The Midnight Caller, Episode 4

The air is thick and the static’s crackling. Coded messages and tapped lines, there is danger in the jungle. The choir voice of The Peoples weaves in between the trees, through the hanging vines and into the radio waves. They like baseball and they have lots of friends, but they wish you could be there. You’ll be thankful you weren’t.

How do you save your Soul Stripper?

There was a positive message, so how has it gone all so wrong? Are they sleeping? No. They won’t wake up. Unfolding enveloping missiles of soul recall senses sadly. Sound the alarms but it’s too late. They won’t wake up.

Episode 4 of The Midnight Caller has come through. Turn the knobs just right and you can get the whole broadcast.

New Jon Spencer video: Beetle Boots

Video: Jon Spencer – “Beetle Boots”

Jon Spencer – Beetle Boots

Directed by Andrew Hooper. From Spencer Sings The Hits, out now on In the Red.

Jon Spencer will not tolerate any phony rock and rollers. He doesn’t have time for you posers.

You think it’s easy being in a band?
Wrong priorities
Misguided intentions
Ironic distance just reinforces convention

Come on!

Stop playing with a butter knife!

Jon Spencer: twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Hand Habits video: Placeholder

Video: Hand Habits – “Placeholder”

Hand Habits – placeholder

Directed by Madeline Kenney. From Placeholder, out March 1 on Saddle Creek.

When I was a teenager my parents had a sailboat we kept on Lake Macatawa in Holland, Michigan. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds and the experience is more accurately reflected in this video from Meg Duffy, guitarist in Kevin Morby’s band. Her project is called Hand Habits and the video could be me around 17. A kid wandering the marina with a great haircut but bored senseless playing with (but not kissing–gross!) fish heads and making shadow puppets. Maybe staring at a bit of trash floating in the harbor. It wasn’t a bad way to spend your teens.

A new album called placeholder is out March 1 via Saddle Creek. In a press release, Duffy writes, “The songs on placeholder are about accountability and forgiveness. These are real stories. I don’t fictionalize much.”

Me either, Meg. Me either.

Hand Habits: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New FIDLAR video: By Myself

Video: FIDLAR – “By Myself”

FIDLAR – By Myself

From Almost Free, out January 25 on Mom+Pop.

FIDLAR goes disco!

Don’t want to bury the lede here so I’ll just point out that Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist has cut his hair since the last time I saw his hippie locks at Riot Fest in 2016. Phew!

But back to the new song…

Good old Zac Carper is back with another tale about his misspent youth and fragile psyche.

Well I’m cracking one open with the boys by myself
And everybody thinks that I need professional help
But I don’t wanna think about that anymore
And just because I woke up on someone’s floor
And asked, Who the fuck am I?
I didn’t know it felt good to cry

But before you get too nervous for him he asks, “Why does getting sober make you feel like a loner?”

The video features cameos of various punk rock celebrities imbibing their favorite beverages, inclding feat. No Parents, Criminal Hygiene, Danny Bengston (Together Pangea), Kelsey Reckling (and Bocky), Cadien (Twin Peaks), The Side Eyes, Benjamin Booker, Sunny War, Matthew Zuk, Brian Rodriguez, The Frights, No Win, John Doe and DJ Bonebrake (X), Tropa Magica, Zachary “Penske” Cox, Misses Joseph Herzog, Shelly Schimek, Nate Mercereau, Culture Abuse, Barbara (@poserfeel), Alice Baxley, SWMRS, The McGinnis Family, NOBRO, Dicky Presto, Jimmy Russo, Ronald Ray-Gun, FIDIOTS, Dune Rats, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist (The Hives), Matt Caughthran (The Bronx), Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), Jonah Ray and Taran Killam.

Good to see friends being supportive!

FIDLAR: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New FIDLAR video: By Myself

New Janelle Monae video: Screwed

Video: Janelle Monáe – “Screwed” (ft. Zoe Kravitz)

Janelle Monáe – Screwed (feat. Zoë Kravitz) [Official Video]

From Dirty Computer, out now on Bad Boy/Atlantic.

I believe it when Janelle Monae says, “I lost my mind to rock and roll.” She’s one of the most exciting things happening in music today. She’ll be headlining Coachella and Glastonbury this summer, which has ruffled some old school rockers’ delicate plumage, but what do they know? Like her mentor Prince, she’s a free-ass motherfucker.

I like how “Screwed” is overtly political without sacrificing any of its party jam fun. Apparently written in the wake of the 2016 election, Manae expressed what everybody was thinking: We’re all screwed. But then she optimistically flips the sentiment on its head:

Let’s get screwed
I don’t care
You fucked the world up now
We’ll fuck it all back down

Let’s hope so. Janelle Monae for President in 2020. She’s got my vote.

Janelle Monae: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 25

Rolling Stone issue #25 had a cover date of January 4, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of the MC5’s Rob Tyner.

I hadn’t originally intended on continuing this series into 1969. By the end of 1968 Rolling Stone had firmly established its identity as the leading voice of the rock and roll generation. It was no longer the ramshackle underground newspaper that gave away roach clips to new subscribers. It was serious.

So it seemed like a good place to stop. But the January 4 issue has that glorious photo of Rob Tyner on the cover, and well…it looks like I’ll be doing more of these after all. 1969 was a pretty exciting year and Rolling Stone was there to cover it.

It’s a shame more of this content isn’t available online. Eric Ehrmann’s MC5 cover story, published before their debut album was released, is hilarious in all its myth-making, jive-talking hagiography.

Features: “Detroit’s MC5: Kick Out the Jams” by Eric Ehrmann; “The Blind Leading the Deaf Through a Desert” by Jann Wenner; “Beggar’s Banquet” by Jon Landau; “Taj Mahal” by Tom Nolan; “Jose Feliciano” by Ritchie Yorke; “The Ghost Children of Tacoma” by Richard Brautigan.

News: “No More Traffic; Winwood-Clapton Rumors” by Ritchie Yorke; “God Save The Cream” by Jonathan Cott; “Your Ears Are In Good Hands”; “Janis Joplin’s New ‘Revue'”; “Jools [Julie Driscolll] Denied Work Permit”; “Family Dog Shot Down.”

Columns: Perspectives by Ralph J. Gleason (“It Ain’t Really Funny” on the Man coming down on the Kids: “there are more people out there in the boonies than are covered by our philosophy…”); Books by John Grissim, Jr. (Hunter S. Thompson’s Hells Angels and Frank Reynolds’ Freewheelin’ Frank); Cinema by John Luce (Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend); “Pardon Us, But It’s Christmas” (a note about how they’re skipping an issue because the printer is closed on Christmas Day — printing takes places three and a half weeks before the issue’s cover date); Random Notes on Allen Ginsberg, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Motown, Arthur Brown, Bing Crosby, and a disgruntled message about Vox guitars and amplifiers:

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 25

New Steve Gunn video: Vagabond

Video: Steve Gunn – “Vagabond”

Steve Gunn – "Vagabond" (Official Music Video)

Directed by Jason Evans. From The Unseen In Between, out January 18, 2019 on Matador.

I like spooky music. Not necessarily scary music–though I have a small corner of my heart that’s draped in black set aside for Ministry as well–but music that is a bit unsettling. There are certain tones and vocal inflections that for one reason or another leave me at ill-ease. And I like it. I made an entire mixtape of 70s Creepout songs that were probably never intended to scare anyone when they were written.

Steve Gunn makes some spooky music and he’s one of my favorite artists of late. He has a good sense of melody and a great ear for guitar tones. Did he maybe spend some nights as a child falling asleep under a pile of coats while his parents partied in another room? My guess is yes.

Steve Gunn: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Sharon Van Etten video: Seventeen

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Seventeen”

Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen

Directed by Maureen Towey. From Remind Me Tomorrow, out January 18 on Jagjaguwar.

Wow. This is a powerful song and an intense video. On its surface it’s another song — like “Comeback Kid” — about looking back at your younger self. But it’s easy to imagine this being sung from the perspective of a parent to their snotty teenager.

Now you’re a hotshot
Think you’re so carefree
But you’re just seventeen
So much like me

Until I had a kid I never really appreciated the shit my poor mom dealt with to raise me. I realize that individuation is an essential part of human development but I regret having been such a dick to her as an adolescent (and beyond).

There’s a scene in the “Seventeen” video that breaks my heart: where young Sharon Van Etten runs up to get under current Sharon Van Etten’s umbrella. It’s a perfect snapshot of how kids still need the comfort and protection of their parents, even after they no longer think they want it.

My own kid is a tweener now and I know our days are numbered. He’s already pushing away in various frustrating ways. I think I’m afraid that he’ll be just like me. Hopefully he’s nicer to his mom than I was at least.

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Rivers Cuomo video: Two Broken Hearts

Video: Rivers Cuomo – “Two Broken Hearts”

Two Broken Hearts – Music Video

Single out now.

Well at least it’s better than the stupid Toto covers. I hate to sound like Leslie’s Jones’ character on the SNL bit, but I am what I am. By the way, have you watched that sketch with people who are not total nerds? It’s uncomfortably unfunny. And there I am, all like, “No it’s funny because I am Leslie Jones. No really, that is exactly what I’m like. Exactly!” And they’re all like, “Weezer? I didn’t even know they were still a band…” Good times.

Rivers Cuomo: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Via punknews.

Continue reading New Rivers Cuomo video: Two Broken Hearts

New Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe video: Monochrome Wound

Video: Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – “Monochrome Wound”

Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – Monochrome Wound (Official Video)

Directed by Jean de Oliveira. From From Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe, out now on A Recordings Ltd.

Oh, man…this is some witchy shit. Tess Parks teams up with Brian Jonestown Massacre bossman Anton Newcombe for a duet (of sorts) and a tour around Aleister Crowley’s Thelema Abbey in Cefalú in Sicily? Hell yes.

Described by Wikipedia as, “This idealistic utopia was to be the model of Crowley’s commune, while also being a type of magical school, giving it the designation ‘Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum’, A College towards the Holy Spirit. The general program was in line with the A∴A∴ course of training, and included daily adorations to the sun, a study of Crowley’s writings, regular yogic and ritual practices (which were to be recorded), as well as general domestic labor. The object was for students to devote themselves to the Great Work of discovering and manifesting their True Will.” It’s now a run-down shack in the middle of the woods, which is oddly appropriate as a metaphor and a monument.

The song is a spooky, sultry rambler right in line with Anton’s mellower takes with BJM accented by Tess Parks’ smoky vocals; this is what my desert dreams are made of.

Tess Parks: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Anton Newcombe: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Rock and roll can change your life.