Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hey Ho Let's Go

L to R: Dee Dee, Joey, Tommy and Johnny

Released in April 1976, Ramones was arguably the very first punk rock album and one of the most influential records of all time. The band recorded the album in only 17 days for a grand sum of $640. Most of the 14 tracks were recorded in one take and the longest song on the album clocks in at 2:38.

The record did not have a hit single, never got anywhere near the charts and has sold less than 500,000 copies to date. But it was the first record to reject the arty pretensions of 1970s progressive rock. There were no long introductions, complex instrumentals or guitar solos. All the songs were fast, primitive and anti-social dealing with feelings of alienation, frustration and isolation.

Some interesting facts and information about the Ramones:

* The band used the same engineering techniques that the Beatles did for their early work, placing the guitar in one channel, the bass in the other and the drums in the middle.

* During the bands 22 years together from 1974 to 1996 there were a total of 8 Ramones: Joey, Johnny, Tommy, Dee Dee, Marky, Richie, Elvis and CJ. They played a total of 2263 gigs.

* The Ramones pseudonym was started by Dee Dee and inspired by the fact that Paul McCartney used the name Paul Ramone when he checked into hotels.

* Tommy was originally an employee of the studio that the band rehearsed in. When the band was auditioning for a drummer, he would often take to the kit to demonstrate how the songs should be played. Eventually, it was decided that he was the only one who could play the songs properly and he joined the band as the drummer.

* The band played live for the first time in March of 1974 and after a few months they became regulars at CBGB's. Their sets were so short (usually 20 minutes) that they often had to repeat them twice during a show.

* The Ramones first concerts in England were on July 4th & 5th, 1976. Their impact was enormous as the audience was full of musicians who played their first gigs immediately afterwards. These included The Damned (July 6th), The Clash (July 10th) and Buzzcocks (July 20th).

* Joey died in April 2001, Dee Dee died in June 2002 and Johnny died in September 2004. All three were the founding members of the band.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Reading, Writing And Listening

So, it's a new year and that offers the promise of many new, exciting and interesting things in every one's life. I am back after a long break from Blog Rockin' Beats and am looking forward to several things this year.

Like most people, I make a few resolutions each new year and (also like most people) don't really keep them. I try for a bit but then get bored or distracted and just stop trying. However, one thing that I have promised myself is to read more this year. I used to love to read and somehow in the last couple of years I have just stopped. I find myself with little to no free time and have been unable to make my way through any book that I have started.

But it is a new year and I am going to try again. Another resolution I have for myself is to listen to more albums. The invention of the iPod and my busy DJing schedule have left me with very little time to put aside and enjoy an album from start to finish - the way an artist intends for you to hear their work.

In a clever move, I found a way to remain true to both of these resolutions. I bought the book 'Fear Of Music: The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk And Disco', written by Garry Mulholland. He is a music journalist who wrote 'This Is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk And Disco' in the early 2000s. I really enjoy his style and although I would never agree with all of his picks for either book they are both very entertaining. He has the ability to mix personal anecdotes, historical references, facts and figures into each of the essays he writes for every album and single.

In skimming through the book, I found that I have nearly half of the albums that Garry has chosen as the best of the last 30 years. The other half contains albums that I can not wait to buy and listen to, albums that I might buy and listen to and albums that I would never ever buy or listen to.

And you, my fortunate readers, will benefit from my resolutions because I plan to post something on this blog about all the worthwhile albums that I listen to.

Happy 2007. Keep reading BRB and keep listening to quality tunes.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Digital Kicks 008

Digital Kicks is back for 2007!

You can find it on
www.disco_dave.podomatic.com and do one of the following things with it:

1. Click on the green play button to listen
2. Click on the send to a friend link and email the Podcast URL
3. Click on the download link to download it to your local device (when I tried this it automatically linked to Quick Time)
4. Click on the permalink link to create a permanent link to the Podcast URL
5. Add a comment (only nice things please)

This is the 8th mix in the series and is just over 88 minutes long, 120mb in size and in the standard mp3 format with a bit rate of 192kbps.

In addition, by clicking on the link below this post called Podcasts you can go to a page that contains all my previous poscast posts and their respective track listings. If you are interested in listening to any of the first 5 podcasts, let me know and I can send the file to you.

When you download or listen to the file please be aware that it appears as one long single mp3. This is because I do not have software yet to insert markers into the file at the beginning of each new song. But I am working on it. In the meantime...

The track listing for Digital Kicks 008 is (please note the time indicated beside the name denotes how far into the mix each particular song begins):

01. A Fly In The Hand - Alice Russel / 00:00
02. Hide Me (Al Usher Dance Remix) - Grandadbob / 04:40
03. Exploration - Karminsky Experience / 11:24
04. Spanish Joint (Ritual Session) - D'Angelo / 16:54
05. Keepin On (Piano Cut) - Lazybatusu / 22:39
06. Saratoga (Remix) - Ultramarine / 28:33
07. Fry Chicken In Your Hotpants - Clarence Foster & The Internal Revenue / 33:26
08. Emotional Rescue - Freedom Dub / 35:13
09. We've Only Just Begun (TM Juke Mix) - Lee McDonald / 38:34
10. No Depression In Heaven - The Carter Family / 43:28
11. People Come Running (Needs Remix) - Taxi / 46:19
12. Sunday Memories - Frankman / 51:38
13. Love & Music (Joshua & Iz Remix) - Rithma / 60:26
14. The Magic Shag Carpet (Dee-Liteful Mix) - Vijaya Anand (Dancing Is Beautiful) / 66:25
15. Extraordinary People - Harmonic 33 / 74:04
16. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star / 77:36
17. Breezin' - George Benson / 82:23

Enjoy and thanks for listening!