Thelonious Monk, 1947
As we come upon the Thanksgiving holiday, I am continually reminded how blessed I am to be able to participate in this great experiment that is WDBX. This came to mind this morning as I was driving home from Tennessee in the pouring rain, and found myself in the mood for a particular song, The Bad Brains‘ Give Thanks and Praises. It is easy to go through life, living the moment but forgetting how wonderful those moments truly are. So, from time to time, I find it good to stop and give thanks and praises for the abundant blessings that surround me. One of those blessings is the opportunity to come in and host a radio program once a week on WDBX. For this I am truly grateful.
So we started this week’s show with that very song, Give Thanks and Praises (from their 2006 album Build a Nation, which was produced by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch), then heard another cut from that album that dovetails quite nicely with the first, Natty Dreadlocks ‘pon the Mountain Top. We then heard a couple (Scared to Death and Sleep This Away) from Cancer Bats, a fine band from Toronto that I saw last year. Following that, we heard two songs from Underoath (for whom Cancer Bats was opening), Breathing in a New Mentality and Desperate Times, Desperate Measures. We finished the set with 3 songs from Stormtroopers of Death: March of the SOD, Sargent D and the SOD, and Kill Yourself (yes, that tongue was planted firmly in cheek).
Given that I am predisposed towards variety, I felt it appropriate to add a little bit of contrast, and turn to some jazz. In particular, I went with some Thelonious Monk from 1947: Well You Needn’t, Ruby My Dear and Evidence (the latter featuring Milt Jackson, more notably of the Modern Jazz Quartet, on vibes), before finishing the Monk with a big band recording he made with Oliver Nelson in 1968. We then heard a great cut from Dexter Gordon (Society Red), before completing the jazz set with Decision, from Sonny Rollins.
I’ve been trying to squeeze in some OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) for a few weeks now, and tonight was the night that I was finally able to do so. We heard four songs from that great new wave/techno band: So In Love (from their 1985 album Crush), Electricity (from their first album in 1979), Motion and Heart (from their second album, Organisation), and finally Souvenir, from their 1981 album Architecture and Morality.
I was also able to play another bit of music that I’d been trying to squeeze in for a few weeks, an ’80s metal set, when I started off the next set with Dokken’s Alone Again. We then heard Van Halen’s Panama (you remember it, it was from 1984 – the album and the year), The Scorpions’ Still Loving You, and Ratt’s Round and Round.
We finished off tonight’s set with something from System of a Down. Starting with their classic 2001 song Chop Suey!, we then heard War? (from their self-titled 1998 album), Innervisions (from 2002’s Steal This Album), P.L.U.C.K (also from 1998; title stands for “Politically Lying, Unholy Cowardly Killers”) and Science, also from 2001.