So Old It’s New set list for Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 – on air 8-10 pm ET

  1. Chilliwack, Are You With Me . . . Not too many studio recordings I can think of, off the top of my head, anyway, that start with a drum solo. This one’s by the late guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Brian MacLeod, who sadly died age 39 of brain cancer. MacLeod, who later formed the band Headpins, played drums, in addition to guitar, on most of the 1979 Breakdown In Paradise album’s songs as Chilliwack was in a state of flux in large measure due to the demise of their record label, Mushroom Records. Mushroom also was home to Heart in that band’s early days, which gave Heart, originally from Seattle, a large part of its Canadian connection that also included Ann Wilson dating a Vietnam War draft dodger and following him to Canada, where Heart set up shop in Vancouver.

    But enough about Heart. Chilliwack co-founder and stalwart Bill Henderson was, at the time of the Breakdown album, the only other full-time member. When I see the title of this song I think of concerts. Why? Because George Thorogood often yells “are ya with me?!” before launching into some song or other during his shows. It works for him, but not so much for others I’ve heard on live albums from bands I like but have not actually seen live, partly for this very reason, and I place these two in the annoying category: 1. Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, or as a solo act, screaming “Scream for me (insert country/city; he’s even got a solo live album called Scream For Me Brazil. Hey, Bruce, make them scream via your music, if you have to ask, maybe your music’s not moving anyone). 2. Ozzy Osbourne with his “clap your effing hands…” Hey, Ozzy, see my comments on Bruce: shouldn’t your music prompt people to clap their hands on their own? Shut the eff up, speaking of the F word, and sing.

    Oh, right, back to Chilliwack. I saw them, Henderson at the helm, at the Kitchener Blues Festival in 2016; excellent show and not surprising, given their extensive list of hits. And they’re still out there doing it, most recently in Kelowna, BC, in early August. Which got me thinking: if you’re a band or artist with, say, 10 songs worthy of putting on a compilation, and Chilliwack has 13 on one of theirs, you can do a good 90-minute show. Play the 10 or so tracks, extend some of them, throw in some obscurities like Are You With Me, maybe a cover or two and bingo, done. And now I’m done with Chilliwack, a band I like but would never have thought would inspire a long ramble like this. Next!

  1. The Who, Getting In Tune . . . From Who’s Next, one of those classic albums that is wall-to-wall great, from opening cut (Baba O’Reilly and no, some folks, it’s not called Teenage Wasteland, that’s part of the lyrics to the song, memorable for sure but not the title) to Won’t Get Fooled Again, the closer on the original release, before the inevitable remasterings and repackagings pushed the album from nine to 16 tracks. Anyway, this gets us in tune for . . .
  1. Rush, Working Man . . . The opener of my little Labour Day set, Canadian/Brit spelling with what I think is the ridiculous and unnecessary ‘u’, whether the songs truly have anything to do with working or not. Why didn’t I open the set with this today, Labour Day? Because I did last year for Labour Day and that’s . . . just what you’d be expecting.
  1. Bruce Springsteen, Factory . . . Haunting song from Darkness On The Edge Of Town. It’s a depressing song for the most part yet somehow, I also find it uplifting. I do remember working construction, and then at a moving company, as a student and thinking, Jesus, how can these guys stand this stuff, day after day, as a career while at the same time having immense respect for people doing such sometimes hard labor and more so, in most cases the ability to work with one’s hands, a skill I lack outside of bed, just the self-sufficiency of that ability.
  1. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Work Song . . . Extended cover of the standard written by jazz musician Nat Adderley, showing off the guitar tandem of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, plus Butterfield’s own harmonica playing.
  1. R.E.M., Finest Worksong . . . Nothing really to do with Labor Day, US spelling this time for a US band, but the title works, and I like the song. It was the third single (made No. 50) from Document, the 1987 album that, via the hit single The One I Love, broke the band to a wide audience. The middle single from the album was It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).
  1. John Lennon, Working Class Hero . . . Classic from Lennon’s first solo album proper (not counting the Two Virgins avant garde releases), Plastic Ono Band, 1970. Said it before but I’ll bore you again – a hugely influential song and album to my young (age 11) at the time way of thinking, along with God from the same album and, a year later, I Just Want To See His Face from the Stones’ Exile on Main Street album.
  1. AC/DC, The Razors Edge . . . Dark, menacing, arugably somewhat uncharacteristically spooky track from the boys and the title cut from the 1990 album that brought us the well-known songs Thunderstruck, Are You Ready and Moneytalks. It also displayed AC/DC’s cheeky defiance of punctuation, as the song indeed is named The Razors Edge, no apostrophe in Razors.
  1. Flash and The Pan, Down Among The Dead Men . . . This was on my menu for last week. Didn’t make the cut in the shaving down for my two-hour show, as it didn’t fit, thematically. Then again, Flash and The Pan is so relatively and wonderfully unique, their work tends to always be square peg in round hole stuff, and brilliantly so.
  1. Collective Soul, Blame . . . I was sorting stuff and came across an old Collective Soul/Bush compilation I burned ages ago. So, expect to hear some Bush stuff soon, perhaps, although all that I burned and know are their hits, so I may have to make one of my periodic exceptions to the deep cuts nature of So Old It’s New. Interestingly enough, I was at the gym this morning and a Bush song, Machinehead, came on the sound system.
  1. David Wilcox, The Natural Edge . . . Love the sort of stair step arrangement of this one, the title song from Wilcox’s 1989 album.
  1. The Marshall Tucker Band, Blue Ridge Mountain Sky . . . A jaunty paean to the mountain range, some of which is in the state of Virginia – setting up my next song – although the lyrics in this tune focus on the Carolinas.
  1. The Rolling Stones, Sweet Virginia . . . Speaking of Virginia . . . geez, I’m full of shit clever and so maybe ought to follow the band’s advice: “Got to scrape the shit right off your shoes.” From Exile on Main St.
  1. Leslie West, Dreams Of Milk and Honey . . . That earworm by Anthony Newley, “Gonna build a mount-ayn” also covered by Sammy Davis Jr. and turned into an earworm now via a commercial for a Canadian hardware store likely prompted me playing Leslie West/Mountain. That, and I was watching a show on YouTube that was rating Mountain’s albums, so here we go. Actually, the song is from the 1969 album Mountain, credited to West, after which he and Felix Pappalardi, who played bass and produced the record, formed the band Mountain.
  1. The Doors, The WASP (Texas Radio and The Big Beat) . . . Love Jim Morrison’s vocals on the LA Woman album, this track being great evidence of what I mean. What a terrific song.
  1. ZZ Top, Heaven, Hell or Houston . . . Can’t talk about Texas radio without playing that little ol’ band from Texas. A cool track, too, from 1981’s El Loco album. It’s similar, to my ears, to Manic Mechanic from the previous studio album, 1979’s Deguello. “So farewell, my darling,’ Heaven, Hell or Houston concludes, “Perhaps we’ll meet again on some sin-infested street corner in Houston, Texas.”
  1. Dr. John, Loop Garoo . . . Typical funky gumbo from the doctor.
  1. Alan Parsons Project, (The System Of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether . . . From the 1976 debut, the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Tales of Mystery and Imagination album.
  1. The Amboy Dukes, Dr. Slingshot . . . I struck up a chat with a random fellow in a music store a few days ago when he recognized Bald Boy in his secret identity of Karlo Berkovich. It was the type of thing where you’re flipping through albums, can’t help but comment on some good one someone beside you has pulled out, worry for a moment they’ll ignore you or take offence to your butting in, then all’s well and you spend the rest of your browsing time musing about music. Somehow or other, the conversation came around to the Amboy Dukes, where Ted Nugent first made his name. But I cannot tell a lie. Dr. Slingshot also came up because I was searching Dr. John songs in the station’s computer system, although the Amboy Dukes’ cut reminded me of the fun record store discussion. So, you see the result in the set with various ‘doctor’ tunes.
  1. Parliament, Dr. Funkenstein . . . Appropriate title for this workout.
  1. Chris Isaak, Blue Hotel . . . He’s best known for the sultry 1989 hit Wicked Game, which got me and likely many people into his music. But Isaak is much more than that one song.
  1. Frank Zappa, Crew Slut . . . “The Central Scrutinizer’ introduces more Zappa zaniness, from Joe’s Garage.
  1. April Wine, Electric Jewels . . . Propulsive title cut from the band’s 1973 album.
  1. Traffic, Roll Right Stones . . . Extended piece from Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory. I’ve always liked the album cover, too.

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