The Joup Friday Album: MC5 – Kick out the Jams

MC5 - Kick Out the JamsThe Cabaret Metro in Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago (well known as just the Metro now) has hosted a great number of stellar acts since 1982. Some of which I have witnessed, and most of them were with our group “The Fish Guys.” Brown and Crosse and Sonny frequented multiple times with me to see a number of acts like Jon Spencer’s Blues Explosion, The Jesus Lizard and The Reverend Horton Heat. The Metro holds about 1100 people. So it’s a larger venue in the city but by no means as massive as say the Aragon Ballroom. And it can get loud…really loud. I remember that from JSBX show…just piercing but somehow cathartic.
That was not the case this past Wednesday when the four of us took in the reincarnation of the MC5 headed by guitarist Wayne Kramer under the guise of the MC50. While it rocked for certain, the sound in the Metro that evening was well, perfect.
Krammer is one of two original members of the MC5 still kicking and has toured as the MC5 in various lineups for good part of the past 15 years. The original MC5 were together until 1973 releasing 3 major label LPs. Then a 20 year hiatus and a reformation of the group in 1993 for a tribute to late singer Rob Tyner. In 2003 Kramer took to the road again and gigged with his two other original band mates Michael Davis on bass and Dennis Thompson on drums. They gigged with supporting members until 2012. This past year Kramer recruited Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) on second guitar, Billy Gould (Faith No More) on bass, Brendan Canty (Fugazi) on drums and front man extraordinaire Mark Durant (Zen Guerilla) to celebrate 50 years of Kicking out the Jams.

Joup Friday Album: Xavier Rudd live…2018

XavierRuddband2018Listen and watch this live performace of Xavier Rudd and tell me it’s a cop out. I’ll respect you if you do but somehow I don’t think you will. Remarkable live show at the Metro in Chicago yesterday lead me to this playlist. It’s worth it. Google it if you like…go on. Incredible band, dynamic and very together. The band I saw was a little different, Bobby Alu was not on drums but a wonderful fijian female drummer Lisa Purmodh. Ian Peres was again along for this tour on the keys and rounding out the quartet was Ethiopian Yosa Haile on Electric Bass. All four played percussion at some point of the set.

The Joup Friday Album: Mazzy Star – So Tonight that I Might See

mazzy starA song that is so embedded in me that I couldn’t image my early 20s without it. Through some dark winter drudges to some luminant summer epiphanies her voice rang in the back of head. Sometimes swelling to the forefront but mostly just in the back, a haunting angel called out again and again. I found out her name was Hope, but all this time I’ve been calling her Mazzy. As in Mazzy Star, the artist for your Joup Friday Album So Tonight I Might See.

The Joup Friday Album: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Into the Great Wide Open”

Tom PettyOur family was middle class, blue collar, Polish and suburban. If you look at the average income of all the Chicago suburbs, Palos Hills falls literally right in the middle. Whatever “middle class” is these days, but in 1991 there was still a middle class and my brother and I grew up in it. As such we generally took one family trip a year, that is if my parents could afford it and get off of work. In the summer of 1991 we traveled west for not one but two weeks! I think my father’s rationalizing was we hadn’t taken a trip the previous year, and odds on after I graduated high school would not take another one as the four of us. This was “the last big family adventure!”
In late July we pilled into our tan Chevrolet four-door Suburban (the SUV before SUVs) and headed west on I-80. I will hand it to my parents, it was an epic trip and more then likely spawned my travel bug for years to come. We made stops at Pike’s Peak, the Grand Canyon, four corners, Las Vegas, The Great Salt Lake, Yellowstone National Park and The Devil’s tower. I’m sure there were a few kitch stops as well knowing my mother.
Appropriately enough, I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy during that two weeks. I had a black Sony Walkman and I loved that machine. I played so much music through that contraption in the four years between sophomore year in high school and freshman year at the university. On this trip it was REM’s Out of Time, Sting’s The Soul Cages and of course Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Into the Great Wide Open…today’s Friday album.

The Joup Friday Album: The Postal Service – Give Up

The Postal Service - Give Up

The Postal Service – Give Up (Sub Pop)

I really thought someone would have already chosen this record for a previous edition of The Joup Friday Album. However, a quick search for “The Postal Service” in the search bar in the upper right column came back with nothing… so here you have it: The Joup Friday album comes from various parts of the world; The Postal Service’s only full length release on Sub Pop Records, entitled “Give Up.”

Joup Friday Album: Washed Out “Life of Leisure”

Washed Out - Life of Leisure The first time I heard “Feel it All Around” was watching Portlandia last summer. If you’ve seen or know the show, the tune acts as the opening theme song. And upon hearing it I had to know who, what, where and how. What I came up with initially was a group (which I would later find out was just Ernest Greene) called Washed Out. I put it on the back burner for some reason until recently and then it just hit me like a wonderful hazy memory…and that Portlandia show is terrific as well. Fred Armisen cracks me up, but that is another topic for another day.

The Joup Friday Album: Ryan Adams’ cover of 1989

Ryan Adams 1989So I intercepted that last tag…because well…maybe I just needed to and all the signs pointed that way. Sometimes life throws a few things at you and you probably know what I mean in your own way. Change, sadness, uncertainty, self-examination. Dodge, push, move, repeat. But move…move on and try your damnedest to look back in fondness or at least without anger. Live now. Evolve. This version of 1989 was suggested by a friend and I was a bit skeptic, but knowing Ryan Adams and his outstanding catalogue I had to give this a listen. I will fully admit I cannot boast of being a Taylor Swift aficionado thus I’d not heard any of 1989 with the exception of the singles like “Shake it Off” and “Bad Blood.” And at the point of this writing, I’ve still not. I prefer it that way, I feel I can be more objective rather then comparing the two works. I do fully recognize Swift as the primary songwriter and lyricist for these songs, thus critique of any lyrics would be directed that way. I will say she is talented. More talented then my original perception of her abilities. Which goes to show you…

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