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Posts Tagged ‘punk’


Dig it.  Fuzztacular lo-fi guitar man, Kurt Vile covers Born in the USA era Bruce Springsteen.  Don’t mind if I do.

Kurt Vile – “Downbound Train”

Download MP3 >> 16 Downbound Train

Neat. So Mr. Vile’s new record, So Outta Reach, is an EP of odds and sods from his recording session of the album  Smoke Ring For My Halo.

I was reading about “Downbound Train” as I do when I download new songs.  I want to learn about the history and what was going on. Nothing to flex my brain too hard, usually just poke around on Wikipedia.

Music critic Dave Marsh said that “Downbound” is one of the Boss’ worst songs!  Heavy.  Who is this Dave Marsh fella anyways?

Turns out Dave is pro Bruce (his wife is a co-manager of Bruce Springsteen) and he’s written a bunch of books about the man.  BUT, what is more interesting is that dave marsh was one of the first people to use the term “punk rock” in a publication to describe a style of rock & roll.  Now how cool is that?

I always knew that the first band to be described as “punk” was ? and the Mysterians.  They had a number 1 garage rock hit in 1966 called “96 Tears.”  The song doesn’t sound “punk” rock like you might hear on Jason Lamb’s Punk Show… but this was the first time a music critic described something as “punk.”

? and The Mysterians – “96 Tears”

More poking around on Wiki shows the term “punk” had been batted around in the late 60s and early 70s… but Marsh took it to describe a style of music in Creem in ’71.  A member of the Fugs… used “punk” to describe his band’s sound in ’70… but for some reason, it wasn’t in the true “sense’ of the word I guess.  BUT, fun fact… Fugs were the first band to have the word “fuck” show up on a recorded album.  Neat.

Must be pretty cool to be THEE guy that invented a genre that gets used all the time today.

Right, so what was the point of all this?

Kurt Vile’s “Downbound Train” is a pretty good song.  You should listen to it.

Go with yourself.

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Seattle is known by many of us as the place where grunge music comes from. But long before the Seattle scene of the late 80s and early 90s, there was another rock and roll scene going on.

In the late 50s and early 60s, Seattle was home to a bunch of garage rock bands.  One of my favourites is a group that some people consider one of the first punk rock bands, The Sonics.

The Sonics were known for the fast and hard playing.  Simple chord progressions and darker themed song lyrics.  They also covered many of the garage rock staples of the time, including one of the more famous versions of “Have Love, Will Travel.”

I was flipping through the 45s bin at Ditch Records today with Madelyn when I spotted a couple Norton Record‘s re-issues of The Sonics.

I picked up their hits “Witch” and “Psycho.”  And look at that, the b-side to “Psycho” is “Have Love, Will Travel.”

I continue to flip and find an old Black Keys’ 7-inch that features “The Moan”… b-side, “Have Love, Will Travel.”

$20 later, I have a collection of Sonics 45s, a Black Keys… and what the heck, The Kingsmen doing “Louie Louie” for good measure.

The Black Keys are one of the biggest bands in Modern Rock right now… formally topping The Modern Rock Countdown here in Victoria; and currently Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.

The Black Keys – “Have Love, Will Travel”

Go with yourself.

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There are many reasons why I love the internet, but the most important for me is the randomness of discovery.

The last few days I’ve been jiving on lots of garage, mod, protopunk and 60s pop.  Reading about protopunk took me to discover and download some music from a band called ? The Mysterians.  They were the first band to ever be described as “punk.”

I was talking about about ? and the Mysterians on the radio last week when a Zoner far wiser than I called up to say, “The Mysterians might have been called the first punk band, but the actual first hard rocking punkers were a 1960 garage band from Seattle called The Sonics.”

The Sonics?  Sure enough, they have a groovy harsh punker sound.  I went to iTunes to try and find one of their classic records, either ‘Here are the Sonics’ or ‘Boom.” Sadly, neither were available.  But searching led me to a podcast for a theatre sound technician form the UK named Steve Brown.  Steve’s blog/podcast is nothing but audio soundscapes and weirdness.

I ended up poking around there this evening listening to the sounds of streets in Brighton or Seoul or wherever Steve decided to plant a mic and hit record.  One of my favourite posts is this audio/visual collage of Cold War era radio transmissions.  Very geeky stuff for you audiophiles find my blog.  I subscribed to his podcast.  Lots of great stuff to inspire and maybe one day sample for a project.

***

Coral and I took Mads to Coquitlam this weekend for a little visit.  Coral bought a book on the boat called “The Book of Negros,” by Lawrence Hill.  Coral can’t put it down.  I’ll need to get in line to read it when she’s done.

The book basically follows the life of a young girl who is captured in her village in West Africa.  She is 11 years old and sent to the Americas to become a slave.  She gets freed during the American Revolution and is resettled in Nova Scotia before returning to Sierra Leone.

While reading, Coral occasionally pops up to ask me about some historical event that they mention in the novel, like Saint Helena Island or the old French colony of Saint Domingue.   I’d find it for her, do a quick read then have to keep poking around.  Saint Domingue is now Haiti!  One of the poorest countries (and THE poorest in the West) in the world.  But in the colonial times, it was the wealthiest colony.  Haiti was the site of a slave rebellion that led to its independence, the only successful slave rebellion in Earth’s history.  And yet 200 years later, the country is in shambles.  Its sad to think about.  In the late 1700s and early 1800, these black slaves are besting the armies of Britain, Spain, and Napoleon’s France… but get successfully manage their resources, and today the nation is broke and the people are poor.

The book isn’t about the slave rebellion of Haiti, but they mention it in the book… the whites in British colonies are freaking out, “what if it happens here?”

Go with yourself.

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