Tag Archives: raytown

Episode 103: The Hymns You Hide

When I get in a musical rut, it sucks for everyone in my life. I’ve been listening to a Nick Drake album every night before bed for the past two weeks. (I think Pink Moon has narrowly beat out Bryter Layter, but that’s probably because it’s a quieter album, more suitable for bedtime listening.) I’ve also found Gary Murray’s music chill and perfect for Ian’s early morning feedings.

At any rate, I’ve been so busy. No time to write much of an introduction this week, so just enjoy the music.

  1. “Horn” – Nick Drake (Pink Moon / Island / 1972)
  2. “Things Behind the Sun” – Nick Drake (Pink Moon / Island / 1972)
  3. “Could This Be True” – LN (Plum Brook / Velvet Blue Music / 1999)
  4. “This is How I Feel” – Derri Daugherty (Clouds Echo in Blue / Galaxy 21 / 2012)
  5. “Cure for This” – Golden Smog (Another Fine Day / Lost Highway / 2006)
  6. “Origins” – Tennis (Young and Old / Fat Possum / 2012)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #103 (5/11/12)

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What presence?!

Yesterday Ian and I watched Orange Juice on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

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Episode 102: Milestones

I can still remember the day I coerced Tim into buying his first Miles Davis album. We were visiting Earwaxx Records, and I showed him to a couple crates in the back filled with 60’s and 70’s jazz records. Most were marginal efforts by washed-up cats trying to make a go at the easy listening market, but I had found a few gems. One such gem was Bitches Brew, Miles’ head-first dive into fusion and tape edits and manipulation. The double album was only $12, and I knew my friend needed it.

Several records sit next to Tim’s turntable. It gives a peek into what he’s recently played or, like the radio stations of yore, his heavy rotation. While the stack always changes, one constant remains: Bitches Brew. He told me he has to listen to it once a week. (He listens to it so much, in fact, that he bought another copy!)

It probably didn’t take you 101 episodes to realize I’m excited to help others discover an artist. I’m especially happy when it’s a jazz artist. See, anxiety seems to mount when the discussion turns from post-punk (or whatever I’m blathering about at the time) to jazz. It’s almost as if jazz is a menu at an Ethiopian restaurant: no one knows what he’s ordering, and no one knows what to do with it once it arrives.

I certainly get people’s trepidation; jazz can be heady. In the 20 years after World War II, virtually all big bands went the way of the dinosaur. Small combos took their place, allowing artist-composers freedom to write more complex tunes. Eventually, jazz became polarized. Either the artists played free or they boasted in their ability to improve in a certain mode and in a time signature in opposition to the rhythm section. Either extreme scares off most of my friends.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, and I think Miles Davis’ work proves this. He could be, at once, complex and accessible. The problem with his vast catalog is knowing where to start. Hopefully I can give you a few starting points this week. Enjoy.

  1. “Circle” – Miles Davis Quintet (Miles Smiles | Columbia | 1967)
  2. “Milestones” – Miles Davis (Milestones | Columbia | 1958)
  3. “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” – Miles Davis (Bitches Brew | Columbia | 1970)
  4. “Prelude (Part One)” – Miles Davis (Agharta | Columbia | 1975)


Radio Free Raytown – Episode #102 (4/27/12)

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Raytown stuff.

There are a couple events you should know about.

The city of Raytown is holding its annual clean up day on May 5 from 8:00am-3:00pm at Super Splash. Not only is this a great opportunity to get rid of your junk, but it’s also a great chance volunteer for a worthwhile cause. (As always, if you have unwanted psychedelic rock or jazz fusion records, do not take them to this clean-up day. Please set them on my patio.) The city has posted a flyer with the details here.

Also, Mid-Continent Public Library and Cintas are holding a shred event on April 27 from 1:00-5:00pm. I broke my friend’s shredder, so a box in my garage has been filling up with papers to shred. Oh yeah, this service is free. And yes, I’m going to post a link where you can find more information for this event, as well.

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Episode 101: Who needs tomorrow?

Cover image from Blue Trapeze's first album, Who Were You Then?

I love jangly college rock from the 1980’s. These bands usually invoke classic 1960’s psychedelia of The Byrds or The Velvet Underground, but with the immediacy of punk. These bands were also crucial to creative music’s development, as they helped carve out the college rock niche (which would later be called alternative or indie). While not necessarily a themed show, I play several songs in this episode that belong in the canon of eighties college rock.

The last song I play this week is from Chris M. Short’s compilation, On the 45: A Compilation of Obscure-to-Semi-Obscure Power Pop/Punk/New Wave. It’s a mind-blowing collection of songs he compiled from his personal collection of obscure 45s. It’s free, so download it now.

At any rate, enjoy the show.

  1. “It’s Only Obvious” – The Orchids (Air Balloon Road | Sarah Records | 1990)
  2. “Lazy Day” – Beach Fossils (Beach Fossils | Captured Tracks | 2010)
  3. “This Fear” – Blue Trapeze (Who Were You Then? | Fullspeak | 1984)
  4. “Black Night” – Green on Red (Green on Red | Down There | 1982)
  5. “Headphones Theme Form Seemingly Infinity” – Steven Drozd (Flyin’ Traps | Hollywood Records | 1997)
  6. “Kill Another Night” – Phil Daniels + The Cross (On the 45: A Compilation of Obscure-to-Semi-Obscure Power Pop/Punk/New Wave | RCA | 1979)


Radio Free Raytown – Episode #101 (3/30/12)

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Plotting my next move.

It will probably be another week or so before I post my 100th episode. It will be a special show, with my friends discussing some of their favorite songs (as opposed to my usual monopolization of your time). These are dear friends who have influenced my own tastes, and they contribute some great conversation and enthusiasm.

And like any of the other 99 episodes that have preceded it, you can expect a rather eclectic mix.

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Episode 98: Crucial Point Becomes a Crime

Super awesome krautrock band, Harmonia

I have a friend who claims to merely like the music that he enjoys and not necessarily fill his iPod with only good, critically-praised music. While this seems a cop-out when faced with criticism for guilty pleasures, he has certainly got me thinking this week about what influences my musical taste.

I think I can not-too-flippantly claim to liking music that I sincerely enjoy. While critics can obviously inform opinion, my taste has developed mostly through listening to lots of music. Simply put, discernment comes from listening to good records.

Hopefully that’s where this blog comes in. I hope to not only share my enthusiasm for music (It really is okay to prefer records to talk radio after college!) but also other bands and styles to investigate. You can decide what you like, but make it an informed decision. Enjoy.

  1. “Chanson Sans Issue – Ne Vois-Tu Pas)” – Autour de Lucie (Immobile | Netwerk | 1998)
  2. “Den Her Sang Handler Om At Fa Det Bedste Ud Af Det” – Under Byen & The Danish Radio Sinfonietta (Siamesisk | Paper Bag Records | 2008)
  3. “Gollum” – Harmonia (Deluxe | Brain | 1975)
  4. “Age of Consent” – The Golden Filter (Mojo Presents Power Corruption & Lies Covered | Mojo magazine | February 2012)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #98 (2/10/12)

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Episode 97: Great Gorge

Freddie Hubbard

I don’t know how I got into jazz fusion, although I suspect Miles Davis was my gateway drug. The style almost seems so synonymous with virtuosity and excess that it scares off even the most dedicated music lover. And, sadly, there’s just so much bad fusion out there to discourage many folks from even trying.

You see, a funny thing happened at the end of the 1960s. Rock bands could play bigger and louder concerts, and jazz was pretty much dead. So jazz combos plugged in.  As a result, many artists’ reinventions were viewed by critics with disdain. If it wasn’t made with only acoustic instruments, it was considered selling out. Such Draconian subjectivity make it difficult to even to research the style. While there are many legendary and pivotal acoustic jazz albums, there seems to be little consensus on classic fusion records apart from Miles’ Bitches Brew. (This point is obviously a little untrue, but bear with me, as I’m painting with broad strokes here.)

Can you blame the critics, though? Many artists resorted to playing simple jazz riffs over funk rhythms, and some forged new ground in a style that would later become smooth jazz. To be honest, there are few fusion artists I enjoy. (But as might be expected, I am ridiculously obsessed with those whom I love.) Most of them are ones who made melodic, mind-blowing acoustic jazz, as well. They didn’t entirely throw out everything that made them good; they seemed to just enhance their sound with new instruments.

Because of the limitations that a 25-minute podcast imposes, I thought a list of players on these two songs would be helpful. Research the other records they played on, especially their solo albums. (But remember that very few of these artists made it to the 1980s with artistic integrity in check!) Enjoy.

  1. “Great Gorge” – Joe Farrell with Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette (Moon Germs | CTI | 1972)
  2. “Red Clay” – Freddie Hubbard with Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Lenny White (Red Clay | CTI | 1970)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #97 (2/3/12)

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Forever Now is my favourite album out of all of them. I think it was the peak of our psychedelicness. Some of our biggest influences were psychedelic and, finally, on that album we got psychedelic.”

–Tim Butler (bassist, The Psychedelic Furs) on the band’s 1982 album, Forever Now

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Episode 96: Painted Lies on Painted Lips

The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs, c.1988

I remember the day I got hip to The Psychedelic Furs. Members of the Velvet Blue Music email discussion list had jokingly thrown around the idea of the label releasing a Furs tribute album (an idea not so far-fledged, when considering Fine China’s Rob Withem would later record “Love My Way” on his Foxglove Hunt album). This was early college, and I had no idea who the Furs were and why everyone seemed so jazzed about them. To find out, I picked up a copy of the band’s 1988 singles collection, All of This and Nothing, from Streetside Records. I fell head-over-heels in love with “All that Money Wants,” and that album became the soundtrack for many shifts of pizza delivery.

I don’t know what gets me back on a kick, but this week, I’ve been on a serious Furs kick. I’ve picked up where I left off halfway into the band’s biography, Beautiful Chaos: Psychedelic Furs. I know, I’m a nerd. But you probably already knew that. Enjoy.

  1. “The Time” – 2562 (Aerial | Tectonic | 2008)
  2. “Fog” – Nosaj Thing (Drift | Alpha Pup | 2009)
  3. “All That Money Wants” – The Psychedelic Furs (All of This and Nothing | Columbia | 1988)
  4. “Love My Way” – The Psychedelic Furs (All of This and Nothing | Columbia | 1988)
  5. “Moonage Daydream” – Fluffy (Sugar Pistol | Flying Tart | 1995)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #96 (1/13/12)

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