Calling All in Transit… It’s the “NOT BY R.E.M” Song Challenge!

Happy Birthday, Bill Berry!

On a related note, here is your Song Challenge for August, everybody.

There’s only one rule, and it’s pretty obvious. Download it, share it, hashtag it #NotbyREM, tell all your Gen-X friends (as well as those from other generations), call me a leper, and have a great time. Bonus points to anyone who still picks a song with Peter Buck on it, somehow.

NotByREMSongChallenge

My #NotByBillyJoel Song Challenge Results

At the outset, this one got even more traction than the Sonic Geography Song Challenge did when I released it via social media. I’m not sure what they says about the world of Sonic Geography, but I’m willing to accept the reality that Billy Joel’s music has more mass appeal than my research. Crazy, I know (I may be, too).

Anyway, here are the results from my own take on the challenge. In all honesty, I hadn’t queued up so many results in my head as I was writing it as I did with the other one in May.

For Reference:

NotByBillyJoelSongChallenge

  1. Pixies – “Tony’s Theme”
  2. The Spinto Band – “Brown Boxes”
  3. The Dismemberment Plan – “Girl O’Clock”
  4. The Afghan Whigs – “Uptown Again”
  5. The Housemartins – “Build”
  6. Descendents – “Weinerschnitzel”
  7. Bill Evans – “Lucky to be Me”
  8. F.Y.P. – “Die Young”
  9. Bob Dylan – “The Hurricane”
  10. Minor Threat – “Cashing In”
  11. The Clash – “Jimmy Jazz”
  12. Lifetime – “Airport Monday Morning”
  13. Minutemen – “History Lesson Part II”
  14. Jawbreaker – “Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault”
  15. The Ergs – “Books About Miles Davis”
  16. Hunx & his Punx – “You Don’t Like Rock n’ Roll”
  17. Julia Jacklin – “Pressure to Party”
  18. The Jesus & Mary Chain – “Nine Million Rainy Days”
  19. Sick of it All – “My Life”
  20. Sunny Day Real Estate – “Pillars”
  21. The Bloodhound Gang – “Fire Water Burn”
  22. Replacements – “Love Lines”
  23. Misfits – “Bullitt”
  24. Minutemen – “Viet Nam”
  25. Pulp – “Sorted for E’s and Wizz”
  26. Throwing Muses – “Walking in the Dark”
  27. Chumbawamba – “Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire”
  28. Zwan – “Honestly”
  29. The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  30. De La Soul – “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays'”

Thanks for reading and/or playing. Tune back in tomorrow morning at 9am EST for the August Challenge!

Your Sonic Sunday: May 10th

Happy Sunday, everyone. This week, I’ve got a handful of food-for-thought type links, but first I’m excited to share an episode of a recent podcast appearance.

podcasting-wordpress-themesI sat down (digitally, trans-Atlantically) with Andrea Cetrulo of Theatrum Mundi, who recently started a podcast miniseries about art created in isolation, fitting in with our current collective situation. I had the opportunity to talk about Jeff Rosenstock, Mike Skinner (aka The Streets), The Mountain Goats, and (by virtue of Powder Burns being a great post-Katrina survival document) the Twilight Singers. I would embed the Soundcloud file, but WordPress doesn’t make it easy to do that, so LISTEN TO IT HERE.

In other content, here’s an article I enjoyed from WBUR (Boston’s Public Radio affiliate) asking serious questions about how long it will take the concert industry to recover from the COVID lock-downs. Hint: It’s a long, long time, and like other sane Americans, I’m okay with that.

In other other content, for those interested in the early history of disco music, a friend from Knoxville recently found out about how Don Fendley returned from New York and founded an unincorporated community called Disco, TN? I may be distorting the reality; the retrospective tribute and story are here.

In other other content, some friends of mine from Ohio staged a live reading of The Big Lebowski (1997) via Zoom recently. It’s nowhere near my favorite Coen Brothers film, but it’s certainly a fun new way to take in the movie.

I’m out of my element.

 

Sonic Geography BONUS (Blur Megamix)

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A mix so good that the algorithm flagged me at least twice while I was broadcasting the records on Instagram Live! My favorite band of all time (depending on the day you ask me), and certainly the band I traveled the farthest (and spent the most money, but that’s beside the point) to see.

This mix includes a few of my favorite deep cuts, a handful of hits (and variations on hits), and interesting b-sides (for being the best British guitar pop band since the Kinks, Blur had a relatively weak b-side catalog). I’d like to think it shows off a solid handful of the band’s eclectic catalog of strengths. Either way, it’s a fun way to spend an hour. I’m kind of amazed I forgot to play “End of a Century,” though.

  1. “I Know” (B-Side to the “She’s So High” 12″)
  2. “Hanging Over” (B-Side to the ‘For Tomorrow’ 12″)
  3. “Moroccan People’s Revolutionary Bowls Club” (from Think Tank)
  4. “On Your Own” (7″ clear single)
  5. “Girls and Boys” (Pet Shop Boys Remix) (12″ Single)
  6. “Music is my Radar” (12″ Single)
  7. “There’s No Other Way (Rock Mix)” (12″ RBK dance single)
  8. “Stereotypes” (7″ pink single)
  9. “Trailerpark” (from 13)
  10. “You’re So Great” (stealth Graham single from Blur)
  11. “Freakin’ Out” (actual Graham single, off the eponymous 7″)
  12. “Trouble in the Message Centre” (from Parklife)
  13. “Under the Westway” (from ‘The Puritan’ 7″)
  14. “Chemical World” (from Modern Life is Rubbish)
  15. “Look Inside America” (b-side from the ‘M.O.R.’ jukebox single)
  16. “On the Way to the Club” (from Think Tank)
  17. “Ong Ong” (from The Magic Whip)
  18. “Yuko and Hiro” (from The Great Escape)

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The Sonic Geography Song Challenge

Happy Friday and Happy May, everyone. I was particularly inspired by the 30 Day Song Challenge that made its rounds on social media over the past month, so I decided to put my own (predominantly) geographic version together. Download the image below onto your phone/computer and post it each of the next thirty days (I know May has 31 days, but there were only room for 30) with a song that each cue brings to mind. Popular formats are via Instagram Stories and via Twitter (sharing YouTube links).

If you’d like, share it with the extensive hashtag #SonicGeographySongChallenge so I can see what you pick! I’ll share my full song list after the 30 days are over. Remember you can start this whenever you’d like and complete it (or not) at your own pace. Most importantly, have fun and let me know how you enjoy it.

SonicGeographySongChallenge

Sonic Geography Ep. 5 (Disques Français de France)

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Paris, December 2019

Happy Wednesday, everyone, or as they say to the Brits and Americans who consistently flood Paris, Happy Wednesday! This week, we’ll be grabbing our cans of spray paint, hopping on nos vélos, and setting off on a journey of découverte.

This week’s mix is a curious bunch of vinyl I’ve acquired on a few trips overseas, with a few key exceptions of rare finds in the US. I tried to include a multitude of songs sung in French, though it was a challenge since so many punk and hardcore songs are recorded in English. French is a language best suited for hip-hop flow and chansons, where English tends to fit with punchier, more aggressive music. As a linguistics nerd, I enjoy this weird binary.

One of the threads that ran through a bunch of my interviews with French collaborators for Capitals of Punk was how France has always felt “late to the party” within pop music (especially rock and punk) among Western countries. This dynamic is what makes French pop music so interesting to me, especially that which is produced with no consideration of the all-powerful English-language tunes, or even that which is produced in direct resistance to the Anglo-American cultural dominance.

I hope you enjoy the variety of material you’re about to hear! I’m also excited to make an announcement on Your Sonic Sunday this coming weekend that is intimately related to this week’s Sonic Geography Mix. Sorry I missed this last Sunday. Sixteen straight Sundays to kick off 2020 wasn’t a bad run.

  1. Funeral Service (Riems) – “Pills”
  2. Schlitz (Paris) – “Destroy Babylon” (from Wondawful World 7″)
  3. Too Much (I have no clue) – “Silex Pistols” (from the Born Bad French Punxploitation LP)
  4. Kromozom 4 (Paris) – “La Tuture” (from 7″ split with Heimat-Los, which I found in Knoxville, of all places)
  5. Baton Rouge (Lyon) – “D’Année en Année”
  6. Sport (Lyon) – “Eric Tabarly” (LP bought at FEST 14)
  7. Maladroit (Paris) – “She Spent Valentine’s Day on her iPhone” (from 7″ split with Teenage Bubblegums)
  8. Kimmo (Paris) – “Clac Son”
  9. Frustration (Paris) – “Artists Suck!”
  10. Buried Option (Orléans) – “Mandrake Falls”
  11. Sunsick (Marseille) – “Holidays”
  12. Telephone (Paris) – “Regarde Moi”
  13. Berurier Noir (Paris) – “Hèlene et le Sang” (from Concerto Pour Détraques reissue LP)
  14. Computerstaat (Paris) – “Crypt” (some cold wave for your souls)
  15. Starshooter (Lyon) – “Betsy Party”
  16. Thrashington D.C. (Brest) – “Banned in B.M.O.”
  17. Metal Urbain (Paris) – “Panik” (Punk française starts here)
  18. Sherwood (Paris) – “Le Bourgeois”
  19. Watermane (Montpellier) – “Greetings from the Basements”
  20. Ferry “Rock” Berendse (Weird story/Indonesian born) – “Rock and Roll Mops” (off the Born Bad Record early French R&R comp)
  21. Amanda Woodward (Caen) – “Pleine de Grâce”
  22. Edith Piaf (Omnipresent) – “Mon Manège À Moi (Tu Me Fais Tourner La Tête)”

Sonic Geography Ep. 4 – Lovely Day For It (Australia Mix)

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Australia National University, June 2019

Sooner than later, I will post my third and final update from my Summer 2019 trip to Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand, thereby setting a new record for longest-delayed update from the road. I actually came close a few weeks ago, but I forgot. Maybe I was distracted. Maybe it’s quarantine. But, it’s coming.

For now, enjoy this vinyl mega-mix I did of Australian records that purchased in Australia (with a few exceptions, noted in parentheses).

  1. The Gooch Palms (Melbourne) – “Living Room Bop” (purchased from the band at the Fort Sanders Yacht Club)
  2. Dr. Raju (Sydney) – “Don’t Wanna Know” (found at Toxic Toast Records in LBC)
  3. The Riptides (Brisbane) – “Riptide”
  4. The Hummingbirds (Sydney)- “Blush”
  5. Camp Cope (Melbourne) – “Footscray Station”
  6. Brain Children (Melbourne) – “Future Flights”
  7. Thigh Master (Brisbane) – “Company”
  8. The Eyes (???) – “Get it Strait” (b-side of ‘City Livin’ EP)
  9. The Triffids (Perth) – “Estuary Bed”
  10. Royal Headache (Sydney) – “High”
  11. Pinch Hitter (Sydney) – “Nine to Fine”
  12. Swirl (Sydney) – “People I Know”
  13. The Go-Betweens (Brisbane) – “Head Full of Steam” (I think I found this in Urbana, IL, a week after returning to the States)
  14. The Smith Street Band (Melbourne) – “Birthdays”
  15. Nova Scotia (Brisbane) – “Don’t Forget Your Lunchbox”
  16. Money for Rope (Melbourne) – “Hole Like You”
  17. The Newsletters (Melbourne) – “Don’t Let Me Walk Away”
  18. Hungry Lungs (Cairns) – “A Mile Away”
  19. AC/DC (Bon Scott RIP) – “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (purchased somewhere in North America)

Sonic Geography Ep. 3 (Rise, Florida, Rise)

0330201406_hdrPeople enjoy ragging on Florida (often, with good reasons), but I refuse to add fuel to that fire. Now, I’m not defending any of the developmental phenomena behind the state (I caught myself describing the Sunshine State as a “pile of gated communities, plus Lil Jon” in a chat with friends last night, which I know isn’t fair… Lil Jon is more into Vegas these days), but I love it regardless. As a child, I had the good fortune of basking in the dying embers of the golden age of Jewish Miami – I ate at the Rascal House, wandered around South Beach, and if my sister and I were good, our parents would haul us up to the Orlando region for a day with Mickey. Of course, there are so many non-tourism facets to Florida that deserve love and attention – the amazing flora and fauna, the crazy pre-Disney history (including a 1920’s land-grab that culminated with one major developer disappearing), and so much punk rock that’s equal parts scruffy, high-octane, and sentimental.

That latter point informs much of this week’s playlist, which I compiled from a pile of 7-inches and 10-inch records, with an LP reissue or two (plus an indispensable Florida Folklife compilation) mixed in for good measure. I hope you enjoy it and remember, as Radon once said, “there’s unlimited sunshine in a bottle of Tropicana.”

  1. Transmissions from Cape Canaveral (John Glenn’s first manned Space Flight)
  2. Merchandise (Tampa) – “I Locked the Door”
  3. Rational Anthem (Sarasota) – “Just Shrug”
  4. Against Me! (Gainesville) – “Sink, Florida, Sink” (7″ version)
  5. Emmett Murray (Pahokee) – “She’s a Fool, She Ain’t Got No Sense” (Drop on Down in Florida 2xLP!)
  6. This Bike is a Pipe Bomb (Pensacola) – “The Black Panther Song”
  7. Spoke (Gainesville) – “Descant”
  8. Discount (Vero Beach) – “Disappointed”
  9. Less Than Jake (Gainesville) – “Dopeman” (b-side to the “Johnny Quest” jukebox 45)
  10. King Friday (Miami) – “North Carolina” (original No Idea 7″)
  11. DieAlps! (Tampa) – “Invincible”
  12. Torche (Miami) – “Loose Men”
  13. Radon (Gainesville) – “Headaches and Bullshit”
  14. Sloane Peterson (Miami) – “Tired Eyes”
  15. LOAD (Miami) – “Pastor’s Day”
  16. Death (Orlando) – “Mutilation”
  17. As Friends Rust (Gainesville) – “Scapegoat Wets the Whistle”
  18. Pohgoh (Tampa) – “Kandy Koated Cisses”
  19. Hot Water Music (Gainesville) – “Moonpies for Misfits”
  20. The Tim Version (Tampa) – “1916”
  21. Little League (Tallahassee) – “Fuck Off and Write a Song about It”
  22. A New Found Glory (Coral Gables) – “My Friends Over You”
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Despite owning this 7-inch, I didn’t play anything from it. Strange.

 

Your Sonic Sunday 04.12.20: Wear a Mask

Happy Sunday, everyone. We’re almost halfway through April, and I just had a birthday a few days ago. Moving on: here’s some reading, watching, and/or listening material to commemorate (if that’s in any way appropriate) the fact that it’s been one month since everything stateside began to shutter in a big way.

  • My American-ostensibly-in-exile friend Jamey Essex is back at it again with more quality “Pedagogy in the Time of Coronavirus” content over on his website here.
  • You may not know this yet, but you need KinoNow, especially if your friends’ incredible indie theater was forced to close and they have a partnership with them.
  • Speaking of local institutions on Central Avenue in my former hometown, the Central Collective is running a virtual human claw Easter Egg hunt tonight. I have no idea about the practicality of this, but it looks like a worthwhile and curious effort.
  • ICYMI: I released my 2nd Sonic Geography Vinyl Megamix this past Wednesday, focusing on the music of Tennessee. If you’re nice, I’ll post Episode 3 this coming Wednesday!

Remember to get outside and experience the extended Clinic music video that is the great outdoors in the US of A.

Sonic Geography Ep. 2 (Tennesseein’ is Tennebelievin’)

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Well, I missed Sonic Sunday this weekend, but I’ll make up for it with some quaran-tunes for your enjoyment. This week, I’m taking a voyage across the mercilessly wide state (almost as if it was added to the Union in some type of land-grab) of Tennessee. When I moved there in 2013, I made the argument that the Volunteer State has contributed more to popular music history than any other, and I still tend to agree with that idea.

This DJ mix, though, gave me the opportunity to share some wax tracks released by various friends I made in my six years of living in Knoxville as well as a few stone-cold classics.

  1. Dead Man’s Lifestyle (Morristown) – “Common Lush” (split lathe 7″ with Cop Funeral)
  2. Reigning Sound (Memphis) – “Time Bomb High School” (stone cold classic LP)
  3. Psychic Baos (Knoxville) – “Fluicide” (Two words: Will Fist)
  4. Faux Killas (Memphis) – “Anxious Love” (I saw this band set Shangri-La Records aflame last year when I went to a conference at University of Memphis)
  5. Daddy Don’t (Knoxville) – “Octopussy”  (The only band, to my knowledge, with a full-time bubble blower)
  6. Bark (Knoxville) – “Everything He Built” (7″ with beautiful artwork by Striped Light)
  7. Daddy Issues (Nashville) – “Locked Out” (Possibly my favorite cut from my third favorite LP of the 2010’s)
  8. Lavish Boars (Knoxville) – “They Accepted Me as One of their Own”
  9. Koro (Knoxville) – “The 700 Club” (Off the EP repress, because I’m not a millionaire)
  10. Big Star (Memphis) – “What’s Going Ahn”  (here’s a little heartbreak for you)
  11. Gamenight (Knoxville) – “Take My Time”
  12. Headface and the Congenitals (Knoxville) – “Beast is Better”  (The McBrides are America’s greatest rock n’ roll family)
  13. The Lost Sounds (Memphis) – “Better Than Something”
  14. Booker T. and the MG’s (Memphis) – “A Woman, a Lover, and Friend”
  15. Saint Thomas LeDoux (Nashville by way of Knoxville by way of Memphis) – “Me Time”
  16. Ex-Gold (Knoxville) – “I’m a Man”
  17. Johnny Cash (omnipresent) – “Goodbye, Little Darlin'”
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Knoxville, March 25, 2018. Never forget.