Tag Archives: Sweet Apple

Flashlite #466 – The Best Albums in 2017 (Part Two)

Best of 2017We continue our list of best albums in 2017, this time with top 14 albums. This year was full of albums that will surely stay and I will definitely keep coming back to these many times in my life. Chris Church has came up with with a power pop album that can stand next to all the classics from that disarming genre that only seems effortless on the surface. Big Hogg offered us their extremely playful version of modern day prog rock. If you think Alien Lanes are a classic record, you should definitely look into Stevens and their album Good. Similar albums with great melodies, low fi and clever segues were always in the top of my albums in the past years. Matthew Melton and his wife Doris started a new project Dream Machine and The Illusion definitely made a mark, even politically (although unwittingly). Hayley Thompson-King and her concept record about the biblical woman is truly a deep album that goes from country over garage rock and ends up in opera. Tin Foil are newcomers from Detroit with an addictive set of songs on their album without a title. Pink Tiles return with a record that definitely puts them on a map of serious bands with fun content. David Nance comes from Omaha and has created an album sounds so well crafted, as if he was putting albums for a really long time. Americans on I’ll Be Yours reach depths and territories that were only visited by House of Freaks in the past. Emmett Kelly and his Cairo Gang continue with a series of truly timeless albums with Untouchable. Harlan T. Bobo’s new album came out only a month ago, and there was not enough time to come back to it many times, but it definitely made me rearrange my playlist and put him up on the high third place. It might be his strongest yet. On the top we have Sweet Apple and Bash & Pop. There’s a lot in common to these albums. Both are genre defying and disarmingly playful works of rock’s veteran warriors who know exactly where the sources of this music is. It was a good year for rock.

01 Bash & Pop - Anything Could Happen
02 Sweet Apple - Sing The Night In Sorrow
03 Harlan T. Bobo - Hector, A History of Violence
04 The Cairo Gang - Untouchable
05 The Americans - I'll Be Yours
06 David Nance - Negative Boogie
07 The Pink Tiles - #1 Fan
08 The Stevens - Good
09 Dream Machine - The Illusion
10 Hayley Thompson-King - Psychotic Melancholia
11 Tin Foil
12 Tall Juan - Olden Goldies
13 Big Hogg - Gargoyles
14 Chris Church - Limitations of Source Tape

Chris Church – Fall Into Me;
Big Hogg – Gold and Silver;
Tall Juan – Cuida Coaches
Tin Foil – Shapes of Savannah;
Hayley Thompson-King – Teratoma;
Dream Machine – Diamond In The Rough;
The Stevens – Grandstands;
The Pink Tiles – Writer’s Block;
David Nance – Ambulance;
The Americans – Stowaway;
The Cairo Gang – Real Enough To Believe;
Harlan T. Bobo – Storied;
Sweet Apple – You Don’t Belong To Me;
Bash & Pop – Breathing Room;
Bash & Pop – Anybody Else;
Bash & Pop – Never Wanted To Know;
Sweet Apple – Everybody’s Leaving.

Flashlite #447

Glen CampbellToday we have the new music from Ben Vaughn, who covered an old Randy Crowell song, When Losers Rule The World. Honeymoon Disease from Sweden are back with the new record, and so are The Forty Nineteens, out of San Francisco. We also introduce the new band from Tim Parnin (also in Cobra Verde and Sweet Apple), called Falling Stars. Their new recordings are produced by Mitch Easter. Sprinters come from Manchester in England and David Nance comes from Omaha, NE. Today’s show is dedicated to Glen Campbell who we lost on August 8 this year.

Glen Campbell – Galveston;
Sweet Apple – World I’m Gonna Leave You;
Falling Stars – Losing Without You;
Sprinters – Good Years;
The Cicadas – When Losers Rule the World;
The Ben Vaughn Quintet – When Losers Rule The World;
David Nance – Honey Don’t;
The Beatles – Helter Skelter;
Irma Thomas – Time Is On My Side;
The Forty Nineteens – 08 Time Is On My Side (Good Fortune);
Honeymoon Disease – Night By Night;
Honeymoon Disease – Stargazer;
Delaney And Bonnie (with Eric Clapton) – Comin’ Home;
The Magpie Salute – Comin’ Home;
Mark Sultan – It’s Suicide;
Lemonheads – Galveston;
Monkees – Mary, Mary;
Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman.

Flashlite #442

Rad ColumnsToday we introduce a few new names in this show. Freak Genes, two guys from Manchester, Male Gaze from San Francisco, and we introduce Rod Bryan from Arkansas. Rat Columns from Perth are back with the new record and so is Benjamin Booker. My Buddy Moose from Rijeka are finally out with the new record which was nearly two years in making. Supergroup Sweet Apple is also back with the new rocking record (with members from Cobra Verde, Witch and Dinosaur JR). Danny And The Champions of the world, an Americana band from the British isle, is also back. Today’s show is dedicated to Aleksandar D. Kostić Kosta, legendary journalist from Belgrade who influenced me a lot. He passed away this week at a young age of 55.

Elvis Costello – Lovable;
Freak Genes – Exposed;
Male Gaze – Wha Do Wha Do;
Male Gaze – Stupid Heart;
Stutter Steps – Encino;
Rat Columns – Death Is Leaving Me;
Rat Columns – She Loves the Rain;
Benjamin Booker – Truth is Heavy;
Mega City Four – Who Cares;
The Safeties Live in CLE;
Rod Bryan and Megan Michelle – Former Lover;
My Buddy Moose – Second Best;
Blue Things – High Life;
Captain Beyond – Armworth;
Hot Stuff – Jay Time;
Danny and The Champions of the World – Waiting for the Right Time;
Sweet Apple – You Don’t Belong To Me;
Van Morrison – Street Choir;
The Replacements – Here Comes A Regular.

Flashlite #425

Samantha FishToday we start off with the recently reunited Australian 80s band Ratcat. Then we check out Sweet Apple covering April Wine, just as they are preparing the new album Sing The Night in Sorrow, which is due this Summer (but you know how those things always get delayed…). NE-HI are a new band from Chicago and Samantha Fish is hailing from Kansas City with her cigar box guitar. Arbouretum are back with the new record and so is Rodney Crowell. Emmett Kelly of The Cairo Gang is back with the new record, as a result of collaboration with Ty Segall. Jaye Jayle is a new name for us from Louisville, KY!

The Strungs – Blue Horizon;
Ratcat – Hell On Hot Bread;
Sweet Apple – Just Between You And Me;
BT’s – Animals In Motion;
NE-HI – Don’t Wanna Know You;
Samantha Fish – He Did It;
Detroit Cobras – He Did It;
The Ronettes – He Did It;
Leyla McCalla Trio – Blue Runner (Live in CLE);
Arbouretum – Renouncer;
Arbouretum – Dirt Trails;
Jaye Jayle – The Beast Keeps Cool;
Dinosaur JR – Good To Know;
Fatal Flyin Guillotines – Stallions;
Ty Segall – Break a guitar;
The Cairo Gang – Be What You Are;
The Cairo Gang – In the Heart of Her Heart;
Rodney Crowell – Storm Warning.

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 #307 – The Best Albums in 2014

Sweet AppleEvery musical outlet out there has a year-end list. Little Lighthouse is not an exception, although the order should be understood conditionally. It does not rely on objective measurements, it simply compiles feeling towards albums that preoccupied my attention through 2014. Number one is Sweet Apple. Yours truly marginally participated in making of that record, and perhaps there’s a strong bias towards it for me. You would be right about that. But this particular record is a fun collection of songs without much pretension. What more can you ask from an LP? OBN IIIs and Liquor Store are great new bands which made ambitiously sounding records that rock. They even bring out a long forgotten idiom of hard rock, back into the modern rock’n’roll dictionary and it made me realize how much that sound is missed in the music world today. Together with some important reissues, these two albums mark the revival of that lost musical genre. Those two records are so rich with sounds and ideas that live performances of these two bands must be stripped down to a skeleton. Outragous Cherry has an astonishing return, with one of their best records ever. First Base and Strungs go back to the basic three chords and short songs – a formula that oh so often works great. Lydia Lunch calls out the ghost of Jeffrey Lee Pierce like no other artist before. Doug Gillard attempted to make a good easy listening record and ended up with a timeless masterpiece which will be remembered well in his opus. Billy Childs makes a loving tribute to Laura Nyro which borders madness and saccharine. Who’d have thought those two “lands” share a border? Kelley Mickwee and Haden Triplets show interesting ways to keep bluegrass alive and it trips my mind how most folks out there think negatively of this wonderful Haden Triplets record. Bonnie Prince Billy takes some old songs and brings in a new life to them with an incredibly focused interpretation… and so on. All the best in 2015, actually 2014 wasn’t that bad musically as it may appear on the surface.

01 Sweet Apple – The Golden Age of Glitter
02 OBN IIIs – Third Time to Harm
03 Liquor Store – In the Garden
04 Outrageous Cherry – The Digital Age
05 Billy Childs – Map to the Treasure Reimagining Laura Nyro
06 The Strungs – Nothing is Possible
07 Doug Gillard – Parade On
08 Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove – A Fistful of Desert Blues
09 First Base
10 The Haden Triplets
11 Kelley Mickwee – You Used To Live Here
12 Bonnie Prince Billy – Singer’s Grave a Sea of Tongues
13 Harp Explosion Thee One Man band – 5 Years Later
14 The Lupines – Over The Moon
15 Cheap Wine – Beggar Town
16 Radio Moscow – Magical Dirt
17 Reigning Sound – Shattered
18 Danny And The Darleans – Stink
19 Nude Beach – 77
20 Mitski – Bury Me At Makeout Creek

Mitski – Carry Me Out;
Nude Beach – I’m Not Like You;
Danny And The Darleans – It’s About My Baby;
Regning Sound – Baby, It’s Too Late;
Radio Moscow – Got The Time;
Cheap Wine – Black Man;
The Lupines – Everlasting Man;
Harp Explosion Thee One Man band – I Don’t Know;
Bonnie Prince Billy – So Far and Here We Are;
Kelley Mickwee – Take Me Home;
The Haden Triplets – Oh Take Me Back;
First Base – Get A Taste Of Your Love Again;
Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove – St. Mark’s Place;
Doug Gillard – Upper Hand;
The Strungs – You Will Be Forgot;
Billy Childs frat. Dianne Reeves – To a Child;
Outrageous Cherry – I Think She’s Alright;
Liquor Store – Big Wheels;
OBN IIIs – Brother;
Sweet Apple – Reunion;
Sweet Apple – Boys In Her Fanclub;
Sweet Apple – Let’s Take The Same Plane.

Flashlite #296

Maggie BjörklundToday we begin with some vinyl reissues from Superior Viaduct – 100 Flowers and Flesh Eaters. Then we hear a Sweet Apple B side, which is a cover of Scientists’ Frantic Romantic. Then we go to Italy, where our friends Cheap Wine have a new record, tenth in seventeen years! Jesse Winchester who passed away earlier this year, recorded an LP worth of stuff which has just come out and we check it out. Singer songwriter Kim Simpson returns with music set to the DuÅ¡ko Trifunović lyrics. And Maggie Björklund who we know well from her collaborations with Howe Gelb and John Doe has a record on her own. Also, Mike Watt and his Italian sailors visited my town, and we have it on a tape. Il Sogno Del Marinaio! The most famous musician out of Boise ID, Paul Revere passed away and we pay a small tribute to his legacy.

Gun Club – Texas Serenade;
100 Flowers – Without Limbs;
Flesh Eaters – Divine Horsemen;
The Scientists – Frantic Romantic;
Sweet Apple – Frantic Romantic;
Cheap Wine – Beggar Town;
Cheap Wine – Waiting On The Door;
Hammie Nixon – Sugar Mama Blues (Blues Alphabet);
Jesse Winchester – Brand New Tennessee Waltz;
Jesse Winchester – Never Forget to Boogie;
Paul Revere And The Raiders – Kicks;
Paul Revere And The Raiders – The Great Airplane Strike;
Mark Lindsay – Easy Street;
Il Sogno Del Marinaio – Stucazz;
Il Sogno Del Marinaio – Punkinhead Ahoy (Live in CLE);
Kim Simpson – ÄŒini mi se da uzimam viÅ¡e;
Maggie Bj̦rklund РThe Road to Samarkland.

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 #258

Sweet AppleWelcome to our first regular show in 2014. After several shows in which we had a year-end review, new records piled up so today’s show is filled with new stuff. We start off with the brand new tune for Games, who we just pronounced as the band with the best record in 2013. We also use this opportunity to learn about some previous bands for Jeremy and Dave in Games. Then we check out the new Apache tune. They have a new single. First Base come from Toronto and they just released a fun debut record on Hozac. We check them out as well. Then we have a relatively new tribute that Ben Deily and his Varsity Drag performed in honor of Wiz (ex Mega City Four and Ipanema). We continue with an exclusive new track from Sweet Apple which is scheduled to appear on their upcoming album Golden Age of Glitter. It sounds a bit like Suicide, so we check out another song that also sounds like Suicide, by a new band Dreamsalon from Seattle. Chris Eckman also has a new record called Harney County. We also check out Rainy Day Saints live in Cleveland. I read in Sanjin Strbac book Token For The Favorite Wurlitzer a quote from Zikica Simic that there’s not enough appreciation for blues these days. So I decided to feature one blues musician that I admire in each new show in alphabetical order. So, in our new regular segment Blues Alphabet, we hear Pink Anderson. Finally, we pay a special tribute to Dick Dodd (ex Standells) and Phil Everly, of The Everly Brothers. Both of them died recently.

The Beach Boys – California Girls;
Games – Little Elsie;
Busy Signals – Got It All Wrong;
Ex Humans – Emergency;
Apache – Faster Louder;
Apache – Civil Disobedience;
First Base – Don’t Let Me Down (This Summer);
Ipanema – White Cat In A Snowstorm;
Varsity Drag – White Cat in a Snowstorm;
Rainy Day Saints – You Can’t Escape (Live in CLE);
Sweet Apple – Hold Me I’m Dying;
Sweet Apple – Another Desert Skyway;
Dreamsalon – In The Air;
Suicide – Suicide – Ghost Rider;
Chris Eckman – Ghostrider;
Chris Eckman – Many Moons;
Pink Anderson – The Titanic;
The Standells – Dirty Water;
The Everly Brothers – Amanda Ruth.

Flashlite #208

Irena ŽilićToday’s spotlight is on the neo-acoustic music scene in former Yugoslavia. There was a huge folk movement also known over there as akusticari in the early to mid seventies. It seems as that scene is being revived. We already presented Belgrade’s On Tour some time ago, and today we have two more new names. Irena Žilić is a young singer songwriter from Zagreb with her modern and fresh take on western folk music. Nina Romić, also from Zagreb, is on the other hand more rooted in the local folklore. In this episode, she covers a song written originally by Satan Panonski – a hard blood shock punk from the eighties who was both influential and controversial at the same time. Nina’s cover is a part of a larger tribute called Oči u magli. We also have a new album by our old friends from Rijeka My Buddy Moose. Their style is more on the roots rock side. Their new album Shine Shine Shine is produced by Chris Eckman from The Walkabouts, who also lives in that neck of the woods these days – Ljubljana. The Walkabouts have a live album called Berlin and we check that out as well in this show. Elsewhere form Europe, Amsterdam, we have an instrumental outfit called Bevel Emboss who create a wonderful tapestry of guitar sounds on their new album called Celluloid. Back to America – we have Arbouretum from Baltimore for the first time and super-group Sweet Apple have a new single out there which announces their album due this Spring around the Record Store Day. Mark Lanegan is a guest vocalist!

Uncle Tupelo – Gun;
Arbouretum – The Promise;
Arbouretum – Wicked Messenger;
Faces – Wicked Messenger;
Jack Fords – Shake Some Action (Live in CLE);
My Buddy Moose – Girl;
The Walkabouts – Jack Candy;
On Tour – November Hits Hard;
Irena Žilić – Whatever Feels Right;
Nina Romić – Dječakova pjesma;
Bevel Emboss – Straighten A Dash;
Indexi – Nikada;
Low Cut Connie – You’ve Got Everything;
Ben Deily and Will Anderson – Sorry Too;
Stan McMahon – What’s Wrong;
Sweet Apple Feat. Mark Lanegan – Wish You Could Stay (A Little Longer).