Over the years I’ve grown exceedingly skeptical and often dismissive of almost any article, book, or list that promotes something the reader “must do.” You don’t have to do anything. However, if you’re interested in the development of rock music as an artistic, historical and/or social movement, there are more than 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, as declared by the popular coffee … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not – The Introduction
From Chicago to San Francisco to L.A. to Manila to Taipei to places beyond and between, my favorite places to drink are dive bars; unpretentious, bread n’ butter, good old-fashioned “watering holes.” The drinks are cheap and equitable, the bartender is vaguely congenial but no-nonsense, and the regulars seem like a rough bunch of characters, but once you get to know them, they’re a bunch … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 3: Special Pinball Edition
Psychedelic rock is generally thought to be an American and/or British phenomenon. You think “Thai” you think curry and massage. However, the “psychedelic sound” was popularized in S.E. Asia during the Vietnam War. Then one day, Dangerous Minds posted the following video of a modern day psych-rock band, Khun Narin Phin Sing from the Phetchabun Province in Thailand. A handful of Thai psych bands emerged … Continue reading Yes, Thai Psychedelia Is A Real Thing
At this point in the game, Bob and Ron have absolutely found their groove (pun intended), and you can not only see it in their choice of cuts but hear it in the on-air dialogue. Episode 82 has a couple of sub-themes running; it’s the end of summer, so of course, the kids are going back to school. Bob and Ron give us some tasty … Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 82
As Bob says in the opening, this episode is a “mixed bag” of funk and psychedelic gems from the deepest grooves of vinyl. Focused on the music of Spirit—dedicated to the passing of original keyboardist John Locke—Episode 77 contains an unusual abundance of outright obscure and unheard of bands and records. Which is what Bob and Ron’s Record Club is all about. Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 77
Episode 76 is so good there’s not that much to say about it except LISTEN TO IT RIGHT NOW. Mainly dedicated to Love and Arthur Lee (who had just passed away), the show also features mind-bending tracks from 10cc, Caravan, Teenage Opera, Manassas, Gandalf, Tomorrow, Potter St. Cloud and of course, Humble Pie. There are shout-outs to loyal fans, [G.W. Douglas and Lisa], call-ins from … Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 76
Bob and Ron’s Record Club is a mind-altering substance, and Radio Archive Episode 74 has a speedy edge to the “dose.” The latest episode is a potent, high-energy set of amazing tunes and as always, the Record Club conversations of Bob and Ron. Great tracks from Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Devo, Wet Willy, Tommy James, and many more. Don’t worry about getting into this episode, … Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 74
Here’s what we have cookin’ – to be served up in the near future. Audio As Bob of Bob and Ron’s Record Club wrote, “Everybody at some time looks at their [record collections] and says, ‘I don’t know what to play, I don’t want to listen to any of it.’” That’s no longer a problem, as Bob and Ron are never short of ideas; their … Continue reading Hot n’ Fresh
Here’s how it descends into madness. I have a new book coming out, A Musical Education: Stories in the Key of All Right; it’s my second book and the first published by Black Sunshine Media. Aside from writing, editing, and all the creatively technical crap that goes along with producing the guts of a manuscript—which is 99% complete—there’s a whole nother laundry list of stuff that needs to be done; the majority of which are tedious tasks that make you regret having written a book in the first place. Some of you may have gone through the sausage-making process of querying agents and publishers, so I’m winking at you right now. Fortunately, and I say this with fingers crossed, by publishing under the Black Sunshine umbrella, several of those chores are no longer necessary. One of the benefits of being self-employed is not having to bother with a resume.
However, a completely different set of tasks come with being a publisher. This isn’t really about all that nonsense—it’s supposed to be a promo for the new book. In fact, that’s what I was working on when the wheels came off. But first, there is the subject of the book, which I’m hoping from the title you should be able to infer that it’s about experience and the splendor of music in life. More than half of the 10 stories that comprise A Musical Education have been previously published, either here on BSM or on my previous weblog, and each story is accompanied and augmented by relevant photos. Or at least, that’s what I was able to get away with on the website. Publishing a book is a different ball of wax.
My original thought was that while the inclusion of these photos was not essential, it would substantially improve the overall reader experience. For instance, the book’s opening story, “Fourteen Thousand Screaming Japanese Girls Can’t Be Wrong” is an extended meditation on my adolescent fascination with Kiss lunchboxes and Cheap Trick’s At Budokan. It seemed obvious to me that the narrative would benefit from, at the very least, a thumbnail of the album cover. Meanwhile, as long as we’re at it, why not throw in a few more photos, like one of the Kiss lunchbox? Since every story involves music in some way, we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 potential images.
You don’t have to be a record geek or vinyl nerd to appreciate Bob and Ron’s Record Club; all you need is an open mind and an appreciation of music. While the majority of air time is devoted to music most of us have never heard before—and you could call it underground or cultish—Bob and Ron occasionally include familiar songs into their sets, whether it relates thematically or they just really like the song. The so-called “deep cuts”, which have been over-looked or under-appreciated, as have many of the artists they play, are the foundation of the Record Club. To discover and share the hidden or unknown gem is the greatest reward of record collecting. For the listener, every show is like Christmas morning. Bob and Ron come bearing gifts. And this is by far my most favorite part of the show.
The Record Club does more than spark my curiosity; it inspires me to increase my knowledge of music. A quick for instance came in Episode 43; Bob and Ron played a track from a band called Relatively Clean Rivers, which of course I’d never heard of, but I liked the song, “Easy Ride”; easygoing California folk-rock-psychedelia with traces of Neil Young and countrified Grateful Dead. That compelled me to do a couple of Wiki-Google-Allmusic searches to learn more about the band, and ultimately listen to the entire album, Relatively Clean Rivers (1976, Phoenix Records).