Category Archives: Punk

Rancid: …And Out Come the Wolves

Rancid – …And Out Come the Wolves (1995)

Jeff: What, you might ask, is the prestigious and well-esteemed SWR blog doing reviewing a derivative 90’s pop-punk-revival album? The answer is multifaceted but the first component of it is that it’s an amazing album. Another part of that answer is that I for one first began coming of age in musically the mid-’90s–the major labels were well into their signing spree of “alternative” bands, and MTV was playing music that was like nothing else I’d ever heard (it’s not Debbie Gibson, it’s not Guns ‘n’ Roses, it’s something else entirely). Weezer, Green Day, the Offspring, and Hole seemed like a breath of fresh air to a kid who wouldn’t hear indie music for another four years.  It was an exciting time to be a 7th grader.

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Filed under 1990s, Pop, Punk, Rock, Ska

“You put the hurt on me”

Isaac Hayes – “Walk On By” from Hot Buttered Soul (1969)

I don’t love Isaac Hayes — at least not his gold-chain shaved-head solo career. His singing doesn’t usually do it for me — he often lacks poise and urgency. Few of his molasses-thick string arrangements hit the sweet spot. While his keyboard work tends to be quite good, I wish he let the funk grooves carry the songs. There’s a cheesiness to his music that tends toward the embarrassing.

All that said, his version of Bacharach/David’s “Walk On By” that opens the recently remastered Hot Buttered Soul is damn awesome. It’s a great song, with a great organ sound, a cool string melody, a funky bassline, spooky back-up singing, a simple in-the-pocket drumbeat, weird ringing noises, fuzzy guitar, triumphant brass, flutes, a helluva crescendo. And bad mixing toward the end that cuts and raises the volume of the song willy-nilly. Everything you want in a psych-soul masterpiece.

If you like your buttered soul appetizer sized, try the single edit:

Issac Hayes – “Walk On By (Single Edit)” (1969)

Dionne Warwick made the song famous — I believe that Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote it for her. Check out her very different, very good version:

Dionne Warwick – “Walk On By” (single, 1964)

The Stranglers, too, apparently had a UK hit with a punk rock version:

The Stranglers – “Walk On By” (single, 1978)

Buy “Walk On By”

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1960s, 1970s, Funk, Pop, Punk, Rock, Soul

Like food?

The Descendents – “I Like Food” from Fat (1981)

Man does not live by psychedelic fusion freakouts alone. Those of you who like to nosh on, y’know, actual food would do well to check out my girlfriend’s new food/cooking blog, The Food Processor. Simple, tasty food, with simple, tasty commentary. Warning: you may get hungry. And you may find a photo of me chowing down on a delicious pita.

Buy the Descendents

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Links, Punk

“Joan of Arc rules Northeast, where the poor and the hipsters meet”

the protaganist of the S-K song below

the protaganist of the S-K song below

Sleater-Kinney – “Light Rail Coyote” from One Beat (2002)
Bill Fox – “Portland Town” from Transit Byzantium (1998)

I’m off to Portland, OR for a week of this, this, and this. So I offer two of my favorite Portland songs, including one from our main man, Bill Fox.

What are your fave geography tunes?

Buy S-K

Bill Fox is on iTunes, but you can check him out here

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1990s, 2000s, Acoustic, Folk, Punk, Rock, Singer-Songwriter

A Clash Triptych

The Clash – “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” single (1978)
The Clash – “Safe European Home” from Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)
The Clash – “Rudie Can’t Fail” from London Calling (1979)

“Safe European Home” tells the now-famous story of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones’s disappointing trip to Jamaica. Thematically, it echoes one of their best singles, “White Main In Hammersmith Palais,” a stream-of-consciousness Strummer rant set off by a dopey reggae showcase in London: “On stage they ain’t got no roots rock rebel.” Taken together, these two songs set up ideas about cultural imperialism and idolization that the Clash would explore, lyrically and musically, on London Calling, Sandinista!, and Combat Rock.

And since “Safe European Home” ends with the words “Rudie come from Jamaica, ’cause Rudie can’t fail,” I include the stone-cold classic from London Calling.

These also happen to be three of my favorite Clash songs.

Buy The Clash

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, Punk, Rock, Ska


consider this an endorsement

consider this an endorsement

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – “Hearts of Oak” from Hearts of Oak (2003)

Hope, not only the moniker of the alma mater to 3/4s of SWR, is an emotion called forth by some of my favorite music.

As noted here before, Ted Leo writes great songs about walking around–which, for whatever reason, I tend to associate with feelings of hopefulness. In “Hearts of Oak,” I can’t figure out whether he’s talking about a new band or a new love. Either way, it’s a great one to sing to yourself as you walk or bike (as I’ve been doing during the recent heatwave down south, hoping for more nice weather).

(Though this heat is probably attributable to global warming, a surefire killer-of-hope if there was one.)

Get your prescription from Ted Leo, Pharm.D.

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 2000s, Punk, Rock

“You can’t afford to close your doors so soon no more.”

Bad Brains – “Banned In D.C.” from Bad Brains (1982)

I’m headed to our nation’s capital this afternoon, to visit my fellow SWR-ite, Jordy, and his wife. Hopefully I won’t be kicked out for destroying the Capitol with a bolt of lightning or anything.

Bad Brains Live

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Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1980s, Punk, Rock