Joup Friday Album: The dB’s “Like This”

Db'sI remember 1984 like it was yesterday. I was already into music and I had an old Sony combo stereo system it had a radio, record player, eight track and I plugged into the auxiliary channel an after market Realistic tape deck I bought at garage sale. It was fifteen watts per channel, wow! I had just bought Van Halen’s record 1984; The Police album Synchronicity and I had all my parents’ records at my disposal. The Stones, the Kinks, the Beatles, the Band, Johnny Winter, Mountain, Neil Young, the Temptations, Sam and Dave, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck, Van Morrison and George Carlin (they had a few comedy records). I was amerced mostly with the older music not so much of the current top forty stuff like Madonna and Duran Duran. It’s funny I’m still kinda the same way. However along the line of musical immaturity or neglect I seemed to have missed a lot of groups that were of that era, the early to mid 1980s that were more underground so to speak. Groups like the Fleshtones, X, the Nerves, the Jam, or the dB’s were not in heavy rotation on the Chicago rock stations. WXRT a progressive Chicago rock station dabbled in this sort of music but was most likely featured on an over night, “stoner shift” radio program (I was not a midnight toker at that point, yet). Chicago rock and pop radio was all Journey, Def Lepoard, Toto, Pat Benatar, The Thompson Twins and other stuff like that. I was eight years old I did not know about the punk scene that was waning by then or the amazing power pop bands that were sprouting up in the wake of all the new wave bands. I was eight, it was 1984 and had no internet. The dB’s flew right by me.

Sh!t Song Of The Week “Winds of Change” Jefferson Starship

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The sh!t song of the week is “Winds of Change” by Jefferson Starship. I know that it’s too easy picking on Jefferson Starship because of their mega fluffy hit songs like “We Built This City” and “Nothing is Going to Stop Us Now”. As far as I am concerned the whole 80’s Starship catalogue is the soundtrack for Richard Gere’s gerbil escapades. The Jefferson Starship of the 80’s were so far removed from their original roots of Jefferson Airplane’s brand of psychedelic hippie rock it is astounding . Where did the white rabbit from the Bay Area go? Did they find somebody to love and just give up? When did Airplane became Starship? Why did this happen? I’m thinking it probably had something to do with cocaine. I saw that episode of “WKRP” when the record executive tries to push a new record on Johnny Fever and offers up some booger sugar to sweeten up the deal so I am figuring this may have been the case with “Winds of Change“. I was also shocked that Howard Hesseman passed on free coke even in a fictitious scenario. Anyway you want to slice it Jefferson Starship are widely known to many as purveyors of schmaltzy 80’s hits that you can often hear at Walgreens when making the import decisions in life like going with generic brand of KY jelly instead of that expensive brand name stuff. The song I chose this week is not one of Jefferson Starship’s best known songs but it is equally on point with the above mentioned songs. The video for this song is also cut from the same jizz rag because it is a light rock, Heart rip off song but the set design in the video would lead you believe that Jefferson Starship are a heavy metal band with a wall of generic Marshall stacks, an eighteen piece drum kit with double kick drums behind them and last but not least, they have a fucking keytar involved. Do the math. Terrible album art + Shit song + Coked up video conception = “Winds of Change“.  This is just my two cents on a three cent matter but the song “Winds of Change” by Jefferson Starship strongly qualifies to be the shit song of the week.

Endless Loop: A Place We Like

twinshadowhoorayforearthHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“A Place We Like” by Hooray for Earth and Twin Shadow

The Joup Friday Album: JSBX – Now I Got Worry

jsbx worryThis band! This album!

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s 1996 Now I Got Worry takes me back. I mean, it really takes me back. Back to a time that seems like it was in a galaxy long ago and far, far away, where the world was a decidedly different place. Maybe that’s why I have trouble going back to an album like this on a regular basis regardless of how much it kicks; nostalgia is a relative phenomenon, relative to the experiencer, and the older you get the more it plays a funny game with time. The world early-20’s Shawn experienced in the mid 90’s was relatively different from the world that existed twenty years before that, so much so that at the time the late 60’s/early 70’s seemed archaic in many ways. However, jump up another twenty or so years and you land here in the NOW and guess what? Relative perspective – perceived through me as the aforementioned experiencer of course – shows that 1996 really wasn’t that different from 1976 or even 1966, because 2016/17 is exponentially different than that starting point in our time line.

Endless Loop: Obsession

animotionHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Obsession” by Animotion

yak

The Joup Friday Album: Yak – Alas Salvation

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For this review, I desperately wanted to find something new that I would love, rather than taking another walk down memory lane to revisit an old favorite, or finding something new that I was only lukewarm about. Unfortunately, given the cyclical nature of popular music, most of the things I like are deeply out of fashion at the moment. So I put a request out to my facebook friends (many of whom have more free time to discover new music than I do) for something that would land in my wheelhouse, a fairly narrow corridor that runs from melodic garage and punk, edges into shoegaze and psychedelia but only the more sprightly regions, and finishes up on the edgier fringes of power pop.

Sh!t Song Of The Week “(You Can Still) Rock In America”

 

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The Joup shit song of the week is “(You Can Still) Rock In America” by Night Ranger. I’m repulsed by their mega hit “Sister Christian” but I like to dig a little deeper because I know if a band is capable of writing one shitty song they probably have more. You can still rock in America according to the lyrics in this song which was released in 1983 during the-hey day of the Cold War. I feel this song was to remind people of their freedoms here in the U.S. as opposed to the Soviet Union where you could not rock at that time. However, when I hear such a dreadful song such as this one it makes me feel like maybe we have too much freedom? I am aware this song is dated and the genre an easy target but there are songs older than this that have withstood the test of time. This piece of shit is not one of those songs.

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