The Final No Pain for Cakes playlist, 22 April 2008
"King Ghidora" - Rutherford/Vandermark/Muller/van der Schyff "An Oscar for Treadwell" - Anthony Braxton's Charlie Parker Project "Klactoveesedstene" - Ornette Coleman Quintet "Please Send Me Sweet Chariot" - Derek Bailey "The Path" - Jan Garbarek "Intro to Fifteen" - Art Ensemble of Chicago with Cecil Taylor "The Lady of Khartoum" - Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer "Time Will Tell" - Paul Bley/Evan Parker/Barre Phillips "Angles of Repose Number One" - Joe Maneri/Barre Phillips/Mat Maneri "I Smoke by the Ocean" - Deep Dark United "I Am the Walrus" - Tony Wilson 6tet "No Pain for Cakes" - The Lounge Lizards
The final broadcast of No Pain for Cakes will take place on Tuesday, April 22 at 9:00 p.m. AST on CFMH-FM and shoutcast.com... but on April 29 at 8:00 p.m. AST I will be hosting a new weekly show called Double Nickels on the Dime, which will be two hours of alternative pop, rock, punk, and hip-hop from the 1970's, 80's, and 90's (but mostly the 80's). Expect to hear lots of R.E.M., Husker Du, Minutemen, Replacements, Mekons, Public Enemy, Pere Ubu, Pavement, Television, Dinosaur Jr., etc., etc. Hope you'll tune in!
"Composition No. 23B" - Anthony Braxton "Don't Impede the Stream" - Joe Fiedler Trio "Blood" - Paul Bley "Walking Pictures" - Jason Kao Hwang/Edge "Sonny's Back" - Archie Shepp "Laxing Lizards Resume" - Wilson/Lee/Bentley "Taktgebertendenz" - Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff "96.5" - Ken McIntyre "Introduction by Ronnie Scott", "Nick Tete" - Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath "Sweep Out" - Joe Morris Trio "Transformation" - Chicago Underground Trio "D Trad, That's What" - Cecil Taylor
I bought Children of God while I was a student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the late 1980's... at the time, I was taking advantage of living in a larger city with cooler record stores than my hometown had and was sampling a variety of "alternative" or "college" rock. It was a little different from most of the music I was listening to at the time... much heavier and "metallic" than, say, R.E.M. or the Replacements (or even the Fall). At the time, it also seemed a bit simplistic in both its lyrical and musical content... lots of moaning and repetitive melodic figures over simple, plodding beats and general self-pity... what we would soon refer to as "goth" (and not the relatively happy, poppy kind you're probably thinking of. I mean, get an earful of this:
Right now I should probably apologize to all hardcore Swans fans for calling their favourite band "goth". I take it back, OK? Put down the axe.).
The funny thing is that, while this music was probably aimed at my late-teen age group at the time it was released, it's only now, as a thirtysomething adult, that I've come to appreciate it. I picked up this reissue (which features a second disc of comparatively sedate but still somber material released under the side-project name "World of Skin") partly out of curiosity and partly for nostalgia, and I was surprised at how well it holds up. Not all the songs bludgeon, either; the ballads "In My Garden" and "You're Not Real, Girl" would make great cover-song material for, say, Leonard Cohen. My favourite, however, is "Like a Drug", a keyless, joyless stomp featuring sledgehammer guitars and drums, bellowing brass, and a chorus of siren-like voices druggedly singing "sha-la-la-la".
The sound quality is remarkably good on even the loudest of these tracks, and this and other reissues from the band are well worth seeking out by the adventuresome listener. After this album, Swans would explore gentler sounds on albums like The Burning World and Love of Life, but Children of God shows the band to be the missing link between punk, metal, and (ducks head) goth.
"The Sicilian Clan" - John Zorn "Thanking the Universe" - Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble "Ghost Dog" - Rob Brown Ensemble "Grid" - Matthew Shipp String Trio "ififif" - Guy-Gustafsson-Strid Trio with Marilyn Crispell "The Legend of Enos Slaughter" - Yankees "Gone, Goner" - Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff "It" - Cecil Taylor/Elvin Jones "Ee-Gypt-Me" - Tony Wilson 6tet "Eclipse at Dawn" - Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath "Ramblin'" - Paul Bley "Wrenches" - Steelwool Trio "Aten and Amarna" - The Roy Campbell Ensemble "Composition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3 - I" - Roscoe Mitchell "Blue Lake" - Don Cherry