Tag Archives: J Mascis

Flashlite #501

GrexTonight we check out the new music from Mark Lanegan, who teamed up again with Duke Garwood. We also check out the new song from J Mascis, with another solo effort. Another legend from around that time, Chris Mars, the drummer of The Replacements has a new album, so we check that out as well. ESC Life used to be a touring band for Grant Hart and now they have a new single. Ty Segall, Charles Mootheart and Chris Shaw from Ex Cult are back with their GØGGS. Desert Mountain Tribe are also back with the new album and so is Brian Lisik, but he is from Ohio. We introduce Grex from Oakland, California. Death of Samantha is in our live in Cleveland segment.

Clara Engel – Microgods of all the Subatomic Worlds;
ESC Life – Vacation;
GØGGS – Ruptured Line;
Ex-Cult – Mr. Investigator;
Ty Segall – Alta;
Desert Mountain Tribe – It’s All Good;
Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood – Feast to Famine;
Mark Lanegan – Emperor;
Neko Case and Mark Lanegan – Curse of the I-5 Corridor;
Death of Samantha – The Slider (Live in CLE);
Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates – Colorado Avenue;
Chris Mars – Mission of Dead;
Jon S Williams – Figure it out;
Grex – Quicksilver
J Mascis – See You At The Movies.

Andy Gabbard – Fluff

Andy Gabbard - FluffAndy and Zach Gabbard are in a hard rocking, jammy band from Cincinnati called Buffalo Killers. As a band, Buffalo Killers delivered a string of five notable albums and both brothers wrote the songs. This year, Andy decided to try something on his own.

As a solo artist, Andy could expand his interests beyond the hard rock of Buffalo Killers. From love songs to a girl to a love song to his record collection, Fluff is a much more relaxing listen than any of the five he did with the band (and that’s not to say that Buffalo Killers records are a bore, au contraire).

Musically, there’s a lot of wonderful guitar solos on Fluff (Super National), great melodies (LYSM, Side B) and even an occasional Syd Barrett knockoff Octoman.

And while More sounds like the best song J Mascis never wrote, guitar riffing from the first minute of the record to the last minute record pays a wonderfully crafted homage to Nirvana. You might say, lots of bands pay an homage to Nirvana, but Andy Gabbard does it in a subtle, understated but loving fashion. I can only think of one band that did it so well: remember Monstrous from Rochester NY and their Mother Nature’s Slaves from 2006? Fluff is that good.

In contrast to its unpretentious title, Fluff stands out as the most well rounded and most thoughtful album of 2015.

Sweet Apple – The Golden Age of Glitter (Tee Pee), Doug Gillard – Parade On (Nine Mile) and Death of Samantha – If Memory Serves Us Well (St. Valentine)

Sweet Apple and Doug Gillard reviewWhen Mick Jagger was in his late forties he recorded Primitive Cool and Steel Wheels. Certainly not the highest point of his career. But, it seems that the generation of musicians who are in their late forties these days are growing up a bit slower, putting better and better records as the time goes by. Examples are many – Nick Saloman from Bevis Frond, Matthew Smith from Outrageous Cherry, Rich Hopkins… The heroes of this story, Doug Gillard and John Petkovic are in that group.

Gillard and Petkovic started back in the eighties in a band called Death of Samantha. After several underground records and an extensive touring schedule across the USA in a van, the band morphed into Cobra Verde. Then, in the nineties, Robert Pollard hired the entire band to be the new line up of Guided By Voices. Gillard then stayed with Pollard and Petkovic split with a new line-up of Cobra Verde.

Petkovic’s latest project is Sweet Apple. The first album in 2010, Love and Desparation was a rocking record, but the latest one Golden Age of Glitter shines even brighter. There are no fillers on this one. The record also features a multiple help from some super talented musicians J Mascis, Mark Lanegan, Rachel Haden and Pollard who reunited with Petkovic on several tunes (pun intended – one tune he helped with is actually called Reunion). As one author wrote about the record, it plays like an exercise in enlightened revisionism, describing Petkovic’s desire to revisit some of the long lost musical genres of the seventies. But a really disarming thing about this record is the song writing talent and enthusiasm that Petkovic clearly put into the album. You can trust me on that one – I had a rare opportunity to see the album being built up from the first set of vague guitar riffs, recording and struggle to find an appropriate cover – to the first vinyl press testing.

Gillard also had a record recently. It’s called Parade On. He is well known as one of the finest guitarists in alternative rock (whatever it is), mainly from his tenure in Guided By Voices. But even the big fans of GBV can’t name too many of the songs Gillard has written, other than one of their biggest hits I Am A Tree. On Parade On, his song writing talent absolutely shines. In a private conversation with Gillard, he confessed that he attempted to make an easy listening record. And indeed, Parade On can stand next to any Paddy McAloon’s work, but with a bit harder edge, especially instrumentally.

There are two things in common to the new records of Gillard and Petkovic. One – they are probably the greatest and the most consistent albums they’ve ever written. The two songwriters defy their age with enthusiasm for rocking and rolling, sounding more youthful than ever. Two – the records also came out while their original band Death of Samantha reunited and rerecorded their early tunes on a really cool live record called If Memory Serves Us Well. Certainly, Gillard and Petkovic are at the very peak of their careers as songwriters and performers. Perhaps one way to achieve an even greater artistic peak would be to start writing new music together. You read it here first!

Flashlite #288

The Ugly BeatsWe have some hot reissues this time from the Numero Group. As a continuation of their Nikki Sudden reissues, we also now have the first Jacobites reissues, the first lp and Robespierre’s Velvet Basement. Another hot reissue on the same label is Texan hard rock band Josefus with their 1970 loud masterpiece Dead Man. We also have some interesting new records. Brian Olive, who used to be with The Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers, now has a new EP called Move. We introduce The Ugly Beats from Austin TX and Rat Columns for the first time at The Little Lighthouse. Rock’n’roll megastars J Mascis and Ty Segall have new records each and Mark Lanegan had put out the new EP as an advance for the upcoming new record in the Fall this year.

Bevis Frond – Begone;
Josefus – Situation;
Brian Olive – Kicking the Dirt;
Brian Olive – Left Side Rock;
Junior Kimbrough – I Gotta Try You Girl (Blues Alphabet);
Los Flecos – Los Gusanos;
The Ugly Beats – Los Gusanos;
Hollis Brown – Gipsy Cat Blues (Live in CLE);
Jacobites – Jacobites Grave Kings And Queens;
Jacobites – Fortune of Fame;
Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove – Revolver;
Mark Lanegan And Isobel Campbell – Revolver;
Mark Lanegan Band – Jonas Pap;
J Mascis – Wide Awake;
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Vambo;
Ty Segall – The Faker;
Rat Columns – Another Day.

Flashlite #269

Dex Romweber DuoDoug Gillard has a new record out called Parade On and we check out the new single. His old band-mate from Death of Samantha, John Petkovic and his new band with J Mascis, Sweet Apple, finally have their long-awaited second record out, and we check out one track from it. Holly Golightly and her Brokeoffs are back with another LP, All Her Fault. Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi Allstars also has a new record called Rock’n’roll Blues. Dex Romweber from Flat Duo Jets returned with Images 13 plus there’s a recent reissue of the back catalogue on Third Man Records. We introduce three new names. Little Murders from Australia and Lydia Loveless from Columbus. Muck and The Mires come from Boston.

I will be playing a DJ set at Blue Arrow Records on Sunday at 5pm, just before the Alejandro Escovedo show at The Beachland Ballroom. Come join us, Alejandro will be there too. See you there.

Swell Maps – Midget Submarines;
Alejandro Escovedo – Real As An Animal;
Muck And The Mires – Three Steps Closer;
Mozes And The Firstborn – Time’s a Headache;
Doug Gillard – Ready For Death;
Sweet Apple – I Surrender;
Nick Lowe – Raining Raining;
Haden Triplets – Raining;
Holly Golighthly And The Brokeoffs – Slc;
Luther Dickinson – Mojo, Mojo;
North Mississippi Allstars – Live in CLE;
Flat Duo Jets – Go Go Harlem Baby;
Dex Romweber Duo – Roll On;
Fabulous Thunderbirds – The Monkey;
Leadfinger – It’s Much Better;
Little Murders – White Train;
Lydia Loveless – Verlaine Shot Rimbaud.

Flashlite #116

Jamie LawsonToday we continue representing the Vacilando ’68 artists. We have three London based names: Mr. Ron Jetson, a one man band, and two rockin’ bands Thee Spivs and Dear Thief. Very interesting music scene from England and on V’68 roster! Jamie Lawson was an artist that we featured exactly 10 years ago in our show. Today, we hear he has a brand new hit single in Ireland. We check that out. Also, three legendary 80s rockers are back. Exene Cervenka and J. Mascis have new solo albums and REM has a new LP.

Glenn Danzig – Less Than Zero;
The Dead Milkmen – Big Lizard;
Personal And The Pizzas – I Want You;
Madness – Burning The Boats;
Mr. Ron Jetson – House of Strange;
Thee Spivs – All Day Long;
Dear Thief – Ceasar;
X – Highway 61 Revisited;
Exene Cervenka – I’ll Admit It Now;
J Mascis – Not Enough;
Sweet Apple – Never Came;
REM – Auctioneer;
REM – That Someone Is You;
Jamie Lawson – Fussy;
Jamie Lawson – I Wasn’t Expecting That;
The Plastic Pals – Theres Wind On The Moon;
Terry Melcher – Freeway Close.

1. Sweet Apple – Love And Desperation

Sweet Apple - Love And DesperationSweet Apple is a side band for John Petkovic of Cobra Verde, J Mascis of Dinosaur JR and Dave Sweetapple of Witch. It happened in a bitter moment when the trio of these rock’n’roll greats desperately needed a break not only from the music that they worked on in their original bands, but also a break from the situations in life that at the time seemed to choke them. Sometimes the best cure is to run away which a pack of friends, experience something new and return as a richer person. This is exactly what this pack did. A weaker person would cut his wrists, but these three people poored their hearts into a rocker that bursts with energy and desire for life. Casual atmosphere in the record creation allowed J to switch over to drums, totaling only three solos on the entire record. Still, there’s plenty of brilliant guitar work on the record courtesy of Tim Parnin of Cobra Verde and John on his purple Gretch (which he used in the songwriting process). Nothing is forced here, songs are charged with energy, crispy riffs are everywhere only to slow down on Dead Moon which stands out as a dark reminder that a man needs light to live, even if that light comes from a stage light show.

15. Dinosaur Jr – Farm

Dinosaur JrWhen Dinosaur Jr reformed in their original line-up, it smelled like a money grabbing opportunity. First album in of the reformed line-up was a disappointment. Nobody expected much of the second one. However, when the sounds of Farm hit the Internet this summer, I had to re-examine my point of view regarding the new found companionship between the former foes Mascis and Barlow. Farm, just like Mission of Burma’s On Off On, captures an old band in a new found artistic height. Songs are wonderful, long, solos are gorgeous. An hour of pure pleasure is augmented by the extra disc (look for that exclusive release), where Dinosaur JR cover The Zombies and revisit old J’s acoustic pastiche Little Ethnic Song.

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.