Monday, January 09, 2017

Hell's Kitchen Radio #288: Take Me On A Little Trip

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Time for a trip around the globe, musically speaking. Since we're early in the new year and I have yet to check out any new releases this seemed like the perfect time to focus on some international sounds. Tonight we go to West Africa, Central Africa, Thailand, Iran Turkey, India, Jamaica, and England for some really groovy excursions. When I shop for music I have a rule: if I purchase three records, one must be from the international section. Doing this I have really grown that genre over the years.

The show is pretty groovy throughout, so don't be shy about dancing while you're diggin' it.

I close the show with a very hard to find live acoustic version of New Speedway Boogie by the Grateful Dead. I'm going to commit to playing more music from my extensive live archive in the second hour of my show each week. This June I'll be co-hosting Rock Fight with sound engineer John Karr. Perhaps I have finally met my match. Tune in to find out.

***NEWS FLASH****It's time for the 2017 Run For The Lilies contest. You email me a list of ten famous people you believe will meet their maker by December 31, 2017, and the person with the most correct selections "wins". The only rule: you may not partake in their demise. Email me at by 5PM Sunday, January 29th, 2017. I will announce the 2016 winner on my show (and their winning list) on Monday, January 30th. 



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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It's A New Day: James Brown
Investigation: Carl Holmes

Spreadin' Fever: Hilton Felton
Groove Holmes: Beastie Boys

Brother's Gonna Work It Out: Willie Hutch
Monday Morning in Lagos: Fela Kuti

Arawan: Tinariwen
YomMaBan TaLangKan (Officer of Hell's Announcement): Sripal Jaipra
Circuito Chiuso: Armando Sciascia

Sunstoke/Mindtrain: Sun Dial
Hey Lion: Sofi Tukker

Miles From India: John McLaughlin
Fatim: Djeli Moussa
Theme from Hong Kong: Lee Perry

Fisherman: The Congos
Suicide Scherzo (Beethoven): Walter Cross
Feeling High: Witch

New Speedway Boogie: Grateful Dead (April 18, 1970 Family Dog At the Great Highway)

Monday, January 02, 2017

Hell's Kitchen Radio #287: Let's Start Again

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For the new year I thought I would take a time out from new music and delve deep into my music library. I have to admit this was one of my favorite shows to host. Certainly my best of the year. HA! Every week my audience appears to grow. Thanks so much for the support, and please keep tuning in every Monday 8-10PM. Be sure to tell music lovers everywhere!

This year I want to focus on interviewing more bands, so if you're in a band or know someone who is, please contact me and let's make this thing happen. I also want to host a special on the history of West African Funk. There's so much beyond Fela that I really want to share with you. I also plan on bringing back an old favorite which dropped by the wayside: Bootleg Blast! This is where I share my latest live show that I've discovered. This will happen in the second hour so stick around. There's a tasty live treat in this broadcast, actually. Later in the year I'm hoping to also resurrect "Rock Fight", where I host a 4+ hour live bootleg battle. My buddy, and legendary sound engineer John Karr will try to best me. Let's see how far he gets. Look for this show sometime this summer.

Finally, it's time once again for my annual "Run for the Lilies" contest, where you dear listener send me the names of 10 famous people you believe will meet their demise by the end of this calendar year. The only rule: you may not participate in how they meet their maker. Please email your list of 10 names by Sunday, January 29 to

I'll announce the winner of the "Run for the Lilies 2016" on Monday, January 30th. And what a year that was! I'm expecting our winner to possibly have a record number of names on that list. Oy.

Take a look at the playlist below and then click on the links above to stream or download the podcast.

Let's have an excellent 2017. When everything appears to be falling apart go back to the music and hold your loved ones closer than ever before.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Punk Rock Christmas: Mojo Nixon
Mona Lisa: Slick Rick
Bohemian Rhapsody: The Flaming Lips

Brazil: Frank Sinatra
Morning Theft: Jeff Buckley
I Think I'm Turning Japanese: The Vapors

Earth People: Dr. Octagon
Where Is My Mind: Pixies
Danke Schoen: Wayne Newton
Search and Destroy: Iggy and the Stooges

No Speak No Slave: Black Crows and Jimmy Page (10-18-99 - Greek Theater, LA, CA)
Step Right Up: Tom Waits
That Woman's Got Me Drinking: Shane MacGowan and the Popes

Drown in my own Tears: Ray Charles
Every Sperm is Sacred: Monty Python
Emma: Urge Overkill

Hazemaze: FUZZ
One More Cup of Coffee: White Stripes
Ça Plane Pour Moi: Thee Headcoatees
Slow and Low: Run DMC

Fist City: Loretta Lynn
Last Caress/Green Death: Metallica
Red Hot: Jurassic 5
Que Sera Sera: Doris Day

Drugs on the Bus: Crystal Fairy

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #285: Best of 2016

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What a mess this year was in so many ways, but not in music! There's always too much good music for me to share during this show. I should really host a four hour show to feature all of my faves, but then I would be stepping on other Radio Valencia shows, who also have such choice tunes to throw your way.

My Best of 2016 is full of soul, garage, punk, metal, Nick Cave and Bowie. I have a few re-issues thrown in there for good measure, and a track or two you haven't hear on my show before, but the artists you certainly have. Please tune into Radio Valencia throughout the next few weeks as our many show hosts will be sharing their Best of shows with you.

Next Monday night will see the return of Little Lauson Hell. She's 12 now, and has decided that her taste in music is way better than mine. She may be right. You decide.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Make America Great Again: Pussy Riot
Fucked Up Donald: DOA
Green Sugar: Kikagaku Moyo

Plastic Plant: Thee Oh Sees
Glass Eye: Charles Mootheart (CFM)

Lazarus: David Bowie
To Melt the Moon: Rangda

Valley Girl: Meatbodies
Barrell: Naked Lights
I Want To Tell You: The Melvins

Warsawng: Glitter Wizard
The Sadist: Zig Zags

Ready, Willing and Able: Betty Davis
Never Too Late: The Apostles

Jesus Alone: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Over Unease: Spacin'

Falling In: Gøggs
Junkie: Altamont
Slow Down: Flat Earthers

Hold Onto the Sky: Pins of Light
Onye Ije: The Strangers

Check out the video for Pussy Riot's "Make America Great Again". Classic.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #284: No One Ever Listens

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Thanks for tuning in every Monday night at 8. I never mention this on the blog, but it's always fun to chat folks up during my show, so please if you're listening take a second to say hi on the Radio Valencia Chatterbox, or if you're a FB friend, then on there.

Another show, another tribute. What's up with this friggin' year? I have done more tributes in this single solitary year than in my first 25+ years in radio, combined! Greg Lake of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame passed from cancer at the age of 69 last weekend. Best known for his days as bassist/vocalist for ELP, he was also a co-founder of the seminal prog-rock band King Crimson, where he performed on the first record and toured for their first two LPs before going on to start ELP alongside the late great Keith Emerson, who died in March of this year, and Carl Palmer who still has a few weeks left before something horrible happens to him. ugh

Much of the first hour is actually down right danceable. There are some seriously funky-ass tracks in here. Do me a favor and get your groove on until it's too late.

The second hour features a dive into my live music vault. And what a vault it is. You know, when I started doing the community radio thing a while back I committed to playing an hour of live music each week. I've sort of slacked off on that one, and for good reason. There are so many great releases I want to play with you week in and week out that the live music thing has had to take a back seat. Well not tonight. Take a look at the second half of the playlist and you can see that it's all over the damn place, and worth every second of your precious time.

I know the world has totally sucked this year. Who will it take next? Alan Thicke? Meredith Baxter (formerly Meredith Baxter-Bernie)? The election will still be with us. Syria will still be with us. Your job will still be with, you. Maybe we just need to put some of this aside and enjoy the music for a little while.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Winter in America: Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson
Power to the People: Curtis Mayfield

I'm So Bored with the USA: The Clash
The Candidate: Urge Overkill
Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba: George Benson

The Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson
Black Enough: The Pharaohs
Home Affairs: Osibisa
Since You've Been Gone: James Brown

Dip Stick: The Perfect Circle
Tidal Wave: Thee Oh Sees (Live at The Chapel, SF, CA - 2015)
She's On Fire: King Tuff (Live at Pickathon - 2013)
You Got It: Mudhoney (2001-01-13, Knitting Factory, LA, CA)

I've Been Loving You Too Long: Otis Redding (1966-04-10 Whiskey A-Go-Go, Hollywood, CA)
Toussaint L'Overture: Santana (1973-02-26, The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA)

Dance to the Music: Sly and the Family Stone (1970-10-09, Piknik Kasteel Groeneveld Baarn)
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed: The Allman Brothers Band (1971-03-13 Fillmore East, NYC)

Waiting for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago: ZZ Top (1980-04-15 Pine Knob, Clarkston, MI)
Big Chief: The Meters (1976-10-01 The Kingfish Lounge, Baton Rouge, LA)

Monday, December 05, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #283: We Don't Quit

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It's far past the time to start talking about affordable event space in the Bay Area. Tonight on the program Ann Atomic joins me in the studio to talk about the devastating fire at the Ghost Ship in Oakland last Friday night. 33 souls have perished in the worst fire in Oakland history. Yes, this was a space that was not up to code. Yes, this was a space not zoned for housing. Yes, the leaseholder will probably be charged with 2nd degree murder. But beyond all of this, we need to take a deeper look at the housing challenges faced by artists in the Bay Area today.

The investigation is just beginning, but we can't just throw around the blame. As the tech boom contiunes it's important that we focus on who is not thriving here: the art community. Imagine if you will a working artist paying $2000 a month on a 1 bedroom apartment, while also having to pay for an artists studio, because if they made their art at home they would be in violation of their lease and could get kicked out. It then makes sense for them to move into their art studio space with other artists even if that violates the lease on the art space. This is close to what happened at Ghost Ship, and what has happened at other art studio spaces in the Bay Area over the past 20 years, while local jurisdictions make it more and more impossible for artists to survive in a nation that no longer prioritizes art at all.

Ann Atomic and I attempt to tackle all this and more on tonight's program.

New music from Ty Segall, Dumb Punts, Mind Rays, Faux Ferocious, Nick Cave, and The Flat Earthers. And the rareist of rare music from Pink Floyd. You have NEVER heard the Floyd like this before, I promise you.

Did you hear my 6th annual ANNUAL ANNUAL? If not, you can check it out by going here.

My Best of 2016 is coming up in just a few weeks.

See you on the radio.


Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Hallelujah: Jeff Buckley
Rainy Day in June: The Kinks

Orange Color Queen: Ty Segall
Cherry Bomb: GIRLS
Space Waster: Dumb Punts

It Covers the Hillside: Midlake
Still and All: Mind Rays
Viola Lee: Jim Kweskin
Feeding Frenzy: Faux Ferocious

Walk With Me Sydney: Pink Floyd
Vegetable Man: Pink Floyd
Every Little Twist: Red Fang

Web: Thee Oh Sees
N.I.B.: Black Sabbath (08-31-70 Montreux, Switzerland)

I Need You: Nick Cave

We Don't Quit: The Flat Earthers

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #282: 6th Annual ANNUAL ANNUAL - 2006

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Way way back in 2011 I had this desire to feature 1971 on my show. What a great year that was for music. This was when bands like Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones were still considered young and relevant. Following this show I made an executive decision to annually feature another great year during the month of November. Preparing for this year's show I was eager to share a more recent year with you. 2006 stood out to me even while we were deep in it. Taking a look at the playlist below I think you'll agree.

I didn't get to nearly all the artists and tracks I wanted to play during my sixth annual ANNUAL ANNUAL, but this here is smattering of the genius that was 2006.

If you're interested in my previous five ANNUAL ANNUAL shows, click the links below.


See you next ANNUAL ANNUAL. Er, I mean see you next week.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song: The Flaming Lips
Black Mountain: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
Black Sweat: Prince

They Call Me Flava: Public Enemy
Aliens: Dr. Octagon
Living Proof: Cat Power

Jihad: Slayer
Run Devil Run/The Big Guns: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
Jams Run Free: Sonic Youth
Like the 309: Johnny Cash

Freya: The Sword
Beyond the Horizon: Bob Dylan
You Don't Know Me: Willie Nelson
Laugh/Love/Fuck: The Coup

A History of Drunks: The Melvins
Make Them Suffer: Cannibal Corpse
It Is Us: Mudhoney
Backstage Girl: DJ Shadow

What Keeps Mankind Alive: Tom Waits
If Looks Could Kill: Camera Obscura
Wherever You Go: Built To Spill
Mr. Tough: Yo La Tengo

Akuma No Kuma: Sunn O))) and Boris

One band that didn't make it onto the show this year was Texas' own Midlake. Their sophomore effort "The Trials of Van Occupanther" was a real winner in the Hell household starting in 2006. It still gets a lot of play during road trips. Below is the video for "Roscoe".

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #281: Two For The Road

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Will this madness of 2016 never end.

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Eric McFadden and his Queen delphine joined me in the studio Monday night to pay tribute to two greats of the music world who recently passed on to the great beyond.

While I was never a big fan of the way Leonard Cohen phrased his own tunes, I was a huge fan of the many covers of his classics. I believe I first was turned onto the brilliant songwriting of Mr. Cohen through the Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen version of "Bird on a Wire". I was hooked from that moment on the storytelling and eagerly sought out other covers. Easily my favorite cover of his was "Hallelujah" by the late, great Jeff Buckley. "I'm Your Fan" is a great tribute record to Cohen, which was released in 1991, featuring REM, Nick Cave, The Pixies, and John Cale. Check it out!

Leonard Cohen died November 7th of cancer at the age of 82. I appreciate that he was buried in a simple Jewish ceremony next to his parents in Montreal.

The piano player on the Mad Dogs record was none other than my other featured player for the night: Leon Russell. Russell's stride piano playing and exaggerated vocal style helped him stand out from others during his high profile era of the 1970s. Starting with the Mad Dogs record I spent many hours enjoying his early 70s solo efforts. Though he wasn't as often covered as much as Cohen, Russell made a profound impact on many songwriters that followed him. His birthplace, Tulsa, Oklahoma, named a street after him in 2010. He died this past Sunday after a few years of failing health. He was 74.

Listening to music is supposed to be a joy. Even when the artist we love and respect has passed to the great beyond we have their songs to carry us through to our own old age. I've told my friends and family if I ever get to a point where they have to prop me up in a corner just place some headphones on me and place my iPod on shuffle. Losing Cohen and Russell is indeed sad, but it also will lead to a renaissance of their music. Perhaps your favorite band will cover their songs. Maybe, like after Jerry Garcia died, there will be a huge outpouring of new versions of some of their deeper album cuts that you never knew they wrote. From loss comes inspiration. Through grief comes resilience and vision.

At this writing Mose Allison has passed away at the age of 89. I can't host enough shows to pay tribute to all the musical greats who we have lost this somber year.

Take heart my friends, and hold each other closer. We're going to need all the good love and strength we can muster.

Eric and delphine are performing the next two Fridays and Saturdays for Dark Kabaret at the Great Star Theater in China Town. Tickets and information here.


Girl From North Country: Leon Russell (02-05-1971 - Baarn, NL)
The Partisan: Leonard Cohen
Bird on a Wire: Joe Cocker

This Masquerade: Leon Russell
Hummingbird: B.B. King
Dream a Little Dream of Me: Cass Elliott

Chelsea Hotel No 2: Lana Del Rey
A Song for You: Donny Hathaway
Everybody Knows: Leonard Cohen
Who By Fire: Coil

Avalanche: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Alcatraz: Nazareth
Back to the Island: Toots and the Maytals
First We Take Manhattan: REM

Roll Away the Stone: Leon Russell (11-20-70 Fillmore East, NYC)
I Can't Forget: Pixies
The Partisan: Eric McFadden

Delta Lady: Joe Cocker
Hallelujah: Jeff Buckley

As I said above the Joe Cocker Mad Dog and Englishmen tour and record made a profound impact on me as a youth. Luckily for us YouTube has much of the film to share. Below features a rather fun version of Space Captain. Sing along with all the "oohs" and "ahs".