Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I'm Back! This is how it's gonna be.

Okay, first things first, big thanks to Cameron for holding down the fort while I was away in Chi-Town recieving indoctrination training for my new gig as an organizer. No, I will not rearrange your closet and set your files in order. I organize people. Y'know, the political/community kind of organizer. I's'a be talkin to the old peoples about all their drugs for the next few months.

So, in honor of said indoctrination, it's time to get political and shit, all week long.

Radio 4 - The Death of American Radio So, Radio 4 are the best band in NYC that noone outside of the city seems to have heard of. They're probably my favorite local band that never gets any respect. Their last album, Gotham, is probably my favorite album of the decade to date. It's the album that got me interested in Teaching The Indie Kids to Dance in the first place. So of course, I was mega-excited when their new album, The Stealing of a Nation leaked this week. This is probably the most instantly accessible track, filled with Devo-esque squonks, a killer bassline, and posssibly the first truly catchy song about radio deregulation and the evils of Clear Channel. (Sorry, Eric Idle's recent FCC song and NOFX's old "Dinosaurs will Die" just don't match up.)

Radio 4 - (Give Me All of Your) Money This however, is the albums definite winner. Ignore the somewhat cliched "We are electronic!" intro. Radio 4 should know better. They are, as a rule, at their best in an orgy of cowbells and congas and killer basslines and guitar hooks straight out of the Gang of Four/PIL playbook. But here, they push out and, with a dash of Primal Scream, manage to record one of the catchiest songs they've ever put out. I'm not terribly happy or impressed with the albums general direction (more electronics, less disco, less originality sadly), but when it hits, it's home runs all the way, as these two tracks prove. This is the essence of a driving song. It needs to be played, very loudly, cruising down a highway at well over the speed limit to be truly appreciated methinks. Definite single material.

Radio 4 - Struggle And now, because I've talked up Gotham and I'm guessing most haven't heard it, as it flew under the radar a few years back, hitting before dancepunk became big enough for everyone to snap up everything, the albums best track. To me, this has everything that makes Radio 4 great. The percussion, the guitars, the politics, the Cowbell! (Thank you Christopher Walken.) The Ideas of the Ruling Class / Should not be / the Ruling Ideas. Get behind the Struggle! Right Now!

[Buy Gotham! at Amazon.com!]

And, small random grousing. I've noted much crediting of an NPR piece for the term MP3J. While I won't claim to have come up with the term, as I'm SURE I heard it somewhere before I picked it up, I've been using it since this humble blog went live in February. I'm not bitter. Not at all.


At 6/15/2004 11:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

on behalf of the entire nation of australia, may i thank you for bestowing upon us new radio 4 goodness.
somwhow got gotham!, but the chances of an import making it down anytime this millennium seems negligble.
must harass record store.


At 6/16/2004 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Alan Williamson said...

thanks for the Radio 4 tracks. I will now post an arrow in your direction on my blog.

At 6/16/2004 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thnx for the mp3s - thought it might make you happy to know that Radio 4 are pretty popular in Canada, especially Montreal where i'm from. but the last time they tried to come up here to play they were stopped at the border (rumors abound of certain band members' previous criminal records...?). also check out the dub versions of some of these trax on Echo Beach 045 V/A - "Dread meets Disco Punk Rocker Downtown" a.k.a. "Modern Wild Dub" compilation.

At 6/22/2004 01:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have the new faint cd if your interested


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