The Joup Friday Album- Deerhunter: Microcastle

Deerhunter-Microcastle.jpg

This article is dedicated to former Deerhunter bassist Joshua Fauver, who tragically passed away this past Sunday. Thank you for helping to shape a sound that shaped my music tastes as a whole.

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: The Teardrop Explodes-Kilimanjaro

Teardrop Explodes

As much as labels on art frustrate me they do indeed serve a purpose. One could say that a band sounds like melting plastic and I would know exactly what it means but to most folks it is not specific enough. Bands from the 1980s have labels like Synth, New Wave, Post Punk and Neo something or another and such labels never much appealed to me as a young Midwestern boy. The stuff that I grew up knowing as New Wave usually squeaked from my sister’s pink Panasonic jam box. My sister, three years my elder was into bands like Depeche Mode, New Order and Duran Duran. My bedroom was adjacent to hers but my sound system was much louder and I was usually blasting The Stones, AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. I was a rock- head and to me if it was not heavy music it was never going to penetrate my soul.

The Joup Friday Album: ‘Day of the Dead OST’ John Harrison/Modern Man 1985

81xCIYnQsNL._SY355_Despite a rich tradition of horror writers and film, until recently we never really did Hallowe’en in this country. In the 80s and 90s you’d be hard pressed to find a Horror film showing on TV for the night itself (though for some reason we have long upheld a tradition of Ghost Stories at Christmas) and Trick Or Treaters were highly unlikely to darken your door, so we certainly never got carried away to the extent that there was a season-long British equivalent to your Knott’s Berry bollocks, in fact practically everything we know about the festivities of Hallowe’en in this country are informed by your films and TV shows. But we had distinct enough of a handle on the overarching concept to be nonplussed when we watched E.T., or a Spider-Man cartoon where people were flouncing round on the big night dressed as belly dancers and cowboys in search of sweeties.

The Joup Friday Album: The Final Cut – Consumed

The Final Cut ConsumedSenior year in high school, so we’re talking the fall of 1992, bumper stickers for The Final Cut’s album Consumed began to appear all over my friend Brian’s house. They worked their way through our group of friends and eventually you saw them everywhere: school, other people’s houses, bumpers, the walls at the local burger king where people hung out after school. Everywhere. It was the best example of sticker-based marketing I’ve still ever seen, and all from a band that chances are, few people remember today.

The Joup Friday Album: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

rolling-blackouts

Radio is my preferred method for listening to music. I love not knowing what song is coming next. An iPod on shuffle is not enough – I know everything I put on there. Streaming services try to figure me out, but make too many near-misses and end up throwing too many repeats at me to satisfy my need for musical surprises. In my teens, Chicago’s WXRT was in a golden age and kept me happy most of the time. In my twenties, an internet station called Desperate Radio was programmed by a man from Washington DC whose musical taste matched mine perfectly. In my thirties, British music paper NME hosted an internet station on their website that fulfilled my needs. And now, I end up flipping between a handful of satellite stations in my car.

The Joup Friday Album: Broadcast- Tender Buttons

Broadcast Tender ButtonsVastly underappreciated in their creative heyday, and still an untouched gem for many, Broadcast were a dire part of indie lore. The group formed in England in the mid 90’s and consisted of vocalist Trish Keenan and multi-instrumentalist James Cargill. They put out five records over the course of their career, which was cut short when Keenan tragically passed at 42 in 2011. The albums they left behind though were nothing short of hypnotic and bewildering; stylistically bringing their own flavor to indie electronic and dream pop with a slight shoegaze tinge. Their sound earned them many comparisons to the group Stereolab, but I personally always connected with Broadcast more. Their ability to add a level of warmth and sensuality to this genre always resonated with me, and there’s no better example of them doing this at their best than on 2005’s Tender Buttons.

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