Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Go Home

I’m halfway through this elpee on YouTube, listening at top volume while editing the biographical info of quarterbacks for the Fantasy Football Guide. Blame Hank and Co. for any errors.

There aren’t many modern punk bands that grab me, but this is clangorous driving rock n roll, a little garage-y, with some fun song ideas a la the first and second wave of bands with ugly album covers. These guys have that, too. But they don’t sound derivative so much as inspired to make their own noise. So they do!

I think this is their first album. The second one is called Stay Home, or it could be the other way around.

The Little Bits, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)

The version of this song you may know, by the Four Seasons, is a gorgeous slow burn, though a version by the Walker Brothers that has a touch of Merseybeat baked in was a bigger hit.

This version was recorded first, and it punks it up, as Gene might say, in a Spectorish way. The common denominator is Bob Crewe, who wrote the song with Bob Guadio, and whose record labels released both versions.

La URSS all hands on deck

Yesterday’s post about Blackball lead to this Andulucian punk band. I love this music, because it starts with the Clash’s London Calling as its aesthetic baseline.

If I lived in Andsalucia/a>, I bet it would hit more notes for me. For me, the Clash hit the same notes more immediately, because of the English thing mostly. Home is where the heart is.

But maybe you should listen to the whole thing. It’s really good, if a bit familiar.

Peter Perrett, Woke Up Sticky

This is a fantastic tune by Peter Perrett, the singer songwriter at the heart of the Only Ones. This is by his 1996 band, the One, and was released on an elpee also called Woke Up Sticky.

It makes total sense that between their like (love?) of drugs, their romantic perspectives (cut by jaundice), mastery of classic rock tropes, and ability to twist them to their visions, Perrett and Johnny Thunder would bond.

Meet the Spraynards

On the first New Yorker Radio show, the most excellent rock writer Kelefah Sanneh goes to the Philly suburbs and talks to the guys in the band Spraynard.

Now, I’ve only heard the radio segment and my first impression is these pop punk guys are as formulaic as the death metal guys. What’s with that voice dudes?

But the interview is worth a listen, especially since it takes place in a batting cage.


And a listen to an actual song is kind of nice. Those crappy vocals, but good (not stupid) lyrics.

It’s Been A While

So I haven’t been on here in a while. That’s for sure. And since I last posted, my music tastes have gone in a new direction heading towards soul, R&B, and hip hop. Thought I’d share a few of the songs that have stuck with me lately:

I found Leon Bridges when I was looking into Outside Lands artists to study up before the festival. All of his music is great in my opinion, although he doesn’t have a whole lot out yet. Can’t wait to hear what he does next!

I am generally partial towards male singers, but Alice Smith is definitely an exception to that. As Lawr might say, she can really wail. This entire album (called She) is wonderful. This is actually a (better) cover of a Cee Lo Green song.

And then there’s D’Angelo who has got this whole other thing going on. His music is so interesting and fresh. I dig it.

And on the off chance anybody is steal reading/ listening, I thought I’d throw in this guy. He has a very unique sound. Interesting music and good lyrics. You can’t go wrong!

These are a few of my latest favorites. All of them but Alice Smith will be at Outside Lands. Unfortunately, I can no longer attend, but I was still exposed to all kinds of great music from the lineup!

TV: “Mr. Pickles”

Indulge me a little bit here, as this entry has virtually nothing to do with music.

However, like my mate Peter, this site, though primarily focused on music–specifically rock’n’roll–is also about art and culture.

Hence this entry, which involves my favorite TV show at present, Mr. Pickles, which appears on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

In contextualizing Mr. Pickles, it is important to note the brilliant concept Adult Swim has for a lot of their shows, not all of which are cartoons, but all of which represent some of the truly original and creative work anywhere.

A lot of the network’s (Adult Swim operates from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. EST, daily, after which some very creative younger humans programming takes back over) brilliance comes from packaging. Shows generally run about 11 minutes, so, a Mr. Pickles that begins at say 9:30 P.M. will run for that time span, without commercials, and then be followed by three-to-four minutes of breaks, followed by another 15-minute program running under the same format.

Mr. Pickles, specifically, is about the Goodman family, their community (“Old Town”) and their “lovable” dog, Mr. Pickles. Mr. Pickles is beyond loyal to his owner, Tommy (who legs are inexplicably in braces) and the Goodman family, but Mr. Pickles also has a satanic streak, where he has some magic dominion over other animals, and can control them accordingly.

Mr. Pickles also has a serious sense of justice to go with that evil, if you will, streak. The thing is no one knows about Mr. Pickles’ dark side save the Goodman’s grandpa, who is always maintaining the dog is indeed evil, but is always disproved by the episode’s end, leaving the elder man with a wild tale that makes everyone know he is crazy.

I tend to describe the show as Leave it to Beaver, meets Scooby Doo, meets Dexter. The storylines get complex, but by the end of the 11 minutes, all the crazy loose ends are indeed tied up. But, in addition to the wild plots, there are all kinds of great things the creators have tossed in.

For example, Mr. Goodman is always reading the paper and the news of the story is often reflected in the headlines of his daily news, or within the sherrif’s office, the same can be said about the wanted posters.

Similarly, there is a lot happening in the background, with a lot of very off-the-wall stuff–particularly sex, as Mr. Pickles does indeed like to hump and grope almost anything, especially Mrs. Goodman–going on all over the place.

Mind you, this is a cartoon, but don’t let your kids watch, at least not without checking it out first, because this show is hysterical and as creative as it gets, but it could also be disturbing.

There are 10 episodes available (my favorite is The Lair) but what I linked to below is the Pilot as it gives a pretty good overview of the whole melange of craziness. But, if you go to the Adult Swim website, you can stream all of them (yay, they have been renewed for a second season!).

Festival Finds: John Butler Trio

I attended Outside Lands music festival this summer and saw a lot of great bands, many of which I had never heard of previously, which is one of the best things about music festivals. One of these bands was John Butler Trio. One of my friends, a guitar buff, convinced me to see them and they ended up being one of my favorite acts the whole three-day festival.

I don’t know exactly how to classify their music. iTunes calls them alternative. There are certainly elements of rock but with a twist of bluegrass and sometimes a bit of funk. What really stood out, however, was the guitar stylings of John Butler himself. Man can he shred. Here is a taste of Butler solo, but check him out with the band too!