Widespread Panic – Up All Night

Widespread Panic are more known as a jam  band who will change tempos and direction when playing live. They remind me of the Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead.

Widespread Panic was formed in the small college town Athens, GA in the mid-1980s. John Bell (guitar, vocals), Michael Houser (guitar) and Dave Schools (bass) all got together with the dream of playing in a rock band, where they experimented with many musicians to find the right fit.

Later on they met Todd Nance (drums), where they officially became a “band” in 1987. Down the road, they would link up with John Jojo Hermann (keyboards) in 1992, and Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz (percussion). Today, Jimmy Herring fills the shoes of the late Mikey Houser on lead guitar, and Duane Trucks, Butch Trucks nephew, has taken reins on the drum kit.

This song was on the Free Somehow album released in 2007.

Up All Night

Well I can’t sleep
I’ve been up all night
Life here in Savanna the day street moan
And that wet smell of sulfur from the cobblestone
I’ve been up all night
Been up all night
And I dream of heaven and I feel like hell
The children in their church clothes Sunday morning bells
And my head is spinning and taking a toll
Been up all night
Been up all night
(Up all night, up all night)
The best thing about New Years is the Christmas lights
Hiding in the day, exposed at night
Sunrise not sunset Georgia sky
I’ve been up all night
We’ve been out all night
I’ve been out all night
Up all night
We’ve been up all night
Been up all night
Been up all night

Feelies – Let’s Go ….80’s Underground Mondays

The Feelies were an inspiration to REM and many alternative bands in the 80s. They formed in 1976 and disbanded in 1992 having released four albums. The band reunited in 2008, and most recently released albums in 2011 and 2017.

The band’s name is taken from a fictional entertainment device described in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

The song was released in 1986 on the album The Good Earth with REM’s Peter Buck producing. It was written by members Glenn Mercer and Bill Million. The band toured in support of the album as an opening band for Lou Reed as well as REM that year. The album was one of their most successful albums.

It certainly doesn’t have earth shaking lyrics but it’s a gorgeous over all sound and atmosphere they produce. It reminds me of something that would be on a movie soundtrack…it’s over with before you know it.

Let’s Go

Well alright
Well alright
Let’s go
Let’s go
Let’s go
Let’s go
All night long
All night long
(spoken?)

Why don’t we ? I know you?
Why don’t we ? I know you?
Go low (?)
Low low (?)
Go slow
Slow
All night long
All night long

All night long

The Chesterfield Kings – She Told Me Lies

I love how this song starts off like I Want To Hold Your Hand and then turns into a 60s mild psychedelia that sounds familiar to ? and the Mysterians the 60s American garage rock band.

They were formed in 1979 in Rochester, New York by the former singer of the Distorted Levels, Greg Provost, an underground music journalist, with Andy Babiuk and  keyboardist Orest Guran, the Chesterfield Kings offered their own version of psychedelia.

This song was released in 1984 with the B side I’ve Gotta Way With Girls. She Told Me Lies was written by Andy Babiuk, Cedrick ConaDoug MeechGreg Prevost, and Orest Guran.

The band, named after a defunct brand of unfiltered cigarette, was instrumental in sparking the 1980s garage band revival that launched many bands with a heavy 60’s influence that ignored the current trends.

The band was active from 1979 to 2009.

In 2000 they made a movie! From IMDB here is the description:

Its Ed Wood meets A Hard Days Night when Greg, Andy, Mike, Ted, and Jeff, together The Chesterfield Kings take on the evil Andro, a maniacal extraterrestrial bent on world domination. The cosmic showdown sends The Kings racing around the globe, from London to Rome, Las Vegas, and Honolulu in a desperate attempt to reclaim drummer Mike whose held hostage by the deranged alien. Can The Chesterfield Kings find their drummer, halt Andro’s master plan, and save the world, all in a brisk seventy minutes? You’ll have to see it to know for sure, but you can count on some killer tunes along the way including The Chesterfield Kings’ new single “Yes I Understand” and “Where Do We Go From Here” featuring lead vocals by Mark Lindsay formerly of Paul Revere and the Raiders in a cameo appearance.

I really want to see that movie.

Greg Provost: “Even when we were doing the garage stuff, we ended up sounding like the Stones. I love bands like the Sweet or Queen, but we could never sound like them. I can’t sing that good! So, we’re just going to capitalize on the kind of stuff we can sound like.”

She Told Me Lies

She told me lies
She left me on my own
She told me lies
I’ll drive away and hide
Yeah she cheated, she lied

She told me lies
She hurt my pride
She told me lies
I’ve got tears in my eyes
She told me lies
I ain’t got nothing to say
Yeah she left me today

She went walking to the door
I won’t ever see her face no more
I don’t know why she treated me bad
She’s the only true love I ever had
But now she’s gone

She went walking to the door
I won’t ever see her face no more
I don’t know why she treated me bad
She’s the only true love I ever had
But now she’s gone

She told me lies
But now she’s gone
She left me on my own
I’ll drive away and hide
Yeah she cheat, she lied

Joe Walsh – I Can Play That Rock and Roll

Yes Joe you can…When I first heard this in the early 80s on MTV it was such a relief to hear a guitar playing a rock and roll riff. It’s a simple comedic Joe Walsh song… and sometimes that is just what we need.

This is not Joe’s finest work but it’s fun and brings back memories. . After being restrained somewhat with the Eagles it was good to see him let go.  This song was on the album You Bought It You Name It. The album has varied styles from reggae, new wave, and rock and roll. The song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay list.

The video of Joe trying to kill a fly in a hotel room was burned into my brain as this was on heavy rotation on MTV for a little while. Joe had a deadly aim with the Fender Strat to the television…years of practice I would guess.

In the middle of then current songs such as Safety Dance, Mickey, and Mr. Roboto this minor hit was a welcomed relief to me on MTV and the radio.

I Can Play That Rock and Roll

Well that disco thing can sure get funky
All them pretty songs seem too slow
I like to sit and pick with them good old boys
Maybe New Wave’s in, I just don’t know
When the critics try to analyse the current trend
I just sit back and watch ’em come and go
Cos I can play that rock and roll
Oh, now I can play that rock and roll
Hey now, I can play that rocking rock and roll

If you, if you wanna party at the next election
Only one way to go
Put on a rocking rock and roll selection
Turn up and vote
And you can check out anytime you want
Just call me Joe
And I can play that rock and roll for ya…
Yeah yeah yeah yeah I can play that rock and roll
Yeah, now now, I, I, I, well I can play that rock and roll
Well I can play that rock and roll
I can play that rock and roll

Paladins – Keep On Lovin Me Baby

Here is some 1980’s roots rockabilly. What caught my attention is that relentless guitar on this track plus the groove. The guitar player is Dave Gonzalez and the tone reminds me of Stevie Ray Vaughn. This song was written by blues guitarist and songwriter Otis Rush. 

The Paladins are from San Diego and were into rockabilly. They billed their music as Western Bop. They played a combination of rockabilly and vintage country together with a blues groove. They were founded in 1980 by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas Yearsley.

Dave Gonzalez’s initial influences came from his mother, who listened to  Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and the Rolling Stones. He mixed this with his father’s love of country singers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard who also made a strong impression on him. As he got older he got into blues artists like  B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter.

Put that all together and you come up with a varied roots style.

They did some tours with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos, The Blasters and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. This song was on the Lets Buzz! album released in 1990. They were nominated for the  1990 Entertainer Music Awards but lost out to the Beat Farmers…but they won two years later.

Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas Yearsley along with drummer Brian Fahey are still a top attraction at clubs at the present time. They have recorded five singles, nine full length studio records, and three live albums to date.

Keep On Lovin Me Baby

I want you to love me (repeat) woh yeah.
Oh baby i’m so glad youre mine…
I want you to kiss me…
Woh baby i’m so glad you’re mine…

Early every morning, sometimes late at night i can
Feel your tender lips they make me feel alright.

Keep on loving me baby…
Woh baby i’m so glad you’re mine…

Otis Gibbs

I came across Otis’s youtube channel and I think some of you would be interested. He is a singer songwriter but on his channel he has conversations musicians who have played or worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Waylon Jennings, just to name a few, and  his own stories about different musicians. For you music fans it’s worth your time. The guy doesn’t interview people…he lets people talk and tell their stories.  He is also a good story teller. I’m hooked on his channel.

He has stories about Jerry Reed, The Replacements, Dan Baird, Merle Haggard, Ry Cooder, Towns Van Zant, Bill Monroe, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, John Prine, Mike Campbell and more.

He lives in Indiana but interviews many Nashville connected musicians. Check this guy out…His music is VERY good as well. I’m just checking that out more as I go… his music is classified as alt-country.

I just picked a few random youtube videos from his page below.

This is his youtube page:

https://www.youtube.com/user/otisgibbs

Chuck Mead – 90s Alternative Country band BR5-49…talking about when he toured with Bob Dylan

Kenny Vaughn – Lucinda Williams  guitar player at the time talks about touring with Tom Petty

Chuck Mead again with Keith Richards

Dan Baird on the Replacements

Otis Gibbs Wiki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otis_Gibbs

Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark

This song kicked off Brucemania in 1984. Born in the USA along with Thriller and Purple Rain ruled in the 80s.

This one is not my favorite off the album but I did like it. Considering the times it was the best sounding song to lead off with.  All together Born In The USA had 7 top ten singles….I didn’t know what to think at first…I liked this and Cover me but it was when the title track was released…that is when I was sold when I heard Springsteen sing Born in the U.S.A..

This song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, #28 in the UK, and #2 in New Zealand.

This was the last song written and recorded for the Born In The U.S.A.. His manager Jon Landau didn’t hear a lead off single from the album at the time and asked him to write something that could be that song. Bruce was not in the mood for hearing this…he said “Look, I’ve written 70 songs (he had written 70 songs for the album). You want another one, you write it.” After giving it a while he sat in his hotel room and wrote about himself at that time…about the isolation that fame had given him since The River.

The next day Landau had the song he was looking for…so  for the first time Bruce set out to make a video. It was directed by Brian DePalma, the video was filmed during Springsteen’s concert at the St. Paul Civic Center in Minnesota on June 29, 1984. Courtney Cox, who was planted in the audience, got the role of the adoring fan in the front row who gets to dance on stage with Bruce. Many Springsteen fans were upset that he didn’t get a true fan from the audience.

Springsteen did “Dancing In The Dark” midway through the show, so by that time he was warmed up and the crowd was worked into a frenzy. To get the shots, Springsteen did the song twice, with DePalma repositioning his cameras after the first take.

This song won Springsteen his first Grammy. In 1985, it got the award for Best Male Vocal… also in Rolling Stone reader’s poll, this was voted Single of the Year in 1985.

From Songfacts

Springsteen wrote this about his difficulty writing a hit single and his frustration trying to write songs that will please people. His struggles pour out in the lyric, where he feels like a hired gun dying for some action. He even addresses an industry trope, which he surely heard many times before:

They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I’m just about starving tonight

Ironically, the song was a hit single – the biggest of his career in terms of US chart position. (Although Manfred Mann’s cover of Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light” made #1.)

Springsteen was doing just fine, with six successful albums in his discography and an unparalleled concert reputation. He had over 70 songs written for Born In The U.S.A., but Landau wanted a guaranteed hit to ensure superstar status for Springsteen. “Dancing In The Dark” provided just that spark; released as the first single (the only one issued ahead of the album), it started the fire that was Born In The U.S.A. Springsteen’s songs were soon all over the radio, and he found a whole new audience. Unlike many rock artists who are accused of selling out when they hit it huge, Springsteen’s star turn was welcomed (for the most part) by his faithful, who had spent many years spreading his gospel.

The video was Springsteen’s first to get heavy airplay on MTV, and it introduced him to a new, mostly younger audience. As for Cox, a few years later she landed a role on the sitcom Family Ties, and went on to star in the wildly popular TV series Friends.

The lyric is rather bleak, as Springsteen sings lines like, “Man I ain’t getting nowhere, I’m just living in a dump like this.” It doesn’t have a happy ending, but by the end of the song, he seems intent on taking some action, looking for just a tiny bit of inspiration to set him on his path – after all, you can’t start a fire without a spark.

By the last verse, there’s a touch of existentialism, as he puts things in perspective: “You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart.”

The deep, philosophical message was lost on most listeners who were entranced by the catchy beat (the video didn’t exactly push a deeper meaning either). Springsteen got a similar reaction to his song “Born In The U.S.A.,” where the message was lost in the music. That one bothered him, as the song is about the plight of a Vietnam veteran returning home to hostilities and disregard.

This song sent the Born In the U.S.A. album on a Thriller-like run of chart success, with the next six singles all reaching the US Top 10. The tally, in order of release:

“Cover Me” (#7)
“Born In The U.S.A.” (#9)
“I’m On Fire” (#6)
“Glory Days” (#5)
“I’m Goin’ Down” (#9)
“My Hometown” (#6)

The original concept for the music video was to have Springsteen literally dancing in the dark – shot against against a black background. Jeff Stein was the director, and Daniel Pearl, famous for his cinematography on “Every Breath You Take,” was the director of photography. Pearl and Springsteen got in a kerfuffle over how he should be shot, with Springsteen wanting a filter and Pearl insisting on hard lighting. Bruce walked out after a few takes, and ended up shooting the video with Brian DePalma. A few years later, despite his efforts to avoid Springsteen, Pearl found himself working on the “Human Touch” video. Pearl says that Springsteen apologized for the “Dancing In The Dark” debacle and asked to work with him again, as he realized Pearl was right about the lighting.

The single was released on May 3, 1984 and reached its US chart peak of #2 on June 30, which was before the video hit MTV. That week, “The Reflex” by Duran Duran held it out of the top spot; with MTV support, “Dancing In The Dark” looked like a sure bet for #1, but then Prince and his crying doves showed up, ruling MTV and the airwaves, and keeping Springsteen’s song at #2 for the next three weeks.

In 1985, Tina Turner performed this on her Private Dancer tour. Her version appears on the album Tina Turner – Live in Tokyo.

A rather intriguing cover of this song was by the group Big Daddy, who hit #21 UK with their version. The concept behind Big Daddy is that a band crash landed on an island while out on tour in the late ’50s or early ’60s, and when they were rescued in the early ’80s, tried to revive their career. Music had changed drastically by then, so they started covering ’80s music in the only style they knew how to play. The result is a kind of modern Pat Boone sound.

According to Rolling Stone, this is is the only Springsteen song that Bob Dylan ever covered, and he only did it once: at the club Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut, on the night of January 12th, 1990. Dylan flubbed most of the words and the performance was so rough that most people in the audience didn’t seem to realize what song it was until the band hit the chorus.

Dancing In The Dark

I get up in the evening
and I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired
Man I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer
radio’s on and I’m moving ’round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I want to change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain’t getting nowhere
I’m just living in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is

You can’t start a fire
you can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
even if we’re just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older
there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh’s on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they’ll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action
I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can’t start a fire sitting ’round crying over a broken heart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Hey baby

Throwing Muses – Hate My Way ….80’s Underground Mondays

A nice guitar riff to start this song off by Throwing Muses.

The band was formed in 1981 by step-sisters Kristin Hersh (vocals/guitar) and Tanya Donelly (guitar/vocals), who were both at high school at the time. Initially called Kristin Hersh And The Muses, the line-up was completed by bassist Leslie Langstons and drummer David Narcizo.

They lived close to Providence, Boston and New York and so they could play a club quite often in both places. They had a lot of colleges and some local newspapers, magazines, and radio stations to promote them.

They were the first American band signed to the British 4AD label. An eclectic blend of jerky guitar pop and songwriter Kristin Hersh’s eccentric vocals, the early work by Throwing Muses was quite different than their peers. A year later 4AD would sign Pixies based in part on the band’s connection to Throwing Muses, and by the mid-1990s much of the label’s roster was made up of American bands.

This song was on their self-titled album Throwing Muses in 1986. The song was written by guitar player and singer Kristin Hersh. She wrote every song on the album except one.

Their latest album Sun Racket was released on Fire Records on September 4, 2020.

Kristin Hersh: “We didn’t mean to ever be strange. I guess we were because everybody says we were,” “It’s almost like speaking your own language. I find we kept people out of our world by doing that.”

Hate My Way

 I could be a smack freak
And hate society
I could hate God
And blame Dad
I might be in a Holocaust
Hate Hitler
Might not have a child
And hate school
I could be a sad lover
And hate death
I could be a neuro
And hate sweat
No
I hate my way

I make you in to a song
I can’t rise above the church
I’m caught in a jungle
Vines tangle my hands
I’m always so hot and it’s hot in here
I say it’s all right

My pillow screams too
But so does my kitchen
And water
And my shoes
And the road

I have a gun in my head
I’m invisible
I can’t find the ice

A slug
I’m TV
I hate

A boy, he was tangled in his bike forever
A girl was missing two fingers
Gerry Ann was confused
Mr. Huberty
Had a gun in his head

So I sit up late in the morning
And ask myself again
How do they kill children?
And why do I wanna die?
They can no longer move
I can no longer be still

I hate
My way

Mojo Nixon – Elvis Is Everywhere

We are gonna lighten up today with a song from Mojo Nixon. Hope all of you are doing well on this holiday weekend… look around…Elvis is everywhere.

I was commenting with Paul and he  brought up Mojo Nixon and it’s probably been since the 1980s that I heard him. A popular Nashville rock station WKDF in the 80s would play this song and a few more by Mojo.

Mojo Nixon (Neill Kirby McMillan, Jr) started in the early eighties and he teamed up with  Skid Roper (Richard Banke). Mojo and Skip Roper wrote this song.

This song was released in 1987 and it was on his album Bo-Day-Shus!!!. Mojo has some fun music. I forgot about his songs until Paul pointed me toward him again and they came back to me. I’ll post one tomorrow also.

Nixon announced that he retired from the music business in 2004, playing his last live show in Austin, Texas. In 2009 he announced his “unretirement” and for a short time let anyone download his albums for free with this statement:

Can’t wait for Washington to fix the economy. We must take bold action now. If I make the new album free and my entire catalog free it will stimulate the economy. It might even over-stimulate the economy. History has shown than when people listen to my music, money tends to flow to bartenders, race tracks, late night greasy spoons, bail bondsman, go kart tracks, tractor pulls, football games, peep shows and several black market vices. My music causes itches that it usually takes some money to scratch

Elvis Is Everywhere

When I look out into your eyes out there
When I look out into your faces
You know what I see?
I see a little bit of Elvis
In each and every one of you out there

Lemme tell ya…
Weeeeeeeeeellllllll…
Elvis is everywhere
Elvis is everything
Elvis is everybody
Elvis is still the king

Man o man
What I want you to see
Is that the big E’s
Inside of you and me

Elvis is everywhere, man!
He’s in everything
He’s in everybody…

Elvis is in your jeans
He’s in your cheesburgers
Elvis is in Nutty Buddies!
Elvis is in your mom!

He’s in everybody
He’s in the young, the old
The fat, the skinny
The white, the black
The brown and the blue
People got Elvis in ’em too

Elvis is in everybody out there
Everybody’s got Elvis in them!
Everybody except one person that is…
Yeah, one person!
The evil opposite of Elvis
The Anti-Elvis

Anti-Elvis got no Elvis in ’em
Lemme tell ya

Michael J. Fox has no Elvis in him

And Elvis is in Joan Rivers
But he’s trying to get out, man!
He’s trying to get out!
Listen up Joanie Baby!

Elvis is everywhere
Elvis is everything
Elvis is everybody
Elvis is still the king

Man o man
What I want you to see
Is that the big E’s
Inside of you and me

Man, there’s a lot of unexplained phenomenon
Out there in the world
Lot of things people say
What the heck’s going on?

Let me tell ya!

Who built the pyramids?
ELVIS!
Who built Stonehenge?
ELVIS!

Yeah, man you see guys
Walking down the street
Pushing shopping carts
And you think they’re talking to allah
They’re talking to themself
Man, no they’re talking to ELVIS!
ELVIS! ELVIS!

You know whats going on in that Bermuda Triangle?
Down in the Bermuda Traingle
Elvis needs boats
Elvis needs boats
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis Elvis Elvis

….

X – 4th Of July

First of all…Happy 4th of July to those that celebrate it! I also want to thank CB for bringing this song up last year on July 4th. I have posted the X version as well as Dave Alvin’s (who wrote the song) solo version of this song…I also threw in a live version from the Blasters.

This song was released in 1987 on X’s See How We Are album. The album peaked at #107 in the Billboard Album Charts.

This was written by the guitarist Dave Alvin, who had recently replaced Billy Zoom in X. Alvin still had ties with his former band, the Blasters, when he wrote the song, and in early 1986 he recorded the song with the group, with Nick Lowe producing. The sessions when downhill when Lowe decided that Dave should sing the song, not the group’s lead singer, his older brother Phil Alvin. The Blasters album was never released, and it ended up being an X song, with their vocalist John Doe singing it.

Nick Lowe told Dave Alvin something in these sessions that was interesting and career changing. Dave Alvin wrote the song but didn’t think he could sing it but Nick wanted him to. Lowe told him “I can’t sing either, but I’ve somehow made a living doing it.”

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Blaster’s music. Dave Alvin seems to cover everything from  blues, rock, rockabilly, country,  Americana and more. Here is a quote from him

I’ve always considered myself as basically a blues guy
but I don’t want to limit myself to what some people define as
blues. The “blues form” and the “blues scale” is a constant
in just about all American folk and roots music as well as jazz
and pop. Because of that, I can hear the blues in country music
as well as in the loud garage band down the block.
As a songwriter, if I feel like writing a polka one day,
I’ll write a polka. If I feel like writing a country song
or a rockabilly song, then I’ll do it. It’s hard enough
writing songs to have to bother yourself with somebody’s
categories.

Dave Alvin: “I wrote a long poem is how it really started,” Alvin said in the Zoo Bar’s upstairs dressing room before his latest show there last month. “It’s based on a true story in my life, back when I was a fry cook in Downey (California). Everything in the song is true,” “There was this little cul-de-sac and there were all these beat-up duplexes. We lived in the upstairs duplex. She didn’t want smoking in the place, so I’d sit on the top of the stairs and just stare at the cul-de-sac.”

“I was just trying to capture that moment. This is long before I even thought of being a songwriter. I was 21, 22 and I looked at the Mexican kids shooting fireworks and I looked at everything and I thought, ‘This is a song.’ Eight years later, I finally wrote it.”

From Songfacts

Alvin wrote a third verse, but decided the song had more impact without it, as it leaves the ending up to the listener. He told us: “When X wanted to record the song and we recorded a couple of demos for Elektra, one of the producers, who is a notable musician who shall remain nameless, said, ‘I’m not getting enough. It needs more.’ So, I thought, well, maybe I should pull that third verse back into it? But then I thought, no, it’s getting the point across. They’re either breaking up or they’re staying together.'”

This song is beloved by the band’s fans and has grown in popularity, but it was never a hit. A victim of timing, the late ’80s found X out-of-favor at radio stations, as anything perceived as “Punk” had a hard time getting airplay (Billy Idol excepted). A few years later, Nirvana knocked down that wall, but it was too late for “4th Of July.”

Live Blasters

Dave Alvin’s version

X 4th of July

4th of July

She’s waitin’ for me
When I get home from work
Oh, but things ain’t just the same
She turns out the light
And cries in the dark
Won’t answer when I call her name

On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July

She gives me her cheek
When I want her lips
But I don’t have the strength to go
On the lost side of town
In a dark apartment
We gave up trying so long ago

On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July

What ever happened I
Apologize
So dry your tears and baby
Walk outside, it’s the Fourth of July

On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, Baby take a walk outside

….

Stems – Tears Me In Two

After hearing the song and seeing the video you would think 1965 NOT 1985. I would have loved to hear this in the eighties. This I could have gotten into a lot.

They debuted in March 1984 and released a series of independent records on Sydney’s Citadel Records. Each release made it to number one on the Australian alternative charts.

The Stems were a garage punk band formed in Perth, Western Australia in late 1983. They were hugely popular in Australia. They released this song in 1985 with a song “Cant Resist” as the B side. They would release 7 singles, 2 albums, and 2 EP’s between 1985-1987.

They broke up in 1987. Guitarist Dom Mariani explained: “I was not very happy with the way things were going towards the end of The Stems. We got quite big, and there are the usual problems that happen with that. People tend to drift apart, there are internal conflicts, egos going wild, and bad management was probably the major factor that contributed to The Stems breakup.”

The Stems regrouped in 2003 and played to packed houses across Australia and Europe. They disbanded again in 2009 and regrouped in 2013 and still play from time to time.

Tears Me In Two

All those things that you never said
All those words going through my head
Time after time I let her cry
I laughed and I laughed
And she waved goodbye

She waved goodbye
She waved goodbye
She waved goodbye
She waved goodbye
I said my prayers and shed my tears
All my dreams have become my fears
I wrote her letters that I could not send
My memories are my only friend

She waved goodbye
She waved goodbye
She waved goodbye
She waved goodbye
Everyone thinks that I am crazy
I can’t stand the things that they say
Think that I’ve been oh-so-cruel
Commit me with lies I did not do
I didn’t do them
You know I didn’t do them
Don’t tell me that I did them
You know I didn’t do them
I didn’t do them

I couldn’t stand it for a second more
I turn it down for, I want love for
Why can’t my heart leave me be
Tears me in two, can’t you see
I can’t stand it for a second more
I turn it down for, I want love for
Why can’t my heart leave me be
Tears me in two ways, can’t you see
Tears me in two ways
Come on baby
Take an look down there
Tears me in two ways

Guadalcanal Diary – Trail Of Tears

I posted a song called Watusi Rodeo by Guadalcanal Diary a while back and I got a great response. I’ve been listening to these guys and it gets better and better. This band had a sophisticated and spiritual bent to the band’s lyrics.

This song is off of the EP  Watusi Rodeo released in 1983. The songwriting in this band was a step above many of their peers…clever lyrics with a mixture of jangle and country. When you start listening to this band later on you can see a lot of eclecticism as they could bounce from one style to another.

They did get picked up by a major label after this release. Their LP  Jamboree  released in 1986 was on Elektra. They unsuccessfully attempted a commercial breakthrough, adopting the style of a country-rock band with some  religious sentiment.

Jeff Walls and singer Murray Attaway were friends in high school in Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. Along with bassist Rhett Crowe and drummer John Poe, they formed Guadalcanal Diary.

In 2011, Guadalcanal Diary briefly reunited to play Athfest, and celebrated their 30th anniversary there. Jeff Walls died, May 29, 2019, of a rare pulmonary disease.

Trail Of Tears

The Sun hangs low in the Western sky
I bow my head and remember now
Someone’s lips pressed close to mine
Her cool hand upon my brow

Hell burns hot for a killer ‘s heart
A shallow grave in an unmarked plot
Crack of gunfire in the dark
Hand in hand we’ll walk at daybreak

One wore black
One wore black
One wore black

The trail of tears is winding on
Many pass along the road
Dusty soldiers march along
As they file one by one

One wore black
One wore black
One wore black

Trail of tears is winding on
Frightened soldier run no more
Arm and arm with lovers gone
No one passes on the road

Two girls wait at the railroad track
For their soldiers to come back
Knowing this will be their last
One wore blue and one wore black

One wore black…

Replacements – Left Of The Dial ….80’s Underground Mondays

This is a perfect song to remember alternative radio with today. This  is Paul Westerberg’s tribute to college radio in the 1980s. Of all the bands I’ve covered on Mondays…this band is my favorite of them all. They were more straight rock and roll with some quirks thrown in for good measure.

Left of the Dial celebrates the spirit of the eighties American indie rock scene and was a tribute to the tiny watt college stations populating the far end of the FM radio band—many let the Replacements crash after shows at campuses. Westerberg had said that is where they got most of their airtime…“We ended up going to college in an odd kind of way.”

The song is also about Westerberg’s infatuation with Lynn Blakey, singer-guitarist for North Carolina’s Let’s Active. They’d met when the bands shared a bill at San Francisco’s I-Beam in the fall of 1983. “He followed me around and bummed cigarettes off me,” recalled Blakey. The following night, after a show in Berkeley, the two spent hours walking together. They would exchange calls and letters as Blakey moved to Athens, Georgia, where she joined Michael Stipe’s sister Lynda in the band Oh-OK.

Artist: Lynn Blakey | SecondHandSongs

“I figured the only way I’d hear her voice was with her band on the radio . . . on a college station,” said Westerberg. “And one night we were passing through a town somewhere, and she was doing an interview on the radio. I heard her voice for the first time in six months for about a minute. Then the station faded out.” The moment provided the song’s lyric “If I don’t see ya, in a long, long while / I’ll try to find you / Left of the dial.”

The song was on the album Tim and it was released in 1985.

Left of the Dial

Read about your band in some local page
Didn’t mention your name, didn’t mention your name
The sweet Georgia breezes, safe, cool and warm
I headed up north, you headed north

On and on and on and on
What side are you on?
On and on and on and on
What side are you on?

Weary voice that’s laughin’, on the radio once
We sounded drunk, never made it on
Passin’ through and it’s late, the station started to fade
Picked another one up in the very next state

On and on and on and on
What side are you on?
On and on and on and on and

Pretty girl keep growin’ up, playin’ make-up, wearin’ guitar
Growin’ old in a bar, ya grow old in a bar
Headed out to San Francisco, definitely not L.A.
Didn’t mention your name, didn’t mention your name

And if I don’t see ya, in a long, long while
I’ll try to find you
Left of the dial
Left of the dial
Left of the dial
Left of the dial
Left of the dial
Left of the dial
Left of the dial
Left of the dial

Creeps – Down At The Nightclub

The Creeps sound like they came from the garages in the sixties but it was the 1980s. I love the sound they got on this record.

This song is off of their debut album “Enjoy The Creeps” and it was released in 1986. Critics have said that they never did translate the excitement of their live show to records but this one is good. They released it on a small label named Tracks on Wax which was a Swedish Garage Rock-label in the 80s.

They formed in Sweden in 1985. They were influenced heavily by the Animals and Yardbirds, Robert Jelinek (vocals, guitar), Hans Ingemansson (Hammond organ), Anders Olsson (bass) and Patrick Olson (drums). Whenever I think of music from Sweden I think of Abba…this is not Abba by any stretch of the imagination.

Their third album, Blue Tomato, was released in 1990. It contained their most popular song, ‘Ooh I Like It’,  and it became a major Swedish hit and was eventually voted Best Song Of The Year by MTV viewers in 1990.

Down at the Nightclub was written by guitarist Robert Jelinek.

After a few years the band dropped the dirty sound of their debut album and went more for an 80s funk dance sound.

The band broke up in 1997.

Down At The Nightclub

All right
We’re going down to the nightclub baby
Where the fashion lights are all so gay
And the music’s so loud
I tell you we’re the in-crowd
We’re the grooviest gang around

I got a battering ram in my head
The room is turning in a blue green red
And the lights sure blows my mind
and I might get this time
Down at the nightclub

That girl’s dancing in her miniskirt
The way she moves now she gives me the hurt
Gonna move up to her, let my backbone slip
I’m gonna take her on a magic trip

I got a battering ram in my head
The room is turning in a blue green red
And the lights sure blows my mind
and I might get this time
Down at the nightclub

I got a battering ram in my head
The room is turning in a blue green red
And the lights sure blows my mind
and I might get this time
Down at the nightclub

Dukes Of Stratosphear – Vanishing Girl ….Power Pop Friday

First time I heard this song I loved it. I hear a strong Hollies and Beatles influence in this. This XTC spinoff band was a great idea and should have gotten airplay here. This is by far my favorite power pop song I’ve feature on Fridays in the past 5 months.

This album was released on April Fools Day 1985 through Virgin Records. It was publicized as a long-lost collection of recordings by a late 1960s group. Under the name The Dukes of Stratosphear, XTC members Andy Partridge,  Colin Moulding, Dave Gregory, and and Dave’s brother Ian Gregory paid tribute to such acts as The Beatles, The Hollies, The Yardbirds, and The Beach Boys to name a few. They produced two albums: 1985’s album 25 O’Clock and 1987’s Psonic Psunspot.

Each musician adopted a pseudonym: “Sir John Johns” (Partridge) “Lord Cornelius Plum” (Dave), “The Red Curtain” (Colin Moulding) and “E.I.E.I. Owen” (Ian). The band dressed themselves in Paisley outfits for the sessions and lit scented candles.

Despite the great songs, the Dukes never made the charts.  In the UK, the records outsold XTC’s then current albums The Big Express (1984) and Skylarking (1986).

It’s possible that XTC would not have survived beyond the ’80s without this fun side-project according to former XTC guitar player David Gregory as tensions were high recording The Big Express and Skylarking.

David Gregory: That so many others found it amusing and entertaining simply adds to the joy we derived from its creation.

Andy Partridge talking to producer Steve Nye: “Ooh, I’m a bit funny about how this came out, Steve, because it sounds a bit Beatles-esque to me, and I don’t want people to think I’m copying the Beatles.” He said, “Who gives a fuck? That’s how you’ve written it—just do it!’ … I realised that I should not be ashamed about digging them up, and getting them wrong, and using them as my template. … from that moment onward, I started to recognise that those songwriters—the Ray Davieses, the Lennons and McCartneys, the Brian Wilsons—had gone into my head really deeply

Vanishing Girl

Someone’s knocking in the Distance
But I’m deaf and blind
She’s not expected home this evening
So I leave the world behind

for the Vanishing Girl
The Vanishing Girl
Yes she’d give you a twirl
But she vanishes from my world

So burn my letters and you’d better leave
Just one pint a day
The whole street’s talking about my
White shirts looking so grey

People gossip on the doorstep
Think they know the score
She’s giving him the runaround
The man from number four

Has a Vanishing Girl
a Vanishing Girl
Yes she’d give you a twirl
But she vanishes from my world

Yes the paint is peeling and my
Garden is overgrown
I got no enthusiasm to even answer the phone
When she’s here it makes up for the time she’s

not and it’s all forgotten
But when she goes I’m putting on the pose for
the Vanishing Girl

….