The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Fifteen

This show ended up with more of a novelty-song focus than I’d intended, but I guess it’s all based on which records I bring, so I can’t really dodge the blamethrower…!

Standouts include the Sa-Ra MMW remix, the O’Jay’s glimpse into the future & Chic’s “Happy Man,” which will be stuck in your head for days afterward (if you’re lucky!). Also, a begrudging commendation to Chevy Chase for being an early-enough-adopter to recognize that hip-hop music was a significant enough musical trend to merit parody. (Even if his parody is on the lamer side—basically, almost on par with any given wack rap song from that era…)

Also, the classic Hall & Oates song, “Kerry,” was actually co-written by Stephen Dees; the version here comes from Dees’ solitary solo album, produced by Daryl Hall himself.

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Fifteen

The Clash – Magnificent Dance (instrumental)
Medeski, Martin & Wood – Midnight Birds (Sa-Ra remix)
Oran “Juice” Jones – The Rain
Chevy Chase – Rapper’s Plight
Steve Martin – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
Phil Harris – Woodsman, Spare That Tree!

Beastie Boys – Paul Revere (instrumental)

Godfather Don – 3 The Hard Way (ft. Prince Po & R.A. the Rugged Man)
Donald Fagen – Century’s End
The O’Jays – The Year 2000
Chic – Happy Man
Narval Felts – Stand By Me

Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love (instrumental)

Stephen Dees – Kerry (Hall & Oates semi-cover)

Godfather Don – 3 The Hard Way (instrumental)

Play

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Fourteen

This show represents everything I try to do with the Revolutionary Plastics Hour. It’s got some cool newer music (the triumphant Glass Candy opener & the bouncy Shafiq Husayn ear-candy), then some lesser-known tracks by artists that may or may not be familiar to the average listener (that second 3rd Bass song is truly embarrassing, though; I just wanted to play it for posterity).

Then, a lovely setup/payoff, courtesy of Don Rickles & Robert Goulet, followed by another one-two punch, this time focusing on egregious song-ripoffery (the imitator comes first, then the originator). After that, a really fun, catchy country-pop tune & some in-studio bickering by the group who brought you “Wild Thing.” The evening concludes with a bittersweet rendition of “September Song,” by the man who was born to put the “awwww” in “maudlin,” Jimmy Durante.

All in all, a great example of what this show should provide & embody. Hope you like it…!

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Fourteen

Glass Candy – Candy Castles
Shafiq Husayn – Lil’ Girl (W/Fatima)

El-P – I Can’t Understand You (remix)(slow speed)

DJ Shadow – Lost & Found (S.F.L.)
3rd Bass – Wordz of Wizdom
3rd Bass – Hail to the Chief
Don Rickles – Robert Goulet
Robert Goulet – Sunny

Bionic Boogie – Feel Like Dancing

Deserters – Thought Police
Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives
Donna Fargo – The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.
The Troggs – The Troggs Tapes
Chess – Endgame
Jimmy Durante – September Song

El-P – I Can’t Understand You (remix)(normal speed)

Play

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Thirteen

This episode centers around story songs. I’ve always appreciated the way a song can tell a story, whether as a broad-strokes character sketch (“Martin,” “Loyola,” “Kiss the Bottle”), an anecdotal glimpse (“Smithers-Jones,” “Shut Your Little Trap, Inc.,” “Kiss the Bottle”) or as a full-fledged short-story that happens to fit into the conventional structure of a pop song (“Fancy,” “No Regrets,” “Home Sweet Home,” & the rest, basically).

I hope you get to check these songs out on a drive or on a jog, or something; any context where you can hear the lyrics & get a sense of what the songwriter’s doing with his/her protagonist(s). These are the songs that come to mind whenever I hear someone singing a song about how they feel. There’s been quite enough of those songs, thank you. More songs about people who don’t write songs, please!

Oh—I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the show concludes with the most brilliantly-written song ever written, “The Ballad of the Shape of Things.” Check out the lyrics. (I just got a chill re-reading them!) Up yours, Dashboard Confessional!*

* arbitrary example

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Thirteen

Beans – Nude Paper (instrumental)

The Jam – Smithers-Jones
Old 97s – The Other Shoe
Drive By Truckers – My Sweet Annette
Woody Guthrie – Buffalo Skinner

Mr. Complex – Gitcha Gitcha Gitcha (instrumental)

Dillinger Four – Shut Your Little Trap, Inc.
Snuff – Martin
Dictators – Loyola
Jawbreaker – Kiss the Bottle
Peter Gabriel – Home Sweet Home

Danger Mouse & Jemini – Live on Both Sides (instrumental)

Ben Folds – Fred Jones, Part Two
Lynn Anderson – Fancy
Aesop Rock – No Regrets

Mr. Complex – Stabbin’ You (instrumental)

Kingston Trio – The Ballad of the Shape of Things

Beans – Star Killer (instrumental)

Play

Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Ten

This one’s got some of my favorite songs ever; the Finger one’s just brilliant—keeps you waiting the whole time for the chorus, then hammers it. The Saul Williams one is pretty powerful, too—& Bernadette Peters’ version of the Elvis classic is intensely intimate. Or intimately intense. Either way, it’s sweet.

There’s also Mr. Rogers, with his classic “alternate version” of “Row Your Boat,” & UiLab (which is Ui, Sasha Frere-Jones’ old band, teamed with Stereolab, forming a math-pop indie kid’s wet dream) doing an Eno song, an unearthed gem by an Italo-disco legend (courtesy of the stellar Italians Do It Better label) & a fully-accredited (Casablanca Records, yo) disco version of an early Shakespeare banger.

Then, the host of Hollywood Squares (Eighties version) takes on Simon & Garfunkel, followed by a dynamite a old-school Stevie Wonder track, from his lesser-known album, Where I’m Coming From (1971), the first step on his streak of untouchable perfection that lasted through 1980, with his stellar Hotter Than July. (We’ll leave that Plants album out, as the exception that proves the rule.)

Episode Ten coming at you!

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Ten

New American Orchestra – Love Theme (Blade Runner OST)
Finger – Another State
Max Frost & the 13th Power – 14 or Fight
Stevie Wonder – Think of Me as Your Soldier
John Davidson – 59th St. Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
Bernadette Peters – Don’t

New American Orchestra – End Title (Blade Runner OST)

Uilab – St. Elmo’s Fire
Fred Ventura – The Years Go By
Devoshun – No, No, No, My Friend (You’re Wrong So Do It Again)
Alec R. Costandinos & the Syncophonic Orchestra – Romeo & Juliet (Act I)
Chromium – Haunted Disco
Saul Williams – Penny for a Thought
Ella Fitzgerald – It’s Only a Paper Moon (w/the Delta Rhythm Boys)

Saul Williams – Purple Pigeons (instrumental)

Mr. Rogers – Propel Your Craft
New American Orchestra – Main Theme (Blade Runner OST)

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Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Six

Yet another mid-week missive; a tale told by an idiot, full of sound & fury & what not, signifying monkeyshines.

This week’s episode features music by Sa-Ra Creative Partners, a spectacularly upbeat & catchy number by the Glass Bottle, a song by Graduate (UK power pop by pre-Tears for Fears blokes!), an eighties(ish) novelty block, & then we get real, real French for a change, with the scowly Jacques Brel & the delightful Francois Hardy.

We conclude with some dialogue between Antony Perkins & Melina Mercouri, which includes a bit of sweetly melancholic singing, preceding a manic monologue that, unfortunately, cuts off just before Perkins drives over a cliff. (Yes.)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this show; no glaring screwups, apart from a couple of slack segues. I tried to keep the chatterboxery down this time, but it still got the better of me here & there. But really, it’s a journey, not a destination, right? Hey, man.

Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Six

Dennis Miller – Self-Expression
Sa-Ra Creative Partners – Hollywood
Duran Duran – My Own Way
The Glass Bottle – Sorry, Suzanne
Graduate – Shut Up

Giorgio Moroder – Palm Springs Drive
Giorgio Moroder – Night Drive (reprise)

Bullet – I’m Billie Jean
Buckner & Garcia – Pac-Man Fever
Agallah – The Crookie Monster
Dangermouse & Jemini – The Only One

Blue Series Continuum – The Stakeout

Jacques Brel – Les Bourgeoisie
Francois Hardy – Les Temps De L’amour
CSNY – Country Girl (Neil Young)
Melina Mercouri – Rodostimo (from Phaedra sdtrk.)
Blue Series Continuum + Anthony Perkins – Outro

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Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Two

The “awkward” second show. Not exceptionally polished, but I think it rises above “sophomore slump” territory, anyhow. I wasn’t fully consistent with the show’s current 100% vinyl policy (most of my records were still packed up in storage at the time), but I was able to get to 50%, at least.

Some slow-paced favorites here, around the middle set. Label namedropping: Tri Angle, Italians Do It Better. So far, these have both utterly failed to disappoint, across the board.

Full disclosure: There’s more talking on this one than there should be; I chalk it up to new-radio-show giddiness. These days, I’m less chatty.

Enjoy!

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume Two

Arcadia – The Promise (instro)
Battles – Tras
Peter Brown – Overnight Sensation (12″ version)
Sherbs – Juliet & Me
Caress – Just Like in the Movies

Indeep – When Boys Talk
Gayngs – The Walker
Desire – Under Your Spell
oOoOO – Burnout Eyes

Tiedye – Nothing Else Matters
Bernie Schwartz – Round & Round
Robert A. A. Lowe – Gyromancy

Play

Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume One

Welcome to Episode One.* It went much better than I had any right to expect, given how long it had been since my last radio show (college) & my still-shaky familiarity with the gadgetry.

A really fun handful of songs to get rolling with, though, so that’s a start…!

* “A New Hope.” There; happy now?

The Revolutionary Plastics Hour: Volume One

Fancy—She’s Riding the Rock Machine
Hall & Oates—I’m Just a Kid (Don’t Make Me Feel Like a Man)
The Wonder Band—Stairway to Heaven
Dictators—Sleepin’ With the TV On (demo)
Sebastian Tellier—Divine
Fancy—I Was Made to Love Him
Syreeta Wright—I’m Goin’ Left

Boxer—Hip Kiss
Two Fingers—What You Know (remix inst)

Ratatat—Wildcat
Swedish House Mafia—The One (interrupted)
The Dream Team— The Dream Team Is in the House
Swedish House Mafia—One (also interrupted)

Cocoa Brovaz—Super Brooklyn (inst)

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High Steppin’ Nickel Kids: the music

HS5K

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right-click to download any of the tracks, or each release as a .zip file.

All tracks 320 kbps MP3, yo.

The concluding single:

These were the last recordings the High-Steppin’ Nickel Kids made. Recorded in the semi-mythical Mansfield Street basement by Steve “Albini” Foote. Me on scruffy mid-range vocals, Morgan on shouty higher-range vocals, Tigger on bellowy lower-range vocals, Joe on screamy backup vocals.

I wrote “Scratch & Win,” Morgan wrote “Adventureland” and “27,” Tigger wrote “Midwest.” These ten or so minutes were our finest hour.

Is It Wrong to Imagine the Impossible?

1. Scratch & Win (Void Where Prohibited)     
2. We Wanted Adventure     

The Good The Bad The Midwest

3. Now We Are 27     

Download the whole 7″ single.

HighSteppinNickleKidsFront450 HighSteppinNickelKidsBack450

 

The “intriguing” middle period:

Also recorded by Steve in an Allston basement, but a different one. Cleaner, more polished, these tracks (not the basement) contain more Tim and zero Tigger, which is unfortunate. Tim was a swell guy, but Tigger’s joining up (some time after Tim left) was when the Nickel Kids finally got real.

Still, these songs are the best-recorded versions of our earlier period’s sound, style and approach. Not to take anything away from them; they’re a lot of fun and are good examples of Morgan’s songwriting skill (lyrically and musically). He wrote them all, except for “Tammy All the Way” (and my verse in “Indiana”).

Where Do We Go Now?

4. Hello     

5. James Bond Looks at Forty     

6. Nosebleed Seats at the End of the World     

7. Now We Are Twenty-Two     

8. Overnight to Many Distant Cities     

9. White Hat     

10. Superego to Id     

11. Tammy All the Way     

We’ll Always Have Indiana
The Jell-O Shot Heard ‘Round the World
12. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?     

Download the long-lost, unreleased “missing album.”

 

The early demos:

Except for the live tracks, these songs were all recorded at the practice space we shared with the Allstonians (we also shared Morgan with them, for a while). Morgan did all the “producing” on a borrowed four-track. Yes—these were made direct to cassette, but you can barely not even tell, hardly.

So, let’s see. Morgan wrote pretty much all of these, except for “Erica Online” and “The Line,” which were me, and the lyrics for “Obligatory Avail Patch,” which were raw, uncut Hoosier pathos, channeled by Joe. “Girl/Planet” was by the Only Ones and “You Can Get It” was, of course, by Jimmy Cliff.

Incidentally, the first three songs in this collection are the same “middle period” versions as the ones above. They must have been mixed and ready to go sooner then the rest; can’t think why else they’d have been stuck on this CD with the older stuff.

Killing You Softly With Our Songs

Who Will Run The Frog Hospital?
Hello, I Must Be Going
The Jell-O Shot Heard ‘Round The World
Erica Online (Live)
We’ll Always Have Indiana (Live)

13. You Can Get It If You Really Want (Live)     

14. Now We Are Twenty-Two     

15. The Line     

16. Nosebleed Seats At The End Of The World     

17. White Hat     

18. Obligatory Avail Patch     

19. Open Letter     

20. Another Girl     

21. Superego To Id     

22. Usthemyou     

Download all of this magnificent nonsense.

Salem: Killer (chopped & screwed)

1. Salem | Killer - xdonricklesx     

Lady Gaga: Born This Way (chopped & screwed)

The slow version and the extra-slow version. Because why not?

1. Lady Gaga | Born This Way [c&s] (mid)] - xdonricklesx     
2. Lady Gaga | Born This Way [c&s] (xSLOW)] - xdonricklesx