta The Dark even has some horns. Daddy’s Horsewife sounds like a hardcore punk parody. But other than that the topic is mostly love and in general.

The songwriting is very pedant, although the sound is decidedly sloppy.

Garage rocking Curtains, sounds like something that could be on legendary Spoons album Voxin’, although I would be very surprised that the Golden Boys made a conscious connection there.

The first tune on the B-side is Older Than You, obviously on the topic of age difference between the two lovers. It has an extremely catchy one guitar string riff, reminding me on Empire’s Bob Andrews, something that he would employ on Expensive Sound.

The last tune on the record We Are Young is a perfect closer, the unofficial greatest hit of 2012 in my mp3 player. It’s another song on the record about getting older, an anthem about growing up, a sort of a sister song to the Replacement’s Bastards of Young. It is definitely a standout on an album that is nevertheless excellent. With Older Than You on position B1 and We Are Young closing the record, we get a full circle on one side of the record and the topic of coming out of the age becomes the dominant one. Still, it’s not definitely not a downer. It’s a celebration, and it a fun record to play on repeat.

Technical note: the vinyl record is duplicated at the United Records Pressing plant from Nashville TN. Their prints are all over the place – some the best around, some are substandard. My copy of the Golden Boys is very well done – no complaints sound-wise although there are specked scratch patterns on the surface, which is something one just has to get used to at the United Records.

First published on rockxs.com.

Flashlite #196

Johnny PerezToday we say goodbye to Johnny Perez, who played drums in the early days of The Sir Douglas Quintet. We also play some very interesting reissues from many different heroes of this show. Tav Falco has reissued his debut album Beyond The Magnolia County recently, and the record cover includes a nice four sided description on the early history of the band from the insiders. Legendary first (and only) album by Memphis band Moloch also has a very nice high quality vinyl reissue. Beach Boys and Frank Zappa are reissuing their entire catalog and Velvet Underground’s debut from 1967 saw an extremely expanded 6 disc upgrade. Also there’s a new tribute to the same record, marking a nice 45 year anniversary. Other new stuff is Kurt Baker and his new record, as well as Austin’s Rosie Flores.

Howe Gelb – That’s How Things Get Done;
Kurt Baker – Hit The Ground;
Rosie Flores – Working Girl’s Guitar;
The Mallard – There She Goes Again;
Velvet Underground and Nico – There She Goes Again;
Dinosaur Jr – The Wagon (Live in CLE);
Dinosaur Jr – Forget The Swan;
Nova Mob – Over My Head;
Epic Soundtracks – I Wanna Be Free (As the Lizards);
Tav Falco – Bourgeois Blues;
Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and The Mothers – Advance Romance;
Moloch – Dance Chaney Dance;
The Beach Boys – I Get Around (2012 Stereo Extraction Mix);
The Sir Douglas Quintet – She’s About A Mover;
The Sir Douglas Quintet – Texas Me.

Flashlite #195

Modern SuperstitionsHear us roar through an hour of music with the speed of light – from zesty hard-core punk to tearful country. You won’t even know what has got you. We start off with the brand new 7″ from the hard core masters from Raleigh, NC. Our old friends Double Negative are back with the thrid and fourth installment of their Hardcore Confusion series. We also introduce Modern Superstitions, a new band from Canada. Then there’s Brooklyn’s own rockers Nude Beach, who present themselves with an extremely accessible, yet uncompromising second album. Zappa’s guitarist Mike Keneally joins forces with XTC’s Andy Partridge for the new album. In the end, we shed a tear with the Sweethearts of The Rodeo.

Chris Brokaw – How to Listen;
Flasheaters – Agony Shorthand;
Double Negative – Safe Word;
Husker Du – What Do I Want;
Redd Kross – Self Respect;
The Spits – Fed Up;
The Osmonds – Crazy Horses;
Electric Six – Crazy Horses (Live in CLE);
Eamon McGrath – I Am The Deer;
Modern Superstitions – Last Nights Dress;
The Pursuit of Happiness – She’s So Young;
Mike Keneally and Andy Partridge – You Kill Me;
Neil Young And Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill;
Neil Young – Motorcycle Mama;
Ty Segall – Mother Lemonade;
Nude Beach – Love Can’t Wait;
Dwight Twilley Band – England;
Hoodoo Gurus – Baby Can Dance;
Sweethearts of the Rodeo – I Feel Fine;
Sweethearts of The Rodeo – What Does Love Mean to You;
Les Fr̬res Souchet РBye Bye Birdy Black.