The Ledge #553: Miscellany

The Ledge #553: Miscellany

Every now and then it’s nice to have a show without any real theme, and that’s what we have tonight. Instead, it’s really just a collection of records I’ve been listening to over the last few weeks, and interesting collection of various genres that represent over 50 years of great rock and roll. There’s a handful of recent releases side by side with all time classics. There are veteran bands that are brand new to me, and relatively new artists that I’ve been obsessed with over the last few months. Of course, there’s also this week’s selection for the “52 Weeks of Teenage Kicks” subtheme. I’ve got a homegrown talent by the name of Link West, and his mainly acoustic version is a really nice change of pace. He also contributed a little piece of spoken word audio where he talks of his love of the song and his history of playing it in his original band in Columbus, Ohio. He describes the tune as “50% bubblegum, 50% booty call”. I can’t argue with that. Link West’s version marks a run of (at least) three straight weeks of listener contributions, but of course I always want more. Nothing would make […]

The Ledge #552: Covers

The Ledge #552: Covers

With my brain focused on “Teenage Kicks” covers these days, it seems natural for me to put together another show of nothing but covers of classics tunes from the past. And tonight’s show could not have been timed better, as today Kepi Ghoulie of the Groovie Ghoulies put our a fabulous covers record, Full Moon Forever. Plus I’ve uncovered a number of other great new remakes the last few days, including Juniper’s lofi redo of “James” by The Bangles, Devil Love’s lovely tribute to Big Star’s “Thirteen”, and a trip back to my childhood with Jenny Dee & The Deelingquent’s rousing “Fox On the Run”. But, of course, the main focus is on the “52 Weeks of Teenage Kicks” series, and tonight features the very first submission! It may be a bit fitting that said cover is by the one and only Malibu Lou at Rum Bar Records!!! Yes! He’s a huge fan, as you can tell by the accompanying email: “It’s one of my top 5 personal favorite songs ever. I covered it many years in many bands!! Here’s a demo version of Malibu Lou & The Attackers performing it circa 96 in NYC!!” I couldn’t be more thrilled, and […]

The Ledge #551: 1993

The Ledge #551: 1993

I have to admit that tonight’s show made me feel like an old man. Sure, I’ve done shows devoted to individual years on a regular basis, but I’ve fully understood that the songs featured on a broadcast like last week’s 1978 tribute were nostalgic looks at the past. But tonight’s show featuring (almost) nothing but tunes from 1993 didn’t feel like a nostalgia trip. These songs don’t feel like they are 30 years old. I swear they were released just a few years ago. Maybe it’s because I still have such a connection to records like Archers of Loaf’s Icky Mettle. Or the fact that Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” still packs the same punch it did back when it was released. Plus, I’ve obviously spent plenty of time with all of the solo albums released by former members of The Replacements. Even this week’s second edition of my “52 Weeks of Teenage Kicks” dates back to 1993, and in a weird sort of twist was the reason I came up with this idea. As I said last week, I had earlier realized that I owned quite a few versions of the song. But I had read on Facebook that a great […]

The Ledge #550: 1978

The Ledge #550: 1978

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been hinting that I’ll be starting 2023 with a big announcement. Well, tonight’s the night!In my eyes, “Teenage Kicks” is a perfect pop song; the greatest punk-inspired single of all time. Two minutes and 27 seconds of rock and roll at its finest. The sentiments are the same youthful expressions of the original rock and roll explosion of the 1950s. Instead of Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis boogie woogie piano, it’s buzzsaw guitars that accompany Undertones vocalist Fergal Sharkey’s desire for that “girl in the neighborhood” that he wishes “was mine she looks so good”. It’s the musical template later utilized by Husker Du, Pixies, Green Day, and hundreds of other pop-punkers for decades to come (for better or worse).Since I love the song so much, I have found myself collecting all kinds of versions over the years. In fact, a little glance at my master iTunes library a few months ago showed that I owned over 30 covers of this tune. Just two weeks ago, I discovered that a Minneapolis band I loved in the 90s had released a remake as a now rare b-side (more on that next week). With […]

The Ledge #549: New Releases

The Ledge #549: New Releases

 I’m sure plenty of veteran Ledge listeners are confused right now. A new release episode at the end of the month? Aren’t those shows scheduled for the first Friday of the month? What’s going on here? Well, here’s the deal. I’ve come up with a sub-theme for 2023. This will be a yearlong theme that will affect every single show, and I have a main theme set up to introduce this next week. So 30 hours before 2023 begins, I started broadcasting the first 2023 new release episode as my final episode of 2022. Make sense? There’s really not much difference between airing it now and in seven days. Yes, there would inevitably be a few new tunes worthy of inclusions, but I’ll make sure the February episode is jam-packed. And, honestly, I was really excited to present to everybody a bunch of tracks from a brand new Replacements tribute album. Graduate Unskilled – Un Tributo ai Replacements, which can be found at this bandcamp site , is an intriguing nineteen track collection of Replacements cover tunes that I’m sure my Ledge listeners will love. Along side those tunes, there’s the usual mix of new power pop, garage, punk and indie rock tunes. […]

The Ledge #548: Annual Rock and Roll Christmas Party!

The Ledge #548: Annual Rock and Roll Christmas Party!

The annual Ledge holiday special is probably the easiest show of the year to put together…but not for the reasons you probably assume. Yes, it would be a breeze to just cull tracks from the same favorite Christmas albums year after year. Nobody would even notice if I ever repeated a song or two. But I’m thrilled that year after year there is a plethora of new holiday tunes to check out. More and more artists put out Christmas albums. More and more labels put out new compilations. And, most importantly, more and more artists are using their bandcamp pages to put out surprise individual tracks that are quite often free! So this year’s show is, with a handful of exceptions, brand new tunes! If you enjoy great punk, indie, Americana, and power pop there should be something here for you. There’s also no silly novelty songs (well, maybe one). There’s no maudlin weepers. Musically, each and every song would fit at home on a “normal” episode of The Ledge. So crank this at your family gathering! I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve […]

The Ledge #547: Best Albums of 2022

The Ledge #547: Best Albums of 2022

Once again, this obsessive mind spent weeks and weeks overthinking this year’s list. Notes were taken. Records were spread out all over the living room. iTunes searches revealed some forgotten gems. But I can once again say that this was a fabul…

The Ledge #546: Runners Up

The Ledge #546: Runners Up

The process of compiling my annual list of the year’s best albums rarely varies. It usually begins in mid-November with a combination of notetaking and mental obsessing. Then over Thanksgiving weekend I begin putting ideas into various categories that I couldn’t even try to explain. Finally, the first couple of weeks of December sees this list finally coming together. As you may expect, that initial list is much longer than the official post of the best of the year. There can be anywhere between 60 and 100 records vying for inclusion. This week’s show comprises the 31 records that were in consideration before that final cut. But that’s not to say that these records are not as good as my “chart toppers”. No, these days there’s a fine line between a what makes the top ten and what makes the lower rungs. All of these records are fabulous albums that deserve to be heard by everybody. This is why the first time ever I’ve put together this “runners up” episode.  I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, […]

The Ledge #545: New Releases

The Ledge #545: New Releases

I am proud to present to you the final new release episode of The Ledge of 2022. It’s been quite a year, full of fabulous new punk, power pop, garage, and indie rock. I’m now in the process of creating my “best of 2022” list that will be unveiled in two weeks. Tonight’s episode is truly a wordwide collection, as not only are there fabulous new tunes from the usual American and Canadian cities but there are trcks from Japan, Sweden, Italy, Spain, France, and the UK. There’s also a great set of 90’s shoegaze from Minneapolis that has just been compiled on a record called Southeast of Saturn, Vol. 2 on Third Man Records. As usual, there’s also a fun little set of new tunes from our friends at Rum Bar Records.   I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not only pay their bills but fund their next set of wonderful songs. And if you buy these records directly from the artist or label, please let them know you heard these tunes on The […]

The Ledge #544: Power Pop, Pt. 2 (The Present)

The Ledge #544: Power Pop, Pt. 2 (The Present)

Last week’s show featured classic power pop tracks from the past. This week, we take a look a the current state of the genre with 40 tracks of fabulous guitar-driven pop music. In fact, the vast majority of these tracks are from 2022, with a handful of tunes from 2021 and 2020. The oldest song of the bunch dates back to 2014, and that tune from The Cry! was selected to be paired with the brand new single by lead singer Tommy Ray. It should be to nobody’s surprise that a good portion of the show compiles highlights from Big Stir Records as they are the without a doubt the gold standard of new music of this type. Author S. W. Lauden’s influence also extends beyond the books he compiled with co-author Paul Myers. Not only does he appear on a couple of the Big Stir tunes broadcast in this episode, his suggestions resulted in quite possibly the most exciting set of the show. I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not […]

The Ledge #543: Power Pop, Pt. 1 (The Past)

The Ledge #543: Power Pop, Pt. 1 (The Past)

On a fairly regular basis I’m asked what type of music I most enjoy. It’s a pretty tough question to answer, to be honest. The standard answer I hear in return is “I love all kinds of music”, which to me is code for “I only like what’s popular”. Sorry, but having a playlist on Spotify that includes both Drake, Meghan Trainor, and Luke Bryan isn’t the proof of versatility most of these poeple believe it is. So what is the genre or sub-genre that is closest to my heart? “Punk” is a little too confining, and honestly there is a lot of shitty music under that moniker. “Alternative” doesn’t mean the same today as it did 30 years ago since maintstream rock radio has co-opted it. “Garage rock” is indeed getting closer but still doesn’t feel right. I think deep in my heart the term power pop, or at least my version of the term, best describes my music taste. I was, after all, born the day The Beatles recorded their first single, and the first two rock and roll albums I owned just out of my toddler phase was the first Monkees record and the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack.  My […]

The Ledge #542: New Releases

The Ledge #542: New Releases

As always, first Friday means nothing but new releases, and tonight it’s an extended show featuring almost 2 1/2 hours of fabulous new rock and roll. And like always, it’s a wide mix of styles. There are bands that were formed just a few m…

The Ledge #541: Halloween Spooktacular

The Ledge #541: Halloween Spooktacular

I may say this every year but it is worth repeating. Halloween is the ultimate rock and roll holiday. Like truly great rock and roll, Halloween is dangerous, controversial, and noisy. Religious idiots for decades have claimed both are associated with …

The Ledge #540: Archival Releases

The Ledge #540: Archival Releases

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for box sets and other repackages of previously released material. I may be new release oriented, but I love a good set of odds and ends. Give me those unheard demos. Let me hear those old concerts.  Tonight’s show compiles those types of records. There’s unreleased material by a forgotten band that were contemporaries of the New York Dolls. There’s a new mixes of classic Dead Kennedys songs. There’s numerous outtakes by the likes of Wilco and Joe Strummer. And there’s also the recently discovered early recordings of future Velvet Underground tunes by Lou Reed. Plus, a ton of live releases from Todd Snider, Pixies, Soul Asylum, and others. I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not only pay their bills but fund their next set of wonderful songs. And if you buy these records directly from the artist or label, please let them know you heard these tunes on The Ledge! Let them know who is giving them promotion!  For more information, including setlists, […]

The Ledge #539: New Releases (Pt. 2)

The Ledge #539: New Releases (Pt. 2)

As I said last week. this is another month where there is so much great new music that it couldn’t be contained to one new release episode. So this is part two of this month’s series, and it’s dominated by veteran artists. Pixies, Of…

The Ledge #538: New Releases (Pt. 1)

The Ledge #538: New Releases (Pt. 1)

First off, my apologies for now show last week. We had a little issue with our servers so it was impossible to do a show. But we are back this week with our monthly new release episode. Actually it’s the first part of a two part series, and this…

The Ledge #537: Twin\Tone Records

The Ledge #537: Twin\Tone Records

After the success of last month’s series on SST Records, it was only natural that I took a look at doing a similar series featuring another of my favorite record labels of the 80s. I’d actually been thinking about a Twin\Tone Records episode for a long, long time, so why not do it now? Many people think of only bands such as The Replacements, The Suburbs, and Soul Asylum when thinking about this label. Oh no, there is so much more. There is such a wealth that even this two hour episode misses out on some great, great releases. But I did what I could. Just like with the first SST episode, the initial 45 minutes or so are a chronological look at the label’s early releases. Singles by not only The Suburbs but Fingerprints, Curtiss A, and The Pistons. Later in the show I’ve got some favorite tracks by The Phones, The Magnolias, and The Feelies, along with an early release by The Jayhawks. I did refrain from including material from the many sub-labels that were in the Twin\Tone empire. Maybe that could be a future show? I would love it if every listener bought at least one record […]

The Ledge #536: Covers

The Ledge #536: Covers

As I have stated quite often during these cover tune broadcasts, I have a special folder where I place remakes as I come across them. Once that folder is full, it’s time to do a show. This time around, that folder grew at a pretty rapid pace. Of course I’m going to air Ultrabomb’s version of “Sonic Reducer”. I don’t think anybody is surprised by the inclusion of “Borstal Breakdown” from that new live Replacements album. But many may be shocked by the inclusion of two tracks from the 1968 collaboration between Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. Honestly, I had never heard these bonkers tunes until one day I hung out in my friend’s record store. Seriously, that version of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” is something everybody should check out. But what made it essential that I do this theme this very week are two special records that arrived a few days ago. The first is All The Covers (And More) by The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs. Released on September 30 on Rum Bar Records, this 38 track compilation gathers together all of the remakes the band has recorded in their 25 year history. The other is the latest project by Geoff Palmer. Standing In […]

The Ledge #535: God Save The Queen

The Ledge #535: God Save The Queen

Once I heard the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death on Thursday morning, I knew I had to dump my planned broadcast for this week. Surely I could put together a show that both celebrates and criticizes not only the monarchy but the entire country. For me, the quintessential British rock band is The Kinks. There may be better bands from that country (name them!) but nobody captures that country like the writings of Ray Davies. Same with The Jam and The Clash a decade later, or Billy Bragg, The Smiths, Robyn Hitchcock, and mny others a decade after that. Pairing a few highlights of those artists with some samplings of the great British punk movement of the late 70s, and you have two hours of fantastic British tributes…even if a couple of the artists are actually American.  I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not only pay their bills but fund their next set of wonderful songs. And if you buy these records directly from the artist or label, please let them […]

The Ledge #534: New Releases

The Ledge #534: New Releases

You guys all know the drill by now. The first Friday of the month means it’s nothing but new releases! Yes, two hours of nothing but great new tunes, and we jump all over the place from power pop to post punk to garage rock to synth rock to&#823…

The Ledge #533: SST Records (Pt. 2)

The Ledge #533: SST Records (Pt. 2)

Part two of The Ledge’s look at SST Records focuses on the second half of the 80’s. There are a few big names involved, including Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Buffalo Tom, and future grunge major label heroes Screaming Trees and Soundgarden….

The Ledge #532: SST Records (Pt. 1)

The Ledge #532: SST Records (Pt. 1)

When I was informed there was a new book about one of my favorite labels of the 80s, I just had to have it. Jim Ruland’s Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records is every bit as great as I hoped. It really tells the controversil tale of not only label founder Greg Ginn, but the entire circus of bands and staffers that ran a label that launched the careers of dozens of legendry artists. It was only natural that I put together a show dedicated to these artists, but I quickly discovered this story could not be told in one episode. Tonight’s broadcast starts off with a chronological look at most of the label’s first 20 or so releases, followed by another hour spotlighting some of my personal favorites. While I still have dozens of records to sample for next week’s episode, if there’s any you feel needs to be included, please let me know! I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not only pay their bills but […]

The Ledge #531: New Releases (Pt. 2)

The Ledge #531: New Releases (Pt. 2)

I may have called part one of this month’s new release series the “friends of the show” episode, but that mentality continues in part two as we have a nice set of tracks from our friends at Big Stir Records. We also have brand new tr…

The Ledge #530: New Releases (Pt. 1)

The Ledge #530: New Releases (Pt. 1)

Once again, the wealth of new material being released each and every month “forces” me to expand my new release episode into a two part series. Tonight’s episode focuses primarily on “friends” of the show. Bands that have so nicely regularly sent their new projects to The Ledge. Great labels such as Rum Bar Records, Dirtnap Records, and Stardumb Records. Fabulous Minneapolis artists such as The Right Here, Night Jobs, and UltraBomb. The latest covers project by Geoff Palmer. Plus some of the other great new tunes by longtime faves Ty Segall, Osees, and The Sadies, mixed with some new band discoveries (Gentleman Rogues, The Sparklers). One note, however. At the very end of the show I introduce a track by Dust Star. Unfortunately, my broadcast machine decided to air The Rubs. Still, a quality selection but I’ll have to save Dust Star for next week. I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not only pay their bills but fund their next set of wonderful songs. And if you buy these records […]

The Ledge #529: Summer Songs

The Ledge #529: Summer Songs

We may be entering the last month of the summer, but it’s never too late to put together a show of songs about the hottest months of the year. Rock and roll has always had a fondness for the sun, and everything else that goes with the season. So tonight you get nothing but songs about not only the season, but girls, bikes, surfing, and the beach. It’s also almost a complete set of recently released material. The vast majority of these songs have been put out in the last six months, although there’s always room for some old tracks that have caught my attention. This is why there’s some great oldies by The Hold Steady, The Scientists, The Muffs, and M.I.A. And you really can’t have a summer show without the greatness of 50’s visen (and South Dakota raised) Mamie Van Doren! By the way, if you haven’t seen the cult classic, Untamed Youth, you should rent it tonight! I would love it if every listener bought at least one record I played on either of these shows. These great artists deserve to be compensated for their hard work, and every purchase surely helps not only pay their bills […]

The Ledge #528: New Replacements & Other Treats

The Ledge #528: New Replacements & Other Treats

A few weeks ago, fans of The Replacements noticed that a new live record was starting to appear on vinyl distribution lists. Most at first assumed this was a bootleg, but it turns out tht the Live At Riot Fest Toronto was in fact a legitimate live album. Or sort of, as many rumors starting floating around. Tommy Stinson had reportedly made a deal with a distributor to release it, but some have said that Paul Westerberg had actually vetoed the deal. In a series of DM’s with the distributor, it was verified that Stinson had set up the deal to put it out but there was no word on the Westerberg rumor. It’s also the first in a series of three live releases, as the other two Riot Fest shows in Chicago and Denver are currently being pressed. The record itself is quite great. The source is a soundboard recording, although it’s not a remixed multi-track. Tonight’s show features a few songs from this record, along with a number of other albums that have been played in the Hudson household these last few weeks. I’ve also included a handful of songs that Frank Turner performed at Total Drag on July 12 […]

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