Friday, December 16, 2016

Episode 283: The Kinks: 1970 - 1979



Episode 283: The Kinks: 1970 - 1979
Pat is once again joined by friend and "Kinks Super Fan" Mario del Barrio to discuss the band's 1970 - 1979 discography. Kyle produces and cracks wise!
From December 15, 2016

With your host:

Pat Francis


00:00:00 Pat and Kyle welcome us to the show. Making his return to Rock Solid after a lengthy absence (May of this year) is today's guest co-host, Mario del Barrio! And just like his last appearance, Mario is here to discuss the band The Kinks and their 1970s output! Mario's a bit nervous about co-hosting the show again, but we all know he will do great, just like last time. Murray does it, so hard can it be?
00:05:00 Pat goes through a few announcements, one of which is a book giveaway and the other is news about Rock Solid's 2-show appearance at the 2017 San Francisco Sketchfest. And although Pat doesn't say who the special guest is on the recording date of the podcast, it has been confirmed in present day that the guest is quite.... "Weird." You could say that he likes to... "Yank..." people's chains. Maybe he goes by the name "Weird Al" Yankovic.
00:10:00 Come on kids and hop aboard the TARDIS as Pat and Mario travel back to 1970, when The Kinks release Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. Pat notes that the most popular song on the album will be played at the end, so just cool those pies and get the gravy off the stove. Like most of these 70s albums, Lola vs. Powerman is a concept album. Mario kicks things off with the opening track, "The Contenders".
00:15:00 Pat's first track from the album is "Get Back in Line". The song, and most of the album, is about Ray Davies' frustration with the music business, in this case the American Federation of Musicians for banning The Kinks from performing in America for four years. Mario's second track is "Apeman", one of his favorite Kinks songs.
00:20:00 The lineup for the album, and the lineup for most of the 70s, is Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Mick Avory, John Dalton, and John Gosling. At this point, the band is a bunch of hippies and have managed to outlast The Beatles. Pat's second pick from Lola Versus Powerman is a song called "This Time Tomorrow". That song and this song that Mario plays, "Strangers", are featured in Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. Dave on vocals there.
00:25:00 The way that people feel when they watch Wes Anderson movies is the way that Pat feels when he listens to The Kinks. That's why Pat feels he's the perfect director to use Kinks songs in his films. We move on to 1971's Percy, a soundtrack album that The Kinks did for the film of the same name. Here is the synopsis for the film:

Edwin, an innocent and shy young man, is hit by a nude man falling from a high-rise building while carrying a chandelier. Edwin's penis is mutilated in the accident and has to be amputated; the falling man is killed.

Edwin becomes the recipient of the world's first penis transplant: he receives the very large penis of the womanizer killed in the same accident. With his new bit of anatomy (which he names "Percy"), Edwin follows the womanizer's footsteps, meeting all his women friends, before settling happily with the donor's mistreated widow.

Pat plays the song "God's Children".
00:30:00 A beautiful song for a strange film. Mario plays the song from the soundtrack called "Dreams". Pat and Mario agree that there are some hidden gems on the soundtrack, but it is very much an oddball in the Kinks canon. We stay in 1971 and move on to Muswell Hillbillies, the second proper album of the decade. Mario plays the song that he shares (read: stole) his Twitter handle with, "20th Century Man". Thankfully there is no schizophrenia involved, otherwise King Crimson would have something to say about that. Still, the song is quite a downer about the troubles of the world.
"The great thing about The Kinks is that you'll never have a better time depressing yourself."
- Mario

00:35:00 The Archway Pub, where the album cover photo was shot, is not actually in the Muswell Hill area of North London, but it still exists today. Pat visited it when he went to London. He plays the song "Holiday". This is one of Mario's favorite Kinks albums from the 70s, but it only hit 100 in the States. And it didn't even chart in the U.K.! Mario plays the song "Have a Cuppa Tea". Now what is more British than having a cup of tea? And the Brits wouldn't even sniff this album. Too busy eating their crumpets and staring at pictures of the Queen. Guv'nor. Fish and chips.
00:40:00 Pat and Mario understand why people would not gravitate towards an album like this. It's very specific in its concept about working-class life in London that can be quite difficult to delve into. Pat plays the song "Skin and Bone". It's about a larger gal. Big through the hips, roomy.
00:45:00 1972 brings us Everybody's in Show-Biz, another concept album about Ray's frustrations with show business. It's a two-disc album with studio tracks on one and live tracks on another. Mario plays the title track "Here Comes Yet Another Day". Mario and Pat give props to Mick Avory on the drums (or the skins, as us cool kids say). Mick is currently the drummer for The Kast Off Kinks, a band composed entirely of former members of The Kinks. Pat plays the final studio track on the album, the epic "Celluloid Heroes".
00:50:00 The duo marvel at Ray writing songs that other writers weren't writing about. They also note Ray writes about food a lot. "He's like 'Weird Al' Yankovic," says Pat. Oh Francis, you sly devil. Mario plays one of the most beautiful Kinks songs in his opinion, "Sitting in My Hotel". Pat plays along on the trumpet, with a little "Dating Game" thrown in for good measure.
00:55:00 Pat and Mario look under the microscope at 1973 and 1974's Preservation: Act 1 and Preservation: Act 2. It's essentially a concept album about ecology and preserving the rural English lifestyle (a Ray Davies staple topic) in two parts. And Act 2 is actually a double album. We focus on Act 1 first. Pat plays "Sitting in the Midday Sun". The concerts for these albums would feature stage productions with the band playing characters. Ray played Mr. Flash, an egomaniac tycoon villain... which prompts Pat and Kyle to go into their Trump impressions, ranting about Flash Gordon. Naturally. Mario (trying not to get on this Trump duo's bad side lest he face any unexpected visits from La Migra) plays the song "Daylight".
01:00:00 Mario plays the song "Preservation", which serves as an overture to the album but was only released as a single. It's now on the album as a bonus track. Both Preservation albums are not high on Pat's Kinks radar, but he makes a point to listen to both of them again in the car (and thus annoy his family members once more). Mario plays one more track from Act 1 called "Sweet Lady Genevieve". Since Muswell Hillbillies, the band is on RCA and Pat mentions that the label has to be frustrated at all these concept albums and so few bonafide hits.
01:05:00 Pat goes to Act 2 and plays "He's Evil". That song was actually featured in an episode of Lost. Mario plays a song called "Mirror of Love". Pat wonders what the band thought about all this; Mario says they just shrugged their shoulders and went along with Ray, even though they wanted to rock.
01:10:00 It's 1975 and The Kinks release Soap Opera, a concept album about a rock star and an ordinary man named Norman who switch lives. Pat and Mario agree that this one is an hidden gem in the catalogue. Pat plays "Everybody's a Star (Starmaker)". "Everybody has a podcast... I mean, everybody's a star," says Pat. Mario's first pick from the album is called "Rush Hour Blues". A very British female voice makes an appearance in the song as Norman's wife and no, Pat, it isn't Sharon Osbourne. Nor is it Edith Bunker. Although if you listen closely, Ray does calls Dave "meathead" during the guitar solo.
01:15:00 Pat's next pick from Soap Opera is called "(A) Face in the Crowd". The boys take a detour into Tinseltown and some various topics within: the film A Face in the Crowd, Fred MacMurray and his filming schedule, I Love Lucy, strange contract stipulations for the actors.
01:20:00 After Pat does his impression of Lucille Ball having an orgasm (I feel bad just for typing that and you should feel bad just for reading it), Mario plays his second pick from the album "When Work Is Over". When work is over, you drown your misery in alcohol. Boy, these Kinks albums really sure know how to pick your spirits up. No pun intended.
The same year as Soap Opera, the band releases their final concept album of the 70s Schoolboys in Disgrace about Mr. Flash's time in an oppressive boarding school. Awful, AWFUL album cover. "It looks like a covers album for AC/DC," remarks Kyle.
01:25:00 Pat starts us off with "The Hard Way". Then Pat plays a little bit of The Knack's version of the song. It turns out the person who did the cover art was Mickey Finn from the band T.Rex. Well Mickey should have rode a white swan all the way to art school. Mario's first pick from the album is "Jack the Idiot Dunce". "Oh, so it's about Murray," says Pat. Awww come on, the man isn't even there to defend himself.
01:30:00 The next song for Pat is called "No More Looking Back". The consensus all around is that Mario is doing a fantastic job as a co-host. No doubt he'll return for a third Kinks episode, but what other bands would he like to cover? Mario would love to do a Beastie Boys episode; Pat would be interested to learn about them. Perhaps bring Rock Solid OG Matt Belknap along and spin the discs as they say. Mario's last pick from SID is "Schooldays".
01:35:00 After trying to find out which song "Jack the Idiot Dunce" sounds like (Pat goes with "Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul" from Rocky Horror, Mario goes with "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin), we move on to 1977's Sleepwalker. Their first album on Arista Records, their first non-concept album in years, and the beginning of their arena rock phase. It's also when the critical and commercial reception starts to be on the upswing. Pat kicks it off with "Juke Box Music". Mario figures that Ray needed someone to keep him focused (Arista's Clive Davis) because if you let Ray go into his own head, you wind up with eighteen different concept albums.
01:40:00 Mario's first pick is the title track, "Sleepwalker". Mario laments that a few of the songs on the album were not in An American Werewolf in London: "Sleepwalker," "Full Moon," "Sleepless Night." Pat's next pick from the album is the final track "Life Goes On". Pat finds that Ray's voice has a lot more punch to it starting with this album.
01:45:00 In the mood for some sweet, sweet lovemaking? Mario has you covered with the song "Stormy Sky". At this point, The Kinks have released fifteen studio albums. The Who have only released eight. So there may be some misses in there, but you can't say The Kinks were resting on their laurels; they were non-stop. Also of note is that Sleepwalker is the last album to feature John Dalton on bass. He would be replaced by Andy Pyle.
01:50:00 The first album without Dalton is 1978's Misfits. Pat gives high praise to Misfits. He plays the title track, "Misfits". All these albums were recorded at The Kinks' own studio, Konk Studios. Mario gives a shout out to his wife who has the worst allergies in the world. The song is "Hay Fever".
01:55:00 Pat's next is one that Mario brought in, "Out of the Wardrobe". Another example of Ray shining a spotlight on the transvestite community. Mario plays the song "A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy". Pat plays one more pick from Misfits, "Get Up".
02:00:00 We take another detour into Tinseltown and talk about the Hammer horror movies! Pat has been digging into these Hammer films and loves them. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, super red blood, the large busts of British wenches. What's not to love?! Pat and Mario praise Cushing and Lee.
02:05:00 Christopher Lee was a total badass: He tracked down Nazis after World War II ended, was cousins with Ian Fleming, and is the only Lord of the Rings cast member to have actually met J.R.R. Tolkien. Total. Badass. Mario plays one more from Misfits, "In a Foreign Land".
02:10:00 The final album of the 70s for The Kinks is 1979's Low Budget, which was also their biggest selling non-compilation album and a major boon for their following in the United States. Pat plays the song "Catch Me Now I'm Falling". Jim Rodford from Argent joins the band as their new bassist. John Gosling leaves the band's keyboardist role. Mario shifts gears to the discotheque and plays "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman". Mario hates Superman. "The most boring." That's how Mario describes him. Pat agrees, then they discuss how superior the Luke Cage TV show is.
02:15:00 Luke Cage is not Nic Cage, as Pat flubs, although that would make for a much more interesting show; Ghost Rider walking around Harlem while Method Man raps. Pat plays his last pick from Low Budget, "Little Bit of Emotion". Mario then plays his final pick, the title track "Low Budget".
02:20:00 Plugs time! You can find Mario on Twitter @20thCenturyMan. You can also check out his podcast Superiority Complex, where he and his co-hosts discuss some general palaver about pop culture and stuff. You can follow them on Twitter too @SoupComplex. Also you can get your tickets for the 2017 San Francisco Sketchfest where Rock Solid will be having TWO live shows.
BIG thanks to Mario del Barrio for coming back on the podcast and talking and playing The Kinks. Super funny dude, super nice dude too! And you can bet your bottom dollar that he'll back for the final part of this Kinks trilogy, covering the 1980-1994 period of the band. Pat takes us out with "Lola" off of Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 The Contenders Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Mario
00:15:00 Get Back in Line Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Pat
00:15:00 Apeman Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Mario
00:20:00 This Time Tomorrow Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Pat
00:20:00 Strangers Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Mario
00:25:00 God’s Children Percy The Kinks Pat
00:30:00 Dreams Percy The Kinks Mario
00:30:00 20th Century Man Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Mario
00:35:00 Holiday Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Pat
00:35:00 Have a Cuppa Tea Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Mario
00:40:00 Skin and Bone Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Pat
00:45:00 Here Comes Yet Another Day Everybody’s in Show-Biz The Kinks Mario
00:45:00 Celluloid Heroes Everybody’s in Show-Biz The Kinks Pat
00:50:00 Sitting in My Hotel Everybody’s in Show-Biz The Kinks Mario
00:55:00 Sitting in the Midday Sun Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Pat
00:55:00 Daylight Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Mario
01:00:00 Preservation Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Mario
01:00:00 Sweet Lady Genevieve Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Mario
01:05:00 He’s Evil Preservation: Act 2 The Kinks Pat
01:05:00 Mirror of Love Preservation: Act 2 The Kinks Mario
01:10:00 Everybody’s a Star (Starmaker) Soap Opera The Kinks Pat
01:10:00 Rush Hour Blues Soap Opera The Kinks Mario
01:15:00 (A) Face in the Crowd Soap Opera The Kinks Pat
01:20:00 When Work Is Over Soap Opera The Kinks Mario
01:25:00 The Hard Way Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Pat
01:25:00 Jack the Idiot Dunce Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Mario
01:30:00 No More Looking Back Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Pat
01:30:00 Schooldays Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Mario
01:35:00 Juke Box Music Sleepwalker The Kinks Pat
01:40:00 Sleepwalker Sleepwalker The Kinks Mario
01:40:00 Life Goes On Sleepwalker The Kinks Pat
01:45:00 Stormy Sky Sleepwalker The Kinks Mario
01:50:00 Misfits Misfits The Kinks Pat
01:50:00 Hay Fever Misfits The Kinks Mario
01:55:00 Out of the Wardrobe Misfits The Kinks Pat
01:55:00 A Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Misfits The Kinks Mario
01:55:00 Get Up Misfits The Kinks Pat
02:05:00 In a Foreign Land Misfits The Kinks Mario
02:10:00 Catch Me Now I’m Falling Low Budget The Kinks Pat
02:10:00 (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman Low Budget The Kinks Mario
02:15:00 Little Bit of Emotion Low Budget The Kinks Pat
02:15:00 Low Budget Low Budget The Kinks Mario
02:20:00 Lola Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Pat

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