Friday, May 27, 2011

Live Ledge #17: Tommy and Jenna

I'm back after a week's hiatus for another two hours of slammin' POUNDERS! Besides the usual old and new tracks, other topics include the Tommy Stinson show in Minneapolis and the tragic death of Jenna the Jeep. Nab this episode from the usual sources, or directly download it here.

This week's selections:

1. The Replacements, Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
2. Iggy Pop, Gloria
3. The Clash, Garageland
4. X, The World's a Mess It's In My Kiss
5. The John Doe Thing, Too Many Goddamn Bands
6. The Muffs, Big Mouth
7. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, I Wanna Go All the Way
8. Black Lips, New Direction
9. Yuck, The Wall
10. Against Me!, Money Changes Everything
11. Fucked Up, Turn the Season
12. Thee Oh Sees, I Need Seed
13. The Loved Ones, Coma Girl
14. Dave Hause, Rankers and Rotters
15. The 4onthefloor, Cashillac
16. Tommy Stinson, Motivation
17. Bash & Pop, Friday Night (Is Killing Me)
18. The Figgs, Chevy Nova
19. Graham Parker & The Figgs, There's Nothing On the Radio
20. The Undertones, Teenage Kicks
21. Slobberbone, Placemat Blues
22. Mystery Girls, Smack Me
23. The Junk Monkeys, Lost My Faith
24. Vice Squad, Defiant
25. Cychilds, Bubble Gum
26. Descendents, Silly Girl
27. The Gun club, Sex Beat
28. Rubber City Rebels, I Don't Wanna Be a Punk No More
29. The Mice, Not Proud of the USA
30. Tall Boys, Action Woman
31. Batmobile, Gorilla Rock
32. Dwarves, It's a Wonderful Life of Sin
33. Swingin'Utters, Lepers Thieves and Whores
34. The Exploding Hearts, Thorns in Roses

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Ledge #74: Argus Leader Sportswriter Matt Zimmer

Snark is rarely found in mainstream newspapers these days, particularly in the sports department. Every team is great; every athlete is wonderful (at least until a drug scandal). Sioux Falls is lucky that the local paper has one reporter who is not afraid to speak his mind.

Besides being sarcastic and cantankerous, Matt Zimmer is also a music fanatic. When I saw a tweet from him a few months ago stating his enthusiasm over a hot woman loading a bar's jukebox with Replacements tunes, I decided he HAD to be a Ledge guest. Zimmer's choices jump from genre to genre, and he's probably the ONLY person who can justify the presence of a  Hootie and the Blowfish track.

Along with the music is discussions on local and national sports, including the Twins, Vikings, and the NBA playoffs. Please note, however, that this show was recorded before the death of Twins legend Harmon Killebrew. Neither of us had any idea that his demise would come so quickly.

To hear the show, you can subscribe via iTunes, stream it on The Ledge iPhone/Android app, or download it here.

Here's Matty's picks:

1. Alejandro Escovedo - Broken Bottle
2. Bob Dylan - Call Letter Blues
3. Henry Clay People - You Can Be Timeless
4. David Bowie - Queen Bitch
5. Jesse Malin - Almost Grown
6. Deer Tick - Houston, TX
7. Elvis Presley - US Male
8. Tommy Keene - Places That Are Gone
9. English Beat - Save It For Later
10. Ike Reilly - Hip Hop Thighs
11. Hootie & The Blowfish - Almost Home (trust me, there's a good reason for it)
12. Matthew Ryan - Guilty
13. Neko Case - Thrice All-American
14. J. Geils Band - Centerfold
15. New York Dolls - Dance Like a Monkey
16. Tom Waits - Come On Up to the House
17. Uncle Tupelo - Still Be Around
18. Paul Westerberg - MPLS
19. John Mellencamp - Small Town (Acoustic version)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rural Ledge-ucation #11: Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday

The world's greatest songwriter turns 70 on Tuesday, May 24, so it seems fitting that this week's Rural Ledge-ucation celebrates this milestone with an episode of cover versions of his great tunes. It's probably even more fitting that the sources for these tracks come from bootlegs. There are 35 volumes of a bootleg series entitled Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan, and this show proves they're all full of great treasures.

Listen to it now via the iPhone/Android app, or download the actual file here.

This week's playlist includes:

1. Grateful Dead, Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
2. Jason and the Scorchers, Absolutely Sweet Marie
3. New Barbarians, Seven Days
4. Long Ryders, Highway 61 Revisited
5. Willie Nile, All Along the Watchtower
6. The Blue Aeroplanes, I Wanna Be Your Lover
7. Steve Wynn, Positively 4th Street
8. John Wesley Harding, Wiggle Wiggle
9. Peter Case, Black Crow Blues
10. Billy Bragg, Don't Think Twice It's Alright
11. Paul Westerberg, All I Really Want to Do
12. Paul Kelly, I Threw It All Away
13. Steve Kilbey, Is Your Love In Vain?
14. Lloyd Cole, It's all Over Now Baby Blue
15. The Waterboys, Hard Rain
16. Richard Hell, Going Going Gone
17. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
18. Patti Smith, Wicked Messenger
19. PJ Harvey, Highway 61 Revisited
20. Cracker, The Man In Me
21. Alejandro Escovedo, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
22. Blue Rodeo, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
23. Coffee Creek, Wallflower
24. Jeff Tweedy, I Threw It All Away
25. Jay Bennett & Edward Burch, One Too Many Mornings
26. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, She Belongs to Me
27. The Jayhawks, You Ain't Going Nowhere
28. Steve Earle, It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to cry
29. John Doe, Buckets of Rain
30. My Morning Jacket, The Man In Me
31. Mumford and Sons, Wagon Wheel
32. Wilco, I Shall Be Released

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Ledge #73: Jim Connelly

It’s probably no surprise to anybody that my first online activity primarily centered around The Replacements. It was the early-to-mid 90’s; a time of 56k modems and text-based activity. Simple photos took longer to appear on the screen than it now takes to download a typical network sitcom. AOL had yet to appear; let alone community sites such as MySpace or Facebook.

It was on the now-defunct Prodigy network that I discovered a like-minded collection of music nerds that obsessed over The Replacements (along with hundreds of other bands). One of these fine folks was “Barefoot” Jim Connelly, a Fresno, CA native who couldn’t have been more similar to me. Besides loving the ‘mats, he was a bootleg collector who championed most of the same artists that has filled my CD room. He did college radio for years and years; he wrote for local publications. Every year ended with an extensive countdown essay of the best releases of the year. Clearly, we had lots of stuff to debate back then.

Almost twenty years later, we’re both still at it…and the similarities haven’t ceased. Connelly may not be doing three podcasts a week, but he recently inaugurated Medialoper Bebop with other like-minded friends. On this week’s episode of The Ledge, Connelly talks about his new podcast, along with his appearance in Color Me Obsessed, the recent reunion of his favorite local band, and his writings that can be found on

The show can be found on The Ledge android/iPhone app, or directly download it here.Here’s Connelly’s playlist for this episode:

1.  The Magnolias, One More Reason
2. The Individuals, My Three Sons (Revolve Around the Earth)
3. 28th Day, 25 Pills
4. The Miss Alans, The Shiny Unfeeling
5. Bob Dylan, Cold Irons Bound (Live at Bonnaroo 2004)
6. Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound, Another Man’s thing
7. The Hold Steady, The Swish
8. Drive-By Truckers, The Living Bubba (Live)
9. that dog, Hawthorne
10. Low, Nothing But Heart
11. The Geraldine Fibbers, Seven Or In 10
12. Public Enemy, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
13. Shoes, Not Me
14. The Playmates, Someone to Save
15. The Chant, For You
16. The Cat Heads, Apologize

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rural Ledge-ucation #10: Early Memorial Day

Since there will not be a show on Memorial Day, I decided to celebrate the lives of artists we lost way too soon a couple of weeks early. There's a little bit of country, blues, soul, reggae, punk, and good ol' rock 'n roll on this jam-packed Sunday morning program.

As always, you can hear this show via The Ledge iPhone/android app, or directly download it here.

1. Robert Johnson, Stop Breakin' Down
2. Hank Williams, Long Gone Lonesome Blues
3. Patsy Cline, Walkin' After Midnight
4. Buddy Holly, Craying Waiting Hoping
5. The Byrds, One Hundred Years From Now
6. Phil Ochs, I Ain't Marching Anymore
7. The Band, This Wheel's On Fire
8. Otis Redding, I've Been Loving You Too Long
9. The Rolling Stones, Little Red Rooster
10. Peter Tosh, Don't Look Back
11. Bob Marley & the Wailers, Baby We Got a Date (Rock It Baby)
12. Big Star, The Ballad of El Goodo
13. Chris Bell, I Am the Cosmos
14. John Lennon, Hold On
15. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, Silver and Gold
16. T. Rex, 20th Century Boy
17. Thin Lizzy, Cowboy Song
18. Sex Pistols, Something Else
19. Stiv Bators, Have Love Will Travel
20. The Ramones, Little Bit O'Soul
21. The Cramps, The Crusher
22. The Germs, Communist Eyes
23. Minutement, If Reagan Played Disco
24. The Replacements, Customer
25. Elliott Smith, Ballad of Big Nothing
26. Vic Chesnutt, Degenerate
27. Sparklehorse, King of Nails
28. Jim Carroll Band, People Who Died

Friday, May 13, 2011

Live Ledge #16: Blogger Stinks

This past Wednesday, I spent the good portion of the evening editing the field recordings that made up episode 72 of The Ledge. After that task was completed, another hour or so was spent writing my thoughts regarding teh Minneapolis premier of Color Me Obsessed. All this work was for nothing, though, as the following day a Blogger shutdown deleted any post made the previous 48 hours.

Luckily, I had promoted this show on other sites, so I was able to re-post this material once Blogger came back up. Still, the anger this event caused definitely influenced the tunes on Live Ledge #14, as this may be the noisiest show to date. Listen to it on the app, or download it here.

1. Camper Van Beethoven, The Ledge
2. Peter Case, The End
3. Alejandro Escovedo, This Bed Is Getting Crowded
4. The Germs, Lexicon Devil
5. Circle Jerks, Wild in the Streets
6. Bad Brains, Pay to Cum
7. Crass, Banned From the Roxy
8. The Get Up Kids, Beer For Breakfast
9. This Is My Fist, Beer For Breakfast
10. Grandpaboy, Get a Move On
11. Replacements, Can't Hardly Wait (Live)
12. Perfect, Making of An Asshole
13. Bash and Pop, Hang Ups
14. The Diodes, Jenny's In a Sleep World
15. House of Large Sizes, Sox On Spot
16. Goo Goo Dolls, Out of Sight
17. Junk Monkeys, Sad Letters
18. Gang Green, Voices Carry
19. The Lemonheads, Luka
20. Husker Du, Sorry Somehow
21. Grant Hart, 2541
22. Soul Asylum, Tied to the Tracks
23. God's Favorite Band, In Through the Out House
24. The Ticks, Waiting On You
25. Pedaljets, A Certain Sunday
26. Bikini Kill, Rebel Girl
27. Babes in Toyland, Angel Hair
28. Boss Hog, Winn Coma
29. Tuuli, Who's the Fool Now
30. Dressy Bessy, Stop Foolin'
31. Fucked Up, Queen of Hearts
32. Thee Oh Sees, Pleasure Blimp
33. Dwarves, Working Class Holes
34. Carbon/Silicon, What the Fuck
35. The Clash, Stay Free

The Ledge #72: Color Me Obsessed in Minneapolis

It’s an extremely surreal feeling to view oneself on a movie theater screen. I just don’t understand how actors can handle it. Sure, if you’re flawless like Clooney or Johansson it’s probably no big deal. If you’re just a normal mess like this flabby goofball, though, it’s a potentially frightening experience.

To say I annoyed everybody I came into contact with before the Minneapolis premier of Color Me Obsessed on May 4 is certainly an understatement. I couldn’t have been more of a neurotic mess, and honestly it probably clouded my overall view of the film that evening. Luckily, a spot was found for me in the audience of one of the following evening’s showings, and I was a lot more relaxed that evening (a couple of pre-movie Jack/Coke’s probably aided this feeling).

It wasn’t just my own paranoia that had me on edge that evening. I was plenty nervous about not only my reaction to the movie, but the opinions of the band’s hometown fans. Although the word that came out of previous screenings was almost unanimously positive, I still had some doubts that the story of the Replacements could be told without any music or footage of the band. How could two hours of people talking about the band be entertaining?

Surprisingly, the lack of music is not missed at all, and honestly would have just got in the way of the stories told by friends, colleagues, music critics, and Replacements fans. Actually, Replacements fans should top that list, as almost everybody in the other categories could and would call themselves fans first. Director Gorman Bechard deftly blended the tales of over 100 people into a briskly-edited story that doesn’t shy away from acknowledging missteps and low points of the band’s career.

Some of these fans are certainly better known than others. Tom Arnold tells a hilarious story about regaling Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur with the backstage exploits of the Replacements when they appeared on Saturday Night Live. Dave Foley proclaims that the goal of Kids In the Hall was to be the “Replacements of comedy”. The Goo Goo Dolls acknowledge that their first two albums were a complete ripoff of the Replacements’ sound, and members of The Decemberists, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, Gaslight Anthem, and Titus Andronicus proclaim their influence.

Yet, it’s the “normal” fans who steal the show – the school bus driver who would play Stink’s “Fuck School” if the kids behaved, the pinball player who unknowingly caused Bob Stinson to miss the first three songs of their gig, or the guy in the front row of a show where Bob had nothing under his trademark tutu. Most interesting was the tale of Robert Voedish, whose high school days on the farm were saved after he created a make-believe version of Tommy Stinson to be his best friend.

As one can probably tell by these past couple of paragraphs, the movie is filled with humor, but it’s not all just loving remembrances. The final albums are correctly and almost unanimously panned. Tommy Ramone discusses his difficulties in getting Bob into the studio during the Tim sessions (his parts on the entire album were eventually recorded during one marathon session). Matt Wallace defends his production of Don’t Tell a Soul; ultimately claiming that the annoying sheen of the album was the fault of the superstar heavy metal mixer the label brought in after the completion of the sessions.

Bob Stinson’s firing is also fairly handled. For many, it was over when the notoriously wasted band somewhat inexplicably fired him for drunkenness. Yet almost as many proclaim the band’s next album, Pleased to Meet Me, as their favorite. Both sides of the Stinson drama have their say in Color Me Obsessed, leaving the viewer to decide.

Is the movie the definitive story? I’d say it’s as close as one can get. Undoubtedly, some will complain that none of the band members are heard or seen in the movie, and one can also quibble that various people are also not present (members of Soul Asylum are names that I keep hearing). Yet every album is dissected, the majority of the “important” tracks are discussed, and there are reminisces of a good percentage of the “infamous” shows. How this movie could be improved seems next to impossible.

While in Minneapolis for the screenings, I badgered a few people for short interviews both before and after the initial screening. Bechard talked to me on both occasions, which opens and closes this week’s episode of The Ledge. These field recordings occurred in restaurants, hotel rooms, bars, and even the mean streets of Minneapolis. Because of these settings, and also due to my lack of experience with my newly purchased Tascam recording device, the quality of these interviews is not always top-notch. In fact, my apologies to Diane Welsh and Carolyn Baumann in particular for the lo-fi quality of their sections of this show.

I would also like to thank Bechard and his lovely wife, Kris, for being so kind to this neurotic mess, and also to my good friend Traci Hoem for providing the setting for my five-second cameo. Thanks also must go to everybody else who let me stick my microphone in their face for a few minutes.

As always, these guests provided the tunes for this episode. Here are their selections:

Gorman Bechard, Color Me Obsessed Director
Matthew Ryan, Guilty
Meat Puppets, Lake of Fire
Lykke Li, Dance Dance Dance

Pat Burns, Fan (and former Ledge co-host)
The Feelies, Higher Ground
Soul Asylum, Made to Be Broken

Scott Wickman, Color Me Obsessed Executive Producer
The Waterboys, A Girl Called Johnny
Adele, Lovesong

Matthew Ryan, Singer/Songwriter
The Clash, Straight to Hell
The Replacements, Swingin’ Party

Diane Welsh, Color Me Obsessed Executive Producer
Brett Dennen, Sydney I’ll Come Running
Matt Nathanson, Faster

Dave O’Hara, Fan
Lucinda Williams, Honeybee
Dan Israel, 2822

Jan Radder, Supervising Producer
Husker Du, Standing By the Sea
The Minutemen, History Lesson Pt. 2

Bill Deville, DJ on MPR’s The Current
The Replacements, Can’t Hardly Wait
Steve Earle, Waitin’ On the Sky

Carolyn Baummer, Fan
The Eels, Mansions of Los Feliz
John Doe, The Golden State
Drive-By Truckers, This Fucking Job

You can hear this show via a number of different methods. The absolute best way is to download the iPhone or Android Ledge app. Or you can subscribe at iTunes, stream it at, or directly download it here.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Rural Ledge-ucation #9: Mother's Day

This week's show is a tribute to all those kind ladies who have done so much for their non-appreciative children. Celebrate the day with a little bit of country, blues, rock, folk, and punk - there should be something here for everybody. Download it here and enjoy the perfect Mother's Day soundtrack!

1. Bob Dylan, Mama You Been On My Mind
2. Tough Mama
3. Paul McCartney, Only Mama Knows
4. Nina Simone, Blues For Mama
5. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Mama Don't Like My Man
6. Damon Lee, Say Mama
7. Johnny Val, Hey Mama
8. The Louvin Brothers, Take the News to Mother
9. Merle Haggard, Mother The Queen
10. Johnny Cash, There's a Mother Always Waiting
11. John Doe, Mama Don't
12. Lucinda Williams, Mama You Sweet
13. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Mama's Fried Potatoes
14. The Decemberists, My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist
15. Ray LaMontagne, Hey Me Hey Mama
16. Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, Tell My Mother I Miss Her
17. The Morning Benders, Mother and Child Reunion
18. Yo La Tengo, Mama Told Me Not to Come
19. Grant Lee Buffalo, Come to Mama She Say
20. Elliott Smith, Wouldn't Mama Be Proud
21. The Baseball Project, Look Out Mom
22. Flag With Hank, Don't Leave Momma
23. The Wonder Stuff, Mother & I
24. Stephen Malkmus, Mama
25. The White Stripes, I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart
26. Suburbs, Mommy
27. Sleater-Kinney, Be Yr Mama
28. Social Distortion, Mommy's Little Monster
29. The Ramones, Mama's Boy
30. The Kinks, Some Mother's Son
31. Bob Dylan, Tell Me Momma

Friday, May 06, 2011

Live Ledge #15: Leftovers

Having spent the last four days in Minneapolis, I didn't get a real opportunity to put together a playlist this week. Instead, these two hours are songs that were in the original playlists of prior Live Ledges. Plus, there's another double cover challenge, and a brief review of the Minneapolis screenings of Color Me Obsessed. Download it here

1. The Replacements, Kids Don't Follow
2. Rocket 455, Cock in My Pocket
3. Cheap Trick, Clock Strikes Ten
4. Jeff Dahl & the Kevin K Band, Born to Lose
5. The New Salem Witch Hunters, Quinn the Eskimo
6. Dropkick Murphys, Peg O' My Heart
7. The Insomniacs, Mental Holiday
8. Crystal Stilts, Through the Floor
9. Let's Wrestle, Bad Mammaries
10. The Beets, Hens and Roosters
11. Title Tracks, Light Sleepers
12. The Parting Gifts, Keep Walking
13. Art Brut, Lost Weekend
14. No Direction, Getting It On With Trudy
15. The Buzzcocks, Harmony In My Head
16. The Apemen, Squad Car
17. Satan's Pilgrims, Squad Car
18. Hoodoo Gurus, In the Middle of the Land
19. The Saints, Lipstick On Your Collar
20. The Muffs, Lucky Guy
21. The Beards, Make It In America
22. Kitty Daisy & Lewis, I'm Going Back
23. The Exploding Hearts, Modern Kicks
24. Mike Ness, Don't Think Twice
25. Social Distortion, Born to Lose
26. Paul Westerberg, Everything's Gone Wrong
27. Bash & Pop, Friday Night is Killing Me
28. The Quakes, Killing Moon
29. Gorilla, Born to Be Wild
30. The Pixies, Gouge Away
31. Myron Lee & The Caddies, Homicide

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Rural Ledge-ucation #8: Hillbilly Heroes

Ok, not every act played on this episode is a hillbilly. There's a couple of rockers, and even an angry old Brit. The music, however, is primarily twang-y, and is the perfect antidote to your tired Sunday blues. Download it now! Do it!

1. Jimmie Rodgers, T.B. Blues
2. Hank Snow, Blue Yodel #2
3. Bill Monroe, Blue Yodel #7
4. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Mean Mama Blues
5. Hank Williams, Lost Highway
6. The Louvin Brothers, In the Pines
7. Charlie Louvin, Great Atomic Power (w/Jeff Tweedy)
8. Johnny Cash, The Long Black Veil
9. Merle Haggard, Sing Me Back Home
10. The Flatlanders, Dallas
11. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown
12. The Byrds, You Ain't Going Nowhere
13. Dillard & Clark, Don't Let Me Down
14. Gram Parsons, Streets of Baltimore
15. Doug Sahm, Wallflower
16. Steve Earle & The Del McCourey Band, Harlan Man
17. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down
18. Billy Joe Shaver, Wacko from Waco (w/Willie Nelson)
19. Paul Westerberg, Live Forever