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Photography, Music, Film, Hitchhiking, Craft Beer – Cultural Pugilist

Tag: Public Radio

Halfway to Music – 2015 Best So Far

Halfway to Music – 2015 Best So Far

The Beard – EP 121 – Best So Far 2015 by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Halfway to Music – 2015 Best So Far

With albums like To Pimp A Butterfly from Kendrick Lamar, Carrie & Lowell from Sufjan Stevens, Choose Your Weapon from Hiatus Kaiyote, The Epic from Kamasi Washington, From Kinshasa from Mbongwana Star, In Colour from Jamie xx, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, Cortar Todo from Zu, Why Make Sense? from Hot Chip, it has been a great five months of epic hip hop, jazz, and rock music releases.

But there is so much more that is running under the mainstream of top 40 radio play. Which is why you should be thankful for Public Radio. Beard Radio on 89.7FM KUCB goes to the edge of the musical pantheon and stretches the seams of what is mostly unheard these days. Thankfully we are not alone. Many sing the praises of the following artists, but there are so many more ears yearning to hear, that there is more work needs be done. So press play on the Mixcloud podcast player above and listen:

Bop EnglishConstant Bop – Dani’s Blues / Sentimental Wilderness
Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit – An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York) / Dead Fox
Sleater KinneyNo Cities To Love – No Cities To Love / No Anthems
Hop AlongPainted Shut – The Knock / Powerful Man
Speedy OrtizFoil Deer – Raising the Skate / My Dead Girl
WaxahatcheeIvy Tripp – Under A Rock / Poison
VietcongVietcong – Continental Shelf
BlurThe Magic Whip – Go Out
Built To SpillUntethered Moon – Living Zoo

Punk Pt I - Protopunk

Punk – Protopunk

You have to go out there and do it for yourself, because no one’s going to give it to you.

–Joe Strummer

The Beard – Ep. 3 – Punk Pt. I by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

To whom it may concern,

Hello. During the closing moments of last week’s Beard show on Elvis Presley, it may have sounded as if I were endorsing the lifestyle choices of certain pop stars who focus their attention on their younger fans, which while possibly overlooked in the time and place of that era, remains morally outrageous, and potentially illegal today. In the heat of the moment, clouded from reason by my undying ardor for the mutton-chopped, hip-shaking hunk of burning Elvis of my dreams, I may have inadvertently projected my own childhood obsession and in doing so, ok’d the King’s—and by default all pop culture icons who think they can get away with it—transgression. In doing so I insulted the posterior region of my co-host’s dear mother, the karma of which I will never be able to outrun. I apologize for this. And although I do not apologize for Elvis, who despite tales of his innocent courtship (stuffed animals and pajama parties), was still in the wrong, I’m still all shook up.

Woody Guthrie - This Machine Kills Fascists

Woody Guthrie – This Machine Kills Fascists

Woody Guthrie wrote this “This Land Is Your Land” in 1940, and it was originally called “God Blessed America For Me.” The song is a great tribute to the working class, and an editorial on the distribution of wealth and power in the America. It’s the epitome of the protest song, claiming this land belongs to us, and no one can take that away.

1) Play Woody Guthrie- This Land Is Your Land

What is Punk?

Is it a spiked mohawk? A guitar riff? A persona?

At its heart punk is protest. Looked at in this way, it is almost a natural evolution in the grand tradition of protest music: blues, jazz, reggae and rock and roll. Almost. Today our show will be focusing on the punk bands that served as a catalyst for the movement as a whole spreading all across the globe following its inception.

So…What makes “punk”, punk? How did multiple bands from all different genres come to fame in totally different places throughout the 1970s. The punk movement can be divided into several different sub-genres, so what is it that exactly defines punk?

Punk – Protopunk

Take, The Talking Heads, who are seen as more New Wave than typically “punk” yet were playing CBGB and touring with other punk bands at the time– are they any less valuable simply because they did not follow the typical protocol of the punk archetype? What determines a particular band’s value to the punk movement?

2) Play The Kinks – You Really Got Me
3) Play MC5 – Kick Out The Jams

Bands like the Kinks & MC5 may not be what you might call your typical punk bands, or punk whatsoever, but it’s undeniable that when “You Really Got Me” first played on the air, it spawned thousands of bands. Like Wayne Kramer of Detroit’s MC5, kickin arse n taking names surnames, to be proper. These bands began what was later termed Protopunk.

Iggy Pop & The Stooges - Raw Power

Iggy Pop & The Stooges – Raw Power

When Johnny Rotten says that “We don’t give a fuck what you think of us…” he is being somewhat disingenuous, because he does care. Why else would you change your name from Lydon to Rotten? John Mellor to Joe Strummer. James Newell Osterberg, Jr to Iggy Pop. Jello Biafra. All of the Ramones. There does exist some extremes of artifice and persona. Iggy may exemplify this best of all.

4) Play Iggy Pop & The Stooges – Gimme Danger
5) Play The Velvet Underground- Rock and Roll (INTRO) (Lou Reed)

So how does the Velvet Underground fit into the protopunk scene? Much like the Pixies, they are credited with having influenced every band that came after them, while not selling many records. They certainly had the stagecraft down, playing shows all over NYC and partying at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol and his drug-addled Pop Art entourage. Their image, if not so much their music, is very big punk middle finger to the established mores of the time.

Around the same time, The New York Dolls, one of my personal favorites, was an American protopunk band whose claim to fame was short lived, only surviving from 1971-1975. The New York Dolls not only liberated the musical movement for bands following them, but also had dashing good looks, skintight pants and amazing fashion sense.

6)Play The New York Dolls- Personality Crisis
7)Play The New York Dolls- Trash

For many pioneers of the punk movement it was a way of life. Growing up listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan led many to the well of music, but having missed Woodstock, what was left? Angst, fueled by poverty, privation, and misunderstanding, and coupled with second-hand guitars gave many the only chance out of the ghetto of the 70s. The Clash, a band we will be devoting an entire episode to in the future, went on to become one of the biggest bands, not only of the punk movement, but of all time. They spanned the entire century with nods to Americana, reggae, rockabilly, soul, and straight forward rock, all the while sneering, and making you dance.

8) The Clash – White Riot
9) The Clash – White Man in Hammersmith Palais

The infamous New York City punk clubs CBGB and Max’s played a paramount role in the punk movement. A lot of these bands really rose from the underground simultaneously, taking the world and its youth by storm. In correlation with the New York Dolls is The Ramones, which is for myself the be all end all of punk rock entirely…and my unexplainable crush on Joey Ramone only had a small bit to do with it. My long lived love affair with the ugliest lead singer ever definitely helped spawn my slight obsession with tall skinny white guys that tend to look slightly malnourished…oh and playing a musical instrument, even poorly, was key.

Here’s The Ramones- “Teenage Lobotomy” off of Rocket to Russia 1977. I chose it because I really identified with the song during my adolescence and stayed up at nights waiting for someone to perform the surgical procedure on me…or for my mother ship to come and take me home.

10) Play The Ramones- Teenage Lobotomy
11) Play The Misfits- Hybrid Moments

The Ramones had a quick, hard hitting style with a 4-chord rhythm, essentially only changing the words to each song making from a long last career from 1974-1996. However, I feel as though with the shuffling of members and the changing of the times, The Ramones kind of fell off the map and strayed away from their true punk roots around 1984 with the release of their album Too Tough to Die… its my opinion that perhaps, they should have let a good thing die rather than running it dry.

Can I ask you a question. Are the Misfits really Punk Rock?

Why do you ask sir?

Dead Kennedys - Fresh fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Dead Kennedys – Fresh fruit for Rotting Vegetables

What about Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Modern Lovers (Jonathan Richman), Television (Richard Hell), DEVO, Patti Smith, Talking Heads (David Byrne), The Heartbreakers (Richard Hell), Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle, Gang of Four. What about Garage, Glam & Hardcore Punk? Nazi, Noise, Riot Grrrl & Skate? East coast vs. West Coast? Washington D.C.? Chicago? Toronto? We will focus on the different scenes next week in the second part of our Punk trilogy.

12) Play The Dead Kennedys- California Uber Alles
13) Play The Dead Kennedys- Holiday in Cambodia

What can you say about The Dead Kennedys? Well for one, they are aweeesoome (high pitched)! Also, despite the fact that the hail from San Francisco, rising with the west coast movement, they spawned a punk subgroup known as American-Hardcore…also, they were the first American punk band to have a HUGE impact in the United Kingdom.

Active from 1978-1986, The Dead Kennedys often had to play under pseudonyms because their provocative name tended to stir up quit a bit of controversy. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen wrote in November 1978, “Just when you think tastelessness has reached its nadir, along comes a punk rock group called The Dead Kennedys.” Caen was referring the controversy surrounding the band’s infamous name, often misconstrued as a jab at the Kennedy Family. However, despite popular belief, the name was not meant to insult the Kennedy family, but according to lead singer Jello Biafra, “to bring attention to the end of the American Dream”.

“California Uber Alles” was a single on their first album, Fresh fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980).

14) Sex Pistols – “Anarchy in the UK”

Holiday in Cambodia” was the second single by the DK. The record was released in May 1980 on Alternative Tentacles with “Police Truck” as the b-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band’s first album, fresh fruit..,. The cover picture of the single is taken from a massacre in Thailand, and depicts a member of the rightist crowd beating the corpse of a student protester with a metal chair. The song attacks both Eastern totalitarianism and Western materialistic complacency. The song’s lyrics offer a satirical view of young, self-righteous Americans and contrast such a lifestyle with a brutal depiction of the infamous Pol Pot.

15) Play Woody Guthrie- Goin’ Down The Road

Labeled by their elders of another generation of lazy hippie ne’er-do-‘wells pissed them off. Written off as impotent adolescents, they were increasingly incensed by the continued imperialist agenda of their homelands abroad—Vietnam, Guatemala, Chile. Spurred on by the new style of no-holds-barred media coverage, kids in the U.S. and the U.K. rebelled openly. Their anger palpable, many went for the only form of expression allowed them: music. But rather than the saccharine stereogum replayed ad nauseam on the radio and tv, they opted for the rawness of unfiltered guitar, machine-gun drums and patchy basslines.

Elvis - The First King of Pop

Elvis – The First King of Pop

Episode 2 of The Beard focuses on the first idol, Elvis Aaron Presley. It is hard to get a sense of just how popular he was. But for what? For being a rebel for the youth of the fifties while still possessing the polite, genteel posturing of a southern youth. Infamous for his hip shake, his overall body of gospel work far outnumbers his rock and roll catalog.

Truth be told, it was Elvis’ performance of “Hound Dog” on NBC’s June 5, 1956, “The Milton Berle Show,” that set off the national consciousness alarm clock, with critics labeling him vulgar and obscene. But by the time he appeared cropped from the waist up on Ed Sullivan he was performing slow ballads and gospel numbers.

He aroused the dormant sexuality of a nation of privileged youth with songs like “Fever,” from Elvis Presley’s 1960 album, Elvis Is Back, originally recorded and released as a single by Little Willie John in 1956. Presley’s version is based off the 1958 Peggy Lee version, and although the 1993 Madonna, or even the 2010 Beyonce cover might be more recognizable today, there is none more soulful than his rendition.

Elvis – The First King of Pop

Elvis - The First King of PopMore than a singer and an actor, something Elvis knew–a good song never dies, but is only repackaged. “All Shook Up”, “Don’t Be Cruel” as well as “Fever”, were written by Otis Blackwell. Carl Perkins wrote the 1956 hit “Blue Suede Shoes”, considered by many to be the first example of Rockabilly (aka Country, Western Swing, Hillbilly Boogie, R & B, Rock and Roll). Like on “Come Back Baby” a standard by blues pianist Walter Davis, we hear the shift from piano, the instrument that defined one era, to guitar, the instrument that defined the next 60 years. Despite what Chuck Berry & BB King had already done, it was Elvis who put the guitar in the hands of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Joe Strummer.

No matter what you think of the person, I mean let’s face it, he was the prototypical pop pedophile (he began dating Priscilla when she was 14…and she was not the first, but were you gonna say no to Elvis? Hehe, I don’t think so…), it was Elvis who invented Michael Jackson. It was also Elvis who, with his infamous peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches, invented the modern diabetes epidemic. But, and this may be the biggest but in all of pop music history, it was Elvis who helped integrate the radio waves for African-American artists like Little Richard and Fats Domino to gain their rightful recognition. It was Elvis who married rhythm and blues with rock and country topped with a gospel croon. It was Elvis who made girls swoon, who sold millions of records to kids spending their weekly allowance, who made Wall Street realize the youth market was viable, who empowered the youth, who started the 60s counter culture movement. That’s right, Elvis invented hippies too. And the Future. He definitely helped invent The Beard. Listen to The Beard – Episode 2 – Elvis Presley.

The Beard – EP 2 – Elvis by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Music That Made Us

Music That Made Us

One of things about beards is that, when men reach a certain age, they’d like to see if they can grow one. It’s a phenomenon I understand very well. After you get over the itchy face, you go, ‘Oh, I don’t have to shave, that’s cool.’ And then you move into the philosophical thing– people say, “You look weird, you have a beard.” And you say, ‘No, actually, it’s weird to shave.’ Having a beard is natural. When you think about it, shaving it off is quite weird.

Paul McCartney

The Beard Radio KUCB 89.7 - Keep It Hairy

The Beard Radio KUCB 89.7 – Keep It Hairy

Music That Made Us

In the first episode of The Beard, we realize that we don’t really get this radio thing quite yet. With no intro, no music beds, little editing and way too much coffee, we talk about our embarrassing and formative childhood influences. To quote Nicole, “Do you remember falling in love with music and the first time you heard a song that just made you want to dance?” Whether it was the theme song to The Jefferson’s, a horrible commercial jingle, the repetitive patter of rain outside your bedroom window or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it’s all good. ¡Abrazar la música!

The Beard – EP 1 – Music That Made Us by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Bob-Dylan-Highway-61-RevisitedSet List:

Day In The Life, The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967
Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley, 1957
Like A Virgin, Madonna, Like A Virgin, 1984
The Right Stuff, New Kids On The Block, Hangin’ Tough, 1988
Mariah Carey, Always Be My Baby, Daydream, 1996
Prince, When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, 1984
The Ramones, The KKK Took My Baby Away, Pleasant Dreams, 1981
Led Zeppelin, Ramble On, II, 1969
The Rolling Stones, Miss You, Some Girls, 1978
Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone, Highway 61 Revisited, 1965

The Beard is a weekly radio program airing Friday nights at 10pm – Replay Monday at 8pm – on 89.7 FM KUCB in Unalaska (AKST), brought to you by two old punk rock nerds, Nicole & Brett. Focusing on a different theme each week, The Beard takes you on a musical journey throughout the vast landscape of blues and jazz, rock and roll, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, punk, hardcore, alternative and independent rock and hip-hop, even a little country. Our goal is to unify the often confusing universe of modern music, how it came to be, and where it might be headed. The Beard knows what you must listen to, in the black of night, the dead of winter, the bone dry of desert. Listen back.

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