Friday, October 29, 2010

Episode 319

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 319

Charles Douglas - Summertime

This episode featured two Charles Douglas tracks from his newly reissued 1999 album, The Lives of Charles Douglas. This record is surely a great lost album which is finally getting a proper release. The album was recorded in a decaying studio in New York owned by Ultra Vivid Scene's Kurt Ralske and produced by Moe Tucker. Moe also played drums on the record. Kurt Ralske also plays guitars and keyboards and engineered the album.

Charles was signed to No. 6 Records by Terry Tolkin, who had previously worked for Electra Records in the US, signing Stereolab, Luna and The Afghan Whigs to the label. The album eventually received a minor release by Caroline Records and subsequently disappeared. It's now getting a rerelease by Broken Horse Records with expanded linear notes by Douglas telling the fasinating and sometimes gut-wrenchingly funny story of the album's recording.      

Douglas has the following to say about the album's opening track: "I wrote “Summertime” because I really like the Velvet Underground. And I really like happy songs, or songs that start out happy and then you realize they’re really depressing. I always admired The Misfits song “Skulls” because it’s so poppy and upbeat, but then of course Danzig is so scary and demonic, especially now that he’s an old man. I suppose Husker Du does that too. One minute you think, “This is a cheerful, up-tempo rock song!” and then the next second there are razor blades everywhere and you’re dialing for an ambulance because you realize the song is about how much Bob Mould and Grant Hart love each other, but they can’t make things work. I thought it might be nice to write a song like that. The chords are catchy, but the lyrics paint a bleak picture. Of course, I was feeling that way at the time. Things were, are, and always will be quite bleak. I was also listening to a lot of Television and Ramones, and all the other classic New York City rock bands, so they really influenced the sound of this record. And we were recording at a horrible decaying studio on West 30th Street in New York City, so that helped too. I asked Maureen “Moe” Tucker to produce the album and play drums, because her drums sound like city traffic. I think she’s one of the best rock drummers in the world."


Charles Douglas - The Lives of Charles Douglas

In light of the recent footage of Moe Tucker at a Tea Party rally, Douglas has blogged about working with the VU legend. His recollections can be read here.

Episode 318 - 21/10/2010

Playlist

Polar Bear & Jyager - Enterprize
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - The Course
Shugo Tokumaru - Tracking Elevator
Shugo Tokumaru - Rum Hee
Antony and the Johnsons feat. Bjork - Fletta
The Acron - Restoration (Four Tet Remix)
The Black Heart Procession - Silence (Mr Tube Remix)
Comet Gain - I Never Happened
Morrissey - November the Second
Ann Scott - Dead Souls
Smoke Fairies - Hotel Room
Darren Hayman & the Secondary Modern feat. Emma-Lee Moss - Calling Out Your Name
Kort (Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell) - Picking Wild Mountian Berries
Ingrid Olava - Warrier Song
Maps & Atlases - Solid Ground
Stereolab - The Super-It
Stereolab - So Is Cardboard Clouds
Seeland - Black Dot, White Spider
Big Audio Dynamite - E=MC2
Laetitia Sadier - Satues Can Bend
Cassius - Les Enfants
ESG - You're No Good
David Axelrod - The Edge
Comet Gain - Love Vigilantes
Charles Douglas - Summertime
Charles Douglas - Slowly Wasted
Dum Dum Girls - Stiff Little FIngers
Scheer - Sometimes
Jerry Goldsmith - Planet of the Apes (Main Theme)

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