Monday, December 28, 2009

Aerosmith - Mama Kin

Aerosmith - Mama Kin.

Great song off Aerosmith's 1973 self-titled debut, introduced to my generation via Guns n' Roses' great cover version from G n' R Lies. Still play this riff every time I pick up a guitar.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Saints - Know Your Product

The Saints - Know Your Product.

1978 promo vid from The Saints' second album, Eternally Yours. Pure rock n' roll from down under.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mannequin Men - Cream Rises

Mannequin Men - Cream Rises.

Rise and shine. Chicago boys & scenester girls welcome the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Talk Talk - Ascension Day

Talk Talk - Ascension Day.

Very cool track from Talk Talk's final album, 1991's Laughing Stock. Here's what All Music Guide had to say about this landmark LP:

Virtually ignored upon its initial release, Laughing Stock continues to grow in stature and influence by leaps and bounds. Picking up where Spirit of Eden left off, the album operates outside of the accepted sphere of rock to create music which is both delicate and intense; recorded with a large classical ensemble, it defies easy categorization, conforming to very few structural precedents..."

Check out the song, then (if you like it) hunt down the record.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Elizabeth Fraser interview: the Cocteau Twins & me

Following up yesterday's jukebox post, here's a rare interview with Elizabeth Fraser, celebrated singer of the now-defunct Cocteau Twins.

Turns out the group won't be getting back together anytime soon either, despite some attractive offers thrown their way in recent years as their influence over a new generation of musicians has grown:

"The Cocteau Twins had been apart for seven years, the mystique they had attained during their lifetime gradually growing and their influence spreading, when the announcement came that they were to reform.

The world was told they would be headlining the 2005 Coachella festival in California, and would follow that with a major tour. According to bassist Simon Raymonde, the band stood to benefit to the tune of £1.5m each for getting back together – enough to guarantee them financial security, enough to secure the future of Raymonde's Bella Union label.

There was just one problem. Within weeks of the announcement, the group's singer, Elizabeth Fraser, announced she wouldn't take part.

"I don't remember it being that much money and in any case that's not the reason [for reforming]," she says today, in her first interview since the band split in 1998. "But people get so fucking carried away. Even though something's staring you in the face, people just cannot see it. I knew it wouldn't happen and it didn't take long to want out..." "

Very interesting profile of an artist I'm just getting to know. Definitely worth a full read. Enjoy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Massive Attack - Protection

Massive Attack - Protection.

Massive Attack is one of those groups that I've heard playing on other people's stereos in the past, but never really knew much about, aside from the fact that they seemed to enjoy favor among hip record buyers and critics.

I found this song on YouTube and liked it from the start, even more so when I recognized Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl as the lead singer on this track. Enjoy it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

BBC Four: Krautrock documentary

BBC Four recently aired a documentary on German experimental music entitled, "Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany".

It's a great look at the German culture of the post-War period and the artists (Can, Neu!, Kraftwerk, et. al) who sprang up from that era to produce the uniquely European rock and electronic music of the 1960s and '70s. Check it out here in the embedded (or text link) YouTube playlist.

For more info on the musicians associated with the "Krautrock" genre, please see the links section at, as well as Julian Cope's, Krautrocksampler, and the items in our related posts section below.

Related articles and posts:

1. My Krautrock Adventures on the Autobahn - BBC Music Blog.

2. Krautrocksampler (ebook pdf) - Swan Fungus.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Os Mutantes - Baby (1968) & Baby (1970 - English)

Os Mutantes - Baby.

Os Mutantes - Baby (English).

I'm trying to hear more of Os Mutantes lately, so this is an interesting find for me.

The original Portuguese version of "Baby" from Os Mutantes' 1st album is followed up here with an English version recorded in 1970 for their album Technicolor (finally released in 2000).

For me, it's great to hear both versions side by side, as my limited command of Spanish and Portuguese leads me to miss out on much of the group's lyrical wit and content.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mother Love Bone - Mother Love Bone

When people talk about Mother Love Bone (the subject of tonight's "album spotlight"), the first thing that's usually mentioned is the group's place in the storied Pearl Jam lineage.

Since the days of the post-1991 grunge explosion, Mother Love Bone have often been mentioned as a mere stepping stone for MLB founders Stone Gossard's & Jeff Ament's eventual success with their current (and long-lived), multi-platinum selling group.

This name dropping is fortunate, as it has led many fans (myself included) to seek out Mother Love Bone's work; it's also unfortunate in that it tends to cast the band in a trivial light, rather than acknowledging them for the uniquely talented act they were.

I can still remember the first time I heard Mother Love Bone's self-titled musical retrospective. Sitting on the floor of my friend Matt's bedroom at 13, rifling through pictures and liner notes of the group's then recently issued 2 disc collection. It was just another day of hanging out, and broadening our musical education with an exciting new album.

Hearing many of the tracks that had filled the Shine EP and their sole full-length, Apple, for the first time, along with the story of the band's place in the still-developing picture of the "Seattle Scene", I was both converted and sad. Here was another amazing group felled by tragedy: in this case, the death of lead singer Andrew Wood from a heroin overdose.

And what a lead singer. Some adjectives that come to mind when describing MLB frontman, Andy Wood: talented, charismatic, brilliant, showman. All words that have been used many times before by his contemporaries, fans, and friends.

Seattle recording engineer Jack Endino famously called Andy, "
the only stand-up comedian frontman in Seattle". As playful and amusing as Wood could be on record, I can only imagine what it would have been like to see MLB live on a night when both the band and singer were truly on. Wood's out-front glam rock posturing and channeling of musical heroes like Freddie Mercury and Marc Bolan were worlds away from the sounds and style of MLB's darker, grunge contemporaries, but everyone seemed to love the band anyway.

Amazingly, for a group that had come together less than two years earlier (in 1988), the songs on Mother Love Bone's (posthumously issued) Apple LP sound as though they come from a group whose vision is almost fully formed.

While not all of the tracks are standouts, and some more or less standard period rock stomps populate Apple and the band's self-titled 2 disc set, there are also some incredible highlights within. Arena-ready cuts like opener, "This is Shangri-La", coincide with gentle ballads and the introspective beauty of "Bone China", and "Crown of Thorns". This was a band ready for, and worthy of, their shot at the big time.

Enough said: let's listen and hear what Mother Love Bone has to offer. Love rock awaits you people!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keith Richards: GTK on ABC interview (1973)

The man himself, Keith Richards, being interviewed by Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) back in 1973 for their GTK series.

Cool as ever (and slightly nodded), Keith talks about the Rolling Stones' influences, John Lennon, glam rock, and sentimentality in music and life. Pretty cool interview overall, and we'll be sure to highlight more from this series in the future.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Def Leppard - High N' Dry

We're starting a new feature here at Trader Rock, one that I am currently referring to (in my head, anyway) as the "Album Spotlight".

Here's what's involved: I'll pick a different album to highlight every couple of weeks or so, play the record in its entirety, and drop a few tidbits about what went into the making of each album and why I think it's so great (or otherwise interesting).

For no good reason, other than that I've been listening to it quite a bit lately, our first LP in the spotlight is Def Leppard's excellent 1981 sophomore effort, High N' Dry. Here are the vitals from Wikipedia:

"High 'n' Dry
is the second studio album by British heavy metal band Def Leppard, released on July 11, 1981 (see 1981 in music) and the last studio album by the band to feature original co-lead guitarist Pete Willis, who was fired in 1982 for excessive alcohol consumption (all parts except the solos were recorded by Willis do appear on the next album, Pyromania.) Its title song "High 'n' Dry" made #33 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs [1]. "

High N' Dry also marks the group's first collaboration with producer, Robert "Mutt" Lange, and the results fairly show. The group's second outing featured a new, radio-friendly gloss and a sharp, focused sound. Hit power ballads like "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" work nicely alongside of snotty drinking anthems ("High N' Dry (Saturday Night)") and fierce album tracks like, "Another Hit and Run".

This is an album that you can rock out to all alone, or use as your soundtrack to a night of partying and wild abandon. Start the Grooveshark playlist below to hear it for yourself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Byrds - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

The Byrds - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.

Just one of many great covers of this Dylan tune; this rendition of "Baby Blue" was recorded by the Byrds in 1965 during the sessions for Turn, Turn, Turn!, but was unreleased until 1987. We're likely to post a few more versions of this tune for the jukebox in time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Build your own Grooveshark playlist widget

You might have noticed the snazzy, fluorescent-colored Grooveshark jukebox widget in the Trader Rock sidebar column this week. Today I'm going to quickly show you how to make your own widget and add it to your blog or website.

So, just to show you how easy it is to make your own jukebox, click on the link above and follow the very simple steps to design and add music to your playlist. Or, you can watch this brief video tutorial from Grooveshark for a quick overview.

If you're anything like me, you'll probably have a lot of fun (and spend way too much time) obsessing over the track list and sequencing for your new custom jukebox. When you tire of the selection, you can edit the song list or start from scratch. Have fun sharing the results!

Check out our current Grooveshark jukebox for non-stop rock n' roll enjoyment while you work/read/play, and check back for future playlists. It will be like our own little "Underground Garage" show - or something.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns to Blue

Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns to Blue.

Following up our post on the "SST Records story", here's one from the
Hüskers' highly acclaimed double LP, Zen Arcade. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The SST Records Story - Perfect Sound

Was flipping through Perfect Sound's article archive last night and found this very interesting piece on the now-legendary indie label SST entitled, "The SST Records Story".

For those who don't know, SST records was a vitally important American record label that released some amazing albums by bands such as Black Flag, The Minutemen, Saccharine Trust, Meat Puppets, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, etc.

The label
was at the forefront of an explosion in American DIY punk and also provided the inspiration for the little upside down SST logo drawn in black Sharpie on the white insole rubber of my Chuck Taylor's in high school (still have that pair of Chucks, and in fact they're sitting on the floor right beside me as I write this).

So it's fitting that this piece on SST, written by one Dave Lang in 1998, should start off on a similarly personal note. Let's have a look:

There was a time way back in the early to mid 1980s when a certain label out of California by the name of SST was quite the hot thing. Its roster of artists was untouchable: Black Flag, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Saccharine Trust, Firehose, etc. By 1987, things were looking even better; then-groundbreakers like Sonic Youth, Bad Brains and Dinosaur Jr. were joining the stable, along with second-generation LA "legends" like the Divine Horsemen and Universal Congress Of. The label was on a winning streak. By 1989, however, the rot had set in; by 1990, forget about it, SST was dead in the water... not financially, mind you, just artistically. Let's get the bigger picture...

First is my "personal history" with SST, and secondly I'll get to the actual label and its story, and what I believe to be its choice cuts. As a 14 year-old, I, and probably just about every other punker-wannabe out there at the time, bought the Repo Man soundtrack. Already juiced up on the Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys, and having just rented the video, it was a logical choice.

One particular number hit home: Black Flag's "TV Party". The song made me laugh, yet like the best music at such an impressionable age, it kind of scared me too. "Who are these American geezers? They sound nuts!" I pursued the matter further with a quick purchase of the Nervous Breakdown 7" and the almighty Damaged LP. The latter, naturally, is a record I'll take to my damn grave, if need be.

And so it went, drooling over fanzines at the time like Flipside, Chemical Imbalance, B-Side and Forced Exposure, I kept on reading incessant namedropping of other SST artists like the Minutemen and the Meat Puppets, and before you knew it I was hooked. The Minutemen quickly became an object of worship in my bedroom, and any record with an SST logo on its jacket had my name on it: it was mine. By the time I was 17, it was probably getting a bit ridiculous: if it wasn't on SST, I didn't want to know about it..."

Enjoy the article, and we'll see you tomorrow for more rock n' roll fun.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Watch: Dig! (2004 documentary - Brian Jonestown Massacre)

Watch Dig!, the 2004 documentary about the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, for free online.

I decided to hunt this doc. down and watch it again after listening to BJM a bit this past week. Click the image or text link (watch out for a few brief & obnoxious commercial interruptions) to watch it at the SnagFilms site. Enjoy the mayhem.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Saints - No Time

The Saints - No Time.

From The Saints' first album, I'm Stranded, comes a buzzsaw-like cut that deserves far more attention from rock n' roll fans and punk rock devotees.

Here's an excerpt from Jack Rabid's AllMusic review of that first LP:

"The Saints were to Australia what the Sex Pistols were to Britain and the Ramones to America. Picking up the germ planted by the defunct Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, and New York Dolls, the Saints sparked the Far East punk rock movement with a blasting, blistering, scorching sound no one had heard before.

Moreover, the Saints were blitzing the unsuspecting in their home of Brisbane in 1973, long before the Sex Pistols or the Ramones had even begun. Australians today hold the Saints in greater reverence than any rock band in its history, save for the Easybeats."

Have a Listen!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kaleidoscope - Please

Kaleidoscope - Please.

Not to be confused with the UK psychedelic group of the same name, the US band Kaleidoscope were a "psychedelic folk and ethnic band" of the mid '60s - early '70s whose influence was felt on many musicians, including Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page (Wikipedia).

1967 piece "Stranger in Your City"/"Beacon from Mars," recorded live in the studio, was also influential, with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page calling them his "favourite band of all time." [2] It featured a solo by Lindley in which, on stage, he used a violin bow on electric guitar, probably inspiring Page to use the same effect later."

"Please" is a gentle song that asks the listener to "take me as I am". Check it out.