Monday, August 19, 2013

A Season in Hell #145: Slow Me Down

I'll be the first to admit it, I play the Melvins too damn much. I don't play them every week, but I seem to look for any reason to throw them on. And why not?! They ROCK! And on tonight's show I had a pair of tickets to give away for their upcoming Slims show. I haven't been this excited since I gave a pair of tickets away to see Nirvana in 1991 at the Warfield when I was a DJ on KFJC. I remember asking for the 90th caller. And I got them too. HAHAHAHA! I went to that show.

Funny story:

The show was so packed, and I was on the floor, that before the lights went down for the Nirvana set, the crowd was pushing left and right, and I felt my feet leave the floor more than once. I decided I had enough and wanted out, but there was no way in hell I was going to be able to work my way through the crowd to leave the floor. So I did what any respectable and experienced rock show attendee would do: I crowd surfed out of it! I just pushed my way on top of the crowd while shouting "OUT!" at the top of my lungs (it was very loud in there). I was pushed back to the area just off the floor. The place was so packed that the security didn't move anyone away from the area I ended up at, and I enjoyed a perfect view without anyone stepping on my toes.

I also really have to blame Nirvana for the death of alternative music. I don't think they realized what they were doing when the release of Smells Like Corporate Dollars Rolling In came out in September of 1991. I love what Buzz of the Melvins said when asked in the Oregon Music News "what's the weirdest thing you've ever done?"

"Weirdest? I guess the weirdest thing would be the whole Nirvana explosion out of something that we started, you know? That was pretty weird. The fact that our influence, musically, was basically on a massive, global level. That’s pretty weird. At the same time, it’s very exciting that I wasn’t wrong. My initial instincts were correct. You take a homogenized, bastardized version of what we’re doing, it can indeed sell millions of records. And that’s exactly what happened."
Love it! Read the whole interview, it's one of the best I've seen with the King. Also, check out the video below, for what is perhaps the most BRILLIANT way to buy a house.

Anyway, I digress. This is a fun show. I slow down a few tunes near the start to give you a feel of the way they could sound. Let me know what you think. There's some new stuff thrown in, and some old stuff too. And of course, there's The Melvins. A whole set of them to be exact.

Turn this one up to 11!


To stream this rock goodness, click here.
To download and take this on your next epic journey, click here.
To listen to all of my shows, click here, or just scroll down already.

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Cuban Pete: Dezi Arnez
Jolene: Dolly Parton

Hey Hey What Can I Do: Led Zeppelin
Bloody Hammer: Roky Erickson
Dr. Doom: 13th Floor Elevators

Mt. Abraxas: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
Worship the Devil: Glitter Wizard
Timebomb: Radio Moscow
Empty Mind: Spacin'

What You Can Do In Your Life: Petalouda
John Barleycorn: Traffic
I Don't Want To Be A Soldier: John Lennon

Youth of America: The Melvins
Revolve: The Melvins

A History of Drunks: The Melvins
Black Betty: The Melvins
Scar Box: Boris

Earthquake: Butthole Surfers
Trickle Down System: Giant Sand
Graveyard Shift: Uncle Tupelo

Tommy the Cat: Primus
Step Right Up: Tom Waits

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Season in Hell #144: Twice As Nice

Fun show tonight with special guest, local comedian Bert Divietri. This guy is off his rocker. He played some prank calls for us, and was an all around freak-a-zoid. I'll have him back for sure.

We were also graced with the presence of guitar maverick Eric McFadden. He owed me a favor. No, really, he did. That's the only way I can get anyone on my show anymore. It's just short of extortion. Anyway, Eric ROCKS! He told some great road stories from his recent tour with Eric Burdon and the Animals, as well as updates on T.E.N., featuring bassist Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) and drummer Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta).

You really shouldn't waste your time on streaming this one here.
I would pass up on downloading this one here.
I don't recommend you click here to listen to all of my shows, or just scroll down. I wouldn't do it.

A Season in Hell with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia, 87.9FM in SF

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Awkward: FIDLAR

A Men Stuck in Your Mind: The Felines
Short Stay: The Midnight Moan
Fine Fine Fine: The Mentalettes

Interview with Bert Divietri

Bullet/I'm Mad: Reverend Horton Heat
Caliente: Supersuckers

Interview with Bert Divietri

Get Out Of My Way: Mojo Nixon
So Long Baby, Goodbye: The Blasters

Joe Strummer: Cowboy Mouth
White Man In Hammersmith Palais: Eric McFadden

Interview with Eric McFadden

Police and Thieves: The Clash
Field of Bones: Eric McFadden

Interview with Eric McFadden

A Shot in the Dark: Whiskey Biscuit
Bottle Up & Go: The Monkeywrench

Interview with Eric McFadden

Cocaine Blues: Johnny Cash

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A Season in Hell #143: My Musical Meanderings

No, my show is not genre specific. You've figured that out already, yes? Last week it's all jazz, the week before it's hard rock. This week I'm in the mood for PUNK! Fuck off!!!!

Why Punk? I don't have to tell you!

OK, I'll tell you. But I'm only telling you because I think deep down you'll understand. I'm willing to bare my soul to you. I'm willing to take the chance that you won't laugh at me, and ridicule me, or point and laugh.


I like Punk.

There, are you happy now?! Good.

I was born in 1970. I was raised on jazz and blues of the 50s and 60s, as well as the classic rock of the 70s. By the age of 8 I was into KISS. They were my first favorite band. At that age you're only allowed to have one favorite band. It's a law or something. When I was 10 I fell in love with the Beatles, but I felt sooooo bad for admitting to myself that I liked them more than I liked KISS. It was not the friendliest of break-ups. I'll admit, if there were cell phones back then, I would have texted the break up to KISS; I was so ashamed. By 12 I "discovered" Led Zeppelin. Oh damn, now what was I going to do? I still wonder where this KISS poster ended up?

All this time my dad is playing John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and every artist the Blues Brothers covered, in our home, as well as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. My sisters (6 and 7 years older than me) were playing the rock of the day (Eagles, Boston, Bob Segar) as well as playing American Bandstand every Saturday. I preferred Soul Train even at an early age.

I used to lay by my speakers with a tape recorder and pretend I was a DJ and back announce all of the songs I would play on the stereo. I wish I still had those tapes. I once hid a tape recorder on the stairs leading to our living room, and taped the family hanging out watching Saturday morning cartoons. I REALLY wish I had that tape today. I probably taped a Grateful Dead concert over it.

And then there's the Dead. I got into them around the same time I got into Zeppelin. I think it was the iconography. It looked so dark, weird and trippy. Like many others, I thought they would be a metal band. I was slightly disappointed when I found out they weren't. I was hungry for something more at this point in my musical journey. Having moved as much as we did (once a year between the ages of 5 and 15; three different states (four if you consider SoCal and NorCal two different states)) I found that I got bored very easily. Music needed to change to really move me.

The Grateful Dead really moved me. I won't get into it here, but their meanderings took me on some amazing journeys. What they didn't do for me however, was drive the teenage angst energy out of me. They mellowed me and made me want to shimmy and dance. I still love them. But I always need something more.

Here comes Punk.

I had always listened to The Clash and The Ramones, but really didn't have a penchant for the wider variety of Punk until I was about 14 and in high school. It was there that my friend Etienne and I started to listen to Metal together. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio. As a matter of fact, my first "official" concert was November 30, 1984 at the Oakland-Alameda County Auditorium (where the Warriors play basketball) to see Dio (Last in Line) and Dokken (Tooth and Nail). I was 14. I wore my jean jacket. I was afraid the guy next to me, who asked us to save him a seat in exchange for smoking us out, would share a heroin-laced joint and I would be dead before the show even began.

My love for KISS helped for the easy transition to Metal, but it didn't last too long. I still really love Metal, but it was Punk that really spoke to me. Metal spoke of fantasy characters in a fantasy world. Punk was political! Politics was always spoken about in my home. My parents didn't shy away from their negative feelings towards Reagan. The Punk movement was political. I was drawn to it pretty easily.

Starting at KFJC in the fall of 1988 also helped. The Wave of the West is a bastion of musical knowledge; especially that of all-things-alternative. This was before alternative was a genre (thank you very much Nirvana). Punk didn't get me angry. It made me happy! It made me feel like I wasn't alone in my thoughts against the state. It made me feel like my generation wasn't as lost as many thought we were. And the lyrics were hilarious, inane, intense, intelligent, ridiculous.

Being a Deadhead and a Punk isn't as far apart as it would seem. If you like the Dead you pretty much are open to anything, considering how many people DETEST the Grateful Dead. The same could be said for Punk. Though I think more Deadheads like Punk, than Punk likes the Dead. It's all good.

There's not much difference in the spiral dancing of a Dead concert, and a mosh pit at a Punk show. Both are ways of sharing energy. Is one more aggressive? Perhaps, but all good-natured. Even at Punk shows, if you fall down, more often than not there's a hand there to pick you up and get you moving again.

If I've learned anything through my musical journeys, it's that life is all ONE. The mystical, magical ONE. Whether it's Punk, Funk or Junk the musical odyssey that takes us through life is all based on how open we are to the meanderings of the road. I'm truly blessed to have a diverse music library as I do. You're just as likely to find a Black Flag LP in my collection as a Johnny Cash (he's Punk as fuck, btw).

As for tonight's show, it's all punk. Why? I just told you why! Sheesh.



To stream this musical journey, click here.
To download this odyssey, click here.
To jump in the pit and hear all of my shows, go here, or just scroll down.

A Season in Hell with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia, 87.9FM in SF

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Orgasm Addict: The Buzzcocks
Never Talk To You Again: Husker Du
Tension: Minutemen

Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy: Devo
Ex Lion Tamer: Wire
Elevation: Television
Search and Destroy: The Dictators

Gimme Danger: Iggy and the Stooges
Motor City is Burning: MC5

We Must Bleed: Germs
Six Pack: Black Flag
More Beer: Fear
Ain't Talkin' About Love: Minutemen
Wendy: Descendents

Peking Spring: Mission of Burma
Southern California: Flipper
Sonic Reducer: The Dead Boys
I Just Want To Make Love To You: Meat Puppets

Show Me The Way: Dinosaur Jr.
Goin' Up The Country: Three Stoned Men
Stars and Stripes of Corruption: Dead Kennedys
I Wanna Get Rid of you: Psychotic Pineapple

Out of our Tree: The Mummies
Glorious: Polkacide
Sweat Loaf: Butthole Surfers

I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement: Ramones
Career Opportunities: The Clash
Personality Crisis: New York Dolls
25 Minutes To Go: Johnny Cash