B-52’s – Love Shack

Love or hate this band…the one thing you have to give them is orginality. I can’t listen to them for hours but a song every now and then is great.

Kate Pierson has sai, the actual Love Shack is where she lived in the ’70s… a five-room cabin with a tin roof in Athens, Georgia. The band would sometimes work up songs there, including “Rock Lobster.” It really was set way back in the middle of a field (off of Jefferson River Road), with no plumbing or running water. The shack was later renovated, but in 2004 it burned down.

The band drew inspiration from the club in the movie The Color Purple, and also from a real club outside of Athens, Georgia, called the Hawaiian Ha-Le, where they would hang out.

The line, “The love shack is a little old place where we can get together” originally showed up just once in the song, but producer Don Was convinced the band to repeat that line and it became the hook. Kate Pierson credits Don Was with turning this song into a hit.

It was on the 1989 album Cosmic Thing. The album was a huge hit…because of this song and Roam.

The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts, #8 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, and #8 in the UK.

The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, and #2 in the UK.

This was a global hit, but not in Japan, where a band with the name of an American bomber would  not a good fit to say the least. The band was named after a hairstyle Pierson and Wilson wore, but there was no way to get that message across.

Cindy Wilson: “When you’re jamming, everybody is conjuring up their own images. Sometimes we’re all singing at the same time and later you go back and you hear what you’re doing. I personally was thinking about this bar that was out in the country [the Hawaiian Ha-Le]. It was a really cool place – a run-down love shack kind of thing, but it was a disco. It was a really interesting place.”

Love Shack

If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says
Fifteen miles to the, love shack, love shack yeah
I’m headin’ down the Atlanta highway
Lookin’ for the love getaway
Headed for the love getaway, love getaway
I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the love shack
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money

The love shack is a little old place where
We can get together
Love shack baby
A love shack baby
Love shack, baby love shack
Love shack, baby love shack
Love shack, baby love shack
Love shack, baby love shack

Sign says, woo, stay away fools
‘Cause love rules at the love shack
Well it’s set way back in the middle of a field
Just a funky old shack and I gotta get back
Glitter on the mattress
Glitter on the highway
Glitter on the front porch
Glitter on the hallway

The love shack is a little old place where
We can get together
Love shack, baby
Love shack, baby
Love shack, that’s where it’s at
Love shack, that’s where it’s at

Huggin’ and a-kissin’, dancin’ and a-lovin’
Wearin’ next to nothing ’cause it’s hot as an oven
The whole shack shimmies
Yeah the whole shack shimmies
The whole shack shimmies when everybody’s movin’ around
And around and around and around
Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’ baby
Folks linin’ up outside just to get down
Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’ baby
Funky little shack
Funky little shack

Hop in my Chrysler, it’s as big as a whale
And it’s about to set sail
I got me a car, it seats about twenty, so come on
And bring your jukebox money

The love shack is a little old place where
We can get together
Love shack baby
A love shack baby
Love shack, baby love shack
Love shack, baby love shack
Love shack, baby love shack (oh baby that’s where it’s at)
Love shack, baby love shack (baby that’s where it’s at)

Bang bang bang on the door baby!
Knock a little louder baby!
Bang bang bang on the door baby!
I can’t hear you
Bang bang bang on the door baby!
Knock a little louder sugar!
Bang bang bang on the door baby!
I can’t hear you

Bang bang bang on the door baby, knock a little louder
Bang bang on the door baby, bang bang!
On the door baby, bang bang!
On the door, bang bang!
On the door baby, bang bang!

You’re what?
Tin roof
Rusted!

Love shack, baby love shack!
Love shack, baby love shack!
Love shack, baby love shack!
Love shack, baby love shack!

REM – Everybody Hurts

When I heard this song in the 90s…I knew then it was one of those songs that would become an instant classic.

Most of this song was written by R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry. It is an anti-suicide song. Berry wanted to reach out to people who felt they had no hope. He quit the band in 1997 shortly before recording their album Up after an aneurysm. After that album, the band almost broke up, but decided to continue as a trio.

While he wrote this, he did not actually play on it. They used a Univox drum machine. R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills claims he bought Univox drum machine for $20, but it was perfect for the song’s metronome-ish feel.

It was on the album Automatic For The People, considered by some as the best album they ever released. The album peaked at #2 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in the UK, #4 in Canada, and #1 in New Zealand.

The album title was inspired by Weaver D’s soul food diner in Athens, Georgia. They had a sign that said “Delicious Fine Foods – Automatic For The People.”

The song peaked at #29 in the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, #7 in the UK, and #12 in New Zealand in 1993.  I’m shocked now that it wasn’t in the top 10 in Billboard.

The string arrangement was done by no other than Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Michael Stipe: “It saved a few. People have told me. And I love hearing that. That’s for me, that’s my Oscar, that’s my gold on a shelf right there… that something we did impacted someone’s life in such a profound way. That’s a beautiful thing.”

Mike Mills: Mike (Stipe) and I cut it live with this dumb drum machine which is just as wooden as you can get. We wanted to get this flow around that: human and non-human at the same time.”

Peter Buck: The reason the lyrics are so atypically straightforward is because it was aimed at teenagers.

From Songfacts

On many R.E.M. songs, Michael Stipe purposefully sings indecipherably. He sang very clearly on this one though, because he didn’t want his message getting lost. “I don’t remember singing it,” he noted in Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011, “but I still kind of can’t believe my voice is on this recording. It’s very pure. This song instantly belonged to everyone except us, and that honestly means the world to me.”

The Nevada legislature commended R.E.M. for “encouraging the prevention of teen suicides,” noting this song as an example (Nevada has a high rate of teen suicide).

The music video was directed by Jake Scott, son of movie director Ridley Scott, famous for movies like Blade Runner (1982) and Gladiator (2000). Filmed on Interstate 10 in San Antonio, Texas, the clip is set during a traffic jam where people’s thoughts are revealed through subtitles.

The video won four MTV Video Music Awards: Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. When it won for Best Direction, Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who were nominated for “Sabotage,” got to the podium before Michael Stipe. Dressed in character as his Swiss alter ego Nathanial Hornblower, he went on a rant, calling it a “farce” before being ushered off.

Disrupting an award for such a somber song is in poor taste, but it was hard to take this awards show seriously. Hosted by Roseanne Barr, it is best remembered for a cringe-worthy kiss between newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. MTV didn’t harbor any resentment: they gave the Beastie Boys the Video Vanguard award in 1998.

This was used on an episode of The Simpsons when Marge is walking in a thunderstorm and thinks she has no friends. 

In February 2010 a charity cover was recorded by a collection of artists, Helping Haiti, to raise money for the victims of the earthquake that devastated the country. It sold over 200,000 copies in its first two days making it one of the quickest selling singles of the 21st century in the United Kingdom. Joseph Kahn directed a music video for the cover that features cameos from the performers and footage from the earthquake’s aftermath. Kahn is known for directing clips for the likes of Eminem, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift.

This topped a poll compiled by PRS For Music, which collects and pays royalties to musicians in the UK, of the songs most likely to make a grown man cry. Second in the list came Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” followed by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” PRS chairman Ellis Rich said: “From this chart, it is clear that a well-written tear-jerker is one that people can relate to and empathise with. It is this lyrical connection that can reach deep down emotionally and move even the strongest of men.”

In a rare authorized comedic use of this song, Mayim Bialik’s character on The Big Bang Theory plays this on the harp when she is upset over being left behind by her two girlfriends, who are shopping for bridesmaids dresses. Her “boyfriend,” played by Jim Parsons, comes by to cheer her up, resulting in an awkward cuddle scene.

Peter Buck likens the vibe of this song to Otis Redding’s “Pain in My Heart.” He wrote in the liner notes for Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011: “I’m not sure if Michael would have copped that reference, but to a lot of our fans it was a Staxxy-type thing.”

This was used in the 1992 film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry and Rutger Hauer. Speaking of the subsequent TV series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Peter Buck said: “I’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the idea that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me.”

Pink and Kelly Clarkson sang this to open the 2017 American Music Awards. They were introduced by Jamie Foxx, who said the purpose was to “pay respect to all those affected by the events of the past year,” meaning the hurricanes, shootings and hate rallies that took place.

Another comedic use was on The Office in the season 2 episode “The Fire,” where Dwight retreats to his car and blasts the song after Michael takes Ryan’s side in a business discussion.

Everybody Hurts

When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on

‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone

If you’re on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
To hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on

Everybody hurts

You are not alone

Blasters – Dark Night

The guitar intro to this song is worth the price of admission.

Some rockabilly bands, or roots rock bands, sound like they came in on a nostalgia wave from the 1950s. There is nothing wrong with that but…not the Blasters. They sounded contemporary in the 80s even in the middle of a period where production was at its height. Their music still sounds timely now…years after it was released.

Just the intro to this song sends shiver up my spine. This song was on the Hard Line album released in 1985. This album featured Stan Lynch from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on a few tracks and Blasters fan John Mellencamp wrote and co-produced a track (Colored Lights) also.  Hard Line was the Blasters’ final studio album with their original lineup.

Dave Alvin wrote all the songs on the album except the Mellencamp song. He left the band in 1986 for a solo career. He has played in some other bands like X and with The Flesh Eaters. Now he occasionally will rejoin The Blasters on reunion tours with the original lineup.

The song has gained recognition for its appearances in several films and tv shows with its most famous being in the 1996 vampire movie From Dusk Till Dawn of which it is the main theme.

The song was also used in an episode of Miami Vice in 1985.

Dark Night

Hot air hangs like a dead man
From a white oak tree
People sitting on porches
Thinking how things used to be
Dark night
It’s a dark night
Dark night
It’s a dark night

The neighborhood was changing
Strangers moving in
A new boy fell for a local girl
When she made eyes at him

She was young and pretty
No stranger to other men
But windows were being locked at night
Old lines were drawn again

I thought these things
Didn’t matter anymore
I thought all that blood
Had been shed long ago
Dark night
It’s a dark night

He took her to the outskirts
And pledged his love to her
They thought it was their secret
But someone knew where they were

He held her so close
He asked about her dreams
When a bullet from a passing car
Made the young girl scream

I thought these things
Didn’t happen anymore
I thought all that blood
Had been shed long ago

Dark night
It’s a dark night
Dark night
It’s a dark night

Foo Fighters – Next Year

Well…it is “Next Year” today…I hope 2022 is a great year for all of us. 

You could call this a power ballad. It sounds a little like Britpop and Dave Grohl has criticized the song…no not critize…he HATES the song but it’s one of my favorites by them.

Dave Grohl: ‘Next Year’ is a piece of shit! That song is so stupid! It’s weird.”

I like weird Dave…

The song was released in December of 2000. It was on the album There Is Nothing Left to Lose. It peaked at #14 in the US Alternative Airplay Charts, #12 in Canada, and #42 in the UK in 2000-2001. 

The video is great… it remakes the Apollo 11 mission with clips around that time. It ends with the Foo Fighters in astronaut gear similiar to this Led Zeppelin photo. 

Led Zeppelin's 25 Greatest Deep Cuts : Napster

Next Year - Wikiwand

From Wiki: The opening of “Next Year” was used as the theme song for the NBC television series Ed (2000–2004). The show’s creators, Rob Burnett and Jon Beckerman (formerly of the Late Show with David Letterman) used the song despite knowledge of production company Viacom’s insistence that they own the rights to the show’s theme song. “Next Year” was thus ultimately replaced by Clem Snide’s “Moment in the Sun” during the second season. As a result of outcries from Burnett and Beckerman, however, Viacom relented and “Next Year” returned as the theme song in the third and fourth seasons.

Next Year

I’m in the sky tonight
There I can keep by your side
Watching the wide world riot
And hiding out
I’ll be coming home next year

Into the sun we climb
Climbing our wings will burn white
Everyone strapped in tight
We’ll ride it out
I’ll be coming home next year

Come on, get on, get on
Take it till life runs out
No one can find us now
Living with our heads underground

Into the night we shine
Lighting the way we glide by
Catch me if I get too high
When I come down
I’ll be coming home next year

I’m in the sky tonight
There I can keep by your side
Watching the whole world wind
Around and round
I’ll be coming home next year

Come on, get on, get on
Take it till I fall down
No one can find us now
Living with our heads underground

I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year
Everything’s all right up here
And if I come down
I’ll be coming home next year

Say goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye

I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year
Everything’s all right up here
And if I come down
I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year

Webb Wilder – Meet Your New Landlord

I first heard Webb Wilder in the late eighties with songs Poolside and Human Canon Ball. He looked and sounded different right away.

Webb Wilder looks like he dropped out of a 50’s black and white detective show. By 1991 I was walking through a street fair in Nashville and there he was playing with his band. He had just released an album called Doodad that got some local and national airplay. His music is a mixture of rock/country/rockabilly/punk and anything else he can throw in…including the kitchen sink.

He has described his music as “Swampadelic”, “Service-station attendant music”, “Uneasy listening”, “Psychobilly”…they all fit.

I purchased the Doodad album and this song is what I zero’d in on. The hit off the album was Tough It out which peaked at #16 on the Mainstream Charts.  It included guest appearances by Al Kooper and Sonny Landreth.

The guitar riff is instantly catchy and the first verse was about losing your house/land in a poker game. A great story telling song.

Wilder got some MTV exposure with Human Canon Ball and a lot of local play with a song caled Poolside. He is a fantastic performer to catch live. He has been an actor, disc jokey, and a great artist…a true original.

The two videos are the same version…some were getting video not found.

Meet Your New Landlord

Neon lights don’t never dim
In the kind of bars that never close
In a back room game T. Jim yells
“Saint Gabriel, I’m gonna steal the show.”
He slapped his cards down on the table
Said, “Boys, i got me a winning hand.”
But the sight that made old T. Jim tremble
Was the king that took his land

Mister, meet your new landlord
Heard you knockin’ upon my door
Mister, meet your new landlord
Plenty of room down on the floor

With a ticket burning in his hand
And the tip still ringing in his ear
Big Pete bet his whole life savings
As the race was drawing near

A shot was fired
The gates flew open
The years streaked right before his eyes
Too bad they were riding on a saddle
From the moment of ill advice

Mister, meet your new landlord
I heard you knockin’ upon my door
Mister, meet your new landlord
Plenty of room down on the floor

Other names and other places
Different rules but it’s all the same
Cause if that bug ever b***s you
The scar will bear you shame
Hey listen, son, you know you’re in trouble
When you wake up one morning in a daze
And as you peer into the mirror
The face leaning over says

Mister, meet your new landlord
I heard you knockin’ upon my door
Mister, meet your new landlord
Got plenty of room down on the floor

Mister, meet your new landlord
I heard you knockin’ upon my door
Mister, meet your new landlord
Plenty of room down on the floor

Hey, mister, meet your new landlord
Whooo

Jam – In The City

As with the Buzzcocks…I had friends with Jam albums and that is how I found out about them.

This was their first single and introduction to the Jam and singer/guitarist and Jam songwriter Paul Weller. Weller wrote this song and borrowed the title from a Who single I’m A Boy with the B side In The City.

It was released in 1977 and peaked at #40 inn the UK Charts. This was their first Top 40 single and the beginning of their streak of 18 consecutive Top 40 singles. The single came off the album of the same name. The album peaked at #20 in 1977.

The song’s opening bassline re-appeared a few months later on the Sex Pistols’ single “Holidays in The Sun.” Weller had a fight with Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious in the Speakeasy Club over stealing the riff.

Paul Weller: “We had a different sort of birth to a lot of the bands, our contemporaries of that time. Because we’d been playing for five years – pubs and working men’s clubs and anywhere that would have us really. I’d been plating since I was 14, sort of semi-pro if you like. So I never got the thing about not turning your guitar.”

“I wrote this after I’d seen the Pistols and The Clash and I was obviously into my Who phrase. I just wanted to capture some of that excitement.” “It was a big tune for us. We’d open our set with it, we’d probably play it at the end and if we could get an encore, we’d play it again. The reaction it got from the audience, we knew it was a big tune.”

“I’m not sure about some of the lyrics in … I was 17, 18 man. But it was a good youth anthem, I thought.”

From Songfacts

While only a minor hit on the charts, this mod/punk number is well remembered for serving as England’s first introduction to singer/guitarist and Jam songwriter Paul Weller. The song’s #40 chart position when the song was first released marked the beginning of his band’s streak of 18 consecutive Top 40 singles. After their breakup in 1982, Weller would continue to notch up chart entries well into the 21st century firstly with Style Council, then under his own name.

Weller was only 18 when he penned this celebration of youth in the big city. He recalled writing this song to Q magazine April 2011: “It was the sound of young Woking, if not London, a song about trying to break out of suburbia. As far as we were concerned, the city was where it was all happening; the clubs, the gigs, the music, the music. I was probably 18, so it was a young man’s song, a suburbanite dreaming of the delights of London and the excitement of the city. It was an exciting time to be alive. London was coming out of its post-hippy days and there was a new generation taking over. The song captured that wide-eyed innocence of coming out of a very small community and entering a wider world, seeing all the bands, meeting people, going to the clubs, and the freedom that it held.”

The single has the particular distinction of reaching the UK Top 50 on four different occasions. The song originally peaked at #40, then when “Going Underground” became the group’s first #1 single three years later, Polydor decided to re-issue all nine of the group’s prior singles and “City” was the only one to make the Top 40 again, peaking at #40 for a second time. After the group’s breakup at the end of 1982, the record company re-issued every single of the band’s career in early 1983 and this time “City” peaked at #47. Finally, in May 2002, Polydor decided to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Jam by re-releasing their debut single in its original packaging, in its original 7″ vinyl record format, and at its original price of 75 pence. The limited pressing sold out immediately, this time peaking at #36, higher than it ever did in its original release and two subsequent reissues.

In The City

In the city there’s a thousand things I want to say to you
But whenever I approach you, you make me look a fool
I want to say, I want to tell you
About the young ideas
But you turn them into fears

In the city there’s a thousand faces all shining bright
And those golden faces are under 25
They want to say, they gonna tell ya
About the young idea
You better listen now you’ve said your bit-a

And I know what you’re thinking
You still think I am crap
But you’d better listen man
Because the kids know where it’s at

In the city there’s a thousand men in uniforms
And I’ve heard they now have the right to kill a man
We want to say, we gonna tell ya
About the young idea
And if it don’t work, at least we said we’ve tried

In the city, in the city
In the city there’s a thousand things I want to say to you

REM – (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville

This is one of the first songs I remember hearing from R.E.M. A buddy of mine had the Reckoning album and wore it out. It is up in the top ten of my favorite REM songs.

This song is about Ingrid Schorr, a girl the band knew at the University of Georgia whose hometown was Rockville, Maryland. She got a lot of attention on campus as classmates lamented her departure.

Don’t Go Back To Rockville is a R.E.M. song that bass player Mike Mills wrote most of the lyrics but as always with R.E.M. credited to the entire band. Mills exaggerated in the song and he wasn’t a boyfriend to Ingrid…only good friends but he saw a good song in the story.

The orginal version of the song was really fast like a Ramones kind of punk rock song. They slowed it down to a country tinged feel as a nod to their manager Bertis Downs, who really loved the song.

This was the second single from the album Reckoning released in 1984. The song didn’t chart but the album peaked at #27 in the Billboard Album Charts, #23 in New Zealand, and #91 in the UK.

Mike Mills:  “There was a girl Ingrid Schorr. We were seeing each other and we really liked each other, but we were not boyfriend and girlfriend. She was going back to Rockville for the summer. And I thought that ‘going back to Rockville’ just screamed song, right there. As I wrote it, it turned into what if we were in love and she was leaving and never coming back. And that’s how it turned into ‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville.’ It just morphed as it went along.”

Mike Mills:  “I remember sitting at the kitchen table on Little Oconee Street in Athens, (Georgia),” Mills explains. “There’s a turnaround in the song that’s inspired by part of a Simon & Garfunkel song (“Mrs. Robinson”) that I heard, and I started building the song around that. Sometimes the first line is the hardest line and once I got that first line (‘Looking at your watch a third time/Waiting in the station for a bus’), the rest of it flowed naturally.”

From Songfacts

The band had already been playing this song in a much faster, punk-like style for a long time and didn’t even consider it for the Reckoning album until their legal advisor, Bertis Downs, begged them to “at least do one take of it for me … please!?!?”

Drummer Bill Berry remembers tweaking the song to mess with Downs: “To playfully suggest to him that the song wasn’t in contention, we recorded a much slower version than he was accustomed to hearing and we sprinkled it with a Nashville twang to drive the point home. It started out silly, but when Mike added piano, the tune took on new light. Thanks, Bert!” 

Don’t Go Back To Rockville

Looking at your watch a third time
Waiting in the station for the bus
Going to a place that’s far
So far away and if that’s not enough
Going where nobody says hello
They don’t talk to anybody they don’t know

You’ll wind up in some factory
That’s full time filth and nowhere left to go
Walk home to an empty house
Sit around all by yourself
I know it might sound strange but I believe
You’ll be coming back before too long

Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year

At night I drink myself to sleep and pretend
I don’t care if you’re not here with me
‘Cause it’s so much easier to handle
All my problems if I’m too far out to sea
But something better happen soon
Or it’s gonna be too late to bring you back

Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year

It’s not as though I really need you
If you were here I’d only bleed you
But everybody else in town only wants to bring you down and
That’s not how it ought to be
I know it might sound strange, but I believe
You’ll be coming back before too long

Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year

Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year

Green On Red – Death And Angels

These guys were in the Paisley Underground movement in the 1980s. They should be a classic band but they never broke through to the masses.

The Paisley Underground Scene had many different types of bands. The sound they all had was not united. Bands like Green on Red more of a country-ish/stones rock and roll,  Rain Parade more of a Beatles type, The Bangles were more of a pop/rock band. The scene had about any thing you would want except major hits…The Bangles are the ones that really broke through.

Death and Angels

In the event (In the event)
Of sudden disaster (sudden disaster)
Just look into a face (look into a face)
That matters

Death and angels (death and angels)
On the ground (on the ground)
Death and angels (death and angels)
I swear
Fly around (fly around)

(ahh ahh)
In the case of a sudden (ahh ahh)
Point of view (ahh ahh)
(ahh ahh)
Just listen to your heart (ahh ahh)
I swear
(ahh ahh)
That’s what’s true (ahh ahh)

Death and angels (ahh ahh)
On the ground (ahh ahh)
I swear
Death and angels (death and angels)
Flying (fly around)

Seems so dark and lonely
Seems …
Feels so cool
Oh no —
The lack of compassion
(in the world) in our world

Buzzcocks – Harmony In My Head

Happy Monday everyone! Everything that I’ve heard by them is loud, catchy, aggressive, and with a power pop hook. I listened to the Buzzcocks in the 80s with some friends that owned some imports. I hoped they would break in America but never did.

The Buzzcocks crossed pop with punk. The Go-Go’s have said they were a huge influence. Jane Wiedlin said: “our favorite band, the band that we always tried to emulate was the Buzzcocks, who had that great pop song done in a punky style.”

Grunge bands admired the Buzzcocks also. Pearl Jam  invited the band to open US shows for them in 2003, including the Buzzcocks’ first ever appearance at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Nirvana invited them to open dates on their last ever European tour, in early 1994.

Steve Diggle wrote this song and did the lead vocals on it. He said the “harmony” in the song is the sound of the crowd when they played.

To get the right sound for the song, Diggle smoked 20 cigarettes to get the gruff sound of the vocals. The song peaked at #32 in the UK charts in 1979. The song was just released as a single not an album.

They released 3 albums, 6 non-album singles, and broke up in 1981 after a dispute with their record company. They reunited in 1989 and released 6 more albums. Pete Shelley continued to play with the band until his death of a heart attack in 2018. The band still continues to tour with Diggle.

Steve Diggle: “I was reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is a heavy book but it had a lot of cinematic imagery – so ‘Harmony’ wasn’t a linear story like pop songs are. The Arndale Centre had just been built and it gave me a real sense of alienation. I wanted to walk down the street and hear the percolation of the crowds – that was the ‘harmony.’ Life was never going to be sweet and nice and it’s not always doom and gloom. The ‘Harmony In My Head’ was the sound of the crowd. That’s how real life is.”

From Songfacts

When Buzzcocks played their first concert, Steve Diggle was their bassist, but founding frontman Howard Devoto’s departure prompted the band to reshuffle, with Pete Shelley becoming lead vocalist/guitarist and Diggle moving from bass to guitar and co-vocalist.

Diggle also had a few early co-writing credits and contributed chords and choruses to “Promises” shortly after Pete Shelley’s “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).” “Harmony In My Head,” which reached #32 in the UK, is probably Diggle’s best known song.

 Engineer Alan Winstanley recalled to Uncut: “‘Harmony’ is interesting as it’s the only one Steve Diggle sings – it doesn’t have that Pete Shelley sweetness – but when he comes in on the chorus it really changes it. Then off Steve goes again with his growly voice.”

Released as a standalone single on July 13, 1979, the song spent six weeks on the UK singles chart, peaking at #32.

Harmony In My Head

Whenever I’m in doubt about things I do
I listen to the high street wailing sounds in a queue
Go out for my walking sailing social news
Don’t let it get me down I’m long in the tooth

When I’m out in the open clattering shoppers around
Neon signs that take your eyes to town
Your thoughts are chosen your world is advertising now
And extravagance matters to worshipers of the pound

But it’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head

The tortured faces expression out aloud
And life’s little ironies seem so obvious now
Your cashed in cheques have placed the payments down
And there’s a line of buses all wait to take you out

But it’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head
It’s a

It’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head

Whenever I’m in doubt about things I do
I listen to the high street wailing sounds in a queue
I go out for my walking sailing social news
Don’t let it get me down I’m long in the tooth

‘Cause it’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head
It’s a harmony in my head

In my head, in my head

Three O’Clock – With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend

Great up tempo power pop song. Three O’Clock came from the Paisley Underground movement in the 80s. They were a mixture of 60s psychedelia and early 80s pop sensibilities.

The Three O’Clock was a rock group associated with Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground scene in the early 1980s. Lead singer and bassist Michael Quercio is credited with coining the term “Paisley Underground” to describe bands such as Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Green On Red and the Bangles from the area. The Three O’Clock was originally formed under the name The Salvation Army in 1981 but then changed it’s name to Three O’Clock when legal problems with the actual Salvation Army forced the band to change their name.

This song was on the EP called Baroque Hoedown released in 1982. They later had a college hit with a song called Jet Fighter.

After signing with I.R.S. Records they got MTV play with a song called Her Head’s Revolving. After that Prince signed them to his own Paisley Park Records and they made one album and vanished. They did record a song Prince wrote for them called Neon Phone.

They had a reunion of the classic line-up, Michael Quercio (vocals/bass), Louis Gutierrez (guitars) & Danny Benair (drums) — were joined by new member Adam Merrin (keyboards). The group played both weekends of the Coachella festival, and also played on Conan on April 10, 2013.

They later embarked on a mini-tour, and released several archival recordings that same year. The final show at the time was at a record store in Long Beach California in June of 2013.

As of 2018 they reunited band remained active touring around California.

With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend

Sorry I could not find the lyrics

Watermelon Men – Seven Years

For everyone that follows me on the weekend…I’m working on a home project and I will only post one Twilight Zone each day with no music posts this weekend. Have a great weekend. 

This song was released in 1985 on the Watermelon’s album Past, Present and Future.

The Watermelon Men were a Swedish five piece band that were around from the mid Eighties up till 1994. They had quite a following in Sweden, Germany, England, among other places.

The band is still popular over ten years after they ceased. They are praised in power pop circles in Europe. They were mostly known for garage rock and brought good melodies with jangly guitars in a lot of their music.

When they were together they released three albums, an Ep, and three singles. One album remains unreleased…it’s up in the air on if it will come out.

The guitar player Imre von Polgar died in the tsunami disaster in Khao Lak in 2004. Shortly after, the band reformed for a one time show in his memory.

Seven Years

If the man can’t choose which way to go
If the girl don’t know where she belongs
Then you’re apt to say all the love can’t kill the pain
Till they meet, he’ll be a traveling man
When his hope was buried in the ground
In tears she left her man behind
The you’re apt to think seven years has passed today
Till they meet, she’ll dream her life away

You won’t feel, you’ll meet her someday
And in his arms, she’ll always stay
But it’s the story
No one ever fades

In surprise they think
When they both run from themselves
Till they meet, the story has no end

You won’t see, you’ll meet her someday
And in his arms, she’ll always stay
But it’s the story
No one ever fades

Violent Femmes – American Music…. 80’s Underground Mondays

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin band Violent Femmes are best known for their song Blister in the Sun released in 1983. A girl that I knew drove me crazy playing that song but after a while I started to like it…more than the girl. The song started to be played on alternative and college radio.

James Honeyman Scott (Pretenders guitar player) was booked to play a gig and he was so impressed by the Violent Femmes that he let them open for him. They were were then offered a record deal by Slash Records and soon after that they released their 1982 debut album, “Violent Femmes.” The album slowly hit and later went platinum.

This song was on their Why Do Birds Sing? album in 1991 and it was their fifth studio album. The album peaked at #141 in the Billboard Album Chart but the song peaked at #2 on Billboards Modern Rock chart.

Through breakups and reunions the band minus the original drummer Victor DeLorenzo  are still together. Gordon Gano is the singer- songwriter and Brian Ritchie is the bass player with new drummer John Sparrow.

They released an album in 2019 called Hotel Last Resort and it peaked at #29 in the Billboard Indie Charts.

American Music

Can I, can I put in something like…
“This is “American Music”… take one.” 1-2-3-4!
Do you like American music?
I like American music.
Don’t you like American music, baby?

I want you to hold me, I want your arms around me.
I want you to hold me, baby…
Did you do too many drugs? I did too many drugs.
Did you do too many drugs, too, baby?

You were born too late, I was born too soon,
But every time I look at that ugly moon, it reminds me of you.
It reminds me of you… ooh-ooh-ooh.

I need a date to the prom, would you like to come along?
But nobody would go to the prom with me, baby…
They didn’t like American music, they never heard American music.
They didn’t know the music was in my soul, baby…

You were born too soon, I was born too late,
But every time I look at that ugly lake, it reminds me of me.
It reminds me of me…

Do you like American music? We like American music.
I like American music… Baby.
Do you like American music? We like all kinds of music.
But I like American music best… baby.

You were born too late, and I was born too late,
But every time I look at that ugly lake,
It reminds me of me…
It reminds me of me
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me

Replacements – Sixteen Blue

Sixteen Blue was inspired by bassist Tommy Stinson. Tommy played his first gig with the Replacements in June of 1980 when he was just 13. The other members were 5-6 years older than Tommy.

Westerberg had witnessed how Stinson had been forced to grow up way faster than most kids, yet still faced the typical teenage issues and doubts. Westerberg also said it was about his lonely teenage years.

The song is on their Let It Be album released in 1984. Let It Be was the first of a three album stretch (Let It Be, Tim, Please To Meet Me) that they are probably best remembered for today.

Peter Jesperson (manager): “Hearing it the first time they did it, at a sound check in Boston, I thought, Jesus, he’s written a song about Tommy.”“Tommy was kind of the mascot of the band, and Paul had written about him in songs before. But this wasn’t just some goofy thing. This was serious and tender.”

Paul Westerberg on why they named the album Let It Be

“We were riding around . . . kicking around silly [album] names and we thought, ‘The next song that comes on the radio, we’ll name it after that.”

“We peed our pants [laughing], and Peter (manager and Beatles fan) is at the wheel, silent as hell, thinking, ‘They’re not going to do this, ““We did it pretty much to piss him off and pretty much to show the world, in a Ramones kind of way, how dumb-smart we were. . . . Just to figure how many feathers we can ruffle.”

Sixteen Blue

Drive yourself right up the wall
No one hears and no one calls
It’s a boring state
It’s a useless wait, I know

Brag about things you don’t understand
A girl and a woman, a boy and a man
Everything is sexually vague
Now you’re wondering to yourself
If you might be gay

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
One day, baby, maybe help you through
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue

Drive your ma to the bank
Tell your pa you got a date
You’re lying, now you’re lying on your back

Try to figure out, they wonder what next you’ll pull
You don’t understand anything sexual
I don’t understand
Tell my friends I’m doing fine

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
You’re looking funny
You ain’t laughing, are you?
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue

Squirrel Bait – Sun God…. 80’s Underground Mondays

I absolutely love this band’s sound…and you have to admit they were thinking outside of the box with the band name. 

They were originally known as Squirrelbait Youth, with David Grubbs on guitar and vocals, Clark Johnson, Ben Daughtrey and Brian McMahan joined on second guitar.

They were known as a pop punk band that came out in 1983 from Louisville, Kentucky. Squirrel Bait (I love typing that) opened for such bands as Hüsker Dü and Chicago-based bands Naked Raygun and Big Black, who recommended Squirrel Bait to their label, Homestead Records.

Through Homestead, Squirrel Bait released an eponymous EP in 1985, a single in 1986 and an LP in 1987, all of which were later compiled onto a single CD. The Squirrel Bait  record released in 1985 didn’t make any waves at first.. What helped them was Bob Mould from Husker Du and Evan Dando of the Lemonheads talking it up among others in the music press, people began to notice this band. 

The band broke up in 1987 and most of the members joined other bands and David Grubbs did the same and started to release solo albums as late as 2017. 

Sun God

I feel the power of the sun on my back
So good
That heat’s good
That light has a mind to take it away

Take it away…

Let something go
If it comes back it’s a good thing
A good life
A good feeling
But it has a mind to take it away

Take it away…
Take it away and it’s gone

I feel the power of the sun on my back
So good…that heat’s good
That light has a mind to take it away

Take it away…
Take it away and it’s gone

Nikki and the Corvettes – He’s A Mover

Great way to start a morning listening to this 60s influenced guitar riff. It’s a pure joy power pop song.

Nikki was influenced by The Stooges and the MC5 in her teen years, before a friend pushed her on stage in the Detroit punk scene in 1978.  Nikki and The Corvettes formed and recorded their self-titled and only studio album in the late ‘70s in Detroit. It was released in 1980 by Bomp! Bomp! records. This song was on that self-titled album.

The album they released influenced many starting bands in the years to follow. Nikki didn’t realize this until it was reissued in 2000. The band was short lived. They were only together from 1978-1981. Nikki returned to music in 2003 with Nikki and the Stingrays. They released an album called  Back to Detroit.

In 2009 she formed a band called Gorevette and they opened up for Blondie and the Donna’s at a few shows.

nikki corvette on Tumblr

Sorry I couldn’t find the lyrics…Just enjoy the song!