Game Theory – Erica’ s Word…. 80’s Underground Mondays

Game Theory was a power pop band founded by Scott Miller in 1982. I remember they got some MTV airplay. Miller was the only constant member of the band which changed members frequently. Game Theory got a lot of college play in the 80s.

Mitch Easter, who produced R.E.M. produced Game Theory. This song was on their album The Big Shot Chronicles which was praised when it was released and now. In the 2007 book Shake Some Action the album was #16 in the top 200 power pop albums of all time.

Scott Miller was a special songwriter. He influenced artists such as  The New Pornographers,  Jellyfish, Velvet Crush, Matthew Sweet, Ben Folds, Guided by Voices, and more.

Miller committed suicide in 2013. After Miller’s death, it emerged that he’d been planning a new Game Theory album with the working title, Supercalifragile. Miller’s widow enlisted The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow, along with some Game Theory bandmates, to finish the L.P. It was released in 2017.

There are many that compare him to Alex Chilton musically…and also in terms of being a really good songwriter that doesn’t beyond a cult following.

Alex Chilton and Scott Miller

Erika’s Word

Erica’s gone shy
Some unknown X behind the why
All is some less today
Mass not conserving in the old way

Checking out with Brother Jay
I’ll miss your half of me
Girl are you leaving something
You might later need?

Erica’s word, taking me clear and leaving me blurred
Erica’s news, singing the praise and playing the blues
Pulling the rug out under my shoes

Twelve years ago
Shorthand allegiance to the long throw
Make believe and pretend
I remember when they served the same end

You always liked the photo of us
Sitting in our car
Just like we’re driving
Girl it’s not looking like we’ll go all that far

Erica’s word, taking me clear and leaving me blurred
Erica’s find, blowing my hair and tearing my mind
Throwing for grabs and leaving behind

Maybe you’ll find that promised love
The tingle to the touch
Girl and I hope it comes through for you in a clutch
But I wouldn’t bet much

Erica’s word, taking me clear and leaving me blurred
Erica’s news, singing the praise and playing the blues
Pulling the rug out under my shoes

Erica’s find, blowing my hair and tearing my mind
Erica’s word, taking me clear and leaving me blurred
Knocking me down from second to third

Bangles – The Real World

I’ve been posting bands that were in the Paisley Underground scene back in the 80s. This one is probably the most well known. Over the last few months I’ve become a fan of this 80s movement. For me…a better alternative to the top 40 at the time. I want to thank Dave at A Sound Day for introducing me to the song! They were called The Bangs before they released this song.

The Bangles were a breath of fresh air in the mid-eighties. The band played sixties inspired rock with Byrd’s chiming guitars. The lead singer, Susanna Hoffs, caught my eye right away. Yes for the normal ways but also for the fact she was playing a Rickenbacker guitar…what more could I want?

“Paisley Underground” was a moniker that helped music journalists describe their sound, which didn’t fit the New Wave or Rock. This song is an example of the genre, with a jangly guitar and ’60s-style reverb reminiscent of The Byrds or early Beatles. Other bands that fit this mode were The Rain Parade, The Dream Syndicate, and Rainy Day.

The scene also had a bit of early alt country rock (The Long Ryders and Green On Red) made more popular in the 90s.

The Real World was a song on the self titled EP the band released after signing with Miles Copeland’s I.R.S. Records. The EP wasn’t too successful but it did help get the band signed to the major label Columbia Records, which issued their first album called All Over The Place in 1984.

Guitarists Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson wrote this song. This is one of the few Bangles tracks bassist Annette Zilinskas played on; she left the group soon after, replaced by Michael Steele. The song was released on the small label Faulty Products.

Rain Parade covered this on a 2018 compilation called 3 x 4, where four Paisley Underground groups…Rain Parade, Bangles, The Dream Syndicate and The Three O’Clock – cover each others’ songs.

The Real World

Forgot to tell you
Sins are very hard to say
And you know that the words are there, my love
When I first saw you
I didn’t notice it that day
Now you’re the one I’m thinking of.

[Chorus:]
Oh, you never bring me down
Make me sad, it’s such a change, oh yeah (oh yeah)
If I was insecure
That was yesterday and now I’m sure
Oh, so sure (oh so sure, so sure).

When I was a little girl
I wanted everything ideal
Yeah, and a love I could depend on
This is the real world
And I believe our love is real
And it’s the only thing I’m counting on.

[Chorus]
Oh, you never bring me down
Make me sad, it’s such a change, oh yeah (oh yeah)
If I was insecure
That was yesterday and now I’m sure
Oh, so sure.

[Chorus]
Oh, you never bring me down
Make me sad, it’s such a change, oh yeah (oh yeah)
If I was insecure
That was yesterday and now I’m sure
Oh, so sure, oh.

This is the real world
I really want to be your girl
This is the real world (real world)
I really want to be your girl
This is the real world (real world)
I really want to be your girl.

Droogs – Ahead Of My Time

The lyrics won’t make you mistake these guys for Bob Dylan but the guitar action is pretty cool in this one.

Several years before it became fashionable…the Droogs were playing what would later be called “garage revival”. They started playing together as pre-teens in 1966 and began issuing singles in the early to mid seventies.

Ahead of My Time was released in 1974. They missed out on the garage band sixties and they were ahead of the curve of the 60s garage band revival in the late 70’s.

They started to release albums in the mid-eighties and were part of the Paisley Underground Scene. They released 8 albums between 1984 to 2017.

The Droogs just released an album in 2017  called Young Gun and are still together doing their thing.

Ahead Of My Time

Hey babe, this must be your lucky day babe
I wanna kiss you if I may babe
Don’t care what people have to say babe

I’ve got to love you, the only way that I can
So please don’t misunderstand
They’ll tell you that I’m not your kind
But I’m just ahead of my time.

In your neighborhood, got a reputation that’s none too good.
For knowing things no young man should
I know baby, you would if you could

I’ve got to love you, the only way that I can
So please don’t me be your man
They’ll tell you true love’s hard to find
But I’m just ahead of my time.
I’m just ahead of my time.
I’m just ahead of my time.

We’re just ahead of our time.
We’re just ahead of our time.
We’re just ahead of our time.

Hey babe, this must be your lucky day babe
I wanna kiss you if I may babe
Don’t care what people have to say babe

I’ve got to love you, all the way babe

Rain Parade – One Half Hour Ago

I’ve been listening to the Rain Parade’s album Emergency Third Rail Power Trip and I’ve heard influences from Buffalo Springfield to Rubber Soul. The Rain Parade were part of the Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles in the early 80s. The Paisley Underground scene contained bands such as The Bangles, Green on Red, and The Long Ryders.

If you get a chance give this album a listen. 

They were another band formed in Minnesota by college roommates Matt Piucci (guitar, vocals) and David Roback (guitar, vocals) in 1981, while they were attending Carleton College. David’s brother Steven Roback (bass, vocals) joined.

Their roots were in punk music but in this band…instead of the Sex Pistols and the Clash they went for the Byrds jangly guitars. The critics were mixed on this band…some saying they copied the psychedelic era too much and others saying they were ahead of their time. The Roback brothers were the main writers. After this album Dave Roback left the band.

From Wiki: Critic Jim DeRogatis would later write in his book Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock (2003) that “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip is not only the best album from any of the Paisley Underground bands, it ranks with the best psychedelic rock efforts from any era”, with uplifting melodies offset by themes that were “dark and introspective.”

They were together from 1981 to 1986. They broke up in 1986 and reformed in 2012 and have been touring since. Dave Roback passed away in 2020.

Daveid Roback: “Rain Parade was very much a recasting of our punk interests in more musical terms, inspired by our fascination with music history.”

One Half Hour Ago

What’s the point of looking back?
All you see is an empty track
Of lives you’ve lived
And things you tried to love

What’s the use of anything
That brings you down?
You can’t believe it for an hour
You’re in here just a while

Half an hour from an hour ago
From a half an hour from an hour ago
Call me early on Saturday
It’s my favorite day
I’ll come out to play
That is only, I go to bed
So that I can rest
I can leave my head behind

Disappointing everyone
I’m so much fun
Until I’m lost
Things we do are the way we choose to live

Replacements – Bastards Of Young

This is my sixth song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The Replacements Bastards Of Young.

I was really happy when I saw Mike’s choice of the Replacements song Can’t Hardly Wait in the draft. I had that one in the back of my mind but had this one ready to go later. I decided to go ahead and get this one in.

I could have picked a more instantly likable song like Skyway, Here Comes a Regular, or Alex Chilton but this song…was a great anthem that kicks you in the shins when it starts. It was recorded in the eighties but it has no giant production…it’s raw and honest about youthful uncertainty and alienation.

I recently visited Aphoristic’s site and he had his top ten songs of the 1980’s.  I thought about it and I included this song on my list in the comment section. In popularity would it be there? No… but this is a lost anthem of the eighties that should have been taken up by that generation. Just because a song isn’t heard and embraced by the masses doesn’t mean it isn’t great.

Westerberg’s songwriting in the 1980s rivaled any artist in that decade.

Everyone who knows me… knows I’m not a huge fan of the top 40 in the 1980s but alternative rock is a different story. In my opinion, the two best alternative rock bands to come out of the 80s were The Replacements and R.E.M.

R.E.M played the music business game much more than The Replacements. The Replacements didn’t play at all until the very end. That hurt them on not being heard on the radio or MTV. If it weren’t for their penchant for self-destruction they would have been known more by the masses.

This song was on their album “Tim” released in 1985. Why was the album called Tim? There was no reference to the name on the album. The band’s manager said that he asked Paul Westerberg what the name of the album would be. Paul told him “Tim” and the manager asked why? Paul said “because it’s such a nice name.”

“Tim” was placed 136th on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and 137 in a 2012 revised list. The album peaked at #186 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1986.

Paul Westerberg:  “To me, a part of that song is about my sister who felt the need … to be something by going somewhere else. It is sort of the Replacements feeling the same way … not knowing where we fit. It’s our way of reaching a hand out and saying, ‘We are right along with you. We are just as confused.'”

They also played this song on SNL and got banned for life for being drunk and a certain swear word slipping out….supposedly by accident. This is the only video I can find of it. Westerberg eventually appeared on SNL in the 90s as a solo artist. The studio version is the second video.

Bastards of Young

God, what a mess, on the ladder of success
Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung
Dreams unfulfilled, graduate unskilled
It beats pickin’ cotton and waitin’ to be forgotten

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
The daughters and the sons

Clean your baby womb, trash that baby boom
Elvis in the ground, no waitin’ on beer tonight
Income tax deduction, what a hell of a function
It beats pickin’ cotton and waitin’ to be forgotten

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
Not the daughters and the sons

Unwillingness to claim us, ya got no war to name us

The ones who love us best are the ones we’ll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
The ones who love us least are the ones we’ll die to please
If it’s any consolation, I don’t begin to understand them

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
Daughters and the sons

Young
Young
Young
Young
Young

Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours

B-52’s – Rock Lobster…. 80’s Underground Mondays

I couldn’t continue these underground Mondays without featuring the B-52s. I always smile when I hear this band. I could not listen to them for hours on end but once in a while is great.

I like the sixties sound of this. It sounds that way because of the Farfisa organ played by Kate Pierson and the surf guitar sound that Ricky Wilson created.

Fred Schneider and B-52s guitarist Ricky Wilson were listed as the writers on this track, but at some point the other three band members – Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland were added to the credits.

Canada really responded Rock Lobster. The song peaked at #1 in Canada, #56 in the Billboard 100, and #37 in the UK, and #38 in New Zealand in 1978.

Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson’s fish noises on this song are an homage to Yoko Ono, whose work is filled with these kind of screams and blurts. Yoko performed these parts when she joined the band at their 25th Anniversary concert at Irving Plaza in New York City in 2002.

John Lennon noticed the The Yoko Ono influence on this song when he heard it in 1979.  It reminded him of Yoko’s music so much that it inspired him to return to the recording studio after a five-year retirement, resulting in the 1980 album Double Fantasy.

Yoko Ono: “Listening to the B-52s, John said he realized that my time had come. So he could record an album by making me an equal partner and we won’t get flack like we used to up to then.”

Fred Schneider: “We jammed on it for hours and hours and miles and miles of reel-to-reel tape. Keith and Ricky went and spliced ideas together, brought them to Kate, Cindy and I, and we put in our six cents and we came up with this six minute and forty-eight second song. We have a hard time editing ourselves, but who cares?”

From Songfacts

Many B-52s songs have fun, whimsical lyrics, and this is one of them. It’s about a beach party where someone encounters a rock lobster (which is also known as a crayfish, but that wouldn’t sound as good), and hijinx ensue.

Fred Schneider of The B-52s stopped eating crustaceans at the age of four after going crabbing with his family in New Jersey and watching the crabs get boiled alive. He explained in a video he narrated for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that he got the idea for this song when he was at an Atlanta disco called 2001 where a projector displayed images of lobsters on a grill. He thought, “Rock this, rock that… rock lobster!” The band jammed on the title and “Rock Lobster” was created.

The B-52s’ guitarist, Keith Strickland, recalled to Q magazine that at the end of the song, “Cindy does this scream that was inspired by Yoko Ono. John heard it in some club in the Bahamas, and the story goes that he calls up Yoko and says, Get the axe out – they’re ready for us again! Yoko has said that she and John were listening to us in the weeks before he died.”

This was the first single the B-52s released. They recorded it on a shoestring budget at Mountain Studios in Atlanta in February 1978, and released the track as a single on DB Records in April. Danny Beard, who owned the label, recalls spending about $700 on the single in a session where a key on Pierson’s Farfisa organ didn’t work. The recording was rough but effective: it earned airplay and established the band as quirky, innovative, thrift-store punk rockers with pop appeal. Warner Bros. Records signed them and had them record a full album, complete with a new version of “Rock Lobster,” in Nassau, Bahamas, with producer Chris Blackwell. The album was issued in 1979 along with the single, which reached its US chart peak of #56 in May 1980. In the UK, where the band initially had a stronger following, it reached #37 in August 1979. When the song was re-issued in the UK in 1986, it reached #12.

In 1985, Wilson became one of the first celebrities to die from AIDS-related causes. He was 32.

This song has one of the most famous bass lines of all time, but it wasn’t done with a bass guitar. Guitarist Ricky Wilson came up with the riff, and Kate Pierson played it on Korg SB-100 Synthe-Bass, a little machine with a big sound that can also be heard on early Soft Cell recordings, including “Tainted Love.”

The original 1978 version runs 4:37; the album version released in 1979 goes 6:49, with the single edited down to 4:52.

Fred Schneider mentions several unusual sea creatures near the end of the song, including a narwhal, which is a rarely seen whale-like creature with a horn that makes it look like some kind of aquatic unicorn (one appears in cartoon form in the movie Elf). To the best of our knowledge, “Rock Lobster” is the only Hot 100 hit where a narwhal shows up in the lyric.

Other creatures mentioned: sting ray, manta ray, jellyfish, dogfish, catfish, sea robin, piranha, bikini whale. As Schneider sings, Wilson and Pierson approximate their calls with some impressive vocalizations.

“We always just did things our own way,” he continued. “You don’t have any preconceived notions. I was writing lyrics with Keith on the way into the studio, but then I changed my lines and stuff and then the girls added their noises at the end.”

This reached #1 on the Canadian charts in 1980, following Blondie’s “Call Me” and preceding The Pretenders’ “Brass In Pocket.” It held the pole position for one week. >>

This is one of the great cowbell songs; drummer Keith Strickland is credited with playing it on the recording, but when performed live, Fred Schneider would play it.

A video was made for this song in 1979 by combining stock footage with various band antics. MTV was still two years away, but the video helped promote the song throughout Europe. The group got their star turn on MTV a decade later when “Love Shack” became one of the most popular clips on the network.

The song appeared in the movies One-Trick Pony (1980), Lobster Man from Mars (1989) and Knocked Up (2007); it was used in episodes of My Name Is Earl (“Joy in a Bubble” – 2008) and Glee (“The Hurt Locker: Part 1” – 2015).

The song is also a favorite on the show Family Guy, where the character Peter Griffin performs it on guitar in two episodes, first in a 2005 episode where he plays it (inappropriately) to cheer up Cleveland, then in a 2011 episode where it plays to a lobster with the lyrics changed to “Iraq Lobster.”

The B-52s performed this on Saturday Night Live, January 26, 1980. This gave the song a big boost; in May, it reached its US peak of #56.

Ricky Wilson didn’t have high expectations for the riff when he came up with it. His sister Cindy Wilson told the CBC: “I came home one day, and Ricky was just working on his guitar, and he was just laughing to himself. He says, ‘I just made up the stupidest riff there ever was.'”

Panic! at the Disco sampled the famous “Rock Lobster” riff on their 2016 track “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time.” Panic! frontman Brendon Urie is a big fan of the B-52s; he was thrilled when he found out the sample cleared.

Rock Lobster

Ski-doo-be-dop
Eww
Ski-doo-be-dop
Eww
(Ski-doo-be-dop) We were at a party (Eww)
(Ski-doo-be-dop) His ear lobe fell in the deep (Eww)
(Ski-doo-be-dop) Someone reached in and grabbed it (Eww)
(Ski-doo-be-dop) Was a rock lobster (Eww)

Aaaah
Rock lobster
Aaaah
Rock lobster

Eww
Eww
We were at the beach (Eww)
Everybody had matching towels (Eww)
Somebody went under a dock (Eww)
And there they saw a rock (Eww)
It wasn’t a rock (Eww)
Was a rock lobster (Eww)

Aaaah
Rock lobster
Aaaah
Rock lobster

Rock lo-o-obster
Rock lo-o-obster

Motion in the ocean (Ooh ah)
His air hose broke (Hoo ah)
Lots of trouble (Ooh ah)
Lots of bubble (Hoo ah)
He was in a jam (Ooh ah)
He’s in a giant clam! (Hoo ah)

Rock, rock
Rock lobster! (Aaaaaaaaah)
Down, down! (Aaaaaaah)

Lobster
Rock
Lobster
Rock
Let’s rock!

Boys and bikinis
Girls and surfboards
Everybody’s rockin’
Everybody’s frugin’

Twistin’ round the fire
Havin’ fun

Bakin’ potatoes
Bakin’ in the sun

Put on your noseguard
Put on the lifeguard
Pass the tanning butter

Here comes a stingray (ooh wok ooh wok)
There goes a manta ray (ah ah ah)
In walked a jellyfish (huah)
There goes a dogfish (rea-owr)
Chased by a catfish (geh geh geh geh geh geh geh geh geh geh)
In flew a sea robin (Laaaaa)
Watch out for that piranha (eh rek eh rek ah hoo)
There goes a narwhal (eeeeh)
Here comes a bikini whale! (Aaaaah!)

(Lobster rock lobster-ster) Rock lobster
(Lobster) Rock lobster (Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
(Lobster rock lobster-ster) Rock lobster
(Lobster) Rock lobster (Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)

….

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Lost Weekend

I like this bouncy story song by Lloyd Cole. His hiccupping style of singing is appealing. I first posted a song by Cole and his Commotions back in June and I’ve been listening to them ever since.

This song was on their album Easy Pieces released in 1985. This band was a success in the UK but didn’t do much in America.

Easy Pieces would enter the UK album charts at number five, and sold over one-hundred thousand copies within a month. Two successful singles were taken from the album. Brand New Friend reached number nineteen and Lost Weekend reached number seventeen.

They released three studio albums total and all were successful. Rattlesnakes in 1984, Easy Pieces in 1985, and Mainstream in 1987. All were in the top twenty in the UK. In 1989, the band decided to break up and released a best of compilation, 1984-1989.

Lost Weekend

It took a lost weekend in a hotel in Amsterdam
And double pneumonia in a single room
And the sickest joke was the price of the medicine
Are you laughing at me now?
May I please laugh along with you?

This morning I woke up from a deep, unquiet sleep
With ashtray clothes and this lonely heart’s pen
With which I wrote for you a love song in tattoo upon my palm
‘Twas stolen from me when Jesus took my hand

You see I, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me and I’ll fall to pieces
So easily

I was a king bee with a head full of attitude
Wore my heart on my sleeve like a stain
And my aim was taboo, you
Could we meet in the marketplace?
Did I ever hey please, did you wound my knees?

You see I, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me, and I’ll fall to pieces
Yeah too easily

There’s nobody else to blame
I hang my head in a crying shame
There is nobody else to blame
Nobody else except my sweet self

It took a lost weekend in a hotel in Amsterdam
Twenty four gone years to conclude in tears
And the sickest joke was the price of the medicine
Are you laughing at me now?
May I please laugh along?

I was a king bee with a head full of attitude
An ashtray heart on my sleeve, wounded knees
And my one love song was a tattoo upon my palm
You wrote upon me when you took my hand

You see I, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me and I’ll fall to pieces too easily
Too easily
Too easily

Joe Walsh – Space Age Whiz Kids

I was a sophomore in high school when this was released.  I was surprised because it was a big departure from what we were accustomed to from Joe Walsh. To my surprise this was the last song of Joe Walsh to chart in the Billboard 100. It peaked at #52 and #21 in the Mainstream Rock Charts.

Space Age Whiz Kids was released in 1983 as a lead single from his sixth studio solo album, You Bought It – You Name It. Something about Joe Walsh, he had some of the best names for albums ever.

Space Age Whiz Kids by Joe Walsh on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

The video is classic as Walsh jumps from the pinball era to the video game era with his mocking of the stereotypical kids who played games featured in the video like Donkey Kong and Pac Man at the time.

The album peaked at #48 in the Billboard Album Charts.  The album contains rock songs such as “I Can Play That Rock & Roll” and a cover of the Dick Haymes track, “Love Letters”.

Space Age Whiz Kids

I used to play that pinball, I used to go outside
I had to spend my money, get on your bus and ride
I used to go out dancing, put on my high-heeled shoes
Get in my short black chevy, go on a downtown cruise
I feel a little bit mixed up, maybe I’m obsolete
All us pinball pool sharks, we just can’t compete

Space age whiz kids kids
Leaders in the field
Pioneers of research
Space age whiz kids

Arcade mothership monsters, laserbeam blastshield eyes
Full on space age madness, make-believe satellite skies
Alien ships approaching, there’s trouble in sector five
Left hand on the joystick, right hand hyperspace drive

Space age whiz kids kids, Space age whiz kids

Space age whiz kids kids, Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids

They got nothing to do, put another quarter in
Pay those space age dues
Donkey Kong high score, Pac Man’s on a roll
Klingons on the warpath, whiz kids on patrol

Space age whiz kids, Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids, Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids, Space age whiz kids
Space age whiz kids, Space age whiz kids
I like space age whiz kids
I like…I need…I need quarters…quarters!
Give me quarters! I like quarters!

Pogues – If I Should Fall from Grace With God….80’s Underground Mondays

This great song is listed under Celtic Punk. This song was on an album with the same name released in 1988. Its been called the Pogues best album and it peaked at #3 in the UK and #4 in New Zealand in 1988. This song was was originally recorded for the “Straight Too Hell” soundtrack

This is such pure music and I’m a sucker for a well placed accordion.

The Pogues formed in Ireland in 1982 by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left because of drinking problems and was replaced for a time with  Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before breaking up in 1996.

They reformed with MacGowan in 2001 and are still together and playing. The band was awarded the life-time achievement award at the annual Meteor Ireland Music Awards in February 2006.

If I Should Fall From Grace with God

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I’m buried ‘neath the sod
But the angels won’t receive me

Let me go boys
Let me go boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

This land was always ours
Was the proud land of our fathers
It belongs to us and them
Not to any of the others

Let them go boys
Let them go boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Bury me at sea
Where no murdered ghost can haunt me
If I rock upon the waves
No corpse can lie upon me

It’s coming up three boys
Keeps coming up three boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I’m buried ‘neath the sod
And still the angels won’t receive me

Let me go boys
Let me go boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Mason Ruffner – Gypsy Blood

Mason Ruffner grew up in Texas but has adopted New Orleans as his home. In 1987, he released his second album entitled Gypsy Blood with the title track becoming a Mainstream Rock Track hit in 1987.

In the early 80s his band backed musicians such as  such as John Lee Hooker and Memphis Slim. He was spotted in 1985 by a CBS scout and was offered a contract. He released his self titled album in 1985 to critical praise.

He opened up for a variety of acts that included  Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jimmy Page, U2, and Ringo Starr. He also played on Bob Dylan’s album Oh Mercy.

He released his album Gypsy Blood in 1987 and it was produced by Dave Edmunds.

The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard Hot Track Charts in 1987. The album with the same title peaked at #80 in the Billboard Album Chart.

Gypsy Blood

Lord knows I was born a gypsy
My heart can steal you blind
I got my hand on my suitcase
Lots of travelin’ on my mind
Yeah, it’s that blood yeah, that gypsy blood
That carries me far from my love
My spirit flies just like a dove
I got that gypsy blood

I know that there ain’t nothin’
There’s nothin’ like a woman’s touch
But love just burns me like fire
Love is costin’ me too much
Must be that blood, must be that gypsy blood
That carries me far from my love
My spirit flies just like a dove
I got that gypsy blood

Do you wanta ride along with me, baby?
Well, I’m on the run
Well, I’m restless and I’m weary
I’m gonna shoot my gun!

Take me out there on that highway
Let the wind blow in my face
If I fall by the wayside
Somebody else can take my place
Yeah, it’s that blood yeah, that gypsy blood
That carries me far from my love
My spirit flies just like a dove
I got that gypsy blood

Barracudas – We’re Living In Violent Times

This 80s band started off as a surf band and then they switched to a more garage band sound. The song has a 1960s feel…it would be expected from a band who had a song called (I Wish It Could Be) 1965 Again.

The Barracudas are an English-Canadian band that formed in 1978 when Robin Wills (from London) met Jeremy Gluck (from Ottawa) and they are now based in England. The band’s original line-up consisted of Jeremy Gluck (vocals), Robin Wills (guitar and vocals), Starkie Phillips (bass and vocals) and Adam Phillips (drums).

The band broke up in 1984 but reformed in 1989. In 2005 they released their back catalog and that provided a boost to their career. They started to release singles and an album in 2014. They ended up with more compilations albums than regular releases.

This song was released in 1981 on their debut album Drop Out.

There was also a sixties band with the same name.

Jeremy Gluck: Radio was an enormous influence. You can’t imagine now how important it was then, it would seem sentimental to get into it. There were some good local stations, like CFRA, that played the Top 40 – I remember calling them like crazy in hope of my “Bang-a-Gong” request hitting paydirt. But the best was on FM. The night my top FM DJ played all of ‘Quadrophenia’ days before its release was one of many highlights. At night through the crystal clear winter skies I could tune in dozens of American stations, and discovered a lot of music and madness that way. Radio is magic: the first time I heard a record of mine on radio (John Peel show!), it was an epiphany. 

Jeremy Gluck is the author and founder of the Nonceptualism art manifesto…yea don’t ask me but he described it.

“Nonceptualism is about the (an) end to art, and the end of the idea of an artist in self-concept and conception and execution of work, as we and consider it…but maybe it’s also my way of saying, It’s about an end to some or all of me as I’ve conceived myself since conditioning began – as it does with all of us – not long after birth. Which I like…” 

We’re Living In Violent Times

Stayed in all day
I was scared of getting killed
Didn’t pick up my pay
I know I’ll just get bills
Maybe it’s all in my frozen mind
We’re living in violent times
Maybe it’s in my mind
We’re living in violent times
Took the news off the TV
It always depresses me
Put my new car in the garage
I’m so scared of a crash
I couldn’t wait to turn off the lights
We’re living in violent times
I tell ya
We’re living in violent times
Protested
Guess I should look at the bright side
And be glad just to be alive
I’ll be happy right now
If I come through this and survive
I’m not imagining this I see the signs
We’re living in violent times

Fuzztones – Bad News Travels Fast

This song rocks… The riff sounds like it was borrowed from Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath” but he goes somewhere else with it.

This was the debut single of the Fuzztones in 1984. The band was formed in 1980 by  Rudi Protrudi  in New York. The band was nicknamed “The Gurus of Garage Grunge.” a decade before grunge existed. They played a large role in the mostly underground ’60s revival during the 1980s.

Their debut studio LP, Lysergic Emanations, was released in 1985. Thanks to praise from Ian Astbury of the Cult… the newly relocated Los Angeles-based Fuzztones were one of the few to get a major label deal. Thanks to a hugely successful tour of Europe in 1985, the group built a loyal and dedicated fan base there, and they toured there regularly ever since.

The band broke up in 1987 but Rudi Protrudi recruited other members to form a new Fuzztones and they have touring and releasing albums ever since…with Rudi being the only original member.

According to Discogs they have released over 21 studio and live albums between 1984 through 2020.

Bad News Travel Fast

Well I got somethin’ to say girl
I hope you’re listenin’ close
‘Cause here’s one fish you caught that’s
Slippery than most
Baby You’re just a schoolgirl
Well here’s a lesson you can use
All the other women
Say that I’m Bad News
You’re not the first
You won’t be the last
Bad News Travels Fast

Well you’re friends they all warned you
My heart is black as coal
So if you wanna ride my highway baby
You gotta pay the toll
You know I’m bad
That’s where it’s at
Bad News Travels Fast
Well, don’t you try to change me
I’ll just string you along
Sit back and enjoy the ride
Tomorrow I’ll be gone

Baby you’re just a schoolgirl
Here’s a lesson you should learn
If you want my lovin’, baby
You gotta wait your turn
Well You’re not the first
You won’t be the last
Bad News Travels Fast
Bad News Travels Fast
Bad News Travels Fast

Pixies – Here Comes Your Man ….80’s Underground Mondays

Thanks to Dave at A Sound Day for bringing this song back up to me a few months ago. That 12 string caught my ear right away. 

Songwriter and guitarist Black Francis (Charles Thompson IV), he called this song “Hobo film noir.” He said the song was about hobos traveling by train and dying in a big earthquake in California. He started writing it when he was about 15 and was inspired by small earthquakes experienced growing up in California.

This was probably their most popular song, getting lots of airplay on college radio stations. They couldn’t be bothered promoting it but it did well on the alternative charts. 

This song was released in 1989 and it was on the album Doolittle. It peaked at #3 in the Alternate Charts and #54 in the UK. 

The band broke up in 1993 and reunited in 2004. 

Black Francis: “This is a pre-Pixies song that I wrote when I was about 15. It’s about winos and hobos travelling on the trains who dies in the California earthquake. Before earthquakes everything gets very calm, animals stop talking and birds stop chirping and there’s no wind. It’s very ominous. I’ve been through a few earthquakes actually ‘cos I grew up in California. I was only in one big one in 1971. I was very young and I slept through it. I’ve been awake through lots of small ones at school and at home. It’s very exciting actually, a very comical thing. It’s like the earth is shaking, and what can you do? Nothing.”

From Songfacts

The Pixies included this song on their first demo when they set out to get a record deal. Once they were signed, Frank Black had no intention of recording the song, and didn’t until their third album, Doolittle. “People have been telling us to record it ever since so we finally did,” he said.

This became a concert favorite for the Pixies after they reunited in 2004 (they broke up in 1993), but when it first came out, Frank Black had no intention of playing it. “The poppiest song on Doolittle, which we couldn’t even play live if we tried, is ‘Here Comes Your Man,'” he told The Catalogue in 1989. “We would never play that song live; we’re too far removed from it. It’s too wimpy-poppy.”

Joey Santiago played a 12-string Rickenbacker to get the jangly guitar sound on this track.

Here Comes Your Man

Outside there’s a box car waiting
Outside the family stew
Out by the fire breathing
Outside we wait ’til face turns blue

I know the nervous walking
I know the dirty beard hangs
Out by the box car waiting
Take me away to nowhere plains

There is a wait so long
You’ll never wait so long

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Big shake on the box car moving
Big shake to the land that’s falling down
Is a wind makes a palm stop blowing
A big, big stone fall and break my crown

There is a wait so long
You’ll never wait so long

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

There is a wait so long
You’ll never wait so long

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Here comes your man

Stems – Love Will Grow

I posted a song by the Stems earlier called Tears Me In Two and they recorded this song at the same session. They released their first EP Rosebud Volume 1 in 1985 and it included  Love Will Grow.

The EP reached #72 in the Australian charts in 1986.

The Stems were a garage punk band formed in Perth, Western Australia in late 1983. They were hugely popular in Australia. The band broke up in 1987 and reunited in 2003 and are still together. The still have three of the original members. Dom Mariani, Julian Matthews, and David Shaw.

They are very popular to this day in Australia. Their debut single “She’s a Monster/Make you Mine” reached the top of the independent charts and also sold 500 copies in England. The single was to be the 2nd highest selling independent single for Australia in 1985, second only to the Hoodoo Gurus.

They were one of the few indie bands that sometimes made it on the mainstream charts.

Love Will Grow

Feeling down and not so bright
Another lost and lonely night
I try so hard not to feel this way
I could not fight these blues away

Then you came along and you made me know
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow

Yesterday I could not speak
My days were sad, confused, and weak
A cut was bleeding deep inside of me
Anxiety that I could not hide

Then you came along and you made me know
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow

Then you came along and you made me know
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow
How it is our love will grow

Guadalcanal Diary – Ghosts On The Road

Ghosts On The Road was on their first LP Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man released in 1984. So far this will be the third song I’ve posted from Guadalcanal Diary and all three have been on this album. I will be getting this album soon. My next post by them will be a selection from a different album…but I know of 2 more on this album that this album that I will post in the future.

Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man drew a huge response from college radio and critics and college radio programmers. That in turn got the attention of the big labels. In 1985 Elektra Records signed them and reissued the album. More touring followed, as did a cameo appearance in a comedy called Rockin’ Road Trip playing Ghosts Of The Road.

The band formed in the early eighties in  Marietta, Georgia. They broke up in 1989. They would reform in 1997 but didn’t release any more new material.

Give this band a listen…you may like them.

Ghosts On The Road

Phantom headlights, broken white line
Bloodstains on the highway, glowing power lines
Signal thirty whispers softly through the pine

He said that no one could take her away
None that could tear them apart
The song she was singing made a mans blood run cold
Like a moth in flames, torn from his heart

Ghost on the road, ah
Ghost on the road, ah
Ghost on the road, ah
Ghost on the road, ah

Flashing road signs misty red eyes
lost on the highway, not a soul in sight
endless black ribbon racing through the night

She said that nothing in the world would survive
lonely spirit float on the wind
No candles burned to light his way in this life
No one saw the veil of sorrow closing to an end

Ghost on the road, ah
Ghost on the road, ah
Ghost on the road, ah
Ghost on the road, ah

Four barrells roll, down a country road
Driver never sleeps, engine never slows
They say he’ll stop one day and look back to see
a girl who waits by the bend
Her silvery laugh will remind him of one past
by his side until the night must call her home again

Ghost on the road, ah