"Sometimes there's a song in my brain/
And I feel that my heart knows the refrain/
I guess it's just the music that brings on nostalgia
For an age yet to come" - Pete Shelley (Nostalgia - Buzzcocks)
The Insyderz are a Christian ska-punk band from Detroit, Michigan. They formed in 1996 and disbanded in 2005, but reformed in 2009. The Insyderz are one of the "big three" bands which represented the Christian ska scene, alongside the OC Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy.
Click on the links to listen to The Motor City Ska Sound of The Insyderz.
On this day in musical history back in 1971, five months after her death, Janis Joplin started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Pearl.' The album was released on 11th January and was the only album that her touring band at the time, The Full Tilt Boogie Band, appeared on. The original release contained ten tracks, nine of which Janis sang on, 'Buried Alive in the Blues' is an instrumental that Joplin never got around to adding vocals to due to her untimely death.
Jason Isbell is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Green Hill, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. He is best known for his solo career, and as a former member of the Drive-By Truckers for 6 years.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
Live in Alabama
13th April 2013
Click on the links to enjoy more from Jason Isbell.
Icon for Hire is an American rock band from Decatur, Illinois.
Formed in 2007, the band's current lineup consists of singer Ariel,
guitarist Shawn Jump, bassist Josh Kincheloe, and drummer Adam
Kronshagen. They released two EPs independently before signing to Tooth and Nail Records, through which they released their two Billboard-charting albums Scripted in 2011 and Icon for Hire on October 15, 2013.
The Huntingtons are a punk band from Baltimore, Maryland
which formed in 1993-1994 in the Maryland/Delaware area by Cliff Powell
(aka Cliffy Huntington), Mike Holt (aka Mikey Huntington) and Mike
Pierce (aka Mikee Huntington). The band is heavily influenced by The Ramones.
The Damned are one of those bands that often get a raw deal when it comes to writing the history of the whole Punk scene between 1976 - 1977. Some saw them as one of the real catalysts for the scene, whilst others often write them off as some cartoonish creation not worth the vinyl they released (a view hard not to agree with when one considers the buffoonary of Captain Sensinble at times!). I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the two bands that are often given the most attention, The Clash and the Sex Pistols, maybe felt a little threatend by The Damned because they were actually quite proficient when it came to playing their instruments and the fact that they already had released music. Whatever viewpoint one takes there is no denying them their place in the history of the scene because they were just as vital to it as The Clash and the Sex Pistols.
I remember being in W.H. Smith in Forest Hill and seeing their debut album for the first time and being amazed by that front cover! Four grown chaps covered in cream and cake was not what one expects to see on a debut album cover! It's funny when you consider some of the other albums of the time with their arty farty covers, or pretty boy/girl photography and then place the cover of 'Damned, Damned, Damned' next to them and it's like some nightmare by comparison!
And musically this was something altogether different, probably the closest thing to it's sound was the 1973 album 'Raw Power' by Iggy and the Stooges (well to my ears at least, I'm sure someone will say different). I remember asking the lady in the music department of W.H. Smiths (yep, they used to have those way back then!) if she could play a little of it for me. The opening throbbing bassline of 'Neat Neat Neat' kicked in and next thing the manager of the store was rushing behind the till to turn it off, 'you are scaring the customers with this racket', he said! There on the spot I bought it with the money from my milk round (and it had the Hot Rods picture on the back of it!). Playing it again all these years on it still sounds brilliant I think. A few years back, 2007 to be exact, I picked up the 30th Anniversary Boxset of the album. It had 3CD's, the actual album, a disc of demos and sessions, and the 3rd disc was a very rough sounding recording of The Damned live at the 100 Club. I didn't stump up the cash five years later to get the 35th Anniversary Boxset (with another disc added containing interviews etc about the making of the album. Whilst the singles ('New Rose' and 'Neat Neat Neat') are standout tracks for me I absolutely loved '1 of the 2' and 'I Feel Alright' (a cover of The Stooges song '1970') have been my favourites since the album was released and still are today. The Stooges cover by the way is just one of many classics that The Damned have covered down through the years (The Beatles' 'Help' was on the B-side of 'New Rose'). The Damned were a band of firsts: First UK Punk band to release a single ('New Rose' was released 5 weeks before the Sex Pistols issued 'Anarchy in the UK'). First UK Punk band to release an album (two months before The Clash released their debut album). First UK Punk Band to break up and get back together again!
Released 18th February 1977
UK Album Chart #36
Produced by Nick Lowe
31Minutes 32 Seconds
Band Line Up
Dave Vanian - Vocals
Brian James - Guitar and Vocals
Captain Sensible - Bass and Vocals
Rat Scabies - Drums and Vocals
Some copies of the album were released with a Eddie and The Hot Rods picture on the back cover! A deliberate ploy apparently by Stiff Records (who were distributed by Island Records home of Eddie and The Hot Rods).
The proper back cover was a shot of the band playing at The Roxy and a small photo booth picture of Captain Sensible. This was due to the fact that the Captain had said that because on the front cover he was the one who ended up with so much cream and cake that he could barely be recognised,"so I went down a photo booth and got some pictures, cut one out and said
'put that on there' so I would have something to show my relatives,
because I didn't think we'd be invited to make another album."
Original Album Tracklist
All Songs written by Brian James unless otherwise noted
The links here are not necessarily the actual album versions (though some might be) but are live or alternative versions. The original album versions can be heard in the video above.
I want to dedicate today's Alphabet Beats to two dear friends:
Rue and Soda.
Dave Hause, born David Andrew Hause, March 12, 1978 is an American singer-songwriter who has played in multiple Philadelphia, PA area punk and hardcore bands. He currently performs solo as well as sings and plays guitar in The Loved Ones.
Before talking about today's choice I just want to say that the numbers you see in the title to this post and any post in this series are not a chart placing, there is no chart (I did say that I had intially wanted to do a chart but as the choices were so many I abandoned that idea pretty fast). This is article #8 in what I presume to be a long running series. Just thought I'd clear that up to prevent any more confusion as a couple of people had asked to see a list of the albums going to be spotlighted (well they are not going to get the chance as my poor chicken scrawl means it would be difficult for them to decipher!). So, from my poorly scribbled list and the choices of some guests you'll get them as they come, not in any particular order of preference to me. Let's move on... One debut album to me that still stands the test of time is the self-titled album from The Psychedelic Furs. It's hard to believe that the album is 35 years old this year. It's an album that also gets a lot of airplay at home. Whilst other albums of theirs enjoyed greater success chartwise, from a personal point of view I don't think any of them bettered this debut release (there, I've said it and will stand by that no matter what others may say!).
Released February 1980
The album reached #18 in the UK Chart and only #140 in the US Chart.
Today's Alphabet Beats is shorter than normal, we could have posted a truckload of music by Buddy Holly but settled for a 65 Track Compilation 'The Complete Buddy Holly: Before The Music Died'. A casual glance over the tracklist confirms that all the great tracks are there so without further ado...The Late Great Buddy Holly!
A final word or two from Poet Billy Lamont. He shared this idea with me and I thought it would be a fun thing to add on as the Full Stop to our interview together. Doug, S4L.
"Oh dudeness of coolness...I had an idea that may be
too much but thought it was kind of cool. When no one was interviewing
me I came up with a poem"self interview/self portrait (a post modern
dada)"which is now a song poem with Blackhouse sort of an experimental
psalm of david with electronic keyboard harp sound... It is on Beyond Babylonalbum..."
self interview/self portrait [a postmodern dada]
by billy lamont
For R.S. Pearson
self interview- the problem of suffering <—pascal talk some sense into me —>franz kafka is stalking me —>baudelaire mind is thinking me <—need to wash my mind with The Holy Bible <—and then dry it with r. s. pearson’s phiolosophy
I woke up dreaming of Christian reformation senses reeling with andre breton’s surrealist manifestoes went drinking with martin luther and bono discussed theology in the corner pub pints of ale and irish whiskey clashing with The Holy Bible in my soul like holy rock and roll- we shared belly laughs and prayers for the common man
I stepped outside into the cool, fall air alone lit a miniature cigar from santo domingo and took a slow drag soul of sky was masked by a nuclear cloud did someone cut me? didn’t realize I was slowly bleeding did you warn me? sorry I wasn’t listening
like a wound with a new stitch like a nervous twitch I’ve been living on the border of an unfulfilled wish the local town’s church bell rings out faithfully, like it always does every hour The Spirit is the same but the times sure have changed
mirror perspective a photograph I am an outsider amongst outsiders a rebel amongst rebels never could find the outside of society for me in this subculture of conformity <—The Holy Bible is the message guiding me <—kiergard’s writing like a lamp illuminating me <—escher’s lines keep redefining me <—Lord have mercy
self portrait- ^ GOD is... I am... GOD is... I am... GOD is my dada JESUS is the wonderful I AM
I think you like picasso, all perspectives at once [bet this is how GOD sees it}
feel you passionately like van gogh [i know this is GOD’s holy passion]
love and kiss her like klimpt’s “the kiss” [know GOD’s desire for us through this]
i see JESUS THE CHRIST’s cross like dali [awakens me to GOD’s higher view; JESUS’s amazing power, infinite love and humility]
have i expressed this like jackson pollack’s paint drippings? [oh to be a unique splash of color in God’s expressionistic masterpiece!]
Billy Lamont is an American poet with an
avant-garde approach to writing, music, politics and performance art. At
the heart of his poetry is the passion to inspire hope and to be a
voice for everyday people. His unique vision for poetry into the 21st
century, combined with a belief in the power of words for creation,
reformation and healing brought his influence from grassroots to
national success in the 1990s and then international recognition in the
2000s. His poems encourage dignity, uphold life and have been a catalyst
for many people, inside and outside of society, to live in a more
loving way and to feel for different justice causes for the first time
to help with personal and social reform.
Poet Billy Lamont is a live performer, writer, recording artist, for details of his works of poetry in book or CD form check out the store on his website where there is much information regarding places to obtain the goods.
It gives me great pleasure to be able to bring this little interview (conducted via personal messaging on Facebook) to you. Here am I in Scotland, and there was Poet Billy Lamont snuggled up around the fireplace, beer in hand in New York City. As is typical with a Poet you can expect a lot of words and information (click on the highlighted links to explore more). Poet Billy Lamont has mastered the art of doing what an old Poet called Charles Wesley encouraged his Methodist Congregation back in the 18th Century to do, letting his "Loosened Tongue Employ".
S4L: How did you first get involved in poetry? Was it something that you were good at school?
Poet Billy:Writing is something that always came natural to me.
If I was alone in a room I would write stories or comic strips as a form
of playing as a child. I wrote some poems in Elementary School and
enjoyed it but wrote my first poem when I was 14 years old as i was
sitting in my hometown of Babylon, NY's Catholic Church. I wrote some
more poems and rock lyrics following this and then I chose to take
Poetry as an elective in High School. From that point on it was mostly
all poetry and rock lyrics that I wrote with the exception of a 70 page
Science Fiction story I wrote when 17 years old and later a play I wrote
at 20 years old during that summer. I took a Poetry class in college
and when asked to do a Term Paper on a great Poet I was cocky enough to
write it on my own poetry and how I was going to become a great Poet and
I had gathered many poems by this point. I feel being naive to a degree
helped me invent my own style and by studying more on my own helped me
find my own post modern signature style. My love and personal reading of
Poetry fueled me and inspired me more than school. Reading Long Island
Poet Walt Whitman or Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg and listening to rock
poetry like The Beatles, Jim Morrison of The Doors"American Prayer" or
Patti Smith's "Easter"Bob Dylan"Bring It On Home," of Pink Floyd's
"The Wall" or the Velvet Underground or Bruce Springsteen's "Born To
Run" was where I was gettng my inspiration and then the lights went on
reading HOLY BIBLE and JESUS' parables including the Psalms and
Proverbs poetry sections and then it all started to come together while
listening to The Alarm and U2 and Midnight Oil and Industrial Music
pioneers like Skinny Puppy. It was all street and original and real and
true to me- PURE PASSION!!! Heart and mind with a great spirit!!!!!
S4L: Combining Poetry with music in many ways is nothing new (Jim Morrison
was doing it back in the 60's and John Cooper Clarke in the late 70's),
how did you first get into the idea of adding music to your poetry? Was
there any one who you took inspiration from in doing this? Does the
music enhance the words of your heart?
Poet Billy:Yes music definitely enhances the words of my heart.
When writing or reciting there is always a melody in the poetry to me.
A rhythm too even when the rhythm is more ambient. I received lots of
inspiration fromThe Alarm, U2, Patti Smith, Jim Carroll Band, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. When starting out in late 80's I felt so many genius' have put
their hand to poetry. What could I possibly contribute. Then I started
thinking that what the Beat Poets did with jazz music has been done and
couldn't be done better and the same with Bob Dylan with folk and
country and blues, and the same with The Doors as an original and the
same with Patti Smith and Jim Carroll with Punk and Velvet Underground
and Lou Reed with Alternative Music. So I began to experiment with
electronic music in late 80's feeling that Industrial Music that was
being invented by Skinny Puppy and Frontline Assembly and electronic
music by Kraftwerkwas a new canvas. So I experimented and recorded with
Hendrix-like gutiar or The Cure-like guitar sound with dark Industrial
Music with my proverb-like light in my poetry shining through the dark
soundscapes. I was like YES, this is something new and original!!!!!!
Then I imagined what William Blake would be doing today and came to the
conclusion that a spiritual multi-media show would be what he would be
writing and performing. So I wrote a 40 minute performance poem with
electronic and world music entitled "The Gallery of Light"as my "American Prayer" going into the 21st century.
S4L: When you peform live do you have musicians with you or is it just straight up poetry?
Poet Billy:My performances take different shapes. It could be
spoken word, or with a band, or with a DJ or me reciting to music played
from my ipad with performance art and projected film. It could also be
any combinations of these things. My poetry takes the form of what I am
inspired with and writing at that time and can include other albums, or
books from different time periods as well sometimes reinterpreted in a
new way. On my latest CD/digital download BEYOND BABYLON my sound morphs
all over the place but the album evolves like a book. BEYOND BABYLON is
my innovative Dadaist post modern performance poetry with electronic
and Americana Pop music. It includes collaborations former Sony
Recording Artist and brilliant songwriter Steven Delopoulos of Burlap To Cashmere and legendary Industrial music pioneer and relevant electronic
music genius today Blackhouse. There are also collaboration with Em
Kruz of upwordspiral including a powerful track "walt whitman america"
that includes a recording of Walt Whitman reciting a poem as recorded
by Thomas Edison that Em Kruz and I build upon into a bluesey hip hop
song with me exhorting America today with lines such as "we need a
loving mind, an intelligent heart, LOVE, intelligence of the heart will
light your mind." I was inventing something new with poetry and
Indistrial music in like 1988 as Hip Hop was emerging and RAP Rhythm and
poetry was being invented. As Hip Hop artists were using turn tables I
was creating electronic keyboards sounds by messing with them much
like Hendrix messed with the electric guitar. I remember thinking how do
you create better Rap Music than Grandmaster Flash or Public Enemy?
S4L: You have released albums and published books is your approach to them very different?
Poet Billy:I take the same experimental attitude and hopeful
SPIRIT to my books and recordings but the medium's are so different too
which changes the vibe and approach too. They are both so intimate.
Always loved holding a book in my hands and reading it by a fireplace or
on the beach or by candle light. There is also something about hearing a
Poet recite his poetry since recording that brings out it's meaning
with it's phrasing and intimacy.
S4L: New York must offer some great material for a poet? Does your city
impact you in your writing? I know the Spiritual informs your writing,
is that a rare thing for a poet, I have to confess that Milton, Dante,
Ginsberg, Kerouac and Blake are probably the only spiritual type poets I
am aware of, oh and also the brilliant Bradley Hathaway.
Poet Billy:Yes New York City has the rich and poor and every
culture all classing together within a few blocks. If you people watch
and listen there are poems and songs waiting to be written every hour.
NYC as well as Long Island imaginary are all there in my poetry. In my
latest CD BEYOND BABYLON local imaginary from my hometown of Babylon is
all over it with soings like "Argyle Park" the local park, "...like
marconi" Guilermo Marconi sent the first wireless message from Babylon.
The local clock tower that sound from the Presbyterian Church on Main
Street is there as well as the first great American Poet Walt Whitman's
voice. Whitman was born in Huntington, NY. BEYOND BABYLON was written for
my son Zion Lamont about being a single Dad to him (sort of) in
Babylon, NY and is based on the Psalm that says, "By the waters of
Babylon I wept for Zion" (Psalm 137). I recorded the entire album poetry in one take
at a local studio for $50. I was excited and did a video blog at the Babylon docks and explained the Psalm inspiration. One month later when
Hurricane Sandy devastated my hometown the poetry which was hope in my
own suffering and broken heart took on a greater meaning for the people
of my hometown, as I rectied the poetry for them publicly for the first time, prior to the album being released and as I was doing public
service like so many people of Babylon and surrounding areas were doing.
And Yes there is such a great tradition of spirituality in
poetry. Dante, T.S. Elliot, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman's respect for
life, Jack Kerouac's searching On The Road, Allen Ginsberg,William Blake, Charles Bukowski, Patti Smith to Bob
Dylan and my beloved friend Daniel Berrigan and so many more!Poetry by nature is
spiritual and gives people a voice and also if you have hearing ears an
empathy and understanding for different kinds of people of different
cultures, subcultures and centuries can be born.
Poet Billy with Em Kruz of upwardspiral
S4L:Is it right that you were once a lead vocalist for a band? Did you do that prior to getting involved in poetry?
Poet Billy: Yes I was the singer and songwriter for a band Walk
On Water that had some success in the Northeast of the U.S. with a music
video "A Game Of Chess With Love" and my first nationally syndicated
radio appearance on "Religion And Rock" program in 1988. The band was
together for 1 year and half the band went it's separate ways just after
the first burst of success. I was writing more songs than poetry at
that time and the few years prior (sometimes I feel I should give some
of those songs from those prior years to an appropriate established
artist because it seems like there is a hit or two in there. But I was
more interested in recreating the wheel and innovating then and still am
now HAH! I
began incorporating poetry as an intro into a song in that time period
and rehearsals. Then Walk On Water recorded a song "Insecurity" that had
sort of poetry verse and then singing chorus sort of like Pet Shop Boys"West End Girls" but different. When first members of Walk On Water left
the drummer Jeff Koyyra and I got a guitarist named Billy Poulos to
join and Poulos was an experimental guitarist with a college Industrial
Music show that took Walk On Water into a more experimental Indstrial
Music band that Klayton of later Circle Of Dust fame and now Celldweller
got turned on to Industrial Music through and did his first non-heacy
metal electronic music/Industrial Music recording with us. A lot of
sparks were flying artistically then but it didn"t take any shape. So
when Klayton left those new Walk On Water experiments to sign record
deal to record Circle Of Dust's first album Billy Poulos and I starting
performing some of my poetry pieces set to music at my first poetry
reading and when my first chapbook "Eulogy:Flowers For The Living" book
came out in 1990.
S4L: You seem to have been at this for many years now, how do you think the
scene for poetry has changed in those years, is it a more widely
accepted medium of art or is it still more of an underground thing?
Poet Billy:Yes, I have been at this for quite some time. When I
formally started in say 1988 there were't too many Poets around. Some
people from the 60's would come to my shows but mostly an alternative
music crowd with artists, painters, people into Punk Music or Gothic
Music or Industrial Music and so on. For most people I was the only
young Poet they had ever met. The live shows, passion and above all
timing was with me so this led to my first above ground book of poems
"The Gallery Of Light." that finally got released after a few years in
1994. At that time the spoken word scene was emerging in nyc with the
Nuyorican Poet's Cafe. I would go there a lot in the Bob Holman days. I
loved it and toured with Lollapalooza in '94 with a lot of those poets
but still had a different, unique artistic and spiritual vision that
kept me on a separate path too. Then in approximately 2000 Bruce George
wanted to start Def Poetry Jam HBO Tv series and we spoke on the
telephone a few times. It was like he was picking my mind and knew very
little about poetry. I was very generous with my knowledge of poetry and
ideas about my recent spoken word rock opera but never was offered a
slot to perform on the show. It was then I realized this was the moment
where hip hop needed to refresh itself and part of that was picking the
minds of the street poets. Prior to there was Def Comedy Jam and
knowledge of producing tv shows with one microphone so with added
knowledge of poetry sparks could fly and they did for many great
seasons!!! I was a fan as bringing up my son Zion who was born in 2000.
So today in 2015 spoken word has evolved and poetry in Pop Culture
where there is an open mic and people trying their hand at poetry in
every town in coffee houses, clubs and colleges. Poetry has come a long
way in Pop culture consciousness. As far as books, Cd's and poems in
magazines it is still an underground scene too. Poetry is usually a
labor of love without much money being made by the artists. However Poet
Billy Lamont would love to see that change and have his poetry
communicate to the masses keeping it's integrity and filling Madison
Square Garden!!! Maybe it has already whenever people go to a Bob Dylan
or U2 or Bruce Springstein show or Nas or Radiohead show there
S4L: Music is seen on this blog as a soundtrack to our lives, I'm wondering
what 5 songs and five albums have been part of the soundtrack of your
Poet Billy:Oh boy don't think I can pick 5...Hold on...Top 20 Soundtracks of my life??? Here goes...
S4L:What does the future hold for Poet Billy Lamont? I
heard you recently got engaged, congratulations. That's more fuel for
the poetic fires sorted then!
Poet Billy:HAHA!!! Yes just got engaged!!! This woman and relationship is FIRE for sure!!!!!!!!!
This year has many open doors and holy timing and prosperity for me
like so many others!!! I can't talk about too much at the moment but can
say some cool and exciting things are coming!!! I am spilling over with
inspiration like never before!!!!!!! I would also like to say that when I
focus on some inspirations it seems like I get bombarded or someone
close to me or in family get bombarded by life and needs my attention.
So GOD willing you will be hearing from me a lot and like never before
this year and next. I also spent a lot of time on developing a
multi-media show for Beyond Babylon and didn"t get to fully actualize
that performance or tour or the promotion of this album so would love to
do that too. Perhaps videotape the entire show to like the 45 minute
"the gallery of light at CBGB's in 1998. It feels like the entire album
needs to be a video but I am working on a few new music videos and video
promos for the album. I would also like to do a poetry reading
publicity event reading the poem I wrote for for Mike Peters of The
Alarm's "The Scriptures" recording to help foster peace in The Holy Land as a
benefit for Love Hope Strength Organization and those fighting cancer
in nyc soon, good Lord willing. Thank you for the opportunity to share
some of my art Mr Watson!!! PEACE to you.
S4L: My pleasure Poet Billy.
We think that we wore old Poet Billy Lamont out so he's gone to have a rest now!
Keep your eyes open for a Special Postscript to this interview (coming next).