DIJs 2014

Greg

Jim

Greg

“Louie, Go Home”The Who,Joan Jett,David Bowie,The Kingsmen,Paul Revere and the Raiders

Idaho-native Paul Revere of the 1960's colonial-garbed band Paul Revere and the Raiders passed away this week from cancer, so Greg chooses to remember the ringleader of the raucous band by taking their song "Louie, Go Home" with him to the Desert Island Jukebox. The 1964 single is a response to The Kingsmen's 1963 song "Louie Louie"—one they put together after relocating from Idaho to Kingsmen territory in the Pacific Northwest. The tongue-in-cheek track would later go on to be recorded by David Bowie (still known then as David Jones), The Who, Joan Jett and more.

Go to episode 463

Jim

“Mama Getting High on Chardonnay”The Rolling Stones,The Blue Meanies

Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick this week features the band the Blue Meanies who broke up just as the new millennium started but reunited recently at Riot Fest in Chicago. The band took elements of ska and punk rock and fused it with an electric live show. They finally signed to a major label and in 2000 released their album, The Post Wave, and subsequently broke up. Jim loved the production and songs on that album and plays their modern cheeky take on The Rolling Stones' Mother's Little Helper, called Mama Getting High on Chardonnay.

Go to episode 461

Jim

“Rubber Lover”Deee-Lite,Deee-Lite

Ever since Bootsy Collins visited the Sound Opinions studio in 2012, Jim has been thinking of dance band Deee-Lite and its hit 1990 single, "Groove Is In The Heart" which features Bootsy on bass guitar and guest vocals. Many consider Deee-Lite to be a one-hit wonder, but Jim is a big fan of all the band's albums, particularly their second, Infinity Within, which took a turn away from the first album's neo-hippy tone towards the political with songs about voter registration, environmental stewardship, and the judicial system. One track, "Rubber Lover" features the return of Bootsy Collins, and delights Jim with its safe sex message atop Chicago house mixed with New York rave sound.

Go to episode 458

Greg

“Sister Surround”The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Riding a wave of nostalgia for the early 2000s, Greg washed up onto the shores of the dessert island in search of a fix for his Scandinavian garage rock craving. While bands like The Helicopters and The Hives can sometimes do the trick, Greg turns to his favorite Scandinavian invaders: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Led by Scott Lundeberg, these Swedish music mavericks culled their favorite elements of the classic rock, post punk, and grunge to create a distinct sound from“the best of the best.”Greg plays the track "Sister Surround" from their third album Behind the Music.

Go to episode 457

Jim

“Up Front”Poison Idea,Poison Idea

Inspired by a recent trip to Portland, OR for a special taping of the show with Broken Bells (stay tuned to hear it!), Jim spends his latest trip to the Desert Island remembering The City of Roses's 1980's hardcore punk scene. Jim tells us that trailblazers like Greg Sage and his Wire-esque band The Wipers never quite get the credit they deserve for laying the groundwork for Seattle's grunge music explosion in the ‘90’s. (Nirvana actually covered a couple Wipers tunes.) Another prominent Portland-area hardcore band, Poison Idea, was also influenced by Sage. Specifically the band's guitarist, Tom Roberts, better known as Pig Champion. Jim recalls that what Roberts may have lacked in showmanship (he mostly sat on a folding chair while on stage), he made up for in sheer metal guitar prowess. Sadly, Roberts passed away in 2006 at the age of only 47. So this week, Jim pays tribute to both the Portland hardcore scene and Robert's indelible mark on it, by playing a live recording of Poison Idea's Wipers cover "Up Front," which features more than 12-minutes of Robert's virtuoso guitar.

Go to episode 455

Greg

“Take Me to the River”Al Green

On this latest trip to the Desert Island Jukebox, Greg is eager to pay tribute to unsung Memphis music legend, Mabon Lewis Hodges, also known as“Teenie.”Hodges passed away at the age of 68 last month only a few weeks after Greg sat in on a recording session with him in Tennessee. Hodges was a dynamic rhythm and lead guitarist whose best work was done with Al Green in the 1970's. The pair co-wrote the songs "Take Me to the River" and "Love and Happiness," with the latter featuring an unforgettable guitar rift (and countdown) from Hodges right up top. Green credits Hodges for the song's slow burn sound which he likened to a fever, one that only gets hotter and hotter as Hodge's guitar and Green's vocals glide along. In Hodge's honor, Greg cues up 1977's "Love and Happiness."

Go to episode 454

Jim

With a main course of Ramones and a side of Tom Petty, Jim has had his fill of boomer classic rock for this episode. So, for dessert, he offers up Macy Gray as a Desert Island Jukebox selection. And he'd encourage any eye-rollers to remember how great her debut album was in 1999. Most memorable of all from On How Life Is, is "I Try," one of the best songs of the '90s. Here's hoping her forthcoming release in harkens back to these good 'ol days.

Go to episode 453

Greg

“Politicians in My Eyes”Death

In the 1970's, an all African-American band out of Detroit named Death crafted abrasive, no reservations proto-punk songs responding to the city's bleak politics and poverty. Their raw rock edge caught the ear of infamous music industry executive Clive Davis who wanted to debut the band to the world, but only if they'd change their morbid name. The band (of brothers) refused, broke up, and their songs were nearly lost until Chicago record label Drag City got a hold of them and reissued the collection in 2009. Since that release entitled …For the Whole World to See, the band has gotten back together and impressed many with a sound that was clearly ahead of its time. To demonstrate, Greg plays "Politicians in My Eyes."

Go to episode 451

Jim

“Her Head's Revolving”The Three O'Clock

During his most recent adventure on the desert island, Jim took comfort in a Paisley Underground classic called "Her Head's Revolving" by a band that truly exemplifies the genre. The Three O'Clock* came up in Los Angeles at the start of the 1980's alongside similar sounding groups such as The Dream Syndicate, Green on Red and The Bangles. The band's mix of 1960's psychedelic harmonies and 1980's pop flavor produced a new distinct twist on a classic sound. Lead vocalist Michael Quercio dubbed it“Paisley Underground,”a tribute to the“far out”decade. And none other than Prince took notice.

Go to episode 449

Greg

On his latest trip to the desert island, Greg pays tribute to an unsung musical hero who passed away more than 20 years ago. Mississippi-born guitarist and singer Ted Hawkins was often found on Venice Beach strumming along to folk, blues, and country standards, but occasionally - often at the behest of an awestruck passerby - he made his way into a recording studio. One such occasion came after Hawkins spent a lengthy stint in jail working through a heroin addiction. The album Hawkins cut after his release, Happy Hour, features the poignant track "Bad Dog" which Greg sees as the perfect metaphor for the late soulman's erratic life and career, and the perfect song to get a sense of what the man was all about.

Go to episode 448

Jim

“True Love”Têtes Noires

Jim recently visited Minneapolis public radio station The Current, where he saw lying around the studio a new reissue of American Dream by Têtes Noires. French for“black heads,”Têtes Noires was an accurate descriptor for the six raven-haired women who made up the band. Jim recalls how they stuck out in the sea of Nordic blondes called Minnesota. Their music was a capella harmony bolstered with wheezing organ and hand claps, and their lyrics fell somewhere between comedy, performance art and "killer indie rock." To show what he means, Jim plays "True Love," which features the vocalist listing all of the rotten relationships she's had since grade school. Têtes Noires may not have survived past its '80s heyday, but its spirit lives on in the new remaster – and, thanks to Jim, on the Desert Island.

Go to episode 444

Greg

“I Met Him on a Sunday”Laura Nyro

Laura Nyro is an artist we don't talk about enough, says Greg. Best known for writing songs that others made famous, like Three Dog Night's "Eli's Coming" and The 5th Dimension's "Wedding Bell Blues," Nyro died young in 1997 at age 49. But Greg insists that her own records are criminally overlooked — namely her fifth, Gonna Take a Miracle, an all-covers album of songs that Nyro listened to growing up in the Bronx. For that album, she enlisted as collaborator (and chef) Patti LaBelle, who in turn brought onboard her Labelle bandmates Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. The result was an extraordinary record, produced by the legendary duo of Gamble and Huff. Greg picks the group's (mostly) a capella rendition of The Shirelles' "I Met Him on a Sunday" to jazz up the Desert Island.

Go to episode 441

Jim

“10,000 Lovers”Ida Maria

While recently scouring the Bermuda Triangle for long-lost artists, Jim rediscovered Norway's Ida Maria who specializes in energetic punk rock blended with new wave melodies. The song "10,000 Lovers" from Maria's second album Katla is a little less punk, but still a lot of fun and reminded Jim why Maria's debut album Fortress Round My Heart in 2009 was his favorite of that year. 10,000 Lovers features Maria's first use of her native Norwegian on a song, and while Jim doesn‘t understand any of it, there’s no mistaking Maria's shout-out to Frank Sinatra at the end.

Go to episode 437

Greg

“The Red and the Black”Blue Öyster Cult

During his conversation with Jim and Greg, Mike Watt reveals some of Minutemen's more surprising influences. One that didn't come up, but has been cited in the past, is Blue Öyster Cult. But, as Greg explains, the more you think about it, the more that affinity makes sense. This hard rock arena band was actually masterminded by producer (and former rock critic) Sandy Pearlman. And some of the bands lyricists were Patti Smith and critic Richard Meltzer. So you have the heft of literary words with the speed and intensity of punk rock. You can hear that combination in a song Watt continues to perform to this day: "The Red and the Black" by Blue Öyster Cult.

Go to episode 433

Greg

“Watch Your Step”Bobby Parker

Musician Nick Waterhouse recently told Greg that he's always trying to make his music "swing." Except instead of swinging like Benny Goodman, Waterhouse wanted to swing more like blues-guitarist Bobby Parker. Specifically, Parker's 1961 track, "Watch Your Step", which at the time of its release was a huge influence on everyone from The Spencer Davis Group, to Carlos Santana, to John Lennon. Unfortunately for Parker, the general public wasn‘t nearly as smitten by the song, and it’s since faded into obscurity. Greg managed to find a copy of this rare release, and now he's eager for Parker to earn the recognition his riffs deserve. You can hear“Watch Your Step's”inspiration on songs like The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" and Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick".

Go to episode 430

Jim

“"Open Your Eyes"”The Lords of the New Church

This week we looked at the music, past and present, of Russia. Jim thought about one band that curiously made a splash there: The Lords of the New Church. The band was somewhat of a supergroup, with punk pioneers Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys, Brian James of The Damned, Dave Tregunna of Sham 69 and Nick Turner of The Barracudas, all coming together to play, what Jim readily admits, a 1980's sound that mixed punk with goth. While he didn't love most of their output, he really loved the first single that penetrated the Iron Curtain: "Open Your Eyes".

Go to episode 429

Greg

“Nowhere Again”Secret Machines

Music fans experienced another loss over the holidays: Benjamin Curtis, one of the founding members of Secret Machines died at age 35 after a battle with cancer. He, brother Brandon and cousin Josh Garza, visited the show in 2006, and Greg fondly remembers their distinctive sound. While contemporaries like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes were steeped in a New York punk and New Wave sound, Secret Machines had a more experimental and psychedelic edge. And when people lament the lack of great modern rock bands, Greg refers them to this one. So to remember Ben Curtis and Secret Machines, Greg adds "Nowhere Again" from the band's 2004 debut Now Here is Nowhere to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 424