Sep 20, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 84: You might as well live

I'll admit it, I've read a lot of poetry over the years. Don't quiz me of on it though as it was years ago. Either way, your rock trivia fact for this episode of the Smashin' Transistors podcast is Bryan Ferry cops a line from Dorothy Parker's Resume' in All I Want Is You.

Also in this episode, you'll hear me say that Michael Beach's Dream Violence album came out on Goner in early 2001, It didn't. It came out early this year. 

What you'll hear:

Vicious Visions - Beat You
Speed Stick – Knots
Heavy Metal – Walking The Dog
-words from your host-
The Lipschitz – Computer Sun
Michael Beach – Curtain Of Night
Jason Eddie & the Centermen – Singin’ The Blues
Smart Shoppers – Strange Vehicles
-words from your host-
Virvon Varvon – Allergies
Midnight Steppers – Bleak Disco
Blondie – Union City Blue
Leopardo – Hardship
-words from your host-
Digital Leather – So Warm 
Roxy Music – Thrill Of It All
Fotomatic – Bipolarity
Zurich Cloud Motors – Floorboard Occult
-words from your host-
The Hot Blood – Terrible Idea
Three Body Problem – I’ve Got A Stain
Weenog – Skull Trap
The Pontiac Brothers – It’s Alright At Home
-words from your host-

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Sep 2, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 83: Take Your Shirt Off And Throw It In The Pool

After well over a year, the pool in my complex finally reopened about a month back. I sing the title of this episode of Smashin' Transistors to the tune of Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love every time I amble down to it.

The pool is where I've been spending a lot of my limited free time since. I attempted to work on this episode a few times poolside but someone would always ask me if I was recording a podcast. And is a true-crime podcast.

"Maybe true crimes against music" I've replied winkingly.

I also told someone I am doing a podcast where I am breaking down the Monkees Pool It album, dedicating an episode to every song on the album. But that would mean I'd have to listen to the whole album. I heard it enough at a place I was working when it came out. The people in charge of the stereo were really into that and Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation. I lived my true crimes against music already, man!

The thing is though, I am hanging out at the pool to be in the pool. Y'know, being like Mick Jagger in the jam Summer Romance or something. Not working on a podcast. For those who were on the edge of their seat waiting for the next Smashin' Transistors transmission, I apologize if you completely fell off the chair waiting.

What you'll hear:

Jesse Floyd – Satan’s Wife 
Birds Of Maya – Please Come In 
Crash The Superyacht – Summer Solstice 
Vintage Crop- No Praise 
-words from your host- 
Pale Horsey – Overlord 
A Place To Bury Strangers – End of The Night 
Spider Bags – Long White Desert Rose 
-words from your host- 
Adam Pettis – Dark Road 
Violent Change – Open Space 
Rolling Stones – Moonlight Mile 
Eric Nervous - Motivation 
-words from your host
Lysol – Can’t Win 
Mononegatives – Deep Pockets 
Dirtbombs – Alleys Of Your Mind 
Mesh- Traveler 
-words from your host- 
Virvon Varvon – Nothing To Prove 
The Freakees – The Middle 
Strapping Fieldhands – Why Did You Fly 
Tom T. Hall – That’s How I Got To Memphis
-words from your host-

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Jul 21, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 82: How To Start The Next Dance Craze?

Starting the next dance craze is not an easy task. I looked into it and studied all the angles. My spirit got broken though after many friends pointed out that though my intentions of making one happen may be pure, eventually, the line dance crowd would appropriate it.

"Wait. People still line dance?"

"Yes," I was informed. "And now they do it to Kid Rock."

That killed whatever idea I had for trying to get a new dance craze starting right then and there.

What You'll Hear:

The Split Ends – Rich With Nothing 
Body Shop – Elevator 
Fire Engines – Everything’s Roses 
Nick & the Nod – Com ID 
-words from your host- 
Mini Skirt – With Your Hands 
Toby King – Itch & Scratch 
Tin Foil – Power Pointer 
Can Kicker – Desire 
-words from your host- 
Leopardo – Tell Me 
Bangzz – Love 
Dream Syndicate – Some Kinda Itch 
Blowers – Exterminate 
-words from your host-
Chemical Bank - The Inconsistent 
Isaiah Owens – If It Wasn’t For The Lord 
Red Krayola – Green Of My Pants 
The Scientists – Naysayer 
-words from your host-
OK Satan – I Don’t Care 
M.A.Z.E. – Spread The Disease 
Germ House – Bottled At The Source 
Clock DVA – Relentless 
-words from your host-

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Jun 20, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 81: Dankness on The Edge Of Town

If a craft brewery was ran by hardcore Springsteen enthusiasts, you know they'd make an IPA called Dankness On The Edge of Town. The bigger question though is if they're torn between naming their Mexican lager Rosalita or saving it for the Sangria flavored hard cider they are working on. 

Are they thinking of making a sour called Gose It All Night? 

During the Christmas season, would you be game to try their peppermint stout called Candy's Room? 

Also, if they brew one called JungleLambic are the raspberries REALLY were grown underneath that giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light?

What you'll hear

Let’s Active – Ornamental
Kneeling In Piss – I Love My Echo Chamber
Fun Time Objects – Bug Eyed
Mary Bell – Some Friendships Are Meant To End
-words from your host-
Worm Reducer – The One To Me
Mononegatives – Today’s Adult
Country Teasers – Mosquito
Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones – With All Due Respect
-words from your host-
Christopher Alan Durham – Gratiot Crawl
Stereolab – Stomach Worm
Mdou Moctar – Taliat
Print Head – Crushin’ Memories
-words from your host-
Lousy Sue – Damaged
The Sueves – Stare
Chuck Bernard – Send For Me
Rexxx- Lost Cause
-words from your host-
Qlowski – All Good
Iceage – Dear Saint Cecilia 
Personality Cult – Brazen
Magazine- Believe That I Understand
-words from your host-

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May 28, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 80: Weather and Wonder and Wondering Whether

One summer weekend in northern Michigan years ago, I ate breakfast at a Bob Seger themed diner. Pretty much just a few Seger album covers framed and on the wall and a poster signed by Alto Reed. The menu items did not have any Seeg related puns. Just regular breakfast item names. 

They missed the boat on not naming something Kat-ham-du.

What you'll hear.

Gaunt – Insangel 
Zurich Cloud Motors – Trails Of No Return 
Giant Sand – Searchlight 
Midnight Steppers – Diamonds On The Golden Road To Hell 
-words from your host- 
The Sueves – Mop Bucket 
Daughter Bat and the Lip Strings – No Excuse For You 
Spiritual Mafia – Hybrid Animal 
Red Asphalt – Phone Call From God 
-words from your host- 
Mononegatives – Trauma 
Cabaret Voltaire – The Set Up 
Delilah Holliday – Feel 
JSBX – Lovin’ Machine 
-words from your host- 
Collate – Genesis Fatigue 
Nick & the Nod – New Content 
Piranhas - Blinking Light 
Germ House – Final Touches 
-words from your host- 
Reigning Sound – A Little More Time 
Smirk – Violent Game 
Lousy Sue – Rats 
Blue Cheer – Just A Little Bit 
-words from your host-

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Apr 25, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 79: Churlishness Prevalent

I have not worked in a retail setting in over twenty years. I kept good with continuing out of it. Well, until late 2020 that is. Not by choice and hopefully it is just temporary but bills gotta get paid, y'know. I forgot how churlish the general public can be. The pandemic seems to make the off-their-rocker types get even more cross. I am sure this episode of Smashin' Transistors would get them complaining.

What you'll hear:
Compulsive Gamblers – Bad Taste 
Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones – Burn To Run 
Califone – Wade In The Water 
Lewsberg – Through The Garden 
-words from your host- 
Smirk – Eyes Conversing 
Purrses – Wrong Tide 
Church Mice – Babe, We’re Not A Part of Society 
-words from your host- 
Bobby Would – So To Say 
Savoy Motel – Smooth Operator 
Frank and the Hurricanes – I See A Ghost 
Celebrity Handshake – Civilized People 
-words from your host- 
Penza Penza – Why Do We Care About Anything 
Sex Tide – Medical Board 
Psychedelic Furs – Mr. Jones 
Iceage – Vendetta 
-words from your host- 
M.A.Z.E. – Psycho Eyes 
Warm Exit – Crocodile In My Brain 
Caution – Buy My Life 
Mott The Hoople – Honaloochie Boogie 
-words from your host-

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Apr 6, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 78: Blanketed In Yellow Dust

"A head fulla dust." Such a line has been a lyrical adumbration since at least the early 20th century. Though they aren't most likely talking about pollen, that such yellow dust is into its yearly ubiquitous showing. It's a way of life. Literally really. Trees, bees and everything that flowers. Things required for breathing and eating. Keep hankies handy.

What you'll hear:
The Gordons – Right On Time
Tin Foil – Loiter 
GG King – Epoch Rock 
Teenage Head – Picture my Face 
-words from your host- 
Chris Brokaw – Periscope Kids 
Zurich Cloud Motors – Worry About the Hubcaps Later 
The Bassholes – Born To Die 
Tizzi – All Day I Work For Little Money 
-words from your host- 
The Stools – Half Track Mind 
Patois Counselors – Let Beauty Be 
Section 25 – Girls Don’t Count 
Bumbo's Tinto Brass Band – Chewing Mom’s Blouse 
-words from your host- 
Gen Pop – My Apartment 
Midnight Steppers – Lost In Dust 
Smirk – Blind 
TV Freaks – Capital Eye 
-words from your host- 
TOADS – Another Year 
Spiritual Mafia – Smiles 
Purrses – Hey Girl! 
the dBs – Tearjerkin’ 
-words from your host-

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Mar 12, 2021

Smashin' Transistors: (Apostrophe) 77

There was a spell there towards the end of the last century, that if you wanted to prove how punk rock your attitude was, you would suffix whatever the name of the project was with a "'77."

It quickly became a running joke with some friends I hung out with. Taco Bell '77. Camel Lights '77. I'll be there around seven '77. I don't get paid til Friday '77 and so on. 

It cracked us up for a couple months. 

It was not a running joke with everyone I hung out with though. One evening, I was hanging out with some other group of friends. They were starting a band and were looking for a name. 

"Dude! You should call yourself Apostrophe 77!" I blurted out. From the looks on their faces, you could tell they thought it was brilliant. "Yes, that's perfect. That's when punk rock really started. If people see our name on a flier, they'll know we play punk rock!"

"Yeah, that the joke, man. It lets people know you are (air quotes) PUNK FREAKIN' ROCK, BRO!"

"So, wait," one of them said in a puzzled tone "You weren't serious?"

I think the band lasted a few practices and maybe a basement party. That's a standard punk rock story. They didn't use the name though.

There are no songs from '77 in episode 77 of the Smashin' Transistors fake radio show. 

Pup The Unx!

What you'll hear:
Tilahun Gessesse – Alegntaye
Flying Saucer Attack – Present
Midnight Steppers – The Method Singer
Frankie Traandruppel – Hooray For The Frown
-words from your host-
Smarts – Cling Wrap
Pensioner – The Night
Boris – Furi 
A Feast Of Snakes – Know Your Name
-words from your host-
Astute Palate – A Little Proof
Neil and Crazy Horse – Barstool Blues
The Lice – Daymare Town
Feeling Figures – Never in Time
-words from your host-
ISS - (Met)forming
Cathedral – Suicide Asteroid
Sex Tide – Scorpion
Chris Brokaw – The Heart of Human Trafficking
-words from your host-
Chronophage – Talking Android
Eat Girls – All The Lovers Are Gonna Leave and Die
Lavender Flu – Rake The Face
Angst – Somethings (I Can’t Get Used To)
-words from your host-

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Feb 16, 2021

The Return of Bancroft Records

I'm elated, excited, stoked and jazzed to be reawakening my label Bancroft Records after a decade of it sleeping. The first in the pipeline is an LP from Zurich Cloud Motors.

Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island (and parts beyond), Zurich Cloud Motors whirl, rattle sway and sear. If you're a fan of the Swell Maps, the first few Roxy Music albums, the Scientists and Chrome, take that sound and then run a dulcet toned belt sander making harmony with it. 

The album is getting its final touches done to it now but the band has already got a video for a song from it with "Worry About The Hubcaps Later."

Following a ton of cassette and digital releases now, this will be the first thing from the band to appear on vinyl. Look for it in the summer. While you wait for that, find previous Zurich Cloud Motors releases over at their Bandcamp page and check them out on Instagram.

Also out on Bancroft Records in 2021 is a new LP from Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones. This'll be the first album from this Wisconsin band since 2016's Stoning Josephine.

Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones.
Photo by Dale Merrill. Shot at the SchwonkSoundStead in Port Huron, Michigan in 2017
Dig Neil with Crazy Horse, the Cheater Slicks, the Velvets (natch), CCR and Twin-Tone era 'Mats? Soak that in a kettle of Rhinelander Export and these are the kind of results you get. I was originally suppose to release a 7inch by them during Bancroft's first incarnation but it didn't happened due to a myriad of reasons. Feeling joyous about making a full album to happen now. It'll be out if not the same time as the Zurich Cloud Motors record, not too long afterwards. 

A Bancroft Records site to happen soon until then get more Smashin' Transistors action at 

Feb 9, 2021

Smashin' Transistors 76: Toque to Toboggan

Recently, the guy I worked with showed up in the shop with a wool cap on. Coming through the door he said "I tell ya, man. It sure was cold enough to get the toboggan out. I thought I misplaced it."

"The snow has already melted. What good is a toboggan without it?" I asked. He looked at me like I was loony. "For the cold, man!"

After a few hours of mental images of the ol' rock dog having the time of his life shooting down hills on a big wooden sled, I realized he was talking about his hat. You (and me) may know it as a toque.

What you'll hear:
Ian & Sylvia – You Were On My Mind
Honey Radar – United Fox
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Radio Waves
Gen Pop – Bright Light People
-words from your host-
TOADS – Not A Life
Obnox – Cut Me A Switch
Monoshock – Model Citizen (Nitroglycerine) 
Savoy Motel – Crossword Puzzle
-words from your host-
Patois Counselors – Probably No One
Chronophage – Destiny Falls
MARV – Stingray
The Cowboys – Saintlike Said
-words from your host-
Itchy Self –Playing MTV
Jessie Mae Hemphill – Black Cat Bone
Dana Hatch – Fast Freddie
Toeheads – Screw Loose
-words from your host-
LAMPS – Horse Cow Dog Pig
Mud City Manglers – Armstrong Park
Astute Palate – Loose Wings
Swell Maps – Border Country
-words from your host- 

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