Monday, April 29, 2013

The Walking Rock Alphabet: B

After missing a perfect opportunity for a walk due to a writing deadline, I just had to make it out today. Not only was it a perfect day with temps approaching 80, but the rest of the week looks dismal. Within 48 hours, it’s going to be back in the 30’s, and there’s even talk of a May snow event. I had to get some exercise while I can!
My music choice for the day is a band whose fourth album is one of the highlights of this year...yet an album that I had already pretty much forgotten. Released at the beginning of February, the fourth self-titled album by The Bronx is living proof that raging punk rock is still alive and well. There’s nothing subtle about this L.A. band’s approach - it’s loud, driving, and never lets up. 
Actually, though, that last fact is my only issue with the band. Outside of a forgettable power ballad, “Life Less Ordinary’, towards the end of the album, there’s little sonic variety. This is tempered, however, by the simple fact that there are no tracks that I can call “bad”. It’s sort of like the issue I have with Social Distortion. You can enjoy any individual track from any of the 90’s Social D albums, but it gets a bit tedious to sit through an entire album.
Despite my minor criticism, this was a perfect album to push me on a lethargic afternoon. My body was screaming for the couch, but songs like “Ribcage” and “Too Many Devils” kept me at a brisk pace.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rural Ledge-ucation #99: Cowpunk

The death of George Jones has led to a weekend of heavy thinking. Scary, I know. His death, combined with quite a few recent interviews with musicians who found new inspiration in "looking back", caused me to think about my own musical timeline. How did I go from the Ramones and Sex Pistols to George, Johnny, and Merle?
Like too much of my musical heritage, it all dates back to my 80's college radio days. Along with the typical mainstays of that era were a number of bands attempting to bridge the gap between punk rock and country music. Some of these bands were called "cowpunk"; others were connected to the L.A. "paisley underground" scene. Many were just not afraid to show their supposedly uncool roots.
Today's show gathers a number of bands that loosely fit these descriptions. Beginning and ending with tracks from Elvis Costello's most "shocking" album, Almost Blue, this morning's show meanders around the country, including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and even Missouri.
As announced a few weeks ago, this is the second-to-last Rural Ledge episode before the summer hiatus. Next week's "season finale" may shape up to be an all-request show. If you have something you'd like me to play, leave a comment or head over to my Facebook with your suggestion. Until then, download this episode via iTunes, Stitcher, or...


1. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Good Year For The Roses
2. Jason & The Scorchers, Broken Whiskey Glass
3. Rank And File, Amanda Ruth
4. Camper Van Beethoven, Ambiguity Song
5. X, The New World
6. The Knitters, Call Of The Wreckin' Ball
7. The Blasters, Long White Cadillac
8. Los Lobos, Shakin' Shakin' Shakes
9. The Long Ryders, 10-5-60
10. The Beat Farmers, Powderfinger
11. Dream Syndicate, Slide Away
12. Green On Red, Keep On Moving
13. The Jayhawks, Falling Star
14. Tex & The Horseheads, I´ll Quit Tomorrow
15. Uncle Tupelo, Whiskey Bottle
16. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Walking Rock 'n' Roll Alphabet: A

Hi kids, I’m back! After a long, long winter that took out of a good portion of spring, I am finally ready to wander around my neighborhood listening to good old rock ‘n’ roll.
The format will be the same as last fall’s outings. As often as possible, I’ll head out of my house and listen to an entire album. On this round, we’ll again go through the alphabet of band names. I’ll also try as hard as possible to not repeat bands from my earlier run through the alphabet, but some letters (q, x, z) create some problems.
It’s almost a surprise that I even made it out today. Just four days ago, my little city had a bit of a min-blizzard, which culminated a wild three weeks of rain, snow, and collapsing trees. But when yesterday’s temperature hovered around 70, I had no more excuses.
It was even warmer today, and there was no wind. After completing a phone interview for my next newspaper article, I ran through my stretches and headed out the door. 
My album for the day was a recent acquisition recommended by my good buddy (and fellow alphabet walker) Jason. Last week’s Live Ledge was devoted to Boston bands, and Jason had sent me a list of recent releases.
One of these new bands was AM Stereo, a group that reportedly consists of “lawyers, architects, administrators, and family men by day”. As I listened to their most recent album, When You Wish Upon a Bar, I would have never guessed these fellows are of the professional nature as the lyrics of their self-proclaimed “disaster rock” consists almost entirely of decadent behavior. Booze, powders, and questionable decisions (but little regrets) are the major point of almost every track.
It’s pretty clear that these folks own not only a few Crazy Horse albums but the entire Twin Tone catalog. Any fans of the Replacements, Magnolias, and Soul Asylum will love this band, especially as they sort of update their sound with a splash of late 90’s Superchunk. 
This was the perfect choice for my return to the mean sidewalks of southeast Sioux Falls, as the 37 minutes just flew by. In fact, I was so enthralled I misjudged my distance and ended up having to replay a couple of tracks. Ooops!
It was a sweaty outing, though, as my body is definitely used to 20 degree weather. I think it’s time to just veg out on my deck with some strawberry-flavored water out of my infusion pitcher!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Live Ledge #109: George Jones

Music fans woke up to tragic news this morning as word came out that iconic country singer George Jones had died at the age of 81. While there is no official cause of death at this time of writing, he had been admitted to the hospital last week with fever and irregular blood pressure.
I could attempt to wax poetic on George's great life, but many others have been doing a wonderful job today that I could never come close to matching. There will also be more ahead in the days to come.
Instead, I did the only thing I could do in his memory. The first part of today's show was devoted to George, and included a couple of his early rockabilly recordings under the name of Thumper Jones. There's also a whole set of cover tunes by the likes of the Nervebreakers and Jason and the Scorchers.
Besides the tracks devoted to Mr. Jones, the rest of the show primarily dealt with various birthdays and anniversaries in music history. We celebrated the birthday of Replacements' drummer Chris Mars, and the 37th anniversary of the first Ramones album. We had a tribute to the 22nd anniversary of the death of legendary guitarist Johnny Thunders. Besides many other sets of that sort, there's also quite a few Record Store Day tracks that didn't fit last Sunday's Rural Ledge-ucation.
Download this one now! It may be the most varied show of the whole catalog! Grab it from the usual sources, or...


1. Elvis Costello & George Jones, Stranger in the House
2. Thumper Jones (George Jones), How Come It
3. Thumper Jones (George Jones), Rock It
4. Jason & the Scorchers, Why Baby Why
5. Waco Brothers, White Lightning
6. Meat Puppets, Burn The Honky-Tonk Down
7. Nervebreakers, The Race is on
8. Chris Mars, Bullshit Detector
9. The Replacements, Radio Hook Word Hit
10. Brother Brick, Color Me Impressed
11. Public Image Ltd., Public Image
12. Superchunk, Void
13. Misfits, Skulls
14. Lemonheads, Skulls
15. Chris Bell, I Am The Cosmos (Movie Mix, 2012)
16. R.E.M., Strange
17. Titus Andronicus, (I've Got A) Date Tonight
18. The Fall, Sir William Wray
19. Babyshambles, Fuck Forever
20. The Libertines, Boys In The Band
21. The Rolling Stones, Sway (No-Overdubs)
22. Iggy and The Stooges, Burn
23. Sex Pistols, (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone
24. The 101'ers, Keys To Your Heart (Version 1)
25. The Small Faces, Watcha Gonna Do About It (Saturday Club 23-8-65)
26. New York Dolls, Looking For A KIss
27. Johnny Thunders, Pills (Live)
28. The Heartbreakers, Born to Lose
29. The Ramones, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
30. The Ramones, Judy Is A Punk
31. The Ramones, Let's Dance
32. Toxic Candy Bars, Dancing Barefoot
33. Shark Week, Be My Baby
34. Tied For Last, Pleasant Valley Sunday

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rural Ledge-ucation #98: Record Store Day

For the third straight year, I have gathered together some of my Record Store Day finds to create a show that samples the good side of this biannual event. Not that everything is peachy with this day, though. There are some issues that Record Store Day board members need to discuss to ensure that those who truly desire a RSD release actually can get their hands on one. You can find more on that rant by heading over to my Argus Leader blog.
Today's show also includes the latest installment of the Songs For Slim benefit series. Instead of an ebay auction, this release was timed for Record Store Day, and select stores in Minneapolis received signed copies. It's also one of the best releases of the series, featuring The Minus 5 and Curtiss A covering Slim's "Rockin' Here Tonight", with a b-side of Tim O'Reagan and Jim Boquist (plus some special help from Paul Westerberg) performing an exquisite version of Dunlap's "Cozy".
Record Store Day shouldn't just be a one day event. Support your indie stores all year long! Now download this show from the usual online spots, or...


1. Bob Dylan, Thirsty Boots
2. Tim O'Reagan & Jim Boquist, Cozy
3. The Minus Five Feat. Cutiss A, Rockin' Here Tonight
4. Old 97's & Waylon Jennings, Iron Road
5. Elliott Smith, Alameda (alternate version)
6. Shearwater and Sharon Van Etten, Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
7. Ty Segall, The Motivator
8. Sonny & The Sunsets Imagine
9. R.E.M., So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)
10. The Rolling Stones, Around And Around
11. Calexico, Fortune Teller
12. Superchunk, Faith
13. The Thermals, The Sword By My Side (demo)
14. Best Coast, Fear My Own Identity
15. Big Star, September Gurls (Movie Mix, 2012)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Live Ledge #108: Dear Boston

After the events of this past Monday, putting on a show devoted to Boston's music scene was a no-brainer. At the time, it was meant to be a love letter of sorts, celebrating 50 years of seminal rock, garage, punk, and college rock.
The chaos and violence of last night, combined with Wednesday's tragedy in Texas, put a different spin on tonight's show. Suddenly, the mood was part anger, part resignation. Was the world coming to an end?
To add to those conflicting feelings, shortly before the show started it was reported that the second suspect had been discovered hiding under a boat. Throughout the show, I was checking on traditional and new media sources as to what was going on.
Then it happened. Just a few minutes before I was to go into a set consisting of the Dropkick Murphys, Street Dogs, and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, word started filtering from those listening to police scanners that the suspect had been caught. This news brought a new meaning to the airing of "Dear Boston", and the mood was much lighter for the remainder of the show.
In fact, the mood had lightened enough that I decided to go long tonight, so this show is a 2 1/2 hour extravaganza featuring forty different  Boston bands. Well, truthfully, 39 of them are from Boston. The 40th, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, was included because of their cover of the traditional Red Sox anthem, "Sweet Caroline".
Download this special broadcast, and pour yourself a nice strong drink as you rock along with that legendary city. Grab it at the usual spots, or...


1. Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Sweet Caroline
2. The Standells, Dirty Water
3. Dick Dale & His Deltones, Jungle Fever
4. The Ramrods, Night Ride
5. The Remains, Don't Look Back
6. The Barbarians, Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl
7. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, New England
8. The Cars, Just What I Needed (Demo)
9. Aerosmith, Come Together
10. The J. Geils Band, Looking For A Love
11. Pernice Brothers, One Foot In The Grave
12. Galaxie 500, Fourth Of July
13. Scruffy the Cat, My Baby She's Allright
14. Bill Janovitz, Rounding Third
15. Pixies, Wave Of Mutilation
16. Throwing Muses, Bright Yellow Gun
17. Juliana Hatfield, My Sister
18. The Lemonheads, Luka
19. Gang Green, Voices Carry
20. Big Dipper, She's Fetching
21. The Del Fuegos, Nervous and Shakey
22. The Cavedogs, Tayter Country
23. The Real Kids, Can't Talk To That Girl
24. Soccer Mom, A Canoe Shy
25. Young Adults, College Rock
26. AM Stereo, That's High School
27. The Dirty Truckers, Feedback
28. Shepherdess, Blackout
29. The Neats, Another Broken Dream
30. The Dogmatics, Gimme The Shakes
31. Volcano Suns, Polythene Pam/Greasy Spine
32. Mission Of Burma, Anti Aircraft Warning
33. Dropkick Murphys, For Boston
34. Street Dogs, Punk Rock And Roll
35. The Outlets, Best Friends
36. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, This List
37. Dinosaur Jr., The Wagon
38. Sebadoh, Gimme Indie Rock
39. The Neighborhoods, No Place Like Home
40. The Lyres, Don't Give It Up Now

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rural Ledge-ucation #97: More 1982

Yep, it's another continuation of Friday's show. Nothing but tracks from 1982 that didn't get aired or didn't really fit that show. There's some jangly pop, synth-ish so-called "new wave", and even a "divorce" track. The chat seemed to enjoy it, so you should also check it out!
Grab it via iTunes, stitcher, or...


 1. The Clash, Straight To Hell
2. Cheap Trick, She's Tight
3. The Producers, She Sheila
4. The dB's, Amplifier
5. Wire Train, She Comes On
6. Jason & The Scorchers, Broken Whiskey Glass
7. Dream Syndicate, Tell Me When It's Over
8. X, The Hungry Wolf
9. R.E.M., Gardening At Night
10. Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Kid With The Replaceable Head
11. Devo, Peek-A-Boo
12. XTC, Senses Working Overtime
13. The Monochrome Set, Fun For All The Family
14. Graham Parker & The Rumour, Temporary Beauty
15. Dave Edmunds, From Small Things Big Things Come
16. Nick Lowe, Heart
17. Squeeze, Annie Get Your Gun
18. The Spongetones, She Goes Out With Everybody
19. Richard & Linda Thompson, Shoot Out The Lights

Friday, April 12, 2013

Live Ledge #107: 1982 (Again)

Ok, I'm an idiot. We can all agree on that. Tonight's theme, though, may have been one of my most idiotic...but I have an excuse, and it turned out for the better.
Earlier this week, Slicingeyeballs commenced on a poll to come up with the best album of 1982. I immediately jumped straight out of my chair and decided that this would be a perfect format for a show!
Sure it would be...last year. Which I did. To do a 1982-themed show in 2013 is idiotic, though. Unfortunately, that lightbulb didn't come on until after I had pulled 40 or so potential songs for the show. So I decided to go with it anyway. I also didn't take a peak at last year's version of the show. I'm sure there are a few duplicates, but I think I can get away with repeating a few tracks once a year. Right? Tell me I'm ok with doing this!
The show ended up being fun, and after a week of falling trees and power lines, it was a nice release. I do talk about the inferno of ice that fell on our city this week, along with a few other topics.
Next week I will have a more properly-timed theme - songs from 1983!!! Contact me with suggestions!
So get this from the usual channels, or...


1. INXS Don't Change
2. The Cure, One Hundred Years
3. Bauhaus, Third Uncle
4. The Psychedelic Furs, President Gas
5. The English Beat, Save It For Later
6. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Man Out Of Time
7. Lords Of The New Church, Open Your Eyes
8. The Jam, The Bitterest Pill
9. The Fleshtones, The Girl from Baltimore
10. The Nelsons, Sister Sister
11. The Beat, The Kids Are The Same
12. Translator, Everywhere That I'm Not
13. Holly and Joey, I Got You Babe
14. Josie Cotton, Johnny, Are You Queer?
15. The Plimsouls, A Million Miles Away
16. The Replacements, Go
17. Husker Du, Everything Falls Apart
18. Crash Street Kids, Little Girls
19. The Suburbs, Waiting
20. The Business, Get Out While You Can
21. Crass, The Greatest Working Class Rip-Off
22. The Adicts, Shake Rattle Bang Your Head
23. Zero Boys, Livin' In The 80's
24. Fear, I Love Livin' In The City
25. Bad Religion, Fuck Armageddon...This Is Hell
26. Angry Samoans, They Saved Hitler's Cock
27. Dead Kennedys, Bleed For Me
28. Descendents, Bikeage
29. Mission Of Burma, That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate
30. Circle Jerks, Just Like Me

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Rural Ledge-ucation #96: More New Finds

Like always, when Friday night's Live Ledge is new releases and blog finds, the Sunday show follows the same format. There are two tracks from Steve Earle's upcoming record, The Low Highway, along with tunes from brand new albums by Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, House of Love, and many others.
There's also a big announcement about the future of Rural Ledge-ucation. Partly because of my new gig with the local paper, along with a few other factors, the Sunday morning show will be going on a hiatus in a few weeks. The current plan is to shut it down after the 100th episode, and bring it back in September. Friday's Live Ledge will carry on as normal, though.
Download this episode via the various online spots, or...


1. Jake Bugg, Two Fingers
2. Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses), Calico County
3. Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses), Love's Gonna Blow My Way
4. Billy Bragg, January Song
5. Billy Bragg, I Ain't Got No Home
6. The House of Love, Money Man
7. The Wonder Stuff, Save It for Later
8. Edwyn Collins, Too Bad (That's Sad)
9. Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Burgers of Wrath (Slight Rural Extension)
10. Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Somebody Help Me
11. The Hillbilly Moon Explosion, Drive This Truck No More
12. Pickwick, Halls Of Columbia
13. Nouvelle, Guns of Brixton
14. Gene Clark, White Light
15. Tim Christensen, Too Many People

Friday, April 05, 2013

Live Ledge #106: New Finds

It's become a monthly ritual to have a show devoted to new releases. Tonight is the night, as Live Ledge premieres brand new tunes by Jello Biafra, Limozine, Mudhoney, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion, and many more. Plus, there are a bunch of "blog finds", including some great garage/power pop tracks by The Yum Yums, Messerschmitt, Dogs, and The Spoons.
But that's not all. There's a tribute of sorts to commemorate the 19th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, and the recent posting on Dangerous Minds of isolated tracks from The Clash's "Safe European Home" are played and discussed.
Grab this show in iTunes (and please leave a review), Stitcher, my Ledge app, or...


1. Keith Richards, Can You Hear Me Knocking (Guitar Only)
2. Nouvelle, Teenage Kicks
3. Nouvelle, Too Drunk To Fuck
4. Kate Nash, Sister
5. The Chevelles, Angelina Jolie
6. The Men, The Seeds
7. The Thermals, Born To Kill
8. Telekinesis, Empathetic People
9. Thee Oh Sees, Toe Cutter - Thumb Buster
10. Titus Andronicus, Breed
11. Surfer Blood, Territorial Pissings
12. Deervana, Been A Son
13. The Clash, Safe European Home
14. Messerschmitt, Jumpin Jack Flash
15. Milkshakes, Hippy Hippy Shake
16. The Mummies, I'm Down
17. The Spoons, Have Love Will Travel
18. Rivals, Here Comes the Night
19. Dogs, (I'd Go the) Whole Wide World
20. Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Werewolves of Wall Street
21. Wire, As We Go
22. Mudhoney, I Don't Remember You
23. Limozine, Balls Hot Mamma
24. The Great Dismal Swamis, Painting with the Missing Eyes
25. Dead Ghosts, I Want You Back
26. The Peacocks, It's All a Lot of Bollocks
27. The Hillbilly Moon Explosion, Motorhead Girl
28. Wavves, Gimme A Knife
29. Sweet Talk, Put You Right Back
30. The Yum Yums, Be My Baby