Showing posts from 2009

Playlist for 12/30/09: Baby, You're the Best

Zero Hour this week featured as many of my favorite artists, albums and songs from 2009 that I could squeeze into three hours. Overall, I think it was a pretty good year for music, or at least there was plenty to keep me busy and entertained. Having a show on WMSE certainly exposed me to a ton of tunes, and simply planning and doing a three-hour show each week made me consider a lot of music I might not have otherwise. My top 10 albums this year (in no order) came from the A-Bones (Not Now/Norton), Tommy Keene (In the Late Bright/Second Motion), Dinosaur Jr. (Farm, Jagjaguwar), The Tripwires (House to House/Spark and Shine), Jack Oblivian (Disco Outlaw/Goner, Saturday Night Part 2 EP/Big Legal Mess), Fairlane (Light So Bright/ Chrome Heart), Chuck Prophet, (¡ Let Freedom Ring!/Yep Roc), Marshall Crenshaw (Jaggedland/429), Wheels on Fire (Get Famous/Big Legal Mess) and The Shazam (Meteor/Not Lame). Pick up your prize at the window. For other ideas to help you go broke, check out this a…

A Messe Christmas

Feeling under the weather this week due to a likely case of food poisoning (for my wife, there was no "likely" to it; it was for sure and much, much worse than I got it), I didn't do a Zero Hour. I had planned to do a show of Christmas tunes and 7-inches. I won't be doing that now, but fortunately, I'll still be on the air this week. I'm subbing for Pete Rohde on Messe Radio from 9 p.m. to midnight on Christmas. Please tune in if you get a chance. I'll try to provide the perfect soundtrack for all your post-family-party-break-out-that-bottle-of-good-whiskey-you-got-from-your-new-favorite-person-pass-out-in-your-new-Snuggie-blues. In the meantime, if you are looking for some classic Christmas viewing, this here list and a bucket of egg nog will keep you entertained for hours.

Playlist for 12/16/09: 10 Wheels for Santa

Looking back at my playlist, I suppose I was in a very garagey frame of mind this week, from the bands used in the opening Christmas-themed set to the nutty mofos who ended the show. I don’t know – I imagine bleary-eyed insomniacs at 2:45 on a workweek morning, turning on WMSE and hearing “10 Wheels for Jesus” and then making life-changing vocational choices. And that makes me happy. New music from Bob Log III, a selection from the highly recommended two disc-set that accompanies the new Oxford American music issue and a Zero $ Quartet salute to the mighty Tom Russell.

Anyone wondering what to get Zero Hour for Chrismas? Look no further.

Download or stream the show right here.

Run Rudolph Run - The Fleshtones
Sock It to Me Santa - King Salami & The Cumberland Three
Santa's Gonna Shut 'Em Down - The Untamed Youth
Deck the Halls - Los Straitjackets
Santa Claus is Surfin' to Town - Soupy Sales

1,2,3 Party - Mission of Burma
Me Hungry - King Kong
All I Ever Do - Daisy
Temperament Twi…

12/09/09 playlist: Go to Rhino Records

I finally got around to doing another I Love My Label spotlight this week. L.A.’s Rhino Records got the - full show salute this time. I brought in a crate and backpack full of Rhino releases and had a ton of stuff I didn’t get to. The label’s output over the last 30+ years has been amazing; let’s hope it does indeed have a future beyond download-only releases. For interesting reading on the history of Rhino Records and a discography, go here.

Download or stream the show right here.

And don't forget to donate to WMSE during the 15-hour marathon (chock full of excellent themed programming!) going on today (12/11)until 9 p.m.

There's Trouble Brewin' - Jack Scott – The Best of Cool Yule
Careless Santa - Mono Puff - Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Xmas
Be Bop Santa Claus - Babs Gonzales - Hipster's Holiday
Christmas in Jail - The Youngsters - Bummed Out Christmas!
Christmas Blues - Canned Heat - Blue Yule: Christmas Blues and R&B Classics
Silver Bells - Booker. T & The …

Playlist for 12/2/09: I Want a Rock and Roll Guitar

For December, I’m planning on beginning with a holiday theme each week. I’ll probably do an hour of Christmas music or more on Dec. 23. Hope you dig that. New music from Ike Reilly, a Zero $ Quartet feature on Exene Cervenka and a lot of King Khan & BBQ Show, who I missed play at Mad Planet because I was on the radio. Sounds like it was just OK – or at least I’ll make myself feel better that way.

Download or stream this week's show right here.

Mr. Santa Claus (Bring My Baby Back) - Nathaniel Mayer & The Fabulous Twilights
Santa Had a Wreck - Terry Anderson & the Olympic Ass Kickin' Team
I Wanna Spend My Christmas With You - Phil Lee
Your Christmas Whiskey - Minus 5
Christmas on Interstate 80 - 5 Chinese Brothers

7 Come 11 - Ike Reilly
Sonny Liston's Blues - Chuck Prophet
Dan's Song - Frank Turner
Red Light Love - Those Darlins
Land of the Freaks - King Khan & the Shrines
Spin the Bottle - King Khan & BBQ Show

Who's Gonna Take Your Garbage Out - Rosie Flores

Playlist for 11/25/09: Give Back the Key to My Heart

Better late than never, I paid tribute to the late Doug Sahm to begin this week's show. The legendary Texan died Nov. 18, 1999 at age 58.

Download or stream this week's show right here.

Goodbye San Francisco, Hello Amsterdam - Doug Sahm
Bacon Fat - Sir Douglas Quintet
Who Were You Thinking of - Sir Douglas Quintet
Mendocino - 6 String Drag
Too Little Too Late - Alejandro Escovedo
Love Minus Zero/No Limit - Doug Sahm

Midnight in the Sitay - Reckless Hearts
Animal Party - King Khan & BBQ

Underwater Again - Rainy Day Saints
Anything Could Happen - The Clean
The Dream Inspires - Television Personalities
I am the Cosmos - Chris Bell

*Boilermarker - Jesus Lizard
Subiaco Shuffle - Spiral Stairs
Knowledge is Power - The Bats

* Don't Take it So Bad - Townes Van Zandt
*Bittersweet Sounds - The Candeliers
Black Dog - Kevin Gordon
If Only the Sky Was Blue - Fairlane

Thanksgiving Day - Bryan Harvey
Almost Thanksgiving Day - Graham Parker
Thanksgiving in Zuma - Liquor Giants
Thanks a Lot - Neko Case & …

Playlist for 11-18-09: Livin' After Midnight

New music this week from Doug Gillard, CoCoComa and Dennis Diken with Bell Sound, a Zero $ Quartet segment featuring Dinosaur Jr., who were quite excellent last night at Turner Hall, and a midnight theme (cause the show starts at midnight and stuff).

Ooh Midnight - Pete "Guitar" Lewis
Midnight Blues - The Detroit Cobras
Moanin' at Midnight - Howlin' Wolf
Midnight in Mississippi - Blue Mountain
Alone at Midnight - The Smithereens
Zero Hour - The Plimsouls

Alright, Alright, Alright - CoCoComa
Alice & Friends - The Box Elders
Bumble Bee - The Heavy Trash
(M M M M Andre Williams Is) M-M-Movin' - Andre Williams
Soupy - Maggie Thrett

Put Me Down - The 27 Various
From What I've Done - Doug Gillard
Back to Zero Now - Tommy Keene
Greetings to the New Brunette - Billy Bragg

Up All Night - Green
One Minute Forty Five - The Nice Outfit

7" Six-Pack
Mary Ellen - Dutch Oven (Prospective)
Covered by an Underground Umbrella - Drop (Splunge)
Could it be You - Superstar (Superstar)
Do You …

Playlist for 11-11-09: Yankees are the Chumps

My feeble attempt to stick it to the Yankees was to start the show with an all-Dead Milkmen (the pride and joy of Philly) set. Hey, at least one listener called and said he dug it. New music from King Kahn & BBQ Show, a Zero $ Quartet feature on Chuck Prophet and Side B of the International Elvis Impersonators Convention (Rhino, 1979).

Planning to head to Chicago on Saturday to catch Andre Williams reading from his new book Sweets out on Kicks Books, Norton Records' new publishing division. I will be sure to report back on Zero Hour next week.

Stream or download the show right here.

I Hate You I Love You - The Dead Milkmen
Plum Dumb - The Dead Milkmen
Tiny Town (live) - The Dead Milkmen
Punk Rock Girl - The Dead Milkmen
Blood Orgy of the Atomic Fern - - The Dead Milkmen

Lonely Boy - King Khan & BBQ Show
Que Viva Elrocanrol - The Spider Bags
Thunderbird - Raunch Hands
Stranded - Mistreaters
Love is My Business - Tav Falco & the Panther Burns
This Town - Green River

Saturday Groover…

Playlist for 11/4/09: Pledge Drive Pig Out

Big thanks to Corey for sitting in with me during the last week of the fall pledge drive. We set a Zero Hour record - OK, it was 60 bucks, but you can make up for that by donating here.

Stream or download the show right here.

Pig Snoots Pt. 1 - The Natural Bridge Bunch w/Andre Williams
Do the Pig - Merced Blue Notes
Gimme a Pigfoot - Bessie Smith
I Crave My Pig Meat - Blind Boy Fuller
Pig Snoots Pt. 2 - The Natural Bridge Bunch

Wanna Get Old - Fairlane
Sun Gone Down - House of Freaks
Flirted With You All My Life - Vic Chesnutt
Sunday Nights - Frank Turner

Lookout - Dex Romweber Duo
She - Plexi 3
That Girl Stacey – The Flips
One Mint Julep – The Exotics

Phillies ‘76 – The Phillies
Message From a Black Man – Derek Harriott
As Long (live) - Greg Cartwright

7” Six-Pack
She’s My Chemist – Mighty Deerlick (Subatomic)
Pretty Lizard – Liquid Pink (Susstones)
Ticket to L.A. – Urge Overkill (Touch & Go)
Lolita – Paw (Nasty Pope)
Grand Slam Baby – Pork (No. 6)
A Good Flying Bird - Thee Crappy Dracula (Self-r…

Playlist for 10/28/09: Burn She (and He) Devils Burn

It was Halloween and fall pledge drive time on Zero Hour this week. I played lots of devil songs, a few hell songs and plenty of just plain weird ditties. A blast was had by, well, me. If you get a chance to check it out, I wrote a Halloween post for Sonic Diet detailing some of my seasonal faves, most of which made it onto the show. The pledge drive continues next week, so do your duty to freeform radio and pledge.

Download or stream the show right here.

Rockin' in the Graveyard - Jackie Morningstar
Morgus the Magnificient – Morgus & the Ghouls
She's My Witch - Kip Tyler
Bo Meets the Monster - Bo Diddley

I Was a Teenage Zombie - The Fleshtones
Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon - The Cramps
The Phantom - Bleed
Circle in Hell - Golden Boys
Experiment in Terror/Stalkin' - Impala

Take the Devil Out of Me - Tres Chicas
Run Devil Run - Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins
The Devil and Me - BR549
There's A Devil on the Loose - Mavis Staples
Lurking in the Shadows - Los Straitjacket…

Playlist for 10/21/09: Rags to Riches to Rags

A new documentary on HBO about New York City’s Garment District, Schmatta: Rags To Riches To Rags, is well worth your time and was well worth serving as my opening theme this week. Director Marc Liven tells of the decline of the fashion industry in America with a particular focus on the Garment District and its workers. Schmatta casts the fall as a symbol of many things wrong with American business and the economy. Perhaps the key stat: 95% versus 5%. The former is the percentage of American clothing made in the United States in 1965. The latter is the percentage today. Cheery theme, I know.

Paid tribute to NRBQ founding member Steve Ferguson, who passed away Oct. 7 of cancer, and Captain Lou Albano, who went to the big wrestling ring in the sky Oct. 14. “Ned Beatty’s in Love” by Seattle-based power pop supergroup The Tripwires is not only my favorite song about a former member of Homicide: Life on the Streets (until someone pens an ode to Daniel Baldwin, aka, Beau Felton) but one of …

Playlist for 10/14/09: On Boozy Bloating & Baseball

Better late than never I suppose. The baseball playoffs (the opening theme for this episode of Zero Hour) and grading papers have kept me busy – and then there’s the whole laziness factor to overcome. Greg Cartwright, bad man and onetime WMSE guest DJ, was saluted in my Zero $ Quartet feature. I’ll try to post this week’s playlist tomorrow or at least not wait until next week.

Download or stream the show right here.

The Death of Big Ed Delahanty - The Baseball Project - Volume 1: Frozen Ropes And Dying Quails (Yep Rock)
Rain Delay – Marah - Let's Cut the Crap and Hook Up Later On Tonight (Phidelity)
TV Party Tonight - Black Flag – Damaged (SST)
Personality Crisis (live) – New York Dolls – Manhattan Mayhem (Jungle)
Stukas over Disneyland - The Dickies - Stukas over Disneyland (Restless)
Harvey Haddix - The Baseball Project – Live at Cat’s Cradle 9-26-2009 (

Let it Die - The Dutchess and the Duke – Sunset/Sunrise (Hardly Art)
I’ll Be Your Lover (But I Can’t Be Your Baby) – The Et…

Playlist for 10/7/09: In Praise of Like

For some reason, while listening to a new vinyl acquisition, From the Vaults of Duke/Peacock, Vol. 2, “I Like It” by Clarence (Carter) & Calvin (Scott) made me think of all the songs with “like” in the title. I decided it was worth the first hour of my show to explore. By gosh and all, it’s a thinking person’s show, see. New music this week from Vic Chesnutt, Mission of Burma and Exene Cervenka. I started a new feature that I’ll call the “Zero Dollar Quartet” or something along those lines. Essentially, I’ll take a somewhat established performer, or at least one with four albums, and play a song from their latest release and three older songs. I went with those wacky and cuddly folks from Hoboken, Yo La Tengo, this time around. I have to keep myself entertained, if not the listening audience, somehow.

For some good reading on Lester Bangs, check out this entertaining and informative post from The Hound. For all the free damn Mojo Nixon albums anyone could ever want, go to Amazon.


Playlist for 9/30/09: Merge Records: On the Mouth

I gave Merge Records the I Love My Label treatment this month in honor of the label’s 20th anniversary. My theme to start to the show was covers of songs from the Merge catalog, beginning with what I believe to be the only Butterglory cover in recorded history. The Merge catalog is as massive as it is impressive, with more than 350 releases since 1989. There is a lot I missed, of course, but that’s always the case with my I Love My Label segments. I did an hour-long Merge tribute over the summer in honor of the big, reunion-heavy Merge XX show, so I avoided repeats for the most part.

If you’re looking for information on Merge, there’s an overwhelming amount out there. The new book on Algonquin about the label, Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, has its own Web site, and it’s very much worth checking out, including a well-done timeline. Coming soon is The Merge Records Companion: A Visual Discography of the First 20 Years. The North Carolina Triangle’s Independent Weekly did a trem…

Playlist for 9/23/09: Down By The River Where The Dead Men Go

This here very cool photo spread inspired me to start with a film noir/crime- themed set. I just might one day soon revisit this idea for perhaps the first hour of my show. New music this week from Paul Westerberg and Lou Barlow, an all-female 7-inch Six-Pack, two Sweet covers and a ton of tunes from vinyl.

I can't stop listening to one of WFMU's new web streams, Ichiban Rock & Soul, which is described thusly: "the best in obscure 50's and 60's Rock 'n' Soul as selected by Debbie D., Dave the Spazz, Rex and Mr. Finewine." It's a mix of individual songs and excerpts from archived shows of the aforementioned DJ's. The names of the songs appear at the top of iTunes to aid in any music hunting. A blog with assorted pics and videos that fit with the music is here.

Download or stream Zero Hour right here.

Cold Dark Night - Charlie Feathers – Uh Huh Honey (Norton)
Murderess in a Purple Dress – The Scientists – Absolute (Sub Pop)
Vengeance is Mine - J…

Playlist for 9/16/09: The Electric Fetus Ate My Wallet and All I Got Was This Crummy Playlist

Feeling Minnesota after our trip to the Twin Cities - and still high on Surly (or so my bumbling and occasional brain deadness would indicate) - so I began this week’s show with a set of old and new bands from in and around those fine burgs. New music from Gordon Gano & the Ryans, Greg Cartwright live in Riverwest and a double shot of Harlow Wilcox & the Oakies. Can you smell the fun?

Stream or download the show right here.

If Only You Were Lonely - Replacements - Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash (reissue) (Twin/Tone/Rykodisc/Rhino)
Backstreet Girl - Golden Smog – On Golden Smog (Rykodisc)
You're Not Her - Loose Rails - Red Turns Green (Crackpot)
Shirley McClaine - The 757's - Freeway Surrender (Electone)
Airport Bar - Chooglin' - Sweet Time (Big Legal Mess)
Nashville - Gospel Gossip - Dreamland (Guilt Ridden Pop)

Always Wrong - Jail - There's No Sky (Oh My, May) (Self-released)
Two Runaways - Reckless Hearts - Get Up & Run (Off the Hip)
Under the Sun- Gordon G…

Playlist for 9/9/09: Shut Your Mouth

It was all instrumental for the first hour this week. Why? Why the hell not? New music this week from Yo La Tengo, the Box Elders and the other new release (in addition to In the Music) from the Trashcan Sinatras. I also did a set in tribute to my North Carolina friend Rick Cornell, the host of the twangin’ and soulful Dirty Laundry who is no longer a DJ at Duke University’s WXDU after 12 years due to a scheduling conflict. His show was previously called Border Radio/Soul City, N.C. and he did a power pop show under the moniker Starry Eyes. Rick’s playlists and suggestions have always provided me with tons of great music to check out and his show will no doubt be missed by many. Here’s hoping he gets back on the air soon.

Download or stream the show right here.

Taking of Pelham 123 - David Shire - The Score (Mojo insert)
The Sound of Soul - Harvey Scales & the Seven Sounds - Love-Itis (Soul-Tay-Shus)
Shake Your Po Po - Earl Carter & The Fantastic 6 – Ol’ Virginia Soul, Vol. 2 (Arc…

Swingin’ Party: Q&A with the Baseball Project

photo by Vivian Johnson

2008 was a mean year for several music magazines that had at one time or another been kind enough to publish my articles and reviews. No Depression, Country Standard Time, Harp and Pop Culture Press all bid adieu to the paper versions of their publications. No Depression and Country Standard Time live on through the interwebs and Harp has been reborn anew in print as Blurt. Pop Culture Press, meanwhile, I suppose you would say is on indefinite hiatus and could come back as a blog, according to editor Luke Torn.

I completed two articles and a dozen or so reviews for the fall/winter issue of PCP that never was. With the Baseball Project-Minus 5-Steve Wynn tour currently on the road, I figured it would be my last chance to post the Q&A I did with Wynn and Scott McCaughey last summer. The interview doesn’t appear to be ridiculously outdated, and Wynn and McCaughey are indeed blessed with timeless wits, so hopefully you’ll find something to enjoy. Here’s a recen…

Playlist for 9/2/09: Back to School (Rodney Dangerfield Sadly Not Included)

School is back in session for many (including teacher me), so I went with the obvious. New music this week from the Rainy Day Saints, Apples in Stereo and the Clean. Next week I think I’ll begin with an hour of all instrumental music – or not. Favorite WMSE library finds were The Turbines’ Last Dance Before the Highway (the nutty “Wah-Hey”) and the excellently rocking “Royal” 7-inch from the Mercy Rule.

Stream or download the show right here.

Going Back to School - the Fleshtones - Take a Good Look (Yep Roc)
Little School Girl - Wild Jimmy Spruill (with Jim and Bob Harrison) - Scratch 'N Twist: Rare and Unreissued New York Rhythm and Blues 1956-1962 (Night Train)
College Man - Billy Lee Riley & the Little Green Men - Red Hot Riley (Sun/Charly)
College Girls - Terry Anderson & the Olympic Ass Kickin' Team -When the OAKTEAM Comes to Town (Doublenaught)
Still in School - NRBQ - Peek-a-Boo: The Best of NRBQ 1969-1989 (Rhino)

If I Can't Come Back - Reigning Sound - Love &…

Playlist for 8/26/09: Norton Records, The World's Greatest Sinners

New York City’s legendary Norton Records got the I Love My Label treatment this month. For the first time, I dedicated a whole show to one label, and with a catalog like this (look for the link at the top), Norton truly deserves much more than that. I did sets dedicated to the new I Still Hate CD’s Vol. 2 digital-only comp, the 5-LP Benny Joy retrospective, the A-Bones, who have their first new album out in over a decade, and the one-and-only Hasil Adkins, who I appropriately began and ended the show with.
Regrets? I didn’t play nearly enough Link Wray, Andre Williams was recognized only through a Church Keys sample, and I left out T. Valentine, the Flamin’ Groovies and Doug Sahm. There will be a next time. Perhaps when Norton turns 25 in 2011.
For a great interview with Norton co-founder Billy Miller, look here. Miriam Linna, the other half of the Norton dynasty, Miller’s wife and A-Bones drummer, has an excellent blog, Kicksville 66, detailing her wild and wacky experiences after la…