It’s pretty safe to say that the 90’s were one of the best decades for music in the last century. It’s the decade that just won’t die. From the endlessstream of reunion tours to the pop culture references in movies and television, the hits just keep on coming. Need more proof? I’ve got two words for you – cassette revival. I don’t know anyone who lived through it the first time that longs for the days of tangled tapes jamming matchbooks into the car stereo, so it must be the music that draws everyone back.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all perfect. There were plenty of crimes committed against our auditory wills. Those dreadful line dance songs that your aunt always requested at weddings. Nu-Metal. Auto-Tune. That horrendous Barbie song – a turd polished so brightly it could have blinded a mole from space. But there was a period of time in the early part of the decade where the pop confections of the day sat awkwardly on major radio playlists right along side some wonderful, fuzzy guitar drenched bliss, dished out by the great unwashed, proudly bashing away in their Chuck Taylors and flannel shirts. Can you imagine The Breeder’s “Cannonball” airing on top 40 radio stations today? I certainly cannot.
As we drift further and further away from this unusual time, it’s only normal that musicians and fans alike begin to look back on it fondly and revisit these sounds. But it’s not the kids (or rather than generalize, I should say it’s not MOST of the kids. As you were, Rock N’ Roll Hi Fives). Things have changed and there’s no going back. While my neighbors had to deal with the pounding of drums and squealing guitar amps in the garage, I live in relative peace and quiet in modern suburbia. Still, tranquil and utterly boring peace and quiet. Kids don’t want to “play guitar” any more; they want to “play” guitar.
I know, I sound like some crusty old codger complaining about “these kids today”. Excuse me while I chase a few of them off my lawn.
Where was I? Right, the 90’s…
DOLLAR STORE RIOT – “WHAT’S IT TO YOU?”
SINGLE REVIEW: Luckily, all is not lost. There are still plenty of musicians like the affable and capable Dollar Store Riot, who have found that making music purely for the joy of it can be its own reward. Their new single “What’s It To You?” attacks with the familiar abandon of those long lost gems of the Clinton presidency. Thea Kearney’s direct and forceful vocal delivery echoes Joan Jett at times (in all the best ways) and there’s a clear hint of Sleepyhead in the songwriting and delivery. Brian Boehm, Paul Haley and Will Kramer propel the song forward with pleasing abandaon. It hits like a late summer wave, pushing you back on your knees a bit until you can steady yourself and sway in its swirling flow – until another time shift hits like the breaker you didn’t see coming.
Just like it’s loud and proud retro sound, the video shot at Maplewood’s Woodland Hall immediately recalls late nights on the couch waiting for 120 minutes to start. Shot as a live performance with a bit of comic relief added, it’s a reminder that you can be serious without taking yourself too seriously.
PODCASTS: Little Records archives the best of ’80s underground rock and the early days of ’90s indie rock into exceptionally thoughtful and curated playlists that it’s our go-to listening. I almost wish they would chat in-between sets but they just jam one great song after another relentlessly for the shear love of spinning great music. Half the tunes I admit I never heard until them because honestly in the late 70’s 80’s 90’s there was just too much great original music to keep up with it and is a full time job to listen. Thankfully these Baltimore based guys have done this job and only taken them 30+ years to create this ongoing themed archive that deep dives into a bunch of shows about the different music scene that offered so much american culture with all sorts of fun sets. Can’t recommend enough for a proper music lesson in what today’s bands are doing completely fucking wrong so just sign-up to their mixcloud stream right now. Don’t question my authority in this matter they take great care each and every show. Plus not to mention my lazy ass does not to get up and visit the stax. I just click play and they are already two steps ahead of me. Enjoy this service.
Podcast 045. Sub Pop Singles Club
One of the more genius moves for Sub Pop in its early days was the creation of the Sub Pop Singles Club, in which subscribers received a new, limited-edition seven-inch once a month via the postal service. READ ON AND LISTEN.
Totally like this so your mom see’s what good taste you have in music.
We love radio. We grew up on it and before there was the crazyness that is internet these days we relied on college radio that was located on the left of the dial. Here’s a few of Best New Podcasts and Radio shows based out of New Jersey and New York. I’m sure there are more so if you do a show and want to get listed just let us know and follow us on twitter and with the other facehookers. We’ll post a update.
AUDIBLE AFFECTS via WTSR by Jerry Lardieri
We love Jerry Lardieri’s taste in rocknroll music. We dig his band too The Brixton Riot. He’s only had a couple shows but so far he’s off to a roaring start. It’s a great way to spend a friday morning as he plays the very best new and old REAL alternative music has to offer all in one tight set of music. Dig it. Here’s his website and facebook
No Format Radio via WRSU by Jeff Wertz
Jeff used to do a show called Flexible Vinyl only show for years and years. He’s since passed the torche to Doug Vizium so the punk flame carries on. This is more free-format but well worth tunning in.
Keeping Score at home on WRPB by Jon Solomon
For folks who know any thing about the deep New Jersey music scene Jon is practically a house-hold name. Even on Christmas when he does a 24hr xmas show. He posts meticulous show notes about what songs he spins. Here’s his website to see waht I am talking about Follow him on twitter or better yet xatch him on Weds 7-10pm on WPRB.
Flexible Vinyl on WRSU by The Slugger
Ok while you won’t hear anything pre 1990 on this radio show and that is pushing it – don’t panic because the hour long show is a lesson in punk music. Shit if you heard of half the bands you’ll be way more punk than me. Seriously awesome show.
Here’s a few videos of one our favorite Don Giovanni Records bands playing live called Black Wine at a Sound Station presents show. They are just as much retro SST-punk and forward unpunk as it gets. Also on the bill that night was our house band Eastern Anchors, Tri-State, Dollar Store Riot and a bunch of other local locals. BW have a new record called Yell Boss and it’s coming out in early June on the New Brunswick label Don Giovanni Records. You heard it here first folks. They recorded their new album at Volume IV in New Brunswick with Brian from Risk Relay and we can’t wait to check it out. Miranda the drummer/singer for the band also recently started a talky podcast called Totally Bitchin that she does with Jamie from a new band called Small talk. They have about 10 episodes already and worth a listen if you are jonesying for yet another decent podcast. Their most recent show is a interview with Miranda’s hub Jeff who used to play with The Ergs! They are mainly focusing on the local NJ music scene which we think is great. Subscribe iTunes | Tumblr | Libsyn.
Recommended Podcasts: Live from the Barages – Recorded live every Friday night from a garage that is bar in Queens, NY. They add “s” to everything and are a bunch of cassette listening chooches. Interviews with dudes who fuck dolphins, Krokus tapes, people who go to mars and lots of band talk – plus a few music breaks inbetween. Sound Opinions – Based out of Chicago. Pretty main stream indie. they cover the basics SXSW and other popular genres. Low Times – Short interviews for short attention spans. You Can’t Stop the Signal – Fast talking, over talking music indie based podcast by Conan and his bandmates. They land good guests.
Fascinating behind the scene stories about one of the coolest legendary punk rock clubs, City Gardens, in the very scenic Trenton New Jersey, spanning the late 1970’s to 1994. DJ Jeff Werz talks for 1:45 and plays lots of music with the authors. Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico co-authors of “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes” talk about putting this book together and doing over 420 interviews! The book is named after the large ass sign at the door. This is when punk was dangerous and skin heads ruled the roost and one week you could go see the Circle Jerks and then the next Fishbone or ween. The book will be published March 10, 2013 and is available online at www.noslamdancing.com. We only got thrown out one time for stage diving at City Gardens and that was enough. My back still hurts!
We got lots of new tunes packed in this cast with music by Beastie Boys, Mr. thom Yorks and his radioheads, some soul, Criminal Hygene from LA, Speed Ortiz, Doug Gillard, Charles Bradley, Butthole Surfers and much more. Just listen. We have not done a podcast in over a couple years so we’re still working out the kinks. These are all hits.
We’re personally not into sports that much but get why people do and we don’t think David Yow has dialed up the Friday night radio show yet called Live from The Barrage but I’m sure he will soon. Would be funny as hell if he got to talk acting chops and get in a eloquent discussion about the finer points of acting methods with the fake Christopher Walken who frequents the show as well. This past week “Princetron”, New Jersey music personality Jon Solomon from Comedy Minus One and WPRB rang in discussing a Silkworm release coming out on his label; so you know adult alts are slowly paying attention to the show. Even Howard Stern apparently is ripping off bits as they just featured the band My Dick. Anyway, they curse and swear, freely discuss with no advertisers or FCC to be concerned about what regular NewYawkers or cabbies are thinking about or reading in the papers that week. It’s free for all that somehow is surrounded with great tunes that they barely announce when they do feel like playing music so they can take pee breaks and grab a cold one. This is a 2 1/2 hour show and are up to episode #33 which is a very big milestone for a podcast in such a short amount of time since April this past year. They are totally tuned into the New York music scene and pretty safe to say any hipster that dares to step foot in or call the show which takes places in John Houlihan’s garage in Queens better be prepared to piss themselves or leave crying. This is not a place for weak anonymous commentators alla brooklyn vegan. It’s authentic radio and I hope siriusxm radio comes knocking — I really do. Forget the old radio waves your mother-father listened to as there would be more bleeps than if R2D2 were getting raped in the back of the Jawa van for the show to be enjoyable by anybody.
Found a interesting song writers podcast through my facebook aquintances called Radio Free Song Club and the only one I’ve ever heard of is Freedy Johnston and Laura Cantrell and Dave Schramm to name a few. Alright lots of song writers in the immediate NY/NJ area with a outlet to share their newest and coolest demos. The number one issue as they are calling it (need to work on your podcast vernacular guys) has a some live music and narrator reads out writers notes and stuff. Really under the hood kind of stuff. If you are passionate about the art of song writing you might really enjoy this fireside chat style podcast. I did. subscribe. Hosted by Nicholas Hill.
Well the new year is almost upon on and with that comes our annual Christmas show with some mirth. Really mostly rock but in Show #24 Some Holiday Cheer we got covered with new tunes by No Age, Trail of Dead, Young Widows. Plus local NJ music by an old band from Westfield called Animation. Buzzkill New Brunswick, New stuff by the Eastern Anchors and Transilvia. Add to that a bunch of Xmas stuff mixed in.